TURRET BOARD or PCB & WHY

Do You Prefer Turret Board or PCB


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JBA

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Turret.

It’s a lot harder to have a bad day modding or changing a component on turret plus if you really have a senior moment (I guess these days a juniors moment is way more fitting lol) well you can change a turret. I spent a little over half my career keeping approximately 6000 PCB’s and roughly 60 turret boards in check to keep a half dozen nuclear reactors running. The amps I’ve design and built on contract, PCB. The amps I’ve copied or designed and built for myself, Turret; you can easily maintain them for generations to come. Part availability and pricing.. how that has changed and where it’s heading is a whole other rant for another day.
 

wakjob

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PCB for me... Sound wise there can be zero difference.

I no longer have an interest in spending my money on something that just "close" and have all kinds of thoughts about how I can make it more to my liking. If it doesn't blow up my skirt as is... I just walk away.

PCB is far superior in just about every other way besides tinkering/modding (or on the fly repair)... which I've lost interest in doing.
 
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JBA

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Oops, just realized the original post was looking to hear from player perspective. If I was only playing then, I’d just buy the cheapest one which is going to get the job done and that is pcb in this market. I completely dismiss arguments on how one sounds vs the other as amp selection, pickups &configuration, tone pot adjustement, speaker, and cab type each influence tone order of magnitudes more than this making it irrelevant imo.
 

neikeel

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Oops, just realized the original post was looking to hear from player perspective. If I was only playing then, I’d just buy the cheapest one which is going to get the job done and that is pcb in this market. I completely dismiss arguments on how one sounds vs the other as amp selection, pickups &configuration, tone pot adjustement, speaker, and cab type each influence tone order of magnitudes more than this making it irrelevant imo.
Me too!
For tone a well designed pcb is hard to beat, for modding, building and tweaking I prefer a turret board
 

chocol8

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When both are well executed and working properly, there is little difference to the player. That said, many PCB’s are not done well, and all amps are going to need maintenance at some point.

A turret board is far easier to debug and repair, and everything can be replaced with third party parts. If you need to replace the PCB itself, good luck. Sometimes you can if you are patient and lucky, other times you are SOL.
 

NewReligion

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When both are well executed and working properly, there is little difference to the player. That said, many PCB’s are not done well, and all amps are going to need maintenance at some point.

A turret board is far easier to debug and repair, and everything can be replaced with third party parts. If you need to replace the PCB itself, good luck. Sometimes you can if you are patient and lucky, other times you are SOL.

This is my thinking. I have both. Each will be hand populated. Giving a player an option is the goal here. I wanted to read how guitarists felt about each vs the other.

Thank you gentlemen.

David
 

RLW59

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For me, the biggest thing is if the tube sockets, pots, jacks, switches, big filter caps are chassis mounted.

I don't care if the rest of the circuit is PCB, turret board, eyelet board, terminal strip, or true PTP.

I'd prefer no push-on connectors, especially no multi-pin ribbon connectors.
 

Crunchifyable

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I saw a video on YouTube of Mr Lyle Caldwell fixing a Dr z amp that had a turret board in it. And that one the creator had double or triple wrap some of the resistors around the posts making it very hard to change out the resistor. And that kind of mirrors my own experience building with a turret board.

I think turrets are great probably for amp designers and people who want to tweak.

I think I like two channel amps. Or one and a half channels. So when you start dealing with levels of complexity I assume a PCB is best.

Even better if things are modular. Such as if your power amp board is the same as every other power amp board you make. If there's a problem you could just throw away the whole board. Not saying you have to but I can see that's why the major manufacturers are moving towards several boards and the ribbon cables.
 

FourT6and2

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I saw a video on YouTube of Mr Lyle Caldwell fixing a Dr z amp that had a turret board in it. And that one the creator had double or triple wrap some of the resistors around the posts making it very hard to change out the resistor. And that kind of mirrors my own experience building with a turret board.

Well, that's not how turrets are meant to be used. There is actually a best-practices, industry standard for electronics construction and compliances. A component lead or wire being wrapped around a turret is only supposed to make contact with said post for a certain number of degrees. And wrapping a lead around the post multiple times is in clear violation of best-practices. Even major guitar amp manufacturers fail to adhere to these types of processes. A lot of the boutique companies can make a good sounding amp, but have no idea what they're doing in terms of actual electronics construction/manufacturing.

Many of the people actually wiring up these amps have no real training when it comes to soldering, even. Solder joints are supposed have a certain set of properties to pass muster and very few amps I see come across my bench look like they've been wired up by someone who knows what they're doing.
 

NewReligion

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Well, that's not how turrets are meant to be used. There is actually a best-practices, industry standard for electronics construction and compliances. A component lead or wire being wrapped around a turret is only supposed to make contact with said post for a certain number of degrees. And wrapping a lead around the post multiple times is in clear violation of best-practices. Even major guitar amp manufacturers fail to adhere to these types of processes. A lot of the boutique companies can make a good sounding amp, but have no idea what they're doing in terms of actual electronics construction/manufacturing.

Many of the people actually wiring up these amps have no real training when it comes to soldering, even. Solder joints are supposed have a certain set of properties to pass muster and very few amps I see come across my bench look like they've been wired up by someone who knows what they're doing.
Agreed.
 

FourT6and2

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This is an old video, but info is still relevant.

I've popped open $3,500 boutique amps before to find components/leads tacked together with blobs of cold solder, melted wire insulation, burnt components because builder hit 'em with the iron by mistake, wire tacked to turrets without any wrapping whatsoever, and all other manner of ridiculous errors.

 
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Gene Ballzz

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It seems that the real answer to this question lies with the proper design, implementation and execution of both PCB and turret board construction. There are some amps built like the Marshall Astoria, with a combined PCB that also includes turrets. It think some others (maybe Friedman) use similar? It's my considered opinion that the Astoria (pictured below) incorporates the best of both worlds, although I'm betting such is not "inexpensive" by any means! While not really a fan of push-on connectors, they are relatively few, well implemented and certainly make for easy removal of the board. I do also question how many and the wisdom of any "under the board" solder connections! Tracing the wire colors tells me there must be at least a few.
Just My :2c:,
Gene

IMG_0348.JPG
 

Leonard Neemoil

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Does the amp work and sound good? Done. Don't care about pcb or turret. Call me crazy.

Yeah, but if it ends up being your holy grail amp but can't be repaired because it's a crap PCB setup, then what?

When I find something I like, I prefer to keep it forever. Whether that's a PB and J sandwich from childhood or my wife, I don't want to be forced to find a substitute.
 

vivanchenko

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Turret boards are much more reliable and much easier to repair and tinker with. The problem with PCBs are that their leads are way too thin. They can easily get burnt out (oxidized) when you take a soldering iron to them and they crack easily at terminals.
 
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Gunner64

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Turret board. Easy to work on from the topside, no lifted trace worries, only drawback is it doesn't look authentic in a 2203/04 clone. That Doesn't bother me in the least however.

And One doesn't have to wrap the ever loving shit out of the components around the turrets, it can be done in a manner that's friendly to future maintenance.
 

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