Monday, 28 April 2014

The Princeton Champ

I decided to treat myself to a valve amplifier kit, my home made valve amp is fine but is based on a 1960's hifi amplifier and really should have it's electrolytic capacitors replaced before it goes bang! So partly  I wanted something brand new and reliable and also fancied an American voiced amp with a 6V6 tube in it with that nice overdriven sound that could fit into almost any situation rather than EL84s  So I went for a 4 watt Champ clone from amp maker. http://www.ampmaker.com/store/WF-55-4w-tweed-style-amp.html   
It all came packed so neatly that I thought for a moment he'd forgotten the valves! The instructions are on line and easy to follow, it was really nice to build something that was guaranteed to work so I could focus on making a neat job of it. I t felt a bit like a busman's holiday but was nice to be building something I could keep bcz though I'm an optical assembly technician now I've been a panel wireman for about 40 years. I received it on Thursday and had it working by Sunday. How loud is 4 watts supposed to be? This thing was ear spilling before it started to overdrive! Good in a way bcz i want to use it in church!  So I added a standby switch too to extend the valve life.I plonked it upside down into an old solid state Behringer amp cab I had kept for such a project, which happened to have an appropriate Jensen speaker. I have to admit  wasn't so keen on the tone, it just sounded to warm and loose with my humbucker equipped guitars ,I could see that a Tele or Strat would be great but I have enough guitars already! I added the tone circuit and instantly loved it! One end of the tone control is mellow and jazzy and the other bright and twangy, but some how the in between sound works better for me. Maybe it's the cathode resistor bypass cap I had to add to make up for the lossy tone controls. This converts it from a Champ to a Princeton. Also I added a negative feedback defeat switch which boosts the volume but cuts the midrange. I didn't want to commit to it and drill a hole in the wood panel as I didn't want to over clutter it or change the internal wiring so wired it outside the chassis but intercepting the connection at the 4 ohm tap of the output transformer and fitted the switch in one of the side infill panels.








Saturday, 21 December 2013

The finished Dulcijo.




Finished Dulcijo with my Dulcimer, it sounds amazing!A real authentic banjo sound and really loud! I've been having fun playing my dulcimer tunes on it though bcz it's played like a a guitar rather than across the lap it reverses all the fingering!  I'll post some better photos when I have the chance to take them and maybe a video once I've leart to play it better, I keep meaning to visit my local folk club again and this is just the thing to take along. The lower picture is of the drone string nut arrangement, using a slotted screw for a nut and another filed down into a hook. 
A short festive demo. Good-King-Wenceslas

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Dulcijo neck progress

Laid out to see how it'll look

Working out the neck angle, a tricky job I often get wrong!


Neck heel shaping


A new neck extension rod made from scraps, drilling the hole in the neck at the correct angle is going to be difficult!


Monday, 4 November 2013

Some Dulcijo progress


Dulcijo neck cut out but despite having the time to work on it (as I'm unemployed - yet again) it's far too cold to do much out here.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Dulcijo

reskinned my "Ganjo" with a proper vellum skin, a tricky job in itself! The "ganjo" was a short necked guitar(ish) banjo I built several years ago by making a new neck for a zither banjo with a broken neck  but still wasn't happy with the result, nothing wrong with the reskinning but like most guitar banjos 6  strings make it sound muddy and the lower two don't sound good at all! But then stumbled across the Dulcijo
,  a cross between the dulcimer and banjo that really does sound authentic  and  (unlike the steel guitar) is immediately playable so have decided to covert it into one of these.Listen to this!

                                              Ready for bandsawing...more to come!

Lap Steel

I've always loved the sound of the lap steel and built this in June-July but C6 tuning has no relation to standard guitar tuning and I can't play it at all! Just as well it didn't cost much to build!