Guitar Tube Amp Restoration and Repair by Dr. Ron

Amp Detailing
Custom Amps

Hello, my name is Dr. Ron Steriti and I build unique tube guitar amps with exceptional tone.

I purchased my first tube amp in 1980 from a little guitar shop in Lowell, Mass. It was a Fender Deluxe, which the shop owner said was obsolete. He recommended one of the many solid state models. Forty years later, my Deluxe is a vintage amp desired and used by many top guitarists. All of those solid state amps are worthless junk.

A few years ago I decided to build my own tube guitar amp for fun. By pure chance, one of the best vintage amp techs (Larry Rodgers) happened to live nearby.

My first amp was similar to a Matchless Spitfire. This is one hot amp! I set mine up to sound like a hotrod Marshall. Larry likes it set up as a blues monster. A few tweaks, and it will give a Country twang.

I've built several guitar amps, each with a unique design to achieve a certain goal. Most began as old PA amps.

Octal Champ - 5 Watts
The Octal Champ is a single-ended guitar amp with octals: 6SL7 preamp, 6F6 output, and 5Y3 rectifier. Photos are here.

Sixteen - 18 Watts
The Sixteen has two push-pull EL84's that provide about 18 watts. The circuit is similar to a Matchless Spitfire and Vox AC15, which gives it a variety of tones from blues to hard rock. Christeen is loud enough for most bands. Photos are here.

The Retro - 7 Watts
The Retro uses a unique set of tubes: 6SN7 octal preamp and two 12A7's in ultralinear mode. The sound is absolutely amazing - lush cleans and smooth distortion! I used the original paper-in-oil capacitors, which give a creamy blues tone. At 7 watts it gets loud enough for a small club. The tweed head gives it a cool vintage look. Photos and sound samples are here.

The Retro V - 18 Watts
The Retro V is a new design. The tubes are two 6V6s, a 12AX7 preamp and a 12AT7 long-tail-pair phase inverter. Photos and sound samples are here.

The Sleeper - 5 Watts
The Sleeper is an idea to build a guitar amp that would look good out in the living room or den of a house with fine furniture. It's for guitar players with wives that don't want guitar amps cluttering up their house. Photos are here.

DynaMite - 4.5 Watts
The DynaMite continues the low-volume guitar amp theme. It has a 12AX7 preamp and phase invertor, 6X4 rectifier, and a pair of 6AQ5 power tubes, which should be about 4.5 watts. I like to turn it up to 10 to get that lush open tube sound. The DynaMite is loud enough for a bedroom, but won't bother the neighbors Photos and sound samples are here.