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Tubes / Valves All about our sweet vacuum tubes :) Threads about Musical Instrument Amps of all kinds should be in the Instruments & Amps forum

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Old 5th October 2015, 03:58 AM   #21
famousmockingbird is offline famousmockingbird  United States
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Nottingham, NH
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tubologic View Post
The main (and often only) reason to buy a kit is to get a debugged, tested and easy to build circuit which doesn't need extensive technical knowledge from the builder to be successful. Those experienced enough in electronics to troubleshoot and correct production mistakes in a kit could design and build their own circuit from scratch and doesn't need a kit. There are no excuses for (undocumented !) errors in PC boards and this should have been corrected before offering the kit for sale, and the board replaced free of charge. This is just unethical.
I agree with all of this!
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Old 5th October 2015, 05:05 AM   #22
Vtshopdog is offline Vtshopdog  United States
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Join Date: Jan 2015
buyer beware
I'd like to point out that tubes4hifi pre amp and power amp kits are sold and supported by two different individuals, Roy (pre) and Bob (power). Effectively two vendors under one roof.
Bobs power amp kits come with detailed documentation and he is very genial and responsive.
Roy's preamp kits come with minimal or even confusing documentation and he is a bit on the salty side. My guess is that the minimal documentation generates many questions that he is stuck answering repeatedly, thus rendering him "salty". Solution to make buyers and seller more happy is obvious.
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Old 7th October 2015, 11:08 AM   #23
jcastellano is offline jcastellano  Spain
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands
buyer beware
Unhappy Just my 2 Cents....

Hi...just to contribute to the debate...

I have built 3 kits from Tubes4Hifi and I have had problems with all of them. One fixed and sounding awesome and the other two collecting dust.... All of them had plenty of hum, too much gain or both.

The first kit was a ph-6 phono. I did not know that this kit was intended as a replacement phono preamp to be installed in the Dynaco amp and I had to buy from Roy a buffer to be used as stand alone unit. This had to be informed before buying in my opinion. I was uninformed.

One incorrect resistor and incorrect wiring caused some probles like hum but all this was fixed and I was very happy. Some time afterwards I sold this preamp and went to a higher spec phono and line preamp.

I bought the SP12 and PH14 preamps. Wrong decision because the PH14 phono is like the PH-6 with a buffer so again there was some kind of lacking info, I should have bought the PH-16. These kits were built with care and using some boutique parts in the caps (mundorf). Again the hum and the gain were unnacceptable. I contacted the vendor several times and he was kind to try to troubleshoot until there were no more clues. So I sent back the items from the Canary Islands, Spain to be checked by him. He found one resistor misplaced in the PSU of the PH-14 and a faulty tube in the SP-12, I think this are not hum related but still. Ok. I paid the invoice for labour time and return postage. I installed every thing back and there was hum again. I was very disappointed. Too much money spent and I could not manage to make this thing work considering that after all it was checked by the vendor himself.

I am not hiding myself, probably it is my fault, but for God sake it has been impossible to fix. And I promise I had spent many hours trying to....I do not understand this.

I have built several kits, from DACs to preamps to phono to power amps...From makers like Twisted Pear Audio, Lampizator, Tubelab, AMB, Parks Audio, Audiokit...you name it. I am pretty confident building kits and this sort problems some times arise (usually in preamps) but usually are fixed with correct wiring and common sense. Not this time.

In my opinion, the kits lack some kind of quality, my boards all were like being hand made in house with acid and lacking silkscreen, not like other vendors with proffesionally made pcb boards with all kind of data written on them. The info is very limited and if you face problems is very difficult to solve them. It is kinda lottery in my opinion.

My thinking is the kit versions are some kind of spin-off from the REAL bussines, COMPLETE units assembled with great care I suppose... from the vendor (from the photos and some opinions on the net).

So....Could I buy again from this vendor? I am afraid I wouldn´t in kit form. Maybe completely built units...but this is not DIY....

Just my two cents....I hope not to upset anybody. Nor the vendor or other diyers, your mileage can be different......

Regards,

Jorge
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Old 18th July 2017, 12:55 AM   #24
tommydoan84 is offline tommydoan84  United States
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: San Diego
Thanks guys for these warnings. I was looking into these preamp kits from tube4hifi and about to make a jump to purchase a DIY kit from him. This thread really stops and helps me to make up my mind. Thanks again!

Regards,
Tom
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Old 18th July 2017, 01:59 AM   #25
BillWojo is offline BillWojo  United States
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: NJ
I had the good fortune of buying a noval version of the SP9 off of craigslist for a killer price. Came with remote volume and switching control but I'm missing the remote. This was either purchased assembled or built by someone who knew what they were doing. Has the optional all aluminum enclosure with the silk screened front panel, PH6 phono board, looks very professional inside and out. Once I threw out the JJ 12AX7 tubes and filled it with Telefunkin's and Sylvania's it totally blew every other preamp I have used into the weeds. Listening to familiar music and I'm plainly hearing instruments that were just blended in before, never knew they were there. Oh, and no hum, none what so ever. This feeds Mac MC40 monoblocks and than into big sensitive Altec's.
I contacted Roy to ask him a question and he got right back to me. I now have the schematics. Thank you Roy.
I know my experience is not as a kit builder but as an end user but I could not be happier with the product.

BillWojo
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