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Old 21st January 2009, 03:14 PM   #1
StanRex is offline StanRex  France
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Default student with free time on his hands

Hey guys,

Allow me to introduce myself, I'm a student, who finished his studies 3 weeks ago, and currently looking for a job. I'm french and live in paris btw

Now, I have a light DIY experience. I've completed an AlienDAC ( http://www.myexposition.com/diy/usbdac/overview.html ), based on a kit from Jeff Rossel, and a PPAV2 amp ( http://tangentsoft.net/audio/ppa/amp2/ ) with a TREAD powersupply

So I have a nice way to listen to music : using my sennheiser hd650 fed by the ppaV2 and the alienDAC.

However, I also like speakers. But my speakers setup is a piece of shazbot. I mean truely ... erm.... bad. Think about a 8yrs old 5.1 pc kit (hercules xps630 if my memory serves me right). I really feel bad when I start listening on the senn650, then switch to the speaker setup...

Now

I have a lot of freetime on my hands. Too much in fact, since I haven't found a job yet. So I was considering the idea of building a speaker setup to replace the piece of crap I'm currently using

I've done some research and found that

amp-wise, there are basically 2 main choices for the DIYer that wants solid state, not over complicated options :

GainClone kits (from audiosector?)
T-amp (i think that s what they re called) kits from 41hz

between these two options, i've heard people say they prefered the t-amps, other the gainclone. There doesn't seem to be a general consensus saying "A is better than B". Oh and I'm kinda lost between the X type of kits available from 41Hz

Also, I'd like to have both the amp and the power supply in a single box. Maybe there are some amps pcb that integrate powersupply?

To sum things up, I guess you could say that I'm looking for an amp kit with integrated volume control (don't wanna use a preamp), powersupply and everything in one box.

speaker wise. Well, things get a tad complicated... Maybe it would be better to buy them...

I was wondering if you had some insight, advice to offer for that situation.

Now, a bit more on my situation :

I've never worked with 220V. I've managed to avoid it by buying an AC-AC wallplug to feed my PPA. But I think I'm ready to try working with line voltage

I have a friend who has column speakers. That s partly the reason why i'd like to build myself a better speaker rig. Because listening to his rig blew me away. So I'd really like to have column speakers

Budget : let's say 600 euros for both the amp and the speakers. I'd be happier if it could be kept near the 450 euros though, but I know that I should avoid daydreaming ^^ . And I live in France, so shipping costs are a concern

I already have some tools (dremel, hakko 937 clone soldering station)

I've done some smd soldering for both the ppa and the alienDAC. So I'm more or less comfortable with it.


Thanks in advance for your advices!

Stan

ps : and sorry if my english is a bit rusty...
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Old 21st January 2009, 06:09 PM   #2
CBS240 is offline CBS240  United States
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Quote:
I've never worked with 220V. I've managed to avoid it by buying an AC-AC wallplug to feed my PPA. But I think I'm ready to try working with line voltage
I asume you intend to use a transformer to isolate the circuitry from the line? Well, of course you will so you shouldn't have to work very much with the mains (unless you are building an on line SMPS ), whichever amp you decide to build.


Good luck
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Old 21st January 2009, 08:44 PM   #3
StanRex is offline StanRex  France
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Quote:
I asume you intend to use a transformer to isolate the circuitry from the line?
that was the idea yes

and thank you!
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Old 22nd January 2009, 02:12 AM   #4
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A whole lot depends on how much money you have to spend?
Also what you want to do with it - and what level of performance you want/need.

Any kit will be fun.

There are better designs and worse designs - and again much depends on your ultimate goal here.

You can check http://www.Borbelyaudio.com for some discrete amp designs that are also available as kits, both in Europe and USA.

There are some PCBs that folks on here have made and may be available too... (more ambitious to build from scratch and get ur own parts)

Speakers are in another place on this forum - so you could post there for ideas.

Again it helps to narrow down your parameters before asking for suggestions:
- budget
- power
- performance (distortion, impedance, size, etc)
- proposed application
- complexity/completeness of "kit"

Hope that helps somewhat...

_-_-bear

PS. you might consider a Pass design?
( I get no %...)
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Old 22nd January 2009, 10:43 AM   #5
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Bear, just heat sinks and power supply for a Pass Amp could easily blow the OP's budget. IMHO, any discrete amp could blow the budget especially if you expect a fancy aluminum case. Well, maybe a mini Aleph might fit if you have good luck with surplus.

Of the two amp choices presented, I'd go with a chip amp to ensure adequate headroom. A very efficient speaker might get away with a T-Amp, but most will be happier with a chip amp. It will take a home-made (wooden?) enclosure and surplus heat sinks to keep costs down and leave enough left over for speakers. www.chipamp.com has boards and possibly kits on sale. I've bought from him.

Check out www.zaphaudio.com for some good quality budget designs. The stated budget will not allow a particularly fancy enclosure finish, but something like truck bed liner should be attractive enough and not terribly expensive if you want a more refined look than raw MDF.

Edit: there is a transformer suitable for chipamps in the group buy section - you might be able to get in on it.
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