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  1. #1
    Audiophile
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    Default Just finished my amp!

    I just finished building my tube amp kit that I got from S5 Electronics. It's their 16LS tube amp that comes out at 15wpc and they claim is 4 or 8 ohm capable. (I'm running my Monitor 5jrs so split the difference) It runs eight output tubes and two input tubes. The amp is for my computer rig, so the fact that it is integrated is really nice. Soldering everything to the board was the easy part, but making my own wooden case and all the physical wiring and moving of components took a long time! However, I finished it last night, hooked it up, and boy does it sing. This is an amazing sounding amp and I am very impressed. Everything about it is good; from the warm sound, to the dynamics, and even the detail. It came out way better than I expected, and all for just over $200. There is no way that I could have purchased a comparable amp for even three times the amount I built this for. I'll post pictures when I get a chance today or tomorrow. Question or comments are definitely welcome.

  2. #2

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    Cool!

    Sounds like fun.

    Can't wait for pictures!

  3. #3

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    I love DIY. I have some projects on hold, but I am still having fun with the designs.
    Glad you enjoyed it.
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  4. #4

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    Cool project.
    Let me tell you something about life, around every corner monsters await. I know, I am one.

    If I owned hell and this place, I would rent this place out and live in hell.

    Mains: Anthony Gallo Reference 3.1
    Preamp: Modwright SWL9.0SE
    Amps: Butler TBD2250, PS Audio Trio
    PrePro: Cary Cinema 6, Outlaw 990
    DAC: Benchmark DAC1
    Universal Player: Denon 2900
    Cables: StraightWire Encore II, Kimber Hero, Audioquest Type 4, CV-8, Columbia DBS
    Power Conditioner: Belkin PF60

  5. #5
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    Quick question: The input tubes on this amp are a lot brighter than the output tubes, even at half power. Is that a problem, or normal? They are not so hot that they are red-hotting the interior metal components, just bright. The only other piece of tube gear I've owned was a pre, so I don't really have any comparison. Thanks.

  6. #6

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    Awesome....reminds me of way back when I put together a few Hafler DH500 kits
    The first rule of Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    Quick question: The input tubes on this amp are a lot brighter than the output tubes, even at half power. Is that a problem, or normal? They are not so hot that they are red-hotting the interior metal components, just bright. The only other piece of tube gear I've owned was a pre, so I don't really have any comparison. Thanks.
    It's not a problem and not abnormal.

  8. #8

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    Where's the flippin pictures?

    I wanna see some pics man.

  9. #9

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    Pictures. Need pictures. Definitely gonna want to see some pictures.

  10. #10
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    Alright, alright. I'll appease the peanut gallery. :p Sorry about the old-school point-and-shoot camera. I tried a ton of dark tube pictures with/without tripod and those are the best I could get. It's a wooden box I built with a piece of plexi on top painted black on the backside. It's real shinny and almost looks like piano finish. The whole board is then suspended so that the tubes poke out the top.
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  11. #11
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    I do have to say that my 4.1TLs love this amp. It's a sweet combo to say the least.
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  12. #12
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    How cool is that, tubes for the computer rig.Thats one neat little amp,nice work.

  13. #13

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    Hey folks, I remember when I was like 10, my brother built his own amp as well using tubes. However, I really didn't pay attention to the sound. What are the advantages of using this kind of amps versus the receivers(non-tubed)?

    Thanks!

  14. #14

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    Sweet. Very nice attention to detail as usual. What voltage are the transformers?
    Thanks
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  15. #15

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    Thats badass.

    Those tubes look great in the dark.

    Well done!

  16. #16

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    Very nice Job. Congrats

    engtaz

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by aud10n3wb13 View Post
    Hey folks, I remember when I was like 10, my brother built his own amp as well using tubes. However, I really didn't pay attention to the sound. What are the advantages of using this kind of amps versus the receivers(non-tubed)?

    Thanks!
    Sound quality----pure and simple.You would not use this kind of amp for HT use.

  18. #18

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    Default Just getting in to DIY

    This looks like it might be the kit for me. So far I have only heard good things. Thanks.:)

  19. #19

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    Its awsome people still do this stuff for entertainment.

    You guys remember "Heathkit"?

    When I was a kid I wanted my dad to get the pinball machine kit so bad.

    I also remember my brother making his own distortion boxes for his guitar, damn I wish I payed more attention.

    Dumb question, It seems that the tube amps are allways rated at a much lower wattage, do they get the same job done with less power and why?

  20. #20

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    These are simple fun kits to build. Most anyone can do it and you don't have to go all fancy, but you can. Here is one a friend brought over to one of our audio meets. It is the baby brother:


  21. #21
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    Let me tell you, soldering up the amp was pretty simple like Wardsweb mentioned, but modding it for a case and all the custom work took me 90% of the build. But it is well worth it!

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    Let me tell you, soldering up the amp was pretty simple like Wardsweb mentioned, but modding it for a case and all the custom work took me 90% of the build. But it is well worth it!
    Sounds similar to my experience building a Bugle phono pre. 3 hours until I had a working board, 3 weeks 'til it was in it's wooden case!

    Are you still running it with your 4.1tl's?
    Wris****ch--->Crisco

  23. #23
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    Oh ya; I switch it back and forth between my 4.1TLs and my RDO Monitor 5Jrs. It's sounds great on both and it might over-take my Carver in that application. I'm still amazed how good the amp sounds!

  24. #24

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    I think I would really like to build one of these. I miss a tube amp.

    Zingo was it $200.00 for everything including the tubes?
    I like speakers that are bigger than a small refrigerator but smaller than a big refrigerator:D

  25. #25
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    That buys you the kit including the tubes, but I spent a pretty penny past that with the case and upgrades/mods. I'm just using the stock tubes with I think are good enough, plus I haven't really been able to find upgrade tubes for this thing.

  26. #26

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    I think you did a great job on a nice kit, I only have one concern....using an enclosed wooden box. I had built a really killer custom small form factor PC in a wooden box using a water cooling setup so it ran ice cold.

    I happened to have a neighbor who is a fire marshall, and during a small party I had at my house he had seen my custom PC. He said as awesome as that looked and worked, he wouldnt have it in his house...I asked why ?

    Well of course they use metal casings on electronics ( Both PC's and audio gear ) for RF shielding ....but it is also there to pass UL fire codes. If you notice, even plastic PC cases have a metal liner inside. He said if for some reason that PC ( Amp ...etc ) shorted out/overheated/whatever and caught fire and burned your house down...your home insurance would NOT pay for the damages.

    I thought about it, and pulled the hardware from my killer wooden case to be used in a different case...and scrapped the wooden enclosure.


    Even the website you bought the amp from has this statement on their homepage.....

    Caution: These amplifiers may be operated as supplied, however voltages in excess of 240 volts are present on the board and the tubes get very hot. It is advised that the amplifier be mounted in a well-ventilated METAL enclosure to reduce the potential of fire or shock.


    Just an FYI for ya.....wouldnt want to see you suffer any losses that couldnt be recovered is all.
    The first rule of Fight Club is you don't talk about Fight Club

  27. #27
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    Hmm... thanks for the thoughts. I'll have to give this some consideration.

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    Zingo,

    What upgrades and mod's did you do?
    I like speakers that are bigger than a small refrigerator but smaller than a big refrigerator:D

  29. #29
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    Ah let me think: I had to mod a couple different things to mount the board the way I did with the tubes sticking through the top. I mounted the large caps on the bottom since they would have been too tall. Then, I mounted the board about 4" off the bottom of the case so it would be flush with the top. The power-switch was a joke (lamp style), so I installed an actual rocker power switch on the case and wired it up. I also mounted the volume pot and upgraded plugs (RCA and binding posts) on the case and routed them back to the board. I am still trying to decide whether I want to replace the power cord altogether with an IEC style. And then as you know, too much custom work goes into installing a kit in a custom made case anyways.

  30. #30

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    Ok that's what I thought. Did you order yours from the S5 website? I was trying to get to the order page just a few minutes ago and it was sending me to all the wrong pages. I may try later.

    Scott
    I like speakers that are bigger than a small refrigerator but smaller than a big refrigerator:D

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