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Old 19th March 2003, 03:58 AM   #1
Paprika is offline Paprika  United States
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Default I'm Confused and I need your help.

Hello Everyone

I am in a bit of a jam here. I've presented this problem in this forum before but no one replied so I'm going to try this again because it is important to me that I get advice from experianced people, its the way I learn.

Assume I moderate hands on electronics experiance.

I need to build a amplifier which can take sterio line level signals, amplify them then send them out to 3 speakers (Left, Right, Center/Subwolfer). This is going to be for my bedroom so I need to be able to adjust both Volume & Bass so that I can turn it wayy down at night, so not to disturb anyone above or below my floor. I only need about 60 Watts power. I came to this conclusion because my current pc sound system (Creative Labs Inspire 2.1) is only 60Watts and acceptible. I've before tried visiting many websites which are confusing and have allot of run-around as none of them got down to the nitty-gritty of building a sound system, they were really non-newbie friendly. I'm looking to be pointed directly to a completed project which could meet my needs - if you do not know of any then say so - please do not send me to some website about making speakers or doing tube amplifing.

I am asking for your help so that I can do this, learn from it, and move onto my other planned projects. I really appreciate it.

Thank you.
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Old 19th March 2003, 04:30 AM   #2
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Wink IC based is easy and dirt cheap...

Paprika, first, don't let your sound card company fool you with "peak" power: this is basically a twist just to be able to print big numbers on the box. Even if this seems ridiculous, the specs of your system shows 6 watts RMS (this is the actual and the only significant number) per speaker plus 17 watts for the subwoofer...

Now you know that 6 watts per channel can be enough for a bedroom (and even more sometimes). In fact, my main sound system is composed of two 40W amps (1 for each side) and let me say you that in my setup, 40 usable watts par channel can almost blow your ears if you are not cautious.

Second, as Planet10 suggested in another interesting thread, this can be an interesting kit for you to begin in the diy world. Simple, cheap and easy to get honest sound from...
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Old 19th March 2003, 04:49 AM   #3
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Default Power levels

20 watts per channel with an active crossover and a sub ( 30 to 40 watts?) is LOUD. Not to bleed your ears but comfortably loud. You cannot compare this with any sound card !
Like Zappa says 40+40 watts is pretty loud. Between 20 and 40 watts the increase in volume to your ears will be just marginal.

Using it with an active crossover and a separate powered sub makes an enormous difference in the apparent volume ( apart from other benefits) that you can achieve.
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Old 19th March 2003, 05:14 AM   #4
Paprika is offline Paprika  United States
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but i see all of these 300, 400 & 500 Watt Sterio systems in the electronics stores and they don't blow peoples ears off....

Besides, Zappa that link was nice & all but it was wayyy off from my target. I need to be able to take a stereo signal, up it, then run it out to 3 speakers.
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Old 19th March 2003, 06:42 AM   #5
patch is offline patch  United States
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Smile try some older alinco units

You can get a LOT of sound out of certain vintage alinco speakers, from the 50s and 60s, notably the ones put in Akai tape decks. Six watts into a a pair of these older 3-watt speakers--that might work for you. Look around the thrift shops for old tape decks.
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Old 19th March 2003, 06:57 AM   #6
Hamish is offline Hamish  Australia
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i agree with what patch said about speakers. loudness is dependant on both the system power and the sensitivity of the speakers. i have a 40watt amp with 92dB speakers, and if the VU meter EVER hits 20-25watts, the neighbour is banging on my door abusing me.

don't believe a word of the stickers on commercial equipment. go into a high-end store and compare what power levels they are touting. i think you will be surprised.

if you have a look on the forum, you will have an endless choice of preamps and amps. but YOU need to know what YOU want before anyone can help.

for something easy, try ESP at www.sound.au.com . i've built some of these and been quite impressed.

good luck.
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Old 19th March 2003, 11:19 AM   #7
Paprika is offline Paprika  United States
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I knew someone would point me to ESP - I have been to that site countless number of times. I already know what I want too. I told you that already in my FIRST post.
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Old 19th March 2003, 11:31 AM   #8
paulb is offline paulb  Canada
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Default Re: I'm Confused and I need your help.

Quote:
Originally posted by Paprika
Assume I moderate hands on electronics experiance.
I'm looking to be pointed directly to a completed project which could meet my needs.

Quote:
Originally posted by Paprika
Besides, Zappa that link was nice & all but it was wayyy off from my target. I need to be able to take a stereo signal, up it, then run it out to 3 speakers.

Quote:
Originally posted by Paprika
I knew someone would point me to ESP - I have been to that site countless number of times. I already know what I want too. I told you that already in my FIRST post.
You're being a little inconsistent here. What do you mean by a "completed project?" If you want to actually build something, the Zappa link points to a single-channel power amp; if you buy 3 of them, you have your 3 channels. Recommended.
Are you asking for advice as to how to wire the inputs to 3 amps to get left / right / centre? If so, ask. When you say you have moderate electronics experience, most of us would assume that you would already know how to do this.
Are you looking for a commercial product? Maybe you know what you want, but we don't yet.
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Old 19th March 2003, 05:27 PM   #9
Schaef is offline Schaef  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paprika
I knew someone would point me to ESP - I have been to that site countless number of times. I already know what I want too. I told you that already in my FIRST post.

Okay, then clarify what you want. His project 73 is EXACTLY what you describe as wanting. He takes a stereo input, and outputs three speaker level signals, two satellites, and a subwoofer. He even describes the speakers for you! The ONLY point it doesn't match is his using 50Watts instead of your wanting 60Watts. (You won't hear the difference) So, where does this project fall short?
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Old 19th March 2003, 08:21 PM   #10
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Im a newbie too but i would advise making a gainclone.
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