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Chip Amps Amplifiers based on integrated circuits

Is there a best GainClone kit?
Is there a best GainClone kit?
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Old 6th May 2012, 01:41 PM   #1
markusA is offline markusA  Sweden
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Default Is there a best GainClone kit?

I'm thinking of building myself a set of gainclones and it would be great if you guys could point me in the right direction.

I want a good sounding amp with commercial PCBs, preferably a complete kit.
Maybe a balanced monobloc build? I've got balanced XLR connections from my DAC so why not go for balanced all the way?

Is there a kit you could recommend? I don't care about the amps heritage as long as it sounds good.

I wouldn't mind if the kit came complete with PSUs as well.

(I'm tired of my big'ol monoblocs and want something smaller, more discrete...)
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Old 6th May 2012, 01:47 PM   #2
No 4 is offline No 4  United States
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Audiosector.com the lm4780 kit can be used in a balanced setup in the bridged configuration I believe. The kit come with power supply and amp boards and all the parts you need. The boards are of the highest quality, and so is the customer service. Check out the audiosector threads in the commercial area.
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:46 AM   #3
gainphile is offline gainphile  Australia
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Yes AudioSector is really great and tidy. Very reasonable cost.

My only complaint would be the R spacing is too small for normal 1% variants here in OZ. I had to solder them standing up.
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Old 7th May 2012, 02:22 AM   #4
lanchile is offline lanchile  United States
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Yes, my vote is for Audiosector too. Peter Daniel has wonderful service and Chip amps kits. My first diy amp was an LM3875 from Audiosector it sounded really well. The only thing that I did not like was those tiny 10uf caps for power supply! the rest was all good
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Old 7th May 2012, 04:58 AM   #5
syklab is offline syklab  United States
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Me too, Audiosector LM3875 work flatlessly and sounded good.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:11 AM   #6
scid714 is offline scid714  United States
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You can't go wrong with the audio sector kits. Plus a gazillion threads on here for trouble shooting any problems.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:14 AM   #7
markusA is offline markusA  Sweden
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Everyone seem unanimous, cool.
And now for the obvious follow-up question...
Why should I go for the gainclone instead of a class-D amp? Does it sound better than the Hypex ucd180 for example?
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Old 7th May 2012, 07:35 AM   #8
jerryo is offline jerryo  Isle of Man
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If you like, it might be worth taking a look at the "41 Hz" website. Tripath amps of various types, costs, outputs, complexity; and with various power supply options. There is also a forum on the site for trouble shooting and discussion.
It is a good site to have a look at whatever you decide.
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Old 20th May 2012, 02:36 PM   #9
Sjef is offline Sjef  Netherlands
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Gainclone vs UCD180 depends on application. In my system the gainclone sounds better then the UCD amp, but I'm using it only for midrange duties in an active system with medium/high effiency drivers. The gainclone with small psu capacitance is not an amp for low efficiency loudspeakers with complex crossovers. I didn't like the gainclone with big psu caps though. In that case you will be better off with an UCD amp. So, is one better then the other ? No, it depends. Very frustrating answer, I know, but that's how it is.

By the way, all my Tube amps (one ecl82pp, two 300B set) sound better in the midrange than either the gainclone or UCD amp, but I don't want to know because I don't want to use tubes or class A ss anymore for the reason that I (and my family) like to listen to music all day long every day, the whole year around without having to worry about tube life or the electricity bill. With the UCD amps and Gainclones instead of tubes and class A ss amps in an active three way system the standby power use went down from around 350Watt to less then 50 watt, including PC, crossover and six mono power amps and after some tweaking it sounds almost as good now.

Last edited by Sjef; 20th May 2012 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 20th May 2012, 03:48 PM   #10
Tekko is offline Tekko
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LM3875 and LM3886 such as the XY kit on ebay definately!!!. The class d stuff is just nasty and harch/sharp/cold/lifeless sounding, not worth the money AT ALL!
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