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Waterdog 23rd January 2012 04:49 AM

Accidental DIY Audio

I ended up here quite by accident. My neighbour's kid brought over a Popular Science magazine. In it was an article about building a tube amplifier for an iPod.

I was intrigued and decided I needed one. One thing lead to another and I ended up ordering a 16LS kit from S5.

Not really interested in a bare circuit board, I went out looking for an appropriate housing for a tube amp. I came across a cabinet from a 1939 GE JK96 console radio. A little asbestos removal and a dozen coats of lacquer and the tube amp had a home.

Except of course it needed some speakers. So after some research on this site, I settled on TriTrix MTM vented design, ever so slightly dimensionally modified to fit inside the GE cabinet.

I turned some new knobs and found a way to bury the iPod where the push buttons used to be. A couple of hours to assemble the tube amp and then another couple dozen hours to chase down the ungodly hum after I remoted the pots to front panel and all was good.

Really good, in fact. The sound is fantastic.

If I can ever figure out how to post pictures here I will.

I was inspired by the first effort and am busy burning in some Alpair M6 drivers in newly constructed cabinets to replace some speakers on my boat.
They sound great.

I don't have to choose a religion (full range vs. multiway) at the start do I?

Anyway, thank you all for the great info on the site. So much to learn, and the best way seems to be by doing it.

SY 23rd January 2012 09:47 AM


Originally Posted by Waterdog (

I don't have to choose a religion (full range vs. multiway) at the start do I?

Yes, you do. And if you change later, you're liable to be hunted down and burned as an apostate. :D

Welcome to the forum!

Waterdog 23rd January 2012 03:57 PM

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Is it possible to make a declaration on the full range vs. multiway path but remain a lurker in the tube vs. SS world? If there is a shortcut to heaven, please advise.

kevinkr 23rd January 2012 04:00 PM

Hi Waterdog,
Welcome to the forum.. :D

You can lurk any forum here you wish simply by not logging in and you will have the same view you had as a non-member, which basically means you cannot see the attachments if present.

Alternately you can just log in and read without posting. No one will bother you, but you will show as logged in.. I do this frequently particularly if I have nothing useful to say.. :D

Waterdog 23rd January 2012 04:18 PM

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Thanks Kevin. Looks like I figured out the photo thing. The secret seems to be not to try and post a bunch at once.

Here is the amp that went inside the old radio chassis. I had some left over smoked bronze acrylic from a hatch project that I put over the circuit board. Some douglas fir became the chassis. It all went inside the radio box, but I wanted it to look nice just the same.

Cal Weldon 23rd January 2012 04:48 PM

Hello Waterdog and welcome.

jacco vermeulen 23rd January 2012 05:10 PM

(Model) boat, kitchen stove, audio gear ?

Why sir, no reason to be so distant.

ddietz 23rd January 2012 05:58 PM

Beautiful !

Waterdog 23rd January 2012 06:25 PM

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Yes. Well the whole kitchen and audio gear days are over. Ever since my wife baked a batch of muffins and took them to work. One of her colleagues pulled a half inch long piece of solder out of her mouthful of carrot muffin. Now I am banished to the garage.

Here is what the modified TriTrix speakers turned out like. They both fit in the radio cabinet, but I locate one several feet away for a little separation.

Waterdog 23rd January 2012 06:31 PM

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Oh and what looks like pushbuttons on the radio, aren't push buttons at all. When you push on them the little magnetic catch releases and out pops a tray with the iPod.

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