I did plug the amp in, wedge the black wire of the multimeter into a nook and get on with safely single handedly testing the fear voltages. I had to wait till $Landlord was around because I didn’t know where the breakers for the electrickery were. With his great advice about where the rings were and which were the most expendable I was good to go. We have a NO SUNDAYS rule which I’m entirely content to abide by. Basically if there are no shops open from which we can get the bits to repair whatever we broke then we cannot afford to risk sitting in the dark till Monday. I hear it happened once during Sunday doorbell maintenance.
So, I got some lethal voltages detected in the correct places and found I’d earthed something that wasn’t supposed to be earthed (silly girl) and unearthed it. No components had taken a dive though, I’m going to claim any cooking that I did adds to the sound of the amp.
From there it was a mad rush to get all the rest of the bits forced into the tiny chassis of the “Catamp Catnip V1” as it may end up getting called. Sort of looked like this:
The second valve socket isn’t actually sorted out there, but it’s about 5 components away from completion. 5 components shouldn’t take long to get in thought I, but how wrong I was. They weave around each other in ways that are astonishingly tricky to arrange and to hold for solder. Often with two components entering a post from opposite sides where they can easily drop out whilst you’re holding your iron in your teeth and using an eyelid to poke the solder into the join. Also in order to keep insulation material on the earthing wiring, I ended up using a 4mm long bit of wire for a pin to pin contact. There is probably an easier way to do it than that. Happily I negated the need for a second 4mm wire by double sleeving a resistor leg and sliding that all the way through two pins. *phew*.
On plugging in there was complete silence and some confusion from me. After a couple of hours brain scratching and checking continuity I decided that assumption is the mother of all fuckups and that I should revise my understanding of the pinouts of the input and output sockets.
This got me to the position where I could get a bit of hum out of the amp, but no shreddy guitar sounds. Aboo. Wiggling the valves in the socket (is that sane?) got me some splutter, crackle and radio noises. Which whilst fun were a little disheartening for a tube noob with little debug skills.
Anyway, long story short after a LOT of plugging in and out of valves, VERY close inspection of joints and an hour and a half with some cooling tea and a multimeter I found the solder joint I’d cocked up and fixed it. Valves back in, heaters running and knobs half cranked I nearly blew my face out Marty style:
So, as of today I’m running this guy as a mini half stack, RG550 into a POD1 (in leu of the overdrive stompbox I’m going to be building next) into the G2 amp head, into an Orange PPC 108 cab. It absolutely SCREAMS. I’m going to get my Logic Pro rig together over the next week or so and shove an SM57 in front of this setup and see how large it sounds. It’s LOUD.