Weber Amp Kits

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by BrewGuitar, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. BrewGuitar

    BrewGuitar Member

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    Any opinions on his amp kits? How are his components vs. name brand components? Are there better/other kits for fender tweeds? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    The Weber kits that come with his speakers tend to be good deals. You can upgrade a lot of the components and still come out way ahead. If you're looking at a tweed deluxe, you might have a better overall build experience with Mission Amps/Bruce Collins.
     
  3. 909one

    909one Member

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  4. Kapo_Polenton

    Kapo_Polenton Member

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    Cheaper components but things that really need the upgrades are the wire, the pots, maybe the tube sockets , and the jacks.
     
  5. outtahear

    outtahear Supporting Member

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    Need? Been an amp tech/builder for over 2 decades, and I can't believe how many people w/one-three kit builds under their belt have decided that you can't build a good sounding amp w/Weber kits as is. Bang for the buck's key here-people are losing their minds with this switch/jacks sounding better (wire??) misconception. (actually, Switchcrafts' QC has been getting spottier the last decade or so.)

    For a first build, a WEBER kit's more than fine. Build the damn thing right, and if you feel the need to upgrade, get some NOS or slightly used tubes-those will make a bigger difference to the actual tone of the amp.
     
  6. BrewGuitar

    BrewGuitar Member

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    Thanks for the input. Since this is my first build, I am going to try something real simple, like a 5E3 or 5F3 Champ. It seems I can start with the kit and upgrade after the build. This way, I might actually hear for myself the difference a cap/pot/resistor change might make. Are Weber's transformers good, or should I go for the upgrade to Heyboer? I will also check out the other suggestions.
     
  7. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    I'd do a mission if I was going to do a 5E3.
     
  8. mageerc

    mageerc Member

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    Weber's transformers sound real good to me... I built one of the 6M18TMB heads with his trannys and it sounds exceptional. I did replace the jacks in my kit and the indicator lamp, but that was just my election not a necessity. I doubt you would be disappointed in his 5F1, 5F1A or 5F2 kits.
     
  9. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    I think it depends, some of the designs are spotty when it comes to the Marshall kits. Tweeds are probably ok, but the pots stink.
     
  10. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    Mission has the best 5E3 kit hands down.
     
  11. phsyconoodler

    phsyconoodler Member

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    The weber offshore jacks are awful.They are not even up to beginner's level of parts.They often cause problems before they even get plugged into.The transformers on some kits are fine,but you will notice he offers upgardes on his site to Heyboer or Mercury Magnetics.The cabinets are good,the chassis are adequate and the small parts like caps and resistors are fine.The cloth wire however,breaks easily ands is cloth over PVC.Hard to strip and hard to keep looking neat.The vintage cloth is far better.
    The kits are priced very good and the level of quality overall is good.For beginning amp builders Weber does the job.As you get better and want more professional grade stuff,there are lots of choices.I think Weber speakers are awesome and his kits are good.
    I have found that the heat treat on Switchcraft jacks is not as good as nuetrix these days.I have old Fender switchcrafts that are far better than the new ones.They are still far better than the weber ones.But what the heck? For the buck,weber comes out ahead.
    I find that some of his marshall OT's are not great sounding,but he offers upgrades,so all in all it's a good value for weber stuff.
     
  12. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    Good parts are important for a beginner because there will be less reasons why the amp doesn't work upon first fire up.
     
  13. tommytomcat

    tommytomcat Member

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    I've put together a couple Weber kits recently. They have improved the input jacks that come with the kits. Much more sturdy/solid than the flimsy ones they were shipping a couple of years ago. I do order the fender style light assembly's. I haven't had a problem with the pots in any of my 4 Weber builds. The BF style knobs look cheap.. but the chicken heads are OK, but you may have to do a little drilling to get them to fit over the pot shafts. The Weber PT's are fine... the OT's are good but if you're shooting for big time headroom, you may want to upgrade to the Heyboer's. Most of the wire shipped with the kits is now the cloth push back type... The stuff they give you for speaker connections and the tube filiments is thin (stranded) and hard to strip, but it works. All in all, I think the Weber kits are an excellent value.
     
  14. getbent

    getbent Member

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    I built a Weber 5F2A kit a year and a half ago. I read all the threads about cheap parts etc and believed them, but decided I would built a stock kit and see how it held up (easy enough to 'improve' the parts later, no?) It is a great little amp stock. Not noisy, nothing has broken it averages about 8 hours a week of playing time on my bench in my garage studio... it was a straightforward build and a really good experience.

    So, can you always buy better components? yep. Is the Weber just 'dang' inexpensive? yep.

    If you need lots of instructions etc and want a higher quality build (partswise) then get an allen or marsh or if you can't really do it yourself buy a readymade from those guys or ceriatone... there are a ton of great kit companies and you really can't go wrong from what I've seen. I'm about to build a 5e3 from stf... it'll be cool!
     
  15. hasserl

    hasserl Member

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    I've done a few of the Weber kit's, and I've worked on a few helping others that have built them, and I've used the chassis kits and transformers also in other projects.

    In the kits I just replace the switches and jacks right off the bat, IME both of them can cause issues (i.e. switch contacts in the jacks that have intermittent continuity causing noise) later on that require troubleshooting and replacement anyway. Just do it to start with and avoid the problems is my advice. I've used the cheap jewel lights that come with the kit, but don't like them. The terminals are very small and flimsy, and do not accept even 20 gauge wire. I much prefer the Fender style light assys. Just get one from Weber when you order the kit.

    The pots are fine. People like to complain about them but I've used many of them in amps besides the kits and I've not had any failures, they are as close to spec value as more expensive pots. I've not compared the actual taper of the resistance in the audio pots to more expensive pots, there may be some difference there, I don't know. And the feel may be different, they turn easily with little rotation resistance, this may feel cheap, but it does not hinder the performance of the pot.

    The wire, the red and yellow pushback cloth wire is very good stuff, nothing wrong with it at all. I would order a few extra feet of each when you order the kit to make sure you have enough. It's cheap, and it's not bad to have around the shop. The green wire for the heaters is stranded, and I prefer to use solid which makes it easier to do a clean installation IMO. Stranded is more resistance to breakage though, but that has not been a problem for me. I don't get the comment made above about the wire being prone to breakage, I've not had that experience at all and wonder where that comes from. For speaker wire, just get some zip cord from the local hardware store, it works great.
     

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