Amp Camp Australia - Build Your Own Tube Amplifier
Australian Hi-Fi enthusiasts really are spoilt for choice when it comes to products. For a population only a mere fraction of Asia, Europe, and the United States, we have thousands of choices when it comes to brands. Thanks goes to our local distributors for investing in our industry.
Then there’s also our home grown manufacturers; famous brands such as VAF Research, Osborn, Whatmough, Redgum and more. As enthusiasts, we can be proud of our scene here in Australia, a solid reputation well known world-wide.
I’m a bit of a DIY guy having a background in engineering and acoustics, and love experimenting with different cables, have built amplifiers, and am designing some high-efficiency 3-way active loudspeakers at the moment. I’ve certainly still injected some coin into our industry over the years though; like most I imagine.
Let’s remember where those most famous Aussie brands mentioned started out. DIY, that enjoyed growth and went on to commercial success, driving sales and dollars back into the Australian Hi-Fi industry. You see, DIY is important to our industry.
So let’s talk about ‘Amp Camp’ Australia, another chapter of the home grown scene and DIY audio fraternity. Amp Camp is the creation of Stephen Price, owner of Tube Sound Audio, located in the beautiful Blue Mountains of NSW.
StereoNET spoke to Price, who offered this background information, “Amp Camp was borne out of a growing realisation that for modest outlays a DIY hi-fi builder could achieve quite phenomenal results”.
The concept is really quite simple. Tube Sound Audio offers a fully supervised and fully equipped workshop environment where the first time amp builder can build a top of the line tube amplifier.
All the tools and materials are provided, together with specific personalised instruction. According to Price, you don’t need knowledge of electronics, don’t have to have used a soldering iron or even be familiar with wire strippers. All skills are taught as you are personally guided through the project.
One of the advantages of Amp Camp, is Price has a full range of completed amplifiers and selected valve amp speakers for audition and assessment, prior to commencing your build of the selected product.
“Our projects feature custom wound toroid transformers. Not only are they specifically designed for use with Australia’s domestic electricity supply of at least 240VAC (rather than the 230V of overseas supply), their design has been optimised for use in tube circuitry” said Price.
Amp Camp is flexible and can work around your time frame and level of skill. Typically, most projects take two days. Some attendees may complete a circuit board based pre-amplifier in one day with confident soldering skills, whereas another enthusiast might choose to build their amplifier a few hours at a time over a few months.
One nice touch, is that each amplifier built carries personalised badging with the builders name. Imagine the joy of sitting back enjoying your favourite tunes knowing each and every aspect of the amplifiers internals, all assembled by you.
Tube Sound Audio and StereoNET are collaborating to offer exclusive camps for readers of StereoNET. To express your interest in attending a camp and building your very own tube amplifier, follow this link to the StereoNET Amp Camp discussion.
For more information visit Tube Sound Audio.
StereoNET's Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.
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