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Old 22nd December 2002, 12:43 AM   #1
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Default simple, cheap, great sounding tube amp?

Is the kit put out by S-5 about the only tube amp for under $200? Are there any possibilities for under $100? I am a younger DIYer... 17 now... and would like to build a good sounding tube amp for a pair of speakers that will be made in the future... I am still planning them out right now. They will be large, and have a sensitivity around 100dB 1W/1m, so a lot of power is not necessary at all. I have been looking at the S-5 kit for quite some time, but wonder if there is another option. Their "breadboard" is nice for organizational purposes, but really leaves me out in the dark when I want to make a great looking oak container for the amp. I would have to go around all its extra stuff, and I don't want to.

I recently found a local electronics store' they don't have tubes, but might have transformers. I don't know much about transformers either- they amp ratings, output power, etc. What do I look for?

Anyway, I appreciate your time reading this. If you can help me find a nice amp, I would appreciate it. Thanks
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Old 22nd December 2002, 01:00 AM   #2
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Default ALL IN ALL

Hi,

With all respect to your student status:

Quote:
Is the kit put out by S-5 about the only tube amp for under $200? Are there any possibilities for under $100?
200$ is as cheap as you can get with tubes.

I don't know wether this kit is worth it but somehow I'm a bit suspicious.

Any link to this?

Cheers,
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Old 22nd December 2002, 01:14 AM   #3
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http://www.tubeaudio.com/page23.html

I have seen some topics about this amp before... They seemed to find it pleasing to the ears.
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Old 22nd December 2002, 01:22 AM   #4
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Default IF YOU MUST....

hi,

Don't get fooled,total cost:

Quote:
or SAVE by buying both the Amp Kit & Chassis Kit together for Only $224.95 (+ $24.95 S&H )
I'm not judging here but I'm pretty sure that for that kind of money you can find a better amp on the seconhand market,or E-Bay??

Up to you,
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Old 22nd December 2002, 04:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: IF YOU MUST....

The S-5 is very similar to the ASL Wave 8 (PP 6BM8) which cost about $200 for a pr of monoblocs.

Cheaper yet, requires the finding, aquisition, and refurbishing of an old console amp* -- SE EL84s are very common. With some creativity an under $100 amp can be created that can be quite musical. Stereo tube reel-to-reels are also a good source (Roberts made some with SE 6BM8s).

* i call them pheonix amps (as in risen from the dead)

dave
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Old 22nd December 2002, 07:50 AM   #6
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Buy a working second hand amp such as a Dyna SCA35, or one of the similar Eico's, Fishers etc and refurbish it. There are a number of simple and cheap mods you can do to these that'll improve them quite a lot, such as bypassing the tone control section.

Or you could build a pair of these for about $US200 if you shop around for parts. Reports on AA from a couple of people who've built them is positive. The EL84/6BQ5/7189A family are really nice tubes.
www.triodeel.com/compact.html or
http://www.triodeel.com/dyna6bq5.gif

Iron both power and output, as well as PSU caps can be found on ebay for example. In the Xmas and period shortly thereafter, there are few buyers, and sellers are usually desperate to sell, so bargains are there to be had. This week I got a classic tonearm that I've wanted for years, for half the average reserve price, and almost nothing on my watchlist is getting bids.

Cheers
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Old 22nd December 2002, 08:25 PM   #7
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Default S-5 Tube amp

I have built the S-5 and it sounds very good. It is rated at 8 watts which drives decent speakers well.

The 6 watt amp that Brett points to will probably sound very good as well.

I got the S-5 for about $139 + s&s. Constructed it in a few hours. It is not pretty but functional.
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Old 22nd December 2002, 11:30 PM   #8
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Default DIY.

Hi,

When I was a student,one of the major assets of DIY was that you didn't have to have all the cash at hand.
You just bought whatever you could afford whenever you felt like it.

Even when it meant ending up paying 10 to 20% more it was a convenience I found attractive.

Eventually,I still find the idea attractive even today...

It gives me a choice.

Whenever I bought a kit,I found myself spending more money anyway...you want to improve on where the engineers behind it had cut corners.

Not to mention all the things you learn in the process of decision making...

Viva DIY,
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Old 23rd December 2002, 02:49 PM   #9
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I built an S-5 just for kicks and was supprised by how good it sounded. The general quality of the kit is OK. The transformers come trom Korea and I don't know much about them.

As supplied the amp sounds good. It's not a great amp. but with some improvements to the power supply it sounds quite nice with the speakers I've tried it with. I haven't done any measurements on it so I can't tell you much other than the one I have starts to clip signwaves around 9 watts as measured on a genrad power meter and Tek scope and has fair square wave response from about 150Hz. to 12kHz.

Later
Bruce
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