Monthly Archives: January 2016

Pedal Modification

Below are a Budda© PHATMAN and a ZENMAN (both anodized) with the Presence and Mid control modification. We add the correct value pots and add Budda style knobs or chicken head knobs. Both have all the noisy ceramic capacitors replaced with smooth sweet sounding silver-mica capacitors as well.

This mod gives the pedal a nice (think Plexi) creamy tone. I also recommend (when using a Zen Man) that you replace the first tube, the one on the left, with a NOS Jan-Phillips (green Label 5*) mil-spec 5751. Lots of requests for this mod lately. If you are interested the mod costs $125.00 which includes return shipping.

This also includes all new silver mica capacitors, 2 new pots, your choice of knobs, and 2 new JJ 12AX7 tubes if needed! We recently changed this mod slightly. We are no longer drilling out the tube cover plate. The new pots will be mounted directly below the gain and volume knobs about an inch. This optimizes tube maintenance.

The picture below on the left is an example of the new pot locations. Labeling will also be added.



Guitar Amplifiers 18 Watt Reverb Specs

Bonepicker Guitar Amplifiers 18 Watt Reverb Specs Here’s an 18 Watt Chassis .

We use the new TUNG-SOL 6v6 Power tubes. The preamp tubes are JJ’s. The rectifier tube is a 5U4GB but you can use a GZ34 also. The transformers are MOJO’s and the Power Transformer has a Faraday shield. The output and power transformer are overload and reverse current protected using low and high current diodes. As you can see the amp is hand wired using phenolic tag board. Phenolic board doesn’t warp like the old paper boards do. The tag boards are hand drilled and the eyelets are installed by hand. We use Zicon 1% tolerance 1/2 watt metal film resistors, hoveland music caps in the tone section, orange drop 716P high performance capacitors, Sprague atom capacitors, Silver Mica capacitors, and a JJ multi cap as the filter capacitor.


The input, output, and reverb jacks are switchcrafts. We use CTS and Alpha Potentiometers, and Carling switches. The controls are ( form left to right- High Input, Low Input, Volume, Treble, Midrange, Bass, Reverb Volume, Reverb Dwell, Standby, Power ). The reverb tank is an Accutronics 3 spring long delay. The bias and power feed resistors are 2 Watt metal oxide non-flameable. The input, volume, and reverb, controls are connected using George-L’s shielded cable and grounded to reduce noise. All mounting bolts are locked in place using lock washers and lock-tite red. We plan on implementing a reverb tone control soon. We buy all our tubes matched from the distributors then we test them on our AMPLITREX AT1000© computerized tube tester.

Two more 18 watt chassis’ almost ready to install in their new hand made head cabinet. We use solid pine and chrome hardware for all the cabinets. We use Jensen Blue Alnico, Jensen Mod Ceramic speakers, and Weber© speakers. Weber’s are custom order only. Brad and Pete spraying tolex glue on a new 4×8 cabinet. We’ll be moving to a larger shop soon so we don’t have to do this stuff in the parking lot anymore.

Tolex glue is nasty stuff so ventilation is very important. This is an 8 Watt all tube Non-Reverb amp that will fit in the palm of your hand. Mini-me will drive a 4×12 cab and sounds like a mini plexi. 7″ wide x 51/2″ deep x 51/2″ tall. MINI-ME may be a production amp. EL-84, ECC803 and 5Y3 Rectifier. 4 Ohm output impedance.Here’s the 18 Watt non-reverb prototype that started things rolling.



Custom Amps

Ever dream of owning a hand wired point to point tube amp that is out of production. We can build it. We use quality parts and build to spec. Only out of production amps are available as we don’t need to collect cease and desist letters from lawyers. We charge $30.00 an hour labor plus the cost of the parts to include a small parts stocking fee.

We also charge for the shipping cost of transformers, chassis’, cabinets and speakers etc. Please consider the cost of having a custom amp built versus whats available and if the output transformers or non-standard tubes that are used in the design of the amplifier are available at a reasonable cost. Some parts such as selenium rectifiers are no longer available so some clones can not be replicated to 100% spec, but can be built using quality replacement parts that will not affect the tone of the amp. We will also professionally install modifications to your tube amplifier or rebuild a less than usable tube amplifier.

We will not cut a collectible amplifier to install things like an effects loop or a recording output. There are devices made for this type of application that will cost you a lot less money and will not destroy the value of a vintage collectible tube amp. However, from the ground up custom built amplifiers are built as fast and as precise as possible and are our priority. We build to your specs for a reasonable charge using only the finest parts available.

Don’t be dissuaded by web rumors or unsubstantiated claims that transformer X is the only thing that sounds good because of some perceived MOJO someone has commented on the web about. Numerous people who write a lot but don’t play much are constantly spewing out unsubstantiated “facts” and B.S. about resistors, capacitors, tubes, transformers, potentiometers and so on. I am a scientist at heart and have spent the last 17 years building, modding, and testing effect pedals and guitar amplifiers. Things I have checked out to see if they are true.

I recently measured the range of travel or throw of a Vox wah-wah and compared it to a Crybaby wah-wah and yes the Vox wah has a longer range of motion. Will this effect tone? With a well made correctly tapered wah pot it may. Wah pots do have different tapers  Mojo and Voodoo are just vendor perpetuated Internet hype to separate you from your dollars, don’t get sucked in. There are electrical engineering principles and basic electronics engineering laws that must be followed to properly use passive and active electronic components.

Some components are made from materials that are less noisy or more suited for their application in a circuit. Carbon composition resistors or tropical fish capacitors are not magical they are just electronic components. What is more important are the tolerances components are manufactured within and the quality of the material used to build the components. Don’t pay stupid money for old technologies or (NOS, Vintage, only used by) simply because someone says they have some special non-quantitative MOJO.

If you believe the hype call me I have lots of NOS in stock that I will gladly sell you for an inflated price if that will make you feel good about your rig. I never buy anything before I educate myself about what I am going to spend my hard earned dollars on. I recently saw an E-bay auction for a quantity of 100 .022 “vintage” Sozo made Marshall mustard caps. The starting price was well over $900.00.

Q. Why do I have NOS parts? A. For collector item restorations to insure a restored piece holds it’s collectible value! Remember one of the first basic rules of electrical engineering is; most things are engineered to a tolerance of “+/- 10%or more in some cases” Why? To save on component costs, inexpensive components mean a more significant bottom line profit for the manufacturer. Most electronics components are available in value tolerances ranging from 1% up to 20% or more. What if your doctor only had to get it right 80 or 90% of the time. Demand better for your money!