For a while I have been wanting to change the pickups in a couple of my guitars but I also wanted a low output set for my needs which I was having trouble finding at a price I was willing to pay. So I came up with the idea of winding my own, & that’s just what I did. I ordered in a winding machine, the various parts that I needed for what I wanted, and took a wild guess as to how many turns would be right for me.
After a few attempts I got the process down and away I went. My first set of pickups for my Strat turned out to be 4.8KΩ on the bridge, 4.6KΩ on the neck, & the middle was calibrated nicely at 4.4KΩ as a RW/RP unit.
The true test was gong to be what pickups sounded like though, & I was very happy with the result as I have a tight low end to them with moderate midrange, and lots of chime on top.
Long story short, I decided to venture into the pickup winding side of things as well. I’ll be sticking to single coils only and putting together sets for Strats & Tele’s as well as individual pickups as needed & I can also custom wind to spec or rebuild pickups upon request. The upside of the pickups is that I now have something to do in between amp builds.
I also have an AB763 Vibroverb combo to add to my line up as well. Once again there are no reproduction chassis available for this amp either, so I used a Super Reverb chassis which allowed me to add a middle control to the vibrato channel so there’s a bit more of tweaking that can be done with the tone stack. Since we needed to use a Super Reverb sized cab but went with the traditional 1×15 combo, we simply shortened the cab a bit as it didn’t need to be quite as tall as the 4×10 was.
I was also asked about the possibility of a 6G16 brown Vibroverb build to fit into a traditional Fender style combo, and once again there are no reproduction chassis’ available for this circuit so the customer & I put our heads together and found the perfect chassis to use as a platform would be a Deluxe Reverb chassis which is just a bit smaller than the chassis I had been using, but it would still allow for a 1×15 baffle to be used. Since he was going to provide his own custom cab I only needed to address the chassis build. When the amp was finished it turned out to be such a good sounding amp as well as fun to build, that I’m going to add it to my regular line-up of offerings.
I was asked about a 6G11 brown Vibrolux as a 1×12 combo, & since there are no reproduction chassis available for the 6G11 brown Vibroverb, I needed to look for a suitable platform that would work for it and happened to find one that was just right. We added a custom faceplate with brown cosmetics & barrel knobs, then the brown cab with wheat grill cloth finished off the look. The customer loves the look of the amp & more importantly the sound of the amp as it sounded exactly liked he had hoped it would.
I’ve offered the 6G15 stand alone reverb as part of my line up in the past when I was doing my own cabs here, but never really pushed them once I began outsourcing my cabs. So it seemed timely right now to offer them again & here’s the first look at what I call the Li’l Dawg Reverberator.
While this one is done in the traditional brown cosmetics it’s also available in tweed, black, or other colors as well. While I like the chicken head knobs myself, I know a lot of folks prefer the barrel knobs so you get a choice on that as well.
Then I was asked again for another single channel build and this time is was a brown 6G16 Vibroverb in a LunchBox. While the amp retained the vibrato circuit we dropped the reverb portion off. The upgrades for this build included a Mercury Magnetics a 4/8/16 ohm multi-tap OT, Sprague Atoms, & SoZo Blue Molded caps, as well as a bright switch.
I was also asked about a 6G14 brown Showman head as well, and once again it turned out to be a single channel build. Since the customer didn’t really need the quad of 6L6GC’s that the 6G14 traditionally used, we dropped the power tubes down to a pair of 6L6GC’s to run in the 40-45 watt range with a set of Mercury Magnetics which included a 4/8/16 ohm multi-tap OT. Other upgrades included another personalized faceplate, switchable tube or diode rectification, switchable fixed or cathode bias, switchable boost on the first pre-amp tube, Sprague Atoms & SoZo Blue Molded caps. This amp was built in a Princeton Reverb chassis & head cab with the traditional blond cosmetics, and the amp turned out to have a very throaty growl as well as the great cleans that the 6G14 circuit offered.
Then I was asked about a single channel blackface AA165 Bassman, and this time the order was for a LunchBox head. The upgrades were a 50 watt 2/4/8 ohm multi-tap OT, and I surprised myself when I agreed to add an effects loop which I very seldom do. After talking with the customer about the loop I decided that it would be very useful to him so we added it to the build sheet.
I’ve had a few interesting requests for amps so far this year, and I figure it’s about time to put some info & pics out for folks to see what’s I’ve been having fun with the last few months. I’ll be going thru the various amps one by one and try to give a good description of what each amp was designed to be.
First we have a brown 6G6B Bassman build that I was asked for, but the customer only wanted to have a single channel (normal only) running in the 25 watt range for use as a stage monitor as everything gets mic’d in his band. So after numerous emails we came up with the idea of using a Princeton Reverb chassis for the build which would be small enough for use as a grab & go club amp. Some cap upgrades were added as well as a personalized faceplate and we had a nice & clean build put together, and it sounded just like expected so off it went to the new owner.
I was recently presented with another interesting amp build and this time it was a 5F8A high power tweed Twin, but the customer wanted it in a LunchBox head. So after some thought I figured out I could fit the circuit into my 16×8 chassis enclosure so I committed to the build. When everything was said & done the amp turned out be be a very nice fit in that chassis, and it really was a tone monster with a loud, throaty growl & bark when it got pushed. I also added individual bias points so each tube’s bias can be measured just to make sure that each pair match or even the entire quad. I’ll be waiting to see if the owner sends any sound clips to share but in the meantime here’s some of the build pics.