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Old 3rd July 2012, 07:45 AM   #1
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Default First Kit

Hi,
Total Noob here, I have been lurking for a while but this is my first post. Looking for some buying advice.

I am living in Japan, and looking to replace my lovely old Technics SU-A900 amp that died on me with a simple and fairly economic valve amp. Uses will be for CD music and DVD / BD output to my living room speakers while watching movies. I have no 5.1 surround system and don't intend buying one, having at least one malfunctioning ear. Als, no vinyl. I just want a nice reasonable valve amp as a project and as an objet d'art that isn't going to break the bank or buzz and hum. I have limited electronics experience, but I have built several Nixie clock kits and a couple of radios.

Key requirements are
  1. It must be a kit - part of the fun is going to be the assembly.
  2. I know that good looks don't equal good performance but I don't want anything too "industrial"
  3. At least 2, preferably 4 inputs
  4. I would like to be able to look at upgrade valves later on (maybe)

I have identified these three as possibilities
Elekit TU-879S
Triode TRK-3488
Advance HC-2SE Nice looking!!

The first two are definitely Japanese and seem to be well known around this forum. The third one may be Japanese or may be imported (China?). It's impossible to say from their website.

Any comments? Any other ideas would be warmly appreciated.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 10:49 AM   #2
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All of them, especially the 3rd one need high efficiency loudspeakers.
If your speakers are the standard low efficiency (88 db or less) , you need to start from the speakers.

This is dependent on your room size too, so we need more details.
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Old 3rd July 2012, 11:28 AM   #3
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Thanks for answering.

My current speakers are from 1993, Kenwood JL-S370 two way with sub woofer. Sensitivity rating is 89db at 1m, impedence 8 ohms. They are the same as these.
Scott Ales, Inc. - Item Details


I'd just like to stress that I am only looking for decent performance, I am not your average audiophile.
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Old 4th July 2012, 12:39 AM   #4
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I forgot to mention that my room size is around 6m x 6m. Listening levels are going to be "comfortable".

Also, I have another question regarding amp location. Previously my Technics amp was inside a glass fronted audio unit. It has ventilation holes but is not open. Am I right in assuming this might be a problem for a valve amp?
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Old 12th July 2012, 04:27 AM   #5
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Looks like my topic got pushed off the front page pretty quickly. Anyone care to offer any additional advice?
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Old 12th July 2012, 07:41 AM   #6
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I like the look of the second one with the grill cover.

Wow are those prices in yen? So 31,000 yen for the triode equals 400 dollars... Not a bad price.


6 watts is pretty loud in my experience even with some old low efficiency smaller Advent speakers that I use as testers. Not enough to really be LOUD but still pretty convincing.

Is there a 300b amp you could get reasonably priced?
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Old 12th July 2012, 12:04 PM   #7
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No, JPY 31,000 is just in case you get it half built and need to return it for finishing (some tricky part I guess). Actual kit price (list) is JPY 84,000 (around US$1,000)

I am guessing a 300B would be out of my budget. What is the reason you recommend it for?

So, you suggest that 6W per channel through my 89db Kenwoods would be acceptable?
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Old 15th September 2012, 08:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiebald View Post
No, JPY 31,000 is just in case you get it half built and need to return it for finishing (some tricky part I guess). Actual kit price (list) is JPY 84,000 (around US$1,000)

I am guessing a 300B would be out of my budget. What is the reason you recommend it for?

So, you suggest that 6W per channel through my 89db Kenwoods would be acceptable?
6W will not be enough I think.
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Old 15th September 2012, 09:01 AM   #9
rmyauck is offline rmyauck  Canada
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EL-84 PP. Affordable and 17W/CH Dynaco ST-35 clone. Triode Electronics has a kit and you could add a Volume Control and Selector Control for 4 inputs.

Add Fixed Bias for a great upgrade (Sonically and output tube life)with a conventional transformer or Dave Gillespie's EFB mod for fixed bias ( with SS neg voltage regulator) mentioned on diytube in the ST-35 form.
Fixed bias is a great improvement over the adjustable cathode bias on that amp.

Randy

Last edited by rmyauck; 15th September 2012 at 09:26 AM.
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