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Old 5th November 2004, 03:20 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Northwestern University - Chicago
Default Good SET for newbie

I built myself a pair of Decwares HDTs loaded with Fostex FE206E (8ohm).

Right now they are running off a simple gainclone, but I sort of feel like I wanna give tube power a shot. I mean these are 97db speakers after all. The caveat is that I'm a fairly poor college student, and I'm not even sure I will like tube sound.

Can anyone suggest an economical tube project? All the decware guys keep telling me that their SE84c (link: is the best I can get for the cash, but they have a vested interest. Besides, $400 for their kit is more than I can spare.

Any suggestions?

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Old 5th November 2004, 04:08 AM   #2
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If you only want a couple of watts, the Gary Kaufman's 6EM7 would be worth trying.
Whatever you decide to build, try to get the best OPT's you can afford, so they're not the limiting factor. They can be obtained for decent prices secondhand and don't lose much value (if any) when resold, or can be recycled into another project.
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Old 5th November 2004, 06:37 AM   #3
Stixx is offline Stixx  Germany
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Location: Southern Germany

I can tell you that the decware amp is an awesome little amp. The decware guys are not beating the drums for nothing.......
Although modest in power it's very revealing and neutral, and can be tweaked some more!

For instance has some good info....

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Old 5th November 2004, 06:44 AM   #4
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Location: Melbourne, Victoria
I'd have to second that... the 6EM7 is great! It contains two dissimilar triodes in the same envelope - all required for a two-stage single ended amplifier. Best of all it's affordable (AES was selling them for $2 at one stage) unlike some other overpriced valves which I shall not mention......

The sound quality of many valve designs live or die by the quality of the output transformer. Have a look here to see the difference a change from a cheapie Hammond to a Lundahl made to the frequency response of a "Darling" amplifier. It is certainly sound advice from Brett to buy the absolute best you can afford.

The "Darling" amplifier is also a popular (and cheap) single ended project built as a first project. Details can be found here:

Also, all of these projects utilise true triodes, rather then the triode-strapped pentodes used in the Zen. This isn't particularly important to me, but may be of consideration for others
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