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Discussion in 'DIY Amp Forum' started by Strat Jacket, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Senior Stratmaster

    May 11, 2018
    Illinois

  2. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 28, 2011
    Pawnee, Indiana
    I'm confused as to what I should be confused about.
    :)
    Is that a great deal, or a bad deal? I'm not much of an amp guy.
     
    ZlurkCorzDog and stratman323 like this.

  3. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    Oh yeah, there are lots of kits around for the early Fender amps, and they're all expensive as heck. That's why I just built my '57 Princeton from parts on hand, a Hammond chassis, and a couple transformers and parts I didn't have. It totaled about $200.
     
    abnormaltoy and amstratnut like this.

  4. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    By the way, Jimgchord here builds amazing tweed-era amps in beautiful wooden cabinets and sells them for less than those kits.
     
    circles likes this.

  5. pwhite

    pwhite Strat-Talker

    390
    May 24, 2015
    South Carolina
    The 5E3 kit is a little pricey but if you look at the kit its fairly nice, good transformers nice cabinet and decent speaker. Boothill kits are in the 300 range with no cab, speaker or transformers. Cab is 3/4 pine not plywood, cts pots, switchcraft jacks. I see other kits in that range all the time. You can always source everything like others said but it's pita sometimes to get 1 component you may have to buy 5 or 10 in a package and that crap adds up.
     
    rich815 likes this.

  6. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Senior Stratmaster

    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    You could buy 3 of the Monoprice Stage Right 15W tube amps fully assembled and shipped to your door for the price of that kit. You could buy a brand-new Blues Jr. for the price of that kit. They always complain that the only way to bring about lower pricing is to use offshore labor in sweatshops...these kits don't even USE labor other that the time it takes to stuff parts in a box and stick a label on it. I was fully expecting (especially with their "SAVE 20% gig) to see these kits well under 200 bucks. How stupid do they think we consumers are?
     

  7. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    Well, some of the kits do come with a cabinet that's probably made offshore. Mass production is an amazing thing. If you get 20,000 of something made, the price comes way down. The kits are low volume and don't get to take advantage of that.

    If you compare the price of something like a 1957 Champ in like-new condition to one of these kits, it makes a little more sense. Not a lot though.

    And I'm well aware that my 15w Monoprice amp, with its ability to do a live gig, its reverb, effects loop, integral speaker, etc., for $160 delivered, was a better value than the '57 Princeton clone I built for $200, which had quite a few parts in it that came from my parts collection.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    Strat Jacket likes this.

  8. Chasy

    Chasy Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    449
    Jun 7, 2018
    Danbury CT
    I really dont see what the issue is. A blues jr, is not a tweed. These kits are low volume. If you piece it together what happens to me at least is you start buying the best parts and it adds up quick. I'd be more concerned that these are rebranded mojotones. If that's the case, I'd rather have the mojotone.
     

  9. sumran

    sumran Fan of Leo

    Mar 7, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    That is a lower price than I would expect. You can’t buy the components for that money. I would not use that speaker. It should be an alnico for this amp. I would not use fiberboard for my eyelet board. It is authentic but problematic in my high humidity region. Regardless of those gripes, it is a good value. If you try to build a tweed deluxe clone for less than they are asking, good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    RJ Squirrel and Strat Jacket like this.

  10. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Senior Stratmaster

    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    I completely agree about the cost of individual components...but that's not the matter at hand. They are promoting this as a great deal because YOU provide all the labor needed to build a '59 Tweed...yet it's not a '59 Tweed. It's a 2018 Heathkit 'tweed replica', basically. The final quality and outcome are totally dependent on your soldering, assembly and electronic skills. Add 20% to the already high price of this kit and you are are entering high quality tube amp territory. Amps worth a whole lot more in resale that a replica you built.
    I 'get' the whole do-it-yourself/satisfaction thing, but it should not come at a price equal to or greater than already assembled, tested and warranted products IMHO.
     
    CephasG likes this.

  11. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    47
    Jan 8, 2016
    philadelphia
    I would source out the chassis and box.
    The rest i would handle myself.
    There are tons of schematics and layout diagrams for all sorts of amps.
    You can build something as cheaply as you like, or you could spec it out with all top notch components.
    That's not the most cost effective thing to do. Monoprice or whoever can build it much cheaper than i ever could.
    But that's not really the point of building your own dream amp.
     
    Strat Jacket likes this.

  12. archetype

    archetype Strat-O-Master

    744
    Nov 26, 2016
    Williamsville NY
    The Monoprice and BJ sound good, but they don't sound or behave anything like a 5E3 Deluxe. The 5E3 has characteristics unlike any other amp, even other Fender tweeds.

    The pricing on this one isn't out of line for 5E3 kits. There are several kit makers and pricing usually includes the costs of superior and often US-made components that are essential to 5E3 tone. I'll build one, someday, and will pay a premium to receive all the components together in a single box.
     
    dante1963 likes this.

  13. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    Heatkits were not bargains either. I remember very well that in the '70s, Heath defenders always saying that the end result was a much higher quality item than you could buy in stores ready made, so the high cost was justified.

    I built a couple Heathkits, and looked at it as getting assembly technician experience and having fun. There was one big advantage to a Heatkit, and that was if something needed service, it was very likely I could easily do it myself, since I knew where everything was, and had a thick manual and detailed schematics that explained how it all worked. The experience, fun, and ability to repair, apply to these amp kits too.
     
    westonmitch and Strat Jacket like this.

  14. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Senior Stratmaster

    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    Well, maybe I'm off base with my thinking here, as most of you think this is not a bad deal. Personally though, I would never drop that sort of coin on something I had to put together myself, especially when the outcome is completely unknown.
     
    CephasG and nickmsmith like this.

  15. archetype

    archetype Strat-O-Master

    744
    Nov 26, 2016
    Williamsville NY
    All perspectives are valid on this. 99% of players don't want to build an amp, and that's fine.
     

  16. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    No, your thinking is valid. It's a lot of money, and as archetype said, it's only justified for a small number of people.
     
    westonmitch likes this.

  17. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.

  18. RJ Squirrel

    RJ Squirrel Strat-Talker

    Age:
    64
    427
    Jan 28, 2018
    Frostbite Falls
    If you add up the component cost, it's not that far off. US made transformers plus a pine tweed covered cabinet alone would be close to $400. When you add in the tubes, speaker, and small parts it closes in on the kit price fairly rapidly. The kit is not for everyone. For an amateur builder that wants to build an amp with a vintage tweed circuit, it's not a bad deal. It saves a lot of time and shipping costs if one were to independently source the components. Plus the kit includes documentation to guide the builder in the construction of the amp. This is where the kit adds real value IMO. It's kind of like building a parts caster. Why spend $1000 buying a body, neck, pickups, hardware, etc. when you can get a new squire bullet for $150?
     

  19. Strat Jacket

    Strat Jacket Senior Stratmaster

    May 11, 2018
    Illinois
    Mainly because your partscaster can end up the equivalent of a CS American Standard if you choose your components wisely. A Squier Bullet is a...well, a Squier Bullet.
    I wouldn't pay $750.00 for a Squier Bullet kit either.
     
    RJ Squirrel likes this.

  20. RJ Squirrel

    RJ Squirrel Strat-Talker

    Age:
    64
    427
    Jan 28, 2018
    Frostbite Falls
    Like I said, the kit is not for everyone. It has quality components, and if properly assembled, can end up the equivalent of a vintage tweed. Hence my analogy to the partscaster and the Squire Bullet.
     
    westonmitch and Strat Jacket like this.