Is my amp hand wired or PCB?

Silent Sound

Member
Messages
5,031
Most agree that amps using PCB or Handwired construction will both sound the same if all things are equal. I have both PCB and handwired amps, both are reliable and sound great.

There is an unquestionable advantage to handwired construction, and that is ease of repairs and modifications, and it's fine to prefer it for that reason.
Modifications, yes. Repairs... that can be slightly misleading. PCB amps are usually easier to follow. It's less of an issue if you're dealing with a known circuit or one that you have a schematic for, such as the case for these Fender amps. But if it's a one-off circuit that you're dealing with, a PCB board will probably be easier to troubleshoot. It's also suggested that soldering and unsoldering is easier on a hand wired circuit. That's slightly true in that they tolerate overheating a lot better. And some PCB's have really thin and weakly applied layers of copper that can lift if you don't know what you're doing. But a good PCB should be able to tolerate some abuse. And any repair person worth a darn shouldn't have any issues working on a PCB, as they won't abuse it. It's mainly just easier to work on for people who don't have a lot of experience soldering.
 

Todd1357

Member
Messages
128
Modifications, yes. Repairs... that can be slightly misleading. PCB amps are usually easier to follow. It's less of an issue if you're dealing with a known circuit or one that you have a schematic for, such as the case for these Fender amps. But if it's a one-off circuit that you're dealing with, a PCB board will probably be easier to troubleshoot. It's also suggested that soldering and unsoldering is easier on a hand wired circuit. That's slightly true in that they tolerate overheating a lot better. And some PCB's have really thin and weakly applied layers of copper that can lift if you don't know what you're doing. But a good PCB should be able to tolerate some abuse. And any repair person worth a darn shouldn't have any issues working on a PCB, as they won't abuse it. It's mainly just easier to work on for people who don't have a lot of experience soldering.

Good call, thanks! I was thinking more something an amateur such as myself would feel comfortable working on. PCB's are scarier in that I worry about messing something up, whereas the eyelet board stuff seems a lot easier.

I'm not a real amp tech by any stretch, just a "TGP certified amp master" !
 

David Garner

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,724
PCB for sure, but that's no problem. If you like the sound, the speaker, maybe clipping the bright cap, and other minor mods will do far more for it than getting a hand wired chassis. Plus, it isn't really a problem until someone needs to work on it, and then it isn't all that big a problem.

I have 2 hand wired and 2 PCB amps. They all work and sound fine.
 

drbob1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,858
The channels on that amp ARE out of phase. But if you're using the effects channel just for the Reverb, that shouldn't be a problem as it's the clean sounds that would primarily lose base and volume by being mixed.

As for PCB vs HW-for me it's a longevity thing. I know that I can get a 90 year old amp wired on terminal strips repaired next year or next century. I suspect that even Mesa Boogie PCBs aren't going to hang in there for another 50 years. And I know for sure that Fender ones won't. Still, good sounding amp and you're probably not worried about how it'll be in 50 years so, enjoy!
 

jdel77

Supporting Member
Messages
9,839
You do realise that the people stuffing the pcb and wiring it all up are human too?
 

jazzguitarfan

Member
Messages
503
They make a '64 handwired DRRI, but it's over twice the price. I wouldn't worry about it all. The DRRI is a fine sounding amp and if you don't abuse it, will give you many years of solid service. There are plenty of 20+ year old PCB DRRIs doing just fine today and sounding nice.
 

dirtyguitar

Supporting Member
Messages
543
“Hand wired” is marketing puffery (BS).

it’s PCB, turret board, rails or total freestyle.

you can “hand wire” an amp with a PCB. For that matter you can hand wire the whole PCB.

The other three styles are referred to as point-to-point and (to my knowledge) are all all wired by hand.

what you are happy with should be based on your ears. You may be fine with PCB, which is why I won’t be the turd in the punch bowl. There are some great amps made each way.

it’s also possible that you ear will change over time.

just play the amp. A lot. In as many situations as possible. Don’t preassume a problem that you may never care about.

or send the amp to George Alessandro.
 




Top