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Old 27th September 2006, 06:44 AM   #1
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Default Noobie question: which amp is best for me?

Hi everyone
i am a noobie and i wish to build my first amp
i have a limited experience in electronics but i am able to solder, read the values of components and etch a board.
What kind amp do you suggest i start from?
i want something that has a decent power (>20W) that is not too critical to make (shouldn't burn my speaker), that doesn't use components that are almost impossible to find, that is "cheapo", and that sound like tubes (possibly with even armonics, i love that tone).
please advice me what should i consider (i was about to start a gainclone mod some days ago, but then i tought better i ask here 1st, the clone is My_ref_A rev 3)
Thanks all!
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Old 27th September 2006, 01:06 PM   #2
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Check the latest schematic in the "my simple class a approach" thread. Very simple and can be scaled easily to more power although theres not a large difference in sound between 10 and 25 watts. And of course there is the tried and true JLH which is a very good amplifier. Class a is the way to go if you want an amplifier with 2nd harmonics and tube like sound.
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Old 27th September 2006, 01:30 PM   #3
jaycee is offline jaycee  United Kingdom
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I think that if you are a beginner.. you should definately build the Gainclone. As pretty much all of the critical circuitry is on the chip, it is less difficult to make something that will blow up when you turn it on.

LM3886s will give about 50W into 8 ohms with 35v supply rails.
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Old 27th September 2006, 02:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by jerluwoo
Check the latest schematic in the "my simple class a approach" thread. Very simple and can be scaled easily to more power although theres not a large difference in sound between 10 and 25 watts. And of course there is the tried and true JLH which is a very good amplifier. Class a is the way to go if you want an amplifier with 2nd harmonics and tube like sound.
Hello
i saw the post, interesting indeed, but i need also a pcb or it will come out a mess...
where is this JLH?
i found only this
JLH 10 Watt class A amplifier
which is too "short" in power
Thanks for your answer!
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Old 27th September 2006, 02:05 PM   #5
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Go way back in time: Death of Zen.

You'll find all the info on Rod Elliot's site.

I wouldn't try the simple class A thingy, it's not reached maturity yet.
The circuit also uses 2N3055, those are TO3s.
Mounting TO3s is a PITA !
Try something with lower rail voltages than 50Vdc or higher !
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Old 27th September 2006, 02:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by jaycee
I think that if you are a beginner.. you should definately build the Gainclone. As pretty much all of the critical circuitry is on the chip, it is less difficult to make something that will blow up when you turn it on.

LM3886s will give about 50W into 8 ohms with 35v supply rails.
I AM a beginner..
i have limited experience in electronics (i mounted around 25 electronic kits but never an audio one) especially regarding tubes.
I was thinking maybe the Gc is interesting, but i don't know how it sounds, and if it really sounds like tubes, i saw My ref rev C, looks nice, but i don't know what are those Z protection nets that are missing..
i also saw on the website of the author that a new version is out, an improved Gc..but i couldn't read any feedback about it.
What i wanted to know is this: can i directly go from CD to Gc or i need a preamp? and if i need it, what kinda preamp should i use in order to keep a tubelike sound (maybe a simple tube preamp)..
moreover i read about tube buffers or solid state buffers for GC, are they needed? does it sound better with them?
50W are too much for me, 20-25 would be enough, the important is the sound
Thanks!
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Old 27th September 2006, 02:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by jacco vermeulen
Go way back in time: Death of Zen.

You'll find all the info on Rod Elliot's site.

I wouldn't try the simple class A thingy, it's not reached maturity yet.
The circuit also uses 2N3055, those are TO3s.
Mounting TO3s is a PITA !
Try something with lower rail voltages than 50Vdc or higher !

i gave a look at DoZ
seems very nice with nite tubelike sound..
but i am scared at the massive amount of heat generated..
how did u deal with it?
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Old 27th September 2006, 02:43 PM   #8
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BIG heatsinks, as with the Zen, and every SE after that.

I've also used watercooling, with special semiconductor fluid coolers.
But you'll need access to wholesale shops, unless you are good enough in mechanical work to make one yourself.

Big heatsinks are easy to find nowadays, especially with the web around. Building the amps is dead easy, you don't even need a ready made PCB.
Personally i find these easier to construct than PP designs.

If you like something that resembles a VT amplifier you'll end up with SE and class A. Definitely not GCs !
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Old 27th September 2006, 03:05 PM   #9
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Hi,
50W is 3db louder than 25W.
20W is 3db louder than 10W. You will hardly notice these differences.

You will probably listen between 10mW and 200mW most of the time. When you turn it up really loud it will probably be about 1W or 2W with the extra to 10W leaving headroom for the peaks.

If you use very efficient speakers you will need a lot less power than with low efficiency speakers.
Something around 90db/W is pretty good for a house system and lower power.
87db will need twice as much power for the same volume and 93db will need half the power.
96db will need only an eighth of the power that 87 db would require.

So if low power valve type sound is more important to you, then selecting efficient speakers will allow you to get the same volume as someone else using 100W to 200W of brute force.

Make your choices to suit your requirements.
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Old 27th September 2006, 05:57 PM   #10
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i have bose acoustimass 5 speakers...
they sound nice at me, but i don't know about the Db..
btw, do i need a pre with those class A amps?
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