I'm considering building a tube amplifier for guitar. My hope is to save $ compared to purchasing one. Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it a worthwhile project? Most tube amps I would consider buying would be around $500. As far as tubes and electronic components, what would it cost to build a comparable amp?
Hi Alcat: Building anything complicated from scratch is not and easy problem. To begin with, you need to select a circuit. Once that is done, you need to develop a parts list and determine parts availability. Most vacuum tubes that appear in amplifier circuits are available but very pricy. The most difficult items to procure will be the power transformer and the output transformer. When you add the cost of one or two good quality 12" speakers, you will quickly begin to approach the cost of purchasing an amp. Unless you have done this sort of thing before there are numerous things that must be considered such as the layout and packaging, availability of tools many of them specialized, and your ability to solder. I have 35 + years of experience in electronics and it would be a challenge. These are just some things to consider. I hope this is helpful.
You need a kit with specific instructions to start with. You can get zapped if you don't know what you are doing. Google "5f1 guitaramp kits. add an au to see whats local. The 5f1 is a Fender Champ replica. A great place to start. You get chassis, parts and instructions, which increases your chances of not producing a smoke machine. About $300. You won't save any money. Buy a commercial one if you want to do that. If you want to play with valves at a really safe level, look at the Mat Sumin 'Valvecaster', a guitar effect with a valve....easy and sounds good. You get to wire up a valve. Fits in a stompbox. Warning, those little glass bottles are addictave!