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Old 16th August 2006, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Power amp kit for a complete newbie

[Since this is my first post at this forum a big HELLO to all]

Hello all,

While I did search the forums before posting I found nothing describing exactly what I'm after:

What I'm looking is high power (100 W or so) amp kit for a complete newbie i.e. someone with an engineer degree but with 0 DIY experience and armed only with a soldering iron and a multimeter.

What I'm looking after is a kit readily available, popular/very good support (in order to easily bombard others with questions...), good (ideally great !) sounding and not too expensive (<$500, well maybe <$1000 if it really is smth special).

I am well aware that this may be well over the top for a "first timer" but I had to ask

One a more serious note: While the kit should ideally be tube-based (hence the posting in this forum) most probably a solid-state kit should be a more sane (and safe..) alternative. Suggestions for such are more than welcome.

TIA for suggestions,

Florian
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Old 16th August 2006, 04:28 PM   #2
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Hello! I am a newby too, but I have one amp under my belt.

Are you looking for guitar, or Hi-fi? because the amount of power you need will vary greatly depending on wich you are looking to create.

Guitar players need alot more power than us Hi-Fi ers. 100w is alot for a newby, but I think I have a solution for you, it you take a look at DIY paradise, at the simple EL84 intergrated amplifier.

http://www.diyparadise.com/simpleel84.html

This amplfier should produce a solid 10wpc, however it will produce a good 35-40 WPC if you replace the EL84s with its cousin the EL34. There are a few adjustments that must be made to accomidate this change, the B+ Voltage must be increased to something around 400v, and you need a more robust CCS.

I am currently planning on building this amplifier as soon as I finish my EL34 SE amp completely.

Welcome to the Wolrd of DIY audio!

-Alex
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Old 16th August 2006, 04:36 PM   #3
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Check out Velleman, they make several kit amplifiers that might fit the bill. http://www.velleman.be/country.php

The new dynakit company may have something of interest if you can live with less power say 35W per channel. http://www.dynakitparts.com/

If you are looking for guitar amplifiers try http://www.stf-electronics.com/ or http://www.torresengineering.com/maktubam.html

Many kits here : http://www.tubedepot.com/tubeampkits.html both guitar and hifi.

Note that a 100W tube amp kit whether guitar or hifi is going to be costly.

Most amps mentioned above are available for 230V as well as 120V

There is lots of stuff on the web, just google for it.
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Old 16th August 2006, 09:18 PM   #4
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Kevin,

First and foremost, many thanks for the links.

Yes, I am looking for a Hi-Fi amplifier -- I want to drive my 88 db/W/m Gallo Reference 3 speakers with a bit more power than my 70W EAR 890

I was not aware of the Velleman kits. They look nice, seem to be readily available here in Europe and do fit the bill -- especially the KT88-based and the MOSFET-based kits. Any idea how they sound ? Dedicated resources (e.g. forums) for them ?

Thanks again,

Florian

P.S. I did google for power amp kits but I wanted to get first hand advice from experienced DIYers.
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Old 16th August 2006, 10:04 PM   #5
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Hi Florian,
IMHO Upgrading from a 70W amp to a 100W amplifier probably isn't going to make a worthwhile difference for the money spent. This would result in a 1.5dB increase in spls. The least power required to be worthwhile would be at least 3 dB or 140W per channel, really 200W would be better, and here you are talking solid state territory unless you have a lot more money to spend.

The Gallo Reference 3 apparently isn't terribly efficient and you would certainly get much more bang for the bucks trading them for something more efficient. A 6dB more efficient speaker (94dBspl) with the EAR amplifier would be equivalent to a 280Wpc amp with the Gallo.
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Old 16th August 2006, 11:53 PM   #6
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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IMHO I suspect the EAR amplifier is better than any of the kit amps I recommended. I have heard the Velleman 80W monoblock in the distant past, good but not exceptional.
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Old 21st August 2006, 01:38 AM   #7
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Kevin,

You are absolutely right in all respects. However, the only high efficient speaker I would consider costs 4 times as much as my Gallos (!!!).

I would not keep my hopes so high so as to build a first time kit that sounds better than my EAR. The reason I'm doing it is first and foremost for the DIY kick of it

For the record I think I will go for one of the Velleman kits. I'm not sure yet if it's going to be the K8010 or the K4040, but it will be one of those two.

Thanks again,

Florian
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