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Little Sweetie Forum amplifier project


henry4841
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This is an old project of Maynard's years ago and before I posted this project I checked with him to get his permission to do so being it is his design. He gave me his blessing. This is going go to be a stereo version and not mono's like Maynard built keeping the cost down. I have already ordered all the parts. At least I hope so but most of the time I will have to order something I forget paying the high shipping cost these days. This is truly an amazing sounding little amplifier using NOS tubes that are still reasonably priced. The output tube is the 6Y6 which went out favor years ago for the 6V6 having to do with the power needed for the filaments being less. Some say the sound is much the same. I have never heard a 6V6 amplifier so I cannot comment on that. This tube has some of the best vocals I have ever heard. Very lush sound. Listening to a Connie Francis LP I can imagine her standing in front of one of those old rectangular microphones. The sound reminds me of the old tube radios and juke boxes of the 50's and 60's. The tube was used in the old console radios of yesterday with speaker much less efficient than our Klipsch speakers. I measured almost 1 watt before clipping. So close I would call it a 1 watt amplifier. It plays as loud as I care to listen with it without distorting. At least to my ears. Never runs out of power with my LaScala's. One has to remember that LaScala's are 100db and that is very loud. This amplifier should be good with any of the Klipsch line of speakers for reasonable people at responsible listening levels. Trust me it does and this is from someone that has 150 watt per channel A/B amplifiers. Sure the bass is going to better with a more powerful amplifier but that does not mean this little amplifier does not have good bass. If real deep strong bass is what you love this is not going to be the amplifier for you. This amplifiers shines with vocals and midrange. Enough said about it now. One can do some research on this site when Maynard posted his build for more info. Below is my personal Little Sweetie which is not for sale to give you an idea of what it will look like. This project will have a single volume control instead of two in the picture. There are ways to dress it up with a wooden stand for it to sit in. For that reason I am going to put the controls input and outputs high on the chassis so one can build their own stand of wood and make it pretty. Pardon the dust, cleaning lady did not come this week. 

P1030962.JPG

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I just want to add for those that turn their nose up at 1 watt of power that a high in demand amplifier called the Decware Zen is all the rage on youtube right now with all of it's 1 watt of power. I have one that I built from an earlier design that is published. It does sound really good but I prefer the sound of Maynard's Little Sweetie better. 

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19 minutes ago, billybob said:

Any idea of unit cost, this early into?

If you are frugale and / or have some parts on hand, I would say $375 for a stereo unit, but this is using Edcor iron. If you can get output transformers that are cheap and perform well, then the cost could remain low(er). Cheap & good output transformers don't usually go hand in hand. $400 would probably be more realistic. 

 

Using a 6Y6G/GT you should be able to get 2.5 ~ 3 watts out @ 3~5% THD+N. That is 2A3 territory (kinda).

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8 minutes ago, Curious_George said:

If you are frugale and / or have some parts on hand, I would say $375 for a stereo unit, but this is using Edcor iron. If you can get output transformers that are cheap and perform well, then the cost could remain low(er). Cheap & good output transformers don't usually go hand in hand. $400 would probably be more realistic. 

 

Using a 6Y6G/GT you should be able to get 2.5 ~ 3 watts out @ 3~5% THD+N. That is 2A3 territory (kinda).

I guess the original Little Sweetie was designed for 1 watt or so output. Technically, since the plate dissipation of the 6Y6G/GT is 12.5 watts, you can get 1/4 of that dissipation in output power, which would be 3.125 watts. 

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This Little Sweetie Forum Amplifier Project is absolutely the best news I have stumbled into recently. Discouraged, I had come to the conclusion that a quality SET amp is something I would simply have to live without. I just don't have the budget so I thought I would be going back to solid state to power my recently acquired Klipsch Belles. I keep reading about this so called "tube magic" but it's not going to work for me. Or, is it? 

Thanks for this ray of sunshine!

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51 minutes ago, Curious_George said:

If you are frugale and / or have some parts on hand, I would say $375 for a stereo unit, but this is using Edcor iron. If you can get output transformers that are cheap and perform well, then the cost could remain low(er). Cheap & good output transformers don't usually go hand in hand. $400 would probably be more realistic. 

 

Using a 6Y6G/GT you should be able to get 2.5 ~ 3 watts out @ 3~5% THD+N. That is 2A3 territory (kinda).

Yes I could have waited and still can wait on an exact price.

Just ballparking.

Also, wanted to see if price anywhere near where the other forum amp budget price started at yet kept rising out of range newbies to tubes would be tempted to try.

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1 hour ago, Racer X said:

Current Decware Zen price $1,200   Wait list stands at about 14 months if I'm reading their website correctly.

I bet you a nickel if you buy good parts (not the best, just good), the Little Sweetie would give the Zen a major run for the money. 

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1 hour ago, Area 51 said:

Discouraged, I had come to the conclusion that a quality SET amp is something I would simply have to live without. I just don't have the budget.

I was in your boat 25 years ago... SET magic is within everyone's reach. 

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36 minutes ago, Shakeydeal said:

Yeah my amp went way above the initial proposed budget, but that was self imposed. I wanted better transformers and Jupiter caps and a nice wood case. Now if I can just ever put my hands on the damn thing…😄

You had to go with the Jovian caps instead of Terrestrials huh? That's the problem. 

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2 hours ago, Racer X said:

Current Decware Zen price $1,200   Wait list stands at about 14 months if I'm reading their website correctly.

Ok, and what?  You're comparing a home built amplifier with modest parts and unknown quality tubes to amplifiers with huge market recognition, lifetime warranty, premium parts and tubes and a large support network.  Good things come to those that wait.

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Um, actually the OP ( and others ) was comparing, referencing, I was merely fleshing out with some pertinent numbers of considerable interest.

 

Also the next amp to be delivered was 14 month wait, the wait list appears to be very long, not sure what the wait would be if ordered today, but posit it would be considerably longer.

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3 hours ago, jimjimbo said:

Ok, and what?  You're comparing a home built amplifier with modest parts and unknown quality tubes to amplifiers with huge market recognition, lifetime warranty, premium parts and tubes and a large support network.  Good things come to those that wait.

Good things that are marketed cost a lot of money. If you’re not a DIYer don’t troll. Who asked you anyhow?

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3 hours ago, jimjimbo said:

Ok, and what?  You're comparing a home built amplifier with modest parts and unknown quality tubes to amplifiers with huge market recognition, lifetime warranty, premium parts and tubes and a large support network.  Good things come to those that wait.

Obviously, when it comes to amplifiers, you don’t have a clue. A DIY home built amp can easily be better than an amp from a manufacturer and cheaper too. 

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3 hours ago, jimjimbo said:

Ok, and what?  You're comparing a home built amplifier with modest parts and unknown quality tubes to amplifiers with huge market recognition, lifetime warranty, premium parts and tubes and a large support network.  Good things come to those that wait.

Bob Carver has huge market recognition, too.

 

Maybe the long wait is due to parts shortages like most are experiencing and that Decware is not a factory.

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10 minutes ago, Curious_George said:

Obviously, when it comes to amplifiers, you don’t have a clue. A DIY home built amp can easily be better than an amp from a manufacturer and cheaper too. 

You have no idea, and, that's obvious.  How amazingly rude.  I guess you REALLY don't get it.  Continue to drink the Kool-Aid, and you'll be fine.

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