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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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chipamp-gainclone-amplifier.jpgDIY Chipamp / Gainclone Amplifier3331 viewsThis is the diy enclosure for my 5 channel gainclone project. The five channels are powered by an external transformer that was borrowed from an old Fisher receiver. The amplifier is It is driven directly from an external SoundBlaster Live audio card. The cost of the whole setup, was under $100.

See the gainclone page for more amplifier ideas.
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LM3875-amplifier.jpgLM3875 Gainclone Chipamp on Protoboard3389 viewsEach LM3875 amplifier module (board) has its own DC rectifier that is made from high speed switching diodes. The supply capacitors are on the board. See the Point to Point LM3875 Non-Inverting Gainclone Chipamp Instructions for ideas on how to construct an amplifier like this on a protoboard or veroboard.
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PhonoInside.JPGPhono Preamp Ki.3539 viewsThe cct. brd was assemble and the ABS plastic case drilled ready for assemble. ABS is a very hard plastic to drill. Before assembly the lid, base and sides were lined with heavy tar and foil stick-on shielding. This helps with case dampening also. All gold RCA connections were kept to the rear (see other photos). The chips are the LM833s but the Burr-Brown OPA2134 high performance chip can be directly substituted. The on-board +/- 12V regulated PS is shielded from the rest of the sensitive cct. Additional snubbing was added to the line caps to remove PS noise and chip RF decoupling. Though three different compensation can be selected from the cct. brd by moving two jumpers the lid must be removed to do this. A double pole rotating three position switch could be added to provide this facility externally. The cct. includes a gain control which is accessed from the front and allows easy and silent level adjustment. The sound is natural with no hiss or hum. Easy to build.
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PhonoRear.JPGDIY Phono Preamplifier Kit2724 viewsThe finished kit (see other photos) can be assembled in an afternoon. I used insulated gold plated RCAs but on an ABS plastic case like this insulated RCAs are not required. Keeping all connections on the rear makes for a simple front panel with gain control and recessed red led. I used thick silicon stick-on feet to ensure vibration into the unit is kept to a minimum. Stick down computer stand-off hold the cct. brd. to the bottom of the case and also help with vibration control. The case is lined with heavy sticky tar and foil. Base, sides and lid and are lined but not earth. This helps with shielding the low voltage levels and case dampening also. Shielded wiring is used internally and silver solder used throughout.
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PhonoFront.JPGPhono Preamp Kit with RIAA Equalization2750 viewsAfter resurrecting the Rega TT and RB300 tone arm with a Grado Sonata wood body cartridge I went on the hunt for a phono preamp. The Pro-Ject PhonoBox SE preamp was a value for money purchase, a neat and good sounding unit. This phono premp kit cost under $AU100 to build (including AC adapter) and challenges the Pro-Ject on a the sonic level. I can find no fault musically with the kit which has no hiss or hum and a natural sound quality. It is available from Jaycar Australia. Better than the Pro-Ject by provide the facility to have three different selectable compensations including RIAA and early DECCA (ffrr) and a host of others to select from. And to go one step better again there is a gain control to balance between CD and phono input levels. The case is ABS plastic and tar and foil lined. Gold RCAs used (see other photos). A +/- 12V regulated PS is include on the one peace cct. brd. The PS is shielded. Distortion is rated at .014% and RIAA accuracy is better than 1db. Signal to noise is -84dB.
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Finished~0.JPGOPA2134 Opamp Preamp - Big Brass Knob3404 viewsMy third Burr-Brown OPA2134 based preamp sees a sleek red die-cast aluminum case of two coats of epoxy paint and a sexy 4 oz brass knob. This build is based around the 1uf Jupiter Bees Wax and Paper caps. See other photos for more info. The first thing I notice when playing this preamp through my valve monoblocks was a dramatic increase in bass. The other obvious audio advantage is an increase in stereo focus. Not only is bass deeper (and louder) but there appears to be more layers to it. Voice sounds earthier and more immediate. A 26V 3.5A computer PS powers the unit but each channel has its own and separate virtual PS. Five 220uF low ESR caps store power directly on the cct. brds. A suspended wooden floor in the case provides a base to suspend the cct. brds on. Silver wire and silver solder is used throughout with an Alps blue velvet attenuator. Very impressive sound. The very best one I have made to date.
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Rear.JPGOPA2134 Opamp Preamp - Bees Wax Paper Capacitor3053 viewsThis is the third of these diy opamp preamplifiers I have made using the Burr-Brown OPA2134 chip. In this build as with my last (which was sold to an audio buff in Denver) I included two switchable inputs. I used 1uF Bees Wax and Paper Jupiter caps (see other photos) which have increased the bass depth a lot. A lot of resonance dampening has been employed. This is a smart looking and very smart sounding preamp. The stereo focus has increased dramatically.
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Underneath.JPGJupiter Bees Wax and Paper Capacitors - OPA2134 Opamp Preamplifier4366 viewsWhen you get bored with high voltage valve amplifiers you start to look to other things to get your audio gear junky fix. I have always like the weird combos of materials in coupling/audio caps. I started with Jupiter Bees Wax and Paper caps and built a preamplifier around them. They are the dynamite sticks you can see. These are hand made and have silver connecting wire. Pure silver wire was used throughout and silver solder. Alps blue velvet attenuator and gold plated RCA add to a rich mix of components. The active bit is the Burr-Brown OPA2134 in milled sockets. Two sets of inputs are switchable and each channel has its own virtual power. This unit runs from a 26V 3.5A computer power pack. A timber suspended, tar and heavy Al foil dampened floor provides the base for the cct. brds. which sit on standoffs and are rubber grommet dampened. The lid and base of the thick die-cast aluminum case are also tar and foil lined.
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SV101647.JPGOPA2134 Inside the Chip amp preamp II3615 viewsYou can see how compact the boards are. The yellow caps are MPX 0.47uF and 220uF low ESR electrolytics store power from the voltage divider network (virtual ground). Computer stand-off keep the brds. off the case and are fitted with rubber grommets to control cct. resonance and vibration. More details are available at the DIY OPA2134PA Preamplifier Project page.
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SV101673.JPGOPA2134 Preamp II with selectable inputs3195 viewsOP amp based preamp, that provides two pairs of selectable inputs, volume and balance control and 6dB of gain. A compact cct. with the only links on the cct. brd. being silver earth links, packs a lot of performance into a solid cast aluminum case. With distortion figures as low as .00008%, solid pure silver wire throughout, WBT silver solder and each of the the two circuit boards having their own virtual +/- power supply plus additional tar and aluminum damping/shielding internally this preamp can deliver. I hope the new owner enjoys listen through it as much as I have enjoyed building it. See the DIY OPA2134 Preamplifier page for more build details.
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SV101672.JPGBurr-Brown OpAmp Preamp II3266 viewsThis is the second of my preamps based on the high performance Burr-Brown OPA2134PA. This one has been custom built for a fellow in the US. This build has additional and switchable inputs-as you can see. The bottom and center row of inputs are selectable by the switch, the top row of connections is the output. See the DIY OP Amp Based Preamplifier page for more details.
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Finished.JPG"not another chip amp" - Enclosure3089 viewsThis is where most new amps end up for a few weeks burn in, sitting atop the NAD C542. This is my latest chip amp which I promised I would never build. I started and completed the amp in one day. The amp modules had been built a some time before so most of the hard work was marking and drilling then assembly. On start-up it had a bad hum which I have managed to reduce to a low level. See the other image ("not another chip amp") for the inside shot. This amp feels like it has the power to deliver big time and it certainly sounds nice enough. Will I make another chip amp? Stay tuned.
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LidOff.JPG"not another chip amp"4177 viewsAfter the Synergy Gainclone amp I promised myself I would not make another chip amp. The point-to-point gainclone amp modules were made twelve months ago but never got used. They comprise of the LM3875 and 10,000uF caps. The PS is rated 160VA with a scavenged microwave mains filter and a snubbed rec. bridge. The amp is compact and very loud with a full and very extended bass with small bookshelf speakers. You feel this amp could power a whole night club. Well it fills this house with clear clean music! And that is how it sounds -> clear and clean!
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LM3875-Gainclone-Chip-Amp-TF.JPGLM3875 DIY Gainclone / ChipAmp4431 viewsThe front view of my LM3875 Gainclone project. The layout and idea is from the LM3875 Gainclone in a Roasting Pan. The power transformer on top is from an old Yamaha subwoofer that quit working. Power supply capacitors are four 6800 uF and two 4700 uF which are snubbed. Power switch, LED and volume control are at the front.
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LM3875-Gainclone-Chip-Amp-I.JPGLM3875 Gainclone Raosting Pan / Chip Amplifier4440 viewsThis is my first LM3875 Gainclone / Chip Amp. It was constructed following some of the notes from this LM3875 Gainclone / Chip Amp in a Roasting Pan. The volume control (potentiometer) is an ALPS Black Beauty. All soldering was done using silver solder. The bridge rectifier and capacitors are all snubbed with small, but good quality capacitors.
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LM3875-Gainclone-Chip-Amp-TR.JPGLM3875 Gainclone / Chip Amp with Baking Pan Enclosure4418 viewsThis LM3875 Gainclone was built following the basic idea around the LM3875 Gainclone in a Roasting Pan. The power transformer is from an old Yamaha subwoofer that stopped working. The power supply consists of four 6800 uF and two 4700 uF capacitors.
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SV101485.JPGFinished Subwoofer Processor Kit3577 viewsThis analogue OP amp based sub-woofer processor provides a lot of flexibility when it comes to low pass filter adjustment, parametric equalization, sub-sonic filtration, gain and input selection in a slim neat box. But when it comes to set-up and balance with your favorite speakers, there is a lot of work to be done. The kit is from Jaycar Australia.
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SV101481.JPGSubwoofer Analogue Processor4371 viewsThis OP amp based subwoofer processor is a kit available from the local Jaycar electronics shop. There is a lot of soldering and construction so it is not hard to miss a few solder joints. I did. On the first few listens I can see there is a lot of tuning and balancing to be had. I am using a monoblock chip amp / gainclone to provide the final power.
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DIY-LM3875-Gainclone~0.jpgDIY LM3875 Gainclone - rear view4242 viewsA gainclone chip amp with an external power supply. The design is based on my Roasting Pan LM3875 Gainclone Chip Amplifier. All wiring is point-to-point.
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OwenSpecialFront.JPGThe Owen Gainclone Special4201 viewsI was commissioned to build my ex-boss a chip amp based on my Synergy LM3875 Gainclone Chip Amplifier. This has two LM3875 modules inside with Alps pot, 4oz solid brass volume knob, two 8000uF caps (red) and 1000uF low ESR line caps. Remote PS (left) has fast switch diodes (snubbed),160VA toroidal transformer. Both amp and PS are housed in die-cast cases and stand on solid brass cones. All point-to-point wiring.
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