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I returned to DIY electronics in 2009 after a 20 year pause by building a few kits to get in shape. This blog is for me to keep track of my progress.
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Old

Better than a box of chocolates

Posted 25th June 2013 at 06:17 PM by alexcp (My DIY projects)
Updated 25th June 2013 at 08:27 PM by alexcp

Got this today on the cheap - a box of 6N1P-VI, made in 1988, all new in authentic factory packaging. It is likely to keep me entertained for quite some time

Note: the PDF attachment is a scan of the factory three page insert from the box. It is in Russian and contains the pinout and electrical and limiting parameters of the tube but NO CURVES.
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Attached Files
File Type: pdf 6N1P.pdf (6.03 MB, 108 views)
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Old

My aha! moment - loadline optimization

Posted 9th April 2013 at 11:07 AM by alexcp (My DIY projects)
Updated 9th April 2013 at 11:32 AM by alexcp

I build myself a Millett's Hybrid Headphone amp, originally published in AudioXpress issue 11, 2001.

The amp uses low-voltage 12AE6A tubes for voltage amplification and BUF634 solid state buffers to drive the load. Each tube houses two diodes (unused) and a triode, here loaded with a CCS. The whole thing runs off a 24VDC power brick and consumes maybe 150mA after the tubes heat up.

The DC operating point of the triode can be adjusted with a multiturn trimpot. The original AudioXpress article talks about the influence of the operating point on the sound and suggests to trim for symmetrical clipping, then adjust for the subjectively best sound.

The aha! moment came when I connected the amp to my sound card and looked at the distortion spectrum. On small signals (~300mV output into 300 ohm) the distortion is 2nd harmonic only. The operation point can be trimmed to the point where the the 2nd harmonic goes into the noise floor! I've read about this but...
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Old

My systems

Posted 4th December 2011 at 11:41 AM by alexcp (My DIY projects)
Updated 12th May 2013 at 07:41 PM by alexcp

Someone pointed out that it's interesting to see all the components in a system, rather than discuss them individually. I liked the idea - I think it also shows what projects ended up actually useful - so here are my systems (I have four with diy components).

The music I listen to is an eclectic mix of classical music (such as Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky), opera (mostly arias), jazz (Armstrong) and some pop music.

The first system is the one I listen to the most:
  • exposure 2010S CD player with Tentlabs low-jitter clock
  • B1 clone preamp
  • F5 clone
  • Vintage Celestion DITTON 15XR speakers

The second system is the testbed for whatever project I may be working on:
  • Audio Analogue Crescendo CD player
  • B1 clone preamp
  • Zen V4 with SiC power JFET in the gain stage
  • Klipsch Heresy III speakers

The third is the best sounding so far, has the highest WAF and is likely to stay around for some time:...
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