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Closed - Am I kidding myself??? - see 120 Watt amp thread

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:24 pm
by Mick@ITC
Hi all

I am a musician that has converted to behind the desk and now have a nice little studio that specialises in Vocals and acoustic instrument recordings. I have gathered a nice rack of outboards which I am happy with but longly look at the JLM stuff. I have put a BA2 and a Stereo 1290 next on the pre shopping list but I am a little concerned that I am really kidding myself that I can build these pres.
I read the threads in Prodigy and to be honest, I can't understand half of them. I can follow instructions...A goes into B and the red wire goes to C etc but it looks like there is a lot more to it than that.
So the question I kidding myself to think that I can actually build one of these? :?
Be honest, can someone with bugger all experience beyond lots of soldering of cables and some A goes to B type stuff actually think about and do justice to these fantastic products.

Mick :)

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:29 pm
by chrisp
Hi there Mick

I was a newbie once, too! Don't be scared! Have you ever built a PCB kit from Jaycar or Dick Smith? You will find building a JLM kit easier because -

(1) the components actually fit the holes
(2) Joe spends time on the designs to make them easy to build.

Like all kits, putting the components onto the board is the easy bit. Just take it slowly and carefully, checking twice before applying solder. Then you've got to wire up the controls and input/outputs, which is fiddly but not difficult.

If you don't have the time or worry about the skills level, I'm pretty sure Joe sells completed 2 channel versions of just about anything he does. But there's joy in DIYing, and there's plenty of JLMers / Turtlerockers in Melbourne who I'm sure would lend you a hand if you get stuck. Joe gives great phone support for his kits, too.

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:42 pm
by Mick@ITC
Thanks Chrisp.

Yes, I know what you mean...but thats it...when you say checking twice before soldering..what am I checking to, I cant seem to find any "instructions". Just photos, a parts list and a circuit diagram. I'm worried that since I don't read circuit diagrams (I know ht estrips on resistors tell you what they are but buggere all else) I won't have a clue where things go. How did you go about building your first one?

I'm actually really glad to hear that i can get pre-built ones...I didn't know that. Maybe I might chicken out and buy a pre-made one, but just want to hear how people actually do it,instructions wise.

Thanks for replying.


Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:21 pm
by Barney
Hey mick,
Part of the fun is learning, using visual as well as written reference is a great teacher, ie using pics from JLM site as well as using the schematic. Start with the basics, how to read and recognize components. Find a resistor colour code chart on the www, work out which capacitors have polarity and their relevant place on the board, led's too. Joe has great tech support via email. Or if you're in melb drop around and i can check your work and i have both the 1290 and BA's you can check out. I have posted pics of my builds on this forum.


How the hell did I do that...??

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:28 pm
by Mick@ITC
Replyed to you Barney and started a new topic.... :oops:


Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:51 am
by snatchman
Don't feel bad Mitch. You are not alone.... :oops: ..I'm in the same place you are. Amazing, I can build a house ( carpenter, some what.. :lol: ), but can't build one of these!... :cry:

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:05 am
by Mick@ITC
Well we'll just have to help each other through... :D which state are you in?...geographically speaking :)


Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:09 am
by Paul
I hadnt soldered anything for over 10 years. I went to dick smith and got a doorbell kit to practice with. Then I ordered a kit from Joe. I got a baby animal kit and saw how small it really was and i thought this is going to be a tough assignment. I was very wrong. The PCBs that Joe has put together are so easy to work with.

My baby animal works and sounds great. Im about to buy some more and really get a nice big rack of jlm gear going.

So how does the doorbell sound...?

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:07 pm
by Mick@ITC
Well, what's the top end like... :D Does the top end ring.... :D :D

And the mids, do they cut through???? 8) :D

Yes, I am silly, but its nearly Friday.... :D

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:44 am
by poserp
The Baby Animal kit I built was my first electronics project ever. I had done a bit here and there with changing pickups in guitars, but that was years ago. After reading and researching I went with the Baby Animal kits because I felt that, with patience, I could do it. And I did! Now I have the bug, once you get a bit of knowledge it fuels your next project, and so on and so forth. I probably read about and mentally pictured building stuff for three or four months before jumping in. Anyways, the hardest part for me was making a case to hold the preamp cards and running wires. In my opinion, the Baby Animals are very easy to build; after your first one, the rest becomes almost automatic. Be careful, though -- you may find yourself wiring up a mixer (which, I'm learning, is no mean feat, even with only four channels...).