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Old 15th November 2001, 05:25 AM   #1
wnichol is offline wnichol  United States
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Hello,

I'm new to diy and this forum. Infact this is my first thread. This may sound like a stupid question but where would be a good place to start building an amp? I am looking for information. Could anyone recommend a amp that would be a good starter project that is mainly on the inexpensive side. I am currently a college student and money is a little tight. I do have some very basic electronic knowlegde, I am able to solder, and I have the williness to learn. Any information would be great. Thank you
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Old 15th November 2001, 05:46 AM   #2
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simple and inexpensive...check out the Zen amp at passlabs.com
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Old 15th November 2001, 06:10 AM   #3
walker is offline walker  Australia
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Wnichol, the first place I would start, is to listen to commercial amps and others DIY amps if you can. Make sure that the speakers you use are similar to your own or ones that you intend to use (most will agree that speakers change the sound of a system more than the amp). Also pay attention to the room acoustics, (reverb time is most important) to ensure that they are similar to your planned listening room (most will also agree that rooms change the sound of a system more than the amp).

Also take along some of your favourite GOOD QUALITY recordings, ones with wide frequency and dynamic range.

If you ask an expert for their favourite amp you may as well have asked them their favourite colour, (unless you're making the amp for them).

If you haven't picked up a soldering iron in the past, simple solid state amps are often a good start, (see Doug Self, Elliott Sound Products, Pass Labs amongst others).

Be warned new systems often sound better because they sound new and interesting, take your time and listen. Use your head as well as our ears.

When you decide what you like, (valve/mosfet/bjt, class a/ab, single ended/double-ended, simple/complex) ask again any many on this site will be able to offer more assistance.

Regards WALKER

I tried to keep it short.

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Old 15th November 2001, 01:20 PM   #4
wnichol is offline wnichol  United States
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Thank you vary much for your help!
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Old 16th November 2001, 06:38 AM   #5
wnichol is offline wnichol  United States
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Does anybody have any pictures of there Zen amps or can anybody give me any construction tips/directions for a Zen amp? I have visited Passlabs.com and I just want more information before diving into the project.
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Old 16th November 2001, 09:31 AM   #6
hifiZen is offline hifiZen  Canada
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not personally, but you should poke your nose into the Pass Labs forum for more on the Zen and brethren, and a search on google or whatever should turn up numerous sites dedicated to the Zen amp... it's something of a cult classic now.
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Old 16th November 2001, 11:51 AM   #7
walker is offline walker  Australia
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I admit that I have never heard a Pass amp, but as a technician the design worries me, treat this as personal opinion, (just showing my colours). I'm sure many love them and they are simple.
I suspect that you maybe missing some of the joy of DIY audio and that is, listening to what’s available. I feel that the chances of you finding your particular Holy Grail are limited if you don't. You could be a latent valve lover and not know it.
Having said that there is nothing quite like sitting back and enjoying the fruit of your labours. This could be the first in a series of amps that you build in your search for the ultimate lounge room eargasam.
You could do far worse than the course you appear to have chosen.

Regards WALKER

Trying not to dampen the zeal, just inform.
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Old 16th November 2001, 12:44 PM   #8
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for your reading pleasure.....
http://www.surfnetusa.com/sho/webtext6.html

...a pretty cute 'temple' for his project.
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