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Old 23rd May 2007, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default Noob looking for ideas for first power amp project

Hi all

I'm a first time DIY'er looking for ideas to build my first power amp. I'll be using it as the stereo amp for my existing gear: (with the 4306 as the preamp unless I am persuaded otherwise!) If it came out right I would eventually make another with 3 channels to amplify the rest of my gear, or possibly create a seperate Stereo only rack with some sort of preamp.

I'm an engineer so very handy with my hands (pun unintended...) but again, I haven't attempted anything like this before. I have modded my old 67SE a bit though with no problems.
I would like around 100W I think. I don't listen loud but I do believe that the bit of extra power tightens things up abit (AFAIK).

Here is my gear: **Arcam DV139 - Marantz CD67SE - Denon AVR4306 - B&W DM603S3, LCR600S3, DS6S3 - REL Storm 5 - VDH Silver Jubilee Hybrid IC - Tara labs Prism Onmi bi-wire SC - Isol-8 Minisub2**

I was thinking along the lines of the AKSA amps or AussieAmplifiers or SKA, but don't really know the differences between these, not to mention how they differ with "Gainclone" amps.

If anyone has any remarks or hints I would be very grateful!
Thanks very much

Matt
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Old 23rd May 2007, 08:46 PM   #2
lineup is offline lineup  Sweden
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Default Re: Noob looking for ideas for first power amp project

Quote:
Originally posted by floatingkiwi
Hi all

I'm a first time DIY'er looking for ideas to build my first power amp.
--------------

I was thinking along the lines of the AKSA amps or AussieAmplifiers or SKA,
but don't really know the differences between these,
not to mention how they differ with "Gainclone" amps.
--------------
Matt

As you are from NZL you would 'be close' to anyone of
- AKSA
- AussieAmplifiers
- SKA

Both AKSA (Hugh Dean) and TheSaint (Anthony Holton - aussieamps) are members here, and post at our forum.
(SKA-greg used to be - but got himself banned)

Although AKSA / AussieAmplifiers amplifiers are different,
they both have their good and special qualities,
and I can almost guarantee great support for you.


Member Profiles:
AKSA: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/membe...nfo&userid=530
The Saint: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/membe...fo&userid=2681

Whatever one you try of those amplifiers,
I can say, you wont be dissapointed.
What you will decide, will depend more on your own preferences.
Not because anyone amplifier is 'better'.


Regards
lineup
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Old 24th May 2007, 01:24 PM   #3
Gordy is offline Gordy  United Kingdom
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For some ideas on what is available, have a look here:

Reference DIY amplifiers


Good luck.
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Old 24th May 2007, 01:39 PM   #4
Gordy is offline Gordy  United Kingdom
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Just because Greg got himself banned does not make him a bad person!

His site is at http://www.ska-audio.com/diy/

If you buy his equipment he will help and support the build. There are some interesting posts on his new forum available via his site.
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Old 24th May 2007, 06:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info folks.

Are these amps actually "gainclone" amps or chip amps? Or something else - I'm not really sure of the differences between all these! Is a gain clone amp and a chip amp one and the same thing as well? I've done extensive reading/research on the topic, but haven't found a good simple explanation (I'm not an electrical engineer!).

Thanks again

Matt
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Old 24th May 2007, 06:36 PM   #6
Hartono is offline Hartono  Indonesia
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Hi Matt,

"gainclone" is basically an attempt to clone Lab 47(company) amplifier ( name : Gaincard) , which is a chip amp.

those other amps you mentioned will be "Discrete"(using transistors) not chip amp

Hartono
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Old 24th May 2007, 06:45 PM   #7
wrl is offline wrl  United States
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Default Consider building a Leach amp

It will be more involved than a IC based approach, but the documentation is unsurpassed IMHO.

I built one as my first amp and it is fantastic (I'm using it with homebuilt ESLs). It's stereo and 120 watts/channel I believe.

Just do a google search for Leach amp and you'll get to the sites homepage.

-WRL
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Old 25th May 2007, 03:28 AM   #8
Leolabs is offline Leolabs  Malaysia
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Take a look at ESP's Project 3.
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Old 25th May 2007, 03:31 AM   #9
rabbitz is offline rabbitz  Australia
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Default Re: Noob looking for ideas for first power amp project

Quote:
Originally posted by floatingkiwi
Hi all

I was thinking along the lines of the AKSA amps or AussieAmplifiers or SKA, but don't really know the differences between these, not to mention how they differ with "Gainclone" amps.

Matt
I've built all these amps as well as LM3875 and LM4780 ChipAmps.

IMO, go with the AKSA (Bipolar)as I've had my AKSA 55N+ for years and I tried to find an amp to beat it. None of other amp I've built comes close for my tastes but they have their own attributes. The AKSA is just so musical and involving with a soundstage and depth to die for.... does need a long run in time though (150 hrs).

All the others are fine as well with the NX150 and GB150 (both Mosfet) being more straight wire with gain and do better the AKSA 55 in the real low bass but lack the charms of the AKSA for me. I've spent a lot of money and time to better the AKSA and should have quit while I was ahead.

ChipAmps are great value and are good amps to kick off. These can be very involving and musical and depends a lot on the partnering equipment and speakers to get the best out of them. I use an LM4780 with a snubbered power supply in my workshop and is also my testing amp, the mule... I have no complaints with it at all. For me, the LM3875, not snubbered, just has that little extra in sound quality and charm but that's all about personal tastes.

There are so many great choices out there and just do your research. All the ones I've mentioned can put a smile on the dial.
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Old 25th May 2007, 09:22 AM   #10
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I think a kit will be the best thing to do for a start, I'm not really that well versed in building something from scratch, well for the first time anyway. But certainly building up a kit on an already supplied board will be doable.

Matt
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