Thoughts on ESP designs

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I've been looking at ESPs' website and wondering what the general consensus is on some of the designs. In particular I'm interested in project #3a 60-100 watt amp, #88 preamp and also the phono preamp (think it's #6). Are they well designed, do they sound good, are the pcb's good quality. Has anyone built any of these projects? Thanks for any help.


The suggestion I would like to give is what was given to me and many others, the best way to evaluate is to build it yourself. These designs are reasonably simple, Rod Elliott (who designs the PCBs) is very helpful should you run into problems with construction. His PCBs are inexpensive.

I am currently listening to P3A, P88 and P06 all together and I am very pleased with the results. Follow his guidelines and there should be no problems.

All the best

Mix and match

I'm inclined to look at a variety of designs and see what one likes and doesn't like. If you are willing to make small modifications, you can get closer to what suits you.

For example, the ESP amp you mention gets good mention but it does not have short circuit protection. If you are careful connecting your speakers that's not important, but you may want to add that otherwise.

Another example is amp designs by G.Randy Slone have a performance similar to ESP's but a much higher parts count. He includes a lot more protective cicuitry for one thing. He also seems to use pairs of polarity oppossed tantalum capacitors. (Maybe he just a a drawer full he wants to get rid of.) I'm working on one of his right now but substituting single non-polaraized film caps for his tantalum pairs mainly because I can't see a reason to have two parts where one will do.

My next project will be an ESP amp, but I'll add short circuit protection simply because I know I'm sometimes a klutz.

Summary, don't take anybody's design as gospel. Perfection is not possable. They all have a compromise somewhere.
Thanks for the responses. I've done searches on Rod Elliotts' designs before asking the question but didn't find too many specifics. Can anyone post pictures of there preamp or poweramp projects for ESP? I'd be very interested to see what has been made from these PCB's.

Ive just finished an ESP 300 watt amp, the boards are top quality, and the amp very easy to build and sounds really good. This was the first time I used one of his boards, usually make my own, and I was really impressed with the quality.
His amps also sound very good, I use the 60 watt ones (my own boards) for monitors in a band, and now am going to use the 300 for main sound. This amp is so quite you cannot hear it with no signal, really impressive!

I'm working in a 5.1 power amplifier.
Five P3A for front, center and surround and that 300W SW amplifier for the .1 channel.
If anyone want to know, the sound quality is simply the best I've ever heard from an amplifier using few components.

DiterD, don't forget to read Rod's comments about using the 300W amp continuosly. :att'n:

By the way, thanks to Rod Elliot and Nelson Pass for yhe great designs (each one has their own tipologies and knowledge).:wave:

Best Regards,

Pedro Martins
I'm very happy with the ESP3A. In fact, I'm about to order more boards to build one for my brother-in-law.
Sorry I don't have pictures, no digital camera handy. But the amp came up without any problems, construction was a breeze. Rod's construction notes (supplied when you buy boards) are excellent.
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