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First DIY project, which SE tube amp should I build?
First DIY project, which SE tube amp should I build?
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Old 13th January 2013, 08:54 AM   #1
raver is offline raver  Italy
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Italy
Default First DIY project, which SE tube amp should I build?

After about ten years in collecting vintage tube amps, and having learned to solder decently and to replace components, I would like to start my first DIY project but for my limited electronics knowledge and practical experience I want to start with something simple, but yet good sounding.
My choice would be a stereo single ended amp.
My first idea was to clone my magnavox 196 (SE EL84) that sounds very good (better than the other maggie SE amp that I own, the 8303) and doesn't seem too complicated, but before deciding I am open to other options, suggestions and advices from you the experts.
The conditions should be:

-reasonably easy building for a newbie
-sounding at least as good as my maggie 196
-not featuring too expensive/exotics tube or parts
-I don't need a kit or a printed circuit board, point-to-point soldering is ok

If possible I would like to be able to use vintage OPTs for it, these are often available on ebay (for example from old 50's radios on ebay.de) and less expensive that their modern counterparts.
Thanks in advance
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Old 13th January 2013, 09:19 AM   #2
cotdt is offline cotdt  United States
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I would suggest the Tubelab SE which has PCB available. Check out George's website. It is easy to stuff the back of the boards and mount it. You can use the 45, 2A3, or 300B as output tubes. I recommend it because it is easy to build and sounds great.
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Old 13th January 2013, 01:06 PM   #4
Eli Duttman is online now Eli Duttman  United States
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Location: Monroe Township, NJ
The DHTs are expensive. Triode wired members of the 6V6 family sound good and have a much more favorable expense impact.

SE O/P "iron" always carries a hefty price. It simply costs more to make than the stuff used in PP circuitry.
Eli D.
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Old 13th January 2013, 08:54 PM   #5
akimmet is offline akimmet  United States
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NW Ohio
Rather than the Tubelab SE, I would recommend the SSE.

The SSE uses much more easily avalible 12AT7/ECC81 for the driver tube. The output tubes are also much more easily available.

The 5842/417A used in the Tubelab SE has been since "discovered" by the audiophile folks and is now expensive. The Tubelab SE is designed for DHT tubes like 45, 2a3, and 300b. All of which are expensive.

If all you want is a simple no semi-conductor design, I recommend a variation of the Mikael Abdellah circuit.
Improvements for the Mikael Abdellah KT88???
It can be adapted to any common 6l6, 6550 ,or el34 variant. The downside is these tubes require a large OPT, any large vintage or new OPT will be expensive.

As for cheap new OPT's read this page: Budget OPT's
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Old 14th January 2013, 09:39 PM   #6
overtheairbroadcast is offline overtheairbroadcast  Canada
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Canada
Take a look at the suggestions from this page. Another new DIY'er looking for suggestions...


I have my thoughts in on that post too.
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