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DIY Kits - Which for Cornwall III's??


Dneu2011
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My friend that owns an audio shop hads a customer who sold off her deceased husbands stereo gear, and included in the mix were boxes and boxes of DIY Kits that had been purchased, but never put together. I had some experience building Bottlehead, Tubes4hifi, jdslabs, & Elekit units in the past, so he asked if I could take it all home and help get it all built for him and he would allow me to have a few of the items. After days of digging through all the boxes, I pieced together all the kits (some of them I have already built):

 

- 6 DiyAudio Amp Camp Kits (Finished 4 of 6)

- 2 Hypex NC400 mono blocks (Finished)

-Aikido All in One Preamp 

- 2 Decware Zkit SE84's

- Elekit tu-8500 Preamp w/ Amtram upgrades (Finished)

-Elekit tu-8340 EL34/KT88 tube amp w/ Lundahl Transformers & Amtram resistor upgrades

- Bottlehead Eros, BeePree Special Edition, & Kaiju Special Edition (already built the Eros)

-2 DiyAudio Passlabs F-4 Amp Clones

-1 DiyAudio Passlabs F-6 Amp Clone

 

My main question is, which would be the best kit to keep for myself to experience with my Cornwall III's? 

 

I currently have a Bob Latino VTA-120 and the SP-12 Preamp from Tubes4hifi that I built. I am leaning towards the Bottleheads (300b's would be fun), the Elekit tu-8340 & 8500, or one of each of the Nelson Pass clones.

 

Thanks.

 

Dustin

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  • 1 month later...

Heck, if you're building all of them, it only seems right to run them in and make sure they are 100% before giving them back to your friend. That will also give you a chance to demo them in your system. I have experience with Bottlehead, and that would be the first thing I would try. I've ready good things about the Elekit and the Amp Camp amp, so they would each get some demo time. There's probably not a bad choice in the bunch, but at least one should hit the sweet spot. Keep us posted, I'm very curious which ones you like the best. 

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On 6/28/2019 at 11:18 AM, Dneu2011 said:

My friend that owns an audio shop hads a customer who sold off her deceased husbands stereo gear, and included in the mix were boxes and boxes of DIY Kits that had been purchased, but never put together. I had some experience building Bottlehead, Tubes4hifi, jdslabs, & Elekit units in the past, so he asked if I could take it all home and help get it all built for him and he would allow me to have a few of the items. After days of digging through all the boxes, I pieced together all the kits (some of them I have already built):

 

- 6 DiyAudio Amp Camp Kits (Finished 4 of 6)

- 2 Hypex NC400 mono blocks (Finished)

-Aikido All in One Preamp 

- 2 Decware Zkit SE84's

- Elekit tu-8500 Preamp w/ Amtram upgrades (Finished)

-Elekit tu-8340 EL34/KT88 tube amp w/ Lundahl Transformers & Amtram resistor upgrades

- Bottlehead Eros, BeePree Special Edition, & Kaiju Special Edition (already built the Eros)

-2 DiyAudio Passlabs F-4 Amp Clones

-1 DiyAudio Passlabs F-6 Amp Clone

 

My main question is, which would be the best kit to keep for myself to experience with my Cornwall III's? 

 

I currently have a Bob Latino VTA-120 and the SP-12 Preamp from Tubes4hifi that I built. I am leaning towards the Bottleheads (300b's would be fun), the Elekit tu-8340 & 8500, or one of each of the Nelson Pass clones.

 

Thanks.

 

Dustin

Dustin, 

what tubes are you running in your st-120?

thanks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just a quick update on what I decided to keep for my Cornwall IIIs. I ended up building an F4, F6, M2x, and about to build an F5. Upon listening to the first 3, I thought the m2x sounded the best with my tube preamp, especially in the mids. The F6 was very detailed but not as punchy as the M2x. The F4 was the most detailed of all, but I did not have a preamp to fully test it.

 

The Akido all in one has given my VTA SP-12 preamp a run for its money! A sleeper DIY tube preamp IMHO. 

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  • 6 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I just wanted to chime in on what I settled on for Pass Amps. After listening to the m2x, F4, F5, F6, Upgraded Amp Camps, and Various Tubes amps (Bottlehead 300b/Bob Latino VTA-120) I settled on the F4. It is clean, crisp, fast, and VERY detailed. I built a BA3FE preamp as well as a Pearl 2 Phono from PassDiy and now my tube gear is all in the closet collecting dust. 

 

Sure I liked the tube sound, but the F4 has a little bit of everything including some warmth and great punch in the bass. The m2x was the most tube-like, but it also had looser bass and not as much crispness on the highs. It kind of reminded me of the first time I rolled in Mullard CV4003 tubes. Great mids and bass but did not have that sparkle on the top.

 

If I had to rank the Pass amps in order of use on my Klipsch it would be:

 

- F4

- Amp Camp with Torroidals (Upgraded Capmx Power Supplies from Rudi_Rozek on DiyAudio and TungstenAudio's changes)

- M2x

- Nelson Pass' Amp Camp (Upgraded from TungstenAudio's changes on DiyAudio forum)

- F6

- F5

- Nelson Pass' Amp Camp (no upgrades or changes)

 

I currently have two matching F4's with XLR inputs and adapters to tie together the rcas and run the amps in parallel. I am going to try F4's as monos and see if I can hear a difference between just one even though the current does not increase into 8 ohms.

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10 hours ago, Dneu2011 said:

I am going to try F4's as monos and see if I can hear a difference between just one even though the current does not increase into 8 ohms.

 

I've seen the name but am unfamiliar with them.  I take it they're 2-channel amps and you're going to bridge the pair into two "mono" amps?

 

The "the current does not increase into 8 ohms" isn't directly making sense to me, with my limited familiarity with the gear.  I take it they're "current" amps instead of "voltage" for whatever that's worth.

 

Each bridged amplifier channel sees the same load, plus whatever output impedance the "other" channel has, in the same way, so effectively the available current would just about double into any load as compared to that load each on each channel by itself; roughly the same as when the two singles are totalled together.  But you can cut the input by whatever dB and have the same current for the same volume on the one load, but with greater headroom (and distortion, if you can live with it) bridged.  If I'm gathering correctly what I think you inferred, that is, maybe.  I probably shouldn't be doing this - recently got off work and have celebrated a bit already...

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On 4/30/2020 at 7:44 PM, Dneu2011 said:

If I had to rank the Pass amps in order of use on my Klipsch it would be:

 

- F4

- Amp Camp with Torroidals (Upgraded Capmx Power Supplies from Rudi_Rozek on DiyAudio and TungstenAudio's changes)

- M2x

- Nelson Pass' Amp Camp (Upgraded from TungstenAudio's changes on DiyAudio forum)

 

I currently have two matching F4's with XLR inputs and adapters to tie together the rcas and run the amps in parallel. I am going to try F4's as monos and see if I can hear a difference between just one even though the current does not increase into 8 ohms.

I can confirm that Dneu's F4's are incredible ! I have never heard a more detailed amp, in my life. 

I have a Balanced XLR / JUBILEE system,  and have demo'd his F4's,in Mono Block mode, ...and they ' blew me away ' !

 

I believe that the only First Watt amp of future interest, that we haven't heard, is the highly acclaimed Nelson Pass J-2.

   And, that J-2 amp arrives TODAY ! 

 

So, I trust Dneu and I will certainly be comparing his Mono=Bridged F-4's -vs- my new Nelson Pass J-2, soon on my JUBILEEs K-402 Horns.

*Could I be correct , ...DR. DNeu ?

 

~TTYS

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