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Old 21st December 2003, 03:07 AM   #11
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Now that's more like it!

Here are the learnings:

1) The company Handwound Transformers may not have the best reputation.
2) Noobs should stick with SE because of simplicity.
3) Hammond is the first-timer's best choice - more affordable, and good sounding.
4) A stereo 300B amp, even for a novice, will likely cost over $500 if they use hammond parts. Better to spend a couple more bucks than to get bad/unreliable parts and ruin the whole experience.
5) Kit amps are a good alternative to first-time amp builders, and there are kit amps at reasonable prices.

As a side note, I've wound magnetic cores before, but never cores that require continuous DC current (bias). I wouldn't sweat winding a push-pull OPT, but I'm dubious about a SE OPT.

You guys have success at winding air-gapped cores? I haven't tried, so I can't speak out of experience.
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Old 21st December 2003, 05:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kashmire
2) Noobs should stick with SE because of simplicity.
No. Like everything it depends on what you build. To get decent performance out of SETs (and just because it's a SET doesn't automatically mean better performance, nor even good performance) you will trade complexity in the circuit for extreme sensitivity to the power supply, and also heaters with DHT's.
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Old 21st December 2003, 09:33 AM   #13
SHiFTY is offline SHiFTY  New Zealand
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Quote:
you will trade complexity in the circuit for extreme sensitivity to the power supply, and also heaters with DHT's.
Absolutely true, SETs are a bugger to get sounding decent, but they are easy (ish) to get working. Upgrades can come later. I am still trying to get my 6B4 SET sounding as good as my PP807... (OT: I think i have nailed it, 1/2 a 6SL7 actually sounds pretty decent as a driver, after trying ^SL7 SRPP and 1/2 a 6SN7. I think the caps are next, heard good things about dayton fim & foils...)

However, PP amps take a long time to build, and usually sound pretty good after some tweaking. Another good option for a n00b is to rebuild a vintage PP amp. Thats what I did, it was pretty good fun.
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Old 21st December 2003, 11:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShiFtY
Absolutely true, SETs are a bugger to get sounding decent, but they are easy (ish) to get working.
No argument, but most SETs sound pretty average unless optimised (and still not as good as a well developed PP IMNSHO)

Quote:
However, PP amps take a long time to build, and usually sound pretty good after some tweaking. Another good option for a n00b is to rebuild a vintage PP amp. Thats what I did, it was pretty good fun.
Not so sure about taking longer to build, if you think about layout carefully before you start. But that should be so for any amp.

If you can't rebuild a vintage, you can certainly clone it.
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Old 21st December 2003, 04:56 PM   #15
jlsem is offline jlsem  United States
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Quote:
If I had $500 I would not spend it on iron. There are more useful things in life, and cheaper and better iron (possibly to be made by your own hand).
Hardly. I have everything I need in life except enough output transformers.

But seriously, a better route would probably be Lundahl LL1664 for $210 a pair. You could then scrounge up a good power transformer and pertinent chokes from a surplus dealer.

John
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Old 22nd December 2003, 12:21 AM   #16
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I happen to agree....

The "weak-link" in any well designed amp will be the iron, either interstage or output.

I can take the exact same $100 collection of parts - tubes, caps, chokes - and it all depends on the OPT if it will sound good. Average OPTs will make average sound.

Great trannys are expensive. I like the theory that you buy really good "core" parts, such as OPTs and interstages, and then you can DIY a million circuits around 'em.

The cost happens once, but it gives you a good foundation to test all sorts of designs.

My Plitrons are for push-pull. I don't have "good" SE trannys right now. I've got too many projects going to do an SE design at the present .... maybe later ....
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Old 22nd December 2003, 01:15 AM   #17
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Agree 100% with John and Kashmire in the last two posts re Tx quality and how sensible it is to spend the bucks on good iron which can be re-used in other projects, or sold later for a smaller loss (than tubes etc).
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Old 22nd December 2003, 03:58 PM   #18
arnoldc is offline arnoldc  Philippines
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$280?? I got a pair of Tamura F-475 and A-395 choke (brand new) for that amount... and yes, you can build a 300B using these. heck, they were cheaper than my MagneQuest DS-025 that I got for $300. A pair of Tango U-808 (with UL tap) also goes for about $270.

so many options
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Old 22nd December 2003, 05:26 PM   #19
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Default kit amps

Recall, the handwound transformer deal also includes the power tranny along with the choke and output.

I agree, so many options, but I was exploring the idea of getting a 300B amp built for less than $500. That means the stereo pair of SE OPT, power transformers, and chokes would need to cost less than $300.

That narrows down the options quite a bit, but there's still options out there. As it has been pointed out, there's some good kit amps that I need to recommened to my aspiring DIY friends.
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Old 22nd December 2003, 08:15 PM   #20
jim is offline jim  Belgium
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Default Transformerset.

Take a look here :

AEE Transformers

Complete set for 450 Euro.
I use this set myself, this is what I call Quality !!!!

Greetings,
Jim
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