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Small Guitar Amp - LM386
Small Guitar Amp - LM386
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Old 20th July 2017, 07:38 PM   #31
THRobinson is offline THRobinson  Canada
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Sounds good... I may buy one of those assorted kits of capacitors to play with, few are pretty cheap, just need to check if what's included has at least what I need.

If what's left over works in something else, I may re-cap simply because it's fun to tinker.
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Old 21st July 2017, 02:07 AM   #32
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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I think I already said it, but... make the thing with ordinary parts. Any "improvements" that could be made with fancier parts won't stop it from working if you don't. Work any bugs out of it. Find out if it does something useful or not as a unit. Then when motivated, swap out a few caps with better or different ones and see what change they do or do not make. Then you decide if the brands matter or not. There are only a couple caps, so this experiment would cost little.

Assuming you wind up maintaining interest in this, as you build more complex circuits, and learn more about them, you will come to grips with components. I myself am not aware of any strong opinions as to brands for solid state amps - meaning usually low voltage circuits. Over in the tube amp world there is generally a discussion of orange drops versus mallory caps, but that is a different story.
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Old 21st July 2017, 02:48 AM   #33
THRobinson is offline THRobinson  Canada
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I'd love to do something with tubes... my Dad had a giant bin of them when he passed away, now they're just sitting there. I suspect they go back as far as the '40s-50s. He knew this stuff, I never really picked up on it until his memory started to go so, a bit of a shame there.

My first guitar amp was a tube amp he built himself in the '60s... when my folks moved I think it was either lost/buried in the basement, or (and I hope not the case) they tossed it out.
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Old 21st July 2017, 05:08 AM   #34
Gnobuddy is offline Gnobuddy  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THRobinson View Post
I'd love to do something with tubes... my Dad had a giant bin of them when he passed away, now they're just sitting there.
If that remains an interest, you will get there. Just take as much time as you need to learn enough to be safe. High voltages (which tubes need) can be very dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by THRobinson View Post
I suspect they go back as far as the '40s-50s.
Some tubes now go for stupid money (hundreds of dollars). Others are essentially worthless (one US store sells them for $1 each). My suggestion is - just don't chuck anything from your dad's bin of tubes out, or use it up, until you know what it's worth. Depending on what's in there, it may be worth next to nothing, or there may be enough to pay for a nice vacation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by THRobinson View Post
My first guitar amp was a tube amp he built himself in the '60s...
Well, that's a nice memory to cherish!

If you get involved in audio electronics, keep in mind that it's an old, mature, engineering field. In 1940, it was cutting edge, and very smart and educated researchers and engineers filled the field. As the field matured, and answers were found to all the burning questions, most of the qualified people left. And then the kooks and the ignorant and the superstitious moved in, slowly replacing science and engineering with superstition and nonsense.

What that means to you is that probably the majority of the audio electronics information you find on the Internet is actually, to varying degrees, nonsense. You can usually put a bit more trust old sources (1950s and 60s), or actual engineering textbooks (Horowitz and Hill has been the gold standard for semiconductor electronics for decades).

So Caveat Emptor. Buyer beware!

-Gnobuddy
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Old 21st July 2017, 05:35 AM   #35
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Your battery project is a good place to start on circuits in general, and is quite safe to poke in. I think for many people tube circuits are more intuitive, at least superficially easy to understand. But there are some dangers, and having some skill and technique before going into them I think is good. There are many tube projects to choose from, some pretty basic yet pleasing.
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