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Old 14th January 2012, 04:12 PM   #1
Reeptar is offline Reeptar  United States
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Location: Cleveland, OH
Default Some help starting off please.

Salutations!

I am brand new to amplifiers and circuitry and what have you. I know and understand the basics and a few terms and also have 2 years of training with electrical work from a vocational school. I have an understanding of Ohm's law, decent math skills, a very patient temper, and of course, the crazy imagination that got me interested in this.

Ill start off by stating that i am not one to normally make posts like this begging for help, but i have spent countless hours reading guides, articles, various posts, searching google, watching videos, and reading up on different products to acquire some understand what im dealing with; and i just cant seem to figure this out!

I absolutely love technology. Ive always been one to question how things work. Last year i managed to somewhat build my own computer from parts i scrapped. But when it comes to music and sound, i just cant help but get into building my own components and devices. its something ive wanted to do for quite awhile now.

So, now that ive given a quick background of who i am, i would like to ask this community if it could lend me a hand in getting started. i am just so lost! so here are a few questions i hope some of you can help me answer:

what is the difference between the different types of amplifiers and how do they compare to one another?

When it comes to amplifiers, which type seems to have the brightest future?

Where could you recommend a good site/forum/post for a beginner like me to establish a root understand and work from the absolute bottom up?

What are all the tools, parts, and terms i should know of?

Where can i learn how to read and draw schematics?

What is the price range of a beginners project as well as an advanced project?

Where are good places to buy supplies? (online and in-store(if it helps, i live near cleveland, ohio in the US))

What laws and theories should i know about and read up on?

What project would you recommend i start with?

If you feel i should know something i didnt ask, please feel free to either post about it, the name of it, or even a link to where i can learn about it.

I hope you guys are willing and able to help me with my questions and starting off. i just got so lost in all those different links and post and what not, this will definitely help alot.

I thank anyone and everyone in advance that is willing to lend me assistance!
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Old 14th January 2012, 05:49 PM   #2
Jebem is offline Jebem  Portugal
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Hello,
You need to follow your own way... start with anything you like, for instance a small project for a simple audio amplifier, do some more reading about it, and then start asking specific questions for specific issues that you may find.

There is no single correct way to follow, really... we keep learning by making mistakes, so in the end the knowledge will come from experimentation.
Or you need to spend a few years in universities learning all the basic theory, but in the end, nothing replaces experimental work.
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One of my SE 211 tube amps: http://sites.google.com/site/sunajeb...ificador-211se
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Old 14th January 2012, 07:47 PM   #3
! is offline !  United States
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Too many questions each with too long an answer for a single forum topic. Like Jebem wrote, you can start by spending years on a formal education or you can go the route of purpose based learning on the fly.

For the latter, set out to build something that solves a problem or fulfills a purpose and looks like it won't be enough of a learning curve or expense to deter you or make you abandon the project later. Do what you can on the project and ask for advice when needed.

Since you are posting in the chipamp section of DIY audio, I suggest building a basic chipamp. Decide the budget and use to guide you to a power range and candidate chips capable of that, also considering what applicable parts you might have lying around if you wish to first practice and learn without a commitment to a 100% complete everyday use amp. Price range can vary widely. I used to take apart old electronic items, even stripped down a huge business class copy machine in my garage once to build up a stock of "stuff" I could use for various purposes. When I shop online I buy more than I really need at the time to get volume discounts and not have to spend a fortune on shipping later for that random 20 cent part I need but don't have. You can build on perfboard, buy professionally made boards, or take up copper clad circuit board etching as a side hobby. You can build or buy your own amp cases or salvage cases for reuse. It's all about what you need the result to be like, will it be a showcase piece sitting on the living room table or stuffed into the bottom of a TV stand where it is never seen again but serves its purpose.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have electronics suppliers nearby but most use mail order/internet suppliers. There are surplus sites where you can get some components cheap if you're willing to make tradeoffs or hunt around a lot for parts. Some of those include ApexJr.com, BGMIcro, Electronic Goldmine, MPJA, PartsExpress. Then there are electronics supply houses with vast stock like Digikey, Mouser, Newark, Allied Electronics, etc.

Many people have Radio Shack stores nearby in the US, which can be handy in emergency situations but their stock is very limited, usually low quality parts, and almost always very high priced.

Basically you just pick up the tools and knowledge on an as-needed basis, or you can start by just following directions on a ready-made kit and study it.

There are a lot of books you might consider, a couple of which are The Art Of Electronics [Horowitz] and Op Amps For Everyone [Mancini], the latter happens to be available as a free PDF download, http://www.ti.com/lit/an/slod006b/slod006b.pdf
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Old 15th January 2012, 12:32 PM   #4
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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I would also suggest two sites:

Pass Diy

Elliott Sound Products - The Audio Pages (Main Index)

because they both have projects/kits along with good information on the why and how.
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"Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way."
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Old 15th January 2012, 12:36 PM   #5
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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add Decibel Dungeon to your reading list

Decibel Dungeon DIY hi-fi index.
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regards Andrew T.
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Old 15th January 2012, 07:27 PM   #6
Reeptar is offline Reeptar  United States
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Thank you very much everyone. Im at work right now but I'm sure I'll be up late tonight going through these sites and reading some books. Thanks again everyone! Please feel free to post more if there's anything else you feel is helpful. I'm sure other beginners like me would also be looking for help and stumble upon this thread.
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Old 16th January 2012, 05:36 AM   #7
gootee is offline gootee  United States
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http://www.national.com/an/AN/AN-31.pdf

http://www.national.com/an/AN/AN-20.pdf

ADI - Analog Dialogue | Op Amp Applications Handbook

Last edited by gootee; 16th January 2012 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 16th January 2012, 04:13 PM   #8
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Electronic Surplus was near down-town Cleveland, but now it's in Mentor.
Home

Philcap Electronics may still be in Akron.
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Old 16th January 2012, 06:16 PM   #9
benb is offline benb  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reeptar View Post
Salutations!

I am brand new to amplifiers and circuitry and what have you. I know and understand the basics and a few terms and also have 2 years of training with electrical work from a vocational school. I have an understanding of Ohm's law, decent math skills, a very patient temper, and of course, the crazy imagination that got me interested in this.

Ill start off by stating that i am not one to normally make posts like this begging for help, but i have spent countless hours reading guides, articles, various posts, searching google, watching videos, and reading up on different products to acquire some understand what im dealing with; and i just cant seem to figure this out!

I absolutely love technology. Ive always been one to question how things work. Last year i managed to somewhat build my own computer from parts i scrapped. But when it comes to music and sound, i just cant help but get into building my own components and devices. its something ive wanted to do for quite awhile now.
Great, loving technology and a willingest to continue learning will get you far.
Quote:
So, now that ive given a quick background of who i am, i would like to ask this community if it could lend me a hand in getting started. i am just so lost! so here are a few questions i hope some of you can help me answer:

what is the difference between the different types of amplifiers and how do they compare to one another?
Good question. The basics, Class A, Class B, Class AB and the (never used in audio) Class C are covered in the ARRL book below. Class D is effectively pulse-width modulation. There are others, but as they said in the movie Airplane!, that's not important now...

Or were you asking transistor vs. tube?

Quote:
When it comes to amplifiers, which type seems to have the brightest future?
For the most popular commercial products, that's probably Class D or some variation, as it's used in portable music players due to its high efficiency, preserving battery life. It's also in home theater surround-sound amplifiers/receivers, again for efficiency, to get high power output without having massive heat sinks poking out the sides and back from the lower efficiency of Class AB. But Class D may not give the cleanest sound, even though it may be "acceptable" to the general public. But that's not important now...
Quote:
Where could you recommend a good site/forum/post for a beginner like me to establish a root understand and work from the absolute bottom up?

What are all the tools, parts, and terms i should know of?

Where can i learn how to read and draw schematics?

..
I thank anyone and everyone in advance that is willing to lend me assistance!
Get the ARRL Radio Amateur's Handbook (okay, that was the name for older editions for decades and decades) as I describe here (yes, I wrote the second entry, if anyone knows of a better or similar all-inclusive introduction to electronics feel free to add it), even an older edition used or check it out from the library, and study the first few chapters, 100 or so pages:
Electronics:Recommended Reading - diyAudio
It starts from the very basics of "this is a resistor, this is a capacitor," Ohms Law and other formulas and equations, but it's rather fast-paced and covers a huge amount of electronics design in just a few chapters. There are later chapters covering power supplies, construction techniques, tools, and indexes of parts suppliers. Reading that much should easily answer the majority of questions you've asked.
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Old 17th January 2012, 02:23 PM   #10
Reeptar is offline Reeptar  United States
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cleveland, OH
@gootee thank you for the .pdf's! they always make things easier as im on my computer alot and can have them saved to my desktop for quick access
@speedskater, I live in strongsville. Not sure if you're familiar with that area, but the cities that boarder strongsville are middleburg hights, brunswick, north royalton, berea, and columbia station.
@benb, thanks for taking the time to type all that out! very helpful! ill try to see if i can get up to the library some time this week to grab that book.
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