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Old 1st June 2008, 08:31 AM   #1
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Smile S-5 tube amp kits

Hi,
Does anybody have experience with these kits or does anyone know of any reviews published?
Thanks
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Old 1st June 2008, 11:02 AM   #2
dubdub is offline dubdub  United Kingdom
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Hi

Here is a good source

http://diyaudioprojects.com/Tubes/


There are a few more sites about these kets, v. popular and inexpensive way to start with tubes, with a few upgrades (auricaps and hammond transformers) you can have quite a good amp although you will have to make your own case.

also check out these alternatives for comparison:

http://www.engineeringvista.com/audi...el-1/index.htm

This kit is quite flexible in that you can have different modes and select which one is best for you, although it is less powerful, Boris is a nice guy as well


http://www.tubelab.com/SimpleSE_board.htm

Its only a pcb board but there is a parts list and good instructions, has a good advantage of being very flexible and uses many popular tubes (el34, kt88)

all the best!
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Old 1st June 2008, 01:51 PM   #3
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I am also very interested in these kits. This would be my first tube amp kit build. I have been eyeing the S5 16L kit because of the output power would work with my speakers and all the components are included. I feel this would offer the oportunity to learn more about tube amplifier construction with out the frustration of having to figure out what parts and pieces are needed and procuring all of them. Once it is up and running I could tweak and upgrade parts much easier. My only hesitation is the unknown sound quality of the S5 kits and after building the case and other minor component upgrades to work with the case I will probably be just under the cost of a used Jolida 302.

What are your thoughts?

Scott
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Old 1st June 2008, 03:37 PM   #4
chrish is offline chrish  Australia
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For what it is worth, I think that getting all of the parts with a kit is more convenient, but ordering all of the parts from one of the major distributors is not really a problem, especially if there is a good parts list. I think that getting a proven design on a printed circuit board fixes 90% of the problems.

None of the kits above come with an enclosure. You will soon discover that you will probably have to mail order parts anyway to make a chassis, and that building the chassis will be the most time consuming part of the project!

I have built the Tubelab Simple SE and can vouch for it. It is a printed circuit board only, but ordering the extra parts from Mouser or Digikey is not a problem. I can recommend Edcor for the output transformers http://www.edcorusa.com/home.html - the new GSXE15-8-5K look like they may be very good. I have a pair of these, but have not yet built an amp for them I have also ordered some power transformers from them. Custom design - 2x120 volt primary, 330-0-330v 200mA, 6.3v 5A, 5v 3A secondary. They are about $64. You would get about 420 volts with valve rectification, about 460 with solid state.

Good luck with the search!

Chris
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Old 1st June 2008, 10:26 PM   #5
dubdub is offline dubdub  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by millerlitescott
I am also very interested in these kits. This would be my first tube amp kit build. I have been eyeing the S5 16L kit because of the output power would work with my speakers and all the components are included. I feel this would offer the oportunity to learn more about tube amplifier construction with out the frustration of having to figure out what parts and pieces are needed and procuring all of them. Once it is up and running I could tweak and upgrade parts much easier. My only hesitation is the unknown sound quality of the S5 kits and after building the case and other minor component upgrades to work with the case I will probably be just under the cost of a used Jolida 302.

What are your thoughts?

Scott

with ordering printed circuit boards only, imo as long as there is a clear parts list and good instructions your good to go really (do check out tube-lab's stuff if you want to see an example), although ordering a full kit speeds things up in getting your parts.

One thing I hear about the s5 kits though, is that there more recent versions like the k16ls have inferior sound quality especially with bass.

Review of New S-5 K-16LS Kit

hhmmmmm....it seems that the original version is out of stock!.. you can try the K-502 which is essentially the same circuit (by the same designer I think?) at the same price

http://www.tubesandmore.com/

reviews

http://diyaudioprojects.com/Tubes/K-502-Tube-Amp-Kit/

http://nullspace.us/11bm8.html

I think the consensus is is that with a few (relatively easy) parts upgrades these are good amps!
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Old 2nd June 2008, 10:50 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies.

I am still uncertain as to what exactly I want to do. I am thinking of a fall build when the summer activities have died down. There are a couple of guys over at Audiokharma designing a $150.00 tube amplifier and I may wait to see what becomes of it. They seem to be at the prototype stage and it looks interesting and relatively cheap.

Scott
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Old 2nd June 2008, 11:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by millerlitescott
Thanks for the replies.

I am still uncertain as to what exactly I want to do. I am thinking of a fall build when the summer activities have died down. There are a couple of guys over at Audiokharma designing a $150.00 tube amplifier and I may wait to see what becomes of it. They seem to be at the prototype stage and it looks interesting and relatively cheap.

Scott

Can i have a link to that build? Can't find the thread...
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Old 3rd June 2008, 01:10 AM   #8
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I do not know how to link the thread, but you can try Audiokarma.org (I spelled it wrong above) and look under the DIY section. Most if not all that they are talking about is over my head at this point but I hope to learn by building an amp.

Scott
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