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I built a Tube Amp from scratch!! 
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Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 6:34 pm
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Post I built a Tube Amp from scratch!!
i couldn't believe it, and didn't think i had it in me. but i finally got around to ordering a Bottlehead Crack kit.

it was either paying someone $200 to build it for me, or build it myself. i decided it would be more fun and i could learn more along the way by building it myself. so the wife got me a soldering kit for my b-day and over the weekend, i spent a total of 15 hours carefully studying the manual and diagram and finally put together the amp myself.

luckily i did not kill myself. although there were times i thought i saw jesus. some of those capacitors are 250+ volts, during live voltage measurement, one of the caps for some reason had a POP!... i saw some green lightning right in front of my eyes. that was scary!...

i also had some channel balancing issues right after the initial build, but was able to fix it through some help on the bottlehead forum gurus. overall, it was a fun experience, and very rewarding. and the final sound paired with a Burr Brown 1792 Dac and a Sennheiser HD650 is like going into a 1920's night club and listening to a sexy hot chick sing in a red dress in a smokey VIP lounge (that's how i could describe the sound of this tube amp).

here are the pics from initial assembly, to wiring, soldering, and final.


Attachments:
File comment: Final completion
photo 4 (1).JPG
photo 4 (1).JPG [ 785.34 KiB | Viewed 592 times ]
File comment: Wiring and Soldering
photo 3 (1).JPG
photo 3 (1).JPG [ 437.36 KiB | Viewed 592 times ]
photo 2 (1).JPG
photo 2 (1).JPG [ 462.64 KiB | Viewed 592 times ]
File comment: Parts Assembly
photo 1 (1).JPG
photo 1 (1).JPG [ 343.18 KiB | Viewed 592 times ]

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Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:17 pm
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Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 6:34 pm
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Post Re: I built a Tube Amp from scratch!!
Comixion wrote:
Howard has some skills.

At least you have the right HPs.


this hobby is getting real expensive. i am already thinking about upgrading to, dare i say, HD800. and another DAC.

good thing i just got a new job.

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Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:17 pm
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Post Re: I built a Tube Amp from scratch!!
how are you liking your HD598. i really liked it, but had to sell it last year due to being short on cash. i sold most of my audio gear last year and only kept the HD650. but the 598 was one of the best reasonably priced hp i've owned.

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Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:26 pm
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 2:20 am
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Post Re: I built a Tube Amp from scratch!!
So is that like a kit that you bought and assembled or did you have to source everything out individually? Looks like a cool project for sure, and doesn't look too complicated at all


edit...err, i need to read more, t'was a kit. I missed that in the first post

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Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:42 am
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 6:26 pm
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Post Re: I built a Tube Amp from scratch!!
That is freaking amazing. Wish I had the time, money, and patience for something like that. Solder points look nice and thick as well. On the topic of 598s, I had my for about 3 months now. Going from an old pair of dell desktop speakers to these is night and day.

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Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:57 am
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Post Re: I built a Tube Amp from scratch!!
here are some updated pictures with the unit stained and finished, next to my HD650


Attachments:
photo 2.JPG
photo 2.JPG [ 457.82 KiB | Viewed 560 times ]
photo 1.JPG
photo 1.JPG [ 538.11 KiB | Viewed 560 times ]

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Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:21 pm
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Post Re: I built a Tube Amp from scratch!!
Nice.

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Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:07 pm
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