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Old 8th November 2012, 02:01 AM   #31
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e_fortier's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Canada
Hi Ray,

I may be interested in this amp but first please confirm the price, on your website it says $136 in the 5 items for sale but once you click on the picture the price is shown as $156.

Also, is the 5K OPT available or do we have to stay with 3.5K

Do you have 120Vac mains power transformer available ?

5K OPT would only produce a bit less power but reduce distortion and improve damping ;-)

Nice looking amp.

Thanks,
Eric
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Old 8th November 2012, 11:05 AM   #32
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by spendorite View Post
Well, the wiring diagram is a bit more help. Some things I understand and some I don't. There are some Chinese characters which are Greek to me (sorry, could'nt resist that one).
The bold darker lines are they all common ground connections ?
That symbol of 4 zeros ( --oooo-- ) what does it represent ?

I'll have lots more qestions like these if I decide to go ahead an purchase the amp.
darker lines are the ground (return) part of the circuit, those OOOO things are the heater/HT wires that should be twisted together to reduce hum. If that doesn't make sense you should probably not be messing with high voltage tube amp kits until you know what you are doing. Don't know what HT means? skip the build save a life (yours).

Cheers,
Bob
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Old 8th November 2012, 03:37 PM   #33
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Well thanks for your encouraging words. I do know that there dangerous voltages inside vacuum tube amplifiers. In the absence of detailed instructions on assembling the kit I like many other beginers look for some help on the forum but maybe in this case my faith has been misplaced.
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Old 9th November 2012, 03:48 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spendorite View Post
Well thanks for your encouraging words. I do know that there dangerous voltages inside vacuum tube amplifiers. In the absence of detailed instructions on assembling the kit I like many other beginers look for some help on the forum but maybe in this case my faith has been misplaced.
The wire diagram spells it out (detailed instructions are there). I wasn't trying to dis-interest you just letting you know that you can kill yourself... IF the wire diagram is not enough I would suggest trying something like a preamp kit - check out: Elliott Sound Products - The Audio Pages (Main Index) P05 (PSU) & P06 phono preamp ... there's a linestage kit there as well.

Read all that's there about voltages kit building etc.

You can get the kit and folks here will help you get going. We can't keep you from hurting yourself tho.. there's are safe operating procedures you need to learn and learn first. I.E. hand in one pocket when testing with power on or OFF - capacitors at 450V can hurt you too even with power off, unplug your amp before working on it (there's 120Vac all the way to the fuse/switch even with power off. Twisting HT wires together and tucked into the corners of the chassis well away from signal wires... signal wires should be kept as short as possible and shielded wires for signal.. dont poke around in the chassis with a DMM probe - use alligator clips hands off, work when your mind is fresh, solder on only when you are positive about connections ...there's much to learn, it's fun & rewarding but can be dangerous if you are careless.

This kit will/can sound pretty decent .... I replaced all components caps/resistors with parts from Mouser test all components prior to installation. Measure resistors (try and match to >10% (minimum buy extras) and test caps for labeled capacitance minding tolerances. Changed tubes to Mazda 5Y3GTB and tubes to RCA 5881. Amp sounds great despite the crappy volume pot. I installed 2 diodes to the rectifier AC HT to diode then to pin4 via pin5 to and pin7 to pin6 - see attachment. That minor change made a big difference in performance. This change will keep your rectifier tube happy among other stuff.

Get kit
install volume pot and RCA jacks (mind the plastic insulators they MUST be used).
Install tube sockets
install IEC socket and wire 120Vac hot to switch
install transformers and choke
You're half way done...
wire up the circuit follow wire diagram
ask for help to get it right - take pictures along the way.

Don't power on until you're sure you have it wired correctly.

Once powered on first time - caps are charged and carry 450V even with amp unplugged and turned off (safety resistor HIGHLY suggested across C1 not in diagram - this will drain the caps but they still can carry HV is resistor goes south - never ASSume anything). Caps can hold a charge for several hours... dont drain (short) high voltage caps with a screwdriver, use a resistor attached to something like a pop sickle stick (one hand only) or BOOM.

Be absolutely SURE your caps are wired with the correct polarity, if unsure do not power on... they can and will explode in your face if wired backwards.

Ask for help.


Murphy's Law... "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong".

Work smart and work safe.

There's more to learn and you really need to learn by doing... but you can read up while waiting on your amp to arrive and also purchase replacement caps at the very least from known trusted supplier (Mouser/Digi-key/Newark)

Suggest reading the ESP website regarding power supplies.. and the safety cautions there. Many many DIY'ers started out at ESP including me.

One more thing you need a decent solder iron. By decent I DONT mean a cheap Radio Shack version. Try this one:
Amazon.com: Hakko Soldering Station, FX-888, 65W: Home Improvement

Or you can get a used Hakko at the usual places (epay) like I did.

A good solder station is a MUST specifically with temp control. You can thank me later.

Something else you might consider is a third hand (stand that holds wires so you can solder).

A DMM (digital multimeter) this is a must have as well.

Nice to have an LC meter to test capacitors

Nice to have a Variac (120vAC in and variable AC out with a dial knob and preferably with a volt meter on output).

Set yourself up a dedicated work station if you dont have one. Something out of children's curious eyes/ears/hands.

That should get you going and keep you busy while waiting for your kit to arrive.

Cheers,
Bob
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TubeRectifier-DiodeMod.jpg (72.8 KB, 476 views)
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:01 PM   #35
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
Bob, Thank you very much for all the info you've posted. I was feeling a litle bit discouraged. I was very aware of the dangerous voltages in vacuum tube amplifiers and will be extremely careful whenever I do a build. I already have have some tools, a Weller 40 watt soldering station, two multimeters, wire cutter, wire stripper/crimper, etc. I've done a few small assemblies such as loudspeaker crossovers but not a vacuum tube amplifier.
I am interested in this kit because of the low price but before this I was also looking at the Tubelab Simple SE which has step by step instructions by the designer George Anderson. The downside is that the cost of the parts is more than three times that of the Siliconray 6P3P kit. Also, the designer only supply the main PCB all the component parts required to build the amplifier have to be sourced by the purchaser. However the Simple SE appears to be a superior design compared to the Siliconray kit. If you don't already know about Tubelab there is an active diy forum here
Thanks again for posting all that info I will be deciding in the next few days whether to purchase the Siliconray kit or to go for the Tubelab design.

Harry.
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:18 PM   #36
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
OOPS ! I may have broken protocol by posting a link to a competitor's site. If so my apolagies to Siliconray.

Harry.
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Old 10th November 2012, 10:55 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spendorite View Post
Bob, Thank you very much for all the info you've posted. I was feeling a litle bit discouraged. I was very aware of the dangerous voltages in vacuum tube amplifiers and will be extremely careful whenever I do a build. I already have have some tools, a Weller 40 watt soldering station, two multimeters, wire cutter, wire stripper/crimper, etc. I've done a few small assemblies such as loudspeaker crossovers but not a vacuum tube amplifier.
I am interested in this kit because of the low price but before this I was also looking at the Tubelab Simple SE which has step by step instructions by the designer George Anderson. The downside is that the cost of the parts is more than three times that of the Siliconray 6P3P kit. Also, the designer only supply the main PCB all the component parts required to build the amplifier have to be sourced by the purchaser. However the Simple SE appears to be a superior design compared to the Siliconray kit. If you don't already know about Tubelab there is an active diy forum here
Thanks again for posting all that info I will be deciding in the next few days whether to purchase the Siliconray kit or to go for the Tubelab design.

Harry.
I'm on the Tubelab forum. Apples and oranges really (not really a beginner build you need a chassis and source a lot of parts). This 6P3P kit as I mentioned CAN be a good amp if you get replacement caps and resistors (volume pot too). The low cost is not as low as it looks. You need to upgrade the shipping so the cost of that puts it up there with the tubelab gear but you dont have to source as many parts as the tubelab and you dont have to do an enclosure (reason I tried this kit). This is a good beginner kit. Add to that I listen to mine every day and it sounds pretty good with the mods I mentioned. I also tweaked the feedback a little from the original (easy just swap a few resistors). Sounds like you're ready to go. I thought from your first post here that you never built/worked on electronics before. Sorry if I came off a tad harsh.

Enclosure building can be even more difficult than actually building the amp imho, and you need a bunch more tools (drill press minimum with special bits etc.).


Cheers,
Bob
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Old 11th November 2012, 02:30 AM   #38
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobrown14 View Post

Enclosure building can be even more difficult than actually building the amp imho, and you need a bunch more tools (drill press minimum with special bits etc.).

Cheers,
Bob

Yes, I thought about that, the 6P3P kit comes with a pre-cut chassis. I think if I decide on the Simple SE I can get a piece of aluminum plate and get the holes cut at a machine shop, I can make the wooden base myself. Of course this will add to the cost.
I've gone over the the wiring diagram for the 6P3P kit several times and now believe I can complete the assembly with a little bit of help.

What do you think about the transformers do they look and sound good quality ?
How low does it go in the bass ? I know that for a 5 watt amplifier at this price one cannot expect room shaking bass.
I've read comments on the forum that it does not have an ultralinear option, that is a feature I would have liked.
On the website the weight is stated as 10kg (22lbs) can you tell if it is that heavy ?

Thanks,
Harry
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Old 11th November 2012, 01:45 PM   #39
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by spendorite View Post
Yes, I thought about that, the 6P3P kit comes with a pre-cut chassis. I think if I decide on the Simple SE I can get a piece of aluminum plate and get the holes cut at a machine shop, I can make the wooden base myself. Of course this will add to the cost.
I've gone over the the wiring diagram for the 6P3P kit several times and now believe I can complete the assembly with a little bit of help.

What do you think about the transformers do they look and sound good quality ?
How low does it go in the bass ? I know that for a 5 watt amplifier at this price one cannot expect room shaking bass.
I've read comments on the forum that it does not have an ultralinear option, that is a feature I would have liked.
On the website the weight is stated as 10kg (22lbs) can you tell if it is that heavy ?

Thanks,
Harry
TX and OPT's are OK... nothing to write home about but they work fine. The TX gets fairly warm when I drive it hard. I get decent bass out of my DQ-10s (not known for low bass anyway) and are inefficient ta boot 86dB or so sensitivity so hard to drive (probably why the TX gets warm), but this amp does the job. I've got more efficient speakers but it's not bad enough that I want to change things around (yet). I'm sure I will get to that eventually just to see/hear more efficient speakers with this amp. It's gonna depend on your preamp to. I have a rebuilt HK-17 that will drive me almost out of the room if I turn it up and have the amp Volume to about 2 o'clock so this amp gets loud enough ... room/speakers/preamp synergy comes into play here but for me it's fine in a fairly large workshop/basement setup. I'd have gone for swapping in larger OPTs but there's no room as the provided case is just large enough for the supplied bits. This is by far one of my smallest sized amps. If the case was larger I'd have swapped in a larger transformer and larger OPTs... next build different amp for that. Do the mod that I showed you for the rectifier with diodes, that improved the bass and overall sound a lot .. I was surprised about that and will use that from now on with tube rectification builds.

Cheers,
Bob
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Old 9th December 2012, 09:54 AM   #40
DucTom is offline DucTom  Austria
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Vienna
So i have built my Amp. ready
and it sounded good at first Time.
Modus when building: Audyn Caps for coupling , the original Caps goes to the big caps.
The Poti for Input regulation i have Not Build in.
Sounds very good and crisp without any hum.

Can i change the 6p3p Tube to a russian 6n3cE wich is an 6L6GC Clone?

Best Regards and seasons Greetings

DucTom
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