New Chipamp Kit Maker
I just got a pair of Lm3886 from EzAmps.com. The kits came complete with boards, parts, heatsink, connectors, and toroid. The instructions are complete and easy to follow. They even have a support forum for questions. Excellent value for what's included.
So how do you like it? :confused:
I'm a little leery of the "spider-star" PCB mumbo-jumbo. I've heard from both engineers and hifi repairman that you should always go for the thickest, widest traces possible, even if they're somewhat lumpy.
I'm sorry but that's kinda pricey compared to the diy guys here like Audio Sector nevermind the mass-market stuff from Vellemen.
Actually its a very sound design no mubo jumbo inverted buffered DC servo design, module can be bridged and probably parelleled.
As for the price $65.00 for PC board all parts hardware and heatsink is not to bad from what Ive seen.
Some other competitors give you far less...... and for $55.00 you get a transformer and power supply board.
I'm sorry...I don't wanna poo-poo the EZamps guys...I commend any effort to bring a decent PCB to the diy-ers. However, the Audio Sector dual mono kit works out to effectively $28 USD per channel and includes the rectifier board.
Amp/Rectifier Board $28
Avel Lindberg 90VA toroidal $20
Amp Board $65
Power Supply $55
Do I have my math wrong? :D
Hower, the price breakdown is as follows:
$130 - 2 $65 modules
$80 - 1 power supply unit with transformer.
Total: $210 + preamp components
$57 - dual-mono LM3875 classic kit
$46 - 250VA Avel transformer from Parts Express
Total : $103 + preamp components.
Or, if you need the output power:
$73 - LM4780 dual-mono kit
$65 - 330VA Avel transformer.
The latter is good for 120 watts paralleled into two ohms (essentially, 2 EZamps in parallel) or about the same run bridged into 8.
All you need to do is ask. I'm the last person to feed you a line. Spider Star is a variation of the dual star ground layout: a highly regarded PCB technique. Simply put, there are two star grounds; one in the amplifier, and one in the power supply. Two amplifiers gives you three star grounds making equilateral ground lengths from the supply to the speaker output.
I can only claim what the numbers prove: It's the most trouble-free ground system for a kit design. If I could control all manner of connections made to the amp, I probably wouldn't need this technique. It sure doesn't hurt, though.
To answer these other questions; the PointZero includes all parts - down to the hardware, wires, fused IEC socket and preterminated transformer leads. The boards have screw terminal blocks (not cheap), onboard fuses (that work!) and every component value has its own sealed bag. Ever spend two hours sorting 50 parts thrown into a sandwich bag? What happens if you have a 20mV DC offset? Well, with most kits you have a problem. With the PointZero, you have no problems. The DC Servo handles this for you.
The kit isn't for everyone. The price is steep for many but covers a lot of footwork that the end user can totally avoid. This is the entire point of EZAmps: Once the kit is done, there are no adjustments. There is no frustration. To this point, I have never had a call back, a return or a failure. I have sold over 50 kits to date - nothing spectacular, but not nothing.
Looks sweet. They may be more expensive than audiosector, but the product is different. Pick the flavour that suits you best...
I have purchased (and anxiously awaiting) a pair of the amps + the power supply and some odds and ends.
I made the purchase for practical reasons. Others may see the price as a bit high. I see the added cost as insurance. Insurance that all the parts are the right parts. Insurance that once I start the project, I will have the documentation and support to finish the project. Insurance that I continue this new found hobby after my first project, instead of stopping halfway through...frustrated and beaten. Personally, I would rather spend a few more dollars for a project that I am sure I can complete.
There will be plenty of opportunities after this project to make grander and more complicated toys. I'm even already thinking about tweeks I can preform on the power supply.
That said, I think the kits look solidly engineered. The products seem aimed at a reasonable balance of price vs. performance. The manuals look very well thought out and complete.
That isn't to say that there aren't other good products out there. Some may ultimately be cheaper, depending on how you measure cost. Some my sound better to your ears. We all make purchasing decisions based on what's important to us.
EZAmps offer one stop shopping. They are offering a gateway for people to enter this amazingly complex and overwhelming world of DIY Audio. We need those new recruits to keep this hobby vibrant and growing. Bravo to EZAmps, and hopefully we will see more products from them in the future.
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