Ebay Experience?

So I've decided to take the first step easy, since this will be the first amp I've put together myself. I'm going to get a transformer, case, wires, etc. plus a couple boards for a 3886 amp.

I've found some kits I will have to solder together, and some already-assembled kits on ebay. I'm worried about the quality of these products... some look good, some just give me a bad "vibe." Since most of the kits for sale on ebay are coming from china, I'm worried about possible counterfeit parts and/or poor quality in other areas.

So I'm asking those of you who have purchased these, what was your experience? Do you recommend any seller specifically? Ever found counterfeit or shoddy parts?

Thanks in advance.
Ive boughten a few Ebay kits and didn"t have problems with counterfeits in these kits but I did notice that some of the Parts were under spec"d , meaning instead of useing 1000uF or 2200uF Bypass caps like is generally recomended they came with 100uF or 220uF caps ......

Eventually I just ended up buying the PCB"s on E-bay and getting my own parts , I have most of the parts here anyways so it isn"t a problem for me but for a First kit you should be okay with an e-bay kit .....

Parts were under spec"d , meaning instead of useing 1000uF or 2200uF Bypass caps like is generally recomended they came with 100uF or 220uF caps ......


There are two different camps on this. I like to use 100uF at the lm3886 chips and 10000uF at the power supply. Some people like to use 1000 to 2200uF at the chips.

Neither is wrong ,it is a preference.
I can recommend LM3886 chpip amps amps like these...

I have bought several assembled chip amps from Ebay. I stick to the ones that do not have extra "stuff" apart from the amplifier circuit, e.g. no power supply, no protection circuitry, and one channel per board. These seem to pretty much follow the datasheet standard application circuit, so they should be pretty dependable. They are cheap (less than $30 for two), and there are not many critical components that can be scrimped on.

Here are a couple of examples:

The above boards can currently be purchased from sellers such as:
and others. Just do a search for "LM3886" in the category "Electronics > Home Audio > Amplifiers" and look for amps boards looking like the photo above.

I you also want a power supply board to go along with it, some sellers also package a PS board with two amps boards. These also seem to be a safe buy, at least the one I bought worked fine.

This is SO INEXPENSIVE, I don't see a reason to get much anything else unless you need much more power (e.g. over 100W in to 4 ohms). The LM3886 chip has been vetted well, and the design is simple. Unless you want to step up to one of Nelson Pass's F amps, the sound quality is good, better IMHO than Tripath amps. Not sure yet about TDA7293/TDA7294 amps, but I am evaluating those soon.

Don't forget, you must strap the chip down on a heat sink before using it!
Here is a place in the USA to get inexpensive heat sinks (shipping costs might vary):
Heatsinks - Medium, One Surface
or for good quality new heat sinks:
which are also sold on Ebay (seller ID: barrredboss).



2010-09-18 1:51 am
I usually do not buy "kits" per say, but rather just bare PCBs if I can find them. You are right. A lot of the times, the chips are fake, as well as some other pricey components. For example, if you see a board with 4x 2.2uF Wima MKP4, and it's selling for $10, you can predict that the Wimas are counterfeits because 4x Wima MKP4 alone would be over $12.

So if you can get bare boards, you are usually better off, as you can source the components from Mouser, Digikey, Farnell/Newark etc. The boards as others have said, are usually very good quality...usually better than most production boards that you'll find in commerical electronics.