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elizard 19th April 2003 02:44 PM

DIY Amplifier Suggestions - on a tight budget

Well, I'm going to have enough money soon enough to buy some amps, and I need some suggestions.

My original idea is two K8040's from Velleman

Those run at $300/piece, so in total they're just under $700 after tax/shipping.

So, my budget is CAD$700 (USD$480)
I'm on a tight budget, no more than that, school is a priority!

So, I'd like some suggestions for amps. I'm open to both tubes and solids.
I listen on low-moderate levels, so I don't need a 200watt beast, but >50watt is preferred.

Btw, that $700 would need to include the amp/supply/chassis and everything else that might cost me for the project, except tools.

Also, another requirement is I'd prefer it to be easy-medium difficulty, I've only done one project so far from a kit, and although I've had little problems with it, I'd prefer not to take a bigger bite than I can handle.

Thank You :)

elizard 19th April 2003 02:46 PM

Oh, btw, one thing I forgot to mention.
Any price estimates, links, and parts list (especially the last!) are VERY welcome :)

Brian Guralnick 19th April 2003 03:25 PM

My favorite local shop, here in Montreal, may have some worthy used, or new equiptment at a good price.

They ship to US & Canada.

Take a look.

elizard 19th April 2003 03:43 PM

well i'd prefer to build something myself

i looked at the pre-owned, nothing fits my bill either :(

joensd 19th April 2003 03:59 PM

If I was on a tight budget and still wanted to build a substantial amplifier Iīd definitely go for a gainclone with a LM3875.
This chip cost about 6-8€ here in Europe.
The expensive parts would be the heatsink, transformer, some decent capacitors and the chassis of course.
If you build the chassis yourself you wonīt spend more than half of your budget.
Have a look here : Gaz included a pricelist for his monoblocks
(first page).
The chip is good for up to 50W but you can bridge/parallel if you need more power.
If you need more info : Do search for "gainclone" or "LM3875".


elizard 19th April 2003 05:06 PM

yeah, i've considered gainclone, however from what i've read is unless you use some high-grade components, you're bound to be dissapointed :(

also rarkov's list isn't complete for me .. for some reason it cust off after 2 cases for the monoblocks

but that's what i'd be looking to make .. preferably monoblocks ..

or should i just go for the vellemans?

elizard 19th April 2003 05:12 PM

i do see a problem w/ the vellemans however .. they seem to be cramped in too small a box
but that shouldn't be too much of a problem if i want to move cases

joensd 19th April 2003 06:45 PM

2 Attachment(s)

yeah, i've considered gainclone, however from what i've read is unless you use some high-grade components, you're bound to be dissapointed
I built a LM3886 amplifier about 3 years ago.
At that time I havenīt heard about the "famous" gainclone.
I used a PCB-layout from a magazine which has twice as much parts on it than the layout most use here.
No hypercautious and supertight layout and neither so called high-grade components.
I still havenīt modified it and I have to say I really like the amp.

Which high-grade components do you mean by the way?
The only thing you could go so crazy with that it exceeds your budget are the capacitors and my personal opinion is that you can build it without Black Gates for example.
Most good companies for capacitors should be within your budget.


elizard 19th April 2003 06:56 PM

What sort of caps should I use then, if not BG?
Something that digikey preferably carries :)

Thank you for the help though! :)
I just want to price out the gainclone monoblocks today preferably :)

I can get the cases pretty cheap locally, and I could probably order MOST parts (if not all) from a local electornics store. But I'd still want to price them on digikey first.
BTW .. any actual digikey#s are welcome for the caps/transformers

Philo 19th April 2003 07:35 PM

If you like Digikey then order the Panasonic FC 1000uF/50V for the filters. I do recommend you use a 4.7uF BlackGate N type for the input capacitor and a Mills 10K ohm for the input resistor. You can order them from Parts Connexion in Toronto. These components will cost you about $20US total vice $5-10 for other brand components but they are worth it. I use a Roederstein 220k resistor for the feedback but a good Dale-Vishay NH65 from Digikey will be work too. Don't spend to much on heatsinks use a 8" piece of 2"angle aluminum screwed to case will be sufficient. Stick with 18-24V transformers 120-180VA per/chan or a 225-300VA for both. The case depends on how good your metalworking skills are or buy one like cheap aluminum project box and paint it for super cheap. With the kind of money your willing to spend you could get a nice rack mount case 1U or 2U size and put everything in it. Good luck. It's a great project to cut your teeth on. :D

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