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We Build A Couple Of Tube Combos At Rift Amps

Published on Mar 22, 2019

SAFETY FIRST: Valve guitar amplifiers contain potentially lethal voltages that can KILL you completely and utterly dead. Dan and I did not carry out any work around the high voltage aspect. We connected everything up before Chris took over to do the plugged-in tests and safety checks.
Please DO NOT ATTEMPT any work inside any amplifier unless you are qualified to do so. So with that covered…

In this episode we board the TPS charabanc and head north, following tales of a near-hermit-like being, who, in return for crossing his palm with silver, would educate us in ye olde ways of building tube amps. Or valves if you’re British.
Thusly, we crossed river and ravine before happening on the opening of a great cave, strewn with the carcasses of dead amps the souls of those who had abandoned them. Uttering the magic words, we were granted entry and following a soldering initiation test, were festooned with the jewels of the hermit’s brain. Or if you’d prefer…

Chris Fantana of Rift Amps walks us through building a couple of Fender 5E3 Deluxe clones.
We then return to Schwangri-La and plug ‘em in.

Find Chris and Rift at

A word on cabs and speakers. Chris has a cabinet supplier who builds and covers the cabs, so we don’t get into that in this video - it’s a step too far for a single day! The choice of tweed or Tolex is purely cosmetic - we thought we’d have one of both.
The speakers themselves are WGS G12Q. We might get into trying different things as time goes on…

If you like the music tracks over the video, they're available here:

Pedals in this episode…

• Maxon / Analogman OD9 with Bad Bob Booster

• Fox Gear Echosex Baby
UK & Europe:

• Anasounds Element Spring Reverb with Le Bon tank

• TheGigRig QMX6
UK & Europe:

• Sonic Research ST-300 Turbo Tuner Mini

• Keeley D&M Drive
UK & Europe:

• Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man 1100-TT
UK & Europe:

• Mooer Trelicopter
UK & Europe:

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro – what are we doing today? 0:00
- Why the 5E3 Deluxe? 2:14
- 6V6 or 6L6 valves? 4:20
- Soldering basics and wire connections: 7:15
- Cold solder joint? 10:57
- Flux? 12:18
- The build process stages: 13:25
- Class A or class AB? 15:05
- Populating the board: 19:57
- Valve bases: 23:35
- Block diagram of a guitar amp: 25:00
- Power transformer: 26:25
- Pots: 29:40
- Preamp / phase inverter valves: 30:35
- Standby switch: 33:00
- Does it sound better with no jewel light? 34:38
- The boards go in! 36:20
- Firing up and valves: 39:55
- Chris’s thoughts on our builds: 43:18
- Back at Schwangri-La: 44:35
- Turning it up! 50:26
- D&M Drive: 53:25
- Bad Bob: 55:40
- Humbuckers? 57:45
- Gold Foils: 59:38
- Round up and conclusions: 1:04:20

Guitars used today:

• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – Mick’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop ’63 Telecaster – Dan’s video at
• Collings 360LT –

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