The following comments are presented verbatim from various Forums, News Groups and direct Guytronix eMails.
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Bad to the bone.
I wanted to thank you for an extremely pleasant experience through my first tube kit build. You are thoughtful and patient- a true scholar and gentlemen. I purchased the kit from you in November 2014 and completed in Nov 2016. While I took way too long ; you were faithfully available to me throughout. Once again Rich – many thanks. The Ardmour sounds freakin awesome , warm, responsive and just gorgeous with all its levels of lush harmonics.
Click Here to read a review of the Gilmore Jr. from 6stringthing’s website “Slab & Box”
Click Here to read a Guytronix Build/Review thread at Harmony Central
Click Here for Dan Becker’s Ardmore Tube Guitar Amplifier Build – and Sound Clips!
I received the kit this afternoon, and everything looks great. It took me about 3 hours to build, and the amp went together without a problem. The amp sounds great through my open back 2×12, and will most definitely be living with me in my dorm room, although it is a bit louder than i anticipated (hehe). I may end up giving your v-mod a shot, to give it a little more top end, but it does sound great as it is. It really shines with an nos Ei 12au7 in the preamp. You have a great product and it is worth every penny. Thanks!
My Gilmore Jr. kit has been sitting idle in the corner of my studio for something like seven months, since I got a new amp. I looked at it and thought “I’m going to play only the Gilmore today.”
Nice surprise. Not only did I rediscover how sweet the tone is, but I found out it loves P90 pickups! I’ve got an el-cheapo PRS SE Soapbar II that I installed a set of custom wound BG Pups in. The G-Jr. really comes alive with them. Very dynamic harmonics and sustain.
Anyway, I felt compelled to drop you a line and compliment you AGAIN on a great kit and builder support.
After a complete evaluation ranging from soft and supple to thick harmonic distortion. I must say this amp does it all with detailed tone and good touch sensitivity.
Would have purchased one 35 years ago if such a device existed.
Thanks, J M
First, my highest praise for Rich. His patience seems to be infinite. Not once did he talk down to me, or seem irritated with my numerous questions. He was always helpful, cheerful, and encouraging. I am sure that I severely ate into his profit margin on this first build, as he had to spend so much of his time helping me. Hopefully, it will pay off for him, as I intend to purchase several more kits, now that I know what I’m doing, well, sort of know what I’m doing. With the build completed, I am now playing around with speakers. I have several lying around; however I currently have none of the recommended 16 ohm variety. Therefore, I have yet to hear the full potential of this little amp. The main term that comes to mind with the Gilmore, Jr. is *articulation*. If you have ever played through an amp with a mismatched speaker, you know that what you get is a mess of garbled distortion. Not so with the Gilmore Jr. I spent two hours last night playing through a 4 ohm speaker which spent its previous life hanging on a wall in a school classroom. Not the best speaker for guitar use. None the less, I was getting glorious sounds from Gilmore Jr. I putzed around with my Texas Two Step, and a Boss OD-3, and was right there with Link Wray and Hound Dog Taylor, only better because of the *articulation*. Every note of a strummed chord rings out individually. None of that mess of garbled distortion, but clear distortion, if that makes any sense. I eagerly await spending time with a proper 16 ohm speaker. Best wishes to you, Rich!
B+ check 302VDC…….valves in….plug in…..ROCK!!!!
God it sounds good…..better than the Minimat I just sold….actually
much better….and “louder” despite the Minimat being a 2W.
The tone is nicer than my old Laney LC30.
I am most incredibly pleased…mmmmmmmmm.
The amp kit has arrived in good conditions. Many thanks, I’m half way through, it is such a pleasure to work with really good material. This is the highest standard that I could possibly imagine. The positive comments on your site are perhaps even understated, but then again, how can you explain in words how well thought through this really is.
About 3 weeks ago I purchased the Gilmore Jr. Amp kit from Richard Guy at www.Guytronix.com. The transaction went very smoothly, and I was extremely excited when I received the kit. All the parts were there, very well packaged.
Now, you should know that I am a complete novice at soldering. Before building the amp, I actually never picked up a soldering iron before. So, as you can imagine, this was quite a jump for me. However, from the start Rich was extremely helpful. Not only was he great, but the instructions, alongside with the simply laid out and color coded diagrams, were more than enough to build the amp. Over the course of about 3 weeks, I spent perhaps 20-30 hours working on the amp, which is far more time than an experienced solderer would take. I spent probably 1/4 of my time going back to fix my mistakes
Anyway, yesterday I finished up my work, and plugged it in. I called Rich up and he insisted on being on the phone with me as I tried it out. Unfortunately, no sound! He immediately helped me pinpoint the problem, and sent me photos to help me correct the mistake. Then, the clutz that I am, I managed to break a resistor wire right off at the plastic. Rich offered to send me another resistor, but I got one at radio shack instead.
As you can tell, I was extremely anxious to hear this baby in action. Today I installed the resistor and turned on the amp, and MAN! I was blown away by the sound. It goes from extremely warm and soft at a low volume to having a distinctive raw crunch at a higher volume. It has a very good response, really getting crunchy with strong pick strokes, and mellow with soft ones. It sounds unbelievable with my strat!
Rich has great customer service. I probably spent 1-2 hours with him on the phone, much of which he paid for, and we exchanged about 50 emails. He encouraged me to buy the kit even though I was a beginner, because he knew that he could help me through the proccess, and he did!
I am planning on building a head for the amp, and soon I am going to buy a cab for it (I’m stealing my boogie’s speaker at the moment). For the speaker, who can suggest a speaker with a non-farty low end (which is a problem with mine).
Anyway, A+ to Guytronix for its outstanding customer service and products. I love this amp, as do many others, and I encourage you all to buy one if you feel like a fun DIY project. Its 1/2 watt, all tube, and only costs 379 bucks.
And they say that Customer Service is dead. They have never dealt with you, that’s for sure!
Great Product and great Service. You have restored my faith in on-line
buying experiences and Harmony Central reviews.
Well, I’ve finally had a chance to try out the amp. I am very pleased with it. I especially love the amps sensitivity to pick attack and even it’s response to different pickup positions. The Gilmore sounds just wonderful at half volume and breaks-up beautifully as I crank it to full. Half a watt is still pretty damn loud…maybe I’ll take it out on the porch.
Your support and patience has been great, and now I see that the delivered product is just as well. Thanks again, and it was a pleasure to do business with you.
The sound is great, perfect for my blues style and my neighbor’s ears. I have never played an amp which is so responsive to changes in pickups on my Strat. My Mesa Boogie may be heading for eBay!
These folks have been among the best I’ve ever dealt with.
I was looking for the ultimate bedroom amp and was directed to the Gilmore Jr. on another forum. I’d never heard of them but was quite intrigued by the concept. I’d never built anything before, didn’t really know how to solder and was unsure of the whole thing.
I sent an email to the sales account and got replies back almost immediately. They were helpful, honest and encouraging.
I ordered the kit on October 28 and it arrived on November 1. I am most of the way through the assembly and Rich has been far more than helpful. He answers email in a matter of minutes, often several times a day. He has made suggestions, recommendations and encouragement.
While I haven’t yet finished the amp and can’t therefore comment on the final product, I would recommend this company and the product without the slightest hesitation or reluctance. I’ve dealt with many of the “best” boutique guitar companies (notably Keeley and WCR Pickups) and would say my experience with Guytronix has been at least as good as these other guys.
Thanks for all the info that you have sent, I can see that you are very passionate about your craft. I could not have found a better person to buy the kit from.
Having just completed the Gilmore Jr. Kit purchased from Guytronix, I can say first hand that it was one of the more pleasant experiences that I’ve encountered. As I live in the same state/area as Guytronix, I was able to pick up the kit and save some shipping cost. The kit took me 3 weeks (roughly 18 hrs)and I guess a lot of it has to do with the fact that I do not have an electronics background. The kit is VERY high quality and Guytronix incorporated some improvements over the original Gilmore Jr Kit model. Rich provides top notch customer service (and trust me I needed a lot of help!) and I especially like the pictures he sent which helped tremendously.
I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a relatively
low power practice amp which still can put out a lot of power (1/2watt
is misleading, it’s roughly 1/4 loud as my 100 watt marshall).
Thanks sincerely for all the help you gave me. I’m sure you spent
far too much time with me to consider this a profitable sale, late evenings and weekends were way above and beyond the call. I am truly grateful. I mean it when I say I’d like to help you out as my way of saying thanks. You’re the best, keep in touch.
I started looking a while back for what I’d call the perfect bedroom amp – a tube amp that had all the harmonic richness of a big beast that sounded good at levels that didn’t get me divorced or banned from the neighborhood. I spent some time looking at the newer small digital modeling amps (Vox, Marshall, etc.) and was not fully convinced. These are great amps but, to my ear, still sound like digital copies. Maybe it’s the feel more than the sound. I also considered getting a good small tube amp and adding an attenuator to it, but was having a hard time justifying that kind of money.
Enter the Guytronix Gilmore Jr Kit. A half watt tube amp, real simple (volume and tone controls, that’s it), that gives the full on sound of a cranked tube amp at volume levels that are very bedroom friendly. So here’s the catch, it’s a kit. I’m not the most handy guy around, I hadn’t really soldered anything in my life and I didn’t know a resistor from a capacitor. So I contacted Rich Guy at Guytronix.com, the distributor for the amps. He encouraged me to give it a go, promised to help. I figured what the heck, the worst thing that could happen was I’d be out $250 (and/or get electrocuted!) so I ordered the kit.
I placed my order with Rich on a Thursday, the kit arrived the following Monday. Now Rich (and others) say this thing can be built in 6 to 12 hours. Perhaps, but it took me closer to 20+. As I said, I’m a complete rookie. Rich couldn’t have been more helpful. I had a few questions about certain steps. I’d send him an email and get a reply in a matter of minutes. His answers were generally so quick I didn’t even have to unplug the soldering iron while I waited. At the end I made a phone call or two. Unbelievable! He spent up to an hour at a time, often late into the evening for him (like 11:30 pm on a Sunday night!).
Finally, I plugged it in and it worked. It more than worked, it is a phenomenal amp. Sweet, rich, warm, fat sound. Nice clean sound with just a hint of snarl and low levels, gets plenty loud in my little home office. I’ve only tried it so far with single coils (WCR pickups on a strat) and the thing just sings. I’ve got a Keeley modified TS9 and BD2 that don’t really get used much anymore – no need. I would recommend this little amp without reservation for anyone looking for a home or studio unit. It isn’t going to be a gigging amp without a mike to the PA, but for what it is I can’t think there is much better.
As for the kit, yes a total rookie can build it as long as you are patient and someone who follows directions exactly. Rich is in the process of adding some more detail to the manual that will make the experience even more “dummy friendly.” Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
I did listen to the clips, I’d say they are reasonably close. I’m using a strat with really great pickups and I get more chime and sparkle than the clips, but that is guitar related.
I did not look at any other kits. I was primarily interested in a bedroom amp and did all my research in that direction. I really wanted something like the Carr but no way could I justify the price. Another forumite suggested the Gilmore Jr., I loved the half watt concept and stopped looking. No regrets.
I just wanted to write and tell you I got everything working last night,
no problem. I am blown away by the sound of this amp. 1/2 watt is indeed still plenty loud. I ran it through 2×12 vintage 30’s and man, I just can’t say enough how happy I am with this little guy. I am going to be selling my Mesa Maverick 2X12 since I only play at home these days. This Gilmore Jr is going to be getting a workout though, and my 18 watt clone might get jealous!
Thanks for a great Customer Service that surpasses anything I’ve ever experienced. You really have heart for this.
Just wanted to let you know–IT’S ALIVE!
OMG it sounds good! I was playing through an EH Holy Grail and a
Reverend Alltone 12″ speaker (a lot like a Jensen,) and it sounded very much like a vintage tweed amp! MUCH richer harmonically than my Champ clone! For now, I’ve got a smile on my face like a kid at Christmas. Thanks for the help and enthusiasm. This is a really great kit, and you’ve been great to work with!
With the original 6n1p output tube, the amp sounds a *lot* like a dimmed Marshall Plexi, including easy pinch harmonics, sustain, and overtones. Lots of fun to play and relatively easy on the ears.
These days its hard to find someone with good Customer Support. I
appreciate what you do!
The best thing about the amp is how you can set the volume so you can get that little bit of breakup if you hit the strings a bit harder, if you know what I mean? Then you can play clean or get a bit of that breakup just by how you play.
I really do dig on the sound that this little thing produces. The distortion is really nice and I see what you mean by it having it’s own vibe/mojo to it. I have most of the parts to do the Marshall mod, but I don’t know if I want to do it or not. I wish there was a way I could put in a switch to go between the Marshall and the Fender voicings, that would be great. Well, man, I just wanted to let you know that I put in the attenuator and I really enjoy the sound. Thanx for all the help.
It sounds great through the Weber Blue Dog. It chimes. It’s my poor
man’s AC30! A kit with this tone stack and an El84 will sound fantastic.
The Vox tone stack mod took on almost a filter like response (like my Rat pedal or a fixed wah pedal.) One thing though, there was a bit of volume drop. Since the mod sounds so good, I’d guess this is normal. I seem to be getting a lot less preamp drive (which is good, it gives it the chimey sound) which may account for the lower volume.
I really appreciate all your help, and I’m seriously considering
ordering another kit to build in the “Marshall” voicing (possibly with
an added preamp stage…). I LOVE how I’m able to rework this amp until it suits me perfectly. I haven’t had this much fun in a long, long time!
I received the kit in the mail today. WOW…looking at the parts…the
components are top of the line…the chassis is a work of art all by itself. I cannot wait to dig into the build. Thank you for providing high quality at an extremely reasonable cost.
I got the kit yesterday and everything looks great. The quality of everything looks excellent, and the manual is very well done. I have set up a project notebook with notated schematics, and some newsgroup messages about the build. Let the games begin!
Thanks for offering a great kit with great service.
WOW! This little bugger is LOUD through a 4×12! I find the amp very easy to control by leaving it dimed and using the vol/tone on the guitar to get the sounds I want. Thanks again for providing an outstanding product.
Last Friday, the kit finally arrived to my home in Spain. My first
impression is very positive: the instructions are very (extremely!)
detailed and all the components are classified and very well packed.
I have to say again,…. HOW MUCH I LOVE THE AMP !