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  1. #1

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    Default DIY Tube AMPs - Your Experience or thoughts

    Since I completed the crossover upgrades on my SDA-1Cs I am not ready to put the soldering iron away just yet. So I have been looking around at DIY projects and came across these.

    Anyone built one of these or know anything about them?

    Will they power my SDA-1Cs well enough ?

    Are they other DIY Tube AMPs I should consider ?

    http://www.tubes4hifi.com/bob.htm

    I am looking at the VTA ST-120 KIT with NO TUBES > $795 + shipping

    Thanks,
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  2. #2

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    That kit looks interesting. I don't know much about tube stuff, but my 1Cs are running on a 65w solid state Pioneer amp (old school watts) and they sound good. You just need to be careful with the volume.
    ~Matt
    -----------------My System------------------
    Front L/R: Definitive BP10Bs
    Surrounds -Polk Audio Monitor 4As
    Preamp: B&K Reference 20
    CD: Jolida JD100a
    L/R Amp: Carver TFM-24
    Turntable: Pioneer PL-516 W/ Shure M97xe
    TV: Sony 52" XBR9

  3. #3

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    Bump
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  4. #4

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    I have had two tube amps on my 1C's,, the first was a 40 watt Anthem with upgraded caps,,and it had plenty of power,,sigh,, sold it to another polkie,and currently I have a 40 watt Quicksilver GLa(has the 60 watt trannies),,both use EL-34 power tubes,which IMHO,just worked magic.I can say that the 40-50 watt tubers from Manley,VTL,Quicksilver do work some magic on 1C's. I really want to hear the TAD and Dynaco on some small SDA's such as yours and mine.Good luck--let us know what you end up with.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  5. #5

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    A kit isn't DIY.
    That said, there are many nice kits at numerous price points.

    www.bottlehead.com
    www.transcendentsound.com
    www.dynakitparts.com
    www.s5electronics.com

    to name a few...

    DIY: you can build far better than you can buy, because if you can choose any components you want to. The only part that's hard from my perspective is prepping the chassis (cutting holes to mount sockets, stuff like that) and finish work (paint/woodwork/staining); the physical assembly is fun.

    Here's some nice DIY from Gary Kaufman, e.g. www.the-planet.org

    Kits save one from the stuff I am not good at and generally add some value relative to a fully-built product. Plus, one gets the "I built it myself" satisfaction of some sweat equity.
    all the best,
    mrh

  6. #6

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    Thanks George and MRH.

    Definately would want a kit.

    George the kit from tubes4hifi use the KT88 output tubes in place of the EL34 tubes for
    a slightly different tonal presentation.

    I take it the KT88 and EL34 are not swappable ?
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by thsmith View Post
    I take it the KT88 and EL34 are not swappable ?
    On a few amps, yes.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  8. #8

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    Thanks Face, I sent Roy at tubes4hifi that question.

    At that price and wpc built in USA it looks like it could be a fun project.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  9. #9

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    6L6, EL34 and the "KT" (kinkless tetrode) tubes are all related and can be interchangeable within their operating limits -- generally one that could dissipate more power is OK in lieu of one that was rated for less (e.g., in a circuit with lower plate voltage). That's something of an oversimplification, but it is basically true.

    The tubes4hifi ST-70 clonie looks nice; I don't know anything about the company or the fellows involved, or where Roy is located. Interesting to note a distributor in MA... if you find a real address, please post a link to it -- I couldn't find one.
    all the best,
    mrh

  10. #10

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    I asked the question at tubes4hifi on using EL34 and the response was, you would just need to reset the bias to run the tubes around 40 to 45ma each.

    Now to find out where they are located. Also I would need to relocate the RCA inputs from the front to the rear which is another question I asked Roy.

    They have a forum at the site which is dedicated to Dynaco amps and kits.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  11. #11

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    mrh, here is a reply from Roy on their location and relocating the RCAs.

    I'm in Tacoma WA, my partner Bob, who sells the ST120 kits, is in Massachusetts on the east coast.
    Shouldn't be a problem to relocate the RCA inputs, you would need to drill a couple small holes and use shielded cable so there is no interference from the AC power and transformer, I've done it before.
    If you are going to use EL34s why wouldn't you just want to save $200 and go with the ST70 model ??
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs

    Ofc: Wright WLA12 preamp: Anthem Amp 1: Pio Elite DV-79AVI: Airport Express: CAL Sigma II DAC: PA LS90 sonicaps and mills

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by thsmith View Post
    mrh, here is a reply from Roy on their location and relocating the RCAs.

    I'm in Tacoma WA, my partner Bob, who sells the ST120 kits, is in Massachusetts on the east coast.
    Shouldn't be a problem to relocate the RCA inputs, you would need to drill a couple small holes and use shielded cable so there is no interference from the AC power and transformer, I've done it before.
    If you are going to use EL34s why wouldn't you just want to save $200 and go with the ST70 model ??
    Sounds good!
    all the best,
    mrh

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