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My_Ref Fremen Edition GB (eight run - v1.6 boards)

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Joined 2005
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This run's boards will be almost like the ones from the 7th GB, apart a couple of small changes.

BOM is subject to small changes so it's safer to order parts only when I'll tell you.

There will be, for whom is afraid of SMD soldering, the option for boards with SMD parts already soldered for 45€ more per kit, including SMD parts.

Now the usual (updated) opener

The My_Ref Fremen Edition is a variation of Mauro Penasa's My_Ref with this goals:

  • a more stable and performing amp using SMD parts
  • raise LM318's PS voltage thanks to a voltage limiter
  • better PS for LM318
I've designed a brand new PCB with these features:

  • bigger caps (16mm diameter with both 7 and 5 mm pads) for C1, C2, C9
  • large use of SMD components
  • quite all small caps and some critical resistors are still through-hole
  • very small paths thanks to SMD
  • ground planes design
  • zener limiter based on schematic 5b from this link (which seems pretty similar to My_Evo one)
  • CCS shunt PS for the LM318
  • An alternate C9/R10 arrangement
  • Different grounding
  • Different compensation
  • a double diode bridge like in most gainclones
Both PCB and schematic have been tested organizing beta and release candidate mini group buys

I've been authorized by Mauro Penasa to proceed with this My_Ref derivate amp.


(Note: the module depicted doesn't use the latest BOM)

You can find references on development, beta and release candidate here:

My_Ref Fremen Edition - need help on PCB evaluation - diyAudio
My_Ref Fremen Edition - Beta build/Fine tuning - diyAudio
My_Ref Fremen Edition RC - Build thread - diyAudio
My_Ref Fremen Edition - Build Thread

KSTR's measurements on beta boards (final boards measured a tiny bit better but almost the same performance):

7th run boards measures even better (Measure by JosephK):


Distortion goes down ten times Vs. Beta (and previous) Boards

On my Google Drive you'll find:

Schematic (PS)
Build Tutorial

And a YouTube video on SMD soldering of FE modules.

Mouser shared projects (order 2, each project is for a SINGLE board):
Industrial BOM
Industrial BOM without SMD parts
Industrial BOM + Evo A Mod
Industrial BOM + Evo A Mod without SMD parts
On a budget BOM

Actual price will depend on number of partecipants/kits, the Group Buy is about PCBs only, with an option for SMD populated ones.

Approximate prices (one kit = 2 PCBs, PayPal fees and 1€/kit donation to DIY audio included):

10-14 kits 42€
15-19 kits 33€
20-24 kits 28€
25-29 kits 25€
30-39 kits 23€
40-50 kits 21€
100 or more 19€

Shipping prices will be (up to 2 kits, more than 2 will be calculated):

Italy 9€
Europe 13€
Rest of the world apart Oceania 16€
Oceania 17€

Sadly Italian postal service raised prices, 7th GB member paid old prices but prices changed just 2 days before I've shipped... :mad:

PCBs (circa 12 x 10.5 cm) will be blue, 2mm tick, 2 Oz/70um copper, gold plated, made in Italy.

One transformer 160VA-300VA will be needed for each board (monoblock design)

BOM cost is around 67€ per board (premium industrial BOM) which can be lowered to 53€ (On a budget BOM).

Build a complete amp (premium industrial BOM with case, connectors, cabling, transformers etc.) will cost around 450€ and up.

If interested please PM me your PayPal associated email address and fill your nickname, country (2 letter code) and number of kits on the Google Spreadsheet (please leave blank the 'PP account sent' column, I'll fill it so you have a feedback that I've received your data)

March, 27 price will be fixed and I'll start sending PayPal Invoices, all payments are due by April, 3.

Until PCB order from manifaturer is done it will be possible to partecipate to the GB

Boards will be ordered by April, 4 and should be in my hands in 15-20 days, then packaged and shipped in a week or so.

Mauro Penasa for his great design and kind permission
LinuxGuru for his help on new compensation
Luka for the LM318 PS initial design
KSTR for the new C9, R10 arrangement.
Soongsc, Marce, Sebaastian, KSTR and Metal for help on PCB design
BMCBob for all support, tests and reviews
JosephK for his measurements and advice on further reducing distortion.

Images of boards from the 7th GB:

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