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Old 13th February 2012, 08:34 AM   #1
Thedaus is offline Thedaus  Australia
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Default What would be a good amp for a first timer.

Hi, I am thinking about building a Class D amp based off a existing design but don't know where to start.
Low heat and clean output are my number 1 goals, power is secondary.

Leaning towards ljm_ljm's power amps but I also want to have a preamp in the same box.

Which of his designs would put out the least amount of heat?
Which preamp would be a good fit?
Which power supply?
Can I use the same power supply board to run the pre?
With the AC to DC power supply do I just have to have a transformer in between the board and the mains socket to step down the voltage for it or do I need more?
Should I run the power amp at the lower or higher end of it's voltage range?

It will be powering a pair of Zaph Audio ZRTs

Also, If anyone has an other amp in mind do speak up.
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Old 13th February 2012, 04:41 PM   #2
Katch is offline Katch  United Kingdom
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Have a look at Arjen Helder's stuff on eBay. You can get his TA2020 MKIII board and a tube buffer to run with it both off the same 12v power supply.

wonderco_buy do really nice little chasis (also eBay)

Nice easy first project that sounds incredible.
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Old 13th February 2012, 05:19 PM   #3
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Class D can have its problems with the choice of load. If you get it right, the results can be very good, if you get it wrong the results will be disappointing.

As a first timer, you might prefer the more reliable Class AB approach.
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Old 13th February 2012, 06:32 PM   #4
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Not really an easy question to answer; we don't know anything about your skill level, or budget. Those two are fairly critical.

You need a good set of basic tools. Purchased new, although what comprises the set will vary depending on who you ask, in my mind you need about $200 worth.

However that assumes you're actually "building" something. Maybe all you need are a few screwdrivers, to assemble a kit like Arjen Helder's, which are pretty basic.

Can you build an enclosure, do you need a premade one, can you drill a hole in aluminum? These things will affect what first project you undertake.

Do you have soldering skills? If not, get some used electronics ... doesn't really matter what they are ... and take them apart. Practice desoldering components, and re-soldering them.

Are you electrically safe? Do you have a dedicated workspace that can be secured from others? Read up on best safety practices when dealing with household and DC current.

Maybe you're more of a handyman and less an electronics guru. Perhaps a speaker project would be better for you to start.

If some of this post is a bit pedantic, I mentioned earlier that we don't know anything about your experience or skills, and this is "the interwebs"; if you're mature enough that this is talking down to you, maybe someone searching and finding this thread isn't. So, please forgive me.

My basic electronics tool kit would consist of:
--A temperature controlled soldering station. Hakko 936 or equivalent (they have a new model that replaces the 936, is a bit better, and costs the same, but I forget the model #). About $100. You can get Chinese knockoffs, but in my opinion you won't regret splurging the $20 or $40 extra on the Hakko once you use it a few times. Others may disagree, but that's how I feel about it.

--JIS screw drivers; you can get away with a $10 set from a computer store; they are usually called micro drivers. Note that JIS drivers work with Phillips screws but not vice-versa, and most electronics use the JIS screws.

--Some kind of sharp knife. Hopefully you can use one without excess bloodletting. A few dollars. Hot tip: NEVER cut anything in the vicinity of your leg. If you cut the femoral artery, you will be dead in five minutes. I'm adding this because I actually know someone who died from this, he was poked by a deer horn in the thigh loading it into his truck bed.

--A set of electronics pliers and cutters; you absolutely need needle nose and side cutters.

--Some screw and bolt tools.

--A stepped drill bit; access to a drill. Assuming you have a drill and don't need to buy one, say $10.

--Some kind of vice suitable for electronics. Chinese knockoffs of the PanaVice are maybe $10.

--A non-conductive surface. A wooden cutting board, perhaps.

--Anti-static wriststrap; cheap at computer stores.

--Something to hold small parts. You can get away with egg crates.

--A decent lamp to work with, a magnifying glass is useful. Scrounge them or buy them.

--A Volt-Ohm-Meter. Buy what you can afford; could be as low as $10. Since you will use multiple meters if you have them around, don't worry too much if it's "good enough". You can buy another later, and you'll still find use for the first one. Many people have three or five and use them all simultaneously.

--A Soldapullit or equivalent. Some desoldering wick. Some solder ... lead free is the current standard but if you can find lead-tin solder it's easier to work with. Maybe $35 for the three. Note: If you can't afford a soldering station like the Hakko and use a pencil iron, then you should seriously consider sourcing the lead solder somehow; it's much easier to work with.

I'm sure I overlooked something others feel is either handy or essential, and I'm also sure there are those (myself included) who started with less, but we all ended up buying the stuff on this list eventually, plus some. If you decide to start with speakers, then the usual woodworking tools, a pencil iron, the pliers and something to drill holes and turn screws or bolts, and some solder is all you need. The VOM would be handy as well. Lots of beginner-level plans everywhere, including this site.

Oh, and have fun. It's a great hobby.
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Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 13th February 2012 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 13th February 2012, 07:14 PM   #5
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Hmmm ... I see you have the Zaph Audio speakers. Nevermind the building speakers part; sorry.

I would look at the Arjen Helder boards as a beginner kit, you would learn a bit from it and they sound good enough for the cost. There is room to play with them to adjust the sound quality, which will involve soldering skills.

If you want to take on something more challenging, then maybe try a gainclone or some other design found in the "Chip Amps" section (Home/Forums/Amplifiers ...).

I don't see any reason why you couldn't "jump right in" with a scratch-build kit, maybe with a group buy PCB as a start, or a tube amp, since thousands have done so before, but any mistakes will be proportionally more expensive, and higher voltages mean more safety needs to be looked at. Up to you.
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Old 13th February 2012, 07:50 PM   #6
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what about Hypex modules ? not cheap but superb quality , powerful , and easy to assamble
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Old 13th February 2012, 07:56 PM   #7
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I have my doubts about gain clones. They are cheap meadeochre amps IMHO.

If you only have pennies to spend then they are OK.

I built a top-end LM3886 gain clone and the results were TBPO "dissapointing".

The Pass projects are vastly superior but do require a bit more effort to get them right.

Last edited by KatieandDad; 13th February 2012 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 13th February 2012, 09:06 PM   #8
Thedaus is offline Thedaus  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny2Bad View Post
Not really an easy question to answer; we don't know anything about your skill level, or budget. Those two are fairly critical.

You need a good set of basic tools. Purchased new, although what comprises the set will vary depending on who you ask, in my mind you need about $200 worth.

However that assumes you're actually "building" something. Maybe all you need are a few screwdrivers, to assemble a kit like Arjen Helder's, which are pretty basic.

Can you build an enclosure, do you need a premade one, can you drill a hole in aluminum? These things will affect what first project you undertake.

Do you have soldering skills? If not, get some used electronics ... doesn't really matter what they are ... and take them apart. Practice desoldering components, and re-soldering them.

Are you electrically safe? Do you have a dedicated workspace that can be secured from others? Read up on best safety practices when dealing with household and DC current.

Maybe you're more of a handyman and less an electronics guru. Perhaps a speaker project would be better for you to start.

If some of this post is a bit pedantic, I mentioned earlier that we don't know anything about your experience or skills, and this is "the interwebs"; if you're mature enough that this is talking down to you, maybe someone searching and finding this thread isn't. So, please forgive me.

My basic electronics tool kit would consist of:
--A temperature controlled soldering station. Hakko 936 or equivalent (they have a new model that replaces the 936, is a bit better, and costs the same, but I forget the model #). About $100. You can get Chinese knockoffs, but in my opinion you won't regret splurging the $20 or $40 extra on the Hakko once you use it a few times. Others may disagree, but that's how I feel about it.

--JIS screw drivers; you can get away with a $10 set from a computer store; they are usually called micro drivers. Note that JIS drivers work with Phillips screws but not vice-versa, and most electronics use the JIS screws.

--Some kind of sharp knife. Hopefully you can use one without excess bloodletting. A few dollars. Hot tip: NEVER cut anything in the vicinity of your leg. If you cut the femoral artery, you will be dead in five minutes. I'm adding this because I actually know someone who died from this, he was poked by a deer horn in the thigh loading it into his truck bed.

--A set of electronics pliers and cutters; you absolutely need needle nose and side cutters.

--Some screw and bolt tools.

--A stepped drill bit; access to a drill. Assuming you have a drill and don't need to buy one, say $10.

--Some kind of vice suitable for electronics. Chinese knockoffs of the PanaVice are maybe $10.

--A non-conductive surface. A wooden cutting board, perhaps.

--Anti-static wriststrap; cheap at computer stores.

--Something to hold small parts. You can get away with egg crates.

--A decent lamp to work with, a magnifying glass is useful. Scrounge them or buy them.

--A Volt-Ohm-Meter. Buy what you can afford; could be as low as $10. Since you will use multiple meters if you have them around, don't worry too much if it's "good enough". You can buy another later, and you'll still find use for the first one. Many people have three or five and use them all simultaneously.

--A Soldapullit or equivalent. Some desoldering wick. Some solder ... lead free is the current standard but if you can find lead-tin solder it's easier to work with. Maybe $35 for the three. Note: If you can't afford a soldering station like the Hakko and use a pencil iron, then you should seriously consider sourcing the lead solder somehow; it's much easier to work with.

I'm sure I overlooked something others feel is either handy or essential, and I'm also sure there are those (myself included) who started with less, but we all ended up buying the stuff on this list eventually, plus some. If you decide to start with speakers, then the usual woodworking tools, a pencil iron, the pliers and something to drill holes and turn screws or bolts, and some solder is all you need. The VOM would be handy as well. Lots of beginner-level plans everywhere, including this site.

Oh, and have fun. It's a great hobby.
Can a router cut holes in aluminum? If so, yes I can cut holes.

I have soldered once, did not turn out the best but it was a bit of an odd shape to solder to.

Getting people not to touch something I am working on will not be a problem.

I do have a pocket knife,

Got a fair amount of tools in general.

I have a drill and I can get the bit just down the road.

I have no conductive tables.

Don't need the Anti-static wriststrap, far too much humidity in the air to need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lduarte1973 View Post
what about Hypex modules ? not cheap but superb quality , powerful , and easy to assamble
I have looked at them but they are kind of pricey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieandDad View Post
Class D can have its problems with the choice of load. If you get it right, the results can be very good, if you get it wrong the results will be disappointing.

As a first timer, you might prefer the more reliable Class AB approach.
The whole point of me building a class D is to replace my Onkyo 605 which is a class AB that puts out a huge amount of heat and because it is being funded by it's sale I have to keep costs down.

I should add that I need at least 30W per a channel, the max that can be sent to the ZRT before it runs out of x-max (when running fullrange).


I have been turn off class T due to some less than good measurements of Sure amps I have seen on this board and because no one seems to have checked how other T amps perform.

Last edited by Thedaus; 13th February 2012 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 13th February 2012, 09:57 PM   #9
Thedaus is offline Thedaus  Australia
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I was thinking of http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/L20D-Ster...item19c7021db7
+
6*10000uF/80V high quality power supply board for amp | eBay
+
A toroidal.

I have no idea what preamp board I need to control the volume and if I can power it off the power supply I listed.
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Old 15th February 2012, 01:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedaus View Post
I have no idea what preamp board I need to control the volume and if I can power it off the power supply I listed.
No need for a preamp. Just use potentiometer for volume
http://tangentsoft.net/audio/bitmaps/annotated-rk27.jpg
http://dev.hificollective.co.uk/site...ps27layout.jpg
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