Good 300-400w amp kit for a beginner? - diyAudio
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Old 2nd July 2014, 02:05 AM   #1
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Default Good 300-400w amp kit for a beginner?

Hey everybody, I've been browsing some threads but haven't yet come across the exact info that I seek...

I'm a fairly competent tube amp technician, but hands-on mostly and definitely NOT an engineer. I'm looking to expand my horizons into solid-state theory and operation, and also have a need for a 400w(or so) bass amp to drive my current bass guitar gig rig. I need something large and brutish to drive an 18" Eminence woofer, while I will be using a 50 or 100w tube amp to drive one or two 15" full range drivers for mids and highs. My PAS ER1580C just wasn't pushing enough air below 60hz or so, so I'm re-arranging my setup a bit.

I'm curious what some of you solid-state wizard-types would recommend as a good kit for a noob to build a power amp capable of pushing 300w into 8 ohms, at 40hz or below with minimal THD. I may occasionally want to run the amp at 4 ohms, depending on where I'm playing and the desired speaker configuration. I'm basically looking for a power module only, as I have a couple different tube preamps that I've built that I am rather happy with.

Just hoping to get some thoughts, guidance, and some recommendations. I believe a kit would be a good place for me to start, but I am also an incorrigible tinkerer. Something versatile that would take well to future modifications would be the most desirable. I rather like the GK sound for bass(mostly bipolar, correct?), as compared to Ampeg ss gear(which I believe is mostly MOSFET, correct me if I'm wrong.) I'm open to either type though, just want something that's relatively simple and inexpensive to get started.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 02:20 AM   #2
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You want a "bass guitar amp"?
or
Do you want a "power amp"?

If ur a competent tech, then for the former, this might not be the ideal forum - I have no clue.
For the latter, I still have no good suggestions, since for this sort of service you want something that is more or less bulletproof. I'd sooner buy a commercial amp than try to build something that is heavy with a linear power supply and A/B outputs - you'd probably want some sort of protection circuitry.

The newer class D amps make that power in their sleep and are dirt cheap, lightweight. Old school (as you likely know) Crown MacroTech makes a serious bass amp, but weighs quite a bit. The MA1200 makes that power in stereo (iirc) and the MA600 does it in bridged.

Feel free to ignore my thinking on this...
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Old 2nd July 2014, 02:43 AM   #3
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Check out some Apexaudio's designs,

100W Ultimate Fidelity Amplifier

Some of these design have been expanded to higher power ranges.

Or maybe this one I just found,

GX400 - 400W Audio Amplifier - Made in Romania

This is the latest revision,

GX400 - 400W Audio Amplifier - Made in Romania

jer
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Old 2nd July 2014, 06:08 AM   #4
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I'd recommend that for starters you concentrate on doing the preamp section and crossover as a DIY build and either use a separate pro audio power amp or a well proven pre-built Class D power amp module such as one of the Hypex ones.

luck,

--Charlie
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Last edited by Passinwind; 2nd July 2014 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 06:16 AM   #5
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The OP has already stated~ "I'm basically looking for a power module only, as I have a couple different tube preamps that I've built that I am rather happy with."

Just so no one gets confused!!!

FWIW

jer

Last edited by geraldfryjr; 2nd July 2014 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 06:17 AM   #6
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The Class D "kit" is so cheap, why even bother with DIY?

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 06:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geraldfryjr View Post
The OP has already stated~ "I'm basically looking for a power module only, as I have a couple different tube preamps that I've built that I am rather happy with."

Just so no one gets confused!!!

FWIW

jer
I didn't see things stated quite that way on first read, but I suspect you're correct anyway...Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by Passinwind; 2nd July 2014 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 2nd July 2014, 06:35 AM   #8
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Its all Good!!!

jer
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Old 2nd July 2014, 05:13 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses. Let me see if I can clarify a bit more:

Looking for a power amp, basically. Something that is versatile enough to handle different input sources without coloring the tone too much. And bullet-proof is definitely a must. I looked at the GX400 but I'm not solid-state literate enough to determine if it has the requisite protection circuitry built in. I tend to drive my equipment pretty hard, and 240w into 8 ohms would be on the low end of what I'm looking for. I would basically be running it wide open for extended periods of time, and I would be concerned for it's health and welfare at that point.

I'm pretty good with tube audio, but have never bothered to learn much about solid-state. The only way I can learn it is to do it myself, so that's why I want to build my own amp this time around.

Now, I've never been a big fan of Class D, something about it just doesn't sound quite the same to me. I have ready access to suitable iron, in fact I have my eyes on a pair of tx that came from an old Crown power amp, roughly 600w or so. I figure those should do just fine. I have no problem building a tube amp with 60 lbs of iron in it, so that's not really an issue here.

If I find a suitable power amp for a good price in the used market, or if I can trade for one I may just do that. I've burned up a few QSC RMX's in my day, so definitely would want something a little more sturdy than those. As of now, the plan is still DIY because it's just more fun that way.

I'll have a look at some of those other designs, and if someone could enlighten me about the GX400 a bit more I would certainly appreciate that. Please remember: I know tube stuff, not solid-state. When you explain the technical stuff please assume that you are talking to a child. I'll pick it up, but I'm basically starting from scratch when it comes solid-state audio. That's why I'm here
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Old 2nd July 2014, 05:58 PM   #10
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I think that it looks like a fairly stout design, if there is any question it is possible that you could always increase the number of output devices.

I just found this design and boards are just now being shipped, so there doesn't seem to be anyone whom has built and tested one yet except for the designer in this forum.
He has another forum on it as well but it is in another language (Romania?).

Ultimele produse/proiecte Tehnium Azi - Comunitatea Tehnium Azi

It does have current limiting built in to it in the forms of Q10 & Q14 on both the FET and the BJT versions.

The output devices are good heavy duty pieces for both versions as well and are both used in many of the HQ amplifier designs found here in these threads.

I am not speaking as for the designer as I am not associated with him, and, It is only from my own observations of the schematic that he has posted.

I will do some more searching of the spec's to see what I can find and you could also contact the designer via PM through DIYaudio as well for anymore questions that you may have.

If you have gone through a few QSC then there is probably a reason for it, But I do know what you mean as I am pretty hard on my amplifiers as well.
Most likely a cooling issue as I think that the QSC's I have used are a bit weak in this area

I got lucky and picked up my amps at pawn shops for really cheap!!

I have an old BGW 250 that has a channel that went bad, and, a Crown DC300a and an Ashley FTX2000 that still works great!!
I was running a 1.6 ohm load on those last two for a long time and they are still working today!!

I am very interested in seeing this what this new design can do!!
All of the parts seem to be very common parts and are very available!

FWIW

jer
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