The Ninja Deluxe was my second valve amp project, and it had a long evolution.
It started life as a Selmer Treble’N’Bass 50 SV. This was a 1970s British guitar amp with an incredibly ugly front panel. I bought it faulty in 2002, but the problem was just one loose wire in the filament circuit. A quick prod with the soldering iron and it was working again! Unfortunately it was still incredibly ugly.
If you’re a sensitive type of person who thinks that all old valve equipment should be kept original, look away now! I chopped the front panel off to make the valves visible, added a magic eye tube linked to the speaker output, and added an extra stage to the front of one of the channels.
I used it this way for years, accumulating more and more mods, until it started to sputter and crackle. When I investigated this, I found that many of the components were starting to fail from old age, so I decided to take it apart and rebuild from scratch. While I was at it, I thought I’d add a spring reverb and squeeze the whole lot into a Fender Tweed Deluxe cabinet, obtained from Mojo in the USA.
I didn’t change the circuit during the rebuild, since I’d already spent years tinkering with it. So, the clean channel is still stock Selmer, and the dirty channel is boosted Selmer with an EF86 bolted onto the front. Of course, I added my trademark edge-lit plexiglass panel and cathode current meter. Now some would say that this is a travesty and an insult to both the Deluxe and the Treble’n’Bass 50. I say HELL YEAH!
I should add some schematics and sound clips one day, because this amp really does sound quite good. 🙂
ninja deluxe demonstration mp3
I originally used the Fane speaker that I’d been playing the T’n’B head through, but when it died of voice coil rub, I decided to spring for a Celestion Gold. This sounded quite harsh at first, but after several hours cranking the Bejeezus out of it, its character changed greatly. The harshness disappeared, the bass loosened up, and the amp now sounds a bit too bassy and may need some capacitors changing for smaller ones.
Output is 42 watts with EL34s, and 36 watts with 6L6GCs.
6 Replies to “Ninja Deluxe”
I followed your link from your music-electronics forum signature.
Anyway, I like your 40W. I particularly liked your use of the “magic-eye” tube. I remember that from an old heathkit signal tracer. I don’t have the tracer anymore, but I do think I have a spare tube. You got me thinking…
This has to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while! Makes me wish I’d held onto the ’50’s (or was it ’40’s?) vintage portable PA system so I could have done something like this with it!
Very nice, esp. the orange faceplate.
Did you keep the eye tube during your remodel?
I read you ran it from the speaker. How is that done?
I added an EM-80 to a Bell 35 PA mini-combo I built [see website link for pics] but connected the eye tube much earlier in the signal path. I do wish I could get the ‘fan’ spread tamed down…it’s a bit wide when playing at gig volume.