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Wizard MTL Clone Build Thread - FINISHED 1/26!! 
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GuitarBilly wrote:
This looks amazing Steve. This is my favorite kind of thread. I have no building skills so I just live vicariously through you guys :lol;

:thu: Anyone can do this though... you could no problem...

Steve

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Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:18 am
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sah5150 wrote:
GuitarBilly wrote:
This looks amazing Steve. This is my favorite kind of thread. I have no building skills so I just live vicariously through you guys :lol;

:thu: Anyone can do this though... you could no problem...

Steve


Says the guy who builds amps for a living.

JFC, it looks beautiful.


Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:01 am
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Bonano wrote:
sah5150 wrote:
GuitarBilly wrote:
This looks amazing Steve. This is my favorite kind of thread. I have no building skills so I just live vicariously through you guys :lol;

:thu: Anyone can do this though... you could no problem...

Steve


Says the guy who builds amps for a living.

JFC, it looks beautiful.



Ha!



I would never, not in a million years, attempt something like this!
T

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Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:57 am
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Love this thread!!! :rawk: :rawk: :rawk: :rawk: :rawk:

Man, I wish I had the time to build a Wizard... or the money to buy a used one!

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Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:25 pm
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mctallica1 wrote:
Bonano wrote:
sah5150 wrote:
GuitarBilly wrote:
This looks amazing Steve. This is my favorite kind of thread. I have no building skills so I just live vicariously through you guys :lol;

:thu: Anyone can do this though... you could no problem...

Steve


Says the guy who builds amps for a living.

JFC, it looks beautiful.



Ha!



I would never, not in a million years, attempt something like this!
T

You guys are far more capable of this than you think you are.

Steve

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Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:51 pm
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Got all the controls in, the front and back plates are on and the grounding lugs are in. The back panel will need some adhesive on the far side as there are no controls there to hold it on...

You can see the places on the top and inside the chassis where I had to grind off excess steel because the gold color is gone in those places - no big deal to me...

To a large degree, I'm just making sure everything fits and in this case, the pots did not, so I had to ream out the holes a very small amount. If I need to take something off to solder later because it's in the way, I'll do it when I need to - I haven't tightened anything down too much except for the pots, which won't need to be removed. The LED bezels are in and when the LED assemblies are done, they'll just push right into the bezels.

Here is what the amp will look like when complete:

Image
Image

Here are all the controls in:

Image
Image
Image

Here's detail on all the push/pull switching pots I'm using. The DPDT, I only need one half of for the channel switching:

Image

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Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:10 pm
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Looking good Steve!!!

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Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:53 pm
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:thu:

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Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:56 am
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Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:07 am
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sah5150 wrote:
GuitarBilly wrote:
This looks amazing Steve. This is my favorite kind of thread. I have no building skills so I just live vicariously through you guys :lol;

:thu: Anyone can do this though... you could no problem...

Steve


A little story: Trinity Amps in Toronto put on a little build class one weekend. I was on that like a fat kid on a smartie. Unfortunately, it was VERY poorly organized. They supply a kit for a Little Tri-Watt amp. The build was pretty simple, and instructions were good, and I was one of the first to get my amp completed. I was very meticulous with everything, and I've been soldering since I was about 9 years old so I'm pretty confident that my build was good. One of the "instructors" came over and we powered up the amp using a variac? Nothing. Dead as a doornail. And that was it. The instructor simply shrugged and abandoned me. I spent the rest of the time checking and rechecking connections, etc. But never did find the problem, and never got any assistance from the so-called instructor. I think at the end of the class, maybe 3 or 4 people had completed amps that actually made noise.

So my point is that following instructions and a layout is pretty damn easy, but diagnosing an issue is not easy for someone that has only a rudimentary understanding of electronics.

I also learned that Trinity amp are a joke and will never give them another cent of my money.


Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:32 am
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ZEEGLER wrote:
sah5150 wrote:
GuitarBilly wrote:
This looks amazing Steve. This is my favorite kind of thread. I have no building skills so I just live vicariously through you guys :lol;

:thu: Anyone can do this though... you could no problem...

Steve


A little story: Trinity Amps in Toronto put on a little build class one weekend. I was on that like a fat kid on a smartie. Unfortunately, it was VERY poorly organized. They supply a kit for a Little Tri-Watt amp. The build was pretty simple, and instructions were good, and I was one of the first to get my amp completed. I was very meticulous with everything, and I've been soldering since I was about 9 years old so I'm pretty confident that my build was good. One of the "instructors" came over and we powered up the amp using a variac? Nothing. Dead as a doornail. And that was it. The instructor simply shrugged and abandoned me. I spent the rest of the time checking and rechecking connections, etc. But never did find the problem, and never got any assistance from the so-called instructor. I think at the end of the class, maybe 3 or 4 people had completed amps that actually made noise.

So my point is that following instructions and a layout is pretty damn easy, but diagnosing an issue is not easy for someone that has only a rudimentary understanding of electronics.

I also learned that Trinity amp are a joke and will never give them another cent of my money.

That sounds like an awful experience! I took the Egnater Seminar back in '08 and it was awesome. We built a 50W Marshall mod type amp and everyone who attended walked out with a working amp. The board and a few other things were already done for us, but we still got to do a lot - my group was pretty fast, everyone had working amps by 7PM or so. Mine and a few other guy's amps worked as soon as we were done. Some took longer, but Bruce helped debug them personally. The second day of the class was all theory, which was great for me. Awesome, well run experience...

Steve

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Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:45 pm
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sah5150 wrote:
ZEEGLER wrote:
sah5150 wrote:
GuitarBilly wrote:
This looks amazing Steve. This is my favorite kind of thread. I have no building skills so I just live vicariously through you guys :lol;

:thu: Anyone can do this though... you could no problem...

Steve


A little story: Trinity Amps in Toronto put on a little build class one weekend. I was on that like a fat kid on a smartie. Unfortunately, it was VERY poorly organized. They supply a kit for a Little Tri-Watt amp. The build was pretty simple, and instructions were good, and I was one of the first to get my amp completed. I was very meticulous with everything, and I've been soldering since I was about 9 years old so I'm pretty confident that my build was good. One of the "instructors" came over and we powered up the amp using a variac? Nothing. Dead as a doornail. And that was it. The instructor simply shrugged and abandoned me. I spent the rest of the time checking and rechecking connections, etc. But never did find the problem, and never got any assistance from the so-called instructor. I think at the end of the class, maybe 3 or 4 people had completed amps that actually made noise.

So my point is that following instructions and a layout is pretty damn easy, but diagnosing an issue is not easy for someone that has only a rudimentary understanding of electronics.

I also learned that Trinity amp are a joke and will never give them another cent of my money.

That sounds like an awful experience! I took the Egnater Seminar back in '08 and it was awesome. We built a 50W Marshall mod type amp and everyone who attended walked out with a working amp. The board and a few other things were already done for us, but we still got to do a lot - my group was pretty fast, everyone had working amps by 7PM or so. Mine and a few other guy's amps worked as soon as we were done. Some took longer, but Bruce helped debug them personally. The second day of the class was all theory, which was great for me. Awesome, well run experience...

Steve


I really want to do that amp building course.... kinda bucket list deal for me.... looks like a good time with some useful information.


Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:48 pm
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sah5150 wrote:
mhenson42 wrote:
The other difference from a real MTL is the rhythm channel has a bright knob in the back vs. the pull on the clone. I find the MTL sounds best with the brights set around 3:00, so I’d make that pull be aggressive.

The MTL that was blueprinted and the clone boards were made from does not have a bright knob on the back. I think the newer ones do...

Here are pictures of the MTL that was cloned:


Steve


Yeah. That one is older than mine. Mine is a mid-2016. I know he did some updates for 2016, then again in 2017 and 2019. I also have a 2019 with KT88s and different transformer, so there are obvious tonal differences due to that, but otherwise, I'm not sure what all is different.

The clone is looking good though :thu:

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Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:42 pm
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sah5150 wrote:
ZEEGLER wrote:
sah5150 wrote:
GuitarBilly wrote:
This looks amazing Steve. This is my favorite kind of thread. I have no building skills so I just live vicariously through you guys :lol;

:thu: Anyone can do this though... you could no problem...

Steve


A little story: Trinity Amps in Toronto put on a little build class one weekend. I was on that like a fat kid on a smartie. Unfortunately, it was VERY poorly organized. They supply a kit for a Little Tri-Watt amp. The build was pretty simple, and instructions were good, and I was one of the first to get my amp completed. I was very meticulous with everything, and I've been soldering since I was about 9 years old so I'm pretty confident that my build was good. One of the "instructors" came over and we powered up the amp using a variac? Nothing. Dead as a doornail. And that was it. The instructor simply shrugged and abandoned me. I spent the rest of the time checking and rechecking connections, etc. But never did find the problem, and never got any assistance from the so-called instructor. I think at the end of the class, maybe 3 or 4 people had completed amps that actually made noise.

So my point is that following instructions and a layout is pretty damn easy, but diagnosing an issue is not easy for someone that has only a rudimentary understanding of electronics.

I also learned that Trinity amp are a joke and will never give them another cent of my money.

That sounds like an awful experience! I took the Egnater Seminar back in '08 and it was awesome. We built a 50W Marshall mod type amp and everyone who attended walked out with a working amp. The board and a few other things were already done for us, but we still got to do a lot - my group was pretty fast, everyone had working amps by 7PM or so. Mine and a few other guy's amps worked as soon as we were done. Some took longer, but Bruce helped debug them personally. The second day of the class was all theory, which was great for me. Awesome, well run experience...

Steve


I was close to doing the Egnater course, but this one was closer and cheaper. They didn't go into theory at all. Waste of time and money. I should have done the Egnater course.


Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:00 pm
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Enjoying watching the build. This looks awesome.

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Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:31 am
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Looks pretty sweet!

I have also thought about doing the Egnater course. Only a couple hour drive for me... Maybe as a birthday gift to myself in a couple years.


Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:56 am
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MacaroniSalad wrote:
Looks pretty sweet!

I have also thought about doing the Egnater course. Only a couple hour drive for me... Maybe as a birthday gift to myself in a couple years.

Me and my brother really wanted to take the class together. I would still like to do it to at least get some familiarity with the insides of an amp.

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Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:25 am
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I can whole heartedly recommend the Egnater seminar also. Even though part of the amp is done for you, it still takes a lot of time to do. It’s a very rewarding experience. There’s no way to retain everything Bruce talks about on the second day but you’ll learn a lot all the same. Plus the actual amp you get is bad ass. Hot rodded Marshall tones, 50 (EL34) or 20 (6V6) builds and some cool tone shaping options outside of the standard EQ controls (some mini toggles for bass response, midrange response, treble response and a gain boost). If you guys get the chance to do it, I realize it’s not cheap to plan a travel weekend just to do an amp but I recommend it all the same.

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Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:15 pm
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Update 12/14

Had a chance to do a little work yesterday. Got my transformer and choke wires sorted, then wired up the On/Off and Standby switches. I also capped off and zip tied up the unnecessary wires from the PT primary...

I also did the first heater connections to the V9 power tube from the power transformer. What a pain in the ass! Mercury magnetics equipped this transformer with these black tubes for the heater wires. First of all, the outer wrapping is some crappy plastic-coated cloth material and when you cut it, even with something very sharp, it frays ands looks like crap. I ended up putting some shrink wrap over the ends where the wire meets the tube to clean it up because nothing else was working. Also, they decided to cover the 14 gauge ( :eek: ) solid core wire with some candy apple red insulation that I could not get off. Didn't even know it was there until I cut the wires because the ends that protruded initially did not have the insulation. I ended up calling Mercury Magnetics and they told me to either put the ends in a solder pot (impossible once the transformer is installed) or to grind the insulation off with a Dremel. Seriously? :mad: anyway, that's what I had to do.

I also added a small terminal strip above V8 to connect the OT CT/Choke to and then I'll run a wire from there to the HT fuse holder. The OT/Choke wires are too short to run directly to the fuse holder and there is nowhere to connect them on the board.

You'll also see that I have bent down some of the pins on the power tube sockets. I did this so I can run parallel heater wires (instead of twisting them) since I'm using the DC-elevated AC heater option. Makes the build super clean and in my research, it should not result in any more hum than the twisted approach - grounding scheme being more important. I'll do the heaters next and post some pics...

Anyway, here is where I'm at:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Steve

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Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:14 pm
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Great work Steve. Can't wait to hear this thing when it's finished. Wizards are amazing!!!

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Digitech GSP1101


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Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:32 pm
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:thu:

I LOVE build threads. I don't know why :lol:

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Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:19 am
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These threads always make me want to start learning to do this stuff. It will be very interesting to hear the final product and find out how close it comes.


Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:36 am
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GuitarBilly wrote:
Great work Steve. Can't wait to hear this thing when it's finished. Wizards are amazing!!!

Yeah dude - I'm really looking forward to hearing it too!

Steve

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Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:15 pm
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IndyWS6 wrote:
:thu:

I LOVE build threads. I don't know why :lol:

'Cause builds look awesome as they're coming together!

Steve

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Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:16 pm
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Bardagh wrote:
These threads always make me want to start learning to do this stuff. It will be very interesting to hear the final product and find out how close it comes.

There are so many great resources available now that anyone can learn to do this stuff - go for it!

Steve

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