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Old 23rd March 2012, 07:02 AM   #1
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Default Spud amps

I am thinking of building one. Has any one built one of these?

http://www.ecp.cc/SSS.html

Others that I found are Pete Millet's Jonokuchi and the Torpedo. Any recommendation? I'm not really on a budget would like the amp to sound really good, but I don't plan on spending über bucks either.

Thanks. :-)
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Old 23rd March 2012, 07:26 AM   #2
Stixx is offline Stixx  Germany
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Dsavitsk's spud amps are well thought out... though I haven't built them I would recommend them.

For the Torpedo you could check the HeadFi site... there's a few discussions and an official build thread.

Then I have built quite a few headphone amps myself... the last one being a spud amp based on the german C3G transformer coupled and fed by a Salas shunt reg. See schematic attached --> it has been refined since and sure sounds gorgeous.
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File Type: jpg C3g_OPT.jpg (204.6 KB, 899 views)
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Old 23rd March 2012, 08:13 AM   #3
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Thanks.

Please pardon me for my rudimentary question. I have build a few amps, but mostly just board stuffing. How did you decide on this particular design?
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Old 23rd March 2012, 04:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
How did you decide on this particular design?
The very first headphone amp that I built was after a C3G OTL-schematic,
and I do like this tube ever since.
Since I am not the pro in designing stuff (like Dsavitsk ) I also wanted to keep
it as simple as possible... with the exception of the Salas shunt regulator that I
have used in my amps quite a bit. After I tried the first Salas shunt as psu there
was no going back... at least in line stages or headphone amps.

There is nothing that provides better spatial imaging or speed than the shunt regs.
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Old 24th March 2012, 10:25 PM   #5
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Thanks.

As usual, the more I read, the more confused I am. Different tubes, different circuits, different regulators, different transformers.

Btw, does your transformer coupled C3G betters the OTL one? How do they differ?

Thanks.
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Old 25th March 2012, 06:18 AM   #6
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navyblue View Post
Thanks.

As usual, the more I read, the more confused I am. Different tubes, different circuits, different regulators, different transformers.

Btw, does your transformer coupled C3G betters the OTL one? How do they differ?

Thanks.
my advice is to leave and leave now before its too late!! you'll build them all just to see which you like best, then you will build anything that seems interesting.

you guys think i'm joking
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Old 25th March 2012, 09:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
my advice is to leave and leave now before its too late!! you'll build them all just to see which you like best, then you will build anything that seems interesting.

you guys think i'm joking
You are not joking...

The real fun in DIY is building something, learning along the way, actually "creating" something when a certain level of perfection in building is involved etc.

But as for best sound everything is a matter of personal preference.... tube, solid state, hybrid... who knows which is the right path to audio nirvana? In the end only you.
You can build one amp, like the sound and be done with it.... or you get bitten and you can't stop building stuff... (for various reasons...)

@Navyblue: sure this is confusing with about 20 spud schematics floating around the net... But as qusp put it... you have to start at one point and then see for yourself
how you like it. You will then know whether you instantly tackle the next build or not.
To your question: Yes, the transformer coupled C3G amps does sound better in terms of neutrality, attack and timbre. But I might as well find out that one future project
(called The Wire) destroys them all...
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Old 25th March 2012, 03:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
my advice is to leave and leave now before its too late!! you'll build them all just to see which you like best, then you will build anything that seems interesting.

you guys think i'm joking
I don't know if it is too late already, but most likely I am not as deep as you guys.

I first build an SS amp (Beta 22), then wonder how does tube sound. So I picked a lowish voltage hybrid (SOHA II) as I didn't want to deal with high voltage, then I wonder how does real tube amp sounds and so here I am. Btw I haven't done building the SOHA II.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stixx View Post
You are not joking...

The real fun in DIY is building something, learning along the way, actually "creating" something when a certain level of perfection in building is involved etc.

But as for best sound everything is a matter of personal preference.... tube, solid state, hybrid... who knows which is the right path to audio nirvana? In the end only you.
You can build one amp, like the sound and be done with it.... or you get bitten and you can't stop building stuff... (for various reasons...)

@Navyblue: sure this is confusing with about 20 spud schematics floating around the net... But as qusp put it... you have to start at one point and then see for yourself
how you like it. You will then know whether you instantly tackle the next build or not.
To your question: Yes, the transformer coupled C3G amps does sound better in terms of neutrality, attack and timbre. But I might as well find out that one future project
(called The Wire) destroys them all...
Thanks.

I'd like to build something that would sound different than what I have, something that has that "typical tube sound". From what I read, I want a SET amp, and spud SET amp seems to best represent the "genre"? I think I'd be quite disappointed if the design sound like a solid state amp. If possible, I'd appreciate if you guys can point me in the right direction.

However I understand that if we go really high end a tube amp can sound like solid state and vice versa.
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Old 26th March 2012, 07:56 AM   #9
Stixx is offline Stixx  Germany
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Quote:
...build something that would sound different than what I have, something that has that "typical tube sound".
Don't want to be too pesky but what is typical tube sound? I hope not that "warm, honey sweet and softened" tube sound...
A good tube amp to my ears has to sound neutral, fast and has to render instruments in a natural and authentic way... this is why I recently sold my only solid state device (an M3, from the same stable than your Beta 22).

Other than that you have so many variables to tweak in building a SET headphone amp that you can just start with a schematic and adjust/finetune it to your liking (B+, current, parts choice, type of psu ...).

Attached are a few more spud schematics (just to give you a hard time )...
the 6H30 from K&K will probably be what you are looking for..., or my C3G spud with a conventional psu (when you don't want to use the shunt reg...).

Choices, choices...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 6H30_spud.jpg (169.1 KB, 743 views)
File Type: jpg 6H30-castanet.jpg (91.5 KB, 694 views)
File Type: jpg 6C45_SE.jpg (110.7 KB, 669 views)
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Old 26th March 2012, 04:03 PM   #10
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Thanks for the schematics, I wouldn't be able to find them otherswise, greatly appreciate it. The 6H30 from K&K look simple enough.

I agree that technically competent amps are (should be) transparent, which made them more alike than different. At one time, I was looking for the most transparent sounding gears that gives the most realistic timbre. I still have that tendency especially when I am paying big bucks, however lately I am somewhat into coloured sounding gears, I like to switch flavour depending on mood.

I am not really looking for a warm and fuzzy sound (is that the sound of capacitors?). I have heard a (I presume) a tube amp from a show room, I can't really describe the sound well, but basically it is extremely coloured sounding that it gives a fake sense clarity, very midrange dominant. I think some people would call that "emotional" (of course it's just distortion). I probably not want to go all the way to that extreme but I think I want something in that direction.

Do you still recommend the 6H30 from K&K? Btw, is there any reason why would I not want to use a shunt regulator apart from cost/complexity?
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