About Me

My photo

I play and record music, like to take pictures and work with photo editing software, golf, softball, going to the beach.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Tube Amp Acquisition

Been almost a year since I've posted on here. Oops. Anyway, I picked up a cool little "Lafayette" tube amp off of craigslist. Looks like a rebranded Univox 202R with some differences. For one, there's no reverb, just tremolo. They both run on 6973 power tubes, but the layout is a bit different inside the chassis as well. When I got it, it had a low and distorted output, so it needed some work. I ordered new power tubes as well as replacement filter supply caps in the hopes of it being a relatively quick fix. Here's to hoping. Below is an album of pictures I took before I started cleaning it up.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Beast In The Field Live Audio 12.9.12

Here's audio I recorded of Beast In The Field demolishing Mulligans Otherside right here in GR. Get your doom on, folks...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New live music bootlegs from Grand Rapids shows!

I seem to be busy these days and have been neglectful of this space. There's a ton of stuff going on so I'll just get to it. Here's some live bootlegs from recent shows in our fair city of Grand Rapids, MI.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Live Bootlegs of Grand Rapids Shows on Youtube

So since I have spans of inactivity on here, I feel it necessary to post a deluge of audio that I have recorded somewhat recently. When possible, I like to bring out my stereo recorder to shows and position it such to capture the best sound scape possible for a room recording. Nothing fancy, but for me personally, I enjoy hearing audio from performances I attended even if the audio quality is sub-par. This also provides an opportunity to showcase some of the talent going on around the city of Grand Rapids as well as some national acts stopping through.

That said, here are some performances I captured and uploaded to my youtube channel which you can find BhereB. Otherwise, check them out below:

Grand Rapids band Tokyo Morose:

Grand Rapids band Ghost Heart:

Grand Rapids band Apostles:

Grand Rapids band The Storied Life:

Detroit based Mean Mother:

Mid Michigan doom duo Beast In The Field:

Valient Thorr:


There are certainly more to come and I will be sure to post accordingly.

Life is good.

Friday, May 4, 2012

RIP Adam Yauch.

You were the coolest, dude.

Friday, April 6, 2012

'57 Tweed Twin Amplifier Project

So I finally built an amplifier. It's based on the Weber DIY kit for a '57 Fender Low Powered Tweed Twin (5E8A circuit). The "low power" part of it is a relative description. It is loud as hell. It also sounds unbelievable. I started building it mid-November of last year and finally had it up and running (unfinished cosmetically) on March 20, 2012. I also put together a cabinet for it and that will be finished off with a black tolex wrap and silver Fender style grill cloth so it matches the speaker cabinet I am refinishing as well.

I have never built an amp before, so this seemed to be a daunting task to say the least. Luckily, Eric at Eric's Audio Repair was more than helpful in the completion of the project. Matter of fact, I probably couldn't have done it without his help and knowledge. His link is to the right.

A few things changed from the original specs. There were higher voltages required on some caps on the circuit board and a bias adjustment pot was installed as well for the KT66 power tubes I used instead of the 6L6s. The rectifiers are Weber Copper Caps as opposed to tube. I have some pictures of the process below to show some of what goes into one of these things. It was a lot of work and I had to do it in stages when I had spare time, but the result is a quality hand wired tube amp at a pretty reasonable price. I kid you not, I could not be happier with the sound coming out of my 4x12 cab and it is the best sounding amplifier I have ever owned.

Here is a sound clip I recorded using a Tascam DR08 stereo recorder about 10 feet in front of the amp when powering it up to play for the first time. First clip is with a Deluxe Nashville Telecaster and after the awesome computer voice is an Epiphone Les Paul 7 String with a General Guitar Gadgets BSIAB II distortion pedal I built. Pardon some of the sloppy playing. I wasn't concerned at the time:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fender '57 Tweed Twin Project

I should begin by stating that I have never built an electric guitar amplifier before. That being said,  I decided to try my hand at just that. Last night I completed the amp itself and housed it in a head enclosure. The enclosure is unfinished, but getting the amp up and running is priority here. This is a Weber kit for the '57 Low Powered Tweed Twin 5E8A circuit. This particular twin yields 40 watts of tube output. It has 3 12AX7 preamp tubes, a 12AU7 phase inverter, and I opted for 2 KT66s as opposed to 6L6s in the output section. The rectifiers are Weber Copper Caps which have a combination of components inside to simulate a vacuum tube. They're called copper caps due to being in a copper enclosure. They run at a high temperature and copper works well to dissipate heat.

Upon being asked yesterday, I realized that I have no idea how long it took me from start to finish as I made time to work on it here and there. I do know that it has taken a lot of time, patience, a few visits to the local hardware store and more than a few visits/phone calls to local electronics guru Eric at Eric's Audio Repair here in Grand Rapids.

I had begun wanting to convert a tube organ amplifier chassis into a guitar amp, but to make a long story short, it wouldn't work out with the parts I had. Once I got to that point, I discarded the materials I had and began anew with ordering the chassis and other parts from Weber. I ordered parts in groups according to what stage I was at using all parts listed in the kit for the 5E8A model. I figured if I wanted to upgrade components at a later time, I could. Also, I was interested to hear what the stock clone kit would sound like. Here are some work in progress pictures at various stages:

The original chassis from the organ that I couldn't use.

5E8A board before soldering.

Mounted sockets, jacks, pots, switches etc.

Input jacks

Back of circuit board after soldering

Wood measured and cut. Ready for drilling and wood glue.

Cabinet sides with control panel space cut out

Front panel mounted

First baffle added with brackets added to front panel

Preamp section wiring

Circuit board dropped into chassis

More socket wiring

All tube socket connections completed. Just grounding and a couple power transformer leads left.

Star grounding at the far end of chassis

Finished guts

Mounted into cabinet with Weber Copper Caps, tubes & knobs added

Now to see if it actually works...

 As mentioned earlier, there is still a bit of work to do on the enclosure. I also have a 4x12 cab that this will be running through and they both will eventually be wrapped in black tolex. The front of the head will be covered in silver/black Fender replacement grill cloth to match the cabinet grill which I have already stretched to a frame. The speaker cab was custom made for someone before (I'm assuming studio use to to not having handles or casters) and I have since cut holes and installed handles on the sides. Still have to install casters once the tolex is finished. Once both are finished it should look and sound pretty nifty.

Life is good.