Last night was the first test of my first guitar amp build and it was a massive success! I'm building a tube amp for Benjamin Wade and the only requirement is that it be a studio amp of Lightning Boy quality. What we have here is a head that puts out 20 watts of pure class A single ended tube tone. Its a low gain amp with controls for input gain, bass, mids, treble, output gain. Its currently powered by a 5U4 rectifier tube, an EL34 power tube and a 12AX7 preamp tube. In the coming days I will be converting it over to a 6L6 power tube and I'll be adding some simple tweaks such as a jewel lamp, which its currently missing. It has outputs for 4, 8 and 16 ohm speakers.
Hows it sound? Well, on first listening the very first thing I noticed was a significant amount of headroom. Thats always a good thing! It can get really clean and "nashville" sounding, but you can dial in a raw and angry crunch with both gain knobs cranked. With the gain pegged, it has almost a wild sounding purr to it, like a lion. The breakup is pretty unique sounding in a very hip kind of way. The EQ controls are buttery smooth and very gradual, unlike the EQ on most amps I have played through over the years. I may mess with the EQ points a touch because the bass is so deep that its not all that useable for guitar and the low mids are a little too low for my taste, although they sound really nice!
Next update will include photos at least, but also some sound samples! I think I shall call her the "Custom 13."
About the Author
Mike Congilosi II, Owner/Designer/Electronics Engineer at Lightning Boy Audio and Owner/Audio Engineer/Music Producer at LBA Studios.