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greg7 23rd April 2003 11:59 PM

Help me choose first project
I'm getting the bug to finally try to build a SS amp. There's plenty of good preamp kits out there (esp. tube or passive). I posted something similar a while back but no responses.

So .. I'm looking for a really good circuit or kit -- preferably something at least with boards available. I've looked and read but I'm still unclear. Gainclones don't interest me as much if I'm going to build. Zen, AKSA, White Noise, the guy in Australia .... give me some feedback on the relative merits. Don't need lots of power (small room + small speakers). Just maximum sound quality, preferably much less than $1K using *decent* parts, not over the top ... something easy, too. AKSA looks real good but I can't seem to get enough feedback on sound quality for my liking. I'm wanting to upgrade from a $2K commercial amp that I bought used.

Circlotron 24th April 2003 02:06 PM

I have listened to an AKSA and I haven't compared it to anything else except my home grown stuff, but if you went for one of those you wouldn't go wrong. It has got plenty of stick, is absolutely easy to listen to and looks quite straightforward to build. If I wasn't into cooking up my own, that would be my choice.

dutch diy 25th April 2003 10:25 PM

JLH-Amp is suitable
I've done a JLH-amp as serious first time diy amp-building.
I did have some experience in diy-electronics and with the help of this forum I'm using the result in my home system for over a year now!

till 25th April 2003 10:51 PM

Zen V4 ?should be possible MUCH less than 1k$

For advice post specs of your speakers or do you intend to use other speakers in future?

MikeW 27th April 2003 03:15 AM

Build an Aleph. Pick how much you want to spend for transformers and heatsinks, then pick the model. They have a very nice sound.:nod:

Cradle22 27th April 2003 10:07 AM


As an alternative to AKSA you can try P3A from E.Elliot, boards available.

I just finished one with very decent parts, and spent about 140 ~ 130 $ (with case), maybe additional 30 for a computer CNCed frontplate for the case in some time.

Like I said in another thread, I am not very good at describing and comparing sounds, but it sounds very good to my ears, and I doubt that I could get anything better for the money I spent on this one (or even a commercial amp, I would say I would have to look into the 2k range to get anything comparable).



primalsea 27th April 2003 10:57 AM

Ive built the ESP P03 amp as well. It was my first project and was quite easy to build. Rod Elliot will also give great technical help by email if you get stuck. I did'nt go other the top with the parts but I put the money where I thought it had to go, 10,000uF caps on the power supply and a 300VA transformer for both channels.

The lights dim for a split second when its turned on due to the massive inruch current but it sounds superb.

1 thing though:-

Keep the big transformer well away from the amp circuit board. Mines about 6 inches away otherwise you may have the dreaded buzz through the speakers.

Cheers Paul

Brad Kizer 27th April 2003 08:42 PM

The 55w AKSA is a fine amp and is relatively easy to build. Hugh's support is second to none. Period. Because this is your first project, support after the sale is very important. What do you have for speakers? If they are 90db+ and you don't have loud listening habits the AKSA 55w would probably work. Otherwise I would build the 100w version.

Presently I'm building a Seal Electronics Opti-Mos for my home theater system. You can check it out on my website.


sunny130y 28th April 2003 02:32 AM

how about amp to drive low impedance speakers?
Hi everyone,

I am in the same situation as Greg7. I intend to built an amp for my ESL, sensitivity 88 @ 4 ohm. Noticed P3A not recommended to drive 4ohm load. Any recommendations that fits my requirement?

1) come with PCB
2) comprehensive manual/instruction, not just part lists and schematic.
3) ability to drive low impedance load.
4) preferably 100wpc.

I am using a DENSEN B100, 60wpc. This amp is has good power suppy and zero feedback design. I like the sound but am thinking of building something 100wpc on my own.

5th element 29th April 2003 02:01 PM

I've built four of Slones low distortion hifi amps (design 11.4 in the high power audio amplifier construction manual) all in the same case using a single power supply (building my own PCB's) for about 300 bristish pounds. This didnt include the case which I re-used from an old computer. I used basic components and the sound is superb. They put out approximately 80 watts per channel (8 ohm). Slone has recently produced another 80watt varient on this using mosfets which would increase reliability and would probably make a better starting project. Email him from Seal electronics and he'l be happy to help.

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