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Old 25th June 2011, 04:14 AM   #1
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Default pcb from scratch- the only way to do it?

hello, after much circling around the hifi market (in the outer entry-lvl-high-end regions) i've decided that it's aleph or nothing. currently i can buy the volksamp aleph 30 for $1500 but that will be after i run out of other options. i'd like to get a clone would diy from scratch be my only option for this? i'm located in south korea so shipping parts from various vendors overseas is going to be quite a hassle, not to mention it would be my first time soldering together an amp. does anyone offer a kit package for any of mr.pass' fine designs? and i apologize if such transaction is frowned upon. good day gents.
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Old 25th June 2011, 07:58 AM   #2
h_a is offline h_a  Europe
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Hi,

to my knowledge there are no 100% complete kits offered for Pass-amps and while I understand your troubles, I wouldn't be so happy to see such kits. That would be very close (say, if the seller also offers soldering the kit together) to offering a commercially build clone to everybody.

Anyway, building your own Class-A amp is also quite costly and I would expect a clean and nice clone of an Aleph30 to end up at 700-1000 US-$, or even much more if you would like to use fancy parts. The vast amount of time for the actual building not included of course. And everything of that can be great fun.

However considering your situation, a used Aleph for 1500$ appears like a good deal to me

Hannes
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Old 25th June 2011, 09:29 AM   #3
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Have a read of my Aleph 4 Stricktly DIY project Build thread.

I did exactly that, built using nothing other than my bare hands and e-bay.
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Old 25th June 2011, 09:31 AM   #4
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TechDIY sells part kits for some Pass/Firstwatt designs and is run by fellow diyaudio member jackinnj, so it's legit.
chipamp.com sells Aleph pcbs (check the order form), but seemingly doesn't really respond to emails.
kk-pcb.com also sells pcbs and I recall that he has papa's blessings for doing so (and they're clearly labeled as clones so no infringement).

For me finding heatsinks (in pairs) always was the most troublesome part, so make sure you have that covered. And the A30 really does look like a good deal.
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Old 25th June 2011, 09:35 AM   #5
NYCOne is offline NYCOne  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h_a View Post
Hi,

to my knowledge there are no 100% complete kits offered for Pass-amps and while I understand your troubles, I wouldn't be so happy to see such kits. That would be very close (say, if the seller also offers soldering the kit together) to offering a commercially build clone to everybody.

Anyway, building your own Class-A amp is also quite costly and I would expect a clean and nice clone of an Aleph30 to end up at 700-1000 US-$, or even much more if you would like to use fancy parts. The vast amount of time for the actual building not included of course. And everything of that can be great fun.

However considering your situation, a used Aleph for 1500$ appears like a good deal to me

Hannes

I have to disagree.

If one is not sensitive to cosmetics, the electronic parts for for an F5 can be had ~$200. Shipping to S Korea for these parts would be quite affordable. US Postal service shows $11 to ship a package of 13 ounces to S Korea.

The traditional heatsinks and case can be made with minimal tools (if you are seeking function only) for another ~$200 - in the USA. I can't speak for availability of such things in Korea. I would have to believe there are still options - one member of the forum used computer heatsinks with small fans for his F5 - those are certainly available worldwide. His cost was about $25 for each and he used two. The rest of his case was made with wood.

If you're lost, there are a dozen thread showing step by step ways of making great amps. Folks are generous with their time and willing to help.
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Old 25th June 2011, 12:00 PM   #6
heinz1 is offline heinz1  Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodeodave View Post
TechDIY sells part kits for some Pass/Firstwatt designs and is run by fellow diyaudio member jackinnj, so it's legit.
chipamp.com sells Aleph pcbs (check the order form), but seemingly doesn't really respond to emails.
kk-pcb.com also sells pcbs and I recall that he has papa's blessings for doing so (and they're clearly labeled as clones so no infringement).

For me finding heatsinks (in pairs) always was the most troublesome part, so make sure you have that covered. And the A30 really does look like a good deal.
A few additions:

You can get the PCBs for the TechDIY part kits from the DIYA store:

Please choose a store

A great source of information (and also for PCBs of some Pass designs) is of course:

Pass Diy
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Old 25th June 2011, 12:26 PM   #7
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hm... $500 gamble or $1500 sure fire? death by electrocution or credit card bills? wait patiently for months and gain experience like a true diy warrior or hit the shop tomorrow in a hifi lust? it's a tough choice, gents... i do like how volksamps look, btw. its chic in a macho sense.
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Old 25th June 2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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I remember someone building a mini Aleph with a Zalman CPU fan. Forced cooling is an option, that's for sure.

And of course you'll need a matching preamp, so maybe that'd be a project that's better suited for a first time DIYer. You could build the B1, or even a DCB1, there should be some pcbs and parts available in the GB section.
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Old 26th June 2011, 10:46 AM   #9
h_a is offline h_a  Europe
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Quote:
I have to disagree.

If one is not sensitive to cosmetics,
See, that is exactly my point. The true hardware might be much cheaper as I quoted, but the amp will look like being from the scrap yard too.

It's a matter of taste and a matter of how much one can do yourself in terms of tools and skills.

I think it's better to quote rather high (but realistic) cost for a professional looking amp, assembled from commercially made parts (like prebuild enclosure), even more so when he says he's new to DIY. There's potentially a lot of money to lose if the amp humms like hell in the end and he's unhappy.

I do know very well that it can be had much cheaper too. However, in my experience most super cheaply build amps never make the way into the living room, or not for long

In any case, have fun! Hannes
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Old 26th June 2011, 11:49 AM   #10
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the cost of a class A amp is mostly in the chassis. my aleph 2's is costing me 900euros just for the chasis metall. inkl heatsinks. total cost for the amps will be 2200euros.
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