HardWay Beer Crate Amp

‚Äč  The Sleeman Beer Crate Amplifier  Project:

  • I bought this case a few years ago with the intention of turning it into a little amplifier.  I had to drink the beer, which wasn't that great, but the pine crate is quite well made, and is very resonant and solid.

  • I was prompted to finally start the project when I found this great NOS 1959 Oxford 6" AlNiCo speaker on eBay.  According to the box, the original price was $5.50.  I paid about three times that.

  • The rating is 3-5 Watts  -  I am pushing it a bit with a Fender 5C1 Champ circuit design. 

  • The 5C1 goes point-to-point in a little Hammond box from AES.  I made some Astron replicas to make it look "vintage"  The antique carbon comp resistors are from the gigantic supply that I keep in my Fortress of Solitude.

  • The pilot light was from an old Krohn-Hite tube  low-pass filter unit that I salvaged a long time ago.

  • I used a switched 1M volume pot, as original.  No tone controls. plug in and go!

  • The new transformers are Magnetic Components (Classic Tone).  These are the only transformers I buy.  They are the best.  The "other" transformer company out there makes transformers that don't sound as good, or work as well, at least to me, and they are twice to three times as expensive.  Go figure.

  • I used ceramic octal bases because that's what I had laying around.

  • The all-RCA NOS line up.

  • Metal can 6SJ7, 6V6, and 5Y3 rectifier.

  • The 6SJ7 is a wonderful tube;  the tone from this tube is distinctive and very complex.  I love it.

  • The speaker goes in behind some oxblood grill cloth.

  • My round hole cutting skills need some work.

  • Chassis gets attached over some foil lining.


With the lid on.

The bottom line:

This amp sounds absolutely great.  I can't stop playing it!  You do not miss reverb or tone controls at all.

It sounds much better than the Fender Champion 600 reissue (which sounds pretty good).

I would make another one, but I'm just not that fond of beer...

Fender Champ 5C1
Beer Crate Amp
5C1 tubes
Beer Crate
Beer Crate Amp
Beer Crate 5C1
Oxford 60MS
Beer Crate Amp
Beer Crate 5C1