Post your Solid State pics here.

Hi all, been reading posts on here for a few years on and off as I've considered building some electronics... about 2 years ago I finished my power amp based on Project 101 by Rod Elliott. Currently working on a pre-amp to go with it that's based on Doug Self's circuits, I'll post photos later if anyone is interested. Any questions or suggestions fire away!
In my humble with limited experience and opinion WORLD-CLASS:oops:
Welcome back to the forum, Nico!!

I hope you are getting better with every day......

The going was very tough Mate, it still is, but slowly starting to do things for myself again. I was a whine baby at times and Di probably silently . It all happened during a move to a nice little flat in the countryside to retire peacefully. Three week later got pharos foot. Di , doctored it as well as she could. I don't believe any doctors any more in this country, they all useless. Anyone worth half his salt now sitting DownUnder. At the moment we now both hate this place for obvious reasons, got my wallet dented seriously because there is no decent care..... I will stop bitching. Thanks, Hugh, the lighter side of your character was always refreshing and inspiring. I do not have a 1/1000th of your vocabulary, but trust you got my drift. There is a short and long version, but please don't make me do it, you will hang yourself.
In my humble with limited experience and opinion WORLD-CLASS:oops:
Forgot all the other names that actually has an impact, sorry guys, I apologize. I have no idea how the new site works, will take a while. Why has nobody have names any more, what's wrong with you guys, scared you are caught out by a personal buddy and made a fool of?o_O


2018-12-22 11:45 am
Lovely hand machined face. Have you thought of how to satin brush it? You can sand blast and the use etching fluid to eat the rough out of it. It would seem that you have a separate regulator for everything. Impressive. The chassis is nicely lay out and symmetrical. Never hear of that pre-amp module, could be interesting since all connectors and mounted on in and obviously floating from the chassis. The earth bar is nice but since you spent so much, it could have been solid copper "very high end :cry:". Carefully looked over your solder joints, I could see, and your soldering skills are great. Wondered why there was a floating screen, did you find a ground loop? Beautiful choice of knobs, resembles those of an old Luxman , try to get a similar finish on the fascia. Remember a little felt washer under the knobs, it would be very professional and smooth operating, as well as hide any flaws in the holes that might be visible. I have build and designed literally thousands of amp prototypes in my lifetime, and your work is "world-class". You are moving rapidly to the work of Bonzai, one of my favourite designers, ranking with and even exceeding Nelson Pass. In many cases, both aesthetically, functionally and quality. He could give you many hints (I won't name-drop just in case he objects. I have been here only today after almost 2 years of absence. I trust that it sounds as good to you as you wanted it, with the sound signature you desired. Have a great life! Divulging specs is totally unimportant, it has nothing to do with sound signature, stuff with perfect specs normally sound terrible and only appeal to the owner, design to a basic spec, measure and listen a lot. You may alter any sound and the final product would be exactly to your sonic expectation, bragging rights is only for the audiophile idiots not for true Listers and music lovers. If you have ever seen what happens in a recording studio, it makes you wonder how you could ever have listened to some crap available. Having to then only buy audiophile recordings is expensive and wasteful. Actually, having a too revealing amp could make all your super loved tracks sound like crap, then you have to mess around with all kinds of brands of headphone/speakers to try and correct it to be listenable and half enjoyable "more unnecessary expense". Room treatment is a total waste of money - tone controls are absolutely necessary as you have included in your design. Kindly drop a sample of your library recorded directly from your amp on the forum. I would love to hear it through one of my systems. Sorry, I forgot Mooley, and excellent resource and vault of knowledge, practical and theoretical - mostly spot on with his comments and extremely helpful, always good to refer to his posts. I will not pay too much attention to the young mavericks on the forum, reason why I lost total interest besides they mostly try and tear your design that sounds magnificent to you apart and super annoying, try not to post any detail on the forum, I would recommend direct mail to Mooly or Bonzai. Avoid the PASS forum, there are one or two know it alls that could really annoy you. This product you designed IS for your pleasure, no one else.
Thankyou for the kind words Nico, they are appreciated, although I don't consider my design to be world class by any means :) This is the first pre and power amp I have built. I'm sure there are things I could have done better, things that I have 'over-engineered' with unnecessary expense, things I have overlooked but I have enjoyed the process (and continue to do so, as the preamp is not complete).

I'll try to answer some of your questions.

I still need to decide on the finish of the preamplifier front panel. The power amplifier is black anodised but I'm going to change it as it looks dull. Obviously the preamp front panel will match it once I've figured things out.

Regarding the preamplifier, the design is based on circuitry by Doug Self that was described over 3 issues of Elektor magazine in 2012. I didn't buy the PCBs that were available for the project but instead designed my own, which allowed me to incorporate the modifications I desired. This included more advanced bass and treble controls (which allow control of the turnover frequencies as well as the bass and treble levels). I added a headphone amplifier and also made provision for the relay attenuator boards which fit vertically in slots provided in the PCB.

The 'earth bar' if I understand correctly is actually an aluminium upright section to which linear regulators are attached for the power supplies of the 'control' part of the preamp, a microcontroller is being used for controlling the relays, switches etc. The cables going to the relays are screened, maybe overkill but I didn't want electrical noise from the microcontroller to disturb the analogue circuitry. I was temporarily using the aluminium to ground the cable screens. The cable screens are now attached elsewhere (the preamp is still being designed and the photo is a few weeks old). The analogue circuitry itself is grounded at a star point near to the output of the linear regulators on the PCB, near to the central copper box that is screening the MM/MC phono stage.

Given that I had never heard the Elektor preamplifier, and I spent a considerable amount of time and money before connecting my PCB to a bench power supply and my power amplifier, I was nervous as it started playing music! I was glad to hear that it had been worth the time and effort. I have some revealing DIY speakers (they can be seen here which will soon tell you if something isn't right and I'm glad to say that I'm happy with the sound. To my ears it is transparent enough to enjoy the details in the music, and it is easy to hear the difference between good recordings and bad, but I haven't played anything yet that is simply unpleasant to listen to. I had an integrated amplifier in the past that was perhaps a bit more transparent in the mid range, and sounded a little 'forward', but this 'forward' sound had drawbacks with some recordings. I also prefer the bass and treble extension of my pre/power amp combination.

Thankyou for the advice. I will try to make some recordings once the preamplifier is complete. I'll post more photos too.
I commend your first attempts - I have seen many excellent examples of some DIY stuff in the forum some excellent self designed cases and the like, many use off the shelf, very beautiful Chinese chassis, some lay excellent PCBs etc, but these are not necessarily world-class as even though they are aesthetically beautiful. What I meant by world-class may be misleading a little, but it is about your ideas, the looks, what I assume it feels like, nothing stamped or auto folded, looks like a production engineer's attempt in a large multinational audio company.

Not an over the wall design. The engineers do some fancy CAD drawings and circuits simulations and e-mail it to production with the hope that they can make his/her design and the production, PCB artists, pulling their hair out with all the interconnects etc. Even my designs are more or less overboard and simulated 100s of times looking at absolute zero distortion, super hi-fi specs, over designed transformer all kinds of audiophile nonsense before building it. I painstakingly follow the rules from employees in the past of whom are professional industrial and test engineers, production engineers and the like, so I have a reasonable eye what to look for and anything I say is not really derogatory in any way, and not necessarily that I have done it, have a note from my doctor, and bought the T-shirt and the reason I'm posting on the forum suddenly, but I have been converted. Some people don't deserve to drop subjective jargon that they themselves don't understand, or that some audio reviewers do on YouTube.
However, I am so sorry that I did not name all those I believe falls in this world-class bracket, only those I remembered, (terrible things happened) then tried to look up and found a totally different naming convention than what I was used to on the old website.

I apologise to each one of them knowingly some of them are really experienced, not necessarily qualified, but super experienced in their lifetime passion and tinkering in this industry, whether they are retirees, plumbers, English teachers, electricians, dentists, sailors, whatever their profession! I know of some that I would swear were electronic R&D engineering professionals, (okay there are quite a few here like Andrew) that I know, seen his products, not simulating them ever, (just knocked them up on the proverbial pegboard like Carlos did) more interested whether his characteristic sound signature is similar to mine. Or like Hugh, who is a knowledgeable audiophile who turned his hobby into business and does some amusing stuff which looked totally illogical, simulated in ways that I have never seen, but when I built one of his samples that he often e-mailed me and found specs are not necessarily what one drives for to be enjoyable to most humans, unless you know how to listen, was born with pure tone recognition grew up on a farm never being corrupted by reality or subjectivity, knew when to run or relax, was through a few wars in action, etc, etc. Then only will you care about what spec really matters and give you the greatest listening pleasure. That is world-class. I know I did Nelson an a very unfair injustice yesterday.
I know his product pretty well it is extraordinarily simplistic compared to some of the largest audiophile manufacturers in the world, but fabricated with PASSION, years of experience and now probably one of the most sought after audio brands worldwide, (at least in the USA), but nevertheless there are a percentage of some 400 million people in his country that crave his stuff, he got about everything right regarding sound signature (or how he interoperates what is real). He and his partner are not world-class, they are wizards in the highest audiophile communities, no mistakes about that. Some of his patents are profoundly ingenious. He has an absolute pure tone, mine changed with age, but I remember some of it. Don't feel overly excited about my comment of you, maybe I should have said the beginnings of a world-class individual.

Every designer worth his salt is someone who knows what he likes, not particularly whether a drum sounds like a real drum due to his super musical knowledge or being (Bach or Beethoven who never even heard some of their own composition tested a schematic).or superpower, it is purely the fact that he knows what to listen out for and eventually gets his house sound absolutely right, people start noticing it and no sooner he becomes a guru. Nelson has it, Paul has it, MacIntosh had it, but now became a household brand overly expensive and too technologically advanced, they used to have the sound that mattered. Harman builds exotic and custom testgear in anechoic chambers and has engineering and scientific stuff, that labs drool over, owned by multinationals, just a brand, their past actually brought them here not their future. Pioneer, Sansui, Yamaha, Technics, you can just see the popularity and aesthetics of the 70 and early 80s, the early models SA9100 was designed by I have no idea. Their past did not do them justice, they all became just stuff. I can go on forever, just know your passion if you are lucky can bring you either fortune or misfortune. Have a lovely life and enjoy what you are doing never have anyone tell you what you should like or dislike, every room, ear brain sensor you have is subjective, there is nothing objective until you know what you want and achieved it! I hope this is not too long-winded and I sound like a know-it-all.

This is my subjective opinion and why I love music, it was when the equipment became less of an obsession and more entertaining, I don't find fault or look down upon anyone, although I have so in the past and apologise to anyone on the forum form that, lived performance, but suddenly stopped chasing a life like experience, everything is false, and it starts with the artist can he actually perform or was it autotuned to more or less sound like the song (marketing can make a quick buck from being handsome).

However.the in te 60s and 70s the Rollingstone were the uggliest people from any horror movie they made music, there existed no DSP everything done by ear), now equipment does everything automatuically it, how the recording engineer recorded it, what effects the mastering engineer added to make it appeal and being trendy or popular just listen, everything sounds the same, do you know that every mixing desk has almost the same sound generator chip and that is not a real instrument. What is computer generated and what is real, were there real artists involved do you hear a mistake, who is the beat giver, the bass guitarist or the drummer or the slightly mistuned instrument or people playing real instruments through perfectly specified equipment, on instruments that you personally have, blah, blah. Nothing is as it seems, a theory remains a theory until proven, is there a god, who's god....... believe your own ears to enjoy what you hear and when you do stop tinkering with what you have, it becomes an obsession and you stop listening to music and only hearing flaws in equipment that is your subjective bias anyway, this is not sciencem this is for enjoyment. Don't brag to friends, they may be agreeable but may think what **** sounding system you have. Don't tell anyone you designed something and look for approval, you will be offended.

If you really want to know that your system sounds accurate, sit your wife, baby or whatever at a one speakers position in your lounge and with a good digital recorder and microphone let her tell you something really boring and note your reaction. One day in the future, play this file back in the same room, furniture placement ornaments and pictures with no ******** DSP or professional room treatment or gimmicks and crap. Listen yo on your "shitty hi-fi" of unknown origin and zero specification. After listening to it see how you feel. Was it the same place time temperature whatever do you know who spoke to you? Do a practical evaluation, no ABC listening test or all the audiophile crap you have ever heard or read. If it is the same, then you know your system is perfect. You don't have to crawl around the floor getting a subwoofer placement correct, you have no real reference to sub frequencies anyway, what is the point, what does 20KHz have to offer your not a bat just to be an audiopjile.

You never have to do an upgrade change of dubious Chinese brand, don't care about what DAC you used, what format it plays can you measure or even hear what 20% distortion sounds like. The brain is the most wonderful DSP you can get, nothing else. Any idea why your dog responds to any specific sound you make, you are speaking in a very complex and foreign language, but he recognizes and responds to a command in the same environment you subjectively think your hi-fi sound crap or good or to some reference that is natural, pure or whatever. To this creature that has no command over speech only sound, why he does not respond in the way to each command differently, try squeaking the same command though your DSP corrected or acoustically treated room and see how differently he responds, or think it is closer to the real thing, no chance. In the engineering world, a DAC is a device you want a specific number out of for a specific input stimulus, not a guess. They have a specification to meet.

These audiophile DACs have been tampered with to give them some sort of sound that is pleasing, I know scientists who painstakingly measured DACs and if it does not meet the exacting requirement the company who designed it will never make a DAC again no matter how renowned they are MOTOROLA, ON Semi,.... stacking DACs one on top of each other averaging outputs have some weird pass filters that you can hardly hear if at all and one theory is better than another and one brand of equipment sounds better than another. Now I am getting into dangerous audiophile territory, and better stop before being reprimanded by a moderator. My best wishes to the community here, you are and always were wonderful, and of great enjoyment and even in terrible health I find myself in lately, I will always cherish reading stuff here and now and again voice my subjective opinion, good health to everyone!
here's my Power Amp under construction


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Hi all, been reading posts on here for a few years on and off as I've considered building some electronics... about 2 years ago I finished my power amp based on Project 101 by Rod Elliott. Currently working on a pre-amp to go with it that's based on Doug Self's circuits, I'll post photos later if anyone is interested. Any questions or suggestions fire away!
Absolutely. I tried my best to set a reminder, instead I made it a bookmark, so I can check being curious about his findings if ever I experience something similar,I cannot remember the member's name I think he was Gokhan Nalbant, became an almost everyday e-mail buddy very active in DIY and founder of Turkey DIY, my short term memory becoming limited and his close friend Orzoy, who built and tested almost every thing I suggested just to ensure Gokhan does not provide the correct info to his club.

Another, I recall was a physicist and scientist in real life And he impressed me with his quick understanding and ability to make a practical and very valid commercial type of decision to the benefit of everyone here. He had resources at the university and home, only an electronic/physicist or major institution had. We hated each of each other, I often annoyed the **** out of him at times when he wanted to influence others with his highly accurate statements. He was one of Hughs friends who corrected me buy e-mail and Hugh and I became greatest of friends personally, he typically ran some of his design and PCBs past me before releasing his latest product, knowing I won't divulge any of his ideas with no NDA in place, which I frequently disguised as a new product for our company and ran a our latest projects past test engineers to establish how practical and commercially practical his design and commercially feasibly his Maya and Soroia was, I started to trust his designs and weird ideas in his feedback as bull but later tested them and found it changing sonic characteristic very pleasantly in unusual ways and very nice sounding equipment hardly giving him the praise he deserves. Nothing I could find in any of my textbooks regarding NFB as if I had very sophisticated analytical instrument and background some since being a design engineer at HP analysis division where I learn many things from real scientists like Berny Bernato and Siegfried Linkwitz RIP who was noted co-inventor of the Linkwitz–Riley filter along with Russ Riley both HP analysis, one of the biggest companies in the world at the time making the "world standard" analytical and test and measurement equipment in the world. They typically took some 15 years to develop the HP 8510, the best network analyser for its time with pico second resolution and no DAC chips in it with accuracies of fractions of percentages. Many super smart members here that designed IC at world renowned facilities listen to what they preach, they design for super linearity. They actually forgot what you discovered and think revolutionary. They are not subjectivists, they work for or even owned some large design facilities. Many esoteric audio companies have been started as small kitchen table o
the members and I think subjectively was a professional PCB artist, And he impressed me with his quick understanding and ability to make a practical and very valid commercial type of decision to the benefit of everyone here. I had some super qualified university professor at Hungary top university communicating almost daily with me privately having super debates and fun discussions issues

I followed his reasoning with genuine professional interest. Hugh reprimanded me not to be so hard on him he is most intelligent, I am so sorry for being a total jerk at times. I was happy to share any of my 50 years + but loved real design reviews and debates which sometimes make other doubted my integrity.
Hugh, you have been a true friend for almost a decade, at a time we mailed each other almost daily, it was great. I know your predicament and hope things are well from reading your posts, and lost none of that fantastic vocabulary that I so admired. There is no need for secrets Mate, I just never want enemies again, you know well how it went sometimes. You know how my views have changed, and I always appreciated what you sent me to glance over and hope never was a clever dick. Loved the times when some local DIY contacted me for a transformer after buying an AKSA kit, and when necessary had the company design and built it specially to his audio spec. I truly admired you, your efforts and experience. Love to send you a pic, but can't afford or care about, I am so sorry. Broke ties with everyone (including closets family) for the sake of not explaining or having to tell how I am. Di, is and was always remarkable, I never thought I would overcome it. She ran and cleaned up after me 24/7, I never even knew how supportive of me she was, not even after the 49 years of being married to her! I retired just before covert. Moved to a place we thought was stunning, now hate it. Vowed I will never argue with anyone again, and complimented only if absolutely deserving. I was fanatical and designed incredibly sophisticated amps costing me thousands and took years. I have sought your ears for many years, knowing you. I thank you forever for being my Mate. "Godspeed", and you know exactly how I feel about this saying. You have always inspired me through the years, keeping my interest alive. I now have zero equipment, nothing, gave me any pleasure and passed it to anyone that showed an interest while moving. Believe me I have now two little EDIFIER Bluetooth speakers on my desk, I know immediately what you are thinking, yes they sound crap, but who the F--- cares. I will support anyone who wants to buy or own one, if he/she is really serious. I replaced my very fast PC for the smallest, slowest junk with the crappiest sound card. Furthermore, I have been converted totally and appreciate where I have been and what I have done before. I was angry at anything and everything, even the system that took me years to perfect, and just dumped it. I once advertised on the forum for my drivers, got zero response, and just gave it to the movers to keep or throw away. I am slowly returning to life and started reading posts for my own entertainment. Suddenly got interested yesterday - almost wrote a book to the member, so what. Thanks, Hugh, you are a lifesaver! I gave my 750i to my next-door neighbour when I moved out, now I wish I could have an automatic back, We kept Di's little Golf, but hey I cannot drive.... blah blah blah. My old war buddies all dead, missed my annual visits to Magdeburg to see my ex Statsi friend. Money is falling through my pockets, you know exactly what I mean.