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How important are amp gut shots when buying from a custom/boutique builder?

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,899
:huh

Just curious if super neat and beautiful looking gut shots means the builder is more reputable than say someone who has gut shots that are not as aesthetically appealing?

Here's a cool amp from a local builder that I would love to try out. The gut shots don't look like they are as meticulously arranged like, say, a Germino amp, or other builders who make the innards look like works of art. Is that important in terms of judging quality, longevity, or craftsmanship? I truly don't know. I've also seen vintage amps (e.g. old Fenders) that look like rats nests on the inside and sound great, but what do I know? I'm no amp builder. What say you, TGP constituency?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/sligo-super...733?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45ed866e85
 

teledude55

Member
Messages
4,963
basically, I just am mainly looking at the workmanship of the build. You want clean solder joints and organized wiring. Most, Technical/Engineer type people tend to be pretty meticulous and organized so sloppy wiring is a big warning sign for me. Rushed work is sloppy work.
 

jcat5503

Member
Messages
1,252
Lead dress is definitely important to get the lowest noise floor, and be reliable. They don't have to look like "works of art" but should be nice and tidy IMHO
 

ledzep618

Member
Messages
4,751
Old fender amps aren't known for being clean, but damned if Leo couldn't wire something that worked. Nowadays with boutique builders specializing only in a few models and taking forever to complete an amp it is an expectation that the wiring be clean. Not coincidentally (and without dropping names) the sloppier boutique builders tend to put out inferior products. For an example of incredible work, see the inside of any Germino. Coincidentally you rarely hear about Germino failures.
 

oldschoolguy

Member
Messages
2,252
I've seen that the more well known the builder, the more tidy the wiring. I really can't think of any builder I've learned about on here that doesn't have the knack.
 

RussB

low rent hobbyist
Messages
11,157
Old fender amps aren't known for being clean, but damned if Leo couldn't wire something that worked. Nowadays with boutique builders specializing only in a few models and taking forever to complete an amp it is an expectation that the wiring be clean. Not coincidentally (and without dropping names) the sloppier boutique builders tend to put out inferior products. For an example of incredible work, see the inside of any Germino. Coincidentally you rarely hear about Germino failures.

What Fenders are you looking at? Old Fender amps are wired up with skill, care and craftsmanship.
 

gixxerrock

Member
Messages
3,950
My opinion is the wiring in the ebay listing shows a lack of care and looks amateurish. For the money they are asking, I would not buy it.
 

tele_jas

Member
Messages
3,810
Gut shots do not play a role in my decision..... Unless I question the authenticity of the amp, then I may request pics for comparison or to send to the builder and ask "is this actually your work"?

Otherwise, no gut shots are needed from me.
 

Cornholio

Member
Messages
1,625
Looks like a bowl of spaghetti. :omg

At that asking price, I would not bother unless I had a chance to play one in person. That's a lot of frogskins to lay down, and if you don't like it, you will likely have a hard time reselling it.
 

Cottage

Member
Messages
1,491
Something similar to those car lots that leave the hoods on the cars up! "okay", its got an engine! Seriously, I guess, as a non-electrician, its nice to see that its hand-wired.
 

vds5000

Member
Messages
2,239
.. For an example of incredible work, see the inside of any Germino. Coincidentally you rarely hear about Germino failures.
Same can be said about TopHat, Matchless and BadCat amps. I've owned multiple examples of each, and all looked like artwork under the hood. Plus, no turret boards - all were true point-to-point.

I've seen that the more well known the builder, the more tidy the wiring. I really can't think of any builder I've learned about on here that doesn't have the knack.
In general, yes. Not always the case though. I owned a very expensive amp by a very reputable builder but the workmanship inside was just sloppier than anything you could imagine. I'll be the first to admit that the amp sounded great, but I was turned off by what I saw inside. So were others.
 

bluesman54

Member
Messages
4
If your asking about the amp in the Ebay listing................No Way. I would never ever buy this. The way that a circuit is wired and the attention to proper wire lengths, clean lead dress is what makes it quiet and sound cool. My $.02 but I would stay far, far ,far away.
 

riffmeister

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,662
certain parts have to be done right to keep the noise floor low. the rest.....not so much.
 
Messages
242
Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, I want to see the brand of caps and resistors, and the tolerance bands on the resistors the builder is using.

Like several have said, sloppy wiring can contribute to noise. I would always prefer gut shots, so that I may rest assured the builder is a pro, works clean, and has every aspect of the design as flawless as possible.

Otherwise, I could just buy a Chinese PCB amp. You should get what you pay for.
 

KindaFuzzy

Member
Messages
817
I've seen worse, looks like someone trying too hard with the cloth covered wire. Something tells me it hums based on the loose twists going to the tube sockets. I always show my work, must be from all that long division in math class I guess.
 

SatelliteAmps

Member
Messages
6,170
As a builder, I'd like to throw my two cents in. Very few consumers I have ever met even understand the basics of lead dress. Just because everything is wired at 90 degree angles, and tied together, does not mean the lead dress is done properly. Electrics are not always about visual beauty. Seeing people ooh and aah about the guts of some amps is laughable to some makers who understand what they are looking at.

That being said, the one in the auction does not look to have a good lead dress. Most of the wires are extremely long for what they are doing, and that usually means noise issues.
 

riffmeister

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,662
As a builder, I'd like to throw my two cents in. Very few consumers I have ever met even understand the basics of lead dress. Just because everything is wired at 90 degree angles, and tied together, does not mean the lead dress is done properly. Electrics are not always about visual beauty. Seeing people ooh and aah about the guts of some amps is laughable to some makers who understand what they are looking at.
What is an example of an amp that is wired neatly but has poor lead dress?
 

rockometeramp

Member
Messages
430
FWIW, I've built a dozen or so amps, and always try to make my wiring/soldering as neat as possible, and if I was buying, I'd definitely be looking at the guts. On the other hand, sometimes that direct straight, or super-neat line of wire isn't the way to do it. Certain parts of the circuit are directly affected by the placement of wiring, others not so much. Proper grounding is a big contributor to low noise. I've looked into quite a few "rats nests" of point to point wiring typically found in old bargain basement amps, and most were dead quiet once a 3 prong power cord was added.

The amp in the ebay ad is made by a guy in his home shop, he advertises in Vintage Guitar, and although not known in the same circles as Bad Cat/,Victoria, etc. he can't really survive selling junk without getting slammed in online forums. He sells copies of well known circuits, uses metal film resistors(usually 1% tolerance), Mallory caps and if you go to his website, he offers upgrades to Mercury transformers and would probably make you an amp with any parts you want. It's been a while since I went to his site, but I'm going to assume he gives a warranty. I've sold a few amps I built and used good parts, if the owner has a problem, I'll fix it. I thiunk the last 2 I sold I gave a 5 or 10 year warranty on, excluding tubes and physical damage.

I think his web address is in the ebay ad, sligoamplification.com, I think. Give him a call and pick his brain, I'm sure he'd happily answer your questions, and no, I've never talked to the guy.

Rocco
 

FourT6and2

Member
Messages
2,100
What is an example of an amp that is wired neatly but has poor lead dress?
I think the point is that neat wiring may still be noisy if it isn't laid out properly. For example, on typical Marshall circuits (like the 1959 for instance) running the lead from the presence pot to the negative feedback resistor too close to the other pots or some of the components on the board will cause high-pitch squealing at stage volume.

So this lead must be run a certain way to prevent noise. And that way may not give you the "best looking" results.

Routing this lead in a way that makes it look neat and tidy may not give you the best results when it comes to function. Just one example, but there are plenty of others.

On the flip side... I do love me some pretty right angles. :D

 






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