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Old 6th May 2011, 05:10 PM   #1
Bengali is offline Bengali  United States
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Default Tube Amp DIY or Retail

Hi,

looking for a tube amplifier in price range of $100-300, either DIY or retail.
Is that price range doable or wishful thinking?

Any of those chinese ebay units any good?

I've listened to the primaluna pro 5 before, KT88's, it sounded very nice.

What does the 300B sound like? warmer than the KT88? wider sound stage?

The bottlehead 300B is nice but too much for me. 7-10W range should suffice.

thanks
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Old 6th May 2011, 05:30 PM   #2
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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Well, a good set of tubes for a PP KT88 amp will push you toward $300, let alone the cost of the transformers, chassis, and components. You could do a lot better with $600 to $800 as a starting point.

You can buy the Chinese amps, but you will need to modify/fix the amp at some point. Still, that is an option some people go.

I am more of the mind to just pay the price up front and do it right the first time because if you buy something that is cheap, then you replace or modify it to get it where you want it, you end up paying twice.

The other thing is that do get an education with the Chinese amps, it just costs you $300.

If you check around you should be able to find some lower priced kits or DIY boards from TubeLab. TubeLab's boards would be a much better investment.
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Old 6th May 2011, 06:44 PM   #3
mikje is offline mikje  United States
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Some have built this one and seem quite happy with it. https://id3466.securedata.net/s5elec...tubeorder.html Plus, there are a handful of websites with upgrades for it too.
I found an old console in a thrift store and pulled the amp. I cleaned it up and recapped it for a total cost of about $120. There are other vintage tube amps that are very well regarded that you should be able to get in your price range.
Mike
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Old 6th May 2011, 07:00 PM   #4
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Id snipe a fisher console on ebay. Then gut it and rebuild with a modern layout. Then you would have good iron, and the chassis ready to go, you just need to solder.
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Old 6th May 2011, 11:18 PM   #5
tim614 is offline tim614  United States
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What does the 300B sound like? warmer than the KT88? wider sound stage?

i have listen to a few 300b (not all), a "TRI 300b" and "DRD 300b" they are ok, the TRI were better.
but when i compare to SE kt88, i like the se kt88 better, to me 300b are not bad tubes, just over rated in my opinion.
$100-$300 i would buy, cause good diy can cost alverage $300 and up.
tranys alone will exceed the $300 price range.
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Old 7th May 2011, 03:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
looking for a tube amplifier in price range of $100-300, either DIY or retail. Is that price range doable or wishful thinking?
It's tight, but looks doable. Edcor makes just under $50 O/P trafos (CXPP25-n-7.6K ) that will work in a UL mode "El Cheapo". That gets you about 12 WPC. Jim McShane sells parts kits and tubes for the project. If the fact that 'AQ5s are out of production bothers you, build with 6V6s. No parts value changes are necessary.

BTW, what sort of speakers are you planning on mating to the amp? What is the nominal impedance of the speakers? Do you know what the speakers' impedance curve looks like?
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Old 7th May 2011, 12:37 PM   #7
roline is offline roline  United States
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You could do a Compactron PP Amp.... ~$100 for the iron and the tubes are still cheap.
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Old 7th May 2011, 12:40 PM   #8
roline is offline roline  United States
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If you want to, upgrade the output iron and up the tubes to the 35 watt flavor.... Triode outputs sound sooo good.
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Old 7th May 2011, 04:11 PM   #9
pjanda1 is offline pjanda1  United States
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You need to figure out what your priorities are and what you are willing to live with. $100-300, to me, means that you'll need to scour for an old donor amp. Sure, you can get under $300 with major parts for an inexpensive amp, but by the time you add all the little bits, I don't see it happening. And no matter what, things like 300Bs or higher power push pull (KT88s) are out of the question. Donor chassis can yield interesting things though. My current amp is based on the monoblocks from an Akai M8 reel to reel. My last amp used the output transformers from a Sherwood integrated. I picked each of those up for $25. The Akai based amp probably ended up under $300. The other, based on Eli's El Cheapo, despite using many recycled parts, probably ended up around twice that. And these use cheap tubes!

Paul
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Old 7th May 2011, 04:25 PM   #10
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There is a thread in the tube section at audiokarma.org that you can build for 150-250.00 using 6LR8 or 6LU8 tubes. It's a little SE job good for 5-6w.
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