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Old 12th April 2007, 11:42 PM   #1
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Default dynakit decware bottlehead ... which to pick

I am also trying to decide which kit to start with ...

What are the main differences in sound between the

Botthehead S.E.X.
Decware SE84CS
Dynakit ST-35
S5 Electronics K12-M (basic ... but we never know)
Angela SE EL-34
Norh SE-9 (not a kit)

and does vintage amp = presence of hum ?

The goal is to have a good match for the Fostex FE206E in one
of these cabinets

Decware HDT cabinet
Solo cabinet
Fostex 206 cabinet
Fostex 208 cabinet
.. so many designs to choose from

I guess all the combos are possible since the Fostex 206 is very sensitive and easy to drive (the price is good too )

My goal is to get the best sound with minimum investment. I expect it will cost me about $1000 for both and many hours of fun.

I have also been looking at many SET designs and I have a lot of difficulty knowing which is best. I think I will keep reading and learning about tube amplifiers for now.
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Old 13th April 2007, 01:57 AM   #2
jduffy is offline jduffy  United States
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Greetings.

I can only speak about the SEX amp. It was one of the first things that I've built. Paired it off with the Fostex FE103 that I've put in bookshelf enclosures. Very enjoyable.

The one thing I can say about the Bottlehead kits, it is so nice to have all the parts there for you ready to go. When you do a complete DIY and can be a struggle/fun to get all the stuff together, particularly if you're into that kind of thing.

Good luck with your decision, and I look forward to seeing other people's responses.
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Old 13th April 2007, 03:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: dynakit decware bottlehead ... which to pick

Quote:
Originally posted by lowtherdream
I am also trying to decide which kit to start with ...

What are the main differences in sound between the

Botthehead S.E.X.
Decware SE84CS
Dynakit ST-35
S5 Electronics K12-M (basic ... but we never know)
Angela SE EL-34
Norh SE-9 (not a kit)
These are all pretty different. The Bottlehead is a parafeed built with autoformer output transformers, the Decware is a single feed with the pentodes triode strapped (I think, I didn't look that closely), the Dynakit is a push-pull amp, the s5 is single ended, but uses the tubes as pentodes, the Norh looks like the Angela or the Decware is topology ... which is better depends on the application and is a matter of religious belief.

Another one to consider is Tubelab.com's SimpleSE -- halfway between a kit and a scratch build, and probably a bit cheaper than the others.

The bottlehead is probably the most easily upgradeable, this may be good or bad as there will be the temptation to replace the $10 output transformers with $300 ones, and the $3 parafeed caps with $80 ones. But, all can have the transformers replaced, or the various parts upgraded if you so choose.

If the goal is to have a low power tube amp, any will be fine. If the goal is to learn about amps, then the Angela (or tubelab's) would be my choice.

Quote:
Originally posted by lowtherdream
and does vintage amp = presence of hum ?
Shouldn't
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Old 13th April 2007, 05:28 AM   #4
rickl is offline rickl  United States
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Default El-Cheapo

Check out El-Cheapo on the decware.com forum. Seems like a pretty nice amp for little money.

rick
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Old 13th April 2007, 05:46 AM   #5
G is offline G  United States
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Default Re: dynakit decware bottlehead ... which to pick

Quote:
Originally posted by lowtherdream
I am also trying to decide which kit to start with ...

What are the main differences in sound between the

Botthehead S.E.X.
Decware SE84CS
Dynakit ST-35
S5 Electronics K12-M (basic ... but we never know)
Angela SE EL-34
Norh SE-9 (not a kit)

and does vintage amp = presence of hum ?

The goal is to have a good match for the Fostex FE206E in one
of these cabinets

Decware HDT cabinet
Solo cabinet
Fostex 206 cabinet
Fostex 208 cabinet
.. so many designs to choose from

I guess all the combos are possible since the Fostex 206 is very sensitive and easy to drive (the price is good too )

My goal is to get the best sound with minimum investment. I expect it will cost me about $1000 for both and many hours of fun.

I have also been looking at many SET designs and I have a lot of difficulty knowing which is best. I think I will keep reading and learning about tube amplifiers for now.
For a first build I would do the SEX thing. The Bottlehead forum is a great source of advice and support for the many questions you will have and the directions are clear and concise. Whatever you build make sure to have a meter and a digital camera with you and be careful.
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Old 13th April 2007, 06:48 AM   #6
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Location: Monroe Township, NJ
Somebody mentioned "El Cheapo". The schematic is here.

IMO (tooting my own horn), "El Cheapo" offers lots of bang for the buck. An advantage is that a preamp is not required. Also, power O/P is high enough for speakers with efficiencies in the mid 90s.

If the decision to build an "El Cheapo" is made, try to find the cash for a pair of DynaClone Z565 O/P trafos. Your ears will thank you.
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Old 13th April 2007, 12:51 PM   #7
Sherman is offline Sherman  United States
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Actually the S5 is push-pull, not single-ended. It makes about 8 watts per channel and given the small output transformers it has very good frequency response. There are many upgrades one can make (check Voltsecond's website) that make an enjoyable way to learn a bit more about how tube amps work.

Plus, most of the stuff you need is in the kit except an enclosure. S5 offers one designed for the kit at a reasonable price. It looks pretty good in the photos I've seen but I've not seen one in person. Bang for the buck it is hard to beat a virtually complete kit for well under $200.
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Old 13th April 2007, 02:43 PM   #8
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thanks for all the info.

I am gathering as much information as I can and I will decide in the next few weeks which direction I will take. I am sure it will not be the last amp I will build since I am curious by nature (unless a lethal zap! gets in the way)

I know the choice is all over the map but I am a young follower looking for guidance. I was wondering if these types of design have specific sonic signatures ?

As a reference I have been listening to a Sima PW-3000 integrated with PAradidm 5se speakers with various sources.

What got me into looking at tubes is a listening session of a DIY 2W tube amp with a set of Lowther drivers in a custom horn design. It was a marvellous experience that I will never forget.
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Old 14th April 2007, 03:26 AM   #9
jduffy is offline jduffy  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by lowtherdream
thanks for all the info.

I am gathering as much information as I can and I will decide in the next few weeks which direction I will take. I am sure it will not be the last amp I will build since I am curious by nature (unless a lethal zap! gets in the way)
Dude, I can almost guarantee you that if you build one, you'll build seven of 'em.

I started with the one amp, then another, and another, then a preamp, and now I'm working on a phono pre.

Be warned, you can't stop at just one!
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Old 14th April 2007, 03:43 AM   #10
Salas is offline Salas  Greece
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