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DIFORCE 30th August 2010 11:39 AM

How hard is it ?
How hard is it to build a solid state amp from scratch ? I mean , I build speakers and would like to evolve into building amps but I dont know where to begin and where to get information from , what basic skills do I need ? And how can I know what the symbols in the schematic mean ?

AndrewT 30th August 2010 12:20 PM

go to Decibel Dungeon to see how to assemble amps from scratch and read his Safety sections.
Decibel Dungeon DIY hi-fi index.

Go to ESP to read how to understand some of the operation of circuits and for complete projects.
DIY Audio Articles

Go to to learn what the 9 chapters can teach you.

Go to Pass to see how to use simple transistors circuits that perform way beyond what one might expect.

wakibaki 30th August 2010 05:30 PM

To build is not hard at all. You can buy a kit, such as a Velleman, which is no more difficult than painting-by-numbers, and if you can solder and follow a few written instructions you can build an amplifier, and even one that works very well. Even if you can't solder, it's not a difficult skill to acquire.

Beyond that there is selecting and buying components from a catalogue or website, deciding on their logical and physical layout and putting them together. This is not so straightforward... You can, however, buy books that explain the process or attend courses. Most 3-year graduate students are still incapable of designing and building an audio amplifier, although, to be fair, most electronics courses have a broader content than just audio amplifier design.

Take small steps at first, and proceed by challenging yourself, but not so much as to fail and become discouraged.


acceler8 31st August 2010 04:14 AM


Originally Posted by wakibaki (
Take small steps at first, and proceed by challenging yourself, but not so much as to fail and become discouraged.

Wow, that is some serious "snatch the pebble from my hand" stuff there! I'm not being facetious, I really think this is great advice; and a great quote. Hope you don't mind if I incorporate that into my daily sayings?

On topic, I am very new so I have little to offer. However, I do have an amplifier in less than perfect repair and learning how it works and comparing it to its schematic have taught me much. I don't think repairing an amp is a good place to start, but examining existing circuits is very informative. Comparing an actual circuit to a schematic isn't as intuitive as it sounds (at least not for me). By tracing every component on the schematic with a highlighter and seeing how the PCB traces are connected, has helped me a lot.

Hop to have helped!

DIFORCE 31st August 2010 04:41 PM

I was thinking more in the direction of a Krell KSA 50 clone ... How hard are they to make ? :)

kipman725 31st August 2010 07:50 PM

easy to build harder to design. To design something new from scratch will take probably years of studying but is rewarding.

the earlier poster was correct that most electronic engineering student couldn't design an audio amp from scratch as well. But to let you in on a little secret many are completely hopeless with discrete component based electronics ;)

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