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Old 1st July 2003, 06:33 PM   #1
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Default Good Amp for Newbie

I am looking for a good amp for a newbie. I have built many gainclones, and want to make a forray into SS. I would like somthing with highest regard for SQ. Number of watts dosnt really matter too much, as I will be powering some 89dB sensative Focal DIY speakers, so anything around 10-20 W is fine.

Is it best just to go with somthing like the P3A?

I already have 4x 68000uF caps and two 2 300VA transfomers that run at 24-0-24.

Let me know if there is somthing simple that I may be able to try.

-Paul Hilgeman
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Old 2nd July 2003, 05:08 PM   #2
AndersP is offline AndersP  Sweden
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I´m actually going for a P3A myself. I would be very frustrated starting up a say Leach project and maybe not get it to run.
I loose inspiration very fast when things doesn´t go my way.
On the other hand it wouldn´t be much of a challange to build one of the semi self building kits either. Tricky.
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Old 2nd July 2003, 05:17 PM   #3
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A pair of class A monoblocks might be a nice companion for those speakers?????

Cheers!!The DIRT®
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Old 2nd July 2003, 06:48 PM   #4
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You could try the JLH 10W design; it's old (late 60's but with more recent updates), the parts are easily available and it has a very good reputation for sound quality. I don't believe that pre-made PCBs are available though.

There's plenty of documentation here:

Nice one,
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Old 3rd July 2003, 04:03 AM   #5
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If you're very careful, the Leach amp is certainly possible. It was the first amp I ever built and I know very little about electronics (I knew nothing when I started building it). Granted, it's not the simplest amp out there, but one of the big thing it has going for it is the clear and comprehensive instructions. You just have to check and then recheck every componenet before you put it in. As long as all the components and the wires are in the right place, you can't go too wrong.

The other huge thing the Leach amp has going for it is the sound!!!. Also, it'd deliver more watts per buck - the Pass amps are great but need some serious (expensive) hardware (transformers, heatsinks etc.) to get 100W compared to the Leach amp. I'm not sure if the Leach amp would run off 24-0-24 transformers - perhaps somebody else could answer that???

But I do have to concur with AndersP - I'd have probably given up on HiFi if my first Leach amp had had any faults.

Excuse my ignorance, but what do you mean by SQ???

Good luck,

Link to Leach amp:
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Old 3rd July 2003, 03:08 PM   #6
AndersP is offline AndersP  Sweden
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Signal Quality?
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Old 3rd July 2003, 03:38 PM   #7
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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If you are willing to make your own PCB's you could try one on Randy Slone's amplifiers. The source is his "Projects" and "Construction Manual" books. They range from simple to rather complex. I also suggest using the PCB artwork pulished there. The only big problems I've had with his designs involve my own goofs on PCB layout. You will need acess to a copy machine that can scale the image up a bit.

PS: he has a web site but he is closing down that business due to becoming involved in new company ZUS that is planning to produce hone of designs commercially.
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Old 3rd July 2003, 06:20 PM   #8
paulb is offline paulb  Canada
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Default Re: Good Amp for Newbie

Originally posted by PaulHilgeman
Is it best just to go with somthing like the P3A?
I already have 4x 68000uF caps and two 2 300VA transfomers that run at 24-0-24.
-Paul Hilgeman
Assuming you want to use these transformers, they're probably too high a voltage to run a Class A. That leaves a Class AB. I can recommend the P3A. If your speakers are 8 ohm, you probably have enough VAs in your transformers to do a bridged version. Or could you possible biamp your speakers?
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Old 4th July 2003, 01:41 AM   #9
owdeo is offline owdeo  Australia
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I would wholeheartedly recommend the Leach amp. It has been built by thousands of Leach's students over the years and is a rock solid design if built correctly (and blowup proof!).

Besides, I think the JLH10W amp is the worst sounding amp I have ever heard. I built one very carefully and a friend also built one completely differently. They sounded exactly the same: awful! And with 89dB speakers, 10W is not nearly enough unless you only use them for background music (with the JLH, the power is totally limited to 10W as it can't pull any more power when required for transients). This statement is bound to be highly controversial.....
The more I learn the more I realise how little I know...
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