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Old 25th August 2015, 10:12 AM   #1
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Default Which "light" Chipamp project with which power supply

Heya!

I am quite new to DIY, except for building Speakers and the electronics necessary for those.

I have some experiences in soldering, I can read wiring diagrams and the main point, it is so much fun to me!

But I am well aware of the dangers and traps one can tap into, so I decided to open this thread, although one or another person may think that there are at least 1k threads like this. But I have some specific questions, which could be answered quite fast by some people with own experiences (at least I hope so :P )

1. The Amp:

For the start, I would like to build a nice and clean sounding Chipamp. The Chipamp does not need to have much power, it should be able to drive 2 small 1 way speaker for a desktop solution and not more.

What is important for me, is that the amp has a neutral charakter and does not do much to the sound, except for amplifieing.

I took a closer look at the 3886 Chip, but I saw there are many many other Chips out there, and the 3886 may even be a little bit oversized for my needs. Now I am a little bit confused, as I do not know the other Chips, and I do not know which one of them falls into the categorie "good and neutral sound quality".

2. The Power supply

I am aware of the fact that most of the people here build their own power supplies, but to be honest, I am not 100% sure if I also should go this route. Everything I know about electronics is out of books and the internet, and handling a power supply can get dangerous if you are not 100% sure about what you are doing.

At the end to big questions remain open:


1. Which Chip should I use, or preferably which DIY kit and where should I buy it (I am in the UK at the moment)?

2. Can I buy a discrete power supply for the project? If so, which one and where?


Guys, thank you very much for your support, remember, everybody started somewhere, and I am very thankful for you guys sharing your knowledge.

Cheers!

Schlumpfpeter
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Old 25th August 2015, 01:56 PM   #2
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Try chipamp.com, audiosector, MyRef_c, MyRef_FE and Modulus-86 for LM3886 kits. Most of them have their own websites and can be found at DiyAudio. All of them have solutions for the PSU.
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Old 25th August 2015, 02:08 PM   #3
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Thanks Mark,

I did not really find something for the PSU, most of them did have a PSU Board which you have to solder yourself, add a transformator (which you have to choose by yourself) and then put it into a case including grounding etc.

.... I was just thinking, maybe there is a boxed plug and play solution for that with decent quality.... I may be daydreaming.

Cheers!
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Old 25th August 2015, 02:28 PM   #4
infinia is online now infinia  United States
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amplifiers
Quote:
neutral charakter and does not do much to the sound, except for amplifieing
so do we know chip amps that do otherwise? as your post implies.
are they more numerous to make a list of just the "good" ones.

Im not sure part number matters as much as the whole design around the chip amp part that determines "goodness"
then probably a commercial amp kit with PS and chassis included makes more sense, less design choices to go wrong?
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Last edited by infinia; 25th August 2015 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 25th August 2015, 02:35 PM   #5
johnr66 is offline johnr66  United States
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Being a new DIYer, the LM1875 is a good start. It is not complicated to build and sounds very good if done right.
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Old 25th August 2015, 03:06 PM   #6
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In my opinion, I wouldn't worry about the power or size of the chip or it's amp. The 3886 may make more power than you need, but it doesn't hurt to have the power.

For a first project, I would concentrate on something simple to build, they all would meet your requirement of not coloring the sound.

The MyRef projects have excellent sound but the MyRef is a more complicated build than others. Also, those are hobby projects and boards are not always available.

Don't worry about selecting a transformer. You should build the power supply (sometimes on the amp board, sometimes a separate board). It's easy and you will get recommendations for transformers and other components from the seller.

If I were in your position, I would probably build the Chipamp.com or the AudioSector LM3875 Gainclone . They are straight forward to build and have good building instructions.
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Old 25th August 2015, 03:57 PM   #7
infinia is online now infinia  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Whitney View Post
All of them have solutions for the PSU.
but sadly not all of them have guarantees they wont hum
nor help you out if it does hum in your Hi-Fi
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Last edited by infinia; 25th August 2015 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 25th August 2015, 05:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infinia View Post
but sadly not all of them have guarantees they wont hum
nor help you out if it does hum in your Hi-Fi
True. That may be a reason to build one of the designs supported on a diy forum. At least there, other members will try to help you solve your problem.
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Old 25th August 2015, 06:23 PM   #9
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I am fairly experienced in building electronics gear, although mostly HF gear. More recently I have branched out to AF amplifiers and associated equipment. For a starter project I built the Chipamp.com LM3886 dual-mono amplifier kit (~$100) with all PCB's and good quality parts to build working units.

Even though I have built gear for 25-years I still went with a kit from an established vendor in Chipamp.com for my first entry into high-end audio. The manual was solid, the PCB's of good quality and all parts were included along with a few extras, just in case. I am told the support from Brian is good, although I did not need any.

I would not hesitate to purchase from Brian at Chipamp.com or Audiosector (though I have not personal built his gear, others rave about the quality and sound of his kits). As for PSU, it really is best to build your own. The Chipamp PSU boards are easy to populate, easy to build with the assembly manual (online only, I believe) and the selection of a correct transformer is clear in the manual or here on DIYaudio.com. I went with the AnTek Inc. shielded transformer with dual 30V and 15V secondaries. It was about $80 with the transformer shield (not required, although I recommend it) plus shipping. AnTek Inc. is good to deal with and more importantly they shipped very quickly. I suspect you can find a similar vendor closer to you for your transformer.

As for the PSU, double-check you work and then check it again. Follow the assembly manual closely and ask questions if you have them. Always exercise caution when working with mains voltage and you will be fine.

Best of luck.

Darren
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Old 26th August 2015, 08:04 AM   #10
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Wow, thanks guys for all the answers. You really helped me a lot.

So LM3886 it is!

Now the question is, which kit to go for. I really like the chipamp.com kits, as they are reasonably priced (actually, seems like quite a bang for the buck) and I can easily reach somebody here to ask questions about it.

What bothers me a little bit is that there is no volume control and no heat sinks included.

Where can I buy heat sinks that will fit and how hard is it to include a volume control into the 3886 stereo amp kit?


Cheers guys!
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