handwired or not

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by njm921, Nov 2, 2019.

  1. DLW

    DLW Active Member

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    A clone in head form with a cab that has the option of closed or open/semi open and speakers of choice would be interesting. Sorry to derail .....back to opening thread focus. HW vs PCB.....
     
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  2. geddy

    geddy Active Member

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    There is no extra magic in hand wiring but it is labour intensive and more susceptible to errors in the manufacturing process. Of course there is the proviso that PCBs have been designed properly but there is an element of this in hw too. As for components they are chosen to meet the design aims for the amp. Cost is always going to be a factor in component selection. Thus has always been the case. The sought after equipment from the past was made using whatever components were available at the time. There was no search for components with special added unicorn droppings.

    Unless Ken knows better.

    Therefore my opinion is...no noticeable difference in sound
     
    marshalltsl likes this.
  3. coolidge56

    coolidge56 Well-Known Member

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    Hand wiring allows use of components that are incompatible with automated pick and place PCB construction. Not that manufactures leverage the advantage on their hand wired amps.
     
  4. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about the sound, but I specifically chose a handwired Fender Deluxe as I want to keep it for a lot of years and can repair it myself if I need to. I've had amps that couldn't be repaired due to multilayered PCBs and it seems such a waste (plus one was a birthday present from my family and I feel like I can't throw it out, but it's not much use now).
     
  5. coolidge56

    coolidge56 Well-Known Member

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    Here's a modern PCB

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Sustainium

    Sustainium Well-Known Member

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    Needs HW stamped on front faceplate to be worth the price premium.:eek:
     
  7. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Well-Known Member

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    Is that from a Deluxe re-issue though? I read about issues with PCBs on some of the Fender amps and figured for what DRRi amps cost (in the UK) that I'd be pretty annoyed if it broke down after a few years and then couldn't be repaired.

    I got a good deal on the '64 HW and it still makes me smile every time I play it; it's a great compliment to my Marshalls (which I know aren't hand wired, but seem to have a better reputation for their PCBs).
     
  8. geddy

    geddy Active Member

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    This is partly true but most manufacturers use mixed automated and manual fitment of components if necessary. This is normal business
     
  9. geddy

    geddy Active Member

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    Multi layered PCBs are repairable. This happens all the time in industry.
     
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  10. geddy

    geddy Active Member

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  11. coolidge56

    coolidge56 Well-Known Member

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    I had those boards custom made to my specs. If a Fender or Marshall wanted to up their HW game its entirely possible to go to this extreme for like $40 more in cost per board. Those boards are blast proof .125 inch thick fire resistant FR4. 2 oz copper (that's heavy) plus plated through holes which connect the top/bottom solder pads together. Then mechanically swaged Keystone turrets pressed into the plated through holes, then turrets are soldered on the bottom of the board for even more BRUTE. :shred:
     
  12. coolidge56

    coolidge56 Well-Known Member

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    Can a manufacture cheap out on the PCB yeah. Hopefully they have learned their lesson on that. I'm fine with my SC20H PCB. I'm sure its tempting, you can easily cut the price per board in half if not more by going cheap.
     
  13. purpleplexi

    purpleplexi Well-Known Member

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    Lets face facts a lot of people rely heavily on pedals for their tone and almost all of them with a few exceptions are pcb. It's more about design/quality than hw/non-hw.
     
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  14. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    If i get any handwired amp its gonna be a Ceriatone.
     
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  15. Matt_Krush

    Matt_Krush Well-Known Member

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    How can a true A-B comparison ever be done?

    That would assume that all other variables are eliminated except for PCB vs hand wired.

    Tubes, electrical components all have tolerances and are therefore a variable.

    The true comparison is play each blind...ignorant of it's internal construction and decide, which "sounds/feels best to me for what I play."
     
  16. Fierce_Carrot

    Fierce_Carrot Member

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    I owned a Ceriateone Liverpull, their version of Ken Fischers legendary Trainwreck amplifier with EL84's. The entire process, from asking Nik questions, to ordering, to getting a rush delivery (at his expense) was outstanding. The quality of the amp construction and components puts every other builder to shame. These are the standard for what boutique amps should be about, especially price. I've played other Ceriatone's, and their Dumble based units are KILLER as are their hot rodded's Marshall's. Check out the Yeti and Son of Yeti's on youtube.
     
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  17. dro

    dro Well-Known Member

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    My PCB Bluesbreaker sounded really nice when it played. Developed an issue that rendered it silent. Could've been a cold solder joint or something simple like that.
    Was trying for an easy to load version of the JTM 45 tone. 45 tone no problem. Easy to load/move not so much. Current specs list as 66 lbs. or so. Seems like it was heavier than that to me. Although I AM getting older. It was easier for me to hook up trailer and load JTM with 1960BX via push case up ramp. Rather than pick up BB and load in truck. If it weren't for that I'd have had input problem fixed and still be playing it today.
     
  18. tidbit

    tidbit Active Member

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    This is pretty much word for word what my amp repair person says. And he's a bit of a critic when it comes to amp design. I trust his opinion as he was also a bandmate of mine for quite a few years and is still a really good friend outside of music and repairs.
    Thin traces are garbage but a well laid out, hefty boards function as well as a hand wired amp. However...he says that handwired amps, in general, are a bit easier to work on. Beware the cheap PCB.
     
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  19. Trelwheen

    Trelwheen Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, my personal take on HW vs PCB gear:

    Let's say a given amp model which is available in PCB and HW form sounds exactly the same to your ears. Does one inspire you in some inexplicable way more than the other when you play through it or think about it? The point here is that in this hypothetical case perception is everything. Buy the one which gives you the larger adrenaline jolt. This is art....art doesn't have to follow logic.

    Another point to consider is that, generally speaking, HW gear will give you a better return on your investment if you plan to - or have to - sell it down the road. They also tend to sell quicker and attract more interest in the marketplace.

    These aren't hard facts, they're my opinions based on my personal experience over years of putzing with gear of all kinds.

    They're also only a part of the total equation. The other guys have already made great points above about component quality and all the other physical attributes of both kinds of construction.

    I hope you do your research and then follow your creative instincts from there.

    Best of luck in your decision
     

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