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Proxaudio 13th September 2012 02:57 PM

Transcendent Sound Mini-Beast
I have the Mini-Beast kit and starting my first kit build. What is recommended solder/temperature, parts, upgrades or other information that might help produce the best sound from this amp?

Thanks for any recommendations, reading or etc. that would be helpful.


Struth 13th September 2012 04:41 PM

Hi Guys

Best to use a 50-60W iron for general tube and electronics work. For solidstate or PCBs a conical tip is best and works very well for most point-to-point assembly as well. You will also see spade bits for use with PTP but the conical is more generally useful.

Tips for Weller used to be available for different temperatures from 600-800F. If you have a solder station most these days have a temperature dial. A mid setting is best to begin with.

Do not use water-clean-up solder. This requires far more cleaning than is suggested and leaves flux that eats the board and makes leakage paths everywhere.

Do not use silver solder. This requires very high heat and makes connections that are dull and can corrode.

Do not use multicore solder. The flux never flows correctly and seems to be an odd mix anyway,

Best to stick with Kester "44" if you want shiny connections that easy to tell if they are good or not. Get the 63/37 mix for quickest melting - direct from solid to liquid with no plastic state in between.

The Hester "45" no-clean leaves a clear residue but a duller finish than "44".

Make sure your work area has good lighting. Use a mix of light for colour correction to read resistor codes, etc.

Take your time and do not rush the assembly or testing.

Have fun
Kevin O'Connor

Proxaudio 13th September 2012 07:41 PM


I want to do this right the first time so I'm trying to be careful.

Stephen R. Close

speakerfritz 15th September 2012 03:18 AM

for diodes and capacitors use a surgical clamp during soldering between the area of the lead that is being heated up and the diode or capacitor...this will act as a heat sink and prevent damage. where possible, try to wrap the leads around terminals and spades being soldered before applying heat...helps prevent cold solders. get a wire stripper to strip the ends of wires being used. Keep power runs as close to the chassis as possible. use a wiring pattern where possible like power runs from rear to front....signal runs from left to right....bais and B+ and other voltage runs from right to left. This helps with bundling and keeping signals runs clear from noise generating power and control runs. Take your time and follow the instructions to the letter. Take breaks. Have a fan in the area to blow the smoke from rosin core solder away from you. Have plent of light in the area you are working in. Tell the family to leave you alone when working so you dont zap yourself of forget what step you were on. check off the steps as you do them. get a variac to power up the kit slowly and check for smoking parts. don't assume the tubes you are going to use are good. have them tested and matched.

Bigun 15th September 2012 03:50 AM

practice soldering a few pieces of wire and stuff, just to get the hang of it perhaps.

tomchr 15th September 2012 04:07 AM

600~700 deg F (300~350 C) on the soldering iron. I recommend a 1.6 mm chisel tip for most soldering. I use 0.7 mm diameter 60/40 solder with rosin core.
If you are buying a soldering iron, do yourself a favor and get a good one from the start. I recommend the Weller TCP and WTCP series. The METCAL units are rock solid as well, but cost more.

For PCB assembly, I go with the smallest and least temperature sensitive components first. Generally this means resistors go in first. Then capacitors. Then semiconductors. I mount connectors, potentiometers, and the like last due to their bulk.

I second the comment about practicing on a piece of scrap if this is your first time soldering.


12E1 15th September 2012 01:42 PM

As Struth mentions the wattage of the iron, let me expand on that point....

I often see that beginners choose a low power (15 - 25 watt) iron. This is a mistake, since joints take longer to heat and larger components (and clamps as heatsinks) will prevent the joint heating to a good soldering temperature. The result is often poor quality and "dry" joints which will in the longer term prove to be unreliable. It is better to go for a 60 watt iron which is temperature controlled. This can be either electronically controlled (set using a knob on a control box) or the Weller "Magnastat" variety (set using a choice of interchangeable bits with selected magnetic properties that turn the element off when it's hot enough). Such an iron will yield better quality joints and will make soldering a much simpler process once you have had a little practice.

Struth 17th September 2012 05:27 PM

Hi Guys

As the tech tip on our site last month states, heat sinking component leads for soldering is almost always a mistake. The sink causes you to leave the soldering iron on the lead longer than is required because vital heat for the connection is being pulled away. You are far more likely to damage a device using a heat sink on its leads than to not use the heat sink.

It takes about 10 seconds or less to solder all three leads of a BJT.

Have fun
Kevin O'Connor

Proxaudio 19th September 2012 09:29 PM

Thanks again for all the input. With any luck I'll get started this weekend :)

Is there any reference about upgrading critical components in the signal path, or the use of by-pass caps?

Salas 19th September 2012 09:42 PM

We have seen Pace old video stating that the practical criterion that sums up all the variables for the job is no joint should take more than 1.5-2sec. Just keep that.

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