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Taipan 5th December 2012 01:35 AM

Best way for novice to learn to build amp
One my kick the bucket list items is to learn how to build my own stereo equipment. I live in Southwest Missouri and I am unable to find any schools that provide training in basic electronics. The only thing have found on the internet is a weekend program in Chicago that teaches you how to build a tube amp.

I am open to any suggestions from books, hands-on training, on-line training or anyone who is a diyer locally who might share their experiences with me.

I look forward to anyone's suggestions/thoughts.

Thanks for your help.


Einric 5th December 2012 01:51 AM

Start HERE for soldering tutorials there are three parts, this guy is comical.

Then check out a well known kit like the Audio Sector LM4780 or the BrianGT LM3886.
Both have A LOT of support on this site.
I am more than willing to guide you though the Audio Sector LM4780.
These kits are well documented and easy peasy!

Jay 5th December 2012 02:00 AM

The best training is the training that is suitable for your basic knowledge. There are pre requisites before we can learn some topics effectively. So it is good if you explain what you already know, your education background (whether you know Ohm law at all or not).

Many people don't know how to make a power supply even reading/measuring resistance. By building a chip amp (aka gainclone) we learn about power supply, a little bit about feedback, a boucherot/zobel and all the basic things including cabling/building.

If the above is too simple, building a one stage class-A mosfet amp (aka Zens) while reading its documentations might also help.

The best option is of course a specialized training. When you join the tube building training, you will meet people who will teach you or answer your questions or even show you directions. So it is probably more beneficial than you might think.

Taipan 5th December 2012 02:02 AM

Einric--thanks very much for your quick response. I will look into the kits you suggested and get back to you. I am familiar with Peter Daniel's equipment. I purchased a DAC from him 5 year or so back. Again, thanks so much for your willingness to help me. Taipan

Einric 5th December 2012 02:14 AM

I cut my teeth on one of Peter's LM4780's in stereo single chip.
Now I have done a Dual Parallel setup of the same and really enjoy them.

Taipan 5th December 2012 02:17 AM

Jay-- Thank your quick response and willingness to try to help me. i see you are from Jakarta. I lived in Singapore about 2 1/2 years and also support Asia from the US and would travel to Indonesia and the countries in the region.

You asked about my training. My training is in Human Resources. My hobby is stereo equipment. My experience has been purchasing a couple of pc boards from Hong Kong. I would source the caps, resistors and other components and then would soldier them on the board. I would then have a friend complete the project. We build a Jadis preamp and Krell amp. I have also changed out caps and resistors on some speaker XO's.

Now that I moved to Missouri I am want to learn how to build my own amps, pre-amps and speakers.

Last week I ordered a basic headphone amp from Bottlehead. It appears to be a good basic kit and looks as it has from detailed instructions.

I was very interested in your last statement. You mentioned the "tube building training". Is this part of the DIY website? How do you join?

Jay, thanks again so much for responding to my note and trying to help me.


Jay 5th December 2012 03:10 AM

Hi Taipan, with the tube building training I was referring to the weekend program you mentioned (in Chicago). I have never joined that off course. What I meant was that if that is the only training you have access to, then I believe you will learn a lot by joining in.

I don't know about US geography. Don't know if Chicago is close or far from your location. Pass Labs has that Amp Camp, but I think it is far from your location.

Training is a very powerful tool to learn new things quickly and effectively, especially with good trainers.

You seem to have some experiences in building amps. But electronics is a wide subject. If you have to learn without joining a training you will usually have to find answer for question by question. It surely is a lengthy process. I think (if you find very hard) on the internet there is a tutorial how to use LTSpice to design (designing is more advanced than building) an amp. If there is someone who can guide you in using LTSpice (it will be very difficult for most), it will be a quicker path in achieving what you want to achieve.

jcx 5th December 2012 03:37 AM

Springfield has colleges, some may have EE/EET programs
Kansas City, Rolla, Fayettville have Unis with EE programs, but could still be 100 mi drives in various directions

online course are growing, some free from the big names - MIT has a online intro EE class

but all of that could be a lot of work

plenty of strictly hobbyist sites

Elliott Sound Products - The Audio Pages (Main Index) - projects, some theory, "debunking" - some of the things Rod posts make experienced EEs cringe - but he is more often right than many "audiophile" sites

Taipan 6th December 2012 01:28 AM

Thank You
Thanks all for the help. Greatly appreciated.

Jay, Chicago is about 9 hours away and the class is around $3K for 3 day program. You build your own amp. Have thought about doing this. Will need to save my money.

csom 15th December 2012 10:11 AM


Originally Posted by jcx (
Elliott Sound Products - The Audio Pages (Main Index) - projects, some theory, "debunking" - some of the things Rod posts make experienced EEs cringe - but he is more often right than many "audiophile" sites

So true JCX !

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