Part 1 – Introduction

A project log for Dirt Cheap Tube Guitar Amp Build

Building my first tube amplifier, on a tight budget.

electroidiot_electroidiot 11/19/2023 at 17:320 Comments
Building a tube amp has been a dream of mine for a couple of years. in 2022, I was finally able to start my build which is now complete. I was on a tight budget, and my main goal was to learn about tube/valve amp construction through this build, and not necessarily build the best possible amplifier. Thus I decided on the AX84 guitar amp circuit found online, more details are available here:, it consists of two preamp stages using one 12AX7/ECC83 and a single-ended output stage using an EL84. These being common valves made by BEL (Bharat Electronics Limited, the Indian state-owned electronics company that used to make valves locally) is another reason that I decided to go with this circuit. It is based on the vintage tube guitar amps of the '50 and '60s by Fender, Marshall, etc... To keep costs down, I purchased a junk, non-restorable 1960s Philips radio for parts. The entire body was missing, but I was able to use the power transformer and output transformer for my build.