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    Mkiic+ preamp build.

    Whilst I'm still waiting on the enclosure for the previous preamp I thought I'd get started on another build.

    Mkiic+ using Bancikas flexible pcb design.

    The board is well laid out for a wide range of different parts so I'll have to figure out which holes I need to drill for what I have or just drill them all and have empty holes (I'll probably do this to save time)

    I'll probably throw a boost, loop, reverb & 5 band on this just because I can. Maybe a recto style presence too.

    Completely undecided on what to build it in but I'll choose that later depending how some 3d prints I asked for turn out.

    All I've done so far is etch the board and still need to trim it down a little.

    Will get it drilled and populated later today hopefully while my son is at drama class.

    The black marks are marker where I started marking which holes to drill but I got bored and gave up.

    Click image for larger version

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    #2
    Finished drilling it. Took forever. Click image for larger version

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      #3
      What you use to mask it for etching? Just the old laser printer and glossy paper thing?

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        #4
        Originally posted by JJ Rodriguez View Post
        What you use to mask it for etching? Just the old laser printer and glossy paper thing?
        Laser printer and matte photo paper.

        I find with the glossy stuff it tends to peel the toner off more.

        With the matte you can just rub the paper away with your finger after soaking it.

        Also with some printers you can use baking /greaseproof paper.

        That works best as when you iron it the paper peels away when the toner leaves so its really easy to know you've got a solid transfer.

        With a lot of printers though the toner doesn't cool fast enough and smears.
        ​​​​​​ My current dell one can't print on it well at all.
        Last edited by Tony; 07-25-2021, 12:42 PM.

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          #5
          Click image for larger version

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            #6
            As someone who does a lot of soldering, any recommendations for a soldering iron? I'm on my 4th one and I'm nowhere near the solderer that you are. I had to run out to Harbor Freight to buy one yesterday because the X-Tronic I *just* received for my current project had the heating element break while working on my project.

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              #7
              Originally posted by scole View Post
              As someone who does a lot of soldering, any recommendations for a soldering iron? I'm on my 4th one and I'm nowhere near the solderer that you are. I had to run out to Harbor Freight to buy one yesterday because the X-Tronic I *just* received for my current project had the heating element break while working on my project.
              To be honest I go through them so fast I stopped buying expensive ones.

              The key thing to save the heating element is to get one that has an auto off feature.

              Current using one of these and it's held up well so far and doesn't have any cold spots on the tips.

              https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07X3CZ3...ing=UTF8&psc=1

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                #8
                Click image for larger version  Name:	DSC_0036.JPG Views:	3 Size:	3.27 MB ID:	20866

                Did a little more and widened up the holes for the valves.

                Now I've got to wait for bits I ordered wrong (forgot to copy the product code when making the BOM so I ordered 3 560ohm 3w instead of one and 2x 2.2k 3w

                Also just realised I haven't drilled the mounting holes out.... That's going to be fun.
                Last edited by Tony; 07-25-2021, 08:49 PM.

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                  #9
                  Watching with interest.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    When you say Bancikas design, is that a PCB layout software or someone who did a design for a PCB for this?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Nevermind, found it

                      https://bancika.github.io/diy-layout-creator/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by JJ Rodriguez View Post
                        Sorry I thought I linked it. Yes he makes that software but also designed the board layout.

                        http://diy-fever.com/amps/mesa-mark-iic-pcb/

                        Has got some neat builds on there.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Awesome, thanks man, I'll check it out.

                          I also just ordered some more bits and bobs from Mouser to complete my second AX84 build, was missing a few caps and resistors since they got used elsewhere. Might attempt a big boy amp after that.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by JJ Rodriguez View Post
                            Awesome, thanks man, I'll check it out.

                            I also just ordered some more bits and bobs from Mouser to complete my second AX84 build, was missing a few caps and resistors since they got used elsewhere. Might attempt a big boy amp after that.
                            What are you thinking? Headfirst have some great boards currently. Wizard stuff, Vh4 etc

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                              #15
                              Not too sure really. I don't own a SLO/Mesa/5150 style amp, unless you count the modded MP1. I have yet to build the Anvil because I still have to harass my wife to design the front panel so I can drill/powder coat/screen print the front and back panels.

                              I've been watching a lot of his videos on Youtube, didn't actually know he sold boards and whatnot, I'll have to see what he has there. Ideally I'd like to just build preamps I guess, would fit nicer with the RoD and considering that the 2/90/2 is a top tier power amp, might be best to just stick with that

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                                #16
                                Originally posted by JJ Rodriguez View Post
                                Not too sure really. I don't own a SLO/Mesa/5150 style amp, unless you count the modded MP1. I have yet to build the Anvil because I still have to harass my wife to design the front panel so I can drill/powder coat/screen print the front and back panels.

                                I've been watching a lot of his videos on Youtube, didn't actually know he sold boards and whatnot, I'll have to see what he has there. Ideally I'd like to just build preamps I guess, would fit nicer with the RoD and considering that the 2/90/2 is a top tier power amp, might be best to just stick with that
                                Follow his Facebook page. Everyone's currently pestering him to do preamp boards add to the noise.

                                Of course you could just use any amp board and stop at the PI.

                                The anvil should mostly cover the SLO itch few circuit differences but easy enough to change between the two.

                                As for the rectifier

                                https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MOD-Mesa-...-127632-2357-0

                                Also back to the anvil. Get the boards populated and remove the front /rear and get building the rest. I demand a build thread!
                                Last edited by Tony; 07-31-2021, 01:05 AM.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  That's what I was thinking, maybe do the VH4 but stop at the PI. I probably should build at least 1 head (other than AX84) just so I can get a feel for doing the push/pull thing vs just a SE amp, then continue building up the RoD until it consumes all.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Tony View Post

                                    Sorry I thought I linked it. Yes he makes that software but also designed the board layout.

                                    http://diy-fever.com/amps/mesa-mark-iic-pcb/

                                    Has got some neat builds on there.
                                    That site is great! Looking forward to seeing your build progress. I'm planning my first amp build later for in the yr. It's getting to hard to find the parts for the pedals i want to build. So the semiconductor shortage is the perfect excuse to jump into amp builds. Still not set on a circuit but have some ideas.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by spilla View Post

                                      That site is great! Looking forward to seeing your build progress. I'm planning my first amp build later for in the yr. It's getting to hard to find the parts for the pedals i want to build. So the semiconductor shortage is the perfect excuse to jump into amp builds. Still not set on a circuit but have some ideas.
                                      The only thing on the amp side I've had difficulty getting was 3w resistors in smaller values and relays.

                                      If you need any ideas /sources etc let me know.

                                      I recently drew up a board for the fortin meshuggah. I'll get around to that one day!

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                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Tony View Post

                                        Follow his Facebook page. Everyone's currently pestering him to do preamp boards add to the noise.

                                        Of course you could just use any amp board and stop at the PI.

                                        The anvil should mostly cover the SLO itch few circuit differences but easy enough to change between the two.

                                        As for the rectifier

                                        https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MOD-Mesa-...-127632-2357-0

                                        Also back to the anvil. Get the boards populated and remove the front /rear and get building the rest. I demand a build thread!
                                        Do you know much info about these Tony? I'm still looking at possibly doing a build, and on the fence between the vh4 pedal clone or one of these.

                                        Are these kits decent? I don't see much info about them anywhere

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                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by Adam View Post

                                          Do you know much info about these Tony? I'm still looking at possibly doing a build, and on the fence between the vh4 pedal clone or one of these.

                                          Are these kits decent? I don't see much info about them anywhere
                                          I had a discussion with them. They're primarily a hifi company but did that on request.

                                          I have the schematic somewhere and only had a quick glance over it and nothing jumped out at me.

                                          The only difference is rather than 12ax7 it uses Russian military 6n2p valves which are identical function wise but the heater wiring is different and they have a lower nose floor due to a shield between the triode.

                                          You could wire it for 12ax7 or use converter adapters but 6n2p are £10 for ten or something daft like that.

                                          Definitely worth a shot if you ask me. It's in my to do list. The seller is pretty fast at answering questions.

                                          Parts look decent from the pics etc

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            Originally posted by Tony View Post
                                            If you need any ideas /sources etc let me know.
                                            Any tips on saving money? Seeing the price of amp kits is scaring me. Is it the same as pedals ie. kits cost way more than sourcing the parts yourself? Im in Aus, so i try to get most of my parts from one supplier, other wise shipping kills me. Also what suppliers do you recommend? Ive mainly been using tayda for my pedal builds

                                            Comment


                                              #23
                                              Originally posted by spilla View Post

                                              Any tips on saving money? Seeing the price of amp kits is scaring me. Is it the same as pedals ie. kits cost way more than sourcing the parts yourself? Im in Aus, so i try to get most of my parts from one supplier, other wise shipping kills me. Also what suppliers do you recommend? Ive mainly been using tayda for my pedal builds
                                              Not buying kits is the best way to save money. Unless it comes to ceriatone who's shipping will probably be far better for you being closer than I am no idea how they get the prices so low as everything is decent quality.

                                              Got a son of Yeti kit from them for £400 which worked out £120 cheaper than just buying the chassis and sourcing everything else my self.

                                              With regards to parts I use mouser or Farnell. Generally the cheapest. Also don't go for big brand transformers, heyboer, Mercury etc. They aren't any better than the cheaper brands and most of the price is just brand tax.

                                              Comment


                                                #24
                                                Did some thinking on this. Originally I was going to cram it into a 25x30x7cm desktop enclosure because I couldn't be bothered cutting holes for sliders.

                                                I'm still not going to buy ive decided to bung it into a 15cm deep 2u rack with two rows of pots as follows

                                                -Volume, treble, middle, bass, lead drive, clean master, lead master, reverb

                                                - drive, tone, volume - 5band eq

                                                Keep it nice and even.

                                                Undecided whether to have toggles or push pulls for bright, deep, boost/reverb/eq on etc

                                                If I go with push pull I may as well do the lead drive as one to change the channel.

                                                Comment


                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by Tony View Post

                                                  Not buying kits is the best way to save money. Unless it comes to ceriatone who's shipping will probably be far better for you being closer than I am no idea how they get the prices so low as everything is decent quality.

                                                  Got a son of Yeti kit from them for £400 which worked out £120 cheaper than just buying the chassis and sourcing everything else my self.
                                                  Thanks man! What reverb are thinking of putting in? Im almost positive my first build will have reverb.

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