"The Hammer"

Discussion in 'Building the Classics' started by Snow and Steel, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. Snow and Steel

    Snow and Steel Active Member

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    No secret, just an NDA. He's a small three man shop. I signed an NDA - nondisclosure agreement - on what I pay as part of my endorsement. So what I pay is not what the public pays. He normally has a waiting list, and has only recently decided to expand his business and build more, with the hope of then hiring more employees and making it bigger. I know his website is coming, but don't believe it's up yet.

    The other thing is most of his amps start at a certain model, and are then modded to the buyers taste. So it's not like buying a fender where you look at the catalog and pick one. It's more like "I've always wanted a bluesbreaker but in a head with less bass and more gain" or whatever it is you can dream up.
     
  2. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Vintage Modern has you covered there :yesway:
     
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  3. Snow and Steel

    Snow and Steel Active Member

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    I give up
     
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  4. neikeel

    neikeel Well-Known Member

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    It is a good concept and well executed (our resident helicopter repair man is probably better - certainly neater than me - I build to Marshall style).
    Some ideas are neat to protect fragile preamp tubes in the cf.
    I think in general 50 is the max you can use in anger nowadays without the soundman getting the hump.
    I hope you sell some.:)
     
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  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike Active Member

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    I think the point people, and the point I was trying to make ( not trying to beat you up) ..is that most come to this section of the forum to discuss and share their own builds. You're promoting your friend's business on an amp you endorse. Congrats, that's great for you.
    But you might understand the confusion or in my case perceived spam. Its not that you posted it elsewhere, it's a sales pitch or excited endorser post in an area folks share their own builds. I'm admittedly hardass about spam and off topic, so I was put off. Not saying you're doing something wrong, sharing my perception/thoughts.

    Just my 2 cents. Hope you enjoy it and can be back to gigging soon if not already.

    It's a decent looking build, but it's got a little ways to go for commercial IMO.

    I admittedly cannot do better. But I also imagine it's a prototype.
     
  6. CROWEMAG

    CROWEMAG Active Member

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    Come on man. I am happy you are proud but this is a pretty shmucky thing to say. How do you know this? And really......you paid cost for a small amp builder to allow you to promote his product. This happens more than you think, man.
     
  7. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    So, "The Hammer" is a 20W amp? More like a plastic toy hammer then. Aren't there a lot of low wattage amps around these days? It looks neat though, but the sales talk is a bit over the top. You don't need crushing volume for a good amp to sound good. Also a greenback sounds good on low volume. I don't see the difference of a JTM45 pushing them with 20W versus the toy hammers 20W. Its the same.
     
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  8. shredless

    shredless Well-Known Member

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    Im outta popcorn... Hows the modded tube screamer thru the hammer?
     
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  9. Guitar-Rocker

    Guitar-Rocker Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on getting a hand tuned amp for your needs. I hope it gives you many years of service and pleasure.

    A prototype is never what a production model is, for those who see and want perfection in this build, however I'm not a fan of those flying leads to the pots. I only use those flying leads when necessary.

    For those who doubt the usefullness and ability of a 20 watt 6V6, you've probably never heard a properly built one. They are head turners when done right. So happy days to you as the user.
     
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  10. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    examples?
     
  11. StingRay85

    StingRay85 Well-Known Member

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    I don't see any problems with flying leads. Tucking everything below the board will not make the amp sound better, if anything it could do the opposite
     
  12. Guitar-Rocker

    Guitar-Rocker Well-Known Member

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  13. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    In Johan's video, the EL34's beat up the 6V6's and took the proverbial lunch money.

    In your videos ...

    With the first one, I had to turn it up pretty loud to hear it ... to be honest, it sounded really weak. The other one, w/the white head ... it was like watching a little boy in his Dad's suit ... that's not a JCM800/Marshall tone (not saying it's a bad tone, but ...).
     
  14. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    The amp in the OP sounded fine as it was mixed in with multiple other orchestrations. I can say two things for certain. It cut through the mix and did not sound fatiguing.

    As for the build, the population of the Turret board was as expected as there is no excuse for a first time populated board to be sloppy.

    Ah, tone is subjective. And turning up the volume to hear a recording is common.

    I found the Settings on Johan’s amp with EL34’s to be a bit spiky/fatiguing for my ear. The settings on the 6V6’s in the Fargen had better harmonics to me.

    As for the Guitar-Rocker video it was a quieter video (distant phone?) with less gain which is where Guitar-Rocker cuts his teeth.

    I catch hell all the time for using a phone recording then not using a phone recording. Like Dave Friedman stated on this topic, damned if you do or don’t.

    I can attest to the fact that I have the most beautiful sounding clean amp I have ever owned in my collection. This comes from a guitarist (me) that has played 49 years and owned a 1963 Brown Face Fender Bassman, 1966 Black Face worked on and or modded and owned over 500 amps.

    It uses a tube rectifier and is powered by two 6V6 Power Tubes, 3 12AX7/7025/ECC83 type preamp tubes. Two for circuit gains & one for PI.

    It is a 6G3 Fender Deluxe circuit without tremolo. All of the voltages check out with the schematic and my Weber Desktop Reference. Great job on the layout, design and compensations for correct signal voltages.

    Some of the neatest work I have seen to date.

    It was built by Guitar-Rocker.

    I am a metal head but I heard this and felt BLUE. My head & heart said I had to have it. Truth.

    Now about this flying lead business.

    Allow me to indulge myself a bit. Some guys do not give a damn about capacitor foil orientation and others go so far as to say the color purple on 18ga wire will affect your tone (RIP Ken Fischer of Trainwreck Amplification).

    Here is where I stand. If it applies in the High Gain amp arena then it stands to reason it applies in clean amps. You may not hear it in low gain but often can see it on a scope etc...

    Flying Leads? Not for me. Why?

    Lead Dress can really make or break an amp. I will add it to the sum of all things. I avoid coplanar layouts. Again Why?

    With flying leads and every component on nearly the same level one leaves a circuit vulnerable to unwanted capacitance. Often causing nauseating mids that just muddy the tone.

    In addition when getting into High Gain coplanar layouts and improper capacitor orientation at values of less than .002uf it WILL cause unwanted hum and may be accompanied by microphonics and a host of holy horrors we need not get into the weeds about.

    When I build, I am neat, methodical usually measuring everything but there are times a component can get by but regardless of Turret or PCB I use some coplanar, true point to point on sockets or for custom tone stacks & terminal strips in addition to proper foil orientation.

    In summary I will use a simple example all JCM 800 2203/2204/1987/1959 users should be aware of and understand.

    Why do most guitarists prefer pre 1984 vertical input models?

    Because of the PCB Trace layout. Pre 1984 ST-One PCB’s have more distance between circuit traces and is completely laid out different with perspective to anodes, cathodes, grids and couplers not to mention the PI and the Bias circuit.

    The post 1984 Marshall’s are known for more mid range and now you know why at least by my logic and studies.

    As John Suhr was asked. “Hey man I love the way my amp sounds with a 20’ cable. Can you make my amp sound like that?”

    John said “Sure. I can roll up 20’ of cable and stuff it into your amps input”. True story.

    I am not here to judge but wanted to express my opinion or show my ass as opinions are like ass holes. I have studied my ass off. Designed circuits. Proven a few after many failures.

    I studied Merlin, Aiken, Fischer, Fender, Marshall. Reverse engineered Cameron, Friedman, Bogner, Fender, Diezel & ENGL.

    But it is/was Guitar-Rocker who answered my every question in one way or another. Taught me how to learn and showed me some really cool old world tricks.

    Thank you Terry for giving me the legs to stand on today to provide the amps I build tomorrow.

    Best Regards to All,
    David Hopkins :cheers:
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  15. Guitar-Rocker

    Guitar-Rocker Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the clips were recorded with an I-phone, and are not professionally done. My intent was to represent anyone just plugging in and trying the amp.

    Tone is so subjective, and everyone hears differently, and has different tastes.

    Sorry the big boy pants didnt meet your expectations
    They met mine.
     
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  16. NewReligion

    NewReligion Well-Known Member Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Sometimes I don’t wear pants. I hate when I get to the mailbox and realize my ass is hanging out.
     

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