If you want to build your first simple 2 channel tube amp, then you cant do much better than W.I.S.C S5 Turbo/Diesel Mark I. W.I.S.C stands for ‘Wolf In Sheeps Clothing’ and this lone wolf roams in a pack of one. The W.I.S.C S5 Turbo/Diesel Mark I is a MV (Master Volume), switchable, two channel (clean/crunch), single ended tube amp. In addition, so you don’t have to muck around, it has the convenience of a single guitar input. It also includes the Turbo/Diesel switch providing you with a little bit of tonal variation when you need it.
The W.I.S.C S5 Turbo/Diesel Mark I full plans pack includes 9 items:
• a schematic/circuit,
• detailed layout diagrams accomodating for either a 120v or 240v mains primary,
• a detailed turret board layout,
• chassis layout diagrams of both top view and bottom view,
• a front and rear chassis panel layout,
• schematic codes, and
• a resource item list.
Don’t be fooled, however, by the relatively small size of the W.I.S.C S5 Turbo/Diesel Mark I, as the bite of this little amp is bigger than its bark. The crunch channel, with three stages of gain, is controlled via a dedicated potentiometer. Hit the Turbo switch, engage the cathode film capacitor, and compress your guitar signal into a modern, aggressive overdrive. Flick the switch down to the Diesel mode and coast into Blues-Ville courtesy of a nice 25uf electrolytic capacitor. The Turbo/Diesel switch also applies to the – two gain stage – clean channel, providing you with that little bit of extra sparkly smoothness.
The W.I.S.C S5 Turbo/Diesel Mark I Full Plans pack is designed for those who always wanted to build a tube amp but didn’t know where to begin. To make things a heck of a lot easier, I’ve included a pretty comprehensive video series, so you really have no excuses. Check out the Blog page for theory that's a little bit different.
W.I.S.C S5 Mark I Full Plans Pack
Thanks to a chassis layout, that took what seemed like forever to complete, the W.I.S.C is pretty quiet in terms of unwanted noise. I believe the layout of an amp is perhaps the most important aspect of an amp design, almost like the ultimate mod. Ever looked at the guts of a tube amp and thought, what the? The 40's and 50's were the golden age of tidy, neat circuit building. The 60's got a little loose and by the end of the 70's, things just went pear shaped. It was as though someone grabbed a handful of electrical components, threw them at the nearest chassis, grounded whatever they could, wherever they could, and called it a done deal. The W.I.S.C layout took a bit of doing. It is as close to point-to-point as I could get it. Each tube is aligned with its corresponding filter cap and leads are as short as possible where they need to be. Via a significant earth strap, the audio circuit is grounded at a single location, at the guitar input. The AC supply is grounded near the Power Transformer. The layout provides for the least amount of hum and hiss and you can really wind up the gain and be confident that your cat wont scratch your face off. Conversely, If your neighbours are sensitive folk who are likely to stone your windows after poisoning your vege patch, you can dial down the volume to civil levels.