So my amp building experience started with the Tube Amps Doctor 5E3 clone. I've built since quite a few amps that will be subject to another posts, but now lets get back to the Glide String Ringer.
Collecting information on Dumble amplifiers is a rather involved task requiring a lot of patience and a lot of reading. This would not have been possible without the brilliant amp building community at www.ampagarage.com. Besides few glitches here and there, this is probably the best web forum out there - knowledgeable people, connected by a common passion, willing to share - what one could possibly want more? It should be noted though that it is expected from every member to contribute, not only 'use the goodies'.
So it started with collecting the available schematics, looking at the very few photos available of different Steel String Singer (SSS) models (again - each Steel String Singer is different from the next - which makes it both difficult and a nice challenge from builders perspective). Meanwhile, I found that a nice member of ampagarage.com, posted a great SSS based layout, mixing elements from various Steel String Singer models with 3 tube reverb, often found in higher range Two Rock amps, such as the Custom Reverb Signature. As sometimes happens, the layouts of particularly complicated amps - at least their first versions - have few unwitting mistakes, which is clearly identified by each layout author. I've posted few not so complicated and still had some "oops" moments, so I know :)
Hence, it is definitely not recommended to start building without any prior knowledge on how a tube amp operates and some rather detailed knowledge on what can go wrong.
To cut what easily can be made a whole book here are the amp specs:
Rather unique features
The features that make SSS standing out of the crowd are:
- it utilizes cathode follower to drive the power tubes (into Class AB2) - a rather intricate feature that is said to add significantly to the hi-fi mojo of the amp.
- high and low filters that are implemented through 6 position (they vary from 5 to 11 in various SSS builds) switches that go through selected fixed resistor and fixed capacitors values. Very useful to accommodate different guitars, cabs, venues, playing and music styles.
- 5 x 12AX7 - preamp tubes, 1 is used for the two gain stages, 2 for reverb send/return, 1 phase inverter and 1 cathode follower. I used a mix of various brands that sound best to me.
- 1 x 12AT7 - used as reverb driver
- 4 x 6L6WGC - TAD - TAD tubes seem to sound very good with this amp. I tried my trusty long time favorites - Russian NOS 6P3S-EV, some NOS Phillips 6L6GC and JJs, but TADs beat them all. Only time will tell what would be their durability, but out of my long experience with this brand, they seem to hold well over time.
- Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, High and Low Filters, Reverb send and return, Master Volume
- Bright, Deep and Rock/Jazz switches
Photos Scroll to sounds
No post will be complete without sound samples, so here you go.
To myself critique - I haven't managed yet to capture the sheer punch and controlled bottom end that you can feel and hear in the room while playing the amp.