Valve Monoblocks - am I being realistic? - diyAudio
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Old 22nd January 2015, 05:30 PM   #1
KarlD is offline KarlD  United Kingdom
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Default Valve Monoblocks - am I being realistic?

Hi all,

I have a hunger for valves. I dream of mono blocks. I need these things in my life.

Physically constructing an amplifier would not be a problem for me - I have experience with electrical and electronic circuits, high voltages (lots of 3 phase, huge relay circuits for old school automated machinery etc), can solder well etc.

However the theory side of it is a serious problem. I have a fair knowledge of what various components do, basic electronic principles etc, but I am not for one second going to pretend that I have even approaching the knowledge required to design or modify the design of an amplifier. Getting a load of books and attempting to learn about the subject is not an option. I do not have the study ethic/discipline. It would kill it for me. I am not an academic type. I am very much hands on.

But does that mean I can't build?

There must be tried and tested schematics out there that would allow me to build a high quality circuit? One where parts are not impossibly difficult to obtain or one that leaves too many open ends to the design?

I don't have any issue with ploughing a decent amount of time and money into a project like this if it can yield results.

The alternative is to go out and buy something like an integrated valve amp such as a used Puresound 2A3 for £1200. That's the kind of performance level I want

Am I being overly ambitious? Nieve? Stupid?

Too vague?

Cheers.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 05:40 PM   #2
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Let me tell you a story. Not necessarily one full of common sense and rationality.

I work in a sector which is very very far away from electronics. Never had a proper electronic/electric or even technical education.

So here I am in 2011 wanting to build something for my girlfriend. She plays bass so.....I chose a valve amplifier.

Fine. Read for 2 weeks straight then took the plunge and went for Pmillet's engineer's amp. Got the parts, soldered, debugged it and....it worked!

I was hooked. Next came a large 1000w per channel ab2 amplifier based on gu81m. It works

Now I built a gu46 amplifier for my current girlfriend and am finishing up a gm100 SET stereo amplifier.

I say take the plunge. Be safe, try a pcb based project first and then be on your way.



cheers
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Old 22nd January 2015, 05:43 PM   #3
kmtang is offline kmtang  Canada
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Hey Carl,

I think the first question would be whether you want Push Pull or Single End.

Monos is the dream of DIYers.


Johnny
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Old 22nd January 2015, 05:46 PM   #4
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Push-pull KT88 class A amp with "universal" driver PCB

and

Tubelab SE Board | Tubelab

check these out
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Old 22nd January 2015, 06:20 PM   #5
sporc is offline sporc  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassZ View Post
The Uniamp is a good beginners project that sounds excellent. I've used Pete's pcb and built point-to-point having no electronics background.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 06:36 PM   #6
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wow!

no background and in a period of 4 years going from zero to building with these monster tubes. Congratulations! And, do you have some pictures for us? Or have I missed those?

Cheers, Erik

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassZ View Post
Let me tell you a story. Not necessarily one full of common sense and rationality.

I work in a sector which is very very far away from electronics. Never had a proper electronic/electric or even technical education.

So here I am in 2011 wanting to build something for my girlfriend. She plays bass so.....I chose a valve amplifier.

Fine. Read for 2 weeks straight then took the plunge and went for Pmillet's engineer's amp. Got the parts, soldered, debugged it and....it worked!

I was hooked. Next came a large 1000w per channel ab2 amplifier based on gu81m. It works

Now I built a gu46 amplifier for my current girlfriend and am finishing up a gm100 SET stereo amplifier.

I say take the plunge. Be safe, try a pcb based project first and then be on your way.



cheers
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Old 22nd January 2015, 08:54 PM   #7
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When I am asked to build super Hi Fi valve amplifiers, after requesting the clients specification the second question is about the depth of his or her pockets! Then I determine the type of valve to build it around, EL84, EL32, KT66, EL34, 6L6WGC, 6550/KT88, 2A3, 807, 813 etc. The design is academic.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 09:32 PM   #8
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

30W Push Pull amplifier designed by Claus Byrith, Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark. | Lundahl Transformers

The iron doesn't have to be Lundahl, just suitable, not hard to source.

Hard to find a better documented (or just better) modern valve amplifier.

rgds, sreten.
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Last edited by sreten; 22nd January 2015 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 22nd January 2015, 09:48 PM   #9
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Old 22nd January 2015, 09:52 PM   #10
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How much power do you want? You might tell us the rationale, room size, speaker type and efficiency, how loud you like it...
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