D'LITE 22/33 Amplifier Kit from Brown Note Amplifiers
- Nov 28, 2010
- in Guitar Kit Builder - Amplifiers
Brown Note Amplifiers (www.brownnote.net) of Fair Oaks, CA is a manufacturer of high-end amplifiers with an emphasis on hand-wired craftsmanship, custom-made transformers and premium components. Their D'Lite "22/33" ODE amplifier is convertible between 22 watts of power with 6V6 tubes, or 33 watts of power with 6L6 tubes. At a price of between $2185 (head only) and $2445 (combo) it is priced out of reach for many players.
However the kit price of $999 (head) means the builder can have this amp for far less than the built price. The D'Lite 22/33 design was inspired by the pursuit of an elusive tone characterized as fat and smooth with a nice bite to the top and tight thick lower mids and bottom. It operates in Class AB fixed bias mode with two 12AX7 triodes in the preamplifier and a 12AX7 driver. A switchable preamplifier boost (PAB) feature lifts the tone stack, increasing the pre-amp signal and producing a distinct volume and EQ boost.
To switch between the 22 watt and 33 watt modes you toggle a 6V6/6L6 switch mounted on bottom of chassis and then pull and swap tubes. Here's a video demo of the factory built amplifier:
The basic D'Lite 22/33 kit is $699 and includes the chassis, 4K/8K transformer set, three piece 1/8" G10 Garolite eyelet board set, vacuum tubes (your choice of 6V6 OR 6L6), all electronic components, all hardware components, all teflon wire and shrink tubing, knobs, switches, etc. In short, everything needed to build the amplifer except for a cabinet. The super deluxe kit is $999 and also includes upgraded components (eg F&T and Sprague electrolytic caps, NKK & Mountain switches) and the head cabinet.
The amp cabinets are made in USA from 3/4" multi-ply baltic birch for the cabinet shells. Solid hardwood braces are used internally. Corners are joined with half blind dovetails, for perhaps the strongest of all wood joints. Cabinet corners have been rounded, and internal cleats installed.
Support for kit builders is provided through the Brown Note Forum and we would recommend you visit the forum, read through the experiences of others, and ask any questions before purchasing the kit. Here's a nice step-by-step video of the building of this kit: