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Old 3rd June 2003, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default Advice for newbie

Hello all,

I'm VERY new to all of this, and I'd like a shove in the right direction. My ultimate goal is to (eventually) build a mixer similar in function and quality to the classic Bozak or the newer Allen & Heath Xone V6.

My knowledge and skills in this area are pretty much zilch. I can work a screwdriver and soldering iron, but I don't really know the first thing about building electronics.

What I'm looking for are a few resources (good books, websites, circuit design/layout software tools, etc) that will help bring me up to speed (pretty basic stuff). I am also looking for a good first project. I was thinking of building a phono preamp, but I don't know where to begin. I don't want to spend $250 on a kit. I'm more interested in building something that functions enough to teach me some of the basics.

Any suggestions would be a huge help. Thanks in advance!
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Old 4th June 2003, 01:09 AM   #2
SHiFTY is offline SHiFTY  New Zealand
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Buying a kit will give you a nice looking finished product, and will make it many times easier to construct. It will probably work out cheaper in the end as well. It would be a good starting point.

If you are wanting to learn, do some reading, get some schematics and do some research, until you are ready to tackle your own design.
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Old 4th June 2003, 11:35 AM   #3
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Is there any particular kit that you would recommend? I'm not looking for anything fancy, I just want to get my hands dirty. My goal for first project isn't to have something fancy to put on my rack that I'll be using forever; I just want a good learning experience that isn't going to cost me a ton of money.

Are there any particular books, magazines, or websites that give a good overview and basic introduction to the concepts required for building/desigining audio circuits? I'm at a very minimal level of understanding for all of this stuff (I can hardly read a schematic, for example).

Perhaps this forum is not the best place for someone with my lack of knowledge and experience, but I'm just looking for a place to jump in. Thanks again for your help!
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Old 4th June 2003, 12:01 PM   #4
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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The components distributors stock lots of books on valve or toob design.
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Old 4th June 2003, 04:07 PM   #5
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Default tube mixer

First of all I don't think that the Bozak Mixer is a tube unit.

Now if you want to build a tube mixer the best single article I know of is http://www.tubecad.com/april_may2001/page22.html

I don't know of any kit for a DJ mixer.

If you want to just get started in tube electronic project design just build a simple 12ax7 common cathode amplifier on a plank of wood to start. This will get your feet wet.

If you want to build a kit just to see if you like tubes and get somthing to listen to at the same time then get the Foreplay Line Stage at http://www.bottlehead.com/et/et.html. It is not too expensive and has pleased MANY beginners.

Robert Morin
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Old 4th June 2003, 05:20 PM   #6
Joel is offline Joel  United States
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But Robert, the bottlehead "foreplay" has a (gasp) Cathode Follower in it!! ...and a (horrors!) resistance-coupled gain stage.

In fact, it's a single gain stage, cap coupled to a cathode follower, with a capacitor coupled output. I only mention that, with a hint of sarcasm, because a certain preamp design on this forum - which is the same circuit - was highly criticized.

This is what convinced me that the audio kit market is probably nearly impossible to break into. It's all about name recognition.

Anyway, I suggest the poster build the simple 12AX7 mixer circuit in the back of the RCA tube manual. You will make mistakes, it'll look horrible, you will burn and possibly shock yourself - and the experience gained will be immeasurable.

joel
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Old 4th June 2003, 05:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joel
...Anyway, I suggest the poster build the simple 12AX7 mixer circuit in the back of the RCA tube manual. You will make mistakes, it'll look horrible, you will burn and possibly shock yourself - and the experience gained will be immeasurable.

joel

Thank you, Joel. That is exactly the sort of experience that I'm looking for. I don't want to make anything fancy, I just want it to work when I'm done with it (not necessarily the first time, of course, trial and error are all part of the learning experience). What is this RCA tube manual that you speak of and where can one get it?

Also, perhaps this is a silly question, what (if any) is the difference between a "valve" and a "tube"? Are they two words for the same thing? Is one a specific kind of the other? Thanks, and sorry for all the basic questions
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Old 4th June 2003, 05:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joel
But Robert, the bottlehead "foreplay" has a (gasp) Cathode Follower in it!! ...and a (horrors!) resistance-coupled gain stage.

In fact, it's a single gain stage, cap coupled to a cathode follower, with a capacitor coupled output. I only mention that, with a hint of sarcasm, because a certain preamp design on this forum - which is the same circuit - was highly criticized.



joel
True! But this is a beginners kit and after the unit is built and auditioned for a bit a visit to the bottlehead forum can bring on an endless number of mods. Thats the fun part.

Robert Morin
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Old 4th June 2003, 06:13 PM   #9
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Hi,

RCA-30

Tube is US English, short for electron tube.
Valve is British English, short for thermionic valve.

RCA-25 ONLINE MANUAL

Have fun building,
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Old 4th June 2003, 06:33 PM   #10
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Thank you for the links, fdegrove!
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