Build a Mojotone Kit or Buy a Fender???

Discussion in 'Amps & Cabs' started by Sp8ctre, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Sp8ctre

    Sp8ctre Well-Known Member

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    So I've been looking at Mojotone amp kits and I found a Blackface Super Reverb full kit with 4 Jensen speakers for $1305. I can buy the actual Fender '65 Super Reverb at Sweetwater for $1550.

    Being as I'm an electronics tech and have the skills, what are the advantages of building my own? I'm guessing by the looks of the small pictures that these kits have nice point to point wiring and the best of components.

    Anyone here build one or know anything about them?
     
  2. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    Building it yourself would likely be a rewarding project, and you would be able to tweak component values to your liking to customize the amp if you wanted, plus servicing down the road would be very simple.

    I don't personally buy into the notion that PTP sounds inherently "better" than PCB construction (and often worse) and I have played several of the Fender reissues which, having owned several of the original versions to compare to, sound amazing.
     
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  3. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree with this anymore. Saving money is not a factor for me in this situation. If you have the skills and patience, then building is so much more fun. But ruling out pcb construction is cork-sniffery. There's good and bad designs in both cases.

    And if you're into Blackface-style Fender kits, then give Allen Amps some research love. I built their Sweet Spot head version kit, which is loosely based on the BF Princeton Reverb. Excellent, excellent, excellent. Allen Amps "Old Flame" is their version of the Super Reverb.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
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  4. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    You wont really save money.
    You will be adding another activity to your time budget.

    You may be infected with a passion for valveology (UK) or tubeology (US) (I think I just made that up, but I'm sure it's all been said before) that FAR exceeds any of the emotions or sensations of GAS.

    You will have a point to point circuit that you can "build by numbers", or really learn about the circuit stages. Not any better than a PCB, just the old school way that matches the layout diagrams.
    You will need to learn sound build technique like lead dress, grounding schemes, soldering and heat sinking, etc. you may have that already.

    I never built from a kit, but have gotten some parts from Mojotone. Mostly heard good things about the company and kits in general, nothing specific to that kit.

    I spent a lot of time learning here and other places - mostly linked from here too:
    http://www.tdpri.com/forums/shock-brothers-diy-amps.49/

    It is commonly recommended to start with a simpler circuit but if you feel up to the task by all means go for it.

    Stick a decent reverb pedal in front of that Silkyn Super 50 clean channel, maybe into a different cab?
     
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  5. Sp8ctre

    Sp8ctre Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so far for the input. In a way I really want the build experience. I've been servicing radios and PA type amps since 1979, but never really built anything.

    Since the guitar bug hit and I already had a bug for restoring old record players and stereos...a guitar amp build seems like a logical step to me...

    I have some tube theory from my old school training back in the day, but most of it is long forgotten...so this will refresh.

    As for skills...I have a fully laid out workshop with all the tools and space required, plus over 35 years repair work under my belt...

    Now...what to sell???
     
  6. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    Fender:
    Heard on countless recordings, this is the fantastic sparkling-clean sound, warm breakup when pushed, and cavernous reverb of Fender’s famous “blackface” amps of the early 1960s and subsequent decades, prized by guitarists everywhere.


    Cavernous reverb. Cavernous. Spelunking Cavernous, man.
    Surfs up, Cowabunga!!
    That sounds almost as good as a young Annette Funicello.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    I hear a "motorboat"

    ...:naughty:
     
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  8. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    I never saw this photo of a young Brigitte Bardot, just wanted to share:
    [​IMG]
    HOLY SMOKES!
    Das some top shelf hooch there.

    Now I'm motorboating
    Homina Homina Homina
     
  9. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    I need to sign-off now...

    Gotta take care of some business... :iough:
     
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  10. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^how can you not?

    Well, you have the background; so it a matter of if you want to or not.
    Too much like the day job might take the fun out of it.
    But building and playing your own amp has some really satisfying mojo going on I tell ya.....
     
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  11. 67plexi

    67plexi Well-Known Member

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    The sky is the limit. Mojotone makes nice cabinets, They use Heyboer transformers they are good and their chassis are good.
    I have rewired a few of their kits due to poor lead dress the pots and capacitors were junk . I made this out of their Tweed Super chassis and cabinet Jimmi Hendrix preamp 6V6 power amp and Dumble phase inverter. At low volume sounds like the wind cries Mary and full volume screams.
    It's a Marshall JTM 45/100 preamp almost.

    002 (2).JPG
     
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  12. Sp8ctre

    Sp8ctre Well-Known Member

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    That looks fantastic and by your description sounds fantastic as well!

    Any suggestions from a seasoned vet as to what kits out there are the best?
     
  13. RVA

    RVA Well-Known Member

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    I would like to point out that any mis-steps can make the project a LOT more expensive.. I have learned this with my recent modding endeavors to some degree. However, Spec has the skill already so it is a safe bet. When undertaking a project yourself, especially for the first time, it is not necessarily going to price out at your estimate. I know, I am Donny Downer today.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
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  14. 67plexi

    67plexi Well-Known Member

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    Sp8ctre, I have never built a kit amp scratch builds only. Good parts are getting scarce some of my builds have taken two years just to find the proper parts. If your set on a Super Reverb I would save up for a vintage one. I have no Idea what your looking for sound wise.
    I own a Super Reverb a Fender Concert 1960 I never us them to gig with to bulky. That said I encourage you to build an amp tuning amps is a whole different part of the equation. The amps I gig with cost $4500.00 in parts and 200 hours to build then the tuning processes.
     
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  15. ivan H

    ivan H Well-Known Member

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    I say go for it. Building your own amps is very rewarding. I've never built from a kit but I do have 2 Mojotone built 50 watt head cabs (bought through valvestorm) that are very good quality. I also have 4 Heyboer wound transformers that are very good. Don't rush it, take the "measure twice, cut once" approach. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you're not 100% sure of anything. Watch your lead dress & grounding & you'll be fine. It is very rewarding. Cheers
     
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  16. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

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    Why not do both?

    Look for a non-reverb blackface head that doesn't work and fix it up.

    You should be able to do that for less than $1500 US.
     
  17. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    Uhm......you work.......you play.....you take classes.......you have taken on BASS......you buy....you tinker..........

    Listen to me ------get this and keep rocking-----
    Panama Guitars Marauder 40 (combo or head only)
    Costs less-----hand wired ---has the 57 Twin LOCKED---

    and KEEP playing and stop soldering ;)




    click here scroll down
    http://panamaguitars.com/products/series/tribute-series/



    HERE: CLICK NOW USE THE CODE AND SAVE 200.00 friggin dollars head and cab combo!
    https://reverb.com/item/2657688-pan...t-tube-handwired-amp-boca-series-cabinet-2x12

    HAVE I steered you wrong yet? Thats LESS than 900.00 delivered to your door.....and you will NOT regret it.
     
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  18. Sp8ctre

    Sp8ctre Well-Known Member

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    Hi, my name is Chris and I have a problem....

    I already have 7 amps...I think I just want to build one...why...who knows...doubt I'll really learn anything...

    ....and as you note I'm already busy...plus 2 surgeries coming up....maybe I'll hold off....or find something else to spend money on......

    Nice to have friends like you to help me focus...think I'll go play my guitarssssssssssssss....
     
  19. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    YOur welcome :)
     
  20. Sp8ctre

    Sp8ctre Well-Known Member

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    Oh...there is a Panama Marauder B-Stock on Reverb for $699 - 20% = $610 delivered to my door.......
     
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