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Thread: new amp kit

  1. #1

    new amp kit

    I have been looking for a new power amp. I love my F6 but I really want a 25 to 50wpc tube amp to play with. Early thoughts were the Ayon Spirit and the Atma-Sphere M30. After a bit of research I have decided to build an Audio Note 35wpc kit which uses EL34 output tubes and has a tubed power supply (which is important to me). I have looked through the construction manual and I believe it will be a little bit harder that the Transcendent Sound amp I built a few years ago which took me about 30 hours. However, it will be much easier than the Bottle Head 300b mono's I struggled through which took me about 80 hours. I still had to send one of the BH amps back as I couldn't get the voltage to read right during testing. It turned out I crossed two wires (duh). I will try to post pictures during this build so the folks that haven't attempted to build a kit may become motivated to try. There is no better feeling in this hobby for me than to fire it up, hear sweet music and say "I built that". It will pair nicely with my brand new Perfect Set 2-10 speakers with the Be center tweeter which I will post more about in the speaker section. Cheer all and Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. #2
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    Re: new amp kit

    the AN EL34 kit looks really nice!! i will be closely following along as you post your progress. if my ampCamp build works out, maybe i will have to try an AN kit.
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  3. #3

    Re: new amp kit

    Good luck! I am very envious of those of you who have the patience and skill to build their own equipment!

  4. #4

    Re: new amp kit

    Well, now I have second thoughts on which kit to build. I think the AN kit might be too close to the Conrad Johnson Classic 60 amp I sold a few months ago. It was a good amp but in my system the F6 is worlds better. So, now I have changed my mind and I am getting the Transcendent Sound 40wpc OTL monoblocks. I have built one of Bruce's kits before and it was very simple as the directions were easy to follow. He is also always available on the phone if you need help. You don't have to run all of the output tubes if you don't need 40wpc, you can run 4 tubes per side (instead of 8 per side) for 15wpc. I will order it on Monday. Cheers all.

  5. #5

    Re: new amp kit

    Quote Originally Posted by RDSChicago View Post
    Good luck! I am very envious of those of you who have the patience and skill to build their own equipment!
    Thanks, I appreciate that. It really doesn't take that much skill or patience to build a simple kit per the instructions. I know nothing about electronics but I can hook wire #1 from point A to point B, that is all it really takes. If you haven't built anything before maybe try building the Amp Camp kit? 8WPC of pure class A Nelson Pass goodness and they sound great. Cheers.

  6. #6
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    Re: new amp kit

    I built several Haflers back in the day. They really were not that difficult, but what I found most important was take my time and make sure all my soldering points were solid with no cold solders. I also remember it was important to me that all of the internal wiring was clean and ran neatly, tied etc. Probably not essential in making the amp perform correctly, but me being anal it was important to me.

    I built several of the smaller models, the DH200's and then the DH220's. I built them for fellow employees and customers. I also did some of the big ones, the DH500. That was a big boy amp for sure. The Hafler were nice amps.

    I remember also doing a couple of their preamps. The DH110. I remember the pre being quite a bit more of a pain then the amps .

    Fun times back then.
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  7. #7
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    Re: new amp kit

    I have threatened to do this and keep putting it off. I want to take it on as a Father/Son project - this will help me get going in that direction - thanks for sharing!


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  8. #8

    Re: new amp kit

    I never built any Hafler kits, we had a Heathkit store nearby so I built those. Me and my buddy each had double Advents and we each bought Heathkit AA1640 amp kits. They were 200wpc into 8ohms and 400wpc into 4ohms. It took me about 50 hours to build mine and it was awesome. When heavy dynamic swings were happening the lights in my house would dim with the music. We didn't know anything about power but we were having fun. UltraFast69....please do a father/son and post pics. Cheers.

  9. #9

    Re: new amp kit

    I got an invoice from Bruce at Transcendent Sound today so my amps should be shipped tomorrow. He is fairly convinced I will only have to run 4 tubes per channel for 15 watts each. My 25wpc F6 drives my new 2-10 Perfect Set's with plenty to spare so I am hoping 15wpc will be enough. If not, I will run 8 tubes per side for 40wpc. Bruce assured me it will be a very simple build as he refined the circuit a while ago and there is a bit less wiring to do. I will post pics as I go. Cheers.

  10. #10
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    Re: new amp kit

    Looking forward to seeing your amps and getting more information. I’m on Bruce’s email list and have always wanted to get something from him. Happy to see him still making new gear and updating his products.
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  11. #11
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    Re: new amp kit

    I built the ANK Audiokits L4 EL34 Triple C-Core MonoBlocks several years ago. When I built them the manual hadn’t been finalized and it was NOT an easy build. The manual is finalized now and should be easier to build—but I would say not any easier than a Bottlehead kit which can be hard if you have trouble soldering their tiny circuit boards which are a PITA IME.

    The ANK monoblocks are 1 of 2 “go to” amps I use in my 2nd system. It’s a really good EL34 amp. It easily reveals differences between resistors and capacitors (probably because of the triple C-core OPTs). Not quite as liquid or airy as my other “go to” 300B amp, but the ANK EL34 amps have more drive and tonal density. They’re also dead quiet on my AN/E speakers. I love them!
    Analog source: AMG Viella 12; Ortofon Anna cartridge, van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius XGW
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  12. #12

    Re: new amp kit

    I was going to build the stereo version of that ANK amp with the better transformers but I wimped out at the last minute. I wasn't really sure of the performance and thought they might be too close to the sound of the Classic 60 I had just sold. I'm happy you really like them. Knowing what I know now I would have gotten them, oh well. My OTL kits came in yesterday and I went into beast mode by spending about 7 or 8 hours on them. I got all the hardware mounted yesterday and started wiring today. I will post pics later if I get a chance. Cheers.

  13. #13

    Re: new amp kit

    I worked about 12 hours on them the last few days and I am about 25% complete on the wiring. I am performing 3 or 4 steps at a time on each amp so I can duplicate the wire lengths and save a bit of time. I would post a picture but I forgot how I did it before, I even read the FAQ and still can't....lol. If someone would give me direction I would appreciate it. The picture is on my desktop. Thanks.

  14. #14

    Re: new amp kit

    !cid_0f6b5ef6-94f4-4e56-8a7f-0a9cb287f551.jpgHere is a pic of both mono blocks with about 10% of the wiring complete.

  15. #15

    Re: new amp kit

    I finished them up and tried to get them to bias and I knew right away something was wrong. I called Bruce and he gave me some direction as far as testing voltages and all but I decided to go back to page 1. I went step by step from the beginning and checked every wire and their location and every capacitor, diode and resistor. Everything was correct except I did not install a 1/2" jumper in each amp from terminal strip #5 to terminal strip #6 . I added the jumpers and "shazam" they biased right to zero volts on the output terminals so I connected them and fired them up in the system. They are dead quiet, very fast, very clean and have strong bass. I am not sure if they will take down the mighty F6 but my initial feeling is they will. We shall see after 30-50 hours of break in. I will post some pics later. Merry Christmas all.

  16. #16
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    Re: new amp kit

    We want pics! 👍😊
    Analog source: AMG Viella 12; Ortofon Anna cartridge, van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius XGW
    Digital source: Totaldac d1-twelve Mk2 DAC, Totaldac d1-player, Totaldac d1-streamer, Totaldac Live Power supply
    Pre amp: VAC Master with phono
    Phonostage: ​Constellation Andromeda
    Amps: VAC 200iQ monoblocks
    Speakers: Magico M3 with MPods
    Cables: Synergistic Research Galileo SX speaker, phono, analog and digital interconnects
    Power products: Synergistic Research Power Cell 12 UEF and Transporter Ultra. Galileo power cords.

  17. #17

    Re: new amp kit

    !cid_08f5abbd-c1ee-4c7a-ba16-7d9d8d2b9337.jpg Here is a pic with the wiring about 90% complete. I will take a few pics of the finished product when I get time. I am only running them with 4 output tubes each, which is 15wpc. They are driving my 2-10 Perfect Set's with mucho authority, 40wpc with 8 tubes per amp is probably overkill. Thanks for your interest, this project really pushed my mediocre skills to the limit. You can see I taped up the front plate to keep from scratching it up, they were already installed on the chassis. Also, I labeled every valve, terminal board and fuse holder per the plans to avoid confusion. I also, labeled each amp #1 and #2 for the same reason as I get easily confused. Cheers.

  18. #18
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    Re: new amp kit

    Nice work! I like the large chassis—plenty of room to go back and assess the sonic effects of changing out resistors, capacitors, etc. Should be a fun journey!
    Analog source: AMG Viella 12; Ortofon Anna cartridge, van den Hul Crimson Stradivarius XGW
    Digital source: Totaldac d1-twelve Mk2 DAC, Totaldac d1-player, Totaldac d1-streamer, Totaldac Live Power supply
    Pre amp: VAC Master with phono
    Phonostage: ​Constellation Andromeda
    Amps: VAC 200iQ monoblocks
    Speakers: Magico M3 with MPods
    Cables: Synergistic Research Galileo SX speaker, phono, analog and digital interconnects
    Power products: Synergistic Research Power Cell 12 UEF and Transporter Ultra. Galileo power cords.

  19. #19

    Re: new amp kit

    I let them run all day yesterday with my cd player set to repeat. The temperature in my listening room went up to about 85 degrees so I opened the windows, it was about 40 degrees outside. They are very fast, very quiet and very open. I am hoping the bass will come around as now they sound a bit lean. They have about 20 hours or so on them so I am hoping for improvement in that department. Heck, come to think of it, my speakers are brand new too (maybe 60 hours?) so hopefully more bass is on the way. Here is a pic of one of them, possibly one of the ugliest amps known to man. Just a little more bass will make them the prettiest. Cheers!cid_c3ccd28f-7634-4b23-82a2-234e09bd8a6e.jpg

  20. #20
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    Re: new amp kit

    The amp looks stunning. Great work.
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  21. #21

    Re: new amp kit

    Thanks Brad, I appreciate it. At 65 my attention span is not like it used to be and sometimes my hands shake a bit. I was a bit worried I wouldn't be able to finish this project and actually have it work. I found that as I went my mind got into a groove and my hands got a bit steadier. A bit of a victory for this old fart. So, who is going to build something? Step up to the pump.....

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