Ceriatone Forum

Ceriatone => Overtone => Topic started by: rvf263 on February 08, 2010, 05:11:05 AM



Title: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on February 08, 2010, 05:11:05 AM
The BM50 is out for delivery, should be here sometime today!


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - Build #1
Post by: rvf263 on February 09, 2010, 05:17:44 PM
The BM50 arrived on schedule!


(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii255/rvf263/BM50.jpg)



But I'm not ready yet. I still need to order a few things and read more!



Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - Build #1
Post by: mcinku on February 10, 2010, 01:58:28 AM
Aaaaahhhh, that picture brings back nice memories.  :)


Enjoy your project... you're gonna love this amp.
 ;)


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - Build #1
Post by: rvf263 on February 15, 2010, 04:26:59 PM
Well I started installing the hardware. Everything went good I think.
I tell ya, it's very crowded in that chasis!

I'll be doing the heater wires next.



(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii255/rvf263/BM50c.jpg)




Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - Build #1
Post by: rvf263 on February 15, 2010, 04:29:14 PM
(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii255/rvf263/BM50b.jpg)


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - Build #1
Post by: rvf263 on February 15, 2010, 04:30:14 PM
(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii255/rvf263/BM50d.jpg)


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - Build #1
Post by: rvf263 on February 16, 2010, 05:39:38 AM
(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii255/rvf263/BM50d.jpg)

In the the top left corner of the pic right under the filament indicator is a component numbered 7812 with 3 prongs. Are those 3 prongs soldered to the back of that bracket?

I'm assuming they are but they barely touch so I wasn't sure.


Thanks,
Bob


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - Build #1
Post by: mcinku on February 16, 2010, 06:05:13 AM
In the the top left corner of the pic right under the filament indicator is a component numbered 7812 with 3 prongs. Are those 3 prongs soldered to the back of that bracket?

I'm assuming they are but they barely touch so I wasn't sure.

Thanks,
Bob

Yes that's a voltage regulator.

See here ...
http://ceriatoneforum.com/index.php?topic=1160.msg8272#msg8272 (http://ceriatoneforum.com/index.php?topic=1160.msg8272#msg8272)
I soldered the pins in the bottom holes... some people don't even screw down this regulator against the chassis.

 ;)


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - Build #1
Post by: rvf263 on February 17, 2010, 10:53:18 PM
I've noticed that some people use the red/black wire or the black/white wire for the heater wires.

Does it matter which ones to use?


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - Build #1
Post by: mcinku on February 18, 2010, 02:28:32 AM
What ever you go for, you'll be fine...

I used black/white cause it's easier to do the job properly.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - RESURRECTED
Post by: rvf263 on August 06, 2011, 11:23:12 PM
Back up and resurrected!

I ordered this kit well over a year ago as a first build and I must admit that I quickly became intimidated and overwhelmed by the complexity of this build. I've been slowly nudging my way back and I've finally decided to start this build again.

I'm confident that I can do this build, I'm just going to need alot of help.

So here I go with a couple questions right off the bat.

I've been studying the layout and noticed at the bottom that it's been revised.

This may be a stupid question but can someone show me where on the layout have these changes been made and where can I order these parts from in the states?

Thanks!



Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: mcinku on August 07, 2011, 02:15:38 AM
My suggestion is build the amp with the parts you have... play the amp and if it turns out you want to change something... than perhaps you stat thinking about new parts


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: boldaslove6789 on August 07, 2011, 02:59:04 AM
If you plan on making a simple grab and go amp in a combo cab with a 1x12, I highly recommend adding a built in D-lator point to point .

Do the research @ the amp garage, add the extra 2 nodes for B+ right via 2x450V 22uf caps on the pwr supply board, convert one of the octal tube covers to a 12ax7 hole, put the PI tube there and the D-lator tube would go where the PI should go, and use Mini 12mm (12mm is really small, they can be found @ Small Bear electronics) 250kA pots for Send/Return levels controls above the send and return jacks.

It only cost's about about $40-55 in parts and will be a money saver if you had planned on getting an external d-lator. If u do it now it should b no problem, although if you wait till the amp is finished in the standard config, it will be a cram.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: plasticvonaband on August 07, 2011, 01:10:28 PM
If you plan on making a simple grab and go amp in a combo cab with a 1x12, I highly recommend adding a built in D-lator point to point .

Do the research @ the amp garage, add the extra 2 nodes for B+ right via 2x450V 22uf caps on the pwr supply board, convert one of the octal tube covers to a 12ax7 hole, put the PI tube there and the D-lator tube would go where the PI should go, and use Mini 12mm (12mm is really small, they can be found @ Small Bear electronics) 250kA pots for Send/Return levels controls above the send and return jacks.

It only cost's about about $40-55 in parts and will be a money saver if you had planned on getting an external d-lator. If u do it now it should b no problem, although if you wait till the amp is finished in the standard config, it will be a cram.

+1 on that. I had the chassis out today changing a couple of things and scoping out a place for an onboard c-lator ( I love mine but hate having to carry it) and a place to put a resistor and cap for my planned switchable cathode/fixed bias mod, and nixed both plans. It's tight in there!!


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: T Wilcox on August 07, 2011, 02:12:59 PM
I suggest you contact Nik to ask what components were changed in the revision so that atleast if you follow the new layout you will know which components are substituted.
Another suggestion would be to print a giant size layout at kinkos and then tape with scotch tape each component in its respective place. It helps in doing the parts count as well as once you start soldering you wont have to stop and meter and or read color code each step! The revision changes will most likely become apparent as well!

Let us know if you have any more questions

Todd



Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: rvf263 on August 07, 2011, 09:52:24 PM
Thanks for the responses.

It'll be a head cab so most likely I'll use the cab with the C-lator compartment built in. Those look pretty cool I think.

Thanks mcinku, I wasn't sure if I needed to change the layout or not before I start.

 Thanks Todd, I have a giant size layout, taping the parts to the layout seems like a great idea.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: plasticvonaband on August 13, 2011, 07:44:44 PM
How's the build coming along??


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: rvf263 on August 15, 2011, 09:35:30 PM
It's moving pretty slow. Hopefully soon I can post some pics of my progress.

Thanks for check'in!


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: rvf263 on August 22, 2011, 11:33:54 PM
Well I soldered the heater wire up but not sure if I'm satisfied with it. When I get back home in a couple days I'll post pics.

Has anybody ever used a template of the front/back and did the soldering outside the chasis? I remember reading about someone doing it this way.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: mcinku on August 23, 2011, 01:31:58 AM
Usually only input jacks should be soldered outside... the rest you can easily do within the chassis...


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: T Wilcox on August 23, 2011, 09:10:13 AM
I do everything inside the chassis. One tool that makes life sooooo much easier is a small pair of needle nose with 45 degree bend. Either way you will find yourself in odd positions to get some of the wires crimped and soldered. Also be careful not to burn other wires with soldering iron shaft while getting in the tight spots.

Todd


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: rvf263 on September 03, 2011, 06:54:01 PM
Ok, on the switches there's 2 orange caps, one larger than the other.

I'm not all that great at readinng these things and those caps I have don't seem to be matching up with the values on the layout. There's only 2 and I can easily go by the pics but I want to make sure things are right.

Layout:
.005uF (smaller)
.01uF (larger)

Caps:
502K60Gv 0938? (smaller cap)
103K600v 0924? (larger cap)

I'm  not all that great at using a multimeter either :-[

Is 502K the same as .005uF and 103K the same as .01uF?

Thanks,
Bob


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: rvf263 on September 03, 2011, 11:11:26 PM
Ok, I finally figured it out.
I'm at work and couldn't investigate things earlier so I posted.

I ended up finding a guide how to read capacitor markings.

http://wjoe.com/capacitorinfo2.htm
http://www.radiodaze.com/capacitor_ID.htm


BTW,
I'm on the tone stack pots, switches and input jacks and moving right along. Everything is going good.
Can't wait to get back at it!


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED
Post by: mcinku on September 04, 2011, 04:08:23 AM
Now you're hooked... welcome to the club
 ;)


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>>>>AND AGAIN!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 09, 2012, 01:27:15 AM
Well, here I am once again.
It's been about 2 years now since I first bought my HRM 50w Bluesmaster kit and I still don't have it built!!!  :-[

So, I finally came to my senses and fired myself immediately. It's plain to see that I'm just not cutting it..... :o
I contacted Tone Amps out of California and Will (owner) agreed to build my amp at a pretty decent price IMO.

Tone Amps is located in California and they'e a Ceriatone service center. They also build their own amps. Will is a great guy and easy to work with and talk to.

I should have it back in a couple weeks he said and I am a very happy man!

Thanks to all who tried to help me, I do appreciate the efforts.
IMHO, the Bluesmaster is not the amp to get for a first build unless you have a certain amount of experience.
I'm glad I finally realized this and had someone else do the build.

I'll post pics when I get it.
Thanks again!


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 09, 2012, 02:57:24 AM
That sounds like a good plan. You deserve to have this amp working and being able to play through it. You'll love it!

If you still would like to get into building an amp sometime, maybe something like a easier Fender circuit (Champ Ultra or Prinzetone) or a Marshall circuit with a lower parts count would be a better fit. No need to feel bad about getting someone to complete the BM. And don't let it stop you from getting into building if you still feel the urge.

Let us know when you get it back.

P.S.
Something that you could do to still get  your feet wet with the whole "amp sound sculpting" thing, is picking a nice "custom" set of tubes for the amp. I don't know what direction you have considered for the tubes, but feel free to ask about it here.



Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 10, 2012, 12:34:17 AM
Hey Chris,
I agree that I need to be playing through this amp. I fell in love with the tones several years ago and still to this day.

As far as the tubes go, I told them I play Classic Rock and Blues and wanted high quality tubes so they're going to hand select the right tubes to fit my amp. I'm sure they'll be great.

I also have this custom head cab ready to go.

(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii255/rvf263/Ceriatone_with_C-lator_007.jpg)


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 10, 2012, 12:48:59 AM
Hey, that cab is cool. So you have a Clator ready to go too? Man you'll be all set pretty soon.

As you may have read or been reading recently, give the amp some time to break in. Also, no matter how it's sliced it takes a little trial and error to fully figure the amp out and get a good sound.

It seems like everyone goes through a similar process of being very excited with high expectations, then a bit of disillusionment, then eventually a couple "AH HA" moments, then finally tonal bliss.  ;D


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 10, 2012, 05:44:34 AM
That C-lator is not mine, I wish it was. The guy that built the cab had a customer come in with one so he installed it to show me what it would look like. I'll be getting one though real soon. I'd like to find a used one but they are hard to come by it seems. Either way, I'll have one.
Yes I've read many things about breaking it in and having patience......Tonal Bliss would be nice, I hope I can get there...lol


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 17, 2012, 10:11:49 PM
P.S.
Something that you could do to still get  your feet wet with the whole "amp sound sculpting" thing, is picking a nice "custom" set of tubes for the amp. I don't know what direction you have considered for the tubes, but feel free to ask about it here.

So I'm kinda confused about the tubes they picked for my amp.
I was under the impression after talking with them about my amp that I was going to get custom hand picked tubes.
Come to find out he picked Groove tubes 6L6GE clear top RI's and Electro Harmonix 12AX7's.

I don't know, to me these are just so-so tubes. I feel there's way better options available, especially since the tubes are costing me $120.

What do you guys think about these tubes? Any suggestions what would be better than these?

Thanks!


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 17, 2012, 10:56:42 PM
Yeah, it looks like they just popped in their generic stock. This is a 50 watter, right?....and is the $120 just the cost of the tubes? If so, they're not being very cool. I mean I suppose tubes plus labor and bias for a 50 watt amp is somewhat in line, but if they had you under the impression they were going to do you right regarding the tubes I would be questioning this too. Bottom line the tubes aren't what I would have chosen.

Basically, I wouldn't have paid more than $80 for those specific tubes if I actually wanted those tubes in the first place

BUT most of all, how's it sounding?


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 17, 2012, 11:09:41 PM
As far as what tube.....well, there's tons of threads here about this. IMHO, TAD 6L6WGC STR's are solid great productions tubes. And Tung Sol 12AX7's have served me well so far. This is basically, what I would suggest for a solid set of cost friendly production tubes.

One thing, I did just check some prices and knew the prices have gone up considerably at the beginning of the year. But, I was a bit shocked to see just how much. The same set that cost me about $80 a year ago, now are more like a $100. BS as far as i'm concerned...but that's another topic.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 18, 2012, 12:02:49 AM
Yeah, I'm not happy with this tube selection. I'm considering just telling him to ship the amp without tubes and I'll buy my own. But then of course I'd have to learn how to bias them, which I'm not against doing. I need to learn that anyway.

I've read alot of tube threads. The TAD's you mention seem to come up quite often and I like what I've read on other sites too so I think I'll start there.

As far as how the amp sounds. He said those tubes sounded best in the amp to his ear, but I still find it hard to believe there wasn't better choices since they are suppose to have thousands of tubes available.

Thanks,
I'll keep searching...



Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 18, 2012, 12:53:48 AM
OK, let's back up a little. I thought you had the amp in your posession.

Here's what I know about the Groove Tubes, I think most of it is correct. GT's are just rebranded tubes from any number of manufactures. Same thing as the TADs. The thing that most people don't like about GT is that they charge a whole bunch of money for selecting the best, but seem to fall short much of the time. While the TAD's seem to have the opposite track record.

The GT 6L6GE RI is suppose to be a replica of a GE US made tube. It very well could be that these specific GT's that your amp guy is using is sounding good and maybe you/he found a new cool tube to use. So price aside, if you really trust this guys opinion it might not be a bad thing.  The same deal goes with the EH tubes. They're just rebranded tubes also and some of the EH tubes are highly thought of for certain circuits but generally not what I see a lot of guys use for the D-style amps.

So the question is, did he try different tubes and found these to sound the best or was this the first set he put in and went with it? Maybe wait a little bit for some others to respond. Maybe someone has experience with the GT tubes in question.

Edit: Yeah biasing the amp is not a hard thing and worth learning how to do. You'll need a multi-meter of some sort. But it's doable.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 18, 2012, 01:50:24 AM
The amp is apparently finished, just waiting on a couple higher quality relays. He didnt mention that he tried other tubes, just that those sounded best to his ear, which sounds like he may have tried other brands.
Apparently those G.T.'s are made here in the U.S. from what I've read about them. Maybe they are in fact worth a try. I'm still not convinced that this "hand selected" set is the best choice.

I do have a good multi meter, so I just need to learn how to bias.

I'm going to email him and ask some more questions.

Anybody else use Groove Tubes 6L6GE clear top re-issues in their HRM BM 50w?

Thanks

 


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: plasticvonaband on April 18, 2012, 02:50:26 AM
The Groove Tubes in question are NOT made in the US. They are select picked Chinese Made tubes, much like the TAD's. Groove Tubes,

of course, was acquired by Fener, which is why almost every new Fender you buy has GT's in it.
Here is a post from TGP on the subject:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"the Groove Tubes are supposed to be produced on original GE equipment"

The are not produced on the original GE equipment .... and never were. They are made in China and always were made in China.


There is some truth to the statement and some "Aspenism" to the statement.

The original design was followed and the micas were made by the same company that made the originals.

The plate material was at one time a reproduction of the 5 clad plate material formula but a lot of the time when production

needed to continue and the Chinese did not have plate material they used their own.

The grids, winding machines, and grid wire were Chinese.

The tubes were never made on the original machines. Those machines at GT were never used for any production at all.

The tubes orginally were screened "made in USA" but when Aspen was called on it and learned that he could be brought up on charges

for making false claims that line of print was removed from the tubes.

There were a lot of things Aspen told people at GT where initially we believed him. Over the years many of us learned that he was

basically making up his own story. I worked directly with the Chinese factory and saw the 6CA7 failures as well as the 12AX7M

failures over a number of years. I watched the GEs change radiators, use the wrong plate materials and saw other things as well

right down to the wrong bottles. Aspen would generally say he was going to do something about it but in the end the tubes were

just sold and it was hoped that chance would make things right in the future which rarely came to pass. In the case of the 6CA7

and 12AX7M things were not resolved at the time GT was sold to Fender.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With all that in mind, consider that when I was first getting into tube amps when i was in 8th grade and high school back in the very eary 90's, Groove Tubes was pretty much it as far a source of tubes, other than Ruby Tubes, Radio Shack, and NOS until New Sensor acquired the Reflektor Plant and started pumping out tubes under the Sovtek name, and then under the EH name later on. I was lucky enough to have a stash of NOS preamp tubes, but when it came to power tubes, i either used Radio Shack or Groove Tubes, and i didn't have any issues that i can think of. I think there is alot of negative feelings regarding Groove Tubes amongst those of old enough to remember all the BS that Groove Tubes tried to feed us about their tubes being made here and so on and so forth. Alot of guys wouldn't use em, especially when NOS tubes weren't quite so pricey back in the day.

I can't say for sure which factory in China GT picks their Chinese tubes from, but there have so many mixed reviews on them
compared to TAD who sources theirs primarily from Shuguang, that I never have been tempted to try them. Their russian line of

preamp tubes, however i like for use as a PI tubes and even as good balanced workhorse preamp tube.

That being said, it couldn't hurt to try them. You may end up liking them.

Gregg


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 18, 2012, 05:41:51 AM
Thanks for the info Gregg,
Sent an email to him asking a few more questions. I'll figure something out.
I'd really like to get something tried and true so to speak right off the bat. Don't feel much like taking a chance on this one. Then again, tone is so subjective anyway so there's no guarantee with anything.

I have more tube research to do.

Thanks again. 


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: plasticvonaband on April 18, 2012, 08:56:46 AM
Thanks for the info Gregg,
Sent an email to him asking a few more questions. I'll figure something out.
I'd really like to get something tried and true so to speak right off the bat. Don't feel much like taking a chance on this one. Then again, tone is so subjective anyway so there's no guarantee with anything.

I have more tube research to do.

Thanks again. 

Thanks for the info Gregg,
Sent an email to him asking a few more questions. I'll figure something out.
I'd really like to get something tried and true so to speak right off the bat. Don't feel much like taking a chance on this one. Then again, tone is so subjective anyway so there's no guarantee with anything.

I have more tube research to do.

Thanks again. 


Any time, man.

As far as tried and true, new tubes, the TAD's have been used with quite a bit of success, in the Ceriatone Community, and in other amps circles as well, as have the Winged C's (SED). I have read good things about the Tung Sol 6L6GC-STR, and that's what i'll be trying next. The stock JJ's can be a good baseline to get to know your amp, and make sure everything is wired properly and functioning correctly.

For NOS, you can't go wrong with RCA blackplates and older GE's, both 6L6Gc's, of course, if you can get em. I have also heard great things about the JAN Phillips 7581A and the Sylvania STR415's which were made for Mesa. They are both very clean, heavy duty tubes which really don't break up, which is great for D-Style amps, as the bulk of the OD tone is from the preamp. They are pricey, though, which is why i have never tried em.

As far as preamp tubes for new production, the Tung-Sol "reissues" are supposed to have great tone, i haven't used em yet, but Chris (SoundPerf) uses em, and if you listen to his clips, they sound excellent! Just be sure to buy em from a dealer that screens em and tests em thoroughly, like Mike from KCA, as they seem to have about a 50/50 failure rate. Pretty high for a new production tube. The Mullard and EH "reissues" get great reviews as well, and each has their own strong suit as far as tone. The Tung-Sol Reissue, the Mullard Reissue, and the EH Reissue are all made by Reflektor/New Sensor in Russia, who also make Sovtek as well. New Sensor bought the rights to those trademarks, and Sveltlana and manufactures all of them. Each one has its own vibe, though so it's not like if you buy an EH it will sound like a Sovtek, etc. TAD tubes are also pretty well regarded, and most fo their stock is screened, picked, tested, and re-labled Shuguangs from China, and have proven to be reliable. Their 7025 is very quiet and stable, and nice for use in C-Lators.

NOS preamp tubes opens up a HUGE can of worms, and there are quite a few choices out there, each with their own voice and drive characteristics, and everyone has an opinion on which sounds best. They can cost anywhere from $28- $200 US a tube. Some of the best, subjective, i know, are right in the middle, around $50-$65 US.

Looking forward to hearing how you like the amp. Hope you get it home and up and running soon, and I hope this info helps!

Gregg


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 18, 2012, 02:51:34 PM
Once again Gregg got the low down.....down.  ;)

When Gregg was referring to my clip and the Tung Sol RI preamp tubes sounding good. Beside going with a reputable dealer, I made sure to get matched triodes on the phase inverter tube. (then balanced the PI with a scope or DMM) It might be worth mentioning this to the amp guy in you haven't yet.

As far as whether to keep the tubes or just do your own tubes, I would probably be like you and feel better with going with something that seems to have the most support by players of the type amp you have. Especially, for the first time. Basically, that's what I did at the time. In fact I think it was Gregg's (plasticvonaband) suggestion on some post way back that set me on the TAD 6L6 WGC STR's and Tung Sol RI 12AX7 path.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 18, 2012, 06:49:13 PM
Here's the response on my questions about the tubes in question:

"The GE Clear Top Tubes were one of the best 6L6 of their time, noted for their sparkle and great frequency response.  All current production tubes are made either in China or Russia or somewhere in the former USSR Ė there are no tubes made in the USA anymore.  The Groove Tubes, just like the TADís, are selected from the best of the best (Chinese or Russian,) then repackaged with their name and given a rating when matched.  I donít know of anything higher quality than what I picked for you.  I use Electro Harmonix and Tung-Sol 12AX7ís in all my builds, except when the customer requests NOS tubes and is willing to pay a lot of money for them.  The only ordinary tubes on the market are junk Chinese and JJ tubes.  They are cheap and sound like it.  All the tubes we use here are very high quality for current production tubes and I only select the best of these.  I already had the Tung-Sol tubes, but I had to order the TADís.  I ran out of them and didnít re-order since everybody has been raving about the tube brands I do install, but they will be here tomorrow, along with the relays and Iíll try them out.

There really isnít anything custom about tubes these days.  Builders have about 4 or 5 brands to choose from, all made overseas, however some of those brands have proven themselves to be better than others which are the tubes we use here."


So, I'm going to have him put in the TAD's and Tung-Sols and see what happens.

It's really hard having someone else pick and choose tone becasue everyone has different ideas as to what sounds best. I think this is a good place to start though.

I'm also going to ask him about the matched triodes on the phase inverter.
I have a question though:
After the triodes are matched, the phase inverter needs to be balanced? Is this correct?

Thanks for all the help!


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 18, 2012, 10:01:40 PM
I'm also going to ask him about the matched triodes on the phase inverter.
I have a question though:
After the triodes are matched, the phase inverter needs to be balanced? Is this correct?

Thanks for all the help!

Yes, there is a trimmer on board to adjust the phase inverter. Here's link to a discussion about the PI. Read the whole way through it. It goes around in circles a few times, but it's all good and by the end you'll understand it.

http://ampgarage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13993&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 (http://ampgarage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13993&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0)



Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 19, 2012, 12:58:53 AM

Yes, there is a trimmer on board to adjust the phase inverter. Here's link to a discussion about the PI. Read the whole way through it. It goes around in circles a few times, but it's all good and by the end you'll understand it.

http://ampgarage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13993&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 (http://ampgarage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13993&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0)

Wow, it was hard staying with that thread, but great info, thanks.

I asked about this and he said he does this already with the phase inverter so the amp should be good to go. He's also going to try the TAD's with the Tung-Sols and then let me know the tone difference between them and the G.T.'s and EH's.
This guy seems to know his stuff so I'll trust him to give me what's best for the amp. When I get it, I'll do what's best for my amp....lol


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: plasticvonaband on April 19, 2012, 01:09:36 PM

Yes, there is a trimmer on board to adjust the phase inverter. Here's link to a discussion about the PI. Read the whole way through it. It goes around in circles a few times, but it's all good and by the end you'll understand it.

http://ampgarage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13993&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 (http://ampgarage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13993&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0)

Wow, it was hard staying with that thread, but great info, thanks.

I asked about this and he said he does this already with the phase inverter so the amp should be good to go. He's also going to try the TAD's with the Tung-Sols and then let me know the tone difference between them and the G.T.'s and EH's.
This guy seems to know his stuff so I'll trust him to give me what's best for the amp. When I get it, I'll do what's best for my amp....lol

yeah the PI trimmer is one of those mysterious doodads, but if you set it right, it can make all the difference in the world, i guess. I set mine by ear to a degree and found that a 7 volt swing (using the multimeter method) sounded pretty good.

In your case, it sounds like your tech is pretty good, so it sounds like your amp is in good hands, and, like you said you can always swap the tubes out later and experiment. It's def not hard if you have a decent digital multimeter, biasing is a piece of cake once you take the time to test and see what your actual plate voltage is to accurately set up the idle bias current. this is very important. mine is usually around 445, a lil lower than spec, and i have seen some guys say theirs is 460-470, so definitely check that first. Also when you switch out PI tubes, it's a good idea to use the multimeter method BEFORE you remove the old one, see what the swing is, and check it again with the new one and adjust as necessary. Again like the ampgarage post pointed out, it is not as accurate as using a scope, but it's better than nothing.

Hope it all comes together for you sooner than later!!

Gregg


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: plasticvonaband on April 19, 2012, 01:12:22 PM
Once again Gregg got the low down.....down.  ;)


If only my guitar playing was as good as my knowledge of tweaking these amps  ;) actually, my knowledge is limited to tubes, speakers and a few simple tweaks. if i tried to build one of these or do any major work, i would prolly electrocute myself  :o

Gregg


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 19, 2012, 03:23:19 PM
If only my guitar playing was as good as my knowledge of tweaking these amps  ;) actually, my knowledge is limited to
tubes, speakers and a few simple tweaks. if i tried to build one of these or do any major work, i would prolly electrocute
myself  :o
Gregg

I wish my playing was as good as the gear I have...  :o
I love gear though, I have fun, and I can't help it....that's my only defense... ;D

Speaking of speakers....I have several I plan to try.
EVM12L in a Thiele cab.
2x12 Avatar w/Red Fangs
Eminence V12 or G12
Eminence RWB
Celestion G12T-75 (in my Randall RM50c)



Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 19, 2012, 03:37:23 PM
Once again Gregg got the low down.....down.  ;)


If only my guitar playing was as good as my knowledge of tweaking these amps  ;) actually, my knowledge is limited to tubes, speakers and a few simple tweaks. if i tried to build one of these or do any major work, i would prolly electrocute myself  :o

Gregg
What I admire about you is that you have way more patience then I do to take the time to type out complete posts with thoughtful facts.

As far as playing skill, it's all relative. I've been bumming a good bit lately. I just can't seem to get anything musically going recently. Yet, I have more than a couple musician friends who get a good bit of live playing done each week. They play cover tunes and Grateful Dead & Phish stuff. Which I have no problems with, and would be more than happy to play, but I just don't seem to fit in with their little groups they have. It's pretty depressing.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 19, 2012, 03:46:47 PM
I wish my playing was as good as the gear I have...  :o
I love gear though, I have fun, and I can't help it....that's my only defense... ;D

Speaking of speakers....I have several I plan to try.
EVM12L in a Thiele cab.
2x12 Avatar w/Red Fangs
Eminence V12 or G12
Eminence RWB
Celestion G12T-75 (in my Randall RM50c)

That's a good line-up of speaker to try. Let us know what think when you get them

Yeah, my gear far exceeds my playing ability and at one time was even worse. I've mellowed out a bit. The way I look at it, besides it being "fun" is that it's better to have great tools and hopefully learn to use them the best you can, then not have the best tools and struggle over and over. The thing to keep into perspective is not letting the illusion of the tools making you a better player all by themselves cloud your judgement. I've seen the opposite also. Where someone will deny themselves the proper tools in the name of non-conformity or something along those line.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 23, 2012, 10:33:26 PM
The BM shipped today, will be arriving this Friday!


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 24, 2012, 12:24:11 AM
The BM shipped today, will be arriving this Friday!
Cool. I'll be interested in what you think of it.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: plasticvonaband on April 24, 2012, 01:06:37 AM
The BM shipped today, will be arriving this Friday!
Cool. I'll be interested in what you think of it.

Same here!

Gregg


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 28, 2012, 02:19:04 AM
Well, here she is!
Didn't have time to do anything because I had to go to work! >:(
But I'm going to try and fire it up as soon as I can.

From what I see, it looks like a fantastic job.


(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii255/rvf263/DSCN1994.jpg)


(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii255/rvf263/DSCN2008.jpg)


(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii255/rvf263/DSCN2012.jpg)


(http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii255/rvf263/DSCN2011.jpg)


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 28, 2012, 08:43:07 PM
I don't want to set off alarms, because it looks like a good build, but I see some non-dumblesque lead dress issues. How important it will be is hard to tell. Most importantly power it up and let us know how it sounds!!

From what I can tell it looks like it was built well. If you go and look at some pictures of real Dumbles http://www.roblivesey.com/dumble/ (http://www.roblivesey.com/dumble/) and the Ceriatone shots you'll notice that the leads are laying against the chassis for the most part. Especially lead dress for V1, V2 & V3. Also, the heater wires are up above the sockets instead of down against the chassis. All these things are very likely very debatable issues by many amp builders. But by some, they're considered a must have. Even Nik use to build them with the heaters down, but has changed to above.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: plasticvonaband on April 28, 2012, 11:43:21 PM
Looks good! They did a good job building it. Like Chris said, the only issue i can see, is some wire dress issues, but i wold fire it up and seee how it sounds before worrying too much about it

Gregg


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 29, 2012, 07:24:13 PM
After looking at Niks pics I can see the differnce now. Alot cleaner lead dressing on his.
As far as the heater wire, are you saying that Nik does the so called "fender" style heater wiring?
I think I may be more concerned with the lead dressing then anything.

This is my last night on at work so I can't wait to fire it up when I get home in the morning.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 29, 2012, 08:56:56 PM
After looking at Niks pics I can see the differnce now. Alot cleaner lead dressing on his.
As far as the heater wire, are oyu saying that Nik does the so called "fender" style heater wiring?
I think I may be more concerned with the lead dressing then anything.

This is my last night on at work so I can't wait to fire it up when I get home in the morning.

Yeah, I think the OTS/HRM's for a while now are being built with the "fender" above the sockets style.

Yeah, get done work and then play it and let it break in for a good while.

Maybe then down the road redoing some of the leads will be a way for you to get your feet wet with working on amps.

Before you do, get back to us. There's a few little things to know before desoldering tube sockets, etc. that can be helpful.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on April 30, 2012, 04:00:46 AM
What issues might I run into with the lead dressing or heater wire like this?
Change in tone?
Noise?


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on April 30, 2012, 01:41:22 PM
What issues might I run into with the lead dressing or heater wire like this?
Change in tone?
Noise?
Well, there are things like doing it correctly, but I was mainly thinking of something that happened to me that was a real PITA. Care has to be taken not to overheat the tube socket pins and let solder flow down into the pin. It's just about impossible to get it cleaned out properly and buying a new one is the best solution once it's done.

1. make sure the tube is out of the socket.
2. use desoldering braid or pump or both to remove all the solder first and then remove the wire. (making sure not to overheat the pins)
3. take care not to disturb as little as possible in surrounding area to not stress other leads of components, wires, etc.

Basically, if you choose to do the heaters and leads. Do the heaters first. The heaters are not hard, but wil take patience and a little pre-planning. If you're new to soldering I would practice soldering and desoldering on something else first and get the hang of it. I'm sure there's some good vids on youtube to show different and good procedures for desoldering. There's a little bit of an art to reworking electronics. Nothing over the top, but like most things there's a hard way and an easy way to do it. Plus, you may not use the same procedure for everything you do.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on May 01, 2012, 01:16:07 AM
Chris,
I'm sorry but I was referring to the way the heater wires and the lead dressings are right now.
You mentioned there's "non-Dumblesque" lead dress issues. What problems might occur because of these issues? Or is it more a cosmetic purist issue kind of thing.

BTW, I fired it up earlier and played for a little while.

I was playing a G&L Legacy with stock p'ups through a Avatar 2x12 with Eminence Red Fangs.

The internal trimmers are set at: 10 - 8 - 10

I started at 12 o'clock and went to 9 o'clock with the Treble, Mid, Bass
I adjusted back and forth with the Volume and Master
When I adjusted the Drive or Level, I could not tell ANY change in tone.

My first impressions:
1) very "middy"
2) Very tight
3) Extremely clean
4) NO OVERDRIVE


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: plasticvonaband on May 01, 2012, 01:29:32 AM
Make sure that the pedals by the footswitch plug are in the pedal position and make sure you have your OD trim at about noon to start with. Also, if you have the HRM engaged try it with the PAB and the OD at the same time. That's a good starting point. If you still have no OD and the lights on the footswitch also aren't working, could be a problem with the relays

Gregg


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on May 01, 2012, 01:40:05 AM
Chris,
I'm sorry but I was referring to the way the heater wires and the lead dressings are right now.
You mentioned there's "non-Dumblesque" lead dress issues. What problems might occur because of these issues? Or is it more a cosmetic purist issue kind of thing.
Ok, heaters? This is mostly a reduction in noise from the AC current that the filamants use. Electrically the thing to consider is this noise, besides being annoying can be degrading to the tone. It's more of a proximity thing. How close they are to sensitive signal carrying lines. It is an "opinion" thing for sure. There may be more reasons why Mr. Dumble preferred one over the other. Very likely just a less chance of messing up with them above. Also, from my understanding he started out mostly modding Fender circuits which were done this way and maybe he just never bothered to fix what wasn't broke.

Now when it comes to wires carrying signals to the tubes and back. Once again it's an issue of reducing all noise inducing issues. With wires floating up in the air like "antennas" it's a possible problem area. But also and what many refer to is you'll notice certain leads actually running in parallel and close together at points. Typically this will cause capacitive coupling which typically is not wanted, but this is what many feel was done purposefully by Mr. Dumble to sculpt the overdrive and other areas of tone. So overall it's believed that following the lead dress maticulously is very important in obtaining a perfect clone. YMMV.

Quote
BTW, I fired it up earlier and played for a little while.

I was playing a G&L Legacy with stock p'ups through a Avatar 2x12 with Eminence Red Fangs.

Cool!

Quote
The internal trimmers are set at: 10 - 8 - 10

I started at 12 o'clock and went to 9 o'clock with the Treble, Mid, Bass
I adjusted back and forth with the Volume and Master
When I adjusted the Drive or Level, I could not tell ANY change in tone.
I'm a little confused what you're saying here....

Quote
My first impressions:
1) very "middy"
2) Very tight
3) Extremely clean
4) NO OVERDRIVE
Again...not sure what you mean by no overdrive


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on May 01, 2012, 01:41:04 AM
Ok, Gregg got here while I was typing.  :P

Yeah, what he said.  ;)


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: plasticvonaband on May 01, 2012, 10:14:41 AM
Ok, Gregg got here while I was typing.  :P

Yeah, what he said.  ;)

LOL great minds think alike

Gregg


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on May 02, 2012, 01:28:31 AM
I started at 12 o'clock and went to 9 o'clock with the Treble, Mid, Bass
I adjusted back and forth with the Volume and Master
When I adjusted the Drive or Level, I could not tell ANY change in tone.
I'm a little confused what you're saying here....

Quote
My first impressions:
1) very "middy"
2) Very tight
3) Extremely clean
4) NO OVERDRIVE
Again...not sure what you mean by no overdrive


Hmmm....not sure how else to explain it. Those were my settings, and that's how it sounded.....  :-[

My switches on the back were not on pedal. After doing that, the Overdrive worked.

It sounds alot better now, thanks!

I still need to make adjustments and break it in, but so far so good!


One question:

My back panel does not have the OD adjustment so how do I tell which internal trimmer to adjust?


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: plasticvonaband on May 02, 2012, 01:44:23 AM
The OD trim is the knob on the middle of the rear panel, right next to the standby switch it may not be marked if it is an older rear panel, and in your pics it is def turned all the way down.


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on May 02, 2012, 02:33:47 AM
Hmmm....not sure how else to explain it. Those were my settings, and that's how it sounded.....  :-[

My switches on the back were not on pedal. After doing that, the Overdrive worked.
No....I was a little thrown, I had made the crazy assumption that you had read the manual and knew about the switches in the back. ;)

Quote
One question:

My back panel does not have the OD adjustment so how do I tell which internal trimmer to adjust?
Again...the manual will help out a great deal with these things.

Check it out!
http://www.ceriatone.com/Manuals/ceriatone%20bm%20hrm%2050w%20100w%20manual.pdf (http://www.ceriatone.com/Manuals/ceriatone%20bm%20hrm%2050w%20100w%20manual.pdf)


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: rvf263 on May 02, 2012, 05:27:11 AM
Ah yes of course, a manual....I knew I forgot something... ;D

Maybe I shouldn't have raced home after working 12 hours midnight shift to fire up a new amp!

It's all good though, thanks for the help!


Title: Re: Bluesmaster50 - BUILD RESURRECTED AGAIN>>AND AGAIN>>AND ONE LAST TIME!!!
Post by: SoundPerf on May 02, 2012, 03:32:59 PM
Ah yes of course, a manual....I knew I forgot something... ;D

Maybe I shouldn't have raced home after working 12 hours midnight shift to fire up a new amp!

It's all good though, thanks for the help!

It's all good. The late hour was my problem too, I was sort of in a hurry when I was writing the other post  (putting most my effort in the wiring question) and didn't give it much thought. Then when I saw Gregg had answered while I was typing, I just forgot about it.