Remove PCB, handwire properly......

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by mcdes, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    I have been doing some work on my vox heritage amp, as some have helped with in the last week, and I had a thought!

    How hard would it be to remove the PCB boards in the amp, and install a proper turret board, to make it truly handwired? And would it be worth it? Would it change the tone etc?

    Any benefits other than making it easier to maintain etc??
     
  2. mach90

    mach90 Member

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    not worth all the work in my opinion when you have a good pcb to start with
     
  3. neteraser

    neteraser Member

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    Grealy. You create a new structure. A new body. So the sound will obviously be different. Don't screw up making a good layout, which isn't a simple thing to do. I had to redid it a few times to make sure I like it, though I was mainly just copying Fender and Marshall layouts.
    All components have some kind of static properties. I don't study these, unfortunately. But still... you have to find some kind of harmony in these static values, and it has nothing to do with the looks. However correctly designed layout would surely look beautiful.
    Also, the size and material of the components affects those static properties I was talking about, so make sure you have all final components in your hands or replacing them later will be troublesome.
     
  4. neteraser

    neteraser Member

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    A good PCB can also form a structure and generate the same positive material percieved as a good sound as well. But still, who in the world makes good PCBs... Aside, it's a way to get the things by yourself. Experiment! I don't quite understand, why're asking ? :) Ain't you interested to know it yourself and tell what you've found or haven't found to others?
     
  5. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    Pretty much everything electronic in the world outside of guitar amplifiers is PCB-based, and society hasn't collapsed in upon itself yet. ;)
     
  6. neteraser

    neteraser Member

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    Hmmm... Anyway I have a question, don't you think old Fender and Marshall layouts look beautiful in many ways and affect the overall tone of the amp?
    By the way guys. If you stop figthing for the right tone, vintage tone, good tone, just tone, there will be no amp in the world that has The Tone! Because the Tone is a result of your (our) job actually.
    I see many people lately around TGP refusing doing thier job properly, including myself obviously. :)

    DTFJ!!! <- Has something to do with doing your job.
     
  7. efnikbug

    efnikbug Member

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    +1

    And you won't be able to resell it for anymore because of it.

    But as a learning experience, sure. But you will have to prepare yourself for possible sacrifices. Money being one, time another, and possibly a dead amp. And the most important, your health.
     
  8. neteraser

    neteraser Member

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    You can save the old PCB and give it a chance.
    Actually, handwired board can be even more valuable.
    No pain no game!
    You just need a little faith in yourself...
     
  9. wyatt

    wyatt Member

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    I agree.

    There is no objective tonal benefit from swapping out the PCB for a turret-board for the same circuit.

    The upside to turret-board is it makes an amp easier to maintain, which is totally negated by the hassle of the swap. How much maintenance would be needed through the years to have the effort pay for itself? It would be worth changing out if you were interested in starting to tweak the circuit -- the swap out component values, mod the circuit, etc.

    But just moving the same circuit to a turretboard? You lose a lot of time and money and end up with an amp that is worth less than when you began. No one ever recoups the cost of amp mods, and most buyers will pay less for an amp that isn't stock, even if "upgraded."
     
  10. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks Member

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    no. both those companies built their amps to be as cheap as possible.
     
  11. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Theoretically, if you change the wiring the tone will also change due to the change in capacitance between conductors...but will it be enough of a change for you to hear? Subjective. And there's always the possibility of introducing parasitic oscillation.

    With a PCB, there's always a chance that a defective component could cause the board traces to melt or burn....which could make it unrepairable if a replacement board is no longer available.

    Sounds like a fun project though...but, then again, there are dangerous voltages inside a tube amp which is no place for inexperienced fingers ;).
     
  12. neteraser

    neteraser Member

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    making is as cheap as possible is a part of coming to perfection. that doesn't mean they didn't worked on quality of their layouts. they say Marshall made 6 prototypes before releasing his first JTM amp. or otherwise why would so many people copy their layouts and say "wow! how come they were able to get that much..."
    so definitely... DTFJ.
     
  13. aynirar27

    aynirar27 All You Need Is Rock and Roll Gold Supporting Member

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    Are they counting the fender 5f6a as one of those prototypes?
     
  14. simbot

    simbot Member

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    I converted my Fender Pro Jr. from the stock PCB to a handwired turret board. It sounds significantly better. I used different (better) transformers, sozo & orange drop caps, metal film resistors. It's the same circuit essentially. I had to use a few different resistor values to get the biasing and voltages in line.

    It's definitely not worth it from a purely financial aspect. I spent around $200, and about 40 hours doing it. I won't be able to resell it for more than a stock amp, but I don't want to! It sounds great, and I learned a ton about tubes amps doing it. So in the end it was totally worth it. It blows away a stock PJ, and I'm way smarter now.
     
  15. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    If you want to get into amp building, sell the Vox and buy a kit. The odds of having a good experience and having an amp that works at the end of the day will be much greater!
     
  16. cap47

    cap47 Member

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    This!:aok
     
  17. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    That is a lot different than just comparing pcb to turret.
     
  18. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    thats true. as awesome as hearing the changes are, its what would happen if all was the same, but then changed from PCB to turret.

    so far im leaning to 'its not worth it', but it could be fun
     
  19. crossbones

    crossbones Member

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    Back in the 80's, when Hiwatts were $179.95 used,
    My first real amp wiring project was converting a 1980ish pc board DR105 to turret board and wires.
    Aside from it being a pain in the ass, the final version sounded exactly like the pc one. Not to mention, they employed some sort of super wiring gnomes that made it impossible to copy the neat wiring layout.
    (There are literally little gnomes living in those amps that just keep straightening things up, This is a known fact.)
    The lesson that I learned was...
    They, at least, were using the same high quality components as the hand/gnome wired models.
    The PC board really was not a bad thing. Stylish? No.
    It took me about a month.
     
  20. neteraser

    neteraser Member

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    No result? I'd try again. I'd start from copying the old Fender layouts.
     

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