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Thread: First DIY Project - Amplifier - Initial direction sought

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Posts: 60
    I'm Andy.

    Default First DIY Project - Amplifier - Initial direction sought

    Hi folks,

    After a lot of lurking on here, I've decided to speak up and ask a question! Short version: a lengthy (2 year) and painful divorce has left me in a position where (a) I've had to sell most of my hifi stuff, (b) I'm skint, (c) I'm ready for a new and different challenge and (d) I need an amplifier.

    The obvious solution here is to take on a project to build myself one. I was a bit of an electronics hobbyist as a youth, but haven't soldered for many a moon. All I know at the moment is the following:

    1. I think I want to build a nice, simple class A/B transistor amp which focuses on quality components rather than features
    2. I'll be plugging a DAC only onto it (which handles inputs) so I really only need one input on the amp - thus saving switching I guess
    3. I'd like to add 2 sets of speak posts as my remaining cables are biwire ones and it will be cheapest to keep them
    4. Ideally, I'd like to be able to upgrade the amp over time
    5. It's for quite a big room (about 20 foot square) and I'm going to be using it with Tannoy Precision 6.2 LEs

    I was hoping to start off with a budget of around 300 - what sort of level of performance might I be able to hope for this?

    I'm happy to do all the soldering and I could do things like drill cases and stuff. However, I'd rather not make my own PCB if possible.

    Can anyone suggest a classic design/an approach/some background reading/web links to get me off on a good footing?

    thanks and kind regards,
    Andy

  2. #2
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 5,226
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    You'll be looking for a pass type design I'd have thought for bang for buck. Lots of boards on eBay and a whole forum dedicated to them.
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Firebottle modded Xiang Sheng DAC (Telefunken Valve)
    Amplification: Slagle AVC Passive Preamp & Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves)
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables Throughout
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  3. #3
    Join Date: Aug 2008

    Location: Suffolk, UK

    Posts: 1,150
    I'm Paul.

    Default

    As it will be your first project for a while the Velleman kits are decent

    http://www.velleman.co.uk/contents/e...308_k8060.html

    A basic design but do sound rather good. The PCBs are good quality and the instructions are clear. You can also buy the heatsinks that match. There are probably better sounding designs out there but tend to be more complicated and harder to fault find. I have made these in the past and they have a nice beefy sound.
    ~Paul~

  4. #4
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 1,142
    I'm Andrew.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    You'll be looking for a pass type design I'd have thought for bang for buck. Lots of boards on eBay and a whole forum dedicated to them.
    I though Pass designs tended to be low powered and expensive - or have I got that wrong?

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

    Posts: 5,226
    I'm Oliver.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RothwellAudio View Post
    I though Pass designs tended to be low powered and expensive - or have I got that wrong?
    I don't think the PCBs are expensive and they are very easy to find parts for, I was thinking that they'd be suitable due to the amount of support there would be.

    Whether they are low powered or not, I don't know. As we know though, a few watts go a long waybb
    Analogue: Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves)
    Digital: Firebottle modded Xiang Sheng DAC (Telefunken Valve)
    Amplification: Slagle AVC Passive Preamp & Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves)
    Cables: Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable & SPOTFIRE IC Cables Throughout
    Speakers: Pioneer CS-77A

  6. #6
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 1,142
    I'm Andrew.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigman80 View Post
    I don't think the PCBs are expensive and they are very easy to find parts for, I was thinking that they'd be suitable due to the amount of support there would be.
    Whether they are low powered or not, I don't know. As we know though, a few watts go a long waybb
    Quote Originally Posted by andybee33 View Post
    1. I think I want to build a nice, simple class A/B transistor amp which focuses on quality components rather than features.
    I think Nelson Pass favours class A designs which get frighteningly hot and require huge heatsinks.

    I'd recommend spending a lot of time googling and check out what people on DIY audio forums are up to, but take everything with a pinch of salt when it comes to claims like "best sounding amp ever made...".

  7. #7
    Join Date: Aug 2017

    Location: Bedfordshire

    Posts: 31
    I'm Neil.

    Default

    The Amp Camp Amp kit is back on sale (pre-order) at diyaudiostore

  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2011

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Posts: 60
    I'm Andy.

    Default

    Thanks folks. I have to admit that the Amp Camp kit looks great. I'm a bit scared of the pure class A thing but given that the kit is complete, I guess we can surmise that the heatsinks will be appropriately sized! Also, for a first project, it's attractive that everything is included. It's also cool that I could buy another in future and make a pair of monoblocs.

    Thanks to everyone who replied. Once the kit arrives I will post up the build. It won't be the standard of some of the DIY'ers here, but I'll do my best

  9. #9
    Join Date: Oct 2016

    Location: Bolton, England

    Posts: 1,142
    I'm Andrew.

    Default

    Just a word of caution - the Amp Camp is only 7 watts according to the specs in this link:
    https://diyaudiostore.com/products/a...=7072933085218
    Also, its voltage gain is only 14dB.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 34,564
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    I'll be interested to see how you get on with this Andy, looks like my kind of amp. It take it yours is supplied with a UK spec mains transformer?

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