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Old 15th January 2004, 12:39 PM   #1
Brap is offline Brap  United States
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Default Velleman K4040

Interesting kit and I like the bias adjustment.

Everyone's thoughts on this kit is appreciated.

Considering this along with a WAD6550.

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Old 15th January 2004, 03:06 PM   #2
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hi there...Velly'amps....not cast iron reliability with time..that's what I've heard. Alot had/have problems with this amp esp.....o/p stage biassing.....and output load stability. These amps don't like electrostatic LS or complex loads. The suspect to load instability is a symptom of poorly thoughtout circuits.

I believe Maplin UK marketted this Dutch made amp, so they might have a update cum repair page on this model. ......

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Old 16th January 2004, 01:32 AM   #3
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I've owned a K4040 for years and now keep it as a spare amp. It sounded awful with the supplied Sovtek EL34's. It sounded very good with Golden Dragon EL34's and NOS Telefunken Driver tubes however the Golden Dragons started to fail after only a month. The K4040 basicly uses cathode resistors as fuses and whenever a EL34 shorts out you also have to replace the cathose resistor. Also, the mains fuse is in a holder soldered to the pc board and it gets so hot it melted the holder so I replaced it with an inline holder.I finally decided to do some mods on it and did most of the mods found on the page at the following link:
K4040 Mods Page
It now is very stable and I used it to drive my homebrew electrostats for over a year without failure.

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Old 16th January 2004, 01:50 AM   #4
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Being no big fan of the Velleman amps and having learned through private e-mail that Brap is the proud owner of a set of KlipschHorns I recommend the following:

-SE 2A3 or 300B, WAD or some US made KIT....Couldn't think of any at the time of writing.

-Didn't mention it but 12B4A PP or 6S19P PP could be great too. No kits exist though to the best of my knowledge...IOW, a PP of small but linear little devils.

-Very compact small devils are most dissimilar triodes such as the 6EM7 etc.

Again, no kits I'm aware of.

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Old 16th January 2004, 07:58 AM   #5
Nicos is offline Nicos  United Kingdom
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Default Velleman k4040

I have had the k4040 for a few months now and have not had problems with it so far. It worked fine first time I tested it with excellent results.
I know a lot of people who criticise this for a number of reasons. I am one of the few who liked it a lot and have heard a number of other amps in comparison worth eight times as much and this was better both on the frequency range test (torroidal outputs) and on the output power (90w rms pc).
I am sure with a few very basic mods you can make this a killer amp surpassing the various ultra high end brands.
Remember to use svetlanas for el34, they are a few hundred times better than the next competitor (including mullards).
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Old 16th January 2004, 08:29 AM   #6
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Dave.. K40490 ....seemingly endless modifications and gettting bits from the dispensary doesn't look good... esp from a kit.......If I'd worked on this one and repeatedly had to "up end" the chassis each time for mods, scathing wouldn't be my last word. My worst suspicions.

From the pit

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Old 16th January 2004, 12:27 PM   #7
Brap is offline Brap  United States
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Default Velleman

Thaks for all the input, it's really appreciated.

I am leaning towards the Bottlehead Paramour 2A3's with mod kit. I seems that for the price of two monos and the reviews they have on line ( one owner having Khorns like me) this is a good bargain.

Decisions, decisions -- contemplating the "Ella" also!

Anyone have comparisons of these two, or isn't that fair?

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Old 16th January 2004, 01:12 PM   #8
dhaen is offline dhaen  Europe
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Don't know anything about the Ella. It "looks" reasonabe build quality, and seems to be running in "ultra linear"/"distributed load" (Pentode) mode, in class AB. This puts it in the same class as the WAD that you were considering.

I do know the Paramour's. They are sweet things, and (to my ears) sound surprisingly good for the cost and their simplicity.
They are definately good value for money, but I have 3 criticisms:
1. The build quality is poor: Jagged edges and surface marks on chassis plates. Transformers "nude", don't look good to my eyes. Mounting system for transformers is amateurish.
2. The instructions are wierd . Since I was building these for a friend, I thought I owed it to him to build them the way they said. There were so many modifications, alternative parts and amendments that it was easier for me to ignore them.
3. The hum level on the output, with the hum balance pot optimised, and the CCS fitted was 7mV. I think that is too high for high efficiency speakers. Extra decoupling fixed it to an acceptable level.

But despite all of the above, when finished, I played them for a day and loved them!
The kind of music I played was orchestral, mandolin and female jazz vocal. I doubt (though I didn't try) they would hold up so well as they did on heavy rock or organ music.
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Old 16th January 2004, 02:30 PM   #9
Bryan is offline Bryan  United States
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Hey Guys,

I cant mention on the Velleman, but I do own a WAD Kit34. This is a VERY similar amp to the Kit6550 you are interested in.

The WAD was my first "real" kit, and it was a great experience. I had little knowledge of electronics (General Physics in college) and was able to assemble this kit with relative ease. The bulletin board at WAD is excellent in terms of assistance, as is this board.

The build quality was very good, the instruction were good, and the customer service was equally as good. The WAD does not use printed circuit boards, and this may be of considderation should you desire to upgrade the amp in the future.

I would happily recomend the WAD kit, but you must considder the cost of shipping from the UK... not too cheap!

Hope this helps.

Dont take life too seriously, you will never get out alive!
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Old 16th January 2004, 04:25 PM   #10
Brap is offline Brap  United States
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Default Velleman

WOW -- thanks for everyone's help. I think this post has reached it's useable life.

The Velleman is no longer in the running.

See my next posts on my direction based on all the valued expertise here on this forum!

Go patriots!!!

Khorns, Forte's, Carver C-1, 1.5T, Denon AVP 8000, Sony DVP7000
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