The DEUXamp Final Shots


Here are the final shots of my new steampunk amplifier project… The DEUXamp. A pair of 60-watt mono tube amplifiers, based upon the venerable Dynaco MKIII circuit. These amps use the octal driver circuit upgrade designed by Vacuum Tube Audio, and they sound absolutely fantastic… I highly recommend the upgrade if you are a MKIII owner.

I had originally intended to have brass and copper covers over the transformers, but upon finishing these, I have decided that I really like the contrast of the tubes in front of the black hulking iron behind them! I realize that without those covers they have less of a steampunk aesthetic, but I don’t think I mind that so much. I find that as I travel down this artist’s road, I am constantly changing my ideas of what steampunk means to me; sometimes I think steampunk goes a bit too far into the realm of overly-ornate; Sometimes, less is more.

Who knows though.. I may get a wild hair later on, and decide to build the covers just to satisfy my curiosity, but for the time being I am calling them finished.

Next on the list is the matching speakers, and after those are complete, the pre-amplifier to finish out the set. This has really turned out to be a much larger project than I had intended it to be, but that seems to be the the way these things always go for me.

At any rate.. enjoy the photos!


The Dimensional Analysis Engine

So this is what 9 months of hard labor will get you!

I feel like I’ve given steampunk birth. Not that I really know what that feels like, but after this project, I think I can guess.

This is by far the most elaborate piece I’ve done to date, and the added stress of trying to finish it in time for a show only made it that much more terrorizing a project. But it’s done now, and in the crate, and I am very happy with it, which is a big deal because there is always something I want to change about my pieces after I’m done with them. Not that if given an infinite amount of time I wouldn’t continue to tweak this thing to death, but for the most part.. I’m happy. And I’m walking away. Putting down the blowtorch, and putting my feet up for a bit, or more likely in the sand out at the beach.

At any rate.. here are the final shots of the Dimensional Analysis Engine, there will be some posts on the construction of this piece on the way, so stay tuned for some behind-the-scenes fun!


Boiler Speakers

It’s getting Steamy in Here!

Here are the speakers I built to match the Steam Amp. I originally had planned to build the rear chambers out of clear glass domes, but all of the glass domes I could find were a bit on the thin side for me, and I was nervous of them breaking. I then decided on Acrylic tubes, but eventually landed on just building copper cans. All in all I’m pretty happy with the end result, but I can’t seem to shake the desire to see them built from some clear material with some inner-workings in there showing through.. maybe next time! I’m not nearly finished chasing the rabbit down the audio hole, so there will be many more amps as well as speakers to go with them in the future.

My only regret with these is that of driver choice. I used these drivers because they look like they’re made of copper. They look really cool, but are certainly not Hi-Fi drivers by any stretch. They can’t come close to doing justice to the quality of the sound coming from the tube amp they’re connected to. That being said… they sound pretty darned good considering they’re 4-inch, full-range drivers in a copper can, and they do get quite loud, which earns them points in the drunken party arena.

My next speaker project will be a true audiophile dream-build, if all goes according to plan. Of course they’ll cost an order of magnitude more to build, but you have to sacrifice for your art, right?

These pieces are on their way to Connecticut as I’m typing this to be shown in the Steampunk Bizarre 2011 show. I hope everyone likes them! I had a blast building ’em.


Steampunk Aether Ball


Go ahead and get your Blue Ball jokes out of the way right now.


Here’s a little something I threw together from scraps one day. It’s just a copper fitting soldered to a round copper disk with a coil of 6 gauge copper wire wrapped around it. A wooden base from the center of the Boiler Speakers front panel, a 1 watt UV LED, a Quartz ball, and VOILA!… a.. um… steampunk thing-a-ma-jiggy.

This is a cool little thing that you just plug in and sit on a shelf.. it glows with blacklight goodness, and that’s enough for me!