» Archive for the 'Amp Building' Category

Checking Your Speakers For Scratches

Thursday, June 27th, 2013 by Gabi

Did your speaker develop a nasty buzz lately? Chances are that the voice coil became off-centered and it touches the magnet. Here’s how to check your speaker for voice coil scratching against the magnet. It happens even on new speakers — the magnet becomes off centered and the coil starts rubbing against it inducing some pretty nasty buzz.
The cheapest Celestion AlNiCo Blue on Planet Earth is here.

Amp Layouts with Inkscape

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 by Gabi

I am asked many times about the programs I’m using to design my amp layouts. So I thought of putting together a three part video tutorial about using Inkscape, a free vector based drawing program (for Win or Mac). I also made available the actual Inkscape amp layout drawing presented in these tutorials so you can use it as a blueprint starter template for your drawings. Please share your drawings! They are art!

The Variable Voltage Regulator

Saturday, January 8th, 2011 by Gabi


So you finally received your tube guitar amp, you spent a fortune for it, and you love its sweet tone and all, but. . . You live in a small apartment, with sonically transparent walls, and you want to have happy neighbors. Your dilemma was addressed actually by a lot of amp builders by building attenuators that act just like a speaker load and output just enough power to the speaker that you need. But there’s an easier and more effective way of taming your amp by using a Variable Voltage Regulator (VVR) that will let you turn your amp’s Volume to where you want it, but control the overall amp output to an optimal level.

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Designing Amp Faceplates

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 by Gabi


“Hey John, which one is the Volume?” said the confused guitar player starring at the amp chassis… So, you finished your amp project, sounds wicked and all that, but it sits bare naked on top of an extension cabinet or best, housed in a cabinet with Sharpie marked labels for the controls. Nice, but your amp deserves to be more elegant and sexy. After all it brews some real tone.

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Gabtone Live TV Resumes

Thursday, January 14th, 2010 by Gabi
Live Gabtone Shop Cam

Live Gabtone Shop Cam

Short one here folks, to announce that the live Gabtone TV Shop Cam will resume in work days afternoons (usually at around 4:00 pm CST) for those of you curious on tube guitar amp building.

I don’t promise it will be a two way communication (as I need to concentrate at what I’m building) but I’ll read the chat from time to time just in case you have questions about what in the world I am doing!

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The Loopy Effect Loop

Thursday, January 7th, 2010 by Gabi
A common question I am being asked frequently is if my amps have an FX loop. The answer is a BIG NO. Here is why…
Guitar pedal board routing

Guitar pedal board routing

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Capacitor, Be Quiet!

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 by Gabi

In guitar amps, we always battle the signal-to-noise ratio. Of course we could never have the ideal guitar amp in this life because we are limited by the components we use that will dictate the final guitar tone and noise. And to be honest we don’t even need to push for a complete noiseless amp otherwise we would slide into the Hi-Fi zone and that’s NOT a field for tube guitar amps.

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Front Control Wiring Session

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 by Gabi

Going further with our guitar tube amp building! Here I will show you the simple trick I use to wire the front controls. Nothing complicated. You will see the way I solder the ground buss I use for all preamp connections that are kept separate from the power amp and power supply stage ground connections.

Please make sure you give the videos a 5-start rating, and comment, ask questions, etc. I am glad to answer. Thank you and enjoy the guitar amplifier cooking show!

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Power Supply Wiring

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 by Gabi

Hello Ladies & Gentleman!

Here is another chapter in the Sound Garage Tales video tutorial on how to build a tube guitar amp from scratch. This time wiring the power supply.

Follow along all 4 videos in this chapter and you will learn how to make a clean layout which is critical for a robust guitar tube amp

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Tube Heaters Wiring

Monday, April 28th, 2008 by Gabi

Wiring a tube guitar amplifier heater can be a pain in the rear. From twisting the leads to cancel out hum, to routing the 18 AWG wire the whole operation can be a hard animal to tame.
I’ll show you a couple tricks in this video on how you can do it. Enjoy this tutorial in 3 parts!

And once you’re done please give it some social love from the bookmark link below. Thank you!