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Power supply recommendation for simple hybrid headphone amplifier
Power supply recommendation for simple hybrid headphone amplifier
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Old 31st May 2014, 08:25 PM   #1
DontHertzMe is offline DontHertzMe  South Africa
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Power supply recommendation for simple hybrid headphone amplifier
Default Power supply recommendation for simple hybrid headphone amplifier

Hi all

After success with a few DIY kits (without blowing anything up ), I've learned quite a lot and would like to move forward into actually making my own layouts. I'm slowly teaching myself Eagle (fun!), but this is all new territory for me and will very much be a learning process. I figure the best place to start is with a proper regulated power supply. Relatively simple, and useful for many later projects.

I currently spend most of my listening time using headphones, so I'll be building a few different amps of increasing complexity over time. I reckon I'll start with this one: NP-100v12: DIY 12AU7 (ECC82) Tube / IRF510 MOSFET Headphone Amplifier

Why? It's simple, cheap, well documented and I dig tubes. Sure, running the tube at 12V may not be the best, but what the heck . At least it reduces the risk of setting fire to stuff... Another big plus is there are gerbers / Eagle files available since I'm quite a ways off from turning the schematic into a board (I'll give that a try a little later on), and I can have one fabricated locally for lower expense.

Right, on to the power supply. I've heard the benefits of high-quality aftermarket supplies on a range of gear, and done a bunch of reading (both here on diyAudio and elsewhere such as the articles on TNT) on linear regulators, super regulators, spice simulations, etc, and my brain has turned to mush. Too much to take in all at this time.

My question is this - if I'm after a dead quiet, clean supply for this headphone amp, what should I be looking at? I'm quite happy to build something that is complete overkill at this point, as it would be great if I could adapt it for future projects, such as opamp or JFET/MOSFET headphone amps and possibly a phono stage and simple preamp.

I've seen plenty of adjustable LM317 and fixed-voltage (eg LM7812) variants. Is this the right track? Or should I be looking at transistor shunts or super regs? The latter 2 options are a little beyond my comfort levels in terms of conceptual and schematic complexity, but if the results are worth it I'll give my brain a kick.

What say you, o wise people of diyAudio?

PS, I'll undoubtedly have a lot more dumb questions later, so please be gentle...
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Old 2nd June 2014, 03:03 PM   #2
twest820 is offline twest820
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Someone who's worked with tubes more deeply than I have may know offhand. But the way I'd answer it would be to do noise simulations in Spice. If the output noise of a 317 or 7812 plus cap is lower than that of the tube circuit on an ideal supply then it's likely you'll see limited improvement from a quieter supply.

Most tube arrangements have a few dB of PSRR. So, in the case of an equally noisy the supply and amplifier, the supply noise is reduced by the PSRR and the amplifier's noise dominates. Diminishing returns set in from there.

For turnkey low noise regulators the TPS7A47 and TPS7A49xx tend to be popular around here.
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