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 on: September 26, 2018, 12:15:37 PM 
Started by phil esposito - Last post by phil esposito
Has anybody had success with installing a tube loop internal to their amp rather than the external  c-lator?


I could see that being a good solution but you would have to add another filtered b+ somehow??

 on: September 25, 2018, 07:20:32 PM 
Started by serialtonekiller - Last post by Jobewan
Hey Mon Frer,

I have to tell you - that cabinet build is superb.  The two colors are a beautiful match, and the execution of the Tolex application is phenomenal.  Did you apply the Tolex?  If so how did you getit so straight where the colors meet on the sides.  Are they seams? 

And thank you for the photos of your build.  It doesn't do me a lot of good - your mods are pretty extensive.  You have done a great job creating space in the chassis.  The extra terminal board you mounted for the power resistor circuits are great, and the relay board in the center is very creative.  Moving the main terminal board so it sits over the Power transformer is also quite creative - pick up a ton of space with that change.

Can you tell me the purpose of the steel flange at the foot pedal jack end of the chassis?  Hard to see what that is.  I do see the 9v DC jacks at the far right end of the rear of the chassis - fantastic thinking.  Where do you pick up that voltage?  Did you order your transformer with a 9 V tap?  What is the benefit of the Toroidal transformer?  It sure looks impressive.

Last one - what does the "Stage/Hom" switch do?  I assume "HOM" is Home or bedroom levels, but what is the purpose of that when you have a full half level switch? 

My build is progressing well.  I changed out the Output transformer for a Mercury Magnetics, and the choke as well.  I took your advice and removed my filament wiring - it was most assuredly getting in the way of m,any other installs.  Thanks for that advice.  I will be glad to take any other advice you may feel compelled to offer!  I am quite a big guy (6' 10 " and 400 lbs.  I shudder to think what that might be in metric values... :-)  I am a giant.  My point being it is hard to get my clubs of hands into some of these tight spaces.  It isnt a huge issue, but I can tell you that I get frustrated with the small screws.  Especially because in my package from Nik I got all straight edge screws.  I hate working with straight edge screws.  I have eventually ordered replacement phillips and hex head alternatives, but all of those little bitty screws and nuts drive me ...well...nuts!

I have never been to France, but I guess there isnt all that much to see.  Few old buildings, a couple of big churches, and a museum with a glass pyramid.  Cheesy  I am actually French Canadian by heritage.  Apparently way back in the 18th century my ancestors came over to make their fortune in the new world.  Apparently they spent it all, cause I sure didnt get any.  My last name is Beaulieu - just a tad French I think. 

Thanks STK - I hope you are enjoying yourself with that amp as well.  I will be very interested in finding out what it sounds like. 


 on: September 20, 2018, 04:13:52 PM 
Started by Jobewan - Last post by serialtonekiller
Hey Joe & thanks !

I think I took pictures of the OD relay configuration and I draw a schematic. Let me retrieve (or redraw it) so I can post it here if you intend to do that little easy mod too.

About the "wheel diodes" (= "diodes de roue libre" in French) : it seems that it's called "flyback diodes" in US/UK. In a few words : a flyback diode is installed in // with the coil of a relay in order to null the flyback current ("extra courant de rupture" in French) due to the coil relay switching. That flyback current is responsible for the annoying to very loud "pop" noises that arises when you switch that relay on and off, and the diode is here to null it by shorting it. As this kind of current is a short but ample impulsion, you need a fast (high speed) diode for best cancellation. Here I used 1n5819 diodes.

You should easily find much complete litterature on flyback diodes in English on the web ! i.e. : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flyback_diode

My Serial Tone Killer is not a Twin, it's a modified OTS100, on which I added :
- a footswitchable digital EHX reverb unit with deported pot.
- a footswitchable integrated FX Loop able to deal directly with guitar FX pedals.
- a 1W "HOME" single ended EL84 switchable output stage.
- an integrated 4x9VDC regulated power supply for in-llop stompboxes.
- an extra filtering on the HV voltage.

I'm facing issues with the 1W facility : the prototype tested on my Boogie MKIIA worked amazingly well, but it sounds awfull on the STK, no matter the attempts that I made to cure the problem. Well... It's a bad wedding, so to speak... I will dismantle it, I think, and replace it by something else : I'm studying the possibilities.

IMHO, If you target to DIY a Twin-Reverb, do not choose the OTS route : the circuit is much different from the TR. Ceriatone probably have an offer in that field.

Also, considering that it's only your 2nd DIY tube amp, I'm really afraid that you would face many other issues by "following exactly my footprints", so to speak, with all my respect. I mean : assemble a kit is not the same as designing mods or a whole amp. If you finish and debug your OTS and C-Lator satisfactorily - not to say perfectly - let me tell you that you'll have taken a big step !

And for more detailed pics about the Serial Tone Killer, you can have a look to my Serial Tone Killer subject on the forum.

And yes, it seems that we are here like two survivors...  Grin

I'm located near the city of Lyon.

Cheers !

 on: September 18, 2018, 05:00:33 PM 
Started by Jobewan - Last post by Jobewan
Hey Serialtonekiller,

First - I am very embarrassed.  I am usually pretty quick on the uptake, but I just did not make the association between Ceriatone and SerialTtone.  It is obvious now.  My apologies.  Its actually a great name.

Second - Thanks so much for your response - it is filled with very good information.  The relay configuration change makes great sense, and I will make that change.  I am a little unclear on what "wheel diodes" are however.  Any chance you could point me to the source?

This is only my second amp build, but I am voraciously sucking up as much knowledge as I can, and posts like yours are fantastic tidbits for me to understand. 

You seem to have quite an array of changed parts in that build - I know its not a OTS - I believe you said it was a Twin.  I would love to build that next -0 my roster of amps is lacking a Twin - I think I will make that my next endeavor after I finish this OTS.  Any chance you could post or message me additional pics?  I am looking at amp builds the way many folks look at pics of their grandkids.  I will check out your site                       .

Thanks again for your response.  Perhaps you and I can revive this board.  It is filled with good information.

Thanks - and I appreciate the help very much!  Where in France are you?


 on: September 16, 2018, 03:15:45 PM 
Started by Jobewan - Last post by serialtonekiller
Sorry Joe : a bigger picture below...


 on: September 16, 2018, 03:11:16 PM 
Started by Jobewan - Last post by serialtonekiller
Hey Joe (OK it sounds Hendrix...  :Smiley)

Yes, the Ceriatone Forum seems somewhat desert... It shoudn't be, considering the models and the building/components quality available from Ceriatone. Not "hype" enough ? Inexplicable...  Huh?

You will indeed have to improvise some details according - or not ! - to your experience of amp builder... There's nothing major about the OTS : the layout is well done and alongwith the schem, you should manage all right.

A point I personally corrected - again, it's personal, right ? - I opined that the state of the PAB relay and OD relay were : Relays OFF => PAB or OD OFF. It's true for the PAB, but not for OD where you have Relay ON => OD OFF. This was not my taste, so I rewired the OD relay board in from NC to NO contacs, and voilą.

Another personal improvement I made : I used 5VDC relays instead of 12V, hi-speed wheel diodes instead of 1N400X, tight-braided coil relays supply wires, and of course 0µ1 caps across the back panel relay switch contacts. All this to avoid any switching relay noise that occurs when you switch on and off a relay coil (U=Ldi/dt).

A suggestion - if you allow me to do it - I would not start with the filament wiring first. Leave it for the last operation. Wire all the sensitive circuits before without being annoyed by the room taken by the filament wiring. Here's an example on my Serial Tone Killer. Fender - among others - used this technique :

At the left of the picture, you see a little pot which is the hum balance. It is installed close to the input tube. it allows to balance the filament hum much better than the classic 2x100R at the 6.3V Xfo winding. Again, this solution is done on the Twin-Reverb amps for years.

But it's only my advice, OK ? It's your amp and you decide !  Wink

The "Serial Tone Killer" name is only a nonsense joke, as my project is derived frome a "Ceria Tone" set of boards. Nothing Else...  Smiley

And unfortunately, Joe, I'm located in France...  Sad You can have a look to my small, amateur and non-commercial amp website, if you are willing to !   Wink  Type GUILHEM Amplification on Google and it should appear.


 on: September 13, 2018, 03:25:39 PM 
Started by Jobewan - Last post by Jobewan
Hey SerialToneKiller,

Thanks for the reply.  I agree it seems like you and I are two of the lonely few on this board.  Maybe we need to be patient and see if this Internet fad keeps going.   Smiley

I did get the schematic from Nik, as well as some indication of what the wires in the package are to be used for, and some of  what the large variety of screws are used for.  The wires I may be able to determine from the pics - there are a few gut shots on the main web site, and that link you sent on the forum of another user's build is also a great resource.  I had seen it , but thanks so much.  The screws are another issue - it is almost impossible to tell from the pics which screw is used where.  I am going to go with the smallest screw that does the job thinking.  If I make a mistake its not all that difficult to correct.

I started last night by mounting all of the front and back panel components, and then removed most of the components on the rear because its much easier to wire the filaments with them off.  I will start the wiring with the filaments - I think it is best to do it with as little clutter in the amp as possible.  They I can go from there.

Thanks for your help.  What does your name mean BTW?  I don't understand what Serial Tone is?  Am I just old?  And you aren't located in the San Francisco Bay area by any chance are you?


 on: September 09, 2018, 02:54:40 AM 
Started by Jobewan - Last post by serialtonekiller
Hello Jobewan,

So as a Noob to Ceriatone, what resources are available  for the build?

I did not build a complete kit like you, so I may not had all the ressources, but I'm akeen to think that there's not much than the layout directly available through Ceriatone website in the documentation page :


What do I get for instructions (if any) and what do people normally use for their builds?

The layout and a schematic, I guess - At least, that's what I have done, but my project is not the standard OTS100.

Ar you going off of the Layout doc only?

If you're building the exact kit, I guess yes.

Is there a schematic?  (I hope so)

A generic schematic OTS 50 is available. Email Nik : he'll kindly send you a .pdf copy - it's what I did.

and are there in process pics somewhere I can reference?

I don't think so, I did not searched for one since my project is not a regular kit. But see captainbackfire's thread : it should help you.


Thanks folks.  I will take plenty of in-process pics and try to share them here.  I did donate to the board.  I hope it keeps going!

Good Luck ! Good idea too : It seems that we are not numerous to post on this forum these times...  Wink


 on: September 04, 2018, 04:36:53 PM 
Started by Jobewan - Last post by Jobewan
Hey All,

I just ordered a 50 watt FMME with CLator.  It is coming as a kit.  I even asked Nik to make the eyelet boards up as kits instead of assembling them.  I just like putting this stuff together.

So as a Noob to Ceriatone, what resources are available  for the build?  What do I get for instructions (if any) and what do people normally use for their builds?  Ar you going off of the Layout doc only?  Is there a schematic?  (I hope so) and are there in process pics somewhere I can reference? 

Per Nik - as a kit I should have mine in about two weeks.  (I placed the order last Friday.  I am really psyched.  One - to build the amp, and two - to play with that much tone.  I have an AxeFX II that I play through now - I also have a Mark V, but I haven't turned that on in a year.    I plan on using the AxeFX II effects (they are very high end effects in the AxeFX) in the CLator loop.  Any advice?  Anyone doing anything similar?

Thanks folks.  I will take plenty of in-process pics and try to share them here.  I did donate to the board.  I hope it keeps going! 


 on: August 18, 2018, 03:41:27 AM 
Started by serialtonekiller - Last post by serialtonekiller
Wiring is finished  Cool :

The chassis is under measurement tests (and debugging  Huh?) :

With used-less-than-average tube set, the power output stage reaches 75W RMS clean tone in Full mode (see scope waveform at left), 35W RMS in Half mode and 1W RMS in Home mode.
Measurements are made under 400Hz sine wave, at the onset of clipping, on a 8 ohms resistive load. That's a good start...  Grin

Wait and See...


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