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Old 21st January 2012, 01:50 AM   #1
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Default st35 vs millett DCPP vs tubelab simple SE


I would like to know if there was any comparison of these three different amp? The Millet DCPP AKA Engineer Amp, The dynaco ST35 and the Tubelab Simple SE.

I am planning on my first tube built and all three have come up as suggestions.

According to my reading both the Millett DCPP and the Dynaco produce around 17-20 WPC. The Tubelab if my research is correct is a 5-14 wpc amp.

I am wondering what you would suggest as best value of these and any comments on their sound.

The millett DCPP may be a little cheaper then the Dynaco but the dynaco can come with a custom chassis and all component may be had as a kit (simplyfying construction).

Any comments appreciated!

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Old 21st January 2012, 02:52 AM   #2
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Default Please tell us a little about your speakers...

How sensitive are your speakers? What are your listening habits?

Pete's board and the ST-35 are both push-pull topologies, and the Tubelab Simple Single Ended is a..well......single ended topology.
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Old 21st January 2012, 03:02 AM   #3
roline is offline roline  United States
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The big red board can produce 125+watts/channel based on output tubes and iron chosen. The base design with the Edcor iron is around 18watts, but just go to the 30-33 watt screen tubes with a 500V B+ and larger output Iron.
SO many tubes, SO little time!!!
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Old 21st January 2012, 03:12 AM   #4
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I just finished building a st70 kit from Bob Latino this morning. My first kit build. This kit is perfect, Everything included, great instructions. It's running beautifully. I know there's lots of kits avaliable but for me, as a first timer, this is perfect. Bob is very helpful if you need it. Not sure if it's in your price range, but if it is, go for it. Highly recommended.
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Old 21st January 2012, 12:12 PM   #5
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I have yet to acquire the speakers for this amp.

Not sure to DIY of buy new. New i am looking at PSB B5 bookshelf or Paradigm Atom. Both have around 89-91db efficiency.

I find very interesting the idea of using the DCPP and boosting the power a little.
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Old 21st January 2012, 03:31 PM   #6
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I have built, and continue to enjoy both, the Millett DCPP and the Tubelab SSE.

The DCPP I built exactly as outlined on Pete's website; no hot-rodding. It has been totally reliable and sounds great. Compared to some other tubed amps I own, I find it's sound a little less "warm". It drives my 89db speakers well enough in a medium-sized room.

The Tubelab SSE was the second tube project I ever built. I recommend it as a novice project due to it's simplicity and George's excellent documentation on While modestly powered, it still fills my room with more volume than I need. I like the sound with the the KT-88's I set it up with; detailed yet never harsh.

With either of these designs, if you have basic skills, and are careful with construction, you will be rewarded with good performance.
"We provide the music, you provide the silence." - Charles Mingus
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Old 21st January 2012, 03:45 PM   #7
Anchan is offline Anchan  United States
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I owned an original st-35 a while back, and there is something really magical about that particular model. It's a tad light in the bass, but it has such a wonderful sound. It was a bit euphonic to my ears as well- but very nice. Recently I built a slight variation on tubelabs sse. George's boards are very well made, and there is tremendous support on this forum. Wonderful sound, and you can tailor it to your needs. Kits are nice, but its fun choosing the transformers to suit your needs. People here will help you. Two different topologies as someone pointed out, so that might play into your decision. I vote tubelab, but that's just me. Not familiar with your 3rd choice.
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Old 22nd January 2012, 02:49 AM   #8
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Both have around 89-91db efficiency.
I use a pair of Yamaha NS-10M speakers with 88 db sensitivity in a 10 by 11 foot room. These speakers have a 7 inch woofer. The sound is a bit quiet with a 2 WPC amp. The SSE with about 7 WPC provides plenty of volume with just about any music in this size room. It would be inadequate in a large room.

The Simple P-P which puts out about 18 WPC in stock form (similar to the ST35) is only slightly louder in the same room with the same speakers.

I also have 3 versions on Pete's DCPP amp. One is now running DHP's (307A's) at 20 WPC, the second runs 6HJ5's at 125 WPC, and the third is a platform for experiments and it has run dozens of different tubes at power levels from 5 WPC to 250 WPC. The big powered versions are louder than the SSE or SPP but not by much. Why? With a 7 inch woofer the cone is already near maximum travel at 15 watts or so. More power won't make the cone move any farther, so it can't move much more air or make more volume. More power will make the cone move through its range quicker, which improves the dynamics, which is a different story.

This story is completely different with larger speakers. I also have a pair of Hawthorne Silver Iris drivers mounted in a pair of old console radios. These are 15 inch coaxial drivers with 96 db efficiency. They are in a 12 by 14 foot room with openings into adjacent rooms. Even the 2 WPC amp makes plenty of volume. The SSE can be heard inside the house across the street with all windows closed, the SPP makes it possible to understand the words of the songs inside the house across the street, and the 125 WPC DCPP, well, If I crank it I can go outside and mow my lawn without hearing the lawnmower! It is "rock concert in the living room" kind of loud. The volume level continues to increase until I run out of volume knob.

How sensitive are your speakers? What are your listening habits?
Single ended amps are generally viewed as detailed. They are often simple designs with a low parts count. Some people view this as a good thing since "each part adds coloration" to the music. The truth is that most SE amps add some second harmonic to the music, which sounds pleasing to most listeners. The amp can only apply motive force to the speaker in one direction so some transient or dynamic sounds can be rendered less than perfectly. Despite these drawbacks there is a large group of audiophiles that believe that SE is the only way. I was one of them for quite a while. There is a sweet spot in the power capability of an SE tube amp. This is due to the compromises needed in the output transformer. I built one that put out 200 watts, and it was loud, but not very detailed. It made a good guitar amp.

Push pull amps have the ability to push the speaker cone at you, then snatch it right back. Their ability to deal with highly dynamic music like drums is unmatched by an SE amp. This effect is more pronounced with increased power output capability even if it is not needed. A 20 WPC push pull amp will have better dynamics than a 5 WPC amp even at a 2 WPC listening level.

Your music choices and listening habits will determine whether you want a P-P or SE amp. If you can listen to one of each with speakers similar to what you will use, you can make a more informed choice.

The speaker efficiency and budget will be the biggest factors in choosing the power output level.
Tubelab, it's 5 year mission. To explore strange new tubes, to seek out new circuits and topologies, to boldly go where no tube has gone before......
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Old 22nd January 2012, 06:33 PM   #9
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Thanks Tubelab.

This push-pull vs SE is really helpful. Being new to the field.

I think my setup will be gamma 2 DAC -- Millett DCPP - (most probably) PSB B5 bookshelf speakers.
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Old 23rd January 2012, 07:06 AM   #10
aab1991 is offline aab1991  Canada
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Default Capacitor size

For the optional cap in the power supply, what is required and what are people useing for it.
Thanks, Gary.
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