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Old 27th October 2006, 05:50 PM   #11
Daveis is offline Daveis  United States
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I currently have UCD180 mono amps. They are high quality and surpisingly similar to good Class A, A/B amps. Contrast the UCD's to the Tripath which are also very good, but have a distinct sound to them.

I'll be putting a stereo UCD400 together. It has an oversized transformer (1000VA). I may try to put 4 channels in it. I'll let you know if it sounds different than the mono-amps.

It might be better to build the source selection and volume control in it's own case. I am thinking your amp case might get overcrowded quickly if you try to put too much in it.

Passive will get you by for awhile. You might find your frequency response is thrown off a bit. Or maybe you could drive your amps directly from your sources if they have variable out? Then all you need is a source selection switch.

The UGS sounds killer, but if you want a cheaper/easier alternative how about using one of the headphone amp circuits?
Such as PPA, PiMeta, M3+. I am currently using the M3+ as a headphone amp and it also serves well as a preamp/volume control. Many of the headphone amp designs are setup for battery operation so they should be fairly inexpensive to construct.
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Old 27th October 2006, 07:07 PM   #12
Javin5 is offline Javin5  Switzerland
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zazzero:

It's difficult to recommend a particular model of an older preamp. If you see something that fits your budget, try to find some reviews before you buy. Or ask in the forum if anybody has experience with that model.

Some comments on the cost issue:

If you want the best sound, this comes at a certain cost. I agree that even the DIY- implemetations are not that cheap if you add a nice case, all the connectors, etc. You may reduce the cost by

- not going dual mono with the UCD (you will still get good sound)
- instead of the UCD, use a class D kit that you assemble yourself (check the forum)
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Old 30th October 2006, 09:59 AM   #13
zazzero is offline zazzero  Italy
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Quote:
Originally posted by Daveis


CUT

I'll be putting a stereo UCD400 together. It has an oversized transformer (1000VA). I may try to put 4 channels in it. I'll let you know if it sounds different than the mono-amps.

Thank you very much: very useful. My current/provisional idea is to start with a single supply HG solution (in case no major drawback arises in the meantime) but to leave some room for a dual supply solution tn the case I change my mind at a later stage...

Quote:
Originally posted by Daveis


It might be better to build the source selection and volume control in it's own case. I am thinking your amp case might get overcrowded quickly if you try to put too much in it.

Passive will get you by for awhile. You might find your frequency response is thrown off a bit. Or maybe you could drive your amps directly from your sources if they have variable out? Then all you need is a source selection switch.

The UGS sounds killer, but if you want a cheaper/easier alternative how about using one of the headphone amp circuits?
Such as PPA, PiMeta, M3+. I am currently using the M3+ as a headphone amp and it also serves well as a preamp/volume control. Many of the headphone amp designs are setup for battery operation so they should be fairly inexpensive to construct.
Sorry but what "UGS sounds killer" means?

Since I have no volume control in CD source, my original idea is to replicate, if possible, the volume control and the input selection capabilities of a normal integrated ampli but I have no idea about details... It should not be a nightmare of a complex circuit nor dimensionally enormous for a HiFi2000 galaxy (80x330x280 cm), should be?

How can I get some simple circuit and good choice components (keeping budget in control) for input selection and volume? Would it be possible to build for a beginner?

Thanking you all...
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Old 30th October 2006, 12:46 PM   #14
Daveis is offline Daveis  United States
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Des Moines, IA
What I meant was the UGS sounds like a very high-quality preamp. It might be one of the best designs floating around diyaudio.

An easier and much cheaper to build solution would be using opamps. My M3 headphone amp, which doubles as a preamp, has an OPA627 opamp with a MOSFET output stage. It sounds very good and is a good example of what can be done with opamps. The problem is that it would cost about $200 to $300 to build one.

I hate to admit it but a good used receiver with pre-outs would probably be about equal to a DIY opamp preamp in sound quality and cost less. I had an Sony ES receiver with pre-outs hooked to Threshold amps and the sound was very good. Brand new it cost in the $300 to $400 range.

A UCD amp built entirely with modules should be within a beginners capability. I would start with that first.

An opamp preamp, like one of the headphone amps I suggested, would require some surface mount soldering. A good example video of the skill needed for that is on Tangent's website. He's one of the people involved with the M3 headphone amp.
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