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Old 29th February 2012, 01:23 AM   #1
ORNJ is offline ORNJ  United States
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Default Best Value, $ per watt per channel....

Hey guys, I am looking to the best one of these Pass Amps to build.

Through my hunting around about the Aleph and F5 I found this website which belongs to someone from these forums....

Aleph-X 100w Amplifier Construction Notes

What I am planning to do is to get either a 2 channel or two monoblocks for the Mains and then do a Class D for the surrounds....at max I'll do one more for the center channel but considering that most of the dynamics come through the mains I dont see it really necessary.

Anyways, I know that you can "tweak" these designs for different amounts of power and I plan to have alot of heatsink space but I am planning to do it in a manner similar to these...

A40 - PROJECT 3

I plan that because I can get alot of area on a design like that and maybe get some small computer fans to blow from the bottom up in a low rpm manner just to help with the temps.....

Anyways, what is the best way to go? How much would it cost for a complete build?

I tried searching but I cant seem to find anything about costs.....I did find one webpage that had a parts list that was $70 but it wasnt complete and I did not know if it was a stereo or monoblock

Also, is it easy to add balanced connections later down the line?

Thanks.
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Old 29th February 2012, 03:36 AM   #2
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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Quote:
Also, is it easy to add balanced connections later down the line?
what do you mean? the aleph X is a balanced amp, its the SE inputs that are optional, well it accepts balanced input as its primary input anyway, technically its a balanced single ended amp, but as far as input and output its balanced. I wonder if you understand the circuit? before you even start, the aleph X is one of the harder amps to build and get stable, i would not recommend it to someone as a first high power amp build.

as far as the rest of your questions, you will not find cut and dried answers to any of them, as there are no cut and dried answers to any of them. the cost depends on many many variables that we cannot know and you do not even know yet, particularly since you are talking about a non-standard build. the cost will depend on how many output pairs you use, whether you match them yourself or buy matched and how much you spend on that. how much you spend on casework and power supply, etc etc

asking what one is 'the best' is silly i'm sorry and you have said nothing about the speaker load. I wish you luck, but you have a long long journey ahead; maybe you should stick to something that has a kit available
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Old 29th February 2012, 03:47 AM   #3
ra7 is offline ra7  United States
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After that dampner from qusp, here's another opinion.

If you want most watts per $ spent, look elsewhere. Pass diy is an exercise in looking for the best sound and it often doesn't come cheap; cheap being relative.

The aleph amps, F5 and the zen series are all different flavors. What you like may be different. The only constant is a very high quality sound. And in that aspect, the bang for buck is extremely high.

That said, i would advise starting with an F5. Low parts count, PCBs available. Well supported on the forum. Medium heatsinking requirements, relatively speaking.

What are your speakers? How loud do you listen? Oh and don't even think about building more than one. Start with one and then think about it.

Last edited by ra7; 29th February 2012 at 03:53 AM.
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Old 29th February 2012, 04:30 AM   #4
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if you need to ask about the price, you can't afford if
and the power bill will leave you bankrupt
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Old 29th February 2012, 05:30 AM   #5
ORNJ is offline ORNJ  United States
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abeing frugal doesnt mean that I can't afford it. I just like to be educated as much as possible before I jump.

I know that there are other amps to get that offer a high value for the amount of power that you get. However, I also have enough experience in audio to know that it is not necesarily about how much power you have but the quality of power that you have.

Right now I am working on a design of speakers that is 95db 1w/1m goal and will probably surpass that goal by 2db or so from what I have been looking at. 3 way design with a ribbon tweeter and 10" Mid.

Edit: I am also unsure if I am going to be doing an active or passive crossover. I may use a MiniDSP to decide the best points to cross at and make one myself.

There are no clear goals as of yet for speaker load because I am still working on the design but if you would like to know what I am currently running they are SVS SBS-01 which are only 85db sensitive and are 8 ohms.

This amplifier build is also not something that is immediate, I am looking at what to do so I can make my plan and have an estimated cost....nothing that is "in stone" so, for instance, if the majority of you that build an F5 say that you spend $500 per channel then I know to estimate that for 2 monoblocks I should make sure to set aside 1k for each in the future. Right now I am looking at about $600 in drivers for the mains I am working on....may possibly increase.....

I am simply trying to plan a "path" so I know what I am going to do next. I highly doubt that these will cost the same as a store bought brand of course and I can make them look the way I want. I plan to use some VU meters on them too.

I am going to sell one of my cars too to finance so I do not think it is going to be unaffordable...

Last edited by ORNJ; 29th February 2012 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 29th February 2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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first of. know what speakers and pre amp you going to use.
sec. why use a low quality miniDSP in a high quality setup?
third. you can't estimate cost from others build. build cost is what you make of it.
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Old 29th February 2012, 01:40 PM   #7
6L6 is offline 6L6  United States
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You have finally given a little information to work from...

With a 95db speaker you will be completely fine with an F5 or similar. (Unless you like volumes that are truly damaging to your hearing.) It's fairly easy to build a stereo F5 for $500.
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Old 29th February 2012, 02:32 PM   #8
fdlsys is offline fdlsys  South Africa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6L6 View Post
With a 95db speaker you will be completely fine with an F5 or similar. (Unless you like volumes that are truly damaging to your hearing.)
+1 on F5

I'm using it on 95-96db home-brewed-folded-tapered-high-efficiency speaker set (12" bass/mid, 1" compression driver). Sonically, it is as good as one would wish for it to be. Certainly better than anything I would refer to as my previous references.

As far as skull splitting levels; if you have (or plan to have/build) a preamp with reasonably high voltage gain, you will never know that F5 is a "25Wpc" category Your ears will bleed MUCH sooner than F5 distorting.

Last edited by fdlsys; 29th February 2012 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 29th February 2012, 05:16 PM   #9
ORNJ is offline ORNJ  United States
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Originally Posted by AudioSan View Post
first of. know what speakers and pre amp you going to use.
sec. why use a low quality miniDSP in a high quality setup?
third. you can't estimate cost from others build. build cost is what you make of it.
You misunderstood me, the miniDSP will most likely be used to simply determine the crossover points between the different drivers. If I decide to go active and stay active....I will be getting a DCX off ebay. However, I am leaning toward the passive route for various reasons.

The preamps that I am thinking about...are either a foreplay 3 from bottlehead or a conrad-johnson classic.....I may also try some of the bottlehead tube amps for the music but from what I have read these F5 are very hard to beat...

I will say too that when I sit down to listen to music I listen loud enough for the soundstage to be full and present but not blow you away loud.

I apologize for being bleak with the information provided before as I did not know you guys needed so much information.
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Old 29th February 2012, 05:33 PM   #10
ra7 is offline ra7  United States
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The reason we ask for speaker information is because that determines how much power you need. Have you taken Pano's voltage test? Check the multiway forum. It will tell you how much power you really need.

If you were planning to use tube amps to drive your speakers, an F5 will be plenty fine. Just give it a preamp with lots of gain. And yes, you will see there is no point in building tube amps once you hear an F5.
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