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Old 13th December 2005, 12:45 AM   #1
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Default Holiday S-5 K-12G

My 18th birthday was a couple of days ago so I decided once school is out for winter break I will build my first tube amp. For years I've been wanting to build a tube amp and finally I'm gonna try out my first one.

I recieved the kit today in the mail and am very excited. It was only$150 for the kit and shipping. I'm going build a hopefully somewhat nice chassis for it, I'm not very good with chassis, but I'm gonna try my best. To do this I'm going to have to mount almost all the components upside down. When I ordered the kit they told me that this is a different design. Its slightly changed and uses different tubes, 10GV8. I like Volt Second's modifications, but I'm afraid they won't work with the new kit. I was wondering if anyone else could help me.

Here are some pictures.

Thanks,

Josh

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Old 13th December 2005, 12:46 AM   #2
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The kit looks rather easy to build, and I want to upgrade some components. I've already orded an ALPs pot for it and am willing to upgrade pretty much everything. I also have some solid core pure silver wire to wire the RCA and binding posts. I was making an order from another website for a chassis for another project so I added the pot, binding posts, RCA jacks, and the pot.

Other upgrades I was thinking about making were upgrading to nicer caps. There are 220uf, 22uf, and 100uf caps that I was thinking about upgrading.

The Voltsecond modifications I was interested in doing were: Ultrafast diode between diode bridge and first cap; .01uf recitfier noise cap; and 1uf snubber caps on each tube (really unsure about this one).

Any comments on which mods or updates will work?


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Old 13th December 2005, 10:04 AM   #3
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Hey,
I don't see any reason why you can't do the modifications he has listed, BUT i would replace the bridge rectifier with ultrafast diodes and not just add the one ultrafast as this means you dont need to cut the trace. The other mod i would sugest you look into that he has published on his site is to replace the power supply capacitors. who knows though, i may be wrong.. not familiar with that tube,
Owen
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Old 13th December 2005, 01:22 PM   #4
Sherman is offline Sherman  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by edjosh23
...The Voltsecond modifications I was interested in doing were: Ultrafast diode between diode bridge and first cap; .01uf recitfier noise cap; and 1uf snubber caps on each tube (really unsure about this one).

Any comments on which mods or updates will work?


All the mods should work fine as they are not specific to any tube type or operating point. I built this kit (or rather the regular S5 kit) a few years ago and incorporated most of Voltsecond's mods. I still listen to it regularly, it is a nice little amp.

I also soldered all the components except the tube sockets (and some resistors, I still can't remember why I did that ) on the "wrong" side of the circuit board. Just be sure you get good solder connections and everything should be fine.

I also put in a selector switch so I could connect four sources. I put everything in a Padauk wood case with a thin aluminum top plate. Nothing is actually mounted on the plate, it just covers up the circuit board. Here is a photo of the case I built without the top mounted.
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Old 13th December 2005, 06:00 PM   #5
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I bought and built this kit, and I just finished doing a slew of mods from VoltSecond's site. I'm 23, and it is my first tube amp of what I hope are many more.

The 10GV8s don't matter as they have virtually the same electrical readouts as the 11ms8 (found that from another forum). I'm thinking about replacing my current 11MS8's with the 10Gv's soon just for kicks.

Other tips: if you plan on upgrading the electrolytics, don't drop in the stock caps. I'm happy with the upgraded beef (I ordered the exact ones recommended by voltsecond), but removing the old ones was a pain in the a** because of how thin and cheap the PWB and traces are. I ended up having to wire the new caps point to point using the schematic because in the desoldering stuff got tore up. Of course, I had never soldered before I put the amp together the first time, so if you're careful maybe you'll be ok.

If you do nothing else, remove the two resistors on either side of the pot and just use decent guage wire in their place. That's the change that I feel made the biggest (and best) improvement in the sound of the amp.

Good luck with your amp and happy DIY'ing. Let us know how things turn out.
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Old 13th December 2005, 06:24 PM   #6
nikita is offline nikita  Canada
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EDJOSH, Where did you bought your amp kit? Thanks
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Old 14th December 2005, 02:23 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies.

Wow, I'm very happy to hear the all the mods will work.

ervington,
Thanks for the tips. I'm guessing you meant the two caps on either side of the pot, as GG describes on his website.

What caps did you buy? I don't remember voltsecond recomending any specific caps on his website? Should I replace the .22uf caps with Kimber Kaps or something as well as the three caps I mentioned earlier. I'm going to go online later and order hopefully some Elna caps to replace the cheap ones mentioned in my second post.

nikita,
I bought the amplifier directly from S-5 Electronics. On their website they have a phone number. I called that number and completed the order in about 10 minutes and got a tracking number. Shipping from Arizona to Georgia isn't so far, but $10 for shipping is pretty good.

Sherman,
You amp is very pretty.
I haven't decided yet, but my amp is probably going to have a copper front, back, and top pannel. The sides will hopefully be a pretty wood. The board will be mounted under the copper top, but using .5" stand-offs my solder joints should touch the copper. The traffo's will be mounted under inside the chassis.

I haven't decided, but I don't really want to tun my RCA and binding post far from the circuit board. I want to keep interference low so I think the RCA's will be mounted on the front and I think the binding post my be mounted right above the PCB, on the top plate. This is not the most convenient way, but I think interference should be lower with much smaller signal length.

thanks,

Josh
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Old 14th December 2005, 06:33 AM   #8
nikita is offline nikita  Canada
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EDJOSH
Thanks for answering. On the S-5 web they refer to the amp as k-12 M and you to K-12 G so...? Which is the latest? Beware when using copper unless you like to shine/buff every week!!! BTW I'm living in Canada not Georgia. Good luck!
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Old 14th December 2005, 11:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by nikita
EDJOSH
Thanks for answering. On the S-5 web they refer to the amp as k-12 M and you to K-12 G so...? Which is the latest? Beware when using copper unless you like to shine/buff every week!!! BTW I'm living in Canada not Georgia. Good luck!
nikita,
I live in Georgia. They advertise the K-12M, but they selkl the K-12G (the new one). If you call them they can explain the differences. The K-12G is brand new and I think they just haven't updated their website.

Will I really need to poish it that often?

Josh
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Old 14th December 2005, 03:08 PM   #10
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Josh,

I did mean the caps (not resistors) on either side of the pot...I removed them a while ago and forgot.

Due to my inexperience, I just copied off other folks on the web. I used the Nichion electrolytics that Voltsecond recommended in his section on B+ Beef (he gives you the part #). I also used the same film foil .22uf caps as this guy:

http://ca.geocities.com/gmilitano/Tubes/K-12M/K-12M.htm

to replace the coupling caps. I know it's not creative, but I just wanted to see what kind of difference a proven part made before I played around. I imagine anything will be better than the stock caps. The guy who runs that site was also involved in this thread

S-5 Electronics K-12M (11MS8) 8 wpc PP Tube Amp Kit ($139)

which was very long, also a little tough to absorb at times for me, but worth a read if you have the time. It's all about this kit.

Below are pics of my ghetto amp...I plan on putting it in an enclosure over my christmas vacation. I wish I had known enough to plan on putting it in one from the beginning. Also, my dad is building the original without mods, so I'll have a chance to put mine up against his and really see what kind of difference all the mods make.

Good luck. Oh, and if you intend to play with it after plugging it in, remember that there is no safety bleeder on this circuit, and those caps store up quite a punch.

http://static.flickr.com/20/71897779_1c71aa2c9d_b.jpg
http://static.flickr.com/20/71897778_59a142333b_b.jpg (notice the jerry-rigging I had to do...don't be sloppy!)
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