DIY amplifiers

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by RichardHOS, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. RichardHOS

    RichardHOS Second Unit

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    Any suggestions on kit or completely DIY SS amplifiers that offer not only good performance (power, distortion, frequency response, SNR, etc.) but also are a great value? This would be something I would build a large quantity of to use in combination with custom active monitors that are actively bi-amped or tri-amped.

    I've looked at some of the gainclone designs, and though it looks like performance is good, the power is a bit low (usually 50W without using bridging and such) and the cost doesn't really seem that great.

    This question is of course coming from someone who doesn't believe Rotel amplifiers and Krell amplifiers sound different, so there isn't any need for "exotic" designs, but rather no-frills get the job done with value designs.

    Power would ideally be in the 100+ watt per channel range into a 4 ohm load, with good low impedance handling as they will be driving individual drivers directly, possibly without impedance compensation.

    I've looked at some "commercial" multichannel amps from ATI, Adcom, and the like that would work great and offer a pretty good value. Any DIY option would have to come in significantly lower in cost to make the time expenditure worth it.

    I don't need any "cabinets" as they will most likely be incorporated into the monitors. Just good quality "bulk" amplifier channels. Mono design would be nice, but is probably overkill and probably would be more of a hassle to deal with all the power supplies.

    Ideas?
     
  2. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    THESE get a lot of online positive press. Their gallery page shows some interesting variants of the design.

    Something to consider would be to built one of the Pass Labs DIY designs. They are quite popular and one can get a ton of support/feedback largely due to Nelson's direct participation at the Pass Lab forum

    The Pass Lab DIY website has info on what they offer. They too have a gallery page

    Personally I think you should build the 'Zen-lightenment' [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Hi Richard,

    I have built two amplifiers, the Pass DIY Zen V4 and Anthony Holton's 400 watt symmetrical amp, though neither of those seems to suit your purposes. It's fun but a good bit of money and a hell of a lot of work... especially if you're new like me. In particular, getting a good decent high power amplifier is not going to be much cheaper than the usual brands of multichannel amps. My pair of 400w monoblocks project cost nearly $400 and took many many many hours.

    In your power range, AKSA looks like a good bet albeit expensive for the kit. You could also consider one of the Leach amps, or one of Holton's PCBs run at lower power than intended. See the DIYaudio forum, there is a never ending pile of ideas there.
     
  4. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Gees I completely forgot about the Marchand Electronics kit amps

    Phil has specials every month and I think there are other available discounts
     
  5. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    I built a three channel AKSA 100W Nirvana amp about a year ago and it has been a great performer. I will eventually build another 3 channel AKSA 100W amp later when I go 6.1 as I am currently 5.1. It makes for a great stereo amp or home theater amp.

    The AKSA demoted my B&K Reference 4420 to surround duty.

    www.aksaonline.com

    Darren
     
  6. RichardHOS

    RichardHOS Second Unit

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    Hey, some of those Marchand kit amps look just about right. Right price, right power, good specs, no frills, solid design. Didn't see anything on impedance rating, so I'll have to check on that.

    The AKASA amps look really nice as well, and would probably fall on the edge of the price range I was looking at (probably wind up a bit more expensive than just buying a decent multichannel commercial amp). With volume discounting though, it is certainly a realistic alternative though.

    I read the DiyAudio forums, but I find sometimes that people so deeply involved in a subject have a hard time stepping back and making basic recommendations - too wound up in the resistor of the month or something. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the suggestions. Gives me a place to start.
     
  7. TimForman

    TimForman Supporting Actor

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    I'll chime in with something you can compare to.
    QKits
     
  8. TedS

    TedS Agent

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    The Elliott Sound Products (ESP) Project 3A (P3A) amp also seems to be fairly popular and simple. This is the one I think I would do, if/when I decide to do a diy amp. If you get the PCBs from Rod Elliott, you also get access to the online help portion of his website.

    http://sound.westhost.com/project3a.htm

    Ted
     
  9. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Oh I totally forgot! I'm helping my friend build the P3A amps which are good for 100wpc into 4 ohms, and they're cheap PCBs and parts; ESP has really good documentation and support. That is definitely one to consider.
    http://sound.westhost.com/project3a.htm
     

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