Time to Build The Amp

I have most of the parts collected and it is time to start putting this beat together. I ordered stainless steel hardware from Bolt Depot. I go as heavy as I can on the hardware and every nut and bolt is stainless. I also use Nyloc nuts where ever possible so the amp stays together when vibrating during transport or at loud volume. To quote Spinal Tap, “Heavy Duty – Brings out the duty in my soul.”

I inserted the 1/2″ and 3/8″ rubber grommets in the chassis that prevent the output transformer and choke wires from rubbing on metal. I got these and many parts from Valvestorm. They have a very cool 50 watt checklist of parts. This list does need to be slightly modified for a 2204 circuit.

I bolted in a Merren 1202-118 power transformer with #8-32 x 2-1/2″ bolts and Nyloc Nuts. I put three grounding lugs on the bottom right bolt.
***Correction*** I later moved the ground lugs to the bottom left bolt and used only two.

I bolted in a Merren 784-139 output transformer with #12-24 x 1/2″ bolts and Nyloc nuts.

I bolted in a Marstran 1999 choke with #12-24 x 1/2″ bolts Nyloc nuts. I used a tapered reamer to widen the holes just a bit.

I bolted in Amphenol Bakelite power tube sockets. Chris Merren (transformer supplier) insisted that I used Bakelite sockets as he swears they improve the tone. Who am I to argue? He sent an eBay link and I purchased them right away. I did have to use a Dremel with a wire brush to clean up the terminals. They are pretty tough to get centered in the tube socket holes just right as they use a spring clip. I used #6-32 x 3/8″ stainless bolts and Nyloc nuts.

I bolted in Cinch Bakelite 9-pin tube sockets for the remaining tubes. I used #4-40 x 3/8″ stainless bolts and Nyloc nuts.

I used a drill to twist a black and red pair of 18 gauge PTFE wire for wiring the heaters. These went from the 6.3V heater terminals on the power transformer to pins 2 and 7 on the power tube sockets and pins 4/5 and 9 on the preamp tube sockets. This takes a long time to get neat. I cursed many times getting them perfect.

I bolted in 3/4″ stainless standoffs with #6-32 x 3/8″ machine screws to support the circuit board. I had to custom drill these for my unique circuit board. I put a ground lug on the standoff closest to the input jacks for grounding.
***Correction*** I changed these from 3/8″ to 3/4″ in height to provide more wire clearance under the board. I also moved them over by one hole (3/8″) closer to the power transformer for more accurate circuit board mounting.