My handbuilt monster

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NippleWrestler
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My handbuilt monster

Post by NippleWrestler »

Have a schematic:

https://el34world.com/charts/Schematics ... _aor50.pdf

This is a 1989 Laney AOR 50 that my friend rebuilt from scratch as a turret board amp with some mods thrown in. I gave it back to him about 5 years ago where it languished on a shelf looking sad. Since I was looking for another amp I asked if he still had it.

Here it is. You'll notice that it's basically a JCM800 with an extra tube for some extra heat and some ridiculous switching options that don't do anything useful except pad out the spec sheet.

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Apart from the FX loop and iron (SKOT brand, made in Worcester) it's all new primo stuff (well, new when it was built) - Sozos, Jupiters, F&T.

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I've been going through it trying to iron out some of the bizarre design choices Laney made to this amp back in the day and to make it more usable all around and friendlier to setup to cover more ground. They addressed some of these issues with the Series II in 1993 (ish) but this series 1 has some interesting quirks.

There's a bass boost on the bass push/pull. With it not pulled the amp is very thin. With it pulled it's insane. The bass boost is tied to the master volume so its effect varies based on how loud you have the amp. If you're above 7 on the MV it doesn't have an effect, but you're also dead. At 1 on the MV it's fuckin crazy. To illustrate that point here's some plots:

Stock with boost off:

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Stock with boost ON and MV at 1:

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Boost ON and MV at 5:

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See how the bass squashes the mids and the treble entirely? I don't know who thought that was a good idea. So:

I removed TS2, R27, C16, and wired lug 1 of MV to GND so it's just a regular MV. This removed most of the crazy bass boost but still left the non-boosted stuff pretty thin. I took the 220n at C16 and replaced the 22n at C14, the coupling cap coming off tube 3. Much better. There's some healthy body in the clean tone and drive channel now, and the bass boost is not as overpowering. I'm debating changing the bass tone cap from a 22n to a 100n for more body but we'll see.

The slope resistor is now a 47k instead of 33k. Why? Because it's like that in the dual rec :thumbup:

R6 is now 10k. This is the fabled 'cold clipper' mod you'll see on hot rod Marshalls, Soldano, Bogner etc. In fact Marshall used to whack this on a switch for a second 'channel'. It's free gain, may as well grab it. RobRob has a 3 way switch for this for 1k/10k/47k.

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That scorch mark is my fault.

The only crazy thing left to attend to are the crusty electros in the loop PCB and change the bright cap on the treble boost to something like a 220pf. The 1n there is just insane. There's too much treble for anything useful.

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It's a cool amp, guys. My friend made this for me as a labour of love so it holds a special place in my heart. I also didn't blow myself up.

Fun bonus story: when we were talking through the rebuild we noticed that the values on the schematic didn't match the parts in the amp. I emailed Laney to ask which we should follow: the diagram or the built. They said to follow the schematic because they built them "with whatever was left on the shelf" back then. This brought a tear to my eye that fine British engineering lives on.

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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by FuzzMonkey »

Nice! But a video demo or it didn't happen. :lol:
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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by Cdog »

Cool project! Dem guts look great... is that a ground bus made from desolder braid? Nice work. +1 for sounds!

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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by NippleWrestler »

Fuck that. I'm not pissing around for 30 minutes setting up a mic and camera so goobers online can give me shit. I got better things to waste my time on.

Although the guy who built the amp did do something on this about 5 years ago, but he's into that sorta thing... Well, used to be before goobers online started giving him shit.

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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by NippleWrestler »

Cdog wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 4:13 pm Cool project! Dem guts look great... is that a ground bus made from desolder braid? Nice work. +1 for sounds!
No it's the sleeve from the braided cable like you find on fancy old pickups. Then again it might be the same thing as desoldering braid just marketed differently.

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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by jeremyb »

Schwwweeeeeettttt!
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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by JustMatt »

NippleWrestler wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 4:15 pm Fuck that. I'm not pissing around for 30 minutes setting up a mic and camera so goobers online can give me shit. I got better things to waste my time on.

Although the guy who built the amp did do something on this about 5 years ago, but he's into that sorta thing... Well, used to be before goobers online started giving him shit.
This deserves three 🤣 emojis

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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by NippleWrestler »

The saga continues. This amp isn't a Laney anymore and the front panel was flaking off anyway. For years I'd been wanting to refinish it into something better looking and took the plunge a few days ago. The guy who built the amp settled on the Bigfoot name years ago although now it's relatively quite well behaved.

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The front panel broke off and I cleaned up the old glue by soaking it in acetone and then scrubbing it off. Sanding back the bare metal to 80 grit allowed better adhesion of the paint, which is just gloss enamel primer.

I realise this wasn't very clear. I picked off the old plate, sanded the metal back to fresh, then sprayed it black before labelling with a paint pen. Then it was sealed with clear gloss enamel.

The labeling was done with a paint pen by hand, then sealed under 2 coats of clear enamel gloss.

Knobbed:

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I also threw in a mod in the tonestack for more beef. It sounds great. Very thick if you need it.

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Next up is the head enclosure.
Last edited by NippleWrestler on Wed Nov 30, 2022 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by AiRdAd »

The faceplate looks great! :-)
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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by werdna »

Where can I get a faceplate done please?

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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by NippleWrestler »

"The front panel broke off and I cleaned up the old glue by soaking it in acetone and then scrubbing it off. Sanding back the bare metal to 80 grit allowed better adhesion of the paint, which is just gloss enamel primer."

There is no faceplate. Steps are above. It's literally the painted chassis.

Although the fact you think this was done professionally is a good sign.

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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by jimi »

werdna wrote: Wed Nov 30, 2022 11:40 am Where can I get a faceplate done please?
Some posts about faceplates in this thread
https://www.nzguitars.com/forum/viewtop ... 53#p943853

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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by blackstratblues »

NippleWrestler wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 4:15 pm Fuck that. I'm not pissing around for 30 minutes setting up a mic and camera so goobers online can give me shit. I got better things to waste my time on.

Although the guy who built the amp did do something on this about 5 years ago, but he's into that sorta thing... Well, used to be before goobers online started giving him shit.
If you want to make some clips, bring it over - I've got the camera and mics already set up. Could be a fun hang too :)

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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by NippleWrestler »

Image

The guy who built it, that graphic is his shop logo btw

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Re: My handbuilt monster

Post by bender »

That looks badass!

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