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Old 10th February 2004, 11:59 AM   #1
kmj is offline kmj  Sweden
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Default questions about tubeamp building

hello, you have all probably answer hundreds of these typ of questions, but i didn't find any that answer all of mine. so here we go again:

to begin with i like to say that i'm (soon) a chemical engineer, not an elektro. I wanted a cheaper way of getting a desent tube amplifier since a theres nothing better when it comes to great sound.

so after checking out a schematic made by Menno van der Veen i got a thought.
if you can read a schematic and do a desent solder, isn't it possible to just put it together? after that i checked the components-list and choked over the prices. ah, sorry, im rambling again.....skipping all the background and just line up the questions.

1: is it possible to build a highend tubeamp if you can read a schematic and solder?

2: is it better to buy a cheeper kit to begin with (thou if you are going to do somthing then do it right from the start) and in that case, any recommendations in the area of 500euros?

3:if you find the amp you want to build and can't afford the parts, which parts are the most important?

4: can you buy some parts cheeper and later change them if you are willing to compensate in the beginning but unwilling to change model? (no screaming about herecy, please )


my first goal is to build an amp that plays like one that can be bought for about 5000euros........am i just fooling myself or is it possible?

the music i want to use it for is mostly rock and acoustic, but really everything that will sound beautiful. speakers will be bought later......(or is it possible to use a pair of monitor audio B4?)

a lot of stupid newbiequestion but i hope that you will bare with me.....
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Old 10th February 2004, 12:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: questions about tubeamp building

Quote:
Originally posted by kmj
hello, you have all probably answer hundreds of these typ of questions, but i didn't find any that answer all of mine. so here we go again:

to begin with i like to say that i'm (soon) a chemical engineer, not an elektro. I wanted a cheaper way of getting a desent tube amplifier since a theres nothing better when it comes to great sound.

so after checking out a schematic made by Menno van der Veen i got a thought.
if you can read a schematic and do a desent solder, isn't it possible to just put it together? after that i checked the components-list and choked over the prices. ah, sorry, im rambling again.....skipping all the background and just line up the questions.

1: is it possible to build a highend tubeamp if you can read a schematic and solder?

2: is it better to buy a cheeper kit to begin with (thou if you are going to do somthing then do it right from the start) and in that case, any recommendations in the area of 500euros?

3:if you find the amp you want to build and can't afford the parts, which parts are the most important?

4: can you buy some parts cheeper and later change them if you are willing to compensate in the beginning but unwilling to change model? (no screaming about herecy, please )
Hi kmj!

1- yes...but you need to know also indentify the parts..
2-Yes..a kit gives you some training and understanding of the way the things work.
3-Output transformers and tubes.
4-Yes if they are compatible with the circuit.


Quote:
my first goal is to build an amp that plays like one that can be bought for about 5000euros........am i just fooling myself or is it possible?
Yes it is possible!...There are lots of very expensive amps that sound like crap! The price only show the expertise in marketing of the designer (or company)
Quote:
the music i want to use it for is mostly rock and acoustic, but really everything that will sound beautiful. speakers will be bought later......(or is it possible to use a pair of monitor audio B4?)
Yes ...you can use yours Monitor Audio..they are fine speakers.

I have a pair of Monitor Audio Studio 20 SE that i have traded from a much more expensive Martin Logan...
So figure!!
__________________
Jorge
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Old 10th February 2004, 12:43 PM   #3
kmj is offline kmj  Sweden
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so, the next question. i have no problem identifying circuits and solving any problem that comes along, (read: bringing painintheass-question to electronicsprofesson who are working on the same thing )

but is this banging my head against a wall?
http://www3.sympatico.ca/r.godmaire/VDV3070.htm


perhaps there are better toys to start with, however i would like to do it right fram the start.....
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Old 11th February 2004, 07:18 AM   #4
SHiFTY is offline SHiFTY  New Zealand
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Nice amp, but the output transformers might be quite hard to get. Also the driver stage is a bit small, would have gone with a different phase splitter myself. However 4 EL34s will be damn powerful, and that finish is gorgeous! Exactly how efficient are your speakers, if they are 86dB or lower you might need this much power.

If you are on a budget, try and get quality vintage output / power transformers, they seem to last nearly for ever. Use simple EL34 PP with only two tubes per channel. This will still have a lot of power and be cheaper. Big transformers ain't cheap.

A kit is a good idea, because doing the metalwork on a chassis is a lot of work and sometimes you can't get great results. You can always modify the heck out of a kit later on...
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Old 11th February 2004, 07:27 AM   #5
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Default Kits might be more pertinent in your case

hi

no disrespect intended, but you might be better off starting your foray into the
tube amp world with a kit. i was in a similar quandary as yours when i started, decided to take the plunge and build a published circuit from scratch. well
it took me a week to put together the circuit (including finding parts etc), but well over four months to build a power supply that worked! - see most
published circuits leave out the power supply details, thinking that it should
be 'trivial', but trust me it's not! both the design and how you build and lay out the power supply will determine the noise,longevity and to some extent the sound of your amplifier. so unless you're happy running from a bench supply,
i'd suggest you carefully evaluate ALL the aspects of the design, including the
often-forgotten power supply details.

w.r.t kits, there are many fine ones available - the bottlehead products at www.bottlehead.com in particular are very popular, with an active supportive forum.
welborne labs also sells kits, but IMHO for a more experienced DIY'er.

no affiliation with either of these - just passing along my 2cents.

-p
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Old 11th February 2004, 08:42 AM   #6
kmj is offline kmj  Sweden
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now were getting somewere. first of all, when translating something from swedish to english there can occure some mistakes, for example: a normal question can sound like an accusation, so to cover my *** i would like to say that nothing i say is ment to be rude.
and now to answer one at a time.

ShiFtY:
the amp in that page is made by Menno van der Veen, and I thought of that one because he seems to have a certain reputation when it comes to tubes and because of the detailed schematics and partlist. HOWEVER, i am on a bugdet that's why i thought that i could put it together with a little cheeper resistors and capacitors and later change them. I do not really care if it doesn't sound perfect or how it looks from the start as long as i know that it can be fixed by changing som stuff, and with some money.....but it is beautiful, isn't it?

Oh, yes. my current speakers are a pair of "monitor audio bronze 4" with a sensitivity at 91db.

http://www.monitoraudio.co.uk/produc.../series/b4.htm

psarin:
you are probably right and no offence taken
A kit would be best to start with but i do not wish to start with something "that will do for now"....spent a to much money on that with my homecinema system.
but i'm stubborn to the line of idiocy, so i have to ask:
are these kits as good as the one i found? and i think the owner of the pade publiced the power supply and the input&output stages. or are they incomplete or are there somthing missing?


this little project will only start after i've read up a bit. placed an order for the following books:
"Valve amplifiers" by Morgan Jones
and
"Modern high-end valve amplifiers" by Menno van der Veen.

anyone: feel free to comment on all. tell me to give up or to go for it. since im a novice every comment is welcome

shifty and psarin: thanks, it's appreciated
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Old 12th February 2004, 04:59 AM   #7
marz.tv is offline marz.tv  Sweden
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OR, you could get an older amp in need of restoration, and modify it with modern components. An old Dynaco or Philips or whatever, EL84 or '34, but be sure to pick something with fairly large output transformers.
I bet you could get something worth starting with that has all the metalwork and sockets and iron ready on evilbay for... 100 euro or so?
If it looks ugly but still has all the parts, you could get a super deal.
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Old 12th February 2004, 07:26 AM   #8
kmj is offline kmj  Sweden
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that wasn't a bad idea. now i just have to find one....
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