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Looking for a little power amp project (spoilt for choice on here)
Looking for a little power amp project (spoilt for choice on here)
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Old 12th September 2018, 05:22 PM   #1
Puggie is offline Puggie  United Kingdom
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Default Looking for a little power amp project (spoilt for choice on here)

Hi All

Looking for a bit of advice. I want to step up my diy audio game, I've done nothing for the past 10 years apart from a bit of car audio and stuff prebuilt boards in to enclosures on rare occasions (currently listening to an ebay TPA3116 board in an ebay DOUK aluminium enclosure).

So I'd like to build up something akin to the Sugden Bijou system:
RPi based streamer with Allo BOSS DAC (currntly running this into an old A&R A60)
DIY Stereo headphone amp or Sugden Headmaster if I can find one (3ip pre-amp)

I want to build a nice small footprint power amp, I'd quite like something small and class-a (no real logic to this decision so feel free to try and sway me)

I listen at home at low levels so I do not need reference level power, and my speakers are small mini monitors (troels Graavessen Seas w15 and fountek ribbons).

So there are the JLH amps, various Pass amps, Rod Elliots stuff etc etc, where on earth do you start? I want a foot print of 250x280mm (ish), im happy to build it quite tall (4-5U is no problem). This is what I'm building in the style of (hopefully):

Click the image to open in full size.

can anyone suggest a suitable start point for me. This will hopefully be a nice winter project.

Last edited by Puggie; 12th September 2018 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 12th September 2018, 06:50 PM   #2
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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Looking for a little power amp project (spoilt for choice on here)
I think the current ACA from Nelson Pass has to be a real contender if you want small and Class A. Its a modern tried and tested design. Using an SMPS overcomes any problems of ripple on the supply (as with conventional PSU's) although of course yoy can go down that route with the JLH.
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Old 12th September 2018, 08:06 PM   #3
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Looking for a little power amp project (spoilt for choice on here)
+1
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Old 12th September 2018, 09:02 PM   #4
wrenchone is offline wrenchone  United States
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Either ACA (easy with the kit) or Aleph Mini.
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Old 13th September 2018, 02:49 AM   #5
xrk971 is offline xrk971  United States
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Looking for a little power amp project (spoilt for choice on here)
Unless your Troels Graveson speakers are 91dB or more sensitive, an ACA is simply not enough power to satisfy. You might look at the Aksa Lender Pmos Hybrid Aleph (ALPHA) 20w version. Very simple to make (7 actives) and no adjustments of any kind. Sound is fantastic and needs no preamp as has 29dB gain. ACA is 14dB gain, so probably needs a preamp.

Aksa Lender P-mos Hybrid Aleph (ALPHA) Amplifier
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Old 13th September 2018, 03:00 AM   #6
Bare is offline Bare  Canada
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No substitutes
Build the Pass and... Never... look back

Surprised that you are happy with the TPA 3116 though.
I've experimented with a few of those boards. Crap sound is a Charitable descriptor IMO

Last edited by Bare; 13th September 2018 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 13th September 2018, 09:52 AM   #7
Puggie is offline Puggie  United Kingdom
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts:

The ACA looks interesting, I'm concerned 5w will not be enough, but its so simple looking and I like the use of SMPS, it strikes me as an intelligent design cutting all the right corners. So I might build one anyway if I can find a suitable heatsink kicking around, I know I have 19v laptop PSUs courtesy of the WEEE bin. Could make for a very cheap (mostly scavenged) amp for my desk at work.

My speakers are well into the 80s dB so despite not wanting a lot of power I think 10-15w would be needed rather than 5w. I'm not afraid of a more complex build, my assembly abilities are pretty good (I'm certified for space flight hardware assembly). I have a half built Greg Ball SKA150 somewhere, but not seen it since moving house. The ALPHA look interesting, I need a shortlist to properly go through the threads of each, a 280+ page thread is a bit daunting when you look and find at lease a dozen suitable candidates on here for builds to research.

Which Pass, there are so many, hence me asking on here
You assume I'm happy with the 3116, it makes a pleasant noise at my office desk, but I wouldn't use it at home (my old A&R A60 is nicer now I've re-capped it). This thread is about making something to properly eclipse both the TPA and A60 for my home listening. It has to be a properly WAF approved system, so no bare MDF speakers, no massive Krell KSA50 clones with exposed mains for the children to lick when I'm no looking, nothing that requires 4 different remotes to operate (pre-amp will be needed to switch between the RPi streamer and tv, and have control volume all off the existing samsung TV remote). I want something fairly compact, but quality hence I'm using the Sugden Bijou for inspiration, If I could fine their music master at sensible money I'd probably just buy one and I'm still considering the headmaster pre amp to run all this from (as it just uses a regular ALPS motor driven volume and simple relay source switching, all that control is on separate PCBs and ripe to be hacked into what I need).

My rough chassis design is looking like 0.4-0.45 deg c/W of cooling available per channel (250x150x40mm deep finned heatsink) Is this in the ball park for a 15-20w class A? looking at the ALPHA somewhere in the box of bits in the loft have an old Scythe ninja heatsink which would look cool hanging out of a build (its bloomin massive), not what I want to do here though.

thanks again for the thoughts, keep em coming.
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Old 13th September 2018, 10:17 AM   #8
jaycee is offline jaycee  United Kingdom
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Elliott's P3A is a good solid state amp. Using 35v supplies you wont have any power delivery issues.
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Old 13th September 2018, 12:48 PM   #9
Hikari1 is offline Hikari1  United States
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Your desires for small chassis and class a mean low wattage and low bias. Class a is all about bias and heat dissapation. Go with a bigger chassis.
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Old 13th September 2018, 08:07 PM   #10
huggygood is offline huggygood  France
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Looking for a little power amp project (spoilt for choice on here)
I know the whole jewel of sugden, I got it and I still have the CD player.
the chassis is entirely aluminum and very thermal conductor.
it lends itself perfectly to the assembly of a class A amplifier of 10/15 W with 2x1.5 / 2A of dissipation.
me, I would be you, I will not start a JLH69 as simple as possible with a good CRC power supply and the right components for the amp.
the best would still be a JLH in P2P.
or so but with a little more work, a No. 217 NRDS 2x30W from JM Plantefeve, the only amp I have been keeping for over 15 years in class AB with a big part of class A

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by huggygood; 13th September 2018 at 08:09 PM.
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