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Old 30th July 2007, 03:54 AM   #1
Stu_M is offline Stu_M  Australia
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Question Seeking amplifier kit advice – which 1 to build?

Hi all,

My friend has offered to build an amplifier for me. Requirements as follows:

will be used to drive a set of Monitor Audio (silver) 8i speakers (these are decent speakers and I won't be looking to upgrade them for at least another 5 years. They have 175W written on the back of them, whatever that means)
design should be proven and parts available in Australia (or via reputable “mail order” vendor) – can't afford to experiment – need this thing to work and to work well
budget: preferably below A$1000

I currently am using an (oldish) Yamaha AX 490. So whatever kit is built should be demonstrably “better”. The Silicon Chip kits seems like an obvious option and of those on offer am considering the 100W ULD and the Studio 350 (preferably the 350 as it seems a particularly quiet amplifier and has extra power).

So questions are:

Is the 200W for the Studio 350 a concern for my “175W” speakers?
How would you rate the performance of these amplifiers compared with commercial equivalents?
Is there anything else I should be considering? (Remember i don't want to modify existing designs – unless the mod has been in the public domain for some time and is “proven”)

Thanks in advance for any advice/insights.

Stuart
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Old 30th July 2007, 06:55 AM   #2
jaycee is offline jaycee  United Kingdom
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I can't find any info on the "100W ULD" kit you mention.. but i'd consider the AKSA 100 amplifier.

Amplifiers built for power can often compromise sound quality in favour of output power. I'd stick with something in the range of 70-100W.

The 200W output on your 175W speakers isn't immediately dangerous unless you were to crank it.
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Old 30th July 2007, 09:42 AM   #3
Stu_M is offline Stu_M  Australia
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Default Links

Here are the Silicon Chip links for the 2 amps I mentioned:

http://www.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_100503/article.html

http://www.siliconchip.com.au/cms/A_102474/article.html


From what I can figure out, these both have similar levels of (quite low) distortion, but the 200W amp has better S/N figure.
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Old 30th July 2007, 11:13 AM   #4
rabbitz is offline rabbitz  Australia
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Don't get hung up on the numbers.

I'd take a look at the AKSA and which model depends on how far you crank it. You'd still have to figure in a pre amp as well.
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Old 30th July 2007, 11:23 AM   #5
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Default Aksa is the best option.... you are starting with those things


The Aksa choice is something alike to give a shot into a 400 meters distant target and find 100 points!

Very lucky your choice...going directly to Paradise .... a non stop voyage.

regards,

Carlos
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Old 30th July 2007, 11:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by rabbitz
Don't get hung up on the numbers.
Yup, you may well find that a 30-50W amp will drive your system to more than adequate levels.
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Old 30th July 2007, 11:30 AM   #7
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Also have a loot at Rod Elliott's site sound.au.com. Not kits but good designs and a fellow Aussie. Good support as well.
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Old 30th July 2007, 11:49 AM   #8
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

A 100W into 8 ohm, near 200W into 4 ohm amplifier is a good match.
But ~ double or ~ half that is perfectly usable.

I might reccomend the ASKA's if I could find any current info on them,
I cannot.

TBH building an amplifier has many pitfalls for the unwary, you can
buy a pretty good amplifier simply for all the parts as its cheaper
than buying all the hardware seperately.

I'm not up to date with kits available, I'll just note there is more to
amplifier design than meets the eye, such as reliability issues, the
"sound quality" of a built amplifier is a very moot point, as it will
depend on the way its built as much as the intrinsic design.

/sreten.
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Old 30th July 2007, 01:13 PM   #9
AKSA is offline AKSA  Australia
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AKSA info is here:

AKSA information



Cheers,

Hugh
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Old 31st July 2007, 12:22 AM   #10
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There is a very good choice of high quality kit amps in Australia. I have made my fair share of amplifier kits and to be honest would steer clear of the Silicon Chip kits because there are others that are so much better. The Silicon Chip amps are designed by engineers who don't seem to be able to listen critically to their creations. They are also designed to a budget, using parts available from Jaycar or Dick Smith. If you want quality go for AKSA (see above for the link), Greg Ball's SKA, or one of Anthony Holton's kits.

http://www.ska-audio.com
http://www.poweramplifiers.com.au/

Myself, I am currently building Greg Ball's GB300D and have been impressed with the quality of the kit, far far better than anything ever produced by the magazines. Greg has been very helpful with suggestions to optimise the amp to my requirements. He also has a forum with a lot of interesting and useful information. I don't have personal experience with Hugh's or Anthony's kits, but would not hesitate to order kits from. If only I had more time and $$s I would build amps from all 3 designers! Now that would be fun.

Peter
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