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Toolshed Amps?


Shakeydeal

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12 minutes ago, Steve. said:

No, it was a serious question.  What are your accomplishments in this arena ?  I would love to see what you’ve built.   

 

Accomplishments? I am not sure what you are asking. I am not in the business of making amplifiers, I have zero interest in sending an amp off to a reviewer in hopes to get a name out for profit. This is just a hobby for me that I enjoy, once you start to have to put food on the table one needs to focus on business and profit and not just the joy of doing something. I have no accomplishments and admit openly. But that doesn't necessarily mean I don't know what I am talking about. My friend Bruce Egnater from Egnater Amplification (guitar stuff) is very successful I would say but why does he contact me asking questions about how to improve this or that in his gear? For example his latest model is a tube preamplifier and he was trying to improve the signal to noise ratio, he remembered something we had discussed previously so he reached out for some help to which I happily provided.

 

A friend of mine that loves vintage tube gear wanted that type of sound but on his budget. He sadly didn't want anything fun but hey it's his amp, he basically named a few amplifiers he really liked and most were Mullard 5-20 circuits and he loves the EL34 tube. Hey who am I to tell him what he likes. He has Klipsch Cornwall speakers btw. For anyone that knows anything about the Mullard circuit it has way too much gain. So I decided to triode wire the EF86 and instead of using a 12AX7 for a phase inverter I used a 12AY7. This dropped the open loop gain to more acceptable levels but more importantly it also dropped the amount of negative feedback from -30db to around -20db. For anyone that has tried to stabilize -30db or more of feedback around an output transformer and one stage of AC coupling (more phase shift) it isn't for the faint of heart. I was able to increase phase margin substantially by lowering open loop gain and subsequent amount of negative feedback. I gave him the classic layout look inside complete with turret board and multisection capacitors that I typically don't use. I had a very small budget to work with and so they are not the most beautiful amplifiers. The inside picture is not completely wired up and ground bus wasn't installed yet. I am trying to look for a finished picture of the inside but can't seem to find one on my computer.

 

Just an example of budget amplifier that can be made and not break the bank. There is plenty of room for upgrades in the future. He absolutely loves the sound and couldn't be happier. Both mono amps shipped across the country was a total cost of ~$1400. Shipping wasn't cheap either.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Khornukopia said:

I have an Egnater amp.

 

 

Bruce is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

 

For guys into building guitar amps Bruce hosts a build class that you get to fly to Michigan and he teaches you to build yourself a tube guitar amp that you take home with you after. I have heard it's a lot of fun from the guys that have attended. I can let anyone know the next time he hosts one, the classes fill up fast.

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45 minutes ago, oldred said:

Was impressed till I saw the price. 

 

I almost spit my coffee out when I too saw the price, wow!!!

 

I will say it does take a lot of time making the chassis which is where I assume most of the money is going. They are very ornate and that just takes time when hand made like Matt does. They are a little too steampunk for my taste but they are an eye catcher for sure. If you have the cash and like the looks it's nice audio bling bling which is a big part of the audiophile condition.

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8 hours ago, captainbeefheart said:

 

I almost spit my coffee out when I too saw the price, wow!!!

 

I will say it does take a lot of time making the chassis which is where I assume most of the money is going. They are very ornate and that just takes time when hand made like Matt does. They are a little too steampunk for my taste but they are an eye catcher for sure. If you have the cash and like the looks it's nice audio bling bling which is a big part of the audiophile condition.

They are cool looking amps for sure, but what is the max wattage with these, 12w?   I think for that price i would rather buy an Ayon spirit V with 75w/ch for a little more cash, but a lot more bass.    I haven't listened to either, so i have to ask, do the Toolshed amps reproduce nice hefty bass.  I have a 12w/ch Chinese amp and it sounds nice at low volume, but not much bass when you turn it up.   

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1 hour ago, mopardave said:

They are cool looking amps for sure, but what is the max wattage with these, 12w? 

 

7-8 watts output with about 5% THD

 

1 hour ago, mopardave said:

do the Toolshed amps reproduce nice hefty bass.

 

I personally have never heard one so I cannot comment from experience. But coming from experience with other typical 300b no feedback amplifiers is it really depends on the speaker. These types of amps are not great at driving tough loads and do not have great damping. Anyone interested in these types of amplifiers (from any company or builder) should audition them with their speakers in their rooms and see if they work well enough for you. Some speakers and genres of music they just completely fall flat on their face and vomit. Other types of speakers and genres of music they sing like angels. It's really a symbiotic relationship.

 

To me it actually sounds like you need to increase your power a little. I don't know your room size, speakers and listening habits but bass needs power and control. You may want to look for a clean and concise 20+ wpc amplifier to replace the one you have.

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16 hours ago, oldred said:

Probably wait for a Decware.. Not as pretty.... 

 

 

I was looking at the Decware stuff too looks like a nice option but their backlog is 8 months+ I just don't have the patience to wait that long for something that may or may not work in my system. 

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8 hours ago, captainbeefheart said:

 

7-8 watts output with about 5% THD

 

 

I personally have never heard one so I cannot comment from experience. But coming from experience with other typical 300b no feedback amplifiers is it really depends on the speaker. These types of amps are not great at driving tough loads and do not have great damping. Anyone interested in these types of amplifiers (from any company or builder) should audition them with their speakers in their rooms and see if they work well enough for you. Some speakers and genres of music they just completely fall flat on their face and vomit. Other types of speakers and genres of music they sing like angels. It's really a symbiotic relationship.

 

To me it actually sounds like you need to increase your power a little. I don't know your room size, speakers and listening habits but bass needs power and control. You may want to look for a clean and concise 20+ wpc amplifier to replace the one you have.

Yes, i agree.  I was interested in the Tool Shed amps awhile back from all the good said about them, but when i read the specs and seen the price tag i was a bit taken back.  This led me to purchasing the 12w/ch chinese amp which sounds great til you turn up the volume. The highs and mids get louder, but the bass falls quickly behind.  I have a pair of CornScala's and another 25w/ch Chinese amp that does very well in this combo with JJ KT77's making this a great combo.  I'm sure the TS amps are great little amps, but for me the watt to cost is too much for me.  I'm looking for something more powerful while retaining good clean output.  Primeluna and Ayon are way more powerful quality amps and just a few dollars more.   If i'm spending $5000 on a tube amp, i'm expecting a clean thumpin badass of an amp.

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Decware and Toolshed comparisons really aren’t apples to apples.   The Decware amps are mostly pentode tubes wired in Triode in most of their amps. Nothing wrong with using that scheme , sounds great but much less power than the same tubes in PP.
 

The Toolshed is a DHT running 300b tubes...   they couldn’t be more different other than being low power.   Sure it’s a “simple circuit”  but to employ it to be quiet is not so simple.   Not cheap either.   
 

 

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I would like to know what those amps would cost if they were in a simple chassis like my former Welborne Labs Moondog 2A3 amps. The Toolshed amps have a lot of glam, but it would be interesting to know.

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They would still not be cheap.   Something “cheap” is not always a good value.   
 

He has built versions in a plain box before ...  not sure if this form factor lends itself to doing that easily.   
 

I am betting heavily that these amps are more than “glam”.   I will find out very soon ....
 

Aside from quality parts in and out there is a LOT of fabrication.   I don’t think people understand how much labor is involved in a build like this.   For anyone who hasn’t , visit his site..... Not many people possess the skills to build stuff like that.   

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4 minutes ago, Steve. said:

I am betting heavily that these amps are more than “glam”.   I will find out very soon ....
 

Aside from quality parts in and out there is a LOT of fabrication.

Oh, I agree completely. The fabrication takes a lot of time and time means more money. Matt explained how he etched the aluminum to do the designs, and it isn't a quick process from start to finish (see what I did there?).

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32 minutes ago, Steve. said:

They would still not be cheap.   Something “cheap” is not always a good value.   
 

He has built versions in a plain box before ...  not sure if this form factor lends itself to doing that easily.   
 

I am betting heavily that these amps are more than “glam”.   I will find out very soon ....
 

Aside from quality parts in and out there is a LOT of fabrication.   I don’t think people understand how much labor is involved in a build like this.   For anyone who hasn’t , visit his site..... Not many people possess the skills to build stuff like that.   


Matt IMHO has created a very unique cosmetic style with his amplifiers that reflect a real artistic style and I find them beautiful and within there circuit design l believe he is just as committed to excellent sound reproduction.   
 

These amplifiers represent an Artistic Statement and a Sound Statement and for those seeking these qualities I couldn’t imagine someone not being excited and proud to own one… 🙂

 

miketn

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37 minutes ago, Marvel said:

These sounded excellent, but they look pretty messy under the top.

 

 

moondogs.jpg

I find the obsession some people have with “neat pleasing to the eye wiring style” to be misguided and often sacrificing the benefits of 3 dimensional wiring of good point to point designs that can look messy to an untrained eye.  
 

miketn

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