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Old 26th July 2013, 10:49 PM   #11
roline is offline roline  United States
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I've built a PP sweep tube amp for under $350. I scrounged components and took my time. I also designed a little 6LU8 amp that can use the $160 transformer set for the Millet amp from Edcor. I'm currently working on another PP amp using low cost tubes, again can utilize the existing transformer set. I've asked Edcor to quote an universal heater PT for the odd heater voltages that are still available for the cheep. Most of the 6.3 volt tube's prices have gone up. The 3rd and 4th pics are of a 17JT6 PP amp , yup 17 Volt heaters and tubes can be had for around $4 each. The last pic is of the 1st 6JN6 PP amp with 35watt output iron. All PCB's are fabbed by toner transfer and etched in a zip-loc bag...
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Old 27th July 2013, 02:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrubey View Post
Thanks for the wisdom guys.
I'm building speakers based on the Cornscala idea so fleapower will work.
Ultimately I want a very refined 300B setup.
I've noticed a few that have a volume knob on the monoblock allowing direct source input.
I am willing to be patient.
A 300B setup is EXPENSIVE! You, like many of us, have anything but deep pockets. May I immodestly suggest "El Cheapo"? The 6 or so WPC produced by triode wired 6V6 family tubes will be sufficient to power your Klipsch knockoff speakers. Since you will "never" need the power ultra-linear mode yields, Edcor's GXPP15-8-8K O/P trafo @$37.01 each will be adequate. A full set of power "iron" can be ordered from Allied. Your total outlay for magnetics will be approx. $150, which by contemporary standards is "dirt cheap".
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Old 27th July 2013, 03:03 AM   #13
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Nice work, roline!

As others here have said, most of us build electronic thingies because it's in our blood - not to save money. The cost of parts aside, it takes a LOT of time to put together and debug a given project. Especially if you are coming up the learning curve.

Just read through all the threads on HUM, for instance, to get an idea of what is in store when you go forth to build an audio amplifier. A system is not simply the sum of the parts.

The guys here who make the beautiful amps (and there are some truly gifted individuals here) generally have spent years making all the usual mistakes as they came up the learning curve. You cannot just copy a schematic, throw parts on a board, and expect it to work. The devil is indeed in the details!

If you and your son wish to learn about electronics, and a lot more about pulling out your hair, then by all means take the plunge.

OTOH - if you just want an inexpensive amplifier I suggest purchasing something ready-built. Although most of us listen to music on our projects daily, we usually have another project (or three) going and _that_ is the true bug.

To get your feet wet, if you really want to build an amplifier try checking out some of the proven designs such as the Tubelab single-ended or PP. His amplifiers have been built by a lot of beginners, and Tubelab has taken a great deal of trouble to make his designs very "beginner friendly". He sells the bare PCBs for his designs, and if you read all of his documentation you stand a very good chance of getting a working unit up with minimum fuss.

There are other folks selling boards or kits as well, but I only have experience with the Tubelab design. Even though I have over 35 years in the electronics biz building widgets, this was my first tube project since high-school and I didn't want to go full-tilt-boogie with a custom design.

It proved to be a safe bet, got it running beautifully with minimum hair-loss

Just the opinion of an old engineer, still have some hair left but not as much as I used to...

Now, back to that new full-tilt-boogie project!
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Old 27th July 2013, 03:19 AM   #14
mrubey is offline mrubey  United States
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I'm hoping my son will put some of his education to use improving my aesthetic environment, but he may not and in that event I will probably buy something.
I have two years ahead of me with my nose to the medical grindstone so in all honesty, this is about dreaming....except that I am beginning the process of building these speakers and then at some point will come up with an appropriate amp.

Right now I have an upper level (admittedly midfi) 10 year old Rotel/Klipsch surround system that I am pretty happy with and that my wife is more than content with.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm prepared to be patient.
Of course we don't live forever.
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Old 27th July 2013, 04:07 AM   #15
TheGimp is offline TheGimp  United States
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I suggest scrolling through the photo gallery to get an idea of what the range is of amps people have built.

Unfortunately, there are so many projects people have done (many of which are not in the gallery) that it is very difficult to suggest any particular search phrase to use on teh whole site.

As rfengineer2013 stated, many of us are just hooked on what to build next.

Not me, nope. I'm only about eight projects behind right now so I'm not even thinking of any additional projects.

And since no one has mentioned it yet I'll put in a suggestion that you purchase a copy of "Valve Amplifiers" 4th edition by Morgan Jones. It is probably THE best book out there.

Last edited by TheGimp; 27th July 2013 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 28th July 2013, 10:47 AM   #16
regal is offline regal  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrubey View Post
I'm hoping my son will put some of his education to use improving my aesthetic environment, but he may not and in that event I will probably buy something.
I have two years ahead of me with my nose to the medical grindstone so in all honesty, this is about dreaming....except that I am beginning the process of building these speakers and then at some point will come up with an appropriate amp.

Right now I have an upper level (admittedly midfi) 10 year old Rotel/Klipsch surround system that I am pretty happy with and that my wife is more than content with.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm prepared to be patient.
Of course we don't live forever.


Building the Klipshorns will be much more difficult (at least to me) than any DIY tube amp. I'd do that first. The hardest part of a tube amp build is the chassis work, if your son does that the rest is easy.
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Old 28th July 2013, 03:03 PM   #17
roline is offline roline  United States
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Klipschorns driven by a Western Electric B300 amps would be a very nice system. Somewhere in the garage I have the plans to build the Klipschorns, never had a room to put them in.... You can still buy them for around $4,500, its the Western Electric B300 amps that are hard to find, Last time I saw a pair they were listed for $16,000. Not just the tubes that are still around, its the old iron that is very hard to find.

I was converted to tube amps after I heard a $600 triode connected tube amp in a shoot of with a $3,000 MosFet Class A Krell amp. The Krell went first and sounded great, the tube amp just had an edge on clarity and sound stage. Good luck in your project, please post on your progress for us to follow.
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