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Amp Camp Amp Kit V1.6
Amp Camp Amp Kit V1.6
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Old 23rd February 2019, 02:29 PM   #461
garyalex is offline garyalex
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: NYC
Quote:
Originally Posted by poseidonsvoice View Post
Hi,

Late to the game as usual. Thanks to Alan for sleuthing through this one, he is being so gracious with his time and efforts!

Gary,

Looking through your pictures, I am wondering if you made sure that the black binding posts (like the red binding posts) also has a black plastic insulating spacer? It's unclear in the pictures due to the black on black contrast with the back panel. If there isn't an insulating spacer, then your speaker output signal will be shorted.

Hope you get it resolved! If you are in the U.S., I'll be happy to take a look, clean up/resolder the boards, etc...in exchange for shipping costs. But that wouldn't be very instructional for you and one of the goals here with the ACA kit is to make it a learning/iterative process.

Best,
Anand.
Hi Anand,

Thanks much for the response. I do want to try again to get this working. My goal in doing this build is less to have another amp than it is to learn more about how these devices work. I do appreciate your offer. Also, I did install the spacers as shown in the build guide.

Best,

Gary
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Old 23rd February 2019, 03:37 PM   #462
FogAudio is online now FogAudio
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Join Date: May 2012
I just wanted to send an update out on my 3 ACAs. I tested the amps again wired for bridged mono (RCA connected with switch flipped). The amps are definitely getting a good amount of gain now with my Marantz 7703 preamp. I also reran Audacity to make sure levels and any frequency dips in my setup were compensated properly.

I also tested in parallel mono but in that mode I didn't get the gain that I needed through my 3 custom Vapor Audio Stiff Breeze speakers. In bridged mono, I have been able to play my system and hear them at a decent volume - even enough volume to annoy my wife a bit (which means they are loud enough to back off and have a little bit of headroom available!).

One thing cool I found was this ADA Fruit IoT Relay that may be used to send a 12V DC voltage from my Marantz 7703 to automatically turn on the power to my 3 ACAs. It works perfectly to turn on the amps automatically when the Marantz powers on!


Anyway despite the fact that the ACAs are working pretty well now, I think as a theater system amps I still think they are a bit under-powered. I am going to keep them in my system for listening to audio for now (but would sell them if someone is interested), as I have been loving listening to Nick Drake and Mark Knopfler and my other favorites through these. But, for theater use I am going to try building 3 monoblock Class D amps (based on 3eaudio's TI amps recent group buy). Part of my rationale for this, is that I have another issue with the ACAs now, which is in an enclosed rack cabinet, they are getting a little bit too warm! They are fine if I leave the cabinet door open though.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 11:20 PM   #463
poseidonsvoice is offline poseidonsvoice  United States
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: North Carolina
Amp Camp Amp Kit V1.6
Gary,

What is your source? Are you using the RCA inputs? If you flip the L/R RCA cables from your source does the faulty channel flip too?

Also...the center pin of your red RCA looks very suspicious. There seems to be a lot of black carbonized gunk. Can you clean it up with some isopropyl alcohol and resolder? If you havenít already please consider a Flux Removal spray. I use Chemtronics brand:

Chemtronics - ES1696 - Cleaner; Flux-Off No Clean Plus; Solvent cleaner; 12 oz. aerosol - Allied Electronics & Automation

Then I use Kimwipes:

MG Chemicals - 830-34133 - KIMWIPES DELICATE TASK WIPERS--Single Ply; 11.8x11.8in - Allied Electronics & Automation

Also consider purchasing some liquid flux. It really helps solder to flow into the joints. I use this:

GC Electronics - 10-4202 - Solder; 2 Oz.; Liquid - Allied Electronics & Automation

You can probably find cheaper alternatives or other online retailers.

Best,
Anand.
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Old 2nd March 2019, 07:29 PM   #464
garyalex is offline garyalex
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: NYC
Quote:
Originally Posted by poseidonsvoice View Post
Gary,

What is your source? Are you using the RCA inputs? If you flip the L/R RCA cables from your source does the faulty channel flip too?

Also...the center pin of your red RCA looks very suspicious. There seems to be a lot of black carbonized gunk. Can you clean it up with some isopropyl alcohol and resolder? If you haven’t already please consider a Flux Removal spray. I use Chemtronics brand:

Chemtronics - ES1696 - Cleaner; Flux-Off No Clean Plus; Solvent cleaner; 12 oz. aerosol - Allied Electronics & Automation

Then I use Kimwipes:

MG Chemicals - 830-34133 - KIMWIPES DELICATE TASK WIPERS--Single Ply; 11.8x11.8in - Allied Electronics & Automation

Also consider purchasing some liquid flux. It really helps solder to flow into the joints. I use this:

GC Electronics - 10-4202 - Solder; 2 Oz.; Liquid - Allied Electronics & Automation

You can probably find cheaper alternatives or other online retailers.

Best,
Anand.
Hi Anand,

I was getting a little frustrated at my inability to get the ACA working, so I decided to take a break for a while. I took another look yesterday. I got it working. I'd reflowed all the soldering I'd done but still no audio output in the right channel. I decided to completely rebuild the right input, this time using less solder than previously. That did it. This amp is really amazing. I'm a tube guy but I really like what I'm hearing. Thanks very much for your help. It was your suggestion that got me to take a closer look at the ACA. You were absolutely right.

Gary
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Old 3rd March 2019, 08:31 PM   #465
poseidonsvoice is offline poseidonsvoice  United States
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Location: North Carolina
Amp Camp Amp Kit V1.6
Quote:
Originally Posted by garyalex View Post
Hi Anand,

I was getting a little frustrated at my inability to get the ACA working, so I decided to take a break for a while. I took another look yesterday. I got it working. I'd reflowed all the soldering I'd done but still no audio output in the right channel. I decided to completely rebuild the right input, this time using less solder than previously. That did it. This amp is really amazing. I'm a tube guy but I really like what I'm hearing. Thanks very much for your help. It was your suggestion that got me to take a closer look at the RCA. You were absolutely right.

Gary
Gary!

Thatís awesome!

See one. Do one. TEACH one!

Enjoy!

Anand.
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Old 4th March 2019, 01:13 AM   #466
6L6 is offline 6L6  United States
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Denver, Colorado
Amp Camp Amp Kit V1.6
Gary - Fantastic news! Congratulations on your success, and enjoy the amp!









...




So...




What's next to build? Nobody ever builds just one project.




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Old 4th March 2019, 05:56 PM   #467
garyalex is offline garyalex
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: NYC
Hi Jim,

Thanks for the response. This forum is amazingly helpful and supportive. It's a very different experience than the audiophile forums I typically frequent. It's really refreshing.

I have to say that I'm stunned at how good this amp sounds. It's actually replaced the Cary Audio hybrid amp I was using. How can that be? I've heard Pass Labs gear many times at audio shows but the First Watt stuff is new to me. I know it's only been a few days but at this point I'm certain this is a sound and technology I want to pursue. I am looking for new amplification for my 91db efficient speakers. I live in a typically small NYC apartment so high volumes with lots of power aren't required.

What I'd like is a Class A amp delivering somewhere around 25 watts into 8 ohms. As good as the ACA is it's a little under powered for my speakers. I've thought about building another and using them in bridged mono mode but I'd prefer one stereo box. I know I may not be ready for a more challenging kit but I'd really love to build another amp. I'm going to do more soldering practice while I wait. Any suggestions for a new project?

Best,

Gary
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Old 4th March 2019, 06:03 PM   #468
wcwc is offline wcwc  United States
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Join Date: Oct 2011
M2X
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Old 4th March 2019, 07:33 PM   #469
aljordan is offline aljordan  United States
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Join Date: May 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by wcwc View Post
M2X
I second that. The M2 is my favorite amp in my long history of being an audio nut.
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Old 4th March 2019, 07:44 PM   #470
garyalex is offline garyalex
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: NYC
Quote:
Originally Posted by aljordan View Post
I second that. The M2 is my favorite amp in my long history of being an audio nut.
Thanks to both of you. I'm looking through the M2 build guide now. So far it looks like a great choice. I'm definitely going to have questions.

Best,
Gary
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