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Old 2nd May 2009, 05:36 AM   #1
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Default Greetings to the DIYers here - I'll be asking questions now!

Hello everyone. My name is Craig and I've always had a love for audio, and a love for building things. What a great combo, right?
Allow me to apologize in advance for the length of my intro.

Anyway, my current tangent is to build a "jobsite" soundsystem utilizing a pair of Madisound "recession-busters" that I just put together. Basically I'm sick of listening to poor sound turned up too loud when I'm trying to build someones dream kitchen. I'm a huge fan of most styles of music - I just don't want to hear it played on a dented, mud-encrusted boom-box with a tin-foil antenna picking up more local 60hZ hum than troposphoric signal-bounce from some distant across the border megawatt AM station.

I'd like to build a simple system with

1 line-level RCA style inputs so I can pick my input
2 maybe an integrated MP3 player dock for convenience
3 enough power/headroom that I don't have to make square waves when I want to turn it up a bit
4 a robust enough package so when I drop it/kick it/load it/unload it/spill mud on it/whatever it doesn't poop out on me
5 dirt simple tone and volume
6 High enough audio quality that it pleases people
7 Low enough cost to keep SWMBO happy
8 If my "recession-busters" get outrun by my new system I'll build some higher end speakers to match it.

If you guys can point me to a nice simple clean preamp design that I could marry to a chipamp.com kind of amp then I think I can probably nail my needs down. I just don't have the time (and I'm really rusty) to sit down and design something from scratch. I'd like to concentrate on the case / mechanical design - not worry about the electronics too.

Of course I know I could buy some things pre-made but that takes away so much FUN!

BTW, my DIY resume in the audio world is mostly speakers, but I have dabbled in Tube amps and the like.

For example, my shop system is a pair of ported 2-ways built with Audax drivers (a derivative of something on the web called Black Dahlias? a few years ago) powered by a Carver TFM15CB amp and Carver preamp. The bottom end is augmented by a 12" Madisound sub in a 2 cubic foot sealed cabinet with a 200W plate amp (not enough). My home system is built from John Krutke's (zaphaudio.com) zdt3.5 plans - plus his center channel and a pair of rears using a full-range 3" driver (the B3S - can't think of the manufacturer right now.)
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Old 2nd May 2009, 06:13 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

B3 is made by HiVi.

The chipamp doesn't really need a preamp (unless you want to "spice" it up a bit with a tube front-end -- check out Joe Rasmussens's tube buffered gain clone).

The best favour you can do for sound quality is to make sure that the "MP3" player supports lossless files You wouldn't go wrong with one of the bigger iPods (the shuffle doesn't support lossless). Even Apple's off the shelf dock could easily be integrated into a chassis. During an 18 day black-out we had a couple years back, the combo of iPod, battery powered Sonic Impact, and a set of RonHorn A126 helped us keep our sanity.

dave
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Old 2nd May 2009, 05:00 PM   #3
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Hello and welcome to the forums.
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