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Author Topic: Overtone - How easy/hard to assemble??  (Read 15289 times)
AdrianJ
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« on: May 02, 2008, 03:33:05 AM »

Okay, so I have some experience with a soldering iron as I did 1 year of an Electronics degree before dropping out, so my question is this:

How easy or hard is the Overtone to assemble if I only bought it in kit form from Nik?

I'm assuming that the wait for the kit would be less than the wait for it fully assembled, plus there'd the the satisfaction at the end of being able to say that I'd built it.

What instructions/diagram does it come with if any?

If I tried and failed, is it reasonable to expect that a recent amp tech could put it right?

Thanks for the help...
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bluegate
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008, 06:59:20 AM »

There is no documentation, only the layout.
The kit comes as parts only, but the boards are assembled.
So you'll have to place them in the chassis, and wire it up correct.
Twist AC wires, not needed for DC wires.
If your answer is AC? DC? then please order a build OTS.

You'll even have to figure out which bolts and nuts to use on all parts.
Be ready to spend at least 20 hours to build the OTS and go over it twice
before firing it up.
The $200 extra for a build version is well worth the wait.
Don't do it to save cash or cut the waittime, only order the kit if you're
determent to build it yourself for fun and because you can do it.
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hywelg
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2008, 09:35:39 AM »

I asked tha same question (of myself mostly) as all I'd ever built was a 5w single ender from http://www.ampmaker.com/ak01x.asp so I really wasn't veru experienced. I bit the bullet because a. I didn't want to wait 12 weeks and b. I have made a few cabinets before so that aspect didn't worry me.

I think if you approach this logically, get a good multimeter, read this forum (and I mean all of it and make notes), print out the layout AND photos to refer to when building, mark each wire on the layout print as you fix it, and you are reasonably practical minded you'll find it a breeze. I was daunted beforhand but in the end found it straight forward and apart from a fault with the OT wiring color coding (Niks supplier had incorrectly connected the blue to the centre tap when apparently industry standard is red) it worked without problem. What I did do though, since I was wary of doing some damage on power up, was to finish it and then pass it to my amp tech to test it and power it up, for which he charged me the measly sum of 35 ($70) Well worth it for the peace of mind.

It took me about 20hours over two weekends to finish it and I would be much quicker if I had to do it again (you don't know what you don't know when you start). Bone up via the net on reading resistor and capacitor values before starting and that will save you hours.

Go for it. You'll get plenty of help and advice here if you need it and you'll have soemthing to be proud of and amaze listeners aswell, it is a superb amp.


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AdrianJ
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2008, 10:26:06 AM »

I am very, very tempted to have a go at building one myself.

I couldn't build the cabinet, but a friend of my fathers is a wizz with wood and I'm sure he could put together a very sturdy Dumble-style cabinet for me to cover and attach all the parts to.

I also am lucky enough to live near Matamp and know one of the guys who works there, so I am sure he'd look over it for me before I fired it up.

It's not just a matter of saving the 12 weeks wait once the order is placed, it's the difference between being able to order in another month or so, or having to save for a few more months before ordering!!

I'm sure between me and my dad we could, with the appropriate research, do a decent job of building this amp...would need to buy a new soldering kit though, mine's getting a bit past-it since it was a cheap-and-cheerful affair I bought when I was a student...
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hywelg
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2008, 02:40:32 PM »

The guys at Matamp are very helpful. I desperately want a GT1 with powerscaling but its well over a grand and I can't justify that at the moment. The OTS is much more affordable. I'd ask your mate before you go ahead and order since I do know that Matamp are up to their necks in work ( alot like Nik is ). I think Matamp would be very intereested in hearing an OTs is they got their hands on one!

I'd get a 50-100w iron. I use a Weller w100d temp controlled iron . I modified the tip so that I could do fine work with it and this caused a problem soldering one of the last earth wires to the star ground, too much of a heat sink. If you don't tighten the bolt until the last solder joint is made a lower power iron will be fine. Bear in mind all that you spend on tools to complete the job, you'll still have at the end, ready to do the next amp build!!!! yes it is addictive.
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gbergl
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2008, 05:04:39 PM »

I used a 15-30 watt soldering iron.  I was concerned about higher wattage and heat causing damage to components.  I had no trouble assembling both the DC30 and the Overtone with a simple low wattage (cheap) soldering iron. 

The Overtone is a complicated build compared to other tube amp kits.  If this is your first attempt it could be rather daunting, but if you carefully attend to every detail it truly is a satifying (and even addictive) project when you hear the results of your hard work.
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