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 NEW    Bruce Heran outlines the details and construction of his simple DIY 6DJ8 (ECC88) Tube Hi-Fi Headphone Amplifier Project.

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DIY-6AS7-Tube-Headphone-Amplifier.jpg
DIY-6AS7-Tube-Headphone-Amplifier.jpgDIY 6AS7 Tube Headphone Amplifier618 viewsMy name is Laurie. I have been building and DIYing for 45 years now and happily will never stop. This tube headphone amp is from a thread in the Form.

The power connecting cable comes from a European Travel Iron I bought for $1.00 at junk shop. (220v/6A) They will be shortened when I find a perch for the amp and me. The sound is better than my ears have ever heard so I will be keeping this one for my retirement entertainment should such a time ever come. Wink It has worked from day one and continues to please me every time it is turned on. The tubes are JJ ECC88 / 6AS7 with a 5V4 rectifier tube. To spite it's small size the parts are quite easily accessed. I over built most components so it will outlast me I fear. The only change I anticipate may be the 6AS7 to a bottle neck glass to match the rectifier tube. I do have and use a 6080 tube, but i can tell no difference in sound. It will take more then a few hours of listening to get my ears better tuned.
E88CC-SV83-SET-Amplifiers.jpg
E88CC-SV83-SET-Amplifiers.jpgDual SV83 SET Amplifiers1871 viewsA mirrored pair of SET amplifiers, presently being used in bridged mode. All P2P construction using silver solder. I included a "Hazen grid" capacitor and input tube bias change switch. The single mA meter displays individual output tube bias current with a Left/Right switch. Edcor XPRW178 power transformer and GXSE10-6-8K output transformers. Upgraded caps to Jantzen Audio 1200V Z-Superior. Upgraded resistors to PRP PR9372 Audio for metal film and TAKMAN REX for carbon film. ALPS Blue 100K attenuator. The power supply uses a RCA 5U4GB rectifier and Hammond 156R choke. Matched pairs of Svetlana SV83 for power and JJ E88CC for the input tube.

Billy Whiten - Georgia, USA
6V6-Push-Pull-Amplifier.jpg
6V6-Push-Pull-Amplifier.jpgPush-Pull (PP) 6V6GT Tube Amplifier1503 viewsThis 6V6 amp was built following the DIY Push-Pull (PP) 6V6 / 6V6GT Tube Amplifier Schematic. Power Supply transformer and Output transformers are handmade in Argentina by NavasBaccino. I'd like to thank Brad S. for the help. The sound is amazing and clear, free of distortion.

Gabriel Rofrano, ARGENTINA

Video link

Decware-inspired-EL84-amp.jpg
Decware-inspired-EL84-amp.jpgDecware inspired EL84 amp with attenuation1124 viewsThis is a Decware inspired EL84 power amp with attenuation. My twist was to make a it a EL84 SE UL (not triode). Also I upgraded the PS a little. One PS tweak was to use a Russian PIO 4uf cap as the first cap in the PS. Also the larger electros are all snubbed.

The inter-stage caps are Audio Note Tin foil, mylar and oil. The amp I called "Tamarisk" - just like how it sounds. The finished amp looks good and not too heavy. Sound is a big step up from my already great sounding 6V6 - Ozzie tube SE UL amp. On live classical every part of the music has a layer. There every instrument is heard in its own layer and decay, reveb etc also have their own layers.

Mark Houston – retro-thermionic

Forum Thread: http://diyaudioprojects.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5385
6EM7-Single-Ended-Triode-Amp.jpg
6EM7-Single-Ended-Triode-Amp.jpg6EM7 Single-Ended Triode (SET) Amplifier922 views"This amplifier is based on a tube intended to drive the vertical deflection circuits in larger televisions, the 6EM7. It has two dissimilar triodes in one envelope. One is a high gain, low power unit intended as an amplifier or oscillator, and the other is a higher power unit intended to drive the magnetic deflection coils on the back of a CRT. At audio frequencies the combination is just what we need to build a nice little audio amplifier. One tube per channel. And there are many thousands of these tubes and tubes like them readily available today."

Matt Renaud
Pacific Northwest, USA

Project Page: http://diyaudioprojects.com/Tubes/6EM7-SET-Amplifier/


Forum Thread: http://diyaudioprojects.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5134

6CY7-Stereo-Amplifier.jpg
6CY7-Stereo-Amplifier.jpg6CY7 Stereo Amplifier1018 views"This is a nice little low power stereo amp (1.3W/channel) based on the 6CY7 tube. The amp uses a Hammond power transformer and chokes and a pair of Edcor XSE10-8-5K output transformers. I have to say that it sounds really nice. There is just something about triode SE amps that nothing can beat. The peak clean power output is 1.3 watts RMS per channel (as determined from watching an oscilloscope). The 3dB frequency response is ≈48 Hz to 30 KHz."

Matt Renaud
Pacific Northwest, USA
Project Thread: http://diyaudioprojects.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5222

SE-6V6-Amplifier-after-Lacewood.jpg
SE-6V6-Amplifier-after-Lacewood.jpgCopy of Matt's SE 6V6 Lacewood amplifier1575 viewsHello,

This is my copy of Matt’s (Suncalc) single-ended 6V6 Lacewood amplifier which is actually made from Sri-Lankan Satinwood, Padauk and brass.

Keith Graham Cheltenham, UK.
6SN7-6V6-SE-Black-Lace.jpg
6SN7-6V6-SE-Black-Lace.jpgBlack Lace - SE 6V6 Amplifier1540 views“Black Lace” - an all Australian tube amplifier with tubes from the 60’s. Miniwatt: 6V6 black glass, 6SN7 and 5U4. Old school build with PIO caps, solder from the 70’s with copper and carbon film resistors. See the forum thread Black Lace - 6V6 power amp, old school for more information.

Mark Houston – retro-thermionic
6DJ8-6AS7-OTL-HP-Amp-Sanguine.jpg
6DJ8-6AS7-OTL-HP-Amp-Sanguine.jpgSanguine - 6AS7 OTL Headphone Amplifier1585 viewsThe power supply and amp section are on two die-cast Al bases. A Sophia Mesh Plate Princess 274B rec. tube does the rectification. The PS has its own power filter to reduce EMI\RFI and the mains cable is choked. The power transformer is Hammond and the 20H choke is Hammond also and these are both isolated from the chassis by rubber grommets to control vibration. The 6AS7 power tube is NOS Winged "C" Svetlana and a NOS Tesla E88CC gold pin for the driver and is directly coupled. XLRs connect the HT and AC filament current to the amp section. A single 6.5mm input upfront with dual headphone output. Attenuation is provided by an Alps Blue Velvet pot. Both enclosures are dampened with bituminous Al foil and the paint is Epoxy Enamel. The attenuator knob is 4 ounces of solid brass.

The Sophia Mesh Plate 274B rec. tube and a 4uf PIO Russian filter cap start the filtering network with seven stages of filtering and storage in all. There is no PCBs or shielded wire used in this amp to dull the sound. Wiring is all point-2-point and component-2-componet. Fine silver plated wire warp wire carries all the audio. The only caps in the amp are the output caps. WBT silver solder is used throughout.
6EM7-SE-Amp.jpg
6EM7-SE-Amp.jpgSE 6EM7 Power Amplifier1771 viewsYet another 6EM7 power amplifier. This time some parts were down graded and a different internal layout technique was used. The power transformer and choke are isolated top and bottom by rubber grommets. This ensures no AC vibration reaches the tubes. The initial power supply filtering is preceded with a on-board power filter, a 20uF/450V electrolytic capacitor and a 20H/100mA Hammond choke. The HT is supplied by a Hammond power transformer and Sovtek 5Y3 rectifier tube. The second stage of filtering is 47uF and 100uF electrolytic with a large limiting resistor ensure the amp is totally free from of hum and noise. All power supply capacitors are snubbed.

This amp sounds better than the last and I think it may be the Sylvania NOS 6EM7 tubes. Sprague orange drops are used in the inter-stage coupling and once more large non-polarized capacitors for the bypass on the power tubes. For the first time I have used Chinese made H&K 15W audio output transformers, can't fault them. The look of the amp is almost under-stated "sexy" and the sound the same - sexy and natural.

Mark Houston – retro-thermionic

UPDATE - June 2015 - see the 6EM7 Single-Ended Triode (SET) Vertical Amplifier project page for the latest revision of this amplifier.
6EM7-Tube-Power-Amp-Arabella.jpg
6EM7-Tube-Power-Amp-Arabella.jpgArabell - 6EM7 Tube Power Amp2168 viewsInspired by a beautiful Acacia, heavy, chopping board I fashioned this excellent sounding single-ended 6EM7 tube power amp (Arabella). To hide wiring a shallow aluminum skirt is tucked up underneath. Smaller components also reside here. Larger power supply caps are housed in a “trunk” at the back where the RCAs and gold plated speaker binding posts are also located. Tubes are Dutch made AWA NOS and Sovtek 5Y3. A large Hammond power transformer (370EX) and Hammond 20H 100mA choke (193C) grace the gorgeous wooden top plate. Edcor GXSE (GXSE10-6-5K) audio output transformers stand proud and blue to give this build a striking look and super clean pure sound. I love the amp for its looks and sound, all 2.5W of it.

Mark Houston – retro-thermionic

UPDATE - June 2015 - see the 6EM7 Single-Ended Triode (SET) Vertical Amplifier project page for the latest revision of this amplifier.
SE-EL34-Signature.jpg
SE-EL34-Signature.jpgEL34 Signature - SE - Mark2086 viewsThis amp is my new EL34 the "retro-34UL", Signature EL34 amp. Valve compliment is NOS Svetlana EL34 and Svetlana 6N1P. Edcor GXSE 6 ohm ultra-linear audio output transformers, the 10H choke and power transformer are Hammond. Inter-stage capacitors are Jensen copper, paper and oil with pure silver leads. Biploar capacitors are used as bypass caps on the EL34 with ceramic sockets to hold the audio tubes. The rectifier valve is a Golden Dragon 5U4. The audio output transformers are rubber mounted. The top plate of the amplifier chassis is ABS plastic and base is Australian Spotted Gum (oiled). Feet are filled with lead sinkers and rubber glue, silver solder and silver plated wire used throughout the build. The circuit topology is Single-Ended with Ultra-Linear operation.

Mark Houston – retro-thermionic
Oatley-K272C-Headamp-Kit.jpg
Oatley-K272C-Headamp-Kit.jpgOatley K272C JAN6418 tube based headphone amp kit1543 viewsIn this build I used bituminized aluminum foil to line the ABS plastic compact enclosures and switched 6.5 mm stereo phone jacks. Only with both source and headphone plugs inserted and the press button switched “on” at the rear will power flow. Wire-wrap wire has been used in the signal path and the battery health LEDs have been brought out to the front of the enclosure. The sound appears to have better bass than previous models but the tubes will ring if struck.

For more info, see the
K272C Oatleys JAN6418 tube based headphone amp\preamp
thread in the forum.

Mark Houston – retro-thermionic
71-A-Tube-Amplifier-SE.jpg
71-A-Tube-Amplifier-SE.jpgUX-171A Tube Amplifier2049 viewsThis amplifier uses the UX-171-A tube (matched pairs) which are rare and produce only 1/2 W of output power. There are no resistors or capacitors in the audio circuit. A Hammond 124B nickel core inter-stage transformer couples to the power tube. Edcor 10W OPTs in the metal case. Bias is provided by 3 x 9V batteries and 230V by two step-down transformers wired in reverse. The rectifier tube is a very old "80". Power supply filtering is under the top plate (ply timber). The base houses the power transformers and is a 1940s wooden pot stand. The tube amplifier sounds excellent.

For more info, see the 171-A single-ended amplifier thread in the forum.

Mark Houston – retro-thermionic
Oatley-Electronics-K272B-prototype.jpg
Oatley-Electronics-K272B-prototype.jpgOatley Electronics K272B prototype2103 viewsSoon to be released Oatley Electronics K272B prototype. I recently made two CMoy style, OPA2134 based, HP amps but now prefer the better sounding, harmonically rich, K272B build. Two 9V batteries are used in parallel to prolong battery life and switching phone jacks, power switch and “on” LED ensures it is difficult to accidentally leave the amp on. The enclosure is impact resistant ABS which is heavy Al foil lined. Volume control is via your player and the “6418-B” will drive low impedance phones. Where the CMoy style, chip based, HP amps are clean, clear, bright and clinical, the “6418-B” has a much richer, more harmonically complex sound and a smoother all over delivery. Really it all gets down to taste. I would recommend building the K272B when released around early February 2013. I suggest you upgrade the Oatley passive parts and chip socket to better quality parts.

For more info, see the
Oatley K272B JAN6418 headphone amp and preamp thread in the forum.

Mark Houston – retro-thermionic

Dynaco-MKIII-Copper-Steam-Deux.jpg
Dynaco-MKIII-Copper-Steam-Deux.jpgDynaco MKIII - DEUX2661 viewsHere is a photo of my latest build. I call it the DEUX.

These are Dynaco MKIII's with the VTA octal Driver upgrade. I hardwired the driver circuit to avoid using the PC boards under the hood. The bases are made from walnut, and the top plate is 1/8" copper. The bolts are 3/4" brass.

More photos and construction shots here: http://blog.coppersteam.com/steampunk-art/deux-final/

Mike Cochran
Key West, Florida. USA
C3m-Tube-Preamp-Menatzchim.jpg
C3m-Tube-Preamp-Menatzchim.jpg"Menatzchim" - C3m Tube Preamplifier2671 viewsThis C3m tube preamplifier uses the same power supply I have used in my last dozen preamp builds. An external 24VAC 1A wall wart is stepped up to 250VAC by using a step down transformer backwards. Double filtration and a DC filament supply ensure a dead quiet preamp. Wire wrap wire is used for signal hookup wire and heavy duty gold plated RCAs are employed. No shielded wire or PCB is used. An Alps blue velvet pot is on the output for attenuation. Jensen Copper, paper and oil caps with silver leads are used on the output. Three sets of input RCAs are selected by two small power switches.

The sound stage is extremely deep and voice and instruments have a uncanny natural sound and feel about them. With symphonic pieces you get the unnerving feeling you are in row twelve and right in the center. I would highly recommend the construction of this preamp.

For more info, see the C3m preamp thread on the discussion forum.

Mark Houston – retro-thermionic
4SUTea_I_retro.jpg
4SUTea_I_retro.jpg4SUTea - Super Simple Single Stage (4S) Tube preamp2684 views4SUTea is another Super Simple Single Stage (4S) Tube preamp that I have built. This one features single board construction with PS and amplifier together and no PCB. All housed in a Twinings timber Tea Box: Bitumanised aluminum foil controls enclosure resonance and Russian paper in oil caps link the modulated HT to the real world. Silver solder is used throughout. Heavy duty high grade gold plated RCAs grace the back and all is powered by a 24V 1A plug pack. There are two switchable inputs, Alps blue velvet pot and black chromed solid brass knob.

See the project page 4S Universal Preamp for 12A?7 Valves.

Mark Houston (Australia)
retro-thermionic
mwhouston: retro-thermionic
6N7-Tube-Preamp-Heavy-Metal.jpg
6N7-Tube-Preamp-Heavy-Metal.jpg6N7 tube preamp (Heavy Metal)2624 viewsConstruction is in a timber box. There are three switchable RCA inputs and power is supplied by an external 18V 2.2A AC power pack. Internally 255V is developed with a linear PS and regulated 12VDC for the heaters which are wired in series.

An Alps blue velvet potentiometer is fitted at the output for attenuation control with a fine solid brass knob to compliment the gold right-angle RCA jacks, name plate and ventilation holes. Wire wrap wire is used in the signal path. The power supply and amplifier are on separate circuit boards. Bitumanised heavy aluminum foil is used to line sections of the timber box for resonance control.

For more info, see the 6N7 metal tube preamp thread on the discussion forum.

Mark Houston – retro-thermionic
retro-EL34-SE-UL.jpg
retro-EL34-SE-UL.jpg2511 viewsThe enclosure base is made using Australian Spotted Gum and the power transformers and choke are from Hammond. The audio output transformers (OPT) are from Edcor (15W XSE open frame type series) and reside in the base and are shock mounted. The feet are filled with lead sinkers for resonance control. A CLCRC filter network ensures the amp performs dead quietly and has an extremely high head room. Frequency response is to 40kHz and power is 5W RMS into 8ohms. Russian paper in oil caps are used in the inter-stage and bipolar caps and low ESR caps are used in the cathode bypass. Silver plated wire-wrap wire hooks up the gold plated RCAs to the nearby 6N1P and connects the secondary of the OPTs to the binding post. The paint work is epoxy enamel on 2mm high grade Al plate and component-2-component wiring. This is a fast amp with a huge sound stage and a rich lush EL34 sound.

For more info, see the Pimp my tube amp thread on the discussion forum.

Mark Houston – retro-thermionic
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