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Old 14th January 2017, 01:19 AM   #1
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Default Hi End Tube Amp Kit

Hello,

I'm new to the forum and though I'd throw out there that I'm considering building a Valve amp. Is there such an animal that is Audiophile grade at an economic price? It's my first kit but I'm not a novice to soldering and schematics. Looking for preferably higher power and Class A but if not, thats ok. Any thoughts?
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Old 14th January 2017, 03:35 AM   #2
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Location: Victoria, BC
You probably will get better answers if you can specify;
What is 'audiophile grade' to you?
What's an economic price (for you)?
What's higher power? 10W, 25, 100?
Why class A?
Do you already have speakers you will be using with your new amp? The speaker efficiency can help guide your amp choice, sometimes.

And, you are looking for a complete kit - with all parts, including chassis, or....

You can start with:
Transcendent Sound DIY Specialist in Vacuum Tube OTL Amplifiers
and
http://bottlehead.com/

There are also 'kits' from China that have parts but not always very clear instructions - there are some build threads here on those.
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Old 14th January 2017, 10:19 AM   #3
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Try www.neurochrome.com

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Old 14th January 2017, 04:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muskyhuntr View Post
If you are looking for bare PCBs, tubelab.com is a good option - with very extensive documentation and many builds. There's a sub-forum here at diyaudio for Tubelab.
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Old 14th January 2017, 04:05 PM   #5
w5jag is offline w5jag  United States
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Turn key solution, I would look at Elekit - everything you need comes in one box.

Good design and part quality, nicely finished metal chassis, reasonable price.

If you want more hands on DIY, then go with a Tubelab SSE.

Win W5JAG
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Old 14th January 2017, 04:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w5jag View Post
Turn key solution, I would look at Elekit - everything you need comes in one box.

Good design and part quality, nicely finished metal chassis, reasonable price.

If you want more hands on DIY, then go with a Tubelab SSE.

Win W5JAG
Win:

Do you have a preferred supplier for the Elekits?

They look like an excellent beginner choice - no shop work (chassis drilling, etc.) required to get a presentable (WAF!) and safe device that works.
The hassle and shipping costs when gathering parts for a project need to be considered .... either a lot of bother or part of the fun!
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Old 14th January 2017, 04:47 PM   #7
w5jag is offline w5jag  United States
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I have bought two, an amp and a preamp, from the Canadian gentleman who is the importer and brought Elekit to NA. He also sponsors the Elekit forum on this board. That would be my recommendation.

I have also purchased one amp from Tube Depot in Memphis, TN, which was more local to me. I built the one from Tube Depot and it is in service at our 2nd house. I haven't got around to building the other two, yet.

The Elekit's are really nice kits.

Win W5JAG

The TU-879S is the one I built - open the box, two evenings later, you are listening to a high quality, fully finished amplifier, that looks as good as it sounds, for not much money.

Last edited by w5jag; 14th January 2017 at 04:57 PM. Reason: tablets suck.
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Old 14th January 2017, 08:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w5jag View Post
I have bought two, an amp and a preamp, from the Canadian gentleman who is the importer and brought Elekit to NA. He also sponsors the Elekit forum on this board. That would be my recommendation.
Thanks for that info.
The website for the Elekit sub-forum host is:
Canadian Elekit Supplier
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Old 14th January 2017, 09:01 PM   #9
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Thank you for your quick reply. I'll answer the best I can. For starters I'd like to give a better idea of what I'm looking to accomplish. I love the looks of a valve amp and the sound as well but can't afford to buy one from the local audio store. In my opinion, they're huge money and them I can't afford. My system as it sits is older but at the time was very nice stuff. It was higher end and it stills sound phenomenal, at least to me. It consist of:

Preamp- Proceed AVP-2 audio/video processor
Front- Mark Levinson 23.5 Dual Monaural power amp
Center & surrounds- Proceeed-BDP-3 power amp
Velodyne ULD-15 sub
Velodyne HGS-18 sub
Front speakers- B & W 801 series 3
Center channel- B & W HTM2
Side/rear B & W SCM-8
Transparent cables etc

As for how much I would like to spend, under $1000. Actually, if I can make something that sounds great for less, I'm ok with that too.

Power output? My 801's are not the most efficient speaker out there. They sound great but I also think being paired properly with the Levinson amp which has the balls to drive them helps. So, i'd like to be able to drive those speakers sufficiently with whatever I do.

Class A? I know in transistor amps Class A amplification is generally a faster amp, cleaner sound. I just threw that out there. If it can't be done or it's not economical, AB is fine.
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Old 15th January 2017, 08:26 AM   #10
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Before building an amp to mate with the 801's, you should go to a local dealer and borrow some higher power tube amps for home audition, the likely candidates include the larger ARC, CJ and McIntosh. You may or may not like the results - the Levinson is not going to be that easy to beat...
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