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Tubularbells

Holton NXL800 Power Amp Build

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Posted a few pics on the DIY "What are you building thread" but decided to have a seperate thread specific to this build making it easier to follow for anyone else contemplating the same.

 

Power amp modules, power controller and new power supply boards.

 

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After stuffing around a bit locked in the layout below. 2 x 1kv transformers each with 2 x 60V AC taps.

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Todays joy was to begin drilling and tapping the heatsinks. Thankfully all got done and no snapped taps to contend with 👍             

 

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Layout looks nice. Good luck with the build, Anthony makes great products, you certainly will have plenty of power

 

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Guest jakeyb77

Looking great Chief 

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Looks amazing!

Stupid question - did you populate the boards? How much work has been required to get to this stage?

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5 minutes ago, AudioGeek said:

Looks amazing!

Stupid question - did you populate the boards? How much work has been required to get to this stage?

 

Nope the beautiful thing with Holton DIY products is that the boards come tested and ready to go. all the builder has to worry about is a small amount of hook-up and mounting into a suitable chassis.

 

Ive fluffed around with mine a bit so has taken me a lot longer to get to this point than it would have had I locked in the initial build spec. For example I was originally planning repurposing some old EI transformers and building my own power supply but then got wind of the newly designed one Holton was going to release so decided to wait for that instead.

 

This was the original layout using EI transformers and my power supplies in a 1:1 scale floor plan of the chassis I had just purchased back in early May.

 

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Looking good Doug 

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Amp modules & speaker relay boards attached to heatsinks. My binding posts were the wrong hole size and spacing to be able to fit the relay boards direct to the binding posts so have come up with this arrangement instead.

 

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Rear panel also put up a bit of a fight as it only had provision for RCA sockets. Thankfully @knight2001dts came to the rescue allowing me to use his 15T pneumatic hole punch which made light work of enlarging the existing 11mm hole. Also the binding posts were too thick so some rework had to be done to accommodate as well.

 

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Coming together now...

 

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Messy workstation.

 

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And let this be a lesson to those who buy caps from Ebay. stupidly purchased 20x 8,200uF 100V Nippon caps from a seller in Florida as my usual sources only had 6,000uF in that form factor.

 

Upon ordering I soon realised these could possibly be fake as I could find no evidence anywhere on the net that Nippon ever made these. Long story short a battle ensued and thankfully after about 6 weeks got my money back.

 

Spot the ugly duckling amongst the real ones Holton issues with his products.

 

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Excellent work Doug!

 

And like everything Doug does, he puts his heart and soul into a project and sees it through to completion - unlike myself who starts something and gets quickly sidetracked and either doesn’t finish it off or it takes an extra year or two 🤣😂🤣

 

Can’t wait time hear this spawn of Satan amp in the Church! 😈 

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All AC wiring completed so should (hopefully) now have nice clean DC rails ready to roll. 

 

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Power supply tested and all good. Only 0.1V difference across all 4 rails.

 

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My rail voltage might be low due to me using the Variac but so far so good.

 

 

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Guest jakeyb77

What a machine!!! Excellent work too BTW. 
I’m looking forward to the best sounding system sounding even better. 

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Your making this look too easy!

Look forward ti your reports when its up and running. What will it replace?

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Should make noise soon 🤩

Beautiful, lovely job.

 

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8 hours ago, AudioGeek said:

Your making this look too easy!

Look forward ti your reports when its up and running. What will it replace?

 

It really ain't rocket science as everything is basically plug and play. Only time consuming bit was all the drilling and tapping (22 drill & tap + another 18 holes for the power supplies and transformers)

 

Will be replacing my tower of power which is 75kg of old school pro audio amps which have been highly modified and improved on by myself. Have owned many amps over the years (Leben, Luxman, Pass Labs, Bladelius, Audio Research & Jeff Rowland) and bang for buck I think  a pair of modified Ashly's will give the others a hard time however like most pro audio they all come with fans which can be intrusive depending on where there situated.

 

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So looking forward to hearng this combo!!

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Looking great Doug. Can't wait to have a listen.

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Nearly there.

 

Amp outputs terminated to binding posts via some Mogami W3103 12AWG cable and am awaiting some VanDamme  XLR cable courtesy of @Bill125812 meaning the same wire will be used internally as well as externally which has got to be a good thing imo.

 

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Hi Doug

 

Can you give ma an idea of the final cost for this and level of knowledge required?  Are the instructions reasonable easy to follow even for a novice like me?

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33 minutes ago, camross said:

Hi Doug

 

Can you give ma an idea of the final cost for this and level of knowledge required?  Are the instructions reasonable easy to follow even for a novice like me?

 

Hey Cam, prices are listed on the Holton website

 

https://holtonprecisionaudio.com/collections/diy-audio-products

 

Other than that you're up for a case, transformer(s), terminals, wire & crimp connectors. and here the sky's the limit in how far you want to go. The case I used cost $320USD, transformers were another $600 and other bits and pieces probably another $50.

 

Kicker in this type of project is possessing all the tools required to complete a project such as this as well as having the necessary skills to use them properly (drill, taps, soldering iron etc. etc.)

 

Everything comes with instructions however some electrical knowledge is also required as your dealing with live mains.

 

Hope that helps

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On 03/07/2020 at 10:44 AM, blybo said:

Looking great Doug. Can't wait to have a listen.

... in six weeks if we are lucky...:emot-bang:

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On 28/06/2020 at 3:56 PM, Tubularbells said:

Todays joy was to begin drilling and tapping the heatsinks. Thankfully all got done and no snapped taps to contend with 👍   

 

I saw the photo, but how did you tap those holes so square? (My tap has those ridiculous side-handles that guarantee you can't keep it straight).

 

Looks like you got the case (back panel) anodized after drilling your holes?

 

I'm very impressed with your attention to detail - everything just looks right, even down to the wire feeding.

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8 minutes ago, BioBrian said:

 

I saw the photo, but how did you tap those holes so square? (My tap has those ridiculous side-handles that guarantee you can't keep it straight).

 

Looks like you got the case (back panel) anodized after drilling your holes?

 

I'm very impressed with your attention to detail - everything just looks right, even down to the wire feeding.

 

My Tap also had the bar that runs through it . Trick is imo to use the biggest pilot hole possible to begin with without compromising the thread so in this case a 2.5mm drill was used for a 3mm tap. This means the tap has to do as little work as possible making it easier on both the tap and you! Also have two drill presses for the initial pilot holes which makes a big difference as im way to unsteady for a clean 90 degree hole everytime.

 

Didn't re-anodise the chassis after drilling as the raw aluminium is hidden by the speaker posts/XLR plugs. 

 

Im a bit anal when it comes to wiring. In fact i've redone a bit since that last pic. as frankly im not a fan of those spade connectors and unless crimped 100% everytime theres a risk they could fail so today I upgraded the wire for the rails from 4mm to 6mm copper and crimped & soldered for piece of mind.

 

 

 

 

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OK, yes, the pilot hole size is critical - I'm lucky to have inherited a set of fractional drills, but not very good at decisions... I know there are tables somewhere...

 

I actually use (when possible) the vertical drill to start the tapping - just lower it with one hand and turn by hand with the other - if I'm lucky the pressure can be increased at the right rate, and when it gets too hard to turn, the chuck can be undone and raised, and the rest done with the tapping tool. But it looks like your tool has some clampy thing on top, hence my question.

 

I wish there was some screwdriver-like tool, with a bit of length, to make alignment easier.

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