New Amplifier Kits from Kendrick for those who wish to “Roll Their Own”!

June 24, 2011

Have you ever thought about how cool it would be to build your own amplifier? Don’t think for a minute that you can’t. My 14 year old daughter built one with almost no help from me (she just used our 45 page illustrated instruction manual). She had never picked up a soldering iron in her life.  A very sharp 12 year-old young boy came to one of our amp camps and built the Lion VII kit with almost no instruction from me. He just used the illustrated 48 page instruction manual.

Why a kit? The short answer is:  You want to have a predictable, positive result. Layout considerations, preamp design, output stage design, power supply design, component type and brand, lead dress, fine tuning, etc., are all important parts in having a great sounding finished amp.  We have already done all the complicated stuff for you, in terms of design. You simply build the kit and you will have a positive result. I have actually seen a grown elderly man stand on a stool and dance when he heard his baby, that they gave birth to, scream for the first time. It made him act like a little boy for a while.  And while you are having this incredible fun, you can learn a lot about lead dress, component brands, layout consideration, preamp design, output stage design, power supply design, while you are building!

Why a KENDRICK kit?  The short answer is: You want to have a predictable, positive result. There are competitive kits being sold by sellers that use “lowest bidder” components and then simply copy old designs and hope they will work. When you copy an old circuit exactly, you are copying ALL the mistakes. For example, if you build 10 Tweed Deluxe style amps and use the original layout, at least one or more of them will have a horrible parasitic oscillation and it won’t be usable. It is because of a flaw in the original layout. Copy the layout and you copy the problems.

Kendrick Kits are laid out for utmost stability and tone.  Kendrick has had considerable experience with circuit design and the flaws found in vintage designs. Kendrick was the first to offer a point to point all tube vintage style amp in the late 80’s- which was the beginning of the boutique amp craze. By 1994, they built over 1,000 Bassman style amps. Gerald Weber has hosted seminars for 13 years, hosted 2 Instructional DVDs, hosts  a Tuesday Night Amp seminar, has written advice columns for major Guitar magazines for 20 years. And his shop has probably repaired more vintage amps than anyone else. The Kendrick team knows amplifier design inside and out. When you get a Kendrick Kit, you get superior quality components, including Kendrick custom-wound transformers, Kendrick custom-made electrolytic capacitors, and even custom-made Kendrick wire. When you cook with gourmet ingredients, it always tastes good.
What new Kits are available?  Ranging in price and wattage, here  are the kits we now offer:
Stand Alone 3-Knob Reverb Kit – We have built over 1,000 of these as production units and we now offer them in kit format. It is nearly identical to the 6G15 Brown Tolex 3-knob Fender Reverb unit. Price is $499 and includes everything except the cabinet.
Tweed Twin Kit (exactly like the one we designed for Joe Bonamassa. You already heard it on Dust Bowl, Joe’s latest CD that was released a few weeks ago.) When Joe Bonamassa asked me to build the perfect Tweed Twin, I had to reconsider the entire layout. On an original 5F8A Tweed Twin, if even one of the grid wires is ½” too long, the amp won’t work. We corrected and re-thought the entire layout to remove about 3 feet of grid wire! Price is $1,499 and includes everything except the speakers, tubes and cabinet.
Tweed Bassman Kit ( exactly like the Twin above in terms of improved layout design, but with two output tubes and Bassman transformers).  Probably the most sought after amp of all time, the 5F6A Bassman amp delivers the tone like few others. We can supply any output impedance you wish, so you don’t have to run 4X10’s. You could run a single 12”, or a pair of 12’s, or a pair of 10’s, or a single 15”, depending on your taste. Price is only $1,199 and we supply everything except the speakers, tubes and cabinets.

New JoyZee Kit  (affectionately named after an eccentric amp designer from New Jersey that participated in the original design. The limited production version was the Trainwreck Climax).  One of the most versatile amps you will ever see. It features an American channel and a British channel. The British channel circuitry is identical to the Trainwreck Express amp. The amp absolutely nails all four mothertones (the Tweed, the Blackface, the Vox, and the early Marshall). It even has on-board tube/Spring reverb on the American channel. Comes with an 8 and a 16 ohm output. Price is only $1195 and we supply everything except the speakers, tubes and cabinets.

Tweed Deluxe Kit – The 5E3 Deluxe Fender was used by such groups as Steely Dan, Neil Young, and many others. It’s warmth and characteristic overdrive is unmistakable. Perfect for recording, gigging, practicing at home, etc. Price is only  $799 and we supply everything except speakers, tubes and cabinets.

The Lion VII Kit – (We were making fun of the Line 6 digital modeling amp when we named this one. The Lion VII uses analog modeling. We use a 100% tube amp to emulate a 100% tube amp.) The production version was called the Texas Crude Rig. Think Tweed Deluxe with bigger transformers, bigger and more robust power supply, fixed/cathode bias switch, and loaded with 6L6’s and you will have an idea of the magnitude of tone available. Choose shimmering bell tones or ridiculous tube overdrive and all points in between!  This is the amp that caused an elderly man to dance on a stool when he heard his for the first time. Price is $999, and includes tubes. We provide everything except the speaker and cabinet.
The 118 Kit – Identical to the 5F1 Tweed Champ. This amp is the easiest to build and unlike an original Champ, has overbuilt transformers. This mean you can substitute a plethora of different rectifiers (5AR4, 5R4, 5Y3, 5U4, 5Z4, 5Y3, 5V4), output tubes (6V6, 6L6, 5881, 7581A, 6550, EL34, E34L, KT66, KT77, KT88), and preamp tubes (12AXY, 12AT7, 12AY7, 12AU7, 5751,6268, ECC81, ECC82, ECC83). All substitutions are plug and play with no adjustments required. Price is only $399 and includes a 6V6, 12AX7, and 5AR4. You get everything except the speaker and cabinet.

All kits can be ordered online. For more info visit

All the newer kits (Deluxe, Bassman, Twin, Stand Alone Reverb) can be ordered by calling Gerald’s cellphone. These are not on the site yet

(512) 809 2707 anytime between now and Sunday night.

All orders coming in on Gerald’s cellphone will Receive FREE SHIPPING
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