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Old 25th February 2004, 10:15 PM   #1
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Default Is this a good tube DIY kit to get?

Hello,

I was browsing around sites that sell kits and saw this simple tube amp kit.
http://www.web-tronics.com/sterintubamk.html

I have always wanted to put together my own tube amp and the price seems just right for me.

Does this look like a good one to get?

I would probably toss all the caps and resistors and replace them with higher grade Metalized Polys and carbons. No problem there. I probably have the equivelant values on hand.

With a little time spent on the enclosure I could have a great looking and, possibly, good sounding amp.

Any opinions on it?

Are there any other kits or circuit boards out there that I also should be taking a look at?

Thanks in advance.



Darren
(who is kind of excited at the prospect of finally working on a nice tube amp this summer.)
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Old 25th February 2004, 10:51 PM   #2
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Hi,

This is probably the cheapest kit on the block.

If I'm not mistaken it was originally designed by George Fathauer, previous owner of Antique Electronic suply in Tempe AZ.

While I never had a chance to listen to it, I hear that it's certainly worth its salt provided you have the speakers to go with its low power output.

It could well be that other members such as planet10 have hands on experience with it...
It was discussed briefly here before, I think.

Cheers,
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Old 26th February 2004, 07:32 AM   #3
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I haven't heard (or seen) one of those, but the people that have bought them enjoyed building them and thought they were well worth the money. I understand some of the early ones had problems with sockets melting down, but i'm sure that has been straightened out by now. The closest thing outside a freak find at a 2nd hand store would be a pr of Wave AV8s -- and those are essentially a pre-assembled kit (in that to make then stand upyou have to go in and tweak them right off the bat.

dave
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Old 26th February 2004, 07:42 AM   #4
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Default right on

I also think that this is one of the most giving for the buck amps
but...

if you want more, for little more bucks, you should check the growing chinese kits that are coming to the market such as a $200 stereo amp with nice tubes, high quality caps, resistors etc ...

allthough when you think Buy American the decision is easier...
also take a look at the Foreplay Amp !

J-P
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Old 26th February 2004, 03:43 PM   #5
Sherman is offline Sherman  United States
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I built this amp a couple of months ago and have been very happy with it. I made a couple of small changes but nothing in the basic circuit. I built a wood case for mine (I posted a pic in the "Photos" section) and that meant making a couple of alterations. I also added an input selector.

The power seems to be about 4 1/2-5 wpc RMS and maybe 8 1/2 peak. For the first three weeks of its life it drove my Advent /1 speakers. The sound was excellent but of course volume was a little limited. I've since built new speakers and it plays as loudly as I want.

If you decide to build this amp I highly recommend Voltseconds web page. He built one and has a few recommendations for tweaking it for noise reduction. (Though it is pretty darn quiet on its own.)
http://www.siteswithstyle.com/VoltSe...Push_Pull.html

Hope this helps.
Sherman
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Old 30th April 2004, 04:56 AM   #6
Jhovis is offline Jhovis  United States
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Default Re: Is this a good tube DIY kit to get?

Darren,
Did you ever buy a tube kit? I'm also a noob to tubes and am looking at this kit and the Bottlehead kits.

I've built six speaker projects now and want to venture out a bit. For a beginner, this kit is very attractive because it's so inexpensive. If I mess up, I haven't blown a wad of dough and I can build two for much less than the Bottleheads. I'm sure the Bottlehead monoblocks are better, but again, I don't know too much about tubes.

I have read that the Bottlehead kit and instructions are much better. I've also read that the S5 amp doesn't have a safety bleeder...electric shock is not my thing. It also uses a circuit board which I've read isn't as good, but again I don't really know. The instructions seem pretty basic and then there are some suggestions that were added to the tech notes that aren't all that clear to me. I guess for a $140 there are some things you have to live with.

Quote:
Originally posted by darren01
Hello,

I was browsing around sites that sell kits and saw this simple tube amp kit.
http://www.web-tronics.com/sterintubamk.html

I have always wanted to put together my own tube amp and the price seems just right for me.

Does this look like a good one to get?

I would probably toss all the caps and resistors and replace them with higher grade Metalized Polys and carbons. No problem there. I probably have the equivelant values on hand.

With a little time spent on the enclosure I could have a great looking and, possibly, good sounding amp.

Any opinions on it?

Are there any other kits or circuit boards out there that I also should be taking a look at?

Thanks in advance.



Darren
(who is kind of excited at the prospect of finally working on a nice tube amp this summer.)
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Old 30th April 2004, 07:31 AM   #7
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Default Haven't bought a kit yet.

Jeff,

I didn't get a kit yet.

However, if you get this (the one I also may try out) let us know how it turns out and what your personal thoughts are on it.

BTW, you can email me at from the button below if you'd like to exchange comments on the kit.



Darren
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Old 30th April 2004, 08:17 AM   #8
5string is offline 5string  United States
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Default DIY Kit

Hi,
I bought this kit from a Arizona company, there's bout 3 versions floating around now (one's a monoblock). They've fixed the melting socket problem but these tubes could still use a fan. I also got the Foreplay Bottlehead kit, did the Foreplay preamp first then this S5 amp, and the Foreplay with all it's mods (yeah, I went for it all at once instead of the sensible route) is 10X more complex but 1000X more fun to build. As for sound, I powered some cheap 86dB with this setup till I built some open baffles and for every type of music it gets loud enough to "bother" the neighbors a couple of houses down, definitely loud enough to enjoy while your BBQing on a Saturday. IMHO, it's well worth the money and well worth the learning experience. You can put this amp in lots of chassis, I'll post pics of mine (was in a wood bowl first till I needed mod room). I'm happy enough with mine that I haven't bought the next level of Bottlehead amps (the 8 week wait for the Paramour amp has a little to do with it too) but Fathers Day is coming up and I'm throwing the hints around.
Alonzo
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Old 30th April 2004, 02:52 PM   #9
Jhovis is offline Jhovis  United States
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5string,
So you bought the S5 and the Foreplay? Is it necessary to use a pre-amp? Did you buy the standard S5 or the monoblock version? I like the monoblock idea and would pay the extra$$ for that. Two standard kits at $280 is still much less than the Paramours. I've gotten pretty good at woodworking after constructing six sets of speakers including a 7.1 HT system (that's 20 speakers total!). I'm going to build some really pretty wood chassis for these once I make a decision.

As for speakers, I'm looking at this new Fostex kit they have at Madisound. Any other suggestions?
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Old 30th April 2004, 06:13 PM   #10
Jhovis is offline Jhovis  United States
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I found a monoblock version here:
http://www.tubesandmore.com/
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