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DIY audio: what are you building?


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14 minutes ago, hyper said:

Houston your relentless mate I don’t know where you get the time 😊

Fortunately I have been retrieved for 13 years now so even more time on my hands. But even when I worked full time I made time. It’s my hobby for just the last 50 years and I think I’m stating to get the hang of it. 
 

I can report here the Salt Cellar mono triode is a in-your-face sonic killer. Through the Beymas a little light on bass but bass assist from another driver could help that the rest, it’s raw and in your face real.. Got me very emotional on tracks I’ve not liked in the past.

 

Tomorrow get the bits on the outside into the inside including the big 10H Hammond choke.  Must say the amp is absolutely dead quiet when no music is playing. I’m talking black background quiet. Nothing. 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, hyper said:

Rank, I read back a few post so apologies if I’ve missed anything. I suppose the first question is is there a perceived problem with the current PSU? 
 

I get that people like to run external linear PSUs for various kit, but I’m just wondering if there is anything you’ve notice that’s compelling you to change the supply? Or you just want to tinker 😊


Trust me I get the want to tinker but it’s always good to start with an issue you want to resolve or at very least an understanding of how you are going to confirm it’s increased performance (outside our very unreliable ears). 
 

If it’s simple noise issue it might be something as easy as couple of cascading low ESR caps in front of the supply.

 

IMHO it maybe overkill without any real benefit when the PSU could be used to more benefit for another project.

 

Don’t get me wrong not trying to be unhelpful in anyway. I suppose I’m just pointing out a sep transformer and PSU for that device maybe more then case of diminishing returns and if your got the DIY bug it may serve other projects better 😊

 


 

 

All completely valid questions :) 

 

I’d say it’s half about sound quality. The mini on its own sounds great - substantially better than the Pi/Boss combo - but I’ve been doing this long enough to know that you can always get better sound. If I had to pick nits, along with the detail, there’s a little hardness in the top end. Auralic themselves sell (or sold) a LPSU for the Aries range so I presume they make some difference and maybe it will be that. I don’t necessarily expect to hear as much difference with my $80 LPS as I might with theirs but I don’t have theirs to compare it to and, at multiple hundreds of dollars, I don’t expect to in the foreseeable future. 
 

The other half is definitely the tinkering side of it. I’ve been excited about the more roll-your-own aspects of hifi for only about a year or so and I’m yet to complete a project for various banal reasons. The dual supply for the Pi player was to be my first but in the two months that I’ve been waiting for parts, my attention has wandered, as it’s wont to do, and the Pi player is no longer a priority. I still have the kit, though and I’m itching to build it and to see if I can make it actually work.

 

If I end up with a power supply that sounds exactly like the wall wart that ships with the mini, I’ll consider that a resounding success and I’ll build a fancy case for it and use it with pride (I’m very excited about building the fancy case. That sort of thing is my jam). If it sounds even a little bit better, even just to me, then you’re not going to be able to shut me up about it. I know it’s not much to some of you guys. Compared to some of the projects on here, it’s like I’m building a duplo LEGO kit, but I’m excited to tackle it and you’ve got to start somewhere, no?

 

The other small but important part of it is that my mental health, which has often sucked over the last few years, is improved by me having a project to do that involves making something with my hands. It doesn’t really matter what it is and in some ways thinking about and researching it is almost as useful as doing it because if I’m engrossed in trying to understand voltage drops and negative voltages, I’m not fixated on less healthy thoughts. So there’s that. 
 

Sorry if that’s too much info. Your answer must be in there somewhere, though :D 

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14 minutes ago, mwhouston said:

Fortunately I have been retrieved for 13 years now so even more time on my hands. But even when I worked full time I made time. It’s my hobby for just the last 50 years and I think I’m stating to get the hang of it. 
 

I can report here the Salt Cellar mono triode is a in-your-face sonic killer. Through the Beymas a little light on bass but bass assist from another driver could help that the rest, it’s raw and in your face real.. Got me very emotional on tracks I’ve not liked in the past.

 

Tomorrow get the bits on the outside into the inside including the big 10H Hammond choke.  Must say the amp is absolutely dead quiet when no music is playing. I’m talking black background quiet. Nothing. 

 

 

Looks interesting is that an 807?

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1 minute ago, hyper said:

Looks interesting is that an 807?

Yes it is and there are two tubes which were a gift from a fellow builder who knew I had completed a 807 SE UL amp with external PS:- https://retro-thermionic.blogspot.com/2012/03/luciano-807-power-amp.html

 

These tubes, untested, have sat idle for many years. To keep the SC feel I wanted a power tube with a top cap. These freeby stunning looking 807 fit the bill. The 80 rec  tube and RCA 6SN7 I have also had for donkeys and I have a pair of each.

 

I have one 12A6 black metal tube I would like to build another SC wine box amp with. But need a good cct. I can use the same external Tranni brd. 

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7 minutes ago, RankStranger said:

All completely valid questions :) 

 

I’d say it’s half about sound quality. The mini on its own sounds great - substantially better than the Pi/Boss combo - but I’ve been doing this long enough to know that you can always get better sound. If I had to pick nits, along with the detail, there’s a little hardness in the top end. Auralic themselves sell (or sold) a LPSU for the Aries range so I presume they make some difference and maybe it will be that. I don’t necessarily expect to hear as much difference with my $80 LPS as I might with theirs but I don’t have theirs to compare it to and, at multiple hundreds of dollars, I don’t expect to in the foreseeable future. 
 

The other half is definitely the tinkering side of it. I’ve been excited about the more roll-your-own aspects of hifi for only about a year or so and I’m yet to complete a project for various banal reasons. The dual supply for the Pi player was to be my first but in the two months that I’ve been waiting for parts, my attention has wandered, as it’s wont to do, and the Pi player is no longer a priority. I still have the kit, though and I’m itching to build it and to see if I can make it actually work.

 

If I end up with a power supply that sounds exactly like the wall wart that ships with the mini, I’ll consider that a resounding success and I’ll build a fancy case for it and use it with pride (I’m very excited about building the fancy case. That sort of thing is my jam). If it sounds even a little bit better, even just to me, then you’re not going to be able to shut me up about it. I know it’s not much to some of you guys. Compared to some of the projects on here, it’s like I’m building a duplo LEGO kit, but I’m excited to tackle it and you’ve got to start somewhere, no?

 

The other small but important part of it is that my mental health, which has often sucked over the last few years, is improved by me having a project to do that involves making something with my hands. It doesn’t really matter what it is and in some ways thinking about and researching it is almost as useful as doing it because if I’m engrossed in trying to understand voltage drops and negative voltages, I’m not fixated on less healthy thoughts. So there’s that. 
 

Sorry if that’s too much info. Your answer must be in there somewhere, though :D 

Mate all power to you and I’m glad your found something that is of interest and finding enjoyment.

 

if your enjoying it that’s all that matters I was just pointing out practical considerations for it that’s all! 

 

As pointed out above your looking at an DC output of around 1.4x above the AC input for the PSU, there’s slight loss from sag (lessor factor given the current draw) and voltage drops cross the rectifier but close enough to 1.4x

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13 minutes ago, mwhouston said:

Yes it is and there are two tubes which were a gift from a fellow builder who knew I had completed a 807 SE UL amp with external PS:- https://retro-thermionic.blogspot.com/2012/03/luciano-807-power-amp.html

 

These tubes, untested, have sat idle for many years. To keep the SC feel I wanted a power tube with a top cap. These freeby stunning looking 807 fit the bill. The 80 rec  tube and RCA 6SN7 I have also had for donkeys and I have a pair of each.

 

I have one 12A6 black metal tube I would like to build another SC wine box amp with. But need a good cct. I can use the same external Tranni brd. 

Looks like an interesting build never actually heard an 807 what do you liken them to???

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I have built a number of triode amps but found SE UL amps had more punch even at two watts. But this was the Salt Cellar amp and had to have a top cap and triode strapped tube. It’s a veryimpressive looking tube.

 

I download the tracks they listen to  - Mississippi Fred McDowell the Allan Lowmax recordings. Single mic straight onto a tube tape recorder. 
 

On my main system this was sh!t and I could only bare half the tracks. After a warmup on the SC system I played the tracks which I up sample to 24/96 through a Pi server and Audiophonics DAC HAT.

 

 Three tracks had me very emotional and in tears. First time for a very long time. No deep bass but in your face raw reproduction. Get the picture. 
 

 

Edited by mwhouston
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I’m listening to a 30yr old 807 valve amp at the moment, two output tubes per channel, push-pull topology and about 20w/ch ...sounds valvey, engaging, sweet and clear similar tone to an EL34, but maybe better? Cheers, Steve.

 

image.jpg

Edited by Steve M
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25 minutes ago, Steve M said:

I’m listening to a 30yr old 807 valve amp at the moment, two output tubes per channel, push-pull topology and about 20w/ch ...sounds valvey, engaging, sweet and clear similar tone to an EL34, but maybe better? Cheers, Steve.

 

image.jpg

If they are that old get them tested. They could be “Good” but may not be. Amp looks super good. 

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All good Mark, the amp has had a rebuild and check ups over its time, so working fine. It’s maker says it has some harmonic distortion purposely dialled in, to give it a luscious sound.

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22 hours ago, Steve M said:

I’m listening to a 30yr old 807 valve amp at the moment, two output tubes per channel, push-pull topology and about 20w/ch ...sounds valvey, engaging, sweet and clear similar tone to an EL34, but maybe better? Cheers, Steve.

 

image.jpg

God I love those VU meters... or any meters of that kind.

 

Nice toy!

 

Cheers,

 

Alberto

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Have had some 0.1uf Miflex copper wax caps bypassing the 1uf Andyn copper caps on the output of my cd player.

caps.jpg.6610da2fe86fcdf2a9e51fadaf4ffd20.jpg

Just disconnected the Miflex and it has remove some now evident smearing that was a result of having the Miflex across the Andyn's.

 

Edit: sound stage is more correct too, previously with the miflex bypasses it was like two different ones with one over laying the other, so moving ya' head a little to left or right there were transitions.

 

Should have tried the Andyn's on there own in the first place.

Edited by muon*
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9 minutes ago, RankStranger said:

9D677261-CC0E-4613-861A-E8DDE041C420.jpeg.1170d14ef5b2ce81912b5bc8722f7af9.jpeg

 

I made some electricity out of some other electricity!

Yeah, but you put in 240 electricities and you only got 16 out!  

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14 minutes ago, RoHo said:

Yeah, but you put in 240 electricities and you only got 16 out!  

gotta save some electricities for the rest of you :) 

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Hey Mark @mwhouston, what class D mono modules do you use? I'm looking for a pair of single ended mono class D modules and I was looking for the NCores, unfortunately they only have a differential input.

 

Cheers,

 

Alberto

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2 hours ago, betocool said:

Hey Mark @mwhouston, what class D mono modules do you use? I'm looking for a pair of single ended mono class D modules and I was looking for the NCores, unfortunately they only have a differential input.

 

Cheers,

 

Alberto

hifimediy 150W mono boards or 180W stereo brd. Cheap and very good. 

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14 hours ago, mwhouston said:

hifimediy 150W mono boards or 180W stereo brd. Cheap and very good. 

The 150W brds. “T3” Use a single rail DC supply. The 180W  brds. “T4” require +/-  or just a AC Tranni. The T4s have a high performance PS on brd.  Also the T4s have full speaker crowbar protection built in.. 
 

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Thanks @mwhouston, I'm now considering 2x T3 Monos or 1x T4 stereo. I have a massive ~30V tranny and 47mF caps that I could use for the power supply, so that would work well. Just have to think about cap inrush current at switch on time.

 

Cheers,

 

Alberto

 

 

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Some more photos of this diy speaker prototype designed by William Cowan from CowanAudio.   I'm at the stage of playing around with the DSP (najda) to get the right xo/levels/eq.    First taste of multientry horn and bipolar bass.   Quite promising so far. 

1302FA32-D8D3-4FEE-80C6-41E63CE8F3A9.jpeg

8ED9842D-348C-435E-8408-23D896733434.jpeg

74B86ABF-DFF8-4DEB-A28E-A59990E97FF9.jpeg

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23 minutes ago, tuyen said:

Some more photos of this diy speaker prototype designed by William Cowan from CowanAudio.   I'm at the stage of playing around with the DSP (najda) to get the right xo/levels/eq.    First taste of multientry horn and bipolar bass.   Quite promising so far. 

1302FA32-D8D3-4FEE-80C6-41E63CE8F3A9.jpeg

8ED9842D-348C-435E-8408-23D896733434.jpeg

74B86ABF-DFF8-4DEB-A28E-A59990E97FF9.jpeg

 

That looks amazing! How long until you have to return it to its home planet? :) 

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25 minutes ago, tuyen said:

Some more photos of this diy speaker prototype designed by William Cowan from CowanAudio.   I'm at the stage of playing around with the DSP (najda) to get the right xo/levels/eq.    First taste of multientry horn and bipolar bass.   Quite promising so far.


 

Looks good mate, might have to pop round for a listen and drop the attenuators back.

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31 minutes ago, SumonKabir said:

Finally DHT preamp is now complete😀

 

4325902F-5EF1-403C-B0AA-34AD1F464DC3.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

03C43E35-BA03-4475-B989-EE12AF21B1D6.jpeg

Great stuff Simon!

 

What is the rectifier - some old 5 pin British thing?  4v?  Certainly looks the goods!

 

When do we get a report on the sound of a 4P1L DHT pre?

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33 minutes ago, crtexcnndrm99 said:

Not compete, but close enough for a listen tonight (finally)

 

04BC8C57-B5C0-434A-9BD8-51E5B74734AE.thumb.jpeg.ef813c7b4ef8c752c3797267df243a42.jpeg

What are the drivers used here please?  That's a lot of hours in those cabinets!

 

 

Jeez - all these people are gettin stuff built!

 

Here I am in hard lockdown in Olde Melbourne Town and well - I'm getting nothing done...

 

Well Done boys - keep building.

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2 minutes ago, Red MacKay said:

Great stuff Simon!

 

What is the rectifier - some old 5 pin British thing?  4v?  Certainly looks the goods!

 

When do we get a report on the sound of a 4P1L DHT pre?

Yes, Rectifier is Telefunken RGN1064 mesh plate. 4v. I am listening to this preamp for a month now. Not sure what to report. Vocal and piano is amazing. Very tight bass. Overall it feels like everything is so balanced. Something is very different to 6SN7 or ecc83. You need to try out yourself to find the magic.😀

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5 minutes ago, Red MacKay said:

What are the drivers used here please?  That's a lot of hours in those cabinets!

 

 

Jeez - all these people are gettin stuff built!

 

Here I am in hard lockdown in Olde Melbourne Town and well - I'm getting nothing done...

 

Well Done boys - keep building.

Thanks mate - yes I don’t know if I’d have started them if I had been aware of how time consuming it was..!

 

Drivers are Beyma 15AX38Nd. 15” coaxials. I’m pretending they’re Altec 604s it Tannoy MG15 because I don’t have the dough for either of those :D 

 

Argh it’s rough situation, I hope lockdown is an opportunity for you to enjoy the main part - the music! 

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1 hour ago, crtexcnndrm99 said:

Not compete, but close enough for a listen tonight (finally)

 

04BC8C57-B5C0-434A-9BD8-51E5B74734AE.thumb.jpeg.ef813c7b4ef8c752c3797267df243a42.jpeg

Could we have some more detailed images of the speakers? 

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10 minutes ago, SumonKabir said:

Yes, Rectifier is Telefunken RGN1064 mesh plate. 4v. I am listening to this preamp for a month now. Not sure what to report. Vocal and piano is amazing. Very tight bass. Overall it feels like everything is so balanced. Something is very different to 6SN7 or ecc83. You need to try out yourself to find the magic.😀

An old Telefunken - nice.

 

What - you have had it going for a month - and only now you are telling us!

 

I have a 10Y DHT in my system.  I have mine setup to run 5v rectifiers.  So I can use 80, GZ30, GZ32, GZ34, 5AS4, 5R4, 5U4G, U52 etc.  The two standouts are the 80 and the GZ30.

 

Just this morning I fitted an octal socket with a couple of diodes fitted.  Wow - better detail and bass, but after 8hrs of it - it was splitting my head.  Of course the volts would have been higher and this might be the reason for the headsplitting as I found around 200v was the sweet spot in this configuration.

 

So back in with the old 80.   Ahhh - not as 'clean' and the bass is not so tight, but the music has that beautiful flow again. I have a couple of old globe 80s somewhere - I might see if I can find that and try it.

 

Octal SS rectifier.jpg

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25 minutes ago, crtexcnndrm99 said:

Thanks mate - yes I don’t know if I’d have started them if I had been aware of how time consuming it was..!

 

Drivers are Beyma 15AX38Nd. 15” coaxials. I’m pretending they’re Altec 604s it Tannoy MG15 because I don’t have the dough for either of those :D 

 

Argh it’s rough situation, I hope lockdown is an opportunity for you to enjoy the main part - the music! 

This was my more simpler build of those drivers. Since sold. They are very impressive.

 

https://retro-thermionic.blogspot.com/2016/03/voxgrandious-beyma-high-efficiency-15.html

 

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29 minutes ago, Red MacKay said:

An old Telefunken - nice.

 

What - you have had it going for a month - and only now you are telling us!

 

I have a 10Y DHT in my system.  I have mine setup to run 5v rectifiers.  So I can use 80, GZ30, GZ32, GZ34, 5AS4, 5R4, 5U4G, U52 etc.  The two standouts are the 80 and the GZ30.

 

Just this morning I fitted an octal socket with a couple of diodes fitted.  Wow - better detail and bass, but after 8hrs of it - it was splitting my head.  Of course the volts would have been higher and this might be the reason for the headsplitting as I found around 200v was the sweet spot in this configuration.

 

So back in with the old 80.   Ahhh - not as 'clean' and the bass is not so tight, but the music has that beautiful flow again. I have a couple of old globe 80s somewhere - I might see if I can find that and try it.

 

Octal SS rectifier.jpg

I tried 5y3, 5u4g and 5AR4. But Telefunken 1064 mesh sounds better in my ears. Or I like the glow in the dark😀

EDB2926E-59A5-4446-9579-75A286372D51.jpeg

Edited by SumonKabir
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