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'57 Mini Tweed 5W Amp Kit

'57 Mini Tweed 5W Amp Kit

'57 Mini Tweed 5W Amp Kit

Item # 10730
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$681.45

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'57 Mini Tweed 5W Amp Kit

About This Item

One-knob titan of tone
This amp is a timeless studio darling whose tiny size hides tremendous punch and versatility. The 5F1 circuit was originally meant to be a student amp but wasn’t kid stuff for long; rock’s finest guitarists hauled it off to their studios and recorded some of the greatest songs ever recorded. Clapton recorded "Layla" on it. Joe Walsh used it on "Rocky Mountain Way" and it was one of Keith Richards’ favorite recording amps.

StewMac has lovingly recreated this timeless amplifier in our '57 Mini Tweed 5W Amp Kit. This is one of our Icon Kits: loving reproductions of vintage classics.

Every time that red jewel lamp lights up, and you hear that satisfying thunk as you plug in, you'll not only tap into the magic of this very special amp, but you'll also take extra pride in knowing you built it with your own two hands.

If this project sounds hard, don't worry. We've gone to great lengths to make these kits something a complete beginner can tackle. This is our simplest kit and a perfect place to start. It comes with all the parts you'll need to complete this project in just a few evenings.

  • The cabinet interiors are genuine 3/4" North American Pine (not plywood), just like the ones made in the Fullerton factory in the 1950s
  • Superior craftsmanship on the Tweed covered exteriors with perfectly aligned seams
  • Premium quality hardware
  • Top-shelf 6V6, 12AX7, 5Y3 tubes and vintage spec Heyboer transformers to give your amp the perfect vintage tone
  • High-quality period-authentic resistors, Orange Drop caps, and Switchcraft jacks for their authentic tone and a lifetime of trouble-free use
  • Authentic fiber eyelet boards just like the ones used in the original vintage amps
  • Period-correct pushback wire
  • Top-quality 8" speaker
  • We created easy step-by-step instructions for each amp kit, breaking down every task into clear, bite-sized pieces. With hundreds of full-color photographs and illustrations, these instructions make this an easy, fun and rewarding project—even for first-time builders.

Need Help? Our trained staff is standing by!
If you get stuck don't worry, we're here to help. Our amp team is just a phone call away.

You don't need a shop full of tools either!
The great thing about these amp kits is they only require a few relatively inexpensive tools.

Amp cabinet dimensions
Height: 13" (33.02cm)
Width: 14-1/2" (36.83cm)
Depth: 8-7/8" (22.54cm)

Build and use this amp internationally!
This amp works wherever you are! This amazing amp can be wired for 100, 120, 220, 230, or 240 volts. This means that if you are outside the USA, you can still build this amp without needing an external step-down transformer.



CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.


Instructions

Product Instructions

How to relic a tweed amp

A step-by-step guide for creating that "broken-in" look for your new amp kit.

Product Instructions

'57 Mini Tweed 5W Amp Kit Instructions

The new StewMac '57 Mini Tweed will be a blast to play through and even more fun to build.

Customer Reviews

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5.0
  • 4.90 average rating from 20 reviews
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5.0

Great project, thanks Stewmac for the help!

By

Verified Buyer


This was my first ever amplifier project. I have done about 3 soldering projects before, two of them were on guitars and the other was a very ambitious capacitor replacement on a TV set.

The kit was a lot of fun to build! For me, it took a long time, but I went very slowly and read the instructions a few times before I did anything.

The instructions are great! Be sure to check online for the latest version, as the printed version that comes with the kit isn't updated as frequently.

I read the reviews here and saw many people ran short of green wire. I asked Stewmac for extra green wire when I ordered the kit, and they sent it with the amp! Thanks Stewmac! I had plenty of wire! Other reviewers have complained about the wires, and while I agree the green wire is very thick, I didn't think it was too hard to bend. I also had no issues with wires breaking.

I also read that fitting everything into the chassis is tough, and boy is it ever!! I don't have huge hands, but I did struggle to get everything in there. My advice is to check all of your connections on the board before you install it into the chassis, especially checking connectivity between jumpers. I'm still thrilled with the amp, and since this is a vintage reissue, I don't blame Stewmac for this, I blame Leo Fender lol!

I did reach out to Stewmac for help when some of my electrical measurements were not to spec. Stewmac was great at providing specific feedback and help. My particular kit had a bad tube, and Stewmac sent an upgraded replacement free of charge. I bought the kit from Stewmac because I knew that I'd need some help, and I am sure glad I did!! Thank you Stewmac for all of your help and advice!

Now that it's finished, it sounds great! I only wish I had another amp kit to build as it was a lot of fun, and a huge learning experience for me!

4.0

Love the amp, hate the wire

By

Verified Buyer


If somebody had handed me this amp ready-built I would have given it five stars. It sounds great: full, clean tone, no noticeable hum until the volume is at eleven. With the guitar and the amp volume controls wide open it's louder than I'm comfortable with in my tiny apartment, even at only five watts.
My biggest complaint is the single-strand wire that came with the kit, hence the lost star. The green wire is stiff and next to impossible to bend into position even with pliers. The yellow wire, on the other hand, breaks at the least provocation. Try bending a piece to a sharp angle, then straighten it. It snaps every time. It was frustrating to solder all the on-board components neatly to the eyelets only to have half the jumper wires break when I went to solder them to the chassis-mounted components. Next time I'll buy a couple of rolls of multi-strand wire before I start to build. I'm not crazy about push-back wire in any case. For all we know Fender used it because it was either cheap and/or readily available. I doubt that it makes much difference to the final sound in any case.
The directions are generally easy to follow but I would change the order of a few things. I would install the transformers as directed, install the components on the top panel loosely, then trim the leads from the transformer to the desired length but NOT solder them yet, except for those that connect to the tube sockets. I would then remove the panel-mount components and only re-install them after the circuit board is attached to the chassis, since there is very little room to move with all the extra wires in place.
DON'T try to install the 1M resistor to the input jacks the way the manual says. It's an exercise in frustration which led to me doing it wrong the first time. The second time I did it, I took the jacks out of the chassis and worked on them using my third-hand jig. I ran the resistor between the ground and middle connection of jack 1, then ran a (flexible!) jumper wire between the middle connections of both jacks before soldering the assembly. I then mounted it loosely to the chassis in order to solder the jumper wires from the board to the jacks. This gave me room to use the soldering iron without hitting anything else. Once I was happy with the connections I tightened the jacks down properly.
Everything worked perfectly the first time I plugged it in. No smoke, voltages all within spec, signal getting through to the speaker with no distortion. Perfectly, that is, EXCEPT for the horrible hum when I turned up the volume on the amp. My fault due to my mis-wiring the 1M resistor as described in the above paragraph. Once I repaired that the hum disappeared almost completely, even with a single-coil guitar. Very happy with the final result. (Maybe if I'd had one of these as a kid my electric guitar playing wouldn't suck as badly as it does.)

5.0

A challenging project, but unbelievable result!

By

Verified Buyer


I have never built anything electrical that required soldering, but I have enjoyed building the S and T guitar kits so much that I thought that I would give this amp a try as a great winter project. I built the amp over 4 days, logging about 30 hours. The instructions were great and easy to follow. I did have an issue where I did not receive enough green wire, but a call to Stew Mac solved that problem and they rushed me a package in the mail. I really took my time to carefully read each instruction thoroughly, and followed each one. There are 4 steps where the amp is livened. First, with no tubes, then the 5Y3 is added, followed by the 12AX7, then lastly the 6V6 tube.

At this last step where the 6V6 was added, the 470 ohm resistor (tied in parallel with the 25mfd capacitor) failed. I contacted customer support and exchanged some emails and photos. They were very helpful and quickly sent me a replacement TAD 6V6 tube for the faulty JJ Electric power tube, and a replacement resistor and capacitor. The parts replaced easily and the amp worked perfectly with the fixes, just like Tech Support assured me.

I used the tubes that came included with the kit to make sure the amp was operational. Once I had it up and running, I replaced the tubes with NOS tubes that an amp tech friend had suggested for the amp. In particular, I swapped out the high gain 12AX7 with a lower gain 12AY7 tube. The lower gain gives a amp a much softer, rounded and warmer tone.

I am mostly an acoustic guitar player, and the warm tone of this amp is perfect for either an acoustic electric or an electric guitar. I cannot get over the amazing tone, and I am still amazed that I built it. The amp has tones that far exceed those of a couple of vintage low wattage amps I have that were built in the 1960’s.
If you are considering this amp as a project, I would highly recommend it because the results are so worthwhile and I am sure I will have an amp that I will enjoy and be proud of for years to come.

5.0

Great sounding amp

By

Verified Buyer


I‘ve been lurking around ordering one of these for some time and recently pulled the trigger. The sound and tone is fantastic! The instructions are very good. All parts come parts come in a nice little container separating each item. The build quality of the cabinet is very good too. It came with a set of JJ tubes. The 6V6 tube gave me problems; it must have had an internal error as it took the 470 ohm resistor out when I turned the amp on. I replaced the output tube as well as the 470 ohm resistor and everything was fine. (I did not ask for a replacement as I live in Switzerland and did not want to wait for shipping from the US.) This is really a nice amp and I would recommend it to a friend an day of the week.

Thank you Stewmac!

Michael

5.0

Great sounding amp!!

By

Verified Buyer


I've been itching to build a tube amp for a while and this was the perfect kit. Clearly written and illustrated instructions, no missing parts, and flawless cabinet construction. My only complaint is that they could have supplied a bit more hook-up wire. All in all, I'm very satisfied with the look and sound of the end result.

4.0

My first amp and it didn’t disappoint.

By

Verified Buyer


Just finished the build and the 57 mini tweed sounds great. I also own a 5F1 original from 1963. Very similar sounding amp to the original. I liked the organization and layout of the kit. I did run into an issue with green pushback wire. I measured every piece and was ten inches short at the end. One call to Stew Mac and more wire was dispatched free of charge. There are issues with the instructions I would like to see fixed. First and foremost is the green wire shortage. Step 51 calls for a green wire jumper but doesn’t list a length which should be 3 inches. Step 60 calls for two green wire jumpers from the 6V6 socket to the 12 AX7 socket. Again no length is listed. Two 5 inch green wire jumpers twisted together for this length should be added. Perhaps these edits would correct the green wire shortage issue. Finally and very important to note, the resistor between eyelets 6 and 7. The written instructions at step 37 call out correctly for a 220K, but every illustration in the book shows this incorrectly as a 22K. Red Red Yellow is correct and Red Red Orange is not. Hope this honest review helps someone build this kit. Overall wonderful experience and I will be ordering an AB763 next.

5.0

Great Kit

By

Verified Buyer


This kit is really nice. Top quality components throughout. It was fun to build. Finished product is a wonderful sounding, good looking amp. Great kit.

5.0

57 Mini Tweed

By

Verified Buyer


Wow! This thing rocks! And sounds fantastic ??

5.0

oh yea!

By

Verified Buyer


I'm not a guitarist but a guitar tech. I bought this kit for the fun of building it and figured I'd probably just sell it. I love the sound of it so much I'm keeping it and using it on my tech bench. Easy to build and the guitarists who have played through it all loved it. Looks classy as hell too!

5.0

Wow!

By

Verified Buyer


This kit is really, really good. The instructions could scarcely be clearer, the components are excellent, and the finished product sounds amazing. As one friend of mine commented, there's not a single silicon component in the kit. I'm going to be getting less work done because of this being around, and I'm ok with that.
One note, though, is a couple of the jumpers at recommended length were a little short, and there wasn't quite enough green wire. Other than that, I couldn't be happier with it.

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