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Old 30th July 2008, 12:39 PM   #1
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Default Chip amp help

Hey everyone. I was told to go here for chip amps due to the expertise on this forum.

I currently have a Harman Kardon AVR 745 receiver, HT Omega Claro + sound card, 12'' MTX subwoofer, Belkin high end power filter, custom built silver cables and a speaker that I built using a 7'' Seas AL driver and a Vifa 1'' ring radiator.

My system sounds wonderful, to me better than some systems costing 20k+, although I still want to improve upon the sound quality. I cannot improve on the speakers because I no longer have the resources to build cabinets, the sound card is top of the line, a more expensive power cleaner is pointless, my receiver works as good as any 10k receiver, and my cables are also some of the best money can make. The only thing that I can immediately do to improve the sound for a reasonable amount of money would be to add an amp to my receiver through the pre-out. Since the high end mono block amp companies rip you off I would like to built one, namely a gainclone because of their simplicity and high cost to value ratio.

I need help getting started. The first thing would be choosing the best design. One that I found was this: . My first amp I want to cost very little, around $70 or less just so that I can confirm my soldering skills and whatnot. If that is successful I want to go for a top of the line gainclone. This one should cost around $250 (I'm not sure how high you can go before hearing little increase in quality) and still be relatively simple and manageable by a person that only has electronic circuit experience from high school. After the schematic is chosen I need help finding a case and transformer.

I have a dremel and a Hakko soldering iron to work with along with a decent digital multimeter.

So what do you guys suggest?
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Old 30th July 2008, 01:59 PM   #2
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Try one of these
Low cost and a forum for support.
Get the most straight forward one first (Amp6 basic) and the practice solder kit too its only $6.
Oh and watch these tutorial videos too.

Good luck
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Old 30th July 2008, 02:09 PM   #3
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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you will learn how to organise better, how to solder better and how to make fewer mistakes, but going the digital route will probably teach you nothing about analogue electronics.
It depends on your attitude to lifelong learning which direction you take.
regards Andrew T.
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Old 30th July 2008, 02:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Chip amp help

Originally posted by Synesthesia
I need help getting started.
You will find it there: Commercial Gainclone kit- building instructions
“Do something really well. See how much time it takes. It might be a product, a work of art, who knows? Then give it away cheaply, just because you feel that it should not cost so much, even if it took a lot of time and expensive materials to make it.” - JC
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Old 30th July 2008, 06:23 PM   #5
Nuuk is offline Nuuk  United Kingdom
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...and here too!
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Old 31st July 2008, 02:26 AM   #6
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Wow, Im so glad you posted your question Synesthesia.
Im going to buy a gainclone from Peter as soon as I can think of a way to spin it a high WAR (women approval rating). Ive got a couple of small 41Hz amps for the kids rooms (active speaker systems). Now Id like to do an amp for "us" for the lounge.
Another project will be hard to sell but Im confident I have the skills (plus a large box of expensive chocolates and flowers).
Good luck with your project, its' a shame you have lost the resources to do cabinets as the enclosure is half the fun with both speakers and amps.
Keep us posted
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Old 31st July 2008, 02:41 AM   #7
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Hi hybridfiat! I strongly recommend LM3875 kits from Peter Daniel(
He will send you all you ever need for your new toy.and He has a post step by step how to build it. Good luck.
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Old 31st July 2008, 03:12 AM   #8
This speaker DIY thing, it's pretty addicting!
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Here's another option- $30 plus shipping. And the transformer- less than $3 plus shipping and then whatever you decide to use for connectors, a switch, power cord, etc.

I built one of these and I love it. I added a Velleman tone/volume control, bought a cigar box at a local smoke shop for the case, and now I'm jammin'.

I'll be moving on to bigger and better next, either Audiosector or, but this one's still a keeper. BTW, I'm still a noob, so take that for what it's worth.

Jolida SJ502A, Squeezebox Touch, Paul Carmody's Sunflowers, Jeff Bagby's Continuums; Planet 10 HiFi's MarkAudio A 7.3 Frugalhorns and MarkAudio CHP-70s, Bjorn's PS95 TABAQs
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Old 31st July 2008, 11:27 AM   #9
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I will look into those links.

Are there any gainclone designs that are superior to others? or is it only a matter of the quality behind the components that you use.
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Old 31st July 2008, 11:27 AM   #10
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its' a shame you have lost the resources to do cabinets as the enclosure is half the fun with both speakers and amps.
At least I have my dremel

Next year there is a chance that I will be able to gain access to those resources again, in which case if they as good as I am hoping, I will end up building some pretty nice speaker and amp enclosures. Trust me, I was going for an architectural/design major until I switched.
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