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  1. #1

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    Default I want to buy a DIY kit for a headphone amp

    OK, now I have got the diy bug. Thanks to all who gave input on my headphone amp thread.

    Well, I was looking around, and comparing a few kits. I found this: S-5 Electronics DIY Tube Amplifier Kits from DIY Audio Products.

    If, that is, If, I go with a kit for my choice. I may also go the route that I choose all the parts, and go from there.

    I don't know if tubes are going to be my style. I have a fairly confined space on my desk, and don't want to burn myself. I know there are cages, etc. for them, but that is why I am asking for advice. :D

    So, my goal is to enjoy making my own headphone amp, while at the same time building something that is better than low end, but not really more than $150-$200.

    The phones I will be driving are going to be Grado 60is, or 80is. Sooner or later I am looking at the Senn 650s, or similar. I listen to all kinds of music: classical, to jazz, to rock, to folk.

    I am looking for suggestions on kits, or projects that have worked well for people. By that I mean that I am a newcomer to this type of thing, and don't want to etch my own board, etc.

    I have a nice soldering/ de-soldering station coming my way this week. I also have a dmm, as well as the smaller tools that are needed, so that isn't an issue.

    Thanks guys, I appreciate your help!

    Matt
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  2. #2

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    WOW! i thought you were kidding...never knew that exsisted, but then again I dont know much.

  3. #3

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    1) http://www.pmillett.com/starving.htm

    2) http://www.pmillett.com/hybrid_head.htm

    3) http://www.pmillett.com/hybrid_amp.htm

    The S-5 kits are quite nice, but more than you need for headphones.
    (Our S-5 "K-12M" kit is actually ensconced on the Valencias in the LR hifi right this moment, due to a little mircrophonics trouble in the 7199s in a Dyna SCA-35 that's been there while the venerable HF-81 is on hiatus!)
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 05-04-2009 at 03:34 PM.
    all the best,
    mrh

  4. #4

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    You could also try a Mini3 or M^3.

    Here is a wealth of info on DIY or headphone amps in general:
    http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/
    http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/
    http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f105/
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    1) http://www.pmillett.com/starving.htm

    2) http://www.pmillett.com/hybrid_head.htm

    3) http://www.pmillett.com/hybrid_amp.htm

    The S-5 kits are quite nice, but more than you need for headphones.
    (Our S-5 "K-12M" kit is actually ensconced on the Valencias in the LR hifi right this moment, due to a little mircrophonics trouble in the 7199s in a Dyna SCA-35 that's been there while the venerable HF-81 is on hiatus!)
    Thanks, I am looking at these quite closely.

    Matt
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    You could also try a Mini3 or M^3.

    Here is a wealth of info on DIY or headphone amps in general:
    http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/
    http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/
    http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f105/
    Good info. Yes, this is where I was researching originally. Good place to get tons of info. Kinda hard to sort through all of it at this point.

    Matt
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  7. #7

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    I've built a couple of examples of Pete Millett's low-voltage hybrid headphone amp/preamp (published some years back in audioXpress magazine; link 2) in my previous post). Here's one I built in a black plastic box from Radio Shack (Hammond OEM, by the looks of it).



    It strikes me as a good sounding preamp and headphone amp. My son (believe it or not) is using one of these to power a pair of Polk Monitor 5Bs in his dorm room. That SS buffer apparently does its job quite well.
    all the best,
    mrh

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    I've built a couple of examples of Pete Millett's low-voltage hybrid headphone amp/preamp (published some years back in audioXpress magazine; link 2) in my previous post). Here's one I built in a black plastic box from Radio Shack (Hammond OEM, by the looks of it).



    It strikes me as a good sounding preamp and headphone amp. My son (believe it or not) is using one of these to power a pair of Polk Monitor 5Bs in his dorm room. That SS buffer apparently does its job quite well.
    Thanks mhardy, I also looked at your original reply in my other thread. I really like the amp in the pic. I think that would be a great starter amp for me to tackle. I see that the parts list is $100, but does that mean that I have to buy the board from you for $50?

    Also, I haven't looked to see the availability of all the parts. Are you aware of any that aren't available any more for one reason or another?

    Sounds like your son is enjoying it in college. That just rocks!

    Thanks again,
    Matt
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  9. #9

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    Not from me; I think HeadFi may have boards for the current version (you can e-mail Pete or check his site for links/details). I think the buffer Pete originally used may be no longer available; otherwise parts are pretty generic. I think www.tubesandmore.com still has the space charge triode tubes cheap (although I haven't checked lately). They're having a 25% off sale on some NOS tubes even as I type this.

    Sorry if I double-posted a reply on different threads (different places?)!
    all the best,
    mrh

  10. #10

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    Circuit boars still pop up for just about every project. Some guys buy
    5 or 10 at a time when a new build comes up. I glance through the for sale
    section daily.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    Not from me; I think HeadFi may have boards for the current version (you can e-mail Pete or check his site for links/details). I think the buffer Pete originally used may be no longer available; otherwise parts are pretty generic. I think www.tubesandmore.com still has the space charge triode tubes cheap (although I haven't checked lately). They're having a 25% off sale on some NOS tubes even as I type this.

    Sorry if I double-posted a reply on different threads (different places?)!
    Great, thanks! No, not at all about double posting. I didn't mean that. I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your help, and I didn't just ignore your advice/ help.

    You have given me a great deal of help in this post as well. That rocks about the sale, woohoo!

    Matt
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by sucks2beme View Post
    Circuit boars still pop up for just about every project. Some guys buy
    5 or 10 at a time when a new build comes up. I glance through the for sale
    section daily.
    Good to know. I will definitely check out the for sale section regularly. It may not be a bad idea to post in the wanted section for me as well. Once I get the funds, that is, lol!

    Thanks,
    Matt
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    Since you mentioned this being on a desk, will you be using your computer as the source?

    If so, you might also want to consider a DAC/head amp combo, assuming you don't already have an outboard DAC.

    Also, if you're new to soldering, another option to get your feet wet is to buy a finished piece and do some simple mods on it (replace critical parts with better parts).
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam2434 View Post
    Since you mentioned this being on a desk, will you be using your computer as the source?

    If so, you might also want to consider a DAC/head amp combo, assuming you don't already have an outboard DAC.

    Also, if you're new to soldering, another option to get your feet wet is to buy a finished piece and do some simple mods on it (replace critical parts with better parts).
    Good idea about the DAC. However, I have found them to be out of my price range for the time being. I was thinking that after I build my headphone amp, I could add a DAC later, if I wanted to.

    I like the idea of buying something already done, and upgrading. But, I really have the DIY bug. I have been soldering for some time with the "heated nail" as tangent calls it (the $9 pencil iron).
    So, to satisfy my DIY bug, I purchased a proper hot air rework/ soldering station from Aoyue, the 968, to be exact. I will be practicing with that for a while before I am able to get set up with a kit. I am also investing in a the other proper tools for the job, as suggested on tangent training tutorials.

    Thanks for the great advice,
    Matt
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    I went to a tech school, and made one of these in while going thru the electronics shop, its been a couple years but I have since forgotten how to make one. But from what I remember they are not that hard to do.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblique View Post
    I went to a tech school, and made one of these in while going thru the electronics shop, its been a couple years but I have since forgotten how to make one. But from what I remember they are not that hard to do.
    Kool, this should be a nice little introduction to DIY amps for me. :)

    Thanks,
    Matt
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  17. #17

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    Why can't I find any Millet Max hybrid pcbs for sale? Does anyone have them in stock?

    Thanks,
    Matt
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  18. #18

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    you could build it point to point :-)
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Last month several showed up. When nobody I know needs one,
    there's a buttload. Somebody asks about one, not one to be found.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  20. #20

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    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    you could build it point to point :-)
    I have no idea how to do that, nor do I want to get that involved on my first project. But thanks anyways. :)

    Matt
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by sucks2beme View Post
    Great lead, thanks! I have already pm'd him, and am awaiting a reply.

    Will keep you informed,
    Matt
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  23. #23

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    Sucks2beme, man, do I ever owe you! He still has at least one, and I am buying it for $20 shipped! I think that he is really giving me a great deal on a brand new board. He is a very stand up guy, and has the best feedback (and 8 pgs worth) I have seen in a forum. So, I am really excited that you found him for me.:)

    I will start buying my supplies the beginning of the month, and will post how things go.

    Thanks again,
    Matt
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