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Old 3rd May 2003, 05:38 PM   #1
lgreen is offline lgreen  United States
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Location: San Diego, USA
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Hello everyone, I just signed up so I guess I am the new guy here. A little about me: I am an EE but have not really been involved with creating engineering projects, having gone to a technically related but not hands on position. I am about 37 and live in San Diego.

I am into this audio stuff, having bought a lot of equipment. Now its time to try to make my own. Right now, I am interested in creating some PCB's (which I have never done before) to see if I can do it. I'll start off with SS amps and preamps and then perhaps turn to tubed equipment if I am successful.

I have made a few lowly items in the past (right after college) when I had no money. These are kind of embarrasing given the stuff I have seen here. Here is what I have done (basically from memory).

I made a SS op-amp based preamp with some crappy RS parts, but it worked great. I used two FET low noise op amps per channel and measured the frequency response with a scope and function generator, looked relatively flat. Volume control was in the feedback loop of one opamp. I had "listen" and "record" selectors but no buffering of inputs, so when you were recording and switched the "listen" position, you changed the levels. Ooops. Anyway this was really easy to make and I will try a new fully discrete SS preamp as my 1st new project.

I also made an amp (christened the Amp-1) which really was just an output stage. I used parts basically from amateur radio hobbyists at my summer job, they were great and lended a hand (I am not into radio). I had no money so I only actually bought some transistors and a full wave bridge rectifier, they donated to me a case, faceplate, transformers, fans, heat sinks, capacitors. Anyway the amp had 6 huge 250 watt BJT transistors per channel, each channel mounted on an aluminum tunnel (which I bent from aluminum myself in a machine shop) with a fan at one end and a heatsink on top. It used very large capacitors and a massive full wave rectifier. I measured it put out 10 amps into 2 ohms, not bad. It needed a little juice to drive it but it worked great. It used a Pioneer SPEC-2 faceplate and the orignal meters (sensitivity adjustable, but that circuit didn't work so good), lit up by some LED's that I added. The fan was user adjustable on the back panel for slow, fast and off speeds. I had a 9 pin connector on the back for in/out/V+ and V- so that I could add capacitors and more meters later on another external box if so desired. I still have it but won't work on it till I create a few new projects.

So the plan is to build something that looks nice and sounds nice. I forget everything about circuit design so probably will start with some Nelson Pass circuits. I would like to also make a tube item at some point. Now that I have an income, I'll try to get some sweet parts, including mechanical - nice case and connectors, so that it is solid and looks as good as the ones I see here. Good parts on the inside may mean better sound too, so I will try to have a professional layout and I've got some ideas about vibration which I will try to implement.

So stay tuned! (Assuming I make something eventually!)
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Old 3rd May 2003, 11:45 PM   #2
zardoz is offline zardoz  Canada
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Nova Scotia
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Wellcome to DIY! I'm a "video/computer" guy so can't be much help for your amp future...but if you ever stumble over into video I'll be glad to help if I can

Stand alone HTPC with a laptop LCD screen.
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Old 7th May 2003, 05:44 PM   #3
slowmotion is offline slowmotion  Norway
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Location: Norge
Hi lgreen

Welcome to the forums
fun reading about your amp and stuff,

- Jan -
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