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Old 20th January 2016, 01:06 AM   #1
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Default Car tube amp- looking for advice

Hello,
I am in the process of building a very high end car system. For the top end, I am using B&W Matrix 801 mids and B&W Silver Signature tweeters. I am interested to get opinions on a couple of amp choices. The system will be fully active.

Option #1- PJL boards, SE Ultralinear mono block design. 12au7 pre tube, KT150 power tube. I would use (4) of these, of course. DIY UL SE Mono Block

Option #2- Build my own clone of the Milbert BAM-235ab, which is based off the Berning EA-230. I would buy a pair of these and be done with it, but they are about $4k each. I think I can build for about $500ea? Milbert BaM Mobile Tube Amplifier

Thoughts? TIA, Mike
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Old 20th January 2016, 07:20 AM   #2
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They are completely different animals, option 2 makes a lot more sense - much higher efficiency thus less heat to deal with. Especially if you think you can build it for $500... you must have ninja DIY skills.

Last edited by jazbo8; 20th January 2016 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 20th January 2016, 02:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazbo8 View Post
They are completely different animals, option 2 makes a lot more sense - much higher efficiency thus less heat to deal with. Especially if you think you can build it for $500... you must have ninja DIY skills.
Thanks for the reply. I am not too worried about heat, I can do what is necessary to keep the amps cool, regardless of effort needed. The car that this system is going into will strictly be used for audio, not driven daily. Regarding the efficiency of the SE, I believe I will end up with about 49 wpc, vs the Milbert design being about 35 wpc. Either way, I will have plenty of power, despite the relatively low efficiency of the drivers.
I was told by another amp builder that the Milbert could be copied for about $500 in parts, unless he was wrong. I am not an amp builder, but would be looking for advice/assistance from other, even paying someone to build if necessary.
My overall goal is the best possible sound.
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Old 20th January 2016, 02:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Precisionmike View Post
I was told by another amp builder that the Milbert could be copied for about $500 in parts, unless he was wrong. I am not an amp builder, but would be looking for advice/assistance from other, even paying someone to build if necessary.
My overall goal is the best possible sound.
If it is not a daily driver, then the mechanical shock isolation would be less of a concern. The parts costs is only of minor concern, since the Milbert/Berning design is not conventional, it may require special layout, wiring and chassis construction techniques.
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Old 20th January 2016, 02:58 PM   #5
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Which do you feel would sound better?
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Old 20th January 2016, 10:02 PM   #6
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Purely speculation, since I have not heard neither...but I would pick the Milbert/Berning design.
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Old 20th January 2016, 10:48 PM   #7
sasha70 is offline sasha70  United Kingdom
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Hi Mike.
Interesting project,
My understanding of car audio that position of components and car preparation a big advance to good sound system.
Best regards.
Sasha.
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Old 21st January 2016, 12:32 AM   #8
troystg is offline troystg  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Precisionmike View Post
?.....

My overall goal is the best possible sound......

Then figure out a way to put Hypex NCores in the car... :-)


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Old 21st January 2016, 04:56 AM   #9
Fenris is offline Fenris  United States
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What power level are you looking at? That's going to influence your choice of topology and tube selection.

There are plenty of good kits out there (Tubelab, Tubecad, Pete Millet are the first that come to mind) that will give you much better designs than the PJL boards. I have no idea what the Milbert has inside, their webpage is long on marketing speak and short on details. With a good kit, all you would have to do is figure out the power supply. The PJL page has their schematic, at first glance it seems like a solid design (in a follow-the-datasheet kind of way). I don't fancy winding my own transformers, but there are people on here that have built their own high voltage switchmode power supplies, so that's not an impossible task.
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Old 21st January 2016, 05:02 AM   #10
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I ran 1625s in a 1980 Honda for about three years and never had problems. I used a st70 chassis with a different driver so it had 12at7s instead of 7199s. It is worth doing for a daily driver. I ran mine from 100hz up and a mosfet amp for the subwoofers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazbo8 View Post
If it is not a daily driver, then the mechanical shock isolation would be less of a concern. The parts costs is only of minor concern, since the Milbert/Berning design is not conventional, it may require special layout, wiring and chassis construction techniques.
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