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Old 7th December 2009, 08:01 PM   #1
mattmcl is offline mattmcl  United States
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Default TriodeElectronics Mk3 for rank noob?

I'm looking to build a couple monoblocks in the near future to power my short Thors, about 86db at 4 ohms. I'll be using a DAC/preamp (to be built, basically a DAC with a volume knob). I have zero experience soldering (except for crossovers), but plan to do the DAC first. I would like the amps to last a lifetime, and the description on the website leads me to believe I could do extensive mods in the future if I want to. I like the idea of 60WPC too.

Is this a good choice? The manual looks fantastic, perfect for walking me through the steps. How is the sound quality? I would build it stock at first, but I imagine I could upgrade all sorts of components at a later date.

Thanks!
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Old 7th December 2009, 08:46 PM   #2
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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They'll sound great

Shouldn't have any problems in construction.
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Old 8th December 2009, 01:21 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by mattmcl View Post
I'm looking to build a couple monoblocks in the near future to power my short Thors, about 86db at 4 ohms. I'll be using a DAC/preamp (to be built, basically a DAC with a volume knob). I have zero experience soldering (except for crossovers), but plan to do the DAC first. I would like the amps to last a lifetime, and the description on the website leads me to believe I could do extensive mods in the future if I want to. I like the idea of 60WPC too.

Is this a good choice? The manual looks fantastic, perfect for walking me through the steps. How is the sound quality? I would build it stock at first, but I imagine I could upgrade all sorts of components at a later date.

Thanks!

Dude,

Temper your enthusiasm. I fear the speakers will cause you grief. For purposes of mating with a tube amp, your speakers are 83 dB. efficient. 2.83 V. into 4 Ω is 2 W., not 1 W. 60 WPC is about dead minimum for that low efficiency. Also, it's quite likely the Thors have dips in their impedance curve. Said dips require an amp whose damping factor is good. I wonder if a MK3 has the requisite "cujones".
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Old 8th December 2009, 06:37 PM   #4
mattmcl is offline mattmcl  United States
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Well, that's my question too. I didn't think I'd be able to put together a simple tube kit that could deliver much over 35W until I saw the Mk3. But even 60W isn't a whole lot- which has kept me from building a chip amp as well.

I'm considering the Aksa100 too...

BTW, I made a typo, the Thors are actually 86db on paper, but that doesn't change a whole lot.
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Old 8th December 2009, 11:58 PM   #5
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Matt,

Does the project absolutely have to be monoblocks? A project of acquisition and overhaul, ala Jim McShane, of a Harman/Kardon Citation II stereoblock WILL give you a "lifetime" amp that can handle your Thors.

A McShaned "Duece" yields 60 WPC continuously and over 120 WPC instantaneously. Also, the circuitry provides a good damping factor. About the only speakers I would not mate with a Cit. 2 is a pair of big Thiels, whose impedance dips down to a hideous 1 Ω.

Check Jim McShane's site out.
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Old 9th December 2009, 06:32 PM   #6
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Eli: Are you saying that HK Citation 60W are different/more than Triode Electronics Mk3 60W?

or does it have more to do with damping factor/output impedance.............

just curious.
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Old 9th December 2009, 06:58 PM   #7
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I'd suspect the biggest differences between a pair of Dynaco Mark III and a Harman Kardon Citation II must be attributed to the superior output transformers on the Citation II. Of course, there is a price premium to be paid...

For what little it is worth, I own a pair of Mark III. I bought them as original, well worn units. I rebuilt them myself. I am very satisfied with the restoration and they are excellent amplifiers. I've never owned nor even heard a Citation II, so I can't comment there.

If you choose to go the Mark III route, I'd recommend a cap board upgrade at a minimum. The stock can capacitor is inadequate, IMNSHO. Optionally, you might consider a different driver circuit board; something other than the stock 6AN8 design. I went with the diytube Poseidon board for restoration.
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Old 9th December 2009, 08:14 PM   #8
rknize is online now rknize  United States
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I think it depends what you are looking to tackle. If spending $$$ on a used Citation is in the budget and then going through the process of rebuilding it (unless it is already rebuilt) is within reason, then yes the Citation is a superior starting point. They have very high quality transformers and quality construction. They are also more complex since they are all PtP construction. Also you have to deal with the wild cards involved with buying any piece of used antique electronics.

If you are looking for a kit that has everything you will need, all brand-new parts, and the full instructions on how you build and test it, then kits like what Triode offers may be more appealing. Since you are a self-admitted noob, I would argue that you may be better off with a nice kit to get your feet wet.

As you said, the Mk3 (or any of those popular Dynaco kits) is a good starting point for future upgrades. The transformers are of reasonable quality and having a chassis/electronics predesigned, punched, etc will help guarantee success.

As to the wattage...well that is a decision only you can make. IMHO I think 60WPC will adequate. You won't be able to achieve rock concert volumes without a lot of clipping, but for casual listening it will probably suffice. I learned my lesson on the benefits of speaker efficiency which has opened the doors on what kinds of amplifiers I can use.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 10th December 2009, 12:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by boywonder View Post
Eli: Are you saying that HK Citation 60W are different/more than Triode Electronics Mk3 60W?

or does it have more to do with damping factor/output impedance.............

just curious.

Obviously, 60 W. is 60 W. However, i suspect there is little, if any, dynamic headroom in the MK3. A "Duece" which has been overhauled ala McShane has more than 3 dB. of dynamic headroom. Remember, music IS transients. So, that 3+ dB. really matters. Between superior damping factor and greater music power, awkward speakers, like the OP's Thors, remain an option. I greatly fear that MK3s and Thors will be guano city.

Aside from the VAST difference in signal "iron" quality, Cit. 2 power magnetics are of substantially better quality too. You can't see it in a "topside" photo, but a hefty low DCR choke is mounted on the underside bracket. The winding that feeds the B+ supply is rated at (sic) several Amperes. A Cit. 2 in good repair has some very serious "cujones".
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Old 10th December 2009, 12:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Eli Duttman View Post
However, i suspect there is little, if any, dynamic headroom in the MK3.
Not looking to start a discussion, but the manual (pg. 15) claims "60 watts continuous, 140 watts peak."

http://www.dynakitparts.com/store/ma...DYNA-mark3.pdf
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