• WARNING: Tube/Valve amplifiers use potentially LETHAL HIGH VOLTAGES.
    Building, troubleshooting and testing of these amplifiers should only be
    performed by someone who is thoroughly familiar with
    the safety precautions around high voltages.

Kits suggestions

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Many years ago I built several Heath Kits from the basic kit to the very advanced.

I am now looking into building a tube amp and pre-amp w/phono stage or a seperate phono stage. I don’t care to spend a great deal on such a kit but I would like a solid product.

Can anyone give me some suggestions on amp kits that you would recommend?

Has anyone looked into the DIY HI-FI Supply site at?

Lastly if aneone has listings of other DIY kit sitesI would appreciate getting that information.


Any Help would appreciated


Joseph Schmidt

Some Suggestions

I haven't heard the diyhifisupply kits, but I've seen many favorable mentions on the Audio Asylum, www.audioasylum.com. You might want to do a search there.

I'd also suggest you take a look at www.bottlehead.com. I've built a modded Foreplay, which I love. I haven't heard their amps, which are all low power SE designs -- I don't know whether that's what you're looking for vs. pentode/EL-34 -- but the enthusiasts at the bottlehead forum love them.

On the phono side, I've built and enjoy an Audio Electronic Supply PH-1. AES is the kit/parts arm of Cary and also has kit amps, which again I haven't heard.

Although perhaps out of your range, I also can't resist mentioning www.welbornelabs.com.

All of these are full kits. I'm basically a kit builder in the process of moving to diy (no scientific, much less electronics, background), so I've been looking for the simplest schematics I can find to go the next step. If you're willing to go that route, and can get by with 8W or so, the simplest design I've seen is the 300B amp at www.angela.com. The magazine Audio Express had what looked to be a pretty simple pentode design in a recent issue, I believe 12/01, which is also on my short list.

The other suggestion I have seen for those with some experience is to buy a used Dynaco or other classic kit amp and fix it up.

Hope this gives you some leads.

There's one other source for some DIY stuff that doesn't get mentioned very often. Audio by Van Alstine. They've got a few items in kit form and have a very nice preamp kit that has a phono stage and a headphone driver. Look for the PAS 4i SL kit. I put one together 2 years ago and feel that,at the price point (under $600),you would be hard pressed to find something better. I did make a couple of changes. I used different hookup wire,different tubes,and different rectifiers in the power supply. Very solid unit with a fairly balanced/neutral sound. This is a hybrid unit and uses the tubes for gain and high quality JFET IC's to buffer and drive headphones. It's not overly tubey or transistory sounding. Detailed quality of SS, mixed with naturalness of tubes. Stock tubes are 12AX7's. I've replaced them with 5751's.
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