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Voxy build - input wanted: Morgan, Matchless or Trinity?

coldengray

Member
Messages
1,797
So my birthday is coming up and I'd like to get parts for a Voxy build. I was thinking of doing a Morgan AC20 build with my own tweaks, not a straight clone...I like the switchable preamp tube. The OT is crazy expensive though.

But then Fusionbear built a Spitfire with some tweaks and it sounded AWESOME. Lots of Vox chime and enough cleans thanks to his mods, but also killer OD. Simple build, I would probably do my own chassis here using my Greenlee radio punch set and a blank box from Watts.

I'm also considering the Trinity TC-15 kit. It has an EF86 channel and Top Boost channel, but I had this in a Magic Brit and the Top Boost in a 15 watt amp seemed like too much. But people seem to love this amp.

In the end I want Vox edge of breakup chime with a Strat through a Alnico Blue in a 1x12 cabinet. Maybe a 2x12 with Blue and Greenback.

I'd love input from owners/builders of these amps.
 

Hulakatt

Has done terrible things for a klondike bar
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,908
Personally, I'd lean towards the Matchless build out of those mentioned but I'm really GASing to build something more like a TW Rocket or Trem Rocket myself.
 

tresspassor

Member
Messages
1,139
I agree, a Matchless build should fit the bill. You'll have to decide if you like the ef86 or 12ax7 preamp. If you can't, then just go all out and do a DC30 build. You can do it point-to-point or use some well documented layouts and easily tweak to taste. I personally can't jive with the ef86 because I tend to use bright sounding guitars. I have a Ceriatone lightning that I modded to my preference. I changed the supply filtering and and plate voltages to make it less stiff. A lightning has less headroom and more gain on tap than the spitfire. But when paired with a blue it has ample headroom for playing clean stuff live. It's a seriously loud and proud 2xel84 amp. The sound guy and lead singer hate me when I bring that amp to a gig. Just like Bryan Adams would say "It cuts like a knife"
 

calfzilla

Cynical Hack
Messages
3,865
So, are you wanting to keep the amp AT the edge of breakup, or is that where you're wanting the amp to start tone wise? Because if you're wanting it to "max out" at that edge of breakup sound, I would suggest the EF86 route since that style of amp tends to stay cleaner. If you're wanting the amp to start there, then definitely go with a 12A*7 preamp build like the Matchless.

Have you ever heard a Dr. Z Prescription? That thing is pretty much Vox overdrive from 1 onward on the dial. Almost no clean headroom. I know you're looking for some clean headroom but that amp does something special to get the tubes to work that hard from the very start. You might be looking for something similar if you want some power tube chewy goodness from the start. Just a thought.
 

Meriphew

Member
Messages
8,237
I agree, a Matchless build should fit the bill. You'll have to decide if you like the ef86 or 12ax7 preamp. If you can't, then just go all out and do a DC30 build. You can do it point-to-point or use some well documented layouts and easily tweak to taste. I personally can't jive with the ef86 because I tend to use bright sounding guitars. I have a Ceriatone lightning that I modded to my preference. I changed the supply filtering and and plate voltages to make it less stiff. A lightning has less headroom and more gain on tap than the spitfire. But when paired with a blue it has ample headroom for playing clean stuff live. It's a seriously loud and proud 2xel84 amp. The sound guy and lead singer hate me when I bring that amp to a gig. Just like Bryan Adams would say "It cuts like a knife"
The AC20 Dlx does both ef86 and 12ax7. Has a switch to select that option.
 

coldengray

Member
Messages
1,797
So, are you wanting to keep the amp AT the edge of breakup, or is that where you're wanting the amp to start tone wise? Because if you're wanting it to "max out" at that edge of breakup sound, I would suggest the EF86 route since that style of amp tends to stay cleaner. If you're wanting the amp to start there, then definitely go with a 12A*7 preamp build like the Matchless.
I mostly want jangly edge-up breakup using a Strat, but want the option to crank it for some killer OD tones. I'm leaning Spitfire with Fusionbear's mods. Keep the info coming, I love hearing from owners.
 

coldengray

Member
Messages
1,797
The AC20 Dlx does both ef86 and 12ax7. Has a switch to select that option.
Yes, that is a feature I really like. I'm just not sure how often I'll use the EF86. Plus I want to do this as a combo and EF86s don't do so well in that situation.
 

Meriphew

Member
Messages
8,237
Yes, that is a feature I really like. I'm just not sure how often I'll use the EF86. Plus I want to do this as a combo and EF86s don't do so well in that situation.
I mainly use single coil guitars, so I mostly use the 12ax7 when using my AC20 Dlx.
 

coldengray

Member
Messages
1,797
I think Spitfire is the way to go. A few months ago I got a NOS vintage Greenlee Radio Punch set from eBay for $50, it has all the sizes you need for various tube sockets. I think I will use a blank project box from Watts Tube Audio and drill/cut/punch it myself, which I have never done. The Westlab style transformers from Mercury Magnetics are both laydown so I'll need to get a jigsaw for those cutouts. While I am not bending my own chassis, I think this will be pretty close to a "scratch build", which will be a fun challenge. I will definitely implement Fusionbear's plate resistor value change, probably his cap value tweaks too. Very kind of him to share those details with me.

I see a Vox style 1x12 for the cabinet. Might as well since it's just for me.
 




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