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JZatopa 12th September 2012 05:30 PM

What is the physically largest amp you have ever built?
So I was at a HiFi shop the other day and they had some huge kt88 PP monoblock hooked up that sounded pretty damn good. That got me thinking about how big I would reasonably build an amp. Well I have to say that I would probably build a set of huge monoblocks if I had the time and money but I haven't yet. So far my biggest amp has been an F5 and it was not really that big. So what has been the largest amp you have built (pics help)?

Marra 12th September 2012 05:51 PM

That would be an Aleph 5 I built in 2005. 16"x9"x16" and weighs in at approx 60lbs.
Still sounds good.

Gyuri 12th September 2012 06:46 PM

Well, this is here:

tvrgeek 12th September 2012 10:27 PM

Does adding a one ferrad cap bank to a 100W sub amp count? It was a 16 x 17 x 12 inch box with the amp, a CM Labs, mounted in the rack above it, and a box with a bank of 60W light bulbs for my slow start on top. All told, about 2 and a half feet of rack space. Yes, young and stupid, but had access to surplus caps.

Being a lot older, big no longer has any attraction. Only sound. It's bad enough to run two HCA 1200's with a crossover and Furman sequencer and still need the AVR for the center and rears. I would gladly switch to pint sized digital if they did not sound like garbage to me.

green heron 12th September 2012 10:51 PM

I've seen some huge GM70 amps...

bear 13th September 2012 03:45 AM

My original Symphony No.1 weighed in at 128lbs. No flab, all muscle. You can see it on my website Ok, it was a handbuilt commercial product. That was about my limit to lift at the time. I think it is more or less at or over my present limit.


Tubelab_com 14th September 2012 03:45 PM

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Well, I never completely assembled it, but this is the prototype for the monster. A SE vacuum tube guitar amp that made 200 W RMS. The plate power transformer alone weighed 75 pounds. The complete power supply (removed from a tube powered Motorola UHF base station weighed over 100 pounds. The filament transformer and the OPT weigh about 20 pounds each. The small transformer for the driver supply weighs 8 pounds. A moment of sanity ocurred that kept me from putting it all together. I realized that I couldn't lift the assembled amp, and had no real use for it. Several years have passed and my sanity is waning. I have since acquired a smaller power transformer from a Harris radio transmitter that produces more voltage and I might just have to put it all together.

I once build an amplifier that occupied an entire 4 foot rack, but it wasn't an audio amp. It was a HF ham radio amp that put out 1200 watts from a single 4-400 tube operating just a wee bit over spec. I could lift it though.

I built a solid state amp back in 1971 that produced about 1200 watts. It was large, but light since it had only one tiny audio isolation transformer on the input. The amp had 24 X 2N3773's mounted on a large circular heatsink with a fan on each end. The heat sink with transistors was US Air Force surplus. It ran directly off of rectified wall outlet and drove four 4 ohm speaker cabinets in parallel. We know not to build things like this today, but I was 18 and invincible then. The cabinet was bigger than the 100 Watt Kustom PA head that drove it, but largely empty. It was finished in the same tuck and roll vinyl that Kustom used, and made bigger, since bigger is better! It was used by a rock band for outdoor concerts for at least 10 years.

SY 14th September 2012 04:41 PM

For me, it was an OTL that Murray Zeligman and I built about 30 years ago. 32 tubes (6528) per channel. Four chassis construction. Pitiful efficiency (40 watts/channel into 8 ohms, maybe 3000 watts of heat, 2000 of which was heater supply alone). Enough heat to scorch the walls and drive us out of the room. We may have used it for half an hour before we admitted that, despite the investment in parts and labor, it was a terrible idea. No pix, but if anyone has copies of the old Audio Update magazine from that time, it was on the cover of one of them.

Cassiel 15th September 2012 02:52 AM

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An F5. Not that big but for a tube guy pretty big. I'd never build a tube amp like the one in the second picture. That's not big, that's huge and crazy and awesome....and kinda stupid too. Dr Frankenstein was mad, you know....

bear 17th September 2012 12:13 AM

The top of the line NYAL OTLs, the company of the late Harvey Rosenberg, were sufficiently large. 4 large rack units, for two channels, two regulated power supplies and two OTL amplifier chassis... iirc. There is probably a picture somewhere. That was back in the 1970s...

The ML-2 Levinson was fairly large too... going historical.

There is/was also a WE/IPC rack thing...
Multiple channels.

But I did not build those.


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