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BamaMike

Tube Amp Kit Recommendations

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20 hours ago, BamaMike said:

Thanks!

No worries! Bottlehead usually does a coupon code this time of year...I suspect the monoblocks won't be on sale but based on the past my guess would be 15%.

 

Again...this is a rabbit hole. I just replaced 63 resistors in my TU8200 because....well, as I told my wife if you have to ask you wouldn't understand!

 

 

FB_IMG_1574869071348.jpg

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1 hour ago, BadChile said:

No worries! Bottlehead usually does a coupon code this time of year...I suspect the monoblocks won't be on sale but based on the past my guess would be 15%.

 

Again...this is a rabbit hole. I just replaced 63 resistors in my TU8200 because....well, as I told my wife if you have to ask you wouldn't understand!

 

 

FB_IMG_1574869071348.jpg

 

This is an Elekit? I guess I don't understand why would you need to replace so many resistors (fairly new looking too)? Required or desired?

 

Wb

 

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26 minutes ago, Wolfbane said:

 

This is an Elekit? I guess I don't understand why would you need to replace so many resistors (fairly new looking too)? Required or desired?

 

Wb

 

Purely desired, however I noticed a slight change in the signal path. Reduced hiss even further. Possibly entirely the placebo effect.

 

I had the stock resistors in there (which are fine), these are all PRP 1% tolerance. Considering there are resistor upgrades out there and it kept me out of trouble for a week...why not? Possible improvement in imagining. Possible improvement in the treble. Possible that I'm imagining everything.

 

Also upgraded a good number of the capacitors to Elna Cerafine (Simlic II are too tall).

 

🐇 Hole

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5 hours ago, BadChile said:

well, as I told my wife if you have to ask you wouldn't understand!

 

3 hours ago, Wolfbane said:

This is an Elekit? I guess I don't understand why would you need to replace so many resistors (fairly new looking too)? Required or desired?

I understand. In a fanatic's case, desired and required are the same thing. I just finished capacitors and have started resistors.

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3 hours ago, BadChile said:

Purely desired, however I noticed a slight change in the signal path. Reduced hiss even further. Possibly entirely the placebo effect.

 

I had the stock resistors in there (which are fine), these are all PRP 1% tolerance. Considering there are resistor upgrades out there and it kept me out of trouble for a week...why not? Possible improvement in imagining. Possible improvement in the treble. Possible that I'm imagining everything.

 

Also upgraded a good number of the capacitors to Elna Cerafine (Simlic II are too tall).

 

🐇 Hole

I am starting to be convinced it is not purely placebo. Especially the resistors coming off of the cathodes and anodes. Someone on this forum said "You're not just hearing the tube, your hearing the tube and it's plate/cathode resistors". I've tried a couple and am hearing improvement. Certainly way cheaper than tube rolling. 

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7 hours ago, MechEngVic said:

I am starting to be convinced it is not purely placebo. Especially the resistors coming off of the cathodes and anodes. Someone on this forum said "You're not just hearing the tube, your hearing the tube and it's plate/cathode resistors". I've tried a couple and am hearing improvement. Certainly way cheaper than tube rolling. 

 

I also believe that you can hear if a component to a piece of audio equipment impacts the resulting sound quality. For me it was a change to a Rectification tube that changed my mind. If you can hear it, who cares if no one else notices?

 

Most people say that a change out of rectifiers will not change how your system sounds.

 

Wb

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11 hours ago, Wolfbane said:

 

I also believe that you can hear if a component to a piece of audio equipment impacts the resulting sound quality. For me it was a change to a Rectification tube that changed my mind. If you can hear it, who cares if no one else notices?

 

Most people say that a change out of rectifiers will not change how your system sounds.

 

Wb

 

Myself, and many many others, have found every component inside an amplifier imparts its signature on to the resultant sound,..... every part !!  That is why some design amps and build by ear, not by test gear.  That is one reason why we use high efficiency speaker systems, because it TELLS you right away, what a parts change has done, while operating at perhaps only 1/4 of a watt !!  Its sensitive -   puts it " right in your face ".

 

But this thread is getting off track !

 

Jeffrey Medwin

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On 11/4/2019 at 2:26 PM, mark1101 said:

That's cool having a wife that can fix your tube amps.   A++++++++   :smile::emotion-21:

I 2nd that.

 

Very, very cool.

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22 hours ago, BadChile said:

Purely desired, however I noticed a slight change in the signal path. Reduced hiss even further. Possibly entirely the placebo effect.

 

I had the stock resistors in there (which are fine), these are all PRP 1% tolerance. Considering there are resistor upgrades out there and it kept me out of trouble for a week...why not? Possible improvement in imagining. Possible improvement in the treble. Possible that I'm imagining everything.

 

Also upgraded a good number of the capacitors to Elna Cerafine (Simlic II are too tall).

 

🐇 Hole

Devil's advocate. 

 

What if it is because you used  a different solder for replacements, what if it is because the type/brand of resistors just happened to have a much tighter tolerance run?

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On 11/3/2019 at 8:22 AM, BamaMike said:

So my wife, the electronic technician, recently diagnosed and repaired an issue with one of my Quicksilver Silver Mono Blocks. God bless her! So now she wants to build an amp or a pair of mono blocks. I have started researching kits but thought I would ask you all for any recommendations. Want something that looks as nice as it sounds.

20191101_175435.jpg

output.jpg

Sorry if I missed it, but what speakers are you going to pair with these. 

 

I would ask Maynard @seti @Wardsweb and @thebes for suggestions.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, dwilawyer said:

Devil's advocate. 

 

What if it is because you used  a different solder for replacements, what if it is because the type/brand of resistors just happened to have a much tighter tolerance run?

Good point. The solder is the same roll as I used 18 months ago, but the resistors definitely are Tigger tolerance (1% vs 5%) and lower ppm/C.  I'm pretty confident there is an improvement vs the stock, but my kids and wife either can't tell or don't care. Or both.

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On 11/28/2019 at 10:31 AM, dwilawyer said:

Devil's advocate. 

 

What if it is because you used  a different solder for replacements, what if it is because the type/brand of resistors just happened to have a much tighter tolerance run?

 

Well !!  You are right.  Everything matters. 

 

But I would think the materials composition / construction of a resistor might sport a ten-to-one added effect over solder or tolerance.  That, is just only a guess.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Next, the BadChile poster needs to try TWO of those PRPs at double the Ohmic Value, matched to each other by 0.1% or better, on the plate ( anode) of his amp's input tube.

 

See if that doesn't sound better, richer in the lower mids, more dynamic on pulsed piano notes and focused.   Why ??  You have created two paths for the signal to travel through,  tight matching precludes skewing, and the doubled-up paths have a better signal transfer efficiency.   

 

This is a technique first used commercially by the ultra rare and highly regarded MFA ( Moore Franklin Associates ) multi-chassis Luminescence preamp, of the ? 1970s??  Unaware of a "Lumi",  see this URL https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/mfa-luminescence-mc-reference-preamp      I try to use this obscure doubled-up, tightly-matched  ( usually with 2 Watt  ) resistor technique in almost all I DIY build for my own use, in 2019.

 

BadChile next - needs to try it,  in just that one sensitive circuit position, even with his 1/2 Watt resistors, he will likely hear it !!  

 

 

 

                                     A partial-assembly photo , ( taken 6-23-19 ) shows both channel's  Input / Driver tube - with doubled-up Ra and Rk :    

 

  1450865772_EDITEDWIRINGKT88FrontEndREV2.thumb.jpg.9e50d22b3d5b8161db1962426b12ae81.jpg

 

 

 

 

 MFA phono preamp below   LOOK at all their paralleled 2 Watt resistors, and a 4 Watt metal film, on the plate of the input tube.  Also tripled-up resistors, 2 Watt, on cathodes !!  Bruce Moore and Scott Franklin knew back then - what sounded great, and they incorporated it into their commercial audio products !!  I have had two people say to me " it was the best phono stage ever made. "  You should see their Power Supply schematic !!  

 

 

940655507_MFA20f2.thumb.JPG.579b10f2b4e2bd284ec1ab83232dfd58.JPG

 

 

 

Jeffrey Medwin

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Obviously your better half can read a schematic so why not build one of Maynard's creations?  The parts are readily available, he doesn't use exotic tubes and you can design you own platform. I've done amps in acrylic, wood, a cake pan (yes a real cake pan) and I'm thinking my next build will use pottery or stone.

 

Also his designs usually incorporate a circuit which serves as a preamp and or an attenuator.

 

Unless you need tons of power, you will be thrilled at how they sound, and shocked at how cheaply they can be built.  Schematics are free, free, free because Maynard's one hellava guy:

 

image.jpeg.cc65192811aba7d6b6a3f40c1c743b47.jpeg

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On 11/29/2019 at 6:54 PM, thebes said:

Obviously your better half can read a schematic so why not build one of Maynard's creations?  The parts are readily available, he doesn't use exotic tubes and you can design you own platform. I've done amps in acrylic, wood, a cake pan (yes a real cake pan) and I'm thinking my next build will use pottery or stone.

 

Also his designs usually incorporate a circuit which serves as a preamp and or an attenuator.

 

Unless you need tons of power, you will be thrilled at how they sound, and shocked at how cheaply they can be built.  Schematics are free, free, free because Maynard's one hellava guy:

 

image.jpeg.cc65192811aba7d6b6a3f40c1c743b47.jpeg

Does he have a website or ???

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No.  Just contact him via this place. He's our own Tube Fanatic.  If you do a search he's already got some of his schematics and builds posted here. Often he includes a parts list, which is very helpful.

 

Fellow hobbyist and great guy.

 

If you are not up for building one, I think he may still have a few of his creations left. Due to parental pressure (his wife!) he's been forced to sell off some of his babies.

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On 12/3/2019 at 6:19 PM, thebes said:

No.  Just contact him via this place. He's our own Tube Fanatic.  If you do a search he's already got some of his schematics and builds posted here. Often he includes a parts list, which is very helpful.

 

Fellow hobbyist and great guy.

 

If you are not up for building one, I think he may still have a few of his creations left. Due to parental pressure (his wife!) he's been forced to sell off some of his babies.

Roger that!

 

Thanks

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On 11/3/2019 at 9:22 AM, BamaMike said:

So my wife, the electronic technician, recently diagnosed and repaired an issue with one of my Quicksilver Silver Mono Blocks. God bless her! So now she wants to build an amp or a pair of mono blocks. I have started researching kits but thought I would ask you all for any recommendations. Want something that looks as nice as it sounds.

20191101_175435.jpg

output.jpg

 Have a look here: https://www.ankaudiokits.com/

 

Quicksilver amps are very nice.

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On 11/13/2019 at 6:57 AM, BadChile said:

Couple other thoughts:

Bottlehead is releasing a pair of 2A3 based monoblocks for under $2,000 in the coming months but I can't find the link to the amp (early morning / lack of coffee / general tiredness).  If I recall correctly they're priced under $2,000 for the pair.  Will edit this post if I find information on the amps.

 

The Elekit amps are well finished and well reviewed.  I built and run a TU-8200 (6L6GC based, also runs EL34, KT88 and associated tubes), and if in the states, now that VK ships these out with JJ tubes I suspect they'll gain more of a following as the 12AU7 that was shipped previously was a major weak link in the amp as-built.  In addition to the TU-8600 (300B based amp) listed above, there is a soon-to-be released single ended TU-8800 based on the KT88 that produces slightly more power than the TU-8200 and has a tube cage unlike the TU-8600.  Additionally, the upgraded transformers are available for the TU-8800 at launch while TU-8600 owners are still in a holding pattern.  As a bonus - headphone tap off the tubes so all Elekit amps double as a quality headamp.

 

Note that Bottlehead and most of the Elekit prices include tubes with the exception of the TU-8600.  But the reality is you can't go wrong going down this path rabbit hole of DIY audio.  I remember silently laughing at people who spent $60 on four coupling capacitors and now here I am one of them....

 

The LINK...and they are NOT under $2000 for a pair, sadly. 

https://bottlehead.com/product/mon-amour-2a3-monoblock-amps-kit/

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Buying an amp, kit or otherwise, there are a few questions. What speakers are you going to drive with it? What is there efficiency rating? This will determine how much power you need. High efficiency speakers only need a few watts, so SET amps with tubes like 2A3, 300B, 45, etc are fine. If you need more power, you are looking at push pull configurations with EL34, KT88, 6550, 6L6, etc. Then there are point to point kits for people who don't know electronics, like Bottlehead. There are PCB based kits that are more just solder the parts on the boards. There are point to point kits that require you can read a schematic and know a base level of electronics. No true one size fits all. You decide your wants, needs and skill level.

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