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Tube amp kits [message #10025] Thu, 06 December 2007 08:58 Go to next message
Gilipsie is currently offline  Gilipsie
Messages: 77
Registered: May 2009
You guys have me thinking about tube amps and either arrays or horns. I'm getting the itch! What tube amps would you recommend as a starter? I am pretty decent with a soldering iron and want a kit that looks and sounds good. I'd rather have good quality than ease of build. Price is important but I'm not looking for the cheapest kit on the market. Again, quality is important.

Re: Tube amp kits [message #10026 is a reply to message #10025] Fri, 07 December 2007 22:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shane is currently offline  Shane
Messages: 1116
Registered: May 2009
Illuminati (3rd Degree)
Bottlehead and Stoetkit come to mind. Wayne has owned both so he can comment on the sound. I've heard his Stoetkit and it sounds nice. AudioNote makes some nice kits I believe as well.

Re: Tube amp kits [message #10027 is a reply to message #10026] Sat, 08 December 2007 11:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 18328
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

The Bottlehead Paramours sounded pretty good, but I do like the Stoetkit better. It looks better and sounds better to me. Definitely tighter bass. I'm not sure about the price/availability these days though. If you can spend $1500, the Audio Note kits are nice. They have the power of the Stoetkit and the sweetness of SET. Bass is powerful but like all SET amps, it has trouble keeping the bass tight. SET is at a real disadvantage when it comes to bass. Best thing, in my opinion, is to run an amp like the ProFet on the bass and the Audio Note for the midrange up.

Re: Tube amp kits [message #10028 is a reply to message #10027] Sun, 09 December 2007 03:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bill Epstein is currently offline  Bill Epstein
Messages: 1088
Registered: May 2009
Location: Smoky Mts. USA
Illuminati (2nd Degree)
The new AN Kit 1 mono blocks heard at LSAF had more bass weight than I remembered from the stereo Kit 1. Upgraded power supply. About $2500 IIRC.

If you can work from a schematic, or have your very own Steve Brown, the Simple 45 has great bass definition and texture although more lightweight than solid state or valve push-pull. About $1200 the way we (okay, I mostly just watched) built it.

I'm still so impressed with it in comparison to several much more expensive commercial amps, I just ordered upgrades for the plate chokes and output transformers from Magnequest: BCP-15 chokes gapped especially for the 45 tubes and EXO-45 ALL NICKEL(Yowza) OPTs.

Re: Tube amp kits [message #10029 is a reply to message #10025] Wed, 12 December 2007 14:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
steve f is currently offline  steve f
Messages: 230
Registered: May 2009
I've built the Transcendent Grounded Grid preamp and the SE-OTL power amp. I've owned the GG for a few years now, and it's still my favorite tube preamp. The GG has worked well driving every power amp I have tried with it. The sound is neutral. No tube bloat, No ss glare. No hum. People have heard mine, and then ordered one for themselves the next day. (Ed Schilling for example) I have a pair of SE-OTL amps. I bought two because I didn't think one at a watt and a half would drive my Hornshoppe Horns or Theater 4 PI's. I was wrong. One SE-OTL easily drove them.(I STILL can't believe the volume I am getting out of such a small amp) The OTL isn't thin sounding like another famous brand. If you need more power there are 15, 40, 160 WPC units. Assembly instructions are good. The GG is an easy build too. No regrets at all.
Take care,


Re: Tube amp kits [message #10033 is a reply to message #10025] Sun, 16 December 2007 07:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SteveBrown is currently offline  SteveBrown
Messages: 330
Registered: May 2009
Grand Master
As Steve F implied, output power is a consideration. You mention horns, so there is a good chance even flea power stuff will work just fine (like Bill's Simple 45). I've been messing around with some PP stuff lately, both using autoformer phase splitter and using a differential input. Both sound really good (tons better than your typical Mullard or Williamson design), I think the diff amp one is cleaner sounding. If you keep your outputs in Class A and Triode (either using an actual triode or use a pentode connected triode) you're in good sonic territory. This opens up a lot more speaker control and "watts of fun"! For an idea, take a look at Allen Wright's PP-1 amp. A refined version of this is available as a kit using 300B's. I've built the PP-1 from scratch and it is an outstanding amp. That front end will drive anything you can throw at it. I don't know what this kit costs, but going from other prices I've seen for their stuff, it isn't inexpensive! Anyway, best of luck!

Re: Tube amp kits [message #10046 is a reply to message #10025] Sun, 23 December 2007 01:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
metasonix is currently offline  metasonix
Messages: 103
Registered: May 2009
You need a basic kit. The lowest-cost, simplest kit I know of is the S-5 Electronics kit.


It has no power transformer, I strongly suggest you get an isolation transformer to supply it with isolated 120v AC power. If you connect it directly to the AC mains, it becomes a shock hazard.

Re: Tube amp kits [message #10048 is a reply to message #10025] Tue, 25 December 2007 08:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Norris Wilson is currently offline  Norris Wilson
Messages: 361
Registered: May 2009
Grand Master
Even though I am a little late in coming to this thread.

Here is my suggestion, a Dynaco ST70 clone complete kit from Triode Electronics.

This amplifier will give you a great platform to build several different circuits from, such as Steve has suggested. Or, possibly a direct coupled design using DHT output tubes as the 6B4G.

Good luck!

Norris Wilson

Re: Tube amp kits [message #10063 is a reply to message #10028] Wed, 16 January 2008 20:11 Go to previous message
Alnicoman is currently offline  Alnicoman
Messages: 1
Registered: May 2009
My Audio Note Kit 4 was easy to build and there are some simple modifications that can be done to it during the building phase. With the right tubes installed it just floats the musical image in the room

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