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Anyone interested in custom Tweed style amps?
Old 8th February 2017
  #31
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
Maybe make only clones of the most desirable, expensive and rarest old Fenders, like the Vibroverb 1-15 and the 4-10 Bassman (there's no shortage of tweed Champs in the world). Make em dead-on authentic (even create a logo that looks like old Fender), and then sell them as cheaply as possible, like in the range of the average amp buyer, i.e. under a grand. Then go to every guitar show you can get to, and pitch the hell of them as being hand wired authentic clones at affordable prices. Find a way to market that point with honest and legitimate ad copy and professional looking brochures.

If that's possible (maybe not at the needed price point) you might create a niche market. I know I'd buy a Vibroverb clone for under a grand at a show, if it looked and sounded authentic, was under a grand brand new, and I felt I could trust the quality. Have examples of your point-to-point work on display. Put re-coned old JBL's in 'em (you can find those for around 60-80 bucks blown, and re-cone em yourself).

If you're priced up there with all of the clones, you are drowning in a sea of massive supply/little demand. Clone builders for these come and go, like Hayes and Texas, but cost is the key. Low cost with high quality makes it a possibility in this environment... although that may, itself, not be possible. "Make em, and they will come" is not going to happen.

Just a few thoughts to ponder
Old 9th February 2017
  #32
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Maybe make only clones of the most desirable, expensive and rarest old Fenders, like the Vibroverb 1-15 and the 4-10 Bassman (there's no shortage of tweed Champs in the world). Make em dead-on authentic (even create a logo that looks like old Fender), and then sell them as cheaply as possible, like in the range of the average amp buyer, i.e. under a grand. Then go to every guitar show you can get to, and pitch the hell of them as being hand wired authentic clones at affordable prices. Find a way to market that point with honest and legitimate ad copy and professional looking brochures.

If that's possible (maybe not at the needed price point) you might create a niche market. I know I'd buy a Vibroverb clone for under a grand at a show, if it looked and sounded authentic, was under a grand brand new, and I felt I could trust the quality. Have examples of your point-to-point work on display. Put re-coned old JBL's in 'em (you can find those for around 60-80 bucks blown, and re-cone em yourself).

If you're priced up there with all of the clones, you are drowning in a sea of massive supply/little demand. Clone builders for these come and go, like Hayes and Texas, but cost is the key. Low cost with high quality makes it a possibility in this environment... although that may, itself, not be possible. "Make em, and they will come" is not going to happen.

Just a few thoughts to ponder
Like grumphh has pointed out, the people who are looking for 'authenticity' are really hard to please, even if you manage to nail it 100% which would require a lot of time investment, including actually buying the original, and you would still not succeed.
Even 2 same vintage amps don't sound exactly the same, especially with huge tolerances of the old days and the decaying components. A lot of these vintage amps desperately need some of the parts replaced - so they don't even sound like when they were made.
IMHO going for authenticity AND lowest possible price is crazy.
Btw - looking at the schematic of the Vibroverb, I could build it under 1000 bucks... but then I wouldn't want to sell it

My idea was making amps how I like them, not 100% clones... making tweed clones is just a way to learn and create a portfolio.
I do plan to make something fancier, like a Bassman head.
Old 9th February 2017
  #33
Lives for gear
 
grumphh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthon View Post
My idea was making amps how I like them, not 100% clones...
That is the right way to go, imo. Provided that you have some unique thing that separates your amps from others.
Real or not, there has to be a reason why people would choose your amp over another. Tone, looks, whatever...

"He can build a tweed amp" is not reason enough to buy an amp that is bound to be more expensive than a mass manufactured product - tell people about what it is that separates your amp from the rest. Loudly and explicitly. Understatement doesn't work with guitar players.

So just start with your own amps then, rather than trying to reproduce classics - and far more important, find out who the people are that would want your amps, and what they want from amps apart from the unique thing you do to them.
I.e. if 80% of your potential customers use FX-loops, well, then you had better install one (and talk about how your FX-loop design preserves much more tone than the competitors ) if you want their business, and so on.

Form factor and design come into the equation too, do people really want tweed cases these days or would ideosyncratically coloured tolex (since you are in fact not building vintage Fenders) appeal to more people etc...
Old 9th February 2017
  #34
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthon View Post
Like grumphh has pointed out, the people who are looking for 'authenticity' are really hard to please, even if you manage to nail it 100% which would require a lot of time investment, including actually buying the original, and you would still not succeed.
Even 2 same vintage amps don't sound exactly the same, especially with huge tolerances of the old days and the decaying components. A lot of these vintage amps desperately need some of the parts replaced - so they don't even sound like when they were made.
IMHO going for authenticity AND lowest possible price is crazy.
Btw - looking at the schematic of the Vibroverb, I could build it under 1000 bucks... but then I wouldn't want to sell it

My idea was making amps how I like them, not 100% clones... making tweed clones is just a way to learn and create a portfolio.
I do plan to make something fancier, like a Bassman head.
Well yeah. People don't even actually know exactly what those old amps sounded like when they were new. That could be a market point. Your amps are as they were when new in the early 60's, not a plowed over vintage amp, "so don't compare my amps to every refurbished old one around. Mine are like new!" I have a 64 Vibrolux Reverb that has been 100% overhauled even new speakers, and people tell me all the time how greatly authentic it sounds, as if that even means anything.

I think there's an audience for this kind of thing if correctly marketed. As far as creating a new brand, that's the tough call. There's a good reason why new amp companies buy rights to the old branded images like Magnatone and Supro. There are already far too many "new" brands floating around. Even a small guitar show will have 5 or 6 unknowns pitching their unique-boutique amps. And they all sound about the same within parameters of about 3 or 4 amp styles.

At a recent show, one guy who was doing well above all other makers in the room was making Trainwreck clones. Very authentic looking down to the minutest details, and great sounding. Guys were standing around marveling at how much they sounded like real Ken Fischer amps, as if they all knew exactly what Fischer amps sound like. There's a market.
Old 18th February 2017
  #35
Gear Maniac
 

Cool amp. I was just looking at a champ today.
Old 10th October 2018
  #36
Gear Nut
 

Just wanted to bring up this old thread from almost 2 years ago.
I was being busy, so here are some of the things I've made. Every amp is made by me, including the cabinet work.

Actually, it turned out there is more demand for empty cabinets. I do the amps mostly just for fun.

















Old 11th October 2018
  #37
Nice work!
Old 14th October 2018
  #38
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kennybro's Avatar
That's great stuff
Old 14th October 2018
  #39
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Those are really fantastic.
Old 15th October 2018
  #40
Gear Maniac
 

Those look amazing man, great job. Especially the one in the Coke box.

You're putting a bit of a visual spin on a classic look, which I think is smart.

I built a couple of amps for myself last year (5F6A and a 5E3), and briefly (veeeeery briefly) considered trying to have a go of it.

After crunching the numbers and realizing just how large the quantities would have to be when ordering parts in order to make the amps cheap enough to build, I lost interest pretty quickly.

It's great that you enjoy doing the cabinetry, as I'd imagine that would be the single biggest expense, if you had to source it elsewhere. I know it was for me.

All that said, if building amps was really in my blood, I'm sure I would have done it anyhow, no matter how rocky the road ahead might have seemed, so more power to you. It's always great to see someone follow a passion.
Old 15th October 2018
  #41
Gear Head
Hey Anthon, that is great work there, especially the distressed models.

I wondered why on the bassman size head-cab the top panel is so wide/high?

Have you considered making high quality, flat-packed, solid pine cabs with pre-cut finger-joints for easy shipping and simple assmbly by DIY enthusiasts?
Old 19th October 2018
  #42
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShogunOfHarlem View Post
Those look amazing man, great job. Especially the one in the Coke box.

You're putting a bit of a visual spin on a classic look, which I think is smart.

I built a couple of amps for myself last year (5F6A and a 5E3), and briefly (veeeeery briefly) considered trying to have a go of it.

After crunching the numbers and realizing just how large the quantities would have to be when ordering parts in order to make the amps cheap enough to build, I lost interest pretty quickly.

It's great that you enjoy doing the cabinetry, as I'd imagine that would be the single biggest expense, if you had to source it elsewhere. I know it was for me.

All that said, if building amps was really in my blood, I'm sure I would have done it anyhow, no matter how rocky the road ahead might have seemed, so more power to you. It's always great to see someone follow a passion.

Yes, it's really hard to compete in the amp market.

I'm able to make my own cabs, which allows me to do a lot of custom work, and save a lot of money indeed, considering a standard 5e3 cab from Mojotone sells for about 450 euro here in Europe. I need about 50 euro on materials to make a 5e3 cab. It is hell a lot of work though.

Also most of my income comes from selling cabs for other DIYers.
Actually I want to move in the direction of having my own DIY audio online store. It would be really hard to make a living out of selling amplifiers alone.

But I would recommend selling some of your work to any serious hobbyist, because it takes the hobby to another level. My work improved dramatically, when I started selling my stuff. Also you get extra money to fund other projects, it is much easier to justify purchasing new tools etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpfish View Post
Hey Anthon, that is great work there, especially the distressed models.

I wondered why on the bassman size head-cab the top panel is so wide/high?

Have you considered making high quality, flat-packed, solid pine cabs with pre-cut finger-joints for easy shipping and simple assmbly by DIY enthusiasts?

No particular reason, I just think it looks cool. My personal 5f2a (picture above bassman) has also this wide panel on top.

I did consider it, but currently cutting out all the raw parts is probably the most time consuming part, and the final kit would not be worth much compared to the finished cab, so it doesn't make much sense selling it in this form now.
I want to acquire a CNC machine, which would do all the raw cutting effortlessly, then perhaps it would be worth while.
Old 12th September 2019
  #43
Here for the gear
 

Hey Guys,
I know this is an old thread. I make custom badges to finish off your 5e3 builds!

Couple more custom deluxe badges going out! One on Brass in Vintage Brown and one on Aluminum in Black!
£30 plus £5 shipping worldwide ?
Comes with matching Brad pins for assembly
Loads of 5 star reviews here:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/6547...elated-2&frs=1
Old 12th September 2019
  #44
Here for the gear
 

Couple more custom deluxe badges going out! One on Brass in Vintage Brown and one on Aluminum in Black!
£30 plus £5 shipping worldwide ?
Comes with matching Brad pins for assembly
Loads of 5 star reviews here:

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/6547...elated-2&frs=1
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone interested in custom Tweed style amps?-img_20190911_203929__01.jpg  
Old 14th September 2019
  #45
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthon View Post
Just wanted to bring up this old thread from almost 2 years ago.
I was being busy, so here are some of the things I've made. Every amp is made by me, including the cabinet work.

Actually, it turned out there is more demand for empty cabinets. I do the amps mostly just for fun.

















I think we need to take a moment to appreciate Anton's nice photography from a year ago. S'well done!
Old 15th September 2019
  #46
Gear Addict
 
chipss36's Avatar
 

As a guy who clones...
If you want to make money, get the capital to invest in having a clone built in China , stack em high , and sell em low.
You will make money and have a few duds.
It will make the masses happy till it breaks and they throw it away...

I cannot do that.
But I don’t cashflow my builds, like the China idea would...
It’s a hobbie...just enjoy it.
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