Getting frustrated--- amps and speakers for the noob - diyAudio
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Old 17th July 2008, 07:18 PM   #1
starro is offline starro  United States
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Default Getting frustrated--- amps and speakers for the noob

I really appreciate all the help at this thread, but now I am in a real pickle. The 501 and Simple SE, both looking great, are beyond my means in terms of having no chassis. The ST70, with tubes, is a bit pricey. The amp that seems the best for me is the Bottlehead S.E.X., but it looks like getting speakers that will run with it is going to be a real problem.

I was getting so excited about this project, but now I am not sure what direction to go in.

Any thoughts regarding speakers for the Bottlehead, or other kits that include a chasis?

Thanks.
Peter
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Old 17th July 2008, 07:32 PM   #2
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Chassis shouldn't be a problem. Go down to goodwill and get an aluminum backing pan for a couple of bucks and you are in business. Aluminum can be drilled with a hand drill and spade bits if necessary. If you want to be fancy you can even cut the ends off and put nice wood panels on the end.

Or you can pick up non-working electronic organs often free for the taking which often have useful chassis and some free loudspeakers to boot.

The trannies are the expensive part and to a lesser extent the tubes. I would not go for a less satisfactory amp just because it included a chassis.
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Old 17th July 2008, 07:37 PM   #3
starro is offline starro  United States
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I meant the K-502...
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Old 17th July 2008, 07:40 PM   #4
starro is offline starro  United States
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Thanks Mike, but what about cooling and all that, or is that no problem since all the tubes and transformers are on the outside? It still feels a little daunting but might be the way to go.

And I have heard very good things about the Bottlehead. Are you skeptical about it?
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Old 17th July 2008, 07:59 PM   #5
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I cannot find your original post.

What was your purpose of building a tube amp kit again?
Just for fun, just to start a life of tubester with cheaper option, to run a high efficiency speakers you already have, etc?

Doug
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Old 17th July 2008, 08:00 PM   #6
starro is offline starro  United States
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For fun and to start the life of a tubester....
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Old 17th July 2008, 08:05 PM   #7
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In that case, I would suggest not to worry about the speakers just yet. You'll first taste what 2-3 W class A tube SET can do to speakers, and then you're gonna have idea what kind of speaker you'll need.

I actually suggested ST70, but if you are not comfortable with the price, but you want a whole package, I'd say go for S.E.X. kit.

Just my 2c.

Doug
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Old 17th July 2008, 08:06 PM   #8
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ST70 kits with tubes will run you over $700. You can get a ST35 kit (with a chassis) for about 3/4 of that price. Maybe that helps put things closer to your budget?

http://dynakitparts.com/store/product.aspx?id=1
http://store.triodestore.com/diy35kit.html

Your best option is to overcome the fear of chassis building. As mentioned above, you'd be surprised what one can do with a hand drill. Aluminum plate is easy to drill and straight lines can be cut with a circular saw. You can build a box frame out of 2x4. This chassis was built entirely out of scrap parts - it cost me nothing.

Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 17th July 2008, 08:45 PM   #9
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I don't have any particular problem with the Bottlehead amp but it sounded from your post like you didn't think it wouldn't do well with your current speakers. What is the efficiency of your current speakers? What is the size of your listening room?

The Tubelab kit gives you quite a bit of flexibility as I recall. It can use a variety of common output tubes in triode, UL, and maybe even pentode mode. Something like the good old 6L6 in UL should give you enough squirt for most reasonable speakers and since it allows for optional feedback it should be able to handle nasty speakers too if need be. I am a point to point wiring kind of guy but the PCBs that he provides will make the construction much easier.

Later on if you want more grunt it will give you an excuse to build a push pull amp and active crossover so that you can bi-amp your speakers for even more spectacular results.

You will get plenty of help here (even from the horses mouth [no offense TL]) with the SimpleSE.
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Old 18th July 2008, 02:40 AM   #10
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The plain Aluminum baking pan idea is good. Your "local" WalMart is a source.

Paul Joppa provides us with a highly useful rule of thumb, for making reasonable amp/speaker selections. Joppa's Rule tells us that an amp/speaker combo should be capable of 102 dB. SPL peaks at a 1 M. distance, in an "average" listening space. Finding affordable speakers whose sensitivity is in the 94 - 96 dB. range is not particularly difficult. A 6 WPC amp works with mid 90s efficient speakers. May I immodestly suggest you check "El Cheapo" out.
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