Introducing myself!

Topics other than amps, guitars, and tone. No posts about politics or religion.

Introducing myself!

Postby Dr Tony Balls on Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:15 pm

Hi all, longtime lurker but figured i'd start posting. I'm based in Brooklyn, NY but originally out of Houston, TX. I'm an engineer by day doing NASA-related safety and reliability work, and on the side im a reasonably accomplished builder. Ive been building effects for 7 years or so and now have my own small line of effects that ive been running (http://ballseffects.com/). Ive also been building amps for a number of years both for myself and as custom builds for customers. At current Ive built a little over 550 pedals and 30 amps. I'll post a bit about the amps from time to time in the appropriate sub-boards.

Cheers!
:cheers:
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Re: Introducing myself!

Postby Mayhawk on Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:51 am

Hello, Dr B.....did you build the Balls Amps that Tonequest Mag went nuts ('nuts', get it?) over about 7 or 8 years ago?

As I recall, something to the effect as the standard of Marshall Bluesbreaker amps...or was it the 18 watt standard? Either way, they praised Balls Amps to the hilt.

Welcome! :jam:
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Re: Introducing myself!

Postby Unit_1 on Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:16 am

Say, those look like NOS film and foil Mallory orange drops! So much nicer sounding than metalized spragues...

I have about 50 of them in the safe with a *bunch* (hundreds) of NOS PIO Astrons (and other quality caps) - the quietest capacitor I've ever seen! I have a foil end tester I made that you hook up to a stereo and flip the polarity switch back and forth and just listen to which end is noisy and which is quiet. Anywho, you can't tell on the Astrons - pure silence even with a lamp cord hooked up to a florescent light running right under the cap to provide interference!!!!!

So, it sounds like you've been going *all balls out* with your project builds, lol....

Glad to have you aboard sir. btw, I'm such a geek I keep my TV on the NASA channel all day. Love it!

Here's my current project, although I've kinda stalled on it and need to get back. It's gonna be a Matchless lightning clone which is an AC15 inspired amp. Using Hammond organ AO43 chassis and iron with my self designed (using visio) G10 boards. Only the wires going from turret to turret to form the circuit are currently soldered. I just picked up and am waiting delivery of some .0015uf pio astrons and after I get those I'm going to replace the mustard cap with the astron (didn't seem like a proper fit with those CDE Greenies anyway). Then I'll add in the wires to components and mass solder all the connections before dropping into the chassis.

It's such a tight fit that I'm not going to bolt the boards down till I have all the wires stripped and fitted, then I'll bolt it down and do the rest. Normally I don't proceed so carefully but most of the wires are only going to be about an inch long. REALLY tight fit.....

Ok, I've digressed enough for one night, lol....

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The ability to play/make music is a gift that not everyone gets. Those of us who have it should use it.

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Re: Introducing myself!

Postby Dr Tony Balls on Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:10 pm

Mayhawk wrote:Hello, Dr B.....did you build the Balls Amps that Tonequest Mag went nuts ('nuts', get it?) over about 7 or 8 years ago?

As I recall, something to the effect as the standard of Marshall Bluesbreaker amps...or was it the 18 watt standard? Either way, they praised Balls Amps to the hilt.

Welcome! :jam:



Nope....not the same. Just found out about that recently, though they seem to be defunct.



Unit_1 wrote:Say, those look like NOS film and foil Mallory orange drops! So much nicer sounding than metalized spragues...

Here's my current project.....



Project looks nice! And no, those are the modern Spragues. Agree that film and foil is generally preferred, but for my customers im generally aiming for a great, vintage-style amp thats useable in a day-in day-out fashion. Sourcing out NOS parts is cost-prohibitive and largely unnecessary for their needs.
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Re: Introducing myself!

Postby Unit_1 on Thu Nov 19, 2015 5:15 pm

I build my amps as a hobby (I'm retired) and I like to take my time making everything neat, plus I have been sourcing NOS capacitors (the only NOS parts I use besides tubes) for quite a while and actually managed to get the Astrons for lower than orange drop prices! I bought about 120 x .1 uf 400v for $120 from some guy on eBay that was just dumping his stock.

I really don't care about making a profit, just sustaining my very expensive hobby, lol :lol:

And then you can also get the NOS K40y pio russian caps for about the same price as orange drops (just don't confuse with k42y which SUCK). I've used these and they are 100% as good as astrons (and really should be since they copied astrons to make them). They're just not as 'sexy' as astrons since Leo used them in all the original vintage fender amps (although he used the cheap film and foil, not the pio)

Sprague also makes some film and foil orange drops, which are larger and shaped like the ones you have on the board in your avatar.

This is a pic of one of the Mallory orange drops, which I saw recently on Newark, so I guess they're still making them or maybe Newark had a stash of old caps.

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Have you established an account at http://www.cedist.com yet? They are wholesale amp components, not much savings on tubes but great saving on sockets, pots, caps, turrets....

I get G10 board from a guy on eBay that sells his scrap for VERY low prices - pretty green.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/G10-Phenolic-Sh ... 7IH-eNznOA

I use newark for resistors, sometimes you can get them for less than a penny each when buying in bulk or during promotions!

Damn, it's freezing in my shop right now and I don't wanna spend the bucks to heat it since it's going to be 85 later today. Gotta run!
Image
The ability to play/make music is a gift that not everyone gets. Those of us who have it should use it.

Asimov:Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today — but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.
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Re: Introducing myself!

Postby Dr Tony Balls on Thu Nov 19, 2015 5:28 pm

Yeah I have a CEDist account. Fantastic saving on tubes, as well. Modern tubes, but again we cant all NOS everything!
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Re: Introducing myself!

Postby Seby on Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:55 am

Hi Doc B! 8)

Serious work there (from you too Unit 1). Man, I can barely solder a pot.... :roll:
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Re: Introducing myself!

Postby pckpat on Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:27 pm

Hello-pleased ta meetcha Dr. B....and welcome aboard. I think you'll fit right in here with all the amp crazies. :D
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