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nate 2nd April 2012 02:55 AM

Simple SE Build (hopefully high-end!)
Greetings All,

Welcome to the first post in my Simple SE build!
I've been getting together all the parts over the last few months and I picked up the final parts today (the OPTs). The details are as follows:

Onetics Level-1 OPTs
Edcor XPWR035 Power transformer
Edcor CXC125-10H-200mA Choke
Tube power supply with Thermistors
ASC supplemental cap
JJ electrolytics
Cardas bypas caps
EL34s (JJ Blue Glass) or EH6550s (I have a ton of these)
Six position switchable cathode resistor (a la Russ)
All Cardas internal wiring
Cardas binding posts
Audio Note RCAs

At this point, I'm not including the UL/Triode switch (I will just use triode).

I have my top plate almost completely drilled and some nice Koa wood for the rest of the chassis. The board is populated (and double checked) and I should have some pictures tomorrow.


nate 4th April 2012 02:57 AM

8 Attachment(s)

jamesdb 4th April 2012 03:14 AM

That looks pretty nice on the chassis work, is that your first DIY amp?

nate 4th April 2012 05:12 AM

It is my first diy amplifier, but I've build a few other projects that required some chassis work…
At the moment, the diy components in my system are an Aikido preamp, Pearl Phono preamp (with lundhal step up transformers) and some nice mtm floor standers (eton mid-woofs and accuton tweeters).

I ordered some "soft" aluminum from (they are local which is nice) and i used various drill bits and bi-metal hole saws in my drill press for the metal work. Bending is actually pretty easy. I have a blade for my table saw that is good for cutting aluminum so I cut a shallow channel in the plate to help guide the bending. I've done this before and it works really well. The finish is some sort of rustoleum rattle can green primed first.

I mentioned in the previous post that I was going to use Koa… I switched to some burled maple instead.

boywonder 4th April 2012 03:07 PM


Originally Posted by nate (
so I cut a shallow channel in the plate to help guide the bending.

excellent! I've got to try this.......

nate 9th April 2012 04:26 AM

Thanks to an understanding wife and a sleeping daughter… I was able to go through the final check out (thanks Ty) and triple check all of my wiring for the second time…

I still didn't find any errors and I took the plunge and broke out my variac and started taking some readings. My dvm is only rated to 300v so I had to use the variac to bring the voltage up slowly. Everything checked out fine and now I'm listening to some nice Ralph Towner. According to the manufacturer, the Cardas caps take 500 hours to break in… So in terms of sound quality of the amp, i will get back to you sometime next fall… :-)

What I can say is that the noise floor is incredibly low, and far lower than that of my Audio Research D125. I turned my preamp up (with no music playing) and there was very little tube rush or any other noise coming out of the speakers.

Tomorrow I will be able to do some more listening at realistic volume levels and have more comments.

Thank you George for an amazing amount of support and dedication to our hobby and tube amps. I will be thanking you for many years to come.


scott17 9th April 2012 04:33 AM

Excellent, very nice! Have you thought about placing the capacitor clamp under the chassis?

nate 9th April 2012 04:34 AM

Good idea about the clamp. I'm not sure, but I think I like the industrial look of having it on the outside? It would certainly be easy enough to try it both ways.

scott17 9th April 2012 04:45 AM

Cool. Great color by the way. What Rustoleum color is it? I used a Rustoleum Black Hammertone with Clear Coat on one of mine and am very pleased.

nate 9th April 2012 05:38 AM

It is a "hammer tone" green and it looks kind of pebbled up close. A friend of mine has a preamp and amp made by Ken Shindo of Japan… His gear sounds really incredible and it is all painted a really nice green… I loved the sound so much that I though that there must be something with that green paint! I nicked the front corner when I was flipping it over to tighten a couple bolts… this sucker is heavy. I will have to drop fill the ding sometime soon…


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