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Newbie Amp/Preamp descisions
Newbie Amp/Preamp descisions
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Old 13th March 2018, 04:00 PM   #11
Lingwendil is offline Lingwendil  United States
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Newbie Amp/Preamp descisions
Originally Posted by imjjc2 View Post
I am currently trying to decide on an amp/preamp for my first build. I really like the idea of being able to tube swap to find preferences so I've been focusing in on hybrid/ full tube designs.
Ones I've found so far
NP-100v12: DIY 12AU7 (ECC82) Tube / IRF510 MOSFET Headphone Amplifier
That particular arrangement (from the old Headwize forum) was my very first tube build. It can work very well, but not with a 12AU7 at 12 volts. Best thing you can do is use a 48-60 volt DC supply, a 6DJ8 or similar tube, and the LM317HVT and this amp will rock. It can even drive speakers pretty well if you increase the heatsinking and current through the output stage.

This is a very nice circuit if you build it at 60 volts and use a 6111 subminiature tube, or something similar like the Russian subminiature, 6n16b. I ran a 6111 version 12 hours a day for nearly ten years, biased hot enough to put 5 watts into some efficient speakers. Fond memories

This can work, but I would stay with more linear tubes, like the 6SN7, 6SL7, 6CG7, 6n1p, 6n2p, 6DJ8. The 12AU7 is not a very linear tube, and the 12AX7 types take some real work to deliver the goods.

SRPP used to be very trendy, but it's not much better than a basic grounded cathode unless you have some very specific needs, so I would save a tube by doing a single triode per channel.

A recommended circuit that is a bit "overengineered" but is pretty nice, is the Aikido amplifier. Kits are available. Tube count is high, though... The CCDA is very good, and uses less tubes. Easy and adaptable circuit, as kodabmx shows

GlassWare Line Stage & Headphone Amplifiers Kits and PCBs
Building ability, I don't have a ton of experience past building some smaller projects/ house wiring. However I am going to school for EE so I do have access to great help and tools.
If you could help set me on the right path or give me more ideas it would be greatly appreciated. I've spent the last couple days reading as much as I can, but I can tell I've only scratched the surface of this great DIY world.
Building is nicer with the right tools. Tubes are thankfully pretty simple, and so are most hybrid designs. I find that doing up a nice enclosure is 70% of the work in any electronics project.

Are you looking to do a PCB, or "point to point" type build? For what it's worth, I like PCBs for power supply circuitry, and like to go "point to point" with tag strips for the tubey bits.

I've also found it interesting how 90% of the designs/builds are from 04-10 is there any reason for that?
Tubes (especially hybrid designs) got really popular again around this time for... whatever reason. There were a ton of designs floating around, some good, some not so good. General rule of thumb is to avoid any low voltage (12 volt or so) design unless it uses special tubes meant for ultra low voltage, unless you're looking to build an effects box. 48 volt DC power bricks are $12-15 shipped on Amazon, and can work great for these types of builds. Just add a regulator for heater power (LM317, LM7806, etc) and it's easy to build up something nice.

Anything pmillet says is good advice, and his designs are solid, give his site a read
Check out My 6SN7 Push-pull Flea Amplifier project! PCB COMING SOON!

Last edited by Lingwendil; 13th March 2018 at 04:12 PM.
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