JonnyBoy wrote:I don't understand the huge difference between using a PCB and hand wired. I only ask because I dunno if it really makes a difference tone wise. Is it the quality of the connections? I can't see how a PCB would really make that huge of a difference, much like solder etching being a PCB. I think it would make little difference tone wise if the right components are in there. I can however see that the repairs and the fragile nature of the board could cause unwanted issues. If a builder gives an unconditional type of warranty, and it makes it through a year or two under normal conditions (proving its stability), I can't see how a PCB wouldn't be OK.
i guess you dont open many amps up and feel around inside them. Printed circuit boards are not the sturdiest of materials. a printed circuit board is a piece of plastic basically that has holes in it with little plates that you solder components to, the component leads are connected to other components by the tiny little thin layers of copper that run throughout the board. i dont know about you, but i'd rather have my signal traveling direrctly from component lead to component lead and forget the tiny little layers of copper thaat you can actually scratch thrrew with a little bit of pressure (mostly to take out the circuit board composite layers) what's the point of super nice 18 guage canaree cables if you're signal is jjust gonna run through a ton of teenyy tiny copper traces?
also, i've never seen brad's secret preamp... but there are varying degrees of thickness of circuit board. most new production amps you could break em between yyour thumb and forfinger, and that is actually very easy to do when working on the amp. I have bought pre fabbed pcb's for pedals that are super thick and nice with big fat traces and heavy duty solder pads. but those cost. if you're about the bottom line. you're not gonna spend!
i've only been playing for 12 years and opening up amps for 2. But I've seen a fair share of problems related to circuit board amps, and hardly any point to point problems (plus they are easier to work on, and I charge people much less to work on PTP stuff- it just has less risk, and is easier to fix) the higher cost and higher rate of breakdown is reason enough. i'm not saying i can hear a difference in a blind test- but i cant hear the difference in two decent enough cables in the same length (some of those super expensive audio cables are like too bright and sound weird though i must say) I still try to eliminate anything weak in my signal path. I dont even like george L's cables cuz they arent soldered and they're so thin. but forget all that- that george L aint gonna last nearly as long as an amphenol plug with a huge copper conductor and crazy strain relief.
a preamp doesnt get as much heat as a power tube amp.. but it still gets hot, ESPECIALLY in a rack. years of that will eventually take its toll. wonder why amps from the 50's-70's are still around and amps from the 80's arent? that's due to PTP- nothing else. a circuit board amp will eventually cost more to fix than its worth.
My real point was the fact that dude's using full sized mercury magnetics transformers versus toroidal transformers- i really dont see how he could profit with that preamp at $800- that's a helluva price for those kind's of features... not to mention the extra tube and real spring reverb... shooo