26 February 2013

Building a high gain amplifier part 1.5: The preamp continued.

I didn't get much time to take photos during this part as I was rushing somewhat as I had other things on later in the evening.

In this post you will see the board populated with the coupling & bypass caps. Some people will swear by one brand and type of cap whilst others will say that it doesn't make a blind bit of difference. In my experience it does but not as much as some would have you believe.

I have chosen Sprague 716p Orange Drops for the majority of the preamp because they have a certain hifi vibe to them that I like and seem well balanced tonally. For the 1uf bypass caps I have gone for Vishay MKT's, these are polyester caps and have more of a gritty feel to them. Another reason that I chose these for these positions is purely based on the physical size as a 225p orange drop is a really tight squeeze and  I like thing to look nice and clean in my builds so these are not an option.

Below is a quick comparison shot of the 225p and the MKT as you can see the 225p is gigantic!

In this next shot you can see the preamp fully populated with 716ps and the MKTs

And here is the lone Mallory 150 2.2nf cap as I forgot to order the 716p in this value. Luckily I had this kicking about.

And finally we have a bunch of leg cut offs from the caps. I'm going to save a couple of these as they will come in handy for the next post

In a few days I should have part 2 of this log up which is the power amp.

Thanks for reading

20 February 2013

Peak 2005 FCB4N2 Midi Controller

I've been waiting for this to arrive for a little while now. Customs had it for over a week and it seemed like they just didn't want to let it go. Chances are they couldn't figure out what it was so they kept on studying it!

Anyway onto the actual midi controller.

I'll start off with the the reasons why I went with the Peak unit rather than the usual suspects such as Voodoo Labs, Behringer etc.

I can't stand plastic looking controllers more so when they have plastic switches, it just screams cheap and nasty to me. The second reason was the price, at $149 this thing is a steal. Add to that the fact that it's really solid with sturdy metal switches and a nice clear display and you are clearly onto a winner.

The FCB4N2 also has a really nice black brushed metal finish which just adds a touch of class and looks very durable so I can't see it bending at all or easily getting damaged.

The unit was fairly simple to program after I got over my initial user error (retard moment) and as an added bonus the custom support & communication from Peak 2005 throughout the purchase was fantastic and I also had to contact Peak regarding my user error and got a very helpful and easy to understand reply.

I believe that this unit will hold up well on the road and if there any any issues I am sure that Peak will be there to back me up.

There isn't really much more to say regarding this as the unit looks and feels great and functions as it's supposed to. Beyond that it isn't really expected to do much more.

You can purchase the above controller from http://www.peak2005.com/j/midi-foot-controllers/15-fcb4n2-programmable-midi-foot-controller-ver20.html and also a number of other devices related to midi control.

4 February 2013

The Metal Man #2

Greetings everyone,

This is just an introductory post as I am the new contributor to this blog

In reference to the title, I like metal. I own a lot of Ibanez, and I play seven strings. And I've started building amps. So taking that apart, I'll be reviewing or 'blabbering' on about metal, guitars that I like and building amps and maybe even some funky guitar customisation madness.

So here's to me, and my corner of the blog!