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wlowes wlowes is offline

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  • Last Activity: Yesterday 06:24 PM
  • Join Date: 18th March 2007


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Posted 30th December 2013 at 04:35 AM by wlowes Comments 1
Posted in Uncategorized
Two months ago I had great ambitions to complete a long in the planning short on execution music server by xmas. Seems I am too busy and just having too much fun listening to my system to make progress on big projects.

However, in a very low key way my system has made some stunning gains over the 2013 holiday.

My happy 6 year journey with a Lightspeed linestage finally ran afoul when an LDR packed it in. I retooled with some on hand bits while waiting for new LDRs to arrive. A snaffu with my order delayed that whole process. Meanwhile, my wonderful wife asked me what I wanted for xmas. I had been reading Arthur Salvatore's site and became interested in using an autoformer from Dave Slagle for my linestage. If your read the reviews and the technical specs, its intriguing. My system is perfect for passive. I only listen to a music server with triode ouput stage, short interconnects to OTL amps and overall have lots of gain.

On a whim...

Posted 11th September 2013 at 02:31 AM by wlowes Comments 3
Posted in Uncategorized
This is another personal build diary. Don't expect to see any new engineering.. just my take on a lot of other people's innovation...
Sept 2013 Concept complete and chassis design kicks off.

I had really good results over the past 2 years building/tweaking and enjoying a Lampizator inspired TDA1541a DAC with 6n2p tube output. It was prototyped to death and now that I understand it I want a clean, reference build.

Inspired by Lampizator, I am shamelessly using his case design and level 6 output. This means:
-dual mono power supply,
-5C3S rectifier tubes,
-40H chokes,
-6n2p tubes mounted inverted for easy wiring,
-200u polypropylene filter caps
-separate B+ tranny for each channel

Like many, I have followed ecdesigns and Oliver Mai projects. I decided to use Oliver's Red Baron PCB and Salas shunts. Really nicely done and contains all the stuff that makes for a great tda1541a without all the...

Posted 3rd March 2013 at 03:58 PM by wlowes Comments 0
Posted in Uncategorized
The amps continued to run in and proved to be keepers. Well worth doing some final spit and polish. There was a little hum on one amp and some noise / hash on the tweeters of both channels. Nothing major, but certainly audible at 1 foot.
Using AC filament supply for all but the input tube, I figured I should re read the best practices on wire dressing, hum pots, virtual center tap etc.
Looking back there were some spots to improve.
1. tight wire twist on path from bridge rectifier to first caps. Done, no real change.
2. tight twist on b+ supply to input tube plus added BG 3uF 250v cap right at the tube. No change to noise but love the improvement in sound
3. tight wire twist from psu to b+ on all power tubes plus BG 10uF 250v on each power tube. Like the input tube the BG brought an immediate lowering of noise floor that really brought a finishing to the SQ. Quiet background, micro details and just a smooth rich sound. Not colored, just the way it...

Posted 27th January 2013 at 05:08 PM by wlowes Comments 2
Posted in Uncategorized
Done! The second went much faster and was playing music in 2 weeks.

Now that they are running I will borrow from the circuit designer's own description of the sound as it really does sum it up..

"There is no substitute for power and that is what this amp has. Complex musical passages are effortlessly reproduced with a natural depth and breadth unmatched by any other amp. Subtle nuances are clearly revealed underneath pounding crescendos.

Striking imaging causes instruments to be layered in a three dimensional sound stage that recreates the experience of a live performance. The music "opens up" and leaps out of the loudspeaker eliminating any box like sound. The most minute and subtle sounds are revealed producing uncanny realism. Musical voices are warm and lifelike yet completely neutral with a razor sharp focus."

In my own words.. incredibly natural. 3D and layered sound. Deep bass with weight creates...

Posted 8th January 2013 at 01:45 AM by wlowes Comments 1
Posted in Uncategorized
This is the continuation of my personal journey to build my first tube amp.
It was a very happy day yesterday when the first mono bloc powered up and produced music. I was pretty comfortable that I had not made mistakes that would result in smoke, but really did expect some issues with hum, grounding or tube substitution. But nothing! Hum was barely audible with my ear on the speaker or from the chassis. And music played! My first test flight was one channel only driven by a Sony Walkman on a small Totem speaker. Even under these conditions the sound was pretty good, and really started to open up after the first 60 minutes. I was like a proud father
The first picture shows the pair with a Rotel CDP in the middle for scale.
I will not be able to fully know the sound until both are wired, broken in and hooked to the good speakers and source. I think they will be amazing. Already better than the very respectable chip amp they replace. There is a switch...
Recent Comments
world's slowest project...
Posted 29th November 2014 at 09:50 PM by wlowes wlowes is offline
Hi wlowes,
Posted 18th June 2014 at 02:32 PM by polaron polaron is offline
Hey Walter, did you...
Posted 31st March 2014 at 09:53 PM by merlin2069er merlin2069er is offline
Neat. I'm trying to...
Posted 16th September 2013 at 03:00 PM by merlin2069er merlin2069er is offline
Right you are. Speakers...
Posted 3rd February 2013 at 03:52 AM by wlowes wlowes is offline
Hide this!Advertise here!

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