The Tube Amp Hack

I love the sound of tube amps! Warm tones that can only come from an analog device.

On a recent trip to my landfill, I found this old Webcor turntable in the unwanted electronics pile. Now, even though I wasn’t supposed to take things from this pile I grabbed it up and put it in my car. When I got it home I opened it up and was quite surprised to see that it was in wonderful condition and the amp still worked! The turntable section had a few issues though. The speed was off and the cartridge was junk. Rather than try to restore it I decided it was a good candidate for a hack! I made a decision to turn it into a small practice amp for guitar or bass or vocals! It ended up sounding really nice as you can hear in the track I recorded at the intro to the video.

One of the really cool things about the electronics of the 40’s to the 70’s was the inclusion of a schematic inside the unit somewhere. This was a very handy circuit reference for the repair tech to use when something needed fixing. Yes, people actually used to fix things rather than throwing them out and rushing out to buy another one like we do these days.

Enjoy the photos and video and til next time, keep on hackin!

webcor amp schematic 1

About Dino

Self taught electronics and hardware hacker.
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7 Responses to The Tube Amp Hack

  1. gizmo says:

    You know, it’s projects like this that I love to see you do. This an the motorcycle hack/fixup from a few weeks back. Keep up the great work!

    Question: did you find out if it was true stereo or mono masquerading as stereo.

  2. zpapageek says:

    Best Hack Yet – I can relate to the dump – I get yelled at every week for “borrowing” their trash.

  3. rbwilliams says:

    You are one lucky son of a gun to find that thing in such incredible condition!

    Nice, elegant hack too.

  4. Adam Ward says:

    Stealing from a dump is a victimless crime. You’re reducing the amount of evil lead seeping into the water table and thus saving the world one amp at a time.

    Great hack Dino, one of the best. Plus you’ve got some skills on the axe.

  5. steaky says:

    in the UK any electronics left at the tip (now rebranded as “recycling centre”) is separated out into a different pile, tested and sold in the onsite shop. This goes for anything else of value, like bikes, fireplaces, handtools etc.
    I guess theres a lot less space to bury junk in the ground over here.

  6. MereTenacity says:

    Too bad he took a nice stereo el84 Triode amp and made it a silly mono ‘practice amp’. Hardly a hack. A better sounding guitar amp (and hack) would be making a push-pull amp using the 2 circuts, or using it as-is for a decent hi-fi setup in a nice box. In a push-pull configuration you’d get a beefy 10 – 17w amp with better tone and breakup for a guitar amp over the 3w you are getting in it’s current configuration.

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