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Old 28th February 2011, 09:36 PM   #1
lebenz300 is offline lebenz300  Singapore
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Default DIY a preamp

i am interested to build a high performance pre-amplifier that can match with any solid state power amp. likely to be naim power amp or lavardin power amp.

a simple pre-amp with 3 to 4 input(Elma selector switch?)
a good volume control (Noble volume control?)
shielded power supply?
solid-state rectification, regulation and capacitive filtering with resistor(vishay?) capacitor(murdoff?)
cable(neotech UPOFC cable silver or copper?)
chassis (anodised metal, heavy duty with soundcare footer)
gain derived from tube (what tube 6n1p?)
IEC socket
no need remote control, tone control, mute, mono etc

but with which circuit? any simple circuit that a layman like me can build with no humming, no noise, and wont start a fire? anybody can give me a head start?

Thanks in advance
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Old 2nd March 2011, 06:10 AM   #2
singa is offline singa  Singapore
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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You already know what you want to put in your preamp,what are you
waiting for? Just kidding!

If you went ahead with what you intend with whatever preamp circuit
you most probably make a disaster and waste of your money and good
components.Chances of success is low if you are a first timer.It will work
but may not be up to your expectations.

What you want :
1. Solid state high voltage regulation and perhaps even regulated heater
supply can be a bit much if you have not diy any tube stuff before.(Try the
Maida high voltage regulator and the heater are pretty standard.)

2. A simple preamp.There are literally tons of preamp schematics that
will work but which one do you think or have heard before that you liked
that is most likely to be easily constructed.In truth there are many.

Why not buy a cheap made in China tube preamp and modify here
and there? You will make your life easy and learn a little here and there.

Another alternative is chinese designed tube preamp of which there
are plenty that is the ready made pcb based on famous preamp circuits.
Like Marantz7, Kondo Audionote7 ,Jadis jp200,matisse reference,Audioresearch,Conrad Johnson etc.

Do a "survey" and decide what is best for you. singa

PS if you only want a solidstate preamp there are also some pcb kits too.I think no one
will dare to declare that a simple solid state preamp can match a brand name one because
you get what you pay for and diplomatically " a matter of taste".

Last edited by singa; 2nd March 2011 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 12:27 PM   #3
DF96 is offline DF96  England
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2007
You need to understand that circuit design is far more important than using expensive boutique components. First you need to decide what the preamp is for. This might seem obvious, but it is not because most modern audio setups don't need a preamp at all. Then you develop or find a circuit design which matches your requirements. Then you decide which, if any, components need to be fancy ones. You seem to be starting from the end and working back to the beginning. Is your preamp intended to impress you and your friends, or is it for listening to music?
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Old 2nd March 2011, 12:41 PM   #4
suntechnik is offline suntechnik  Russian Federation
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Location: St. Petersburg
I would go for EF86 instead of 6N1P. Just google for EF86 preamp.

Hi quality components like decoupling foil capacitors from Jensen or Mundorf is a must in case of tube designe. SiC rectifieres like IXYS also good but expensive ones.In case good passive components seems to be expensive I would use SS design instead where necessity for good quality components can be "eliminated" by complicated SS schematics (sacrificing sonic transparency).

Hi End passive components that is the key for "tube" sound imho.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 01:08 PM   #5
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Join Date: May 2007
I suspect you are confusing "sonic transparency" (i.e. sound out=sound in) with "tube sound" (sound out=sound in + my favourite distortions).
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Old 2nd March 2011, 01:34 PM   #6
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Scottish Borders
choose between an buffer, gain~+0dB and an amplifier, gain>>+0dB.

If you require +0dB of gain, choose between discrete or IC.
Any unity gain stable opamp wired for buffer duty will do the job, badly or less badly.
A B1, or DCB1 is very popular at the moment and the two channels have just 4 active devices. Can't get much simpler. Well it can, 1 active jFET operating in resistor loaded SE mode can act as a competent buffer, but the B1 is better.
regards Andrew T.
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