Part 1 - Kit contents


Note that this version of the manual is for those SE-5a kits supplied with the power transformer labelled 'DB1248' - and where the Kit contents listing and schematic are marked 'v2'. The connections for this version are very slightly different to those for the first batch of SE-5a kits. (If you are assembling one of the earlier versions, click here to jump to the older version of the construction manual.)


Your kit's contents

Your Amp Maker amplifier kit contains all of the parts needed to make a working amplifier. (Some versions also include a headshell cabinet to house the chassis). Clear a space on your workbench and unpack all of the components. Start by checking the Kit contents listing supplied with the kit package. Look through the electronic components and check them off.
      If this is your first electronics build, familiarise yourself with the component values. In some cases, it's as simple as reading the value from the body of component (most capacitors, for example). However, most resistors are too small to have printed values, and instead colour coded bands on the resistor indicate the resistors' value. You can decipher the code using the Resistor colour code table at the bottom of this page.


Component polarity

Note: Some of the components have a polarity, meaning that the component needs to be a inserted in one particular direction for the circuit to work. For example, if you look closely at the larger capacitors, you'll see a small '-' (minus) mark close to (or pointing at) one of the capacitor's two leads. This marks the negative terminal. In almost all valve-based amplifiers - including the SE-5a - it's the negative terminal that 'points' towards ground.
      The diodes also have a polarity, indicated by a silver band around one end of the diode's black body. Where the diodes are used to rectify AC voltage into DC voltage - as in the SE-5a - the silver band 'points' away from ground. Don't worry if you're not clear - the turret board wiring photos on the next few pages show exactly which way to use these components.
      Go through the components in the Kit contents list and tick them off. Get in touch with Amp Maker if there's any discrepancy or confusion.



Capacitor voltage ratings
All components have a voltage rating - a maximum voltage for the component. The resistors supplied in your kit are rated well over the maximum voltage present inside the SE-5a. It's a different story for the capacitors, however. Here, they are rated according to their place in the circuit and the voltages present at that position.

      For example, the largest capacitors will be faced with the highest voltages in the amp - about 270V. So they must be rated at a higher voltage - 350V is enough. The parts supplied with your SE-5a are rated at 450V - plenty. Some other capacitors may also be rated beyond the SE-5a's 270V - for example, the capacitors that pass the amplified guitar signal from one stage of the amp to the next are usually rated at 400V, 500V or even 630V.

      Look closely at some of the smaller capacitors and you'll see that they are rated at much lower voltages - 25V or 50V, for example. This is perfectly normal - these capacitors are positioned on the cathode of the valves, and they never see the amp's full voltage. Typically, they see a few volts - rarely more than 10V - and well within their ratings.

  SE-5a construction guide
  1 - Kit contents
  2 - Block diagram
  3 - Reading your schematic
  4 - Turret board layout
  5 - Turret board wiring
  6 - Chassis preparation
  7 - Chassis wiring guide I
  8 - Chassis wiring guide II
  9 - Chassis wiring guide III
  10 - Initial testing
  11 - Final test

  SE-5a kit purchase page

  SE-5a construction guide
  1 - Kit contents
  2 - Block diagram
  3 - Reading your schematic
  4 - Turret board layout
  5 - Turret board wiring
  6 - Chassis preparation
  7 - Chassis wiring guide I
  8 - Chassis wiring guide II
  9 - Chassis wiring guide III
  10 - Initial testing
  11 - Final test

  SE-5a kit purchase page