Does anyone have experience with tube amps?

As I’m slowly learning to play a few notes on guitar, I find myself frustrated with my amplification options.

Currently,my potions are:

  1. Play unplugged, which is great for late night practicing without waking everyone.
  2. Play through my iPad using an adapter, also good for private practicing.
  3. Plug into my modeling amp.
    At this point you may be thinking “Wait, you already have an amp. Why not use that one?”

The problem with my current amp is that it is a modeling amp. Meaning it mimics certain tones, distortion, etc. of other amps/setups. I want an amp that I can just plug into and have a clean unfiltered sound, that I can manipulate as needed the way I want instead of a preset. Plus, I like the sound of a tube amp.

If tube amps were not so expensive, I’d be inclined to just buy one, unfortunately my bank account laughs hysterically when I ask it for that kind of cash. Therefore I want to build one. It doesn’t have to be a ground shaking mega amp, just something for the home.

My next problem is the fact that I’m mostly electronics ignorant. I can solder, and somewhat follow a schematic, but beyond that I’m basically lost. Google searches on the subject has only confused me more as most of what I found is written for someone a bit more advanced. I just need to know where to start.

Any advice or assistance is more than welcome.

Get a kit. If you don’t know amp topologies, you’re much better off doing this. Tube amp technology is kind of retotastic at this point. I was going to build a tube-preamp / single ended MOSFET power amp monstrosity at one point. I can see about digging up my old notes for it, although it would be an interesting choice for a guitar amp.

Try that to start.

I did find a kit for around $250, which isn’t too hateful if I save my pennies. I don’t know why I’m getting into amps and such lately. The parts you ordered are for a small cigar box amp schematic I found online. I’m using that to test my patience with surface soldering once I get the parts from Ryan.

Surface mount soldering is easy with the components you ordered… They’re huge. 0805 and SOICs. Easy. There’s plenty of flux in the fridge. The 2331 pen complements the solder we have best because it’s H2O cleanup just like the solder. If Ryan can’t help you with that, I can.

Well, scratch this idea. I found a new tube amp at Guitar center for less than I could pay for a kit, so it is now in my home.