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markusA 6th May 2012 02:41 PM

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...)

No 4 6th May 2012 02:47 PM 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.

gainphile 7th May 2012 02:46 AM

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.

lanchile 7th May 2012 03:22 AM

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 ;)

syklab 7th May 2012 05:58 AM

Me too, Audiosector LM3875 work flatlessly and sounded good.

scid714 7th May 2012 07:11 AM

You can't go wrong with the audio sector kits. Plus a gazillion threads on here for trouble shooting any problems.

markusA 7th May 2012 07:14 AM

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?

jerryo 7th May 2012 08:35 AM

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.

Sjef 20th May 2012 03:36 PM

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.

Tekko 20th May 2012 04:48 PM

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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