Larry Wrecky 35 / Trainwreck Express

Paratrooper

New member
Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to play an original Trainwreck Express.
But if the originals sound as good as my Larry, they are certainly worth the price!

 

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MetalHeadMike

Well-known member
Paratrooper":3agn90yw said:
Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to play an original Trainwreck Express.
But if the originals sound as good as my Larry, they are certainly worth the price!

Damn...you've got some serious wood there! Congrats!
 

Paratrooper

New member
It‘s just a crappy pic with my old phone. Look at the wood in Larry‘s pics when he was finishing the amp!
 

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CoffeeTones

New member
Sweet! Any chance of getting clips and a gut shot? (as long as Larry is okay with it of coarse). I saw where Larry posted a partial view of the inside. He does nice work.
 

Paratrooper

New member
CoffeeTones":7dzpwv3s said:
Sweet! Any chance of getting clips and a gut shot? (as long as Larry is okay with it of coarse). I saw where Larry posted a partial view of the inside. He does nice work.

Please ask Larry for gutshots, as he did an „evolution“ to the original trainwreck schematic in some details. I am not sure if these are secret. However, I have gutshots and the wiring is a piece of art!
Clips? Maybe in the future. But I think a (compressed) youtube video won‘t do the amp justice.
 

CoffeeTones

New member
I understand. I am waiting for a reply from Larry. Maybe he will let me see and keep it private. I look forward to more clips. The one I found is very short. Thanks
 

thegame

Well-known member
If I ever bought another one, it'd probably be this model as a complete change of pace to what I currently have. Congrats on the fine amp !
 

novosibir

Well-known member
Please ask Larry for gutshots, as he did an „evolution“ to the original trainwreck schematic in some details. I am not sure if these are secret. However, I have gutshots and the wiring is a piece of art!
Hey guys - late but never too late. Here we go:

Five controls and one 3-pos mini toggle, that's all...

... so be warned, this amp is not for those who are so used to getting their tones from channel-switching amplifiers no longer being able to use the guitar’s volume control in order to obtain many tonal variations just like the ancestors of electric guitar playing did back in the day.

On the other hand, this amp might be a dream for those who have preserved this somewhat forgotten art. They will be able to conjure up anything from several shades of clean to serious crunch to searing overdrive just by correctly dialing in their guitar’s volume control.

There is no need for channel switching or foot controllers of any kind :cool:

100_5246.JPG


The front panel is made of 2 mm thick brass, cross-brushed and nano-coated. The lettering is engraved 0.5 mm deep and burnished:

100_5249.JPG


The back panel is made of stainless steel, cross-brushed impregnated and laser printed:

100_5250.JPG


The manufacturer of Ken’s own transformers agreed in crafting several sets of trannies matching the exact specifications of the original Trainwreck specimen meaning that the heart and soul of any tube amplifier (the transformers that is) is virtually identical to Ken’s own versions.

Moreover I supply the amp with those tubes originally preferred by Ken (NOS Tungsram ECC83 preamp tubes and NOS RFT EL34 power tubes:)

100_5252.JPG


In the very stable amp chassis made of 2 mm thick aluminum (thicker and therefore more stable than the original) finally the PTP hand-wired circuit - built as I am used to on stable fiber eyelet boards:

100_5574.JPG


There are numerous schematics and layouts of the original Express design floating around the worldwide web consequently leading to this amplifier being one of the most popular DIY-projects of hobbyists around the globe rivaled in popularity only by the likewise legendary Dumble Overdrive Special. However, all of the schematics available to the public are not completely faithful to Ken’s original design.

Those who may wonder why I boldly step forward and call my version a tribute rather than a mere clone must know that this statement is based on the fortunate coincidence of getting in touch with an individual who not only owns one but two of these legendary amplifiers and who was kind enough to send me countless hi-resolution pictures of the amp’s guts and shared even more precious knowledge virtually unobtainable to the public.

With all due respect to Ken, I took the liberty of adding a very useful, switchable addition to his ingenious circuit concept - so to speak, a further development of Ken's ingenious circuit concept, which he would certainly have done if he hadn't died unexpectedly early.

I refer to the addition as a 'dynamic switch', which initially noticeably reduces the already ample gain of this amp, but then appropriately extends the frequency band up and down and slims the midrange a bit.

The already extremely dynamic amp character thus becomes even more dynamic. As you can see on the photo, simply a SPDT switch, accessible from the top of the chassis, and 3 additional components were required to make it happen:

100_5575.JPG


Those who prefer the amp sound not so much rock, but rather soft and bluesy, first have the option of swapping the EL34 power tubes for 6V6 and of course adjusting the bias on the adjustment control.

If you prefer it even softer and still more bluesy, you can also reduce the HT voltage (also possible when operating with EL34), but this should be done by a pro tech. To do this, the two yellow cables must be unsoldered from the two lower contacts (according to the picture position) of the standby switch - in order to then solder the two yellow/green cables (which are soldered into blind eyelets in the photo) to these contacts.

The plate voltage at the power tubes drops by about 50VDC and all other supply voltages up to the input tube accordingly.

100_5576.JPG


If you want or need the amp with a reduced background noise level (compared to the original) for studio use, you can order it with a stabilized 12.6VDC preamp tube heater voltage for an extra charge, what requires an additional circuit board and an additional secondary of the power tranny - so I asked Pacific/Anaheim to put an additional secondary winding on my power transformers which made this possible:

IMG_0258.JPG


Another view from the amp's front onto the entire circuitry:

IMG_0259.JPG


And of corse, finally an aluminum shield is attached over the entire preamp circuit to shield the circuit from electrical interference fields and also to prevent unwanted radio reception:

IMG_0262c.jpg



Since the Wrecky 35 is the only Larry amp whose circuit did not spring from my mind - and to pay tribute to the masterpiece of Ken Fisher, who unfortunately died much too early, without adorning myself with foreign feathers, I have written the following text, the will be sent to anyone interested in a Wrecky 35 by Larry as a PDF:


"Wrecky 35

Housed in a stylish case made of sublime highly flamed maple this tiny gadget offers a great diversity of superior guitar tones hardly imaginable when considering its modest appearance and the use of only five potentiometers and a single 3-way toggle switch.

Contrary to all my other creations the design and circuit of this amplifier is not my own brainchild but a tribute to the late and great Ken Fisher who tragically succumbed to his fatal illness way too early in his live.

However, this amplifier is not another clone like many others being offered but a true tribute to the now legendary TRAINWRECK EXPRESS AMP by Mr. Ken Fisher, who has built approximately a mere seventy units extending over several years if not decades delivered to his customers with lead times up to four years due to his illness and inability to work on his amps. As a consequence, these amps cost in excess of fifty grand or even more on the second-hand market!

There are numerous schematics and layouts of the original Express design floating around the worldwide web consequently leading to this amplifier being one of the most popular DIY-projects of hobbyists around the globe rivaled in popularity only by the likewise legendary Dumble Overdrive Special. However, all of the schematics available to the public are not completely faithful to Ken’s original design.

Those who may wonder why I boldly step forward and call my version a tribute rather than a mere clone must know that this statement is based on the fortunate coincidence of getting in touch with an individual who not only owns one but two of these legendary amplifiers and who was kind enough to send me countless hi-resolution pictures of the amp’s guts and shared even more precious knowledge virtually unobtainable to the public.

The manufacturer of Ken’s own transformers agreed in crafting several sets of trannies matching the exact specifications of the original Trainwreck specimen meaning that the heart and soul of any tube amplifier (the transformers that is) is virtually identical to Ken’s own versions. Moreover, the tube complement comprises a set of those tubes originally preferred by Ken (NOS Tungsram ECC83 preamp tubes and NOS RFT EL34 power tubes)! All in all, I guarantee a perfect replication of the tone that otherwise can only be obtained by a real Trainwreck amplifier.

But be warned, this amp is not for those who are so used to getting their tones from channel-switching amplifiers no longer being able to use the guitar’s volume control in order to obtain many tonal variations just like the ancestors of electric guitar playing did back in the day. On the other hand, this amp might be a dream for those who have preserved this somewhat forgotten art. They will be able to conjure up anything from several shades of clean to serious crunch to searing overdrive just by correctly dialing in their guitar’s volume control. There is no need for channel switching or foot controllers of any kind when using a “Wrecky 35”. By the way, you won’t need any kind of “treble bleed” circuit in your guitar either. It all works without one due to the amp’s shining but never obtrusive and always perfectly balanced treble. There is probably no second amp offering this kind of touch sensitivity reacting to even the subtlest movement of the volume control and slightest variation in pick attack.

The amplifier’s fundamental tone is very woody and unmistakably “British” when using a set of EL34 tubes. But it simply requires re-biasing the circuit (using the internal adjustment pot) in order to enjoy the bluesy sweetness of 6V6 valves. This way, the amp’s output comes down from a stout 35 watts to 20 watts probably being even more akin to the blues player’s taste.

Posthumously, I would like to express my deepest respect and sincere gratitude to Mr. Ken Fisher for providing us with his rather simple but nevertheless ingenious concept in circuitry true to the slogan “As many components as necessary but as few as possible!”

I sincerely hope that my “Wrecky 35” lives up to Ken’s legacy. Unfortunately, I cannot ask for permission in paying tribute to him by offering my own Trainwreck-style amplifier but I strongly believe that Ken has a smile on his face and takes a little pride in his own work when he is looking down on my tribute amplifier from somewhere high above.

Larry"
 

novosibir

Well-known member
Damn...you've got some serious wood there! Congrats!

Yes, these figured maple cases are really pretty and actually much too good for live on stage. For the Wrecky I always try very hard to find nice wood samples and buy from a special wood dealer who only regularly supplies guitar builders. Here are some more examples:

WR31-2.JPG


WR32-2.JPG


WR33-2.JPG


WR34-2.JPG


WR35-2.JPG


WR36-2.JPG
 

Geo

Well-known member
Hey guys - late but never too late. Here we go:

Five controls and one 3-pos mini toggle, that's all...

... so be warned, this amp is not for those who are so used to getting their tones from channel-switching amplifiers no longer being able to use the guitar’s volume control in order to obtain many tonal variations just like the ancestors of electric guitar playing did back in the day.

On the other hand, this amp might be a dream for those who have preserved this somewhat forgotten art. They will be able to conjure up anything from several shades of clean to serious crunch to searing overdrive just by correctly dialing in their guitar’s volume control.

There is no need for channel switching or foot controllers of any kind :cool:

View attachment 142096

The front panel is made of 2 mm thick brass, cross-brushed and nano-coated. The lettering is engraved 0.5 mm deep and burnished:

View attachment 142102

The back panel is made of stainless steel, cross-brushed impregnated and laser printed:

View attachment 142105

The manufacturer of Ken’s own transformers agreed in crafting several sets of trannies matching the exact specifications of the original Trainwreck specimen meaning that the heart and soul of any tube amplifier (the transformers that is) is virtually identical to Ken’s own versions.

Moreover I supply the amp with those tubes originally preferred by Ken (NOS Tungsram ECC83 preamp tubes and NOS RFT EL34 power tubes:)

View attachment 142108

In the very stable amp chassis made of 2 mm thick aluminum (thicker and therefore more stable than the original) finally the PTP hand-wired circuit - built as I am used to on stable fiber eyelet boards:

View attachment 142114

There are numerous schematics and layouts of the original Express design floating around the worldwide web consequently leading to this amplifier being one of the most popular DIY-projects of hobbyists around the globe rivaled in popularity only by the likewise legendary Dumble Overdrive Special. However, all of the schematics available to the public are not completely faithful to Ken’s original design.

Those who may wonder why I boldly step forward and call my version a tribute rather than a mere clone must know that this statement is based on the fortunate coincidence of getting in touch with an individual who not only owns one but two of these legendary amplifiers and who was kind enough to send me countless hi-resolution pictures of the amp’s guts and shared even more precious knowledge virtually unobtainable to the public.

With all due respect to Ken, I took the liberty of adding a very useful, switchable addition to his ingenious circuit concept - so to speak, a further development of Ken's ingenious circuit concept, which he would certainly have done if he hadn't died unexpectedly early.

I refer to the addition as a 'dynamic switch', which initially noticeably reduces the already ample gain of this amp, but then appropriately extends the frequency band up and down and slims the midrange a bit.

The already extremely dynamic amp character thus becomes even more dynamic. As you can see on the photo, simply a SPDT switch, accessible from the top of the chassis, and 3 additional components were required to make it happen:

View attachment 142117

Those who prefer the amp sound not so much rock, but rather soft and bluesy, first have the option of swapping the EL34 power tubes for 6V6 and of course adjusting the bias on the adjustment control.

If you prefer it even softer and still more bluesy, you can also reduce the HT voltage (also possible when operating with EL34), but this should be done by a pro tech. To do this, the two yellow cables must be unsoldered from the two lower contacts (according to the picture position) of the standby switch - in order to then solder the two yellow/green cables (which are soldered into blind eyelets in the photo) to these contacts.

The plate voltage at the power tubes drops by about 50VDC and all other supply voltages up to the input tube accordingly.

View attachment 142126

If you want or need the amp with a reduced background noise level (compared to the original) for studio use, you can order it with a stabilized 12.6VDC preamp tube heater voltage for an extra charge, what requires an additional circuit board and an additional secondary of the power tranny - so I asked Pacific/Anaheim to put an additional secondary winding on my power transformers which made this possible:

View attachment 142129

Another view from the amp's front onto the entire circuitry:

View attachment 142132

And of corse, finally an aluminum shield is attached over the entire preamp circuit to shield the circuit from electrical interference fields and also to prevent unwanted radio reception:

View attachment 142141


Since the Wrecky 35 is the only Larry amp whose circuit did not spring from my mind - and to pay tribute to the masterpiece of Ken Fisher, who unfortunately died much too early, without adorning myself with foreign feathers, I have written the following text, the will be sent to anyone interested in a Wrecky 35 by Larry as a PDF:


"Wrecky 35

Housed in a stylish case made of sublime highly flamed maple this tiny gadget offers a great diversity of superior guitar tones hardly imaginable when considering its modest appearance and the use of only five potentiometers and a single 3-way toggle switch.

Contrary to all my other creations the design and circuit of this amplifier is not my own brainchild but a tribute to the late and great Ken Fisher who tragically succumbed to his fatal illness way too early in his live.

However, this amplifier is not another clone like many others being offered but a true tribute to the now legendary TRAINWRECK EXPRESS AMP by Mr. Ken Fisher, who has built approximately a mere seventy units extending over several years if not decades delivered to his customers with lead times up to four years due to his illness and inability to work on his amps. As a consequence, these amps cost in excess of fifty grand or even more on the second-hand market!

There are numerous schematics and layouts of the original Express design floating around the worldwide web consequently leading to this amplifier being one of the most popular DIY-projects of hobbyists around the globe rivaled in popularity only by the likewise legendary Dumble Overdrive Special. However, all of the schematics available to the public are not completely faithful to Ken’s original design.

Those who may wonder why I boldly step forward and call my version a tribute rather than a mere clone must know that this statement is based on the fortunate coincidence of getting in touch with an individual who not only owns one but two of these legendary amplifiers and who was kind enough to send me countless hi-resolution pictures of the amp’s guts and shared even more precious knowledge virtually unobtainable to the public.

The manufacturer of Ken’s own transformers agreed in crafting several sets of trannies matching the exact specifications of the original Trainwreck specimen meaning that the heart and soul of any tube amplifier (the transformers that is) is virtually identical to Ken’s own versions. Moreover, the tube complement comprises a set of those tubes originally preferred by Ken (NOS Tungsram ECC83 preamp tubes and NOS RFT EL34 power tubes)! All in all, I guarantee a perfect replication of the tone that otherwise can only be obtained by a real Trainwreck amplifier.

But be warned, this amp is not for those who are so used to getting their tones from channel-switching amplifiers no longer being able to use the guitar’s volume control in order to obtain many tonal variations just like the ancestors of electric guitar playing did back in the day. On the other hand, this amp might be a dream for those who have preserved this somewhat forgotten art. They will be able to conjure up anything from several shades of clean to serious crunch to searing overdrive just by correctly dialing in their guitar’s volume control. There is no need for channel switching or foot controllers of any kind when using a “Wrecky 35”. By the way, you won’t need any kind of “treble bleed” circuit in your guitar either. It all works without one due to the amp’s shining but never obtrusive and always perfectly balanced treble. There is probably no second amp offering this kind of touch sensitivity reacting to even the subtlest movement of the volume control and slightest variation in pick attack.

The amplifier’s fundamental tone is very woody and unmistakably “British” when using a set of EL34 tubes. But it simply requires re-biasing the circuit (using the internal adjustment pot) in order to enjoy the bluesy sweetness of 6V6 valves. This way, the amp’s output comes down from a stout 35 watts to 20 watts probably being even more akin to the blues player’s taste.

Posthumously, I would like to express my deepest respect and sincere gratitude to Mr. Ken Fisher for providing us with his rather simple but nevertheless ingenious concept in circuitry true to the slogan “As many components as necessary but as few as possible!”

I sincerely hope that my “Wrecky 35” lives up to Ken’s legacy. Unfortunately, I cannot ask for permission in paying tribute to him by offering my own Trainwreck-style amplifier but I strongly believe that Ken has a smile on his face and takes a little pride in his own work when he is looking down on my tribute amplifier from somewhere high above.

Larry"
Nice work, congrats. Now this is an amp I would like to own.
 
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