|Preamps & Amps|
|Digital Sources & DAC|
|Music Server & DSP|
|Analog Sources & Phono preamps|
|Headphones & Amps|
|Speakers & Home Theater|
|Cables & Accessories|
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I'm an electronic technologist with more than 35 years of experience dealing with advanced electronic and computer systems. I worked in calibration labs, Air Traffic and navigation, communications and radars. I built, installed and service them for years. Electronics is what I do.
Since the last 20 years my main hobby had been audio stuffs starting with the simple and the affordable and now dealing more with the exclusive and the sophisticated side of the equation. I built some of my best sound system components from circuits, then PCB and up to enclosure design, solid state or tubes. I also collected very nice gears over the years from major players in the audio league such as Mark Levinson, Air Tight, Ayre, Audio Research, Yamamoto, Vacuum State, Borbely, name it. I think that now I know what a good sound is, at least according to my own tastes.
I built stuff mainly for me or my friends, but sometime I organize or participate in Group Buy. Over the years I built a little circle of contacts that help me in my endeavors, to find difficult to source parts, discuss circuits, etc.
This site is dedicated to my passion. Read on...
Wyetech Labs Pearl Tube Preamp, Great tube preamp, built like a tank and vintage test gear like the ones I used to work with. This is a real purist design, using just exceptional hardware and simple, classic circuitry to produce gorgeous sound. The preamp circuit is a grounded grid topology bracketed by cathode followers fore and aft and three 6SN7WGTA NOS Phillips double triodes. This preamp can drive almost anything with a very low output impedance of 600 ohms, output voltage of 3.5 Vrms and slew rate of > 25V/uS. Supply is using two choke and simple passive zener shunt regulation to keep the fast analog sound of the preamp section. Stepped ELMA volume attenuator, Shallco military rotary switches are used for the source selection and the balance control. See the great reviews at: www.6moons.com
Air Tight ATC-2 Preamp, Statement tube preamp. This particular unit is fully modified and comes with the optional premier ALPS HQPRO volume control. The preamp has several additional important upgrades, done by Roger Sheker of Audience in California. The one 12AX7 tube is replaced by a third 12AU7 tube, in order make the output impedance more manageable, and the 6X4 rectifier tube replaced by a 6CA4, for reliability and uniformity. Also, the original hardwired power cord has been replaced by an IEC socket so that any power cord can be used. Finally the jacks on the back were replaced with Cardas jacks and the interior wiring with Audience wire. I'm planning to install my own DIY LC-Audio Light phono preamp with external supply to get a phono inside. See some nice pictures on www.diyaudio.com.
Vacuum State RTP3D Preamp, I loved the SVP-2 so much that I'm building from scratch, including the two enclosures, the complete RTP3D preamp. It will have the 'D' version supply, but will still use the point to point construction of the 'C' version for the preamp itself. It is fully assembled and tested, but still have to complete some work on the enclosure.
Vacuum State SVP-2, ver2 Preamp,I've always been a great fan of Allen Wright design. Its preamplifier cookbook is a must read. This preamp is the little brother of the renowned RTP3, but single ended. It uses all of Allen's tricks to get the best result from tube circuit: HV Shunt SuperReg, best sounding Super Linear Cathode follower with FET current source, precision and matched parts for perfect RIAA correction and channel matching, great volume control using Elna switch and SMD film resistors, etc. Even the PCB design is very special, all signal traces are on the top of the board, and never cross underneath. The board bottom layer has only the GND and supply traces. This preamp has also a great phono stage section. I have to say that it matches, if not betters the Audio-Research PH5 I used to have. It is just lovely, perfectly silent. Superb preamp. See www.vacuumstate.com for the preamp description, and excellent review from HiFi+ . See also www.sixmoons.com for a great review of the RTP3D.
Mark Levinson ML38S upgraded to ML380S and two ML38, built from scratch, a long story, see the Audio Projects
and also, see www.marklevinson.com and www.stereophile.com for a review
Ayre K-3rp with phono option and remote, Famous preamp, little brother of the K-1, to go with the V-3. See www.audioreview.com for a review.
Naim NAC 112, Original Naim that I bought to go with my Naim NAP200 amp, see the amp section below. Presently used by one of my sons. See a review at: www.sixmoons.com
Stevens & Billington TX102 Passive TVC preamp, Nice passive preamp that I built for a friend, then I found my own NOS pair of TVC (Transformer Volume Control), so I built one for me too. Looking simple but it is full of features, 6 inputs with one balanced, 2 RCA, one balanced and one record outputs. It has a Mute, Hard/Float input ground and Chassis/Float output ground for RCA or XLR, and the usual 0/+6dB Gain switch. The TX102 is still available from S&B but cost more than £1000 a pair! For details see: www.diyaudio.com, manufacturer S&B website www.stevens-billington.co.uk and now their own preamp from Music First Audio www.mfaudio.co.uk
UGS ''All Inclusive'' preamplifier using UGS gain module inspired by Nelson Pass, completely dual mono with external supply, with extensive microcontroller control, digital encoder, and relay step volume controller. See my Audio Projects for details.
Preamp, Great little passive preamp with three selectable line
inputs, and a superb Khozmo 48-steps attenuator, Silver contact switch, CNC machined PA11
aluminum body, Precision ball bearing support, Dale RN55 and Caddock resistors, see for www.khozmo.com
B1 Nutube Line Stage Preamp, Nelson Pass himself designed this interesting preamp, using using famous FirstWatt B1 preamp with the inclusion of the new KORG 6P1 Nutube. We can adjust the harmonic content using a simple trimmer on the pcb. I did my own PCB version with integrated AC power supply. See Audio projects for details.
Heretical Tube Line Stage Preamp, Tube preamp with Unity Gain. Design optimized for Low distortion and very low noise floor using the ECC88 tube and CineMag Input Transformers. See Audio projects for details.
ForePlay Tube Preamp, using Pearl Tube Coolers (μP controlled and remote), see the Audio Projects for details
Pass Labs Bride of Zen, see www.passdiy.com and the Audio Projects
Placette, style passive shunt volume attenuator with remote control and display. See the Audio Projects and the original product at www.placetteaudio.com. This attenuator will be installed into "The Pumpkin" Fet Preamp with "The Shunty" dual mono shunt regulators. See Audio projects for details.
Bryston .4B, A very nice little preamp, see www.technofile.com for a quick review,
Amplifiers and Integrated:
SimAudio I-5 Integrated Amplifier, Class A, 75W 8 ohms, 110W 4 ohms. Can be used as a preamplifier with the W-5 amplifier. See www.simaudio.com for details.
Ayre Acoustics V-3, Class A, full Mosfet, 100W 8 ohms, 200W 4 ohms, Stereophile "Class A" Recommend, Powered by my best Furutech Alpha3-OCC power cord, and connected to a dedicated Furutech AC outlet, see Stereophile Review
Gamut D200i (DIY) Superb 200W dual mono amplifier, probably second best after the Pass XA30.8
Pass Labs XA30.8 (DIY), Maybe my best amp. I did everything myself, PCB, etc.
Pass Labs XA200.5 Monoblocks(DIY-Upcoming), Probably the best, bigger, heavier amps I'll ever build. I'll try to complete them in 2017.
Pass Labs Muse-Up (DIY), amplifier. Designed to work with the Muse preamp. Also a dual mono design.
Audiomat Arpège (Opera Upgraded), Class A EL34 Tube Integrated, just read the reviews, such a gorgeous sound. I upgraded it to Opera status by modifying the HV supply. I added low ESR 2200uF/450V electrolytic caps, bypassed with ClarityCap massive TC700 Series 110uF/700V film cap, caps mounted directly behind the output transformers as the Opera. The only real differences between an Arpege and the top of the line Opera are a remote control volume, mute switch, better RCA and speaker connectors and these caps in the supply. My speaker connectors are upgraded to top grade WBT, and the stock ALPS volume pot was upgraded with a nice Noble. See reviews at: SoundStage Review, Mutine Audiomat Reviews,
Kaneda No.192 Mosfet Amplifier Little amplifier from the original TekSanyo Kaneda builder in Japan. Using only a pair of output MOSFET, and builtin DC power supply, it produces 14W of pure music. The Kaneda amps are well protected with current limiter circuit, output DC offset detector, and low resistance High power Mosfet switches to instantly disconnect the power supply in case of a problem. The latest Kaneda amps are all quasi complementary using only N-CH MOSFET in the final stage, for better matching, low distortion with minimum negative feedback. This amp is DC coupled, and has a voltage input. For those adventurous or just curious, have a look at these few personal blogs. They discuss their projects over the years: www7b.biglobe.ne.jp and tanaka1103.web You'll need the excellent Google URL Translate to read these pages, but it is interesting reading...
Kaneda No.235 Hybrid Mosfet Amplifier An other example of the Dr. Kaneda amplifier. This one is hybrid with a 6DJ8 tube front end and a pair of the famous SiC ROHM SCT2120AF MOSFET. This one is built to run from battery but I'll make a power supply using the 'Crab' transformer from Mr. Degawa (A&R Labs), as the original Kaneda power supply from TekSanyo shop. This one produces 29W under 8 ohms and 49W under 4 ohms. This amp is also DC coupled BUT has a current input...
Pass Labs Aleph30 (DIY), see the Audio Projects section
Vacuum State DPA300B, Famous 300B tubes monoblocks. The best match for the RTP3C preamp. One of the best tube amp on the market probably. Made from kit. Took me two years to complete...
Naim NAP 200 Amplifier (Clone), Classic Naim sound. Amp built using an exact clone of the original PCB, with a custom power transformer from UK. Presently used by one of my sons. See my Audio Project section for details. Also see a review of the latest version (DR): www.naimaudio.com/review
Peter Daniel Gain Clone: www.6moons.com/audioreviews
Hafler DH-200 and HD-220: Great MOSFET amplifiers. Both are modified with upgraded RCA and bindings posts connectors, power supply caps replaced by multicaps PCB with snubber & film bypass caps, the DH-200 has the latest dual side PCB with better quality film caps, and all, in fact transforming it into a DH-220. I added a surge varistor to the transformer primary to protect the power-on switch. My amps can be seen at: www.diyaudio.com, the amp description at: www.kenrockwell.com, reviews at: www.nulltime.com and mods discussion at: www.diyaudio.com
Yamaha CR-800: One of the best-built Japanese receivers of all time. The CR-800 is more relaxed than super tight CR-1000. Clever engineering: front/rear panels swing back & out of the way for easy tech access. Unusually good tuner. Sound is different from other Yamaha receivers: powerful & commanding with 45W into 8 ohms; sheer delight even at very low listening levels. Every switch & dial operates as smooth as glass. Chassis slips out of case through front opening. PRE/MAIN capable, muting switch for people with bionic hearing, auto-touch AFC tuning through solid aluminum knob, mic jack with dedicated volume pot. Very well built and weights a ton. The power transformer is a real one! See HiFiEngine for details at: www.hifiengine.com
Harman Kardon 330c: Nice little vintage integrated, almost pristine condition, used in my garage with a pair of also vintage L26 Decade JBL speakers. When I want some great sound while working in my garage I use the Pono as digital player.
Oppo UDP-203 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Playerwith built in network server, Roon ready, for list of features see www.oppodigital.com. This excellent player could be modified to reach real HiFi sound by replacing the switching power supply by a fully analog one. The stock supply injects a lot of RF noise everywhere in the circuits. Replacing the power supply solves this problem and reduce noise level, improve clarity and music flow. For the discussion on the supply modification see: www.diyaudio.com and for the supply see: www.oppomod.com. In addition to that I'll replace the DAC board by an improved one using the ES9038PRO, very low jitter SAW master clock and dedicated stereo output, see: www.diyaudio.com
Oppo BDP-103 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Player. Can be used to extract DSD files from SACDdisk, my main application for this one. See this link for details: www.computeraudiophile.com, for list of features see www.oppodigital.com
Mark Levinson ML390S Compact Disk Player and DAC, probably the best player Mark Levinson ever made, see one of the review at www.stereophile.com. It is also a great DAC with external inputs using the same expensive PCB material as the ML380S preamp, nude Vishay laser trim resistor the I/V converter, great transport (same as the ML37), etc... The original superb hi-res Mark Levinson pictures can still be seen at www.hifishock.org
Mark Levinson ML37 Compact Disk Transport, one of the best transport ever made. Upgraded in 2010 with the newest CDPRO2LF drive. The ML37 used from the start an external low jitter clock mounted on its digital In/out PCB to drive the CDPRO2 inside it. I did the same mod on the newest CDPRO2LF so it can use the ML37 own clock. See this web page for some details: www.stereophile.com and www.marklevinson.com
Ayre Acoustics CX-7emp, Very analog and musical CD player, one of my favorite. Custom 16x digital filter, twin massive power transformers—one handles just the digital circuitry; the other the analog, Discrete Fet supplies without feedback, and a very special I/V converter based on AD844 diamond buffer that insures an analog sound. See for details: www.ayre.com, and for reviews: www.soundstage.com, www.stereophile.com, Audiophile Voice Review
Sony CDP-707ESD Top Sony player in the 80's. The original "7" series player, sold worldwide as a CDP-557ESD, in the US as a CDP-707ESD. Inside, center stage, is the first version of the BU-1 aluminum diecast base which was reused in the next four models of the X7 series. The BU-1 holds the main motor, the laser's linear motor and its two magnetic rails and the precious KSS-190A. The BU-1 assembly is known to be of the "almost everlasting" kind : read "more than ten years" of moderate but daily use. In reality, the actual lifetime of the laser, servos and motor can easily exceed twenty years. Taking some from the CDP-555ESD, the chassis set the main layout for all following X7s : double steel plates, extruded 4mm front plate and drawer's front, copper-plating everywhere (including all the screws), ceramic-powder feet and ceramic-damped d/a chips. The two transformers and the BU-1 drive are placed in their respective sub-enclosures. The BU-1E assembly itself rests on a Gibraltar sub-base bonded to the (top) bottom steel. Gibraltar is made of calcium carbonate, glass-fiber and resin. DAC chips are two Burr-Brown's PCM64P (18bit resolution) teamed to a Sony CXD1144A 18bit / 8fs digital filter, the latter being the industry's very first 8fs digital filter. As all of Sony's digital components between 1984 and 1994, components choice is lavish and oversized everywhere (caps are all premium Elna Duorex and Elna For Audio), 14 power-supplies, generous regulations and heatsinking (in copper, too), solid copper bus bars - ES in all its grandeur. Circuit-wise, the CDP-557ESD had sci-fi elements like Error Prediction Logic II (to "predict" read errors and correct them before they actually happen with an 1/10000th of second speed), a Servo Stabilizer II (to keep servo digital noise as low as possible), GIC low-pass filter (one for each channel) and FET-charged analogue outputs. A CDP-557ESD built today, in 2016, would cost five or six times what it cost back then; nobody can afford to build like that anymore. See this reviews www.thevintageknob.org
Pono portable Player Great little portable player but with great sound, designed by Ayre Audio founder and head designer Charles Hansen. Originally a Neal Young Kickstarter project, it was designed from the ground up to support HiRes files and to provide unparallel quality play back. I'm using it as music server and superb testing music source. See ponomusic.force.com
Teac Esoteric DV-50 Universal Player used as player and transport, on of my reference sources, see: www.teac.com/esoteric
Yamaha CD-S1000 SACD CD player. Just a gorgeous machine built like a tank. It is just awaiting to be modified to transform it into a killer player and transport. With minimum modifications it can becomes a CD-S2000 with balanced outputs. The only difference between both machines is a separate transformer for the Audio section power supply and a few missing parts on the Audio output board. Both machine use the same board, so it is easy to upgrade. And just had a low jitter clock with its own supply and it becomes a superb transport.
Primare CD31 Superb CD player. With balanced outputs, fully balanced (double dac) discrete outputs. Modified with soft recovery diodes for the audio supplies and EMI filter replaced by an Ayre filter. See review at: www.stereophile.com
Sony CDP-338ESD A very nice top notch CD player, quality Sony built of the 80's, with Burr Brown PCM-58P selection J DAC chip, one per channel. It includes a nice headphone output and remote controlled volume for headphone and variable output as well. See this reviews www.thevintageknob.org and possible tube output mods at: www.lampizator.eu
Pioneer DV-563 (Universal Player, modified supply and output), see the Audio Projects section
Pioneer Elite PD-65 (Used as transport)
Rotel RCD-965BX Trusty little player, used for testing my projects
Digital to Analog Converters:
Kaneda PCM1794 DAC and Headphone Amp Mytical Kaneda DAC using the PCM1794 and the No.220 I/V converter with almost impossible to get parts, such as the Skeleton 2W resistors, Susumu resistors, and obsolete 2SC or 2SA transistors. This design is from the famous Dr. Kaneda (Japan), that over the years produced countless designs including amplifier, preamp and this DAC. Since it is such a simple circuit, parts quality is very important. This DAC was originally supplied by simple batteries. I'll make a power supply that will also work with my upcoming No.218 solid-state preamp. This DAC output current, not voltage, and it will go directly into the No.218 that also has a current input. The DAC has also a discrete headphone amplifier.
HQ-Audio ES9038PRO Reference DAC ESS new Sabre Reference 32 bits/384Khz, DoP to DSD decoder and 8 Preset Filters and fully discrete Tube I/V and HV power supply. This DAC has also a Raspberry Pi-3 Music server built-in using the MoOde Audio software (MoOde Audio). The DAC board itself with the ES9038PRO has a Low jitter Master Clock, Digital isolator chip, and low noise LT3042 multiple separate supplies. The DAC is full featured with remote, digital volume control, choice of filters, 4 inputs (USB wt Amanero interface, SPDIF coax on BNC, AES/EBU Professional on XLR and Optical Toslink), SE output only from the Tube I/V using 12AU7 gold pins tubes. The I/V resistors are Vishay MK132, the output coupling caps are Mundorf M-Cap Supreme Capacitor. For details see HQ Audio, my own built with custom power supply transformers to be compatible with North America 115-120V www.diyaudio.com and the first review at www.6moons.com
Mark Levinson ML360S , 24bit/96Khz Reference quality DAC. Full dual mono, Dual PCM1794 R-2R DACs per side that run at 8fs (352.8kHz or 384kHz), nude Vishay I/V converter resistors, Madrigal custom designed input receiver circuit, AD9850 Direct Digital Synthesis digital clock based on a continuous recalculation of the long term input data rate, four 32-bit DSP chips to handle digital filtering and decoding, four-layer cyanate-ester printed circuit DAC boards (hence the `S` designation) and parts upgrade all around. It has ton of Inputs and all formats, and Digital Output. The 360s is quick and agile with solid fondation. It is very sweet sounding, airy and fluid in the highs as well as being relaxed in the mids. It is very refined overall, never fatiguing. I like it very much and it matches the rest of my ML gears quite nicely. The fact that it is limited at 24bit/96Khz doesn't bother me at all. I'm using the M2Tech Evo through the ST glass interface with my mini-Mac music server and the sound is just superb . See reviews: www.hifi-advice.com, www.stereophile.com
HQ-Audio ES9018 Reference DAC ESS Sabre32 New Reference 24 bits/192Khz & DSD DAC. Very sophisticated implementation of the excellent ES9018 32 bits ESS DAC chip with tons of features and superb PCB layout. These features are, just to name a few: 4 inputs (SPDIF coax, AES/EBU, Toslink and USB), USB using the excellent Amanero interface (Full ground isolation from USB module and I2S isolator with ISO7640), Ultra low noise 100Mhz crystal clock (jitter of 0.5psec) with buffer, Separate fast shunt regulators for digital and analog sections, etc. The V/I analog section is dual mono discrete Class-A inspired by the famous dCS Dac. It is a fully differential, no feedback discrete current amplifier with balanced and single ended outputs supplied again by shunt regulators. The I/V resistors were upgrade to Z-Foil nude Vishay resistors. It was a remarkable upgrade. The DAC supports 44,88,96,192,352 and 384KHz PCM and DSD to play SACD. It has full remote control of inputs, volume, filter, etc and has a 4x20 digital display. I didn't used the standard EI core power transformers but instead I made my own PCB that supports Talema toroids, dual mono for the audio and separate transformer for the digital section, see the Audio Projects section for more detail. See for details www.audiodesignguide.com and www.diyaudio.com. First review at www.monoandstereo.com
HQ-Audio DAC End 3 An other excellent kit built by HQ-Audio built around the renowned NOS AD1865 DAC with 6H30Pi IV Tube outputs. I was able to source a parts kit. The AD1865 Analog Device chip is considered by some to be the best sounding Non Oversampling 18 bits DAC chip ever built. This DAC is using multiple shunt regulator supplies and a separate IV section using tubes. It has two switchable digital inputs, one optical the other coaxial. For the best sound an IV section uses one tube per channel. It supports three tube type, the 5687, 6Dj8 and 6H30. I use it configured for the 6H30Pi. Each tube is run with its its two sections run in parallel for better drive capacity and transparency. The tubes HV supply used a Salas HV Shunt regulator with a CLC pre-filter. The tube heaters are driven by a low noise, LDO regulator. The best parts are used throughout both PCB, for more detail see www.diyaudio.com.
Yamamoto YDA-01B DAC clone I like the YDA-01 so much that I built the tube version for me. Mine is special, a reproduction of the marvelous Yamamoto DAC, but with dual selectable digital inputs and DIY Ayre line filter, custom toroid transformer, Yamamoto Teflon tube sockets and wood terminal strips, M-Lytic Mundorf HV cap and ClarityCap MR output coupling caps. A few weeks back me and friends we compared this Dac with the new Meitner MA-1 (7K$), the Naim NDX and the NAD M50 music player in a streamer/server test bed. Guest what the Yamamoto was way better than the Naim and the NAD using another Dac, and as good as the Meitner! We also listen to some excellent hires files (192/24 bits) files from Fidelio, and the Yamamoto and Meitner were very close, with a little edge from the MA-1 part. This is how good this Dac is and considering the price difference between both dac, the Yamamoto is a steal. My own Tube output section is also slightly different. It is still using WE408A tube, but has a different CCS, different cathode loading and grid stopper for an even better sound. I love this DAC. All internal wiring is done using Neotech Solid-core UP-OCC COPPER Wire, Teflon jacket, cryo treated. See some great reviews of these DAC on 6moons, ss version review: 6moons.com-YDA-01, and the tube review: 6moons.com-YDA-01B
Buffalo-II DAC ESS Sabre Reference 24 bits/192Khz DAC (8 channels combined to 2 channels for exceptional low noise floor) based on Twisted Pear Audio Buffalo-II DAC PCB with USB, BNC, AES/EBU, optical Toslink & ST inputs, see www.diyaudio.com for my own contribution, an interconnect diagram that illustrates the different modules I used. The I/V conversion is done using the dual mono Counterpoint fully discrete symmetrical converter, fully balanced output, DC coupled, see it own thread on www.diyaudio.com. To supply the Counterpoints I used two Placid-BP shunt regulators, one per channel with their own power transformer. To convert to Single Ended (SE) I used my own version of the Ballsie converter combining the buffer section of the new Legato so I can drive headphones as well. The volume can be adjusted using the built-in ESS excellent digital volume control and the I2C Volumite controller. See my own project at www.diyaudio.com and www.twistedpearaudio.com for details.
Pass Labs D1 DAC Clone, Version 3 A classic Balanced PCM63P-K DAC but using Borbely FET I/V converter and all discrete Borbely FET Low noise analog supply. See my Audio Project section for details.
Super Tube DAC with low jitter PLL clock and Tube Output, see the Audio Projects section and the original designer site see: Original Project Page (Explorer only)
SDS-Labs Tube DAC, using a pair of PCM63-K DAC chips (maybe one of the best DAC chip ever made), passive I/V conversion (using a Riken resistor) and Shunt Regulated Push-Pull (SRPP or Mu Follower) all tube output. I'm planning to use it for an upcoming music server. My own version has some improvements and modifications such as two selectable inputs (SPDIF BNC and USB, using the Hagerman "HagUSB" SPDIF-USB converter, CLC filtering on all digital IC supply pins, Oscon caps, screen ground plane, Jensen paper in oil coupling caps (and AuriCap film bypass caps), Takman carbon film resistors in the Tube section and mute relay at power-up. The supply is using custom built toroid transformers. See www.quadesl.com for details.
dAck! Original and Clone, a TDA1545-CS8414 DAC None Over Sampling, see the Audio Projects section and www.ack-industries.com for details. I use it with my headphone. Very nice sound with no fatigue.
Audio Zone DAC-1 clone. a TDA1543 DAC None Over Sampling, clone of the with No digital or analog filters, Passive I/V conversion, Active input driver/buffer, 4 active regulators with extensive CLRC filtering, BNC input (75R), Single ended output, see the Audio Projects section.
Mac Mini based Audio Server, My first little music server based on a small Mac Mini computer (OSX Lion 10.7.5, 4GB RAM, 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 80GB internal SSD) with external USB harddrive, iTune & JRiver programs. There is a small M-Audio Firewire Audiophile DAC that is used as Firewire to SPDIF interface only (it also includes a very good headphone amplifier). I'm using my excellent Yamamoto tube output DAC as music source and my iPad as remote control. I use the Remote, a free application downloaded from the Apple App Store with iTune and JRemote with JRiver. Remote/JRemote turns your Apple portable device such as iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch into a remote control for your iTunes/JRiver media player. See details on www.diyaudio.com.
This excellent site explains a lot about the Mac Mini as server: www.monarchyaudio.com.
Other nice Computer audio guide: www.linkwitzlab.com.
See this site to how to remotely control iTune with your iPad www.simonblog.com.
M-Audio Firewire Audiophile Dac www.soundonsound.com
Digital Signal Processors:
DSPeaker Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core After listening to this Fantastic Speaker Room correction and DAC system at a friend's house I decided to go ahead and get the DSPeaker. It uses three powerful DSP cores (1x VS1000 for GUI&USB and 2x VS8053 IceDragon for Audio, 40-bit, 2-channels). This processor has extensive sound customization options, including quick house curve design tool, linear-phase full spectrum tilt, several parametric EQs and has numerous DSP Filters, starting with the Anti-Mode 2.0 Multi-Rate (FIR & IIR), House Curve filter, Linear-Phase Tilt, Parametric EQs, Adjustable Infrasonic and Adjustable cross-over. It is loaded with features and can be used as a locally clocked high quality jitter-free DAC that supports asynchronous USB audio as well as S/PDIF input/output via optical Toslink. The built-in Dual balanced ADCs delivers the highest level of audio performance. It has Dual (one per channel) balanced DACs with jitter free operation (local crystal), oversampling to 6144 kHz, DSP buffering and filtering (Digital signals are re-aligned for jitter-free operation). It can also be used as a high quality pre-amp with remote controlled volume that uses Analog resistor network volume controller to ensure full digital precision. Other features are: Supports several sound profiles (e.g. independent ”sweet spots” and/or equalizer settings), quickly switchable with the remote controller. Friendly graphical user interface, very easy to set-up and operate, Ability to measure and display room responses on a built-in 262k-color display, ”Pure digital” mode using S/PDIF input & output: signal is processed in the digital domain all the way (S/PDIF output resolution is independent from input). It has Versatile connectivity: insert Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core between your existing pre-amp and power amplifier or powered speakers or utilize the processor loop or tape loop of your integrated amplifier - or use it as a standalone DAC / preamp! It is a Class A Stereophile recommended component since 2013. For details see www.dspeaker.com and these great reviews www.stereophile.com, www.theabsolutesound.com and www.avforums.com
Behringer UltramatchPro SRC2496 Sample-Rate Converter & ADC/DAC The Swiss Army knife of the digital conversion. Great little machine that can do almost anything you can dream of to do to audio or digital data. It can upscale/downscale (32 to 96Khz) or change the bit length (18-24 bits), switchable de-emphasis all this done using the CS8420 Sample-Rate Converter and transceiver, convert audio to digital (using an AK5393 24/96 ADC chip), or digital to analog (using an AK4393 24/96 multi-bit DAC chip), all this balanced In/Out and with three types of In/out digital interfaces each (AES/EBU, SPDIF both with galvanic insulation and optical Toslink). It has a ton of leds to indicate the bit word status and even an headphone amp (using hi-current op-amp RJM4580), vu-meters, internal or external word clocks, etc. It is a very useful tool and allows you to listen to upsample music on the fly, without to have to rely on a computer. See this interesting review www.hifi-advice.com and details at www.behringer.com
Technics SP-10 Mk2, seating on the Technics SH-10B3 obsidian plinth with Dust Cover and EPA-100 Tonearm with SH-100 Headshell and its original shielded low capacitance cable. What can be said, one of the most famous turntable of all time. The Technics SH-10B3 is a massive stone block of gleaming obsidian, mounted on a rubber and rosewood veneered base. The plinth provides a wide platform for arm mounting and shock-damping against external vibration and feedback. The famous EPA-100 tonearm was specifically designed to go with the SP-10 and it is still today one of the best tonearm ever made! It uses ruby bearing, cartridge compliance dynamic compensation (that you cannot get on any tonearm today), one of the best VTA on the fly adjustment, Titanium-Nitride arm tube (was never used again in any commercial tonearm...), a real gem. The Technics SH-100 Headshell has its leads replaced with Oyaide HSR-CU Headshell Leads. This table is used with a MM Cartridge of the same area, perfectly compatible with the EPA-100 tonearm, the Technics E-205C-Mk2H, MM cartridge, elliptical diamond, magnesium Cantilever. Apparently Technics will restart the production of the SP-10 but it will cost over 10K$ to get one. I have two for the moment, and I should be able to sell the extra one this year... For details see www.vinylengine.com, and www.soundfountain.com, also a good thread about restoration, upgrade and repair at www.diyaudio.com. For details on the EPA-100 tonearm, see www.vinylengine.com and www.thevintageknob.org
Teres model 100, DIY turntable with Graham 2.1 tonearm and Ortofon Kontrapunkt-H MC Cartridge. This turntable is no longer available as a kit. I was able to get the acrylic platter and the bearing kit from an other user on www.diyaudio.com, see my project development on this link. My teardrop wood base is done. It is made of dried maple, laminated and ready for finishing. The wood is so nice that I will only put a clear lacquer finish. The plinth will be loaded with lead to add weight and to absorb the plinth's resonance. I have 3 diamond cones feet on order to put under the turntable. I just got for Christmas the Teres Delrin record clamp. See www.teresaudio.com for an picture of what it will be. I have my own version of Mark Kelly battery supplied Maxon motor controller already built and ready to go, see the audio project section. I'll use the new mylar tape drive using the Teres tape pulley. The motor pod is a recycled very nice sensor aluminum enclosure with a machined custom top plate that fits the Maxon motor. Finally, a DIY Schroeder tonearm is in the pipeline. I'm getting help from an other diyaudio member for the Schroeder machining. See: www.vinylengine.com and www.theanalogdept.com. Tonearm is the Graham model 2.1 tonearm, maybe one of the best unipot design, except the famous Graham Phantom II . It has all the 2.2 upgrades minus the ceramic wand (Top bearing and tungsten side weights). This arm have some of the best setup tools included and allows on the fly VTA adjustment. See a review at: www.stereophile.com. To connect the arm, that is sold without interconnect cable, I'll use the own Graham top-of-the-line IC70 cable, again one of the best tonearm cable. It is a silver interconnect with separate Teflon insulated L/R wires. It is terminated with the 5 pins DIN connector at the tonearm and RCA Bullet plugs at the other end. Cartridge is the Ortofon Kontrapunkt-H MC (0.47mV output, 12 µm/mN compliance, Nude FineLine elliptical stylus, weight 10g). See Ortofon www.ortofon.com for details and a few reviews at: www.6moons.com and www.audioasylum.com.
Thorens TD124 turntable with SME3009 tonearm, Newest acquisition, a real classic. The Thorens uses an AC 4 poles induction motor, belt/idler wheel drive, 16, 33, 45 and 78 rpm, mechanically switched, pitch (using a clever "Eddy Current Brake"), platter weight 4.5 kg (steel), aluminum subplatter with clutch, manual operation. Probably one of the greatest engineered turntable ever. Designed specifically for one job only, spin records. Mounted on it was a very nice SME 3009-S2 tonearm. The Nylon knife-edge bearing was be upgraded to a CNC bronze knife bearing. Cartridge is the Nagaoka MP-110 MP MM 5mv Output, 18 µm/mN compliance, Superfine polished elliptical bonded diamond with 0.4 x 0.7 mil radii and weight 6.5g. Phono Preamp is the tube Haggerman Cornet 2, mods to the max, see phono preamp section. See www.soundfountain.com and www.analogue-classics.com or www.theanalogdept.com for some interesting discussions on the Thorens. For the SME 3009 and its variants, see www.analogue-classics.com. Nagaoka MM cartridges are well known in Japan, see this nice Stereophile Michael Fremer reviews of different cartridges, where the Nagaoka MP-300 came out one of the best and more musical www.analogplanet.com . The MP-110 is its little brother (5mV output, 18 µm/mN compliance, Superfine polished elliptical diamond stylus, weight 6.5g) which weight and compliance were better suited to the SME tonearm, and it is cheaper too!
Michell Tecnodec turntable with Rega RB300 tonearm (with Michell upgrade TecnoWeight, VTA adjuster and record clamp). I built also an upgrade dual Speed High Capacity DC Supply and an upgrade mounting platform for the Technodec. The Platform is a laminate of high quality Birch ply, MDF and Brushed Aluminum. The RB300 tonearm has upgraded Cardas tonearm wires that connect to a Cardas CPIB Phono Block mounted on the upgrade platform.
See: www.michell-engineering.co.uk (what a beauty...) and the diyaudio thread
Cartridge: Benz Micro ACE, MC low output: 0.4mV output, Nude line-contact stylus, weight 8.8g
Kyocera PL-701 Full-automatic belt driven turntable, ceramic sub platform, carbon fiber headshell with Denon DL-107 MM cartridge: 2mV output, 9 µm/mN compliance, DSN-20 Stylus, Tip spherical, weight 8.0g
Other Cartridges MM:
Grado Blue MM cartridge: 5mV output, 20 µm/mN compliance, Elliptical Stylus, weight 4.8g
Other Cartridges MC:
Denon DL-110 High Output MC: 1.6mV output, low 8µm/mN compliance, special elliptical Stylus, weight 4.8g
Accessories: AcousTech Digital Stylus Force Gauge, Shure Precision Stylus Force Gauge SFG-2, Decca MK3 Record Brush, Hagtech Inverse RIAA Filter for burn-in Phono Preamps, Consonance Strobe Disk.
NVO SPA ONE Special Edition Phono Stage Reference Status Tube Phono Stage, probably one of the best tube phono preamp under 10K$ out there. Great design with MM/MC Selection, two selectable inputs, Seven tubes dual HV supply regulators, Separate 12.6 and 6.3 Heater regulators with soft-start, Combined active and passive RIAA, Low impedance cathode follower output. For the front end it uses the unusual Russian 6C45Pi power triode, bias very heavily at 30ma. An other Russian tube, the 6C19Pi is the HV pass regulator for these tubes and has to supply an heavy load of 90ma at 250V! Pretty impressive... It got stellar reviews. Just got a very nice one. See the reviews at 6moons.com, positive-feedback.com, wallofsound.ca, parttimeaudiophile.com
Paradise Phono Stage, version R3 (DIY) Fully dual mono discrete phono preamp with shunt regulator and an external dual mono supplies. Read the complete MPP thread or jump directly at www.diyaudio.com for details. See my own built at: www.diyaudio.com
Hagerman Audio Labs Trumpet Reference Tube Phonostage Clone (DIY) Based on the original Trumpet (Stereophile class-A recommended component), it is a balanced tube design for the MM section and FET MC front-end. My own version doesn't used uP control but rather switches to control all functions. In addition to standard RIAA equalization, three other curves used in the LP "microgroove" era have been included. I designed my own PCB and implemented my own internal layout. See details at www.haglabs.com
Hagerman Audio Labs Cornet 2 Tube Phonostage A nice preamp with no feedback Pure Class A single-ended amplifier stages, split RIAA Passive equalization, Cathode follower output with CCS loading, Vacuum tube HV rectification and DC heaters. This particular version was built without compromise: the best long life, low ESR or audio grade Nichicon electrolytic wherever possible, Mundorf Supreme coupling caps, matched Takman Rex carbon film resistors exclusively, etc. The chassis is a work of art built by Landfall Systems with engraved labels. It includes the following NOS tubes: RCA 5Y4, CBS blackplate 12AU7, matched pair of Tunsgram 12AX7.It is very quiet and resolving yet smooth and organic. It's not slow and "vintage" sounding at all. See my Audio Projects section for details.
Borbely Phono Stage(DIY) Fully dual mono All-JFET discrete phono preamp using the Borbely Low Noise Regs external supply. Very nice preamp originally published in AudioXpress magazine in a two parts article in 2005. Replica of the Borbely original EB-804/419 all-JFET MM/MC phono preamp kit.
Lehmann Audio Silver Cube Phono Stage Clone (DIY) One of the best solid-state phono preamp out there. I made my own version of it. See description at: www.lehmannaudio.com and reviews at: www.tnt-audio.com. There are also great pictures at: www.avbuzz.com
Lehmann Audio Black Cube Decade Phono Stage Clone (DIY) Little Brother of the Silver Cube, an other of the best solid-state phono preamp. Was named by Absolute Sound 'Product of the Year' in 2015. I made my own version of it. See description at: www.lehmannaudio.com and reviews at: www.hifinews.co.uk.
JLTi PhonoPre PhonoStage with the upgrade power supply. An other one of the best solid-state phono preamp ever made. It has selectable MC/MM gain. The Power Supply is pure Class A Constant Current “SuperReg'', diamond buffer input stage with zero-negative feedback, passive RIAA, high quality resistors and capacitors, etc. This site explains the principle behind this very unusual yet elegant design: www.customanalogue.com. See a reviews at: www.positive-feedback.com and www.tonepublications.com. See also great pictures at: www.frank-landmesser.de
K&K Audio Premium 'Maxxed-Out' Kit Sophisticated tube phono preamp with switchable Mc/MM inputs, selectable MC load and single ended/Balanced Outputs using the famous Lundhall transformers for power, MC Step-up and Line outputs. This particular model has all the options installed in; the Premium MC Step-Up with Cardas 6N high purity copper coil transformers, Cardas Parafeed caps, Stereo/Mono switch and high quality Volume control option (23 position Seiden switch and discrete surface mount audio-grade metal film resistors and low value Audio Note resistors in the signal path). See: www.kandkaudio.com for the specs, see a reviews at: www.audioasylum.com and the Art Audio 'Vinyl Reference' that is quite similar: www.6moons.com
LC-Audio RIAA Phono Amplifier with MC Light Powered Step-Up, my own DIY version. Very intriguing MC headamp circuit that is supplied by light generated by small light bulbs that in turn illuminate photo diodes producing pure DC supply voltage. So in fact the MC section is floating eliminating any supply and ground loop noises. The MM section is supplied using LC-Audio own Low noise dual regulator modules. I built it into a single enclosure with MC/MM selector, and Mute switch. All these function are selected by relays. The MM selection acts as a standby mode for the MC section turning the light bulb off to extend their life while keeping the rest of the preamp turn-on. It sounds very nice and very quiet. One of my best phono preamp. See www.lcaudio.com and www.diyaudio.com for details.
Graham Slee Era V Gold Clone (DIY) A reproduction of the excellent Graham Slee phono preamp, same parts, same PCB, different enclosure. Graham really knows his stuff, this one been on Stereophile Class-A list for four years. See his excellent design discussion on the 'General Phono Preamp' kit on its forum and see all the awards he got. They cannot be all wrong! A great preamp. See the details at www.gspaudio.co.uk.
Bent Audio Mu
MC Step Up Transformer Using the renowned S &B TX-103, no longer
available separately, see: www.stevens-billington
for the specs, see a review at: www.audioasylum.com
Pass Labs XONO (DIY) One of the best. Dual mono phono preamp, see my Audio Projects section for details.
Pass Labs Pearl II(DIY). Excellent preamp with mono PCB and external supply. See my Audio Projects section for details
Pass Labs Pearl (DIY) phono preamp with MC option, see my Audio Projects section for details.
PhonoClone3 (DIY) MC dual mono phono preamp, a clone of the very nice 47Lab PhonoCube, see Audio Projects section. Now in its third version, using a new supply design and refined PCB layout. I have to say it is probably one of my best preamp. You cannot go wrong with this one. Best performance to cost ratio. See www.diyaudio.com for details. I sold my first PhonoClone ver 1.0.
Peter Daniel PhonoClone Version (DIY) MC dual mono phono preamp, a more direct clone of the very nice 47Lab PhonoCube, but with a fancy shunt regulator supply, and very expensive V-Cap Teflon coupling caps, Caddock resistors, Muse and Black Gate Capacitors, etc. see my Audio Projects section for details.
Record Cleaning Machine:
Audio Desk Systeme record cleaner machine, see: www.audiodesksysteme.de
Kenwood KT-8300 The KT-8300 is great tuner, very sensitive and selective even in stock form. It has a powerful front end with a 6-gang tuning capacitor, and the potential for top-quality sound after an alignment and a few upgrades (output op-amp). The KT-8300's front-panel features include a button to switch the combination multipath/deviation meter, a wide/narrow IF bandwidth button, MPX filter switch, variable output knob and two levels of muting (or muting off). On the back panel, there are fixed and variable RCA outputs, scope outputs, a 75 µS/25 µS FM de-emphasis switch and a dimmer on/off switch. Inside, you'll find two independent filter paths, very much like a 600T (which it somewhat resembles) but without the "middle" path. The KT-8300 uses two 4-pole linear phase LC filters for the wide IF bandwidth setting and three 4-element ceramic filters for narrow mode, rather than the modern 3-pin type. A description and great interior photos of extensive mods to a KT-8300 can be seen on FMTuner contributor Mike B.'s website. See fmtunerinfo for details.
Sansui TU-9900 with upgraded output section, see: fmtunerinfo, some nice restoration pictures at http://amp8.com and my restoration story at diyaudio
Sansui TU-777 Gorgeous retro look with its circular dial indicator and great sound. Totally discrete parts tuner, including a discreet MPX circuit. This one has an almost perfect front glass panel and some nice upgrades: Muse Gold Supply caps, upgraded power transformer, IEC320 AC inlet and Vampire output connectors. Some nice restoration pictures at http://amp8.com
Sansui T-80 With mods. The T-80 is a fully analog tuner, and additional features, such as a digital frequency readout, noise canceller switch and digitally quartz-locked front end. Internally the T-80 includes an upgraded power supply, and two additional boards to support the quartz lock and the display pcb. The T-80 has 3 gangs, 2 filters and pretty good sound. After a few simple mods it can become a great sounding tuner, with digital lock and display as a bonus. With mods the T-80 shows greater improvement in all these areas and a blacker background behind the program with no downside. Since access to the boards is very easy, the entire mod can be completed in a few hours, see the DIY page for the mods description fmtunerinfo. Mine has an extra modification, the stock display light bulb was replaced by a strip of high intensity white leds. The result on the display is striking, and now it is looking splendid! See also fmtunerinfo for details on this great tuner.
Sony ST-5000F with upgraded (supply, caps, RCA and AC IEC320 connectors, see: fmtunerinfo
some nice restoration pictures at http://amp8.com. It has 5-gang tuning capacitors, an 8-stage IF filter section, 4-pin ceramic type and an all discrete multiplex section. It has a beautiful sound, and that "in the next room", it really seems like you have musicians in your house. Amazing performance for a 30-year-old unit.
Yamaha CT-810 Nice little tuner that matches my new Yamaha CD-S1000. I bought it for that. Mods the Supply with new soft recovery rectifier diodes and MUSE Nichicon Audio caps. New audio output film caps instead of the electrolytic. Replaced a burned meter lamp. The frequency dial knob was very stiff, it should had been rotating freely and with speed with the big flywheel on the back. Disassembled the tuning knob and shaft. Was stick together because of old grease. Cleaned the shaft and apply silicone oil. Re-assembled and bingo! Now the dial is fast and smooth. Retuned the front end and fine tuned the dial accuracy. I compared it with my reference Sansui TU-9900 and the sound is very similar. Very nice and good little tuner indeed. See: fmtunerinfo
NAD 4300 Monitor Series with upgraded output capacitors.
Dynaco FM3 Tube Tuner For some it is one of the best tube tuner except the Marantz 10B. FM tuner only, it has a very distinctive front panel. Since I have so many tube gears, I decided to get one to try. See: fmtunerinfo for more info on this great tuner. I'll do the suggested SDS Labs mods on it, see the site: www.quadesl.com. Great page with photos and mods: Mike B's Webpage
Tivoli Model One, Platinum Edition, table radio, great sound, see: www.tivoliaudio.com
Denon DR-M44HX Vintage cassette tape deck. My son wanted to record his first tape after seeing the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Got this very nice tape deck for a song. It was an expensive and very good model at the time. See: www.hifiengine.com
HIFIMAN HE-400i Planar Magnetic Headphone, www.hifiman.com. My first magnaplanar headphone, newest and improve version of the original 400, using the same technology as the higher 560 model. The Planar magnetic principle is the closest thing to electrostatic but these headphone are still compatible with current headphone amps, and portable players. I replaced the short cable with a custom High-Quality OFC Copper 3m Cable with Mogami OFC 4-Core 24AWG cable and Furutech OCC 1/4'' connector, from ArcticCables. See this reviews: www.lifewire.com
AKG K-702 Reference Studio Headphone, www.akg.com. The best pair of cans I ever had, just gorgeous. I use it all the time working at my bench.
AKG K-701, www.akg.com. Loved the K-701 so much that I bought a pair of K-702.
Sennheiser HD600, www.sennheiserusa.com
Stax SR-407, hifipig.com. My first electrostatic! Heard them at the HiFi show in Montreal a few times, and their sound is lovely. Will use them with my upcoming Stax SRM-T1 clone, great tube Stax amplifier...
See this review of 50 great headphones at www.head-fi.org
SPL Phonitor 2 (model 1280) Headphone Amp and Pre-Amp: One of the best headphone Amp I ever tried and the Hifi Shows. It is a stunning amp using SPL exclusive 120V audio rail system that needs a custom discrete opamp. The main benefit to this design approach is far more headroom. It has balanced and SE inputs, preamp outputs, VU-Meter, matrix circuit (a crossfeed, simulating speaker angle) and every bells and whistles you can dream for an great can amp. Got the chance to finally find one at a good price. For details see spl.audio, and these excellent reviews at positive-feedback.com and www.head-fi.org
Xen Audio DAO Headphone Amplifier (Upcoming...): The Ultimate Headphone Amp from the en Audio design team, stay tuned...
Xen Audio Super Linear Transconductance Headphone Amplifier: Again from the Xen Audio design team, Amplifier working in current mode, contrary to most amplifiers that are working in voltage mode. It is designed specifically to drive magnaplanar headphones, such as my HiFiMAN HE-400 headphone. See my audio projects section for details, or directly to the project thread at: www.diyaudio.com
Xen Audio Pioneer Super Linear Headphone Amplifier: From the Xen Audio design team, this superb amplifier is Inspired from Pioneer circuit of the 70's, a Class-A discrete design, without any feedback, and with massive dual mono supplies. It uses discrete dual mono voltage regulators, optimized for audio. Meticulous smd parts matching and active CCS insure great CMRR and ridiculous low output DC offset (in the 1-2 mv range), without any active servo correction. It also includes the sophisticated SHPP output protection circuit to insure that my expensive cans will always be protected. See my audio projects section for details, or directly to my built at: www.diyaudio.com
Neurochrome HP-1 Headphone Amplifier: Great amp that can amp very low impedance headphone with ease and vanishing low distortion. Built using a well designed pcb with 4 layers it has three selectable gain. It also includes advanced protection circuit, so your expensive cans are safe. I bought only the PCB and I made it fit into a recycled enclosure. See the designer site for details: www.neurochrome.com. See also my Projects section for details...
Salas DCG3 Headphone Amplifier: Gorgeous amp, Class-A discrete design with massive dual mono supplies, an other reference level, Perfectly silent, Silky smooth highs, resolution, timing and flow, just perfect, see my audio project section for details, or directly to my built at: www.diyaudio.com
Pass DIY Headphone Amplifier: Super Headphone Amplifier 100% discrete signal path with using a clever opto-isolator chip auto bias circuit. Sound very good, easy and cheap to make, a real winner. I did my own PCB but original PCB are still available from Pass DIY. For details see: www.diyaudio.com
Krell KSA5 Clone Headphone Amplifier: Great and powerful amplifier, it can drive a small pair of speaker with a full 5W of clean power. Input JFET, 100% discrete amplifier using closely matched pair of output transistors. Direct signal path with the addition of DC servo circuitry to eliminate any capacitors in the signal path. Discrete powerful power supplies with regulation. It is heavily biased in Class A and it sounds very good, powerful bass, very detailed sound. See my Audio Projects section for details.
X5 Headphone Amplifier: Headamp100% discrete signal path with the addition of DC servo circuitry to eliminate any capacitors in the signal path. It is pure Class A biased with zero global feedback. Signal amplification is provided by a High Definition Amplifier Module (HDAM) that is fully discrete op-amp and specially designed for high quality audio application. I did my own PCB. See the project section, my own amp at www.diyaudio.com and the original designer site for details: www.ks-projects.co.uk
PS Audio GCHA Amplifier: X5 Headphone Amplifier 100% discrete signal path with the addition of DC servo circuitry to eliminate any capacitors in the signal path. It is pure Class A biased with zero global feedback. Signal amplification is provided by a High Definition Amplifier Module (HDAM) that is fully discrete and specially designed for high quality audio application. I'm doing my own PCBI like it so much that now I have two. The original and the latest version with balanced inputs. This particular unit had being fully mods by 'Reference Audio Mods' in California for an even better sounds, see review: www.6moons.com
Borbely All Fets, Class-A Headphone Amplifier, using the Borbely All Fets Low Noise Regs as supply. A project of mine. It is a fully dual mono built using high quality parts all around such as Noble volume pot, Muse, Nichicon KG & Wima caps, Vishay CMF55 and MK132 resistors, J74/K170 matched fets, etc. See my project at: www.diyaudio.com
It is really close to the Aural Audition headphone amp, now discontinued, see this review with great pictures at: www.6moons.com.
Lovely Cube Headphone Amplifier. A DIY clone of the excellent Lehmann Audio Black Cube Linear (BCL) updated to the SE status. See the Projects section for details, www.lehmannaudio.com. See this link for an excellent review of the original BCL www.soundstage.com and this one for the SE version www.i-fidelity.net.
Sapphire Headphone Amplifier by RJM Audio. I can say that the best headphone amp I ever built so far and also a winner for the price. It is one of my best amps, equal to my beloved PS Audio GCHA (I got two ;) Built it if you need a great headphone amp. See the Audio projects section for details.
PPA Headphone Amplifier with YJPS Shunt Regulator Power Supply. A very sophisticated cans amp with virtual ground power supply, fully discrete diamond buffer output, adjustable bass boost control, etc. See the Audio projects section for details.
Objective2 (O2) Portable Headphone Amplifier with integrated USB ODAC and AGDR Booster (update 2015) The O2 is a small unique headphone amp that compares well in listening tests with much more expensive gear. I built three of these for my sons and one for me. See www.diyaudio.com for details and the original designer thread at http://nwavguy.blogspot.ca. My own version was upgraded in 2015 to add the USB ODAC. It is now an O2+ODAC combo. For the new ODAC, see ODAC blog, and it integration into the O2, see ODAC-Update blogs. In 2015 I upgraded it with the AGDR Booster PCB as well (latest ver3.1). This booster replaces two of the original O2 op-amp with a pair of OPA827 nested in feedback loop with a LME49600, 250ma audio current buffer chip, on per channel. Then the remaining O2 op-amp was upgraded to an OPA1662. The booster allows the O2 to drive almost any headphone with ease. To find the O2 and ODAC pcb, enclosure, parts and much more, see www.jdslabs.com. For the AGDR booster project, see www.diyaudio.com, my own amp at diyaudio.com and AGDR Audio homepage www.agdraudio.com
ODA O2 Desktop Headphone Amplifier An O2 derivative but with much more sophisticated power supplies and amplifier section with a ton of features, designed by AGDR. The ODA offers several benefits over the O2 for desktop use, including:
3x the output current capability at 420mA per channel, Lower distortion and higher S/N ratio with 6 paralleled op amps per channel, Input power CRC filter, snubber, and transorb to remove power line noise, super quiet 2-stages power supply, Lower THD+N LME49990 gain stage chips and new OPA2140 pre-amp output chip, Clipping detect circuit with front panel LED and Headphone relay for absolutely no turn-on or turn-off thumps.
Front panel: 3.5mm jack input, 3.5mm & 1/4" out, RCA pre-amp out, input select switch, 4 position gain and damping factor adjust switches, Rear panel: RCA jack input, AC input and power and bass boost switches. For details see www.diyaudio.com and AGDR Audio homepage www.agdraudio.com
Zen DIY Class A Amplifier: http://headwize.com
Headphone + DAC Amplifier: 192Khz, 24 bits DAC and Jitter reduction using the AD1896 (same IC and the renowned Benchmark DAC-1) and TPA6120 Headphone amplifier IC. The volume is controlled digitally by an AVR processor, see www.diyaudio.com
EL84 Tube Headphone Amplifier (project in progress): http://headwize.com
Wilson Audio Sasha (Series 1) Clone - Upcoming... Stay Tuned...
Verity Audio Rienzi on my main system. Gorgeous full range speakers using special midrange driver without any crossover for midrange purity and high efficiency. Two boxes design mechanically decoupled from each others, and the now famous Verity Audio bass module that can be used facing to the back or the front for the best in-room bass match, see: www.verityaudio.com for details.
Harbeth M30.1 Great monitor speakers with proprietary drivers, driven by my Audiomat tube integrated. See: www.theabsolutesound.com and www.6moons.com
IMF Compact Monitor 2 Very nice pair of almost mint studio monitors from the 70's. See them on www.diyaudio.com and some more info on the manufacturer site still available at www.imf-electronics.com
Eos by Enigma Acoustics These incredible speakers are handmade by a friend. They use a 2-1/2 configuration and a reflex port underneath the enclosure. Very nice pair of speaker and easy to drive. They are similar to the Lyra 2 by Revelation Audio but with different drivers, see: www.revelationaudio.com for details.
Dynaudio Audience 42, Audience 52 and Audience 122 for Home Theater, see: www.dynaudiousa.com
Axiom M3Ti: Nice little 2 ways monitor, no crossover, only one cap for the twitter, see www.axiomaudio.com
Dynaudio Finale Kit, with my own twist, see my DIY Speaker Project, 3 ways, Will be used in bi-amplification.
REL Strata III subwoofer, Closed-box loaded cabinet, 20Hz-120Hz: www.rel.net
REL R-305 subwoofer, Closed-box loaded cabinet, 20Hz-100Hz: www.rel.net, see a review at www.6moons.com,
Velodyne SMS-1 subwoofer EQ, The SMS-1 features Automatic or Manual In-Room Bass Correction with Included Microphone using DSP Control and On-Screen Display. See Velodyne for details.
JBL Decade L26, Nice vintage JBL speakers used in my garage with the Harman Kardon 330c receiver. I had the woofers reconed. The rest is stock, even the grid are almost new. The sound of the 70's
LG OLED65E7P OLED 65'' screen - 4K UHD HDR OLED webOS 3.5 Smart TV.
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-Ray and Universal format feature packed player. See a review at: www.avrev.com
Sony Bravia KDL40S504 LCD screen 40'' - Full HD 1080i.
Sony BDP-S1 Blu-Ray Player (with Firmware ver 4.30 upgrade, include Dolby Digital and True-HD decoding), review at: www.ultimateavmag.com
Anthem AVM20-HD processor. Upgraded in 2007 to the AVM-20-HD version which now as the same functionality as the AVM-50, with the addition of Anthem's digital video processor and HDMI connections. This digital video processing PCB is incredible. It is a 6 layers with gold traces and over 1800 parts. It is the same one used in the Anthem Statement D2. It includes the excellent Gennum VXP Digital Image Processor/Scaler for professional image result up to 1080p resolution. See the AVM-50 review at: www.hometheatersound.com
MCA-5 Amplifier (5 channels) and the Teac Esoteric DV-50 as superb DVD player...
Kodi Media Player Great DIY little Media Player with Raspberry Pi-3 hardware and Kodi software (krypton version 9.0.2). I used the LibreElect OS distribution. I have also an IR remote. It works just great. I access movies and TX shows saved on my QNAP NAS drive using wired Ethernet (Wifi is also available). You can also install numerous add-ons such as for streaming. Just great, powerful and user friendly interface. Very recommended, for details see libreelec.tv
Torus Power RM 2.5, power conditioner 2.5Amp with 4 medical grade outlets. It delivers true isolation through triple-screened toroidal transformer as well as low source impedance and ample instantaneous current. It utilizes Plitron ‘LONO’ (LONO-technology) transformer design technology that eliminates audible noise in the power transformer and Cleaner Power: Torus Power products utilize Plitron “NBT” (narrow-bandwidth-technology) to attenuate differential and common-mode noise without external circuits or components. See Torus fro details: www.toruspower.com
Plitron LONO DIY Balanced Power Conditioner, DIY High Power conditioner using a Plitron LONO NBT huge 2.4KVA insulation power transformer. It uses the same transformer as the Torus Power RM-20 and can supply up to 20A of clean, pure 115V power. It has (1) 20A Furutech and (2) 15A receptacles, 1/8" thick Herbies Grungebuster mat beneath transformer, Hammond chassis lined with Stillpoints ERS, receptacles housed in a separate enclosure (Power Strip 2) also lined with ERS, Honeywell NT Series power switch, 25mm Idec LED pilot light (amber), built on 3/8" thick 7071 Aluminum plate with brass cones,1/2" Nylon transformer mounting bolt. The Furutech U-OFC Copper FP-314Ag power cable terminated with a FI-11M connector is connected to the filter using a Neutrik PowerCon 32A A/C connector. See Torus website description for Plitron LONO and NBT technologies www.toruspower.com
Ayre L-5xe Line Filter (DIY Version), My own version of Ayre L-5xe filter and power distribution bar, with 4 outlets, Furutech FI-06(G) IEC inlet and Furutech U-OFC Copper FP314AG power cord wires used inside. The outlets are Pass & Seymour 20A EMI special, non magnetic pure copper, hospital grade cryo treated ac outlet, see www.takefiveaudio.com. It has 4 DIY Ayre AC filters as the original. For details see www.ayre.com and review at www.audioasylum.com
Furutech eTP80, power distribution bar, with 8 outlets, and Furutech power cord, review at www.6moons.com
Furutech FPX(G), AC power outlet15/20A, Gold, for my main system amplifier outlet. This outlet is modified as a Shynyata Guardian Pro 2, see this site for the Shynyata secrets: www.10audio.com
DIY Power Bar (2x), power distribution bar, with 6 outlets that I made using recycled parts, see the complete story at www.diyaudio.com
Hammond 1584T6DH, Hospital Grade, 6 outlets Power Bar, with upgraded power cord.
Cables and Accessories:
Interconnects 36" (Single Ended - Pairs):
RCA Atlas Navigator All-Cu, symmetrical pseudo-balanced Double shielded with copper mylar plus close lapped 99.997% pure OCC copper. Direct silver plated OCC copper, non-compressing, double screened, self-cleaning RCA plugs (three pairs)
RCA Atlas Questor All-Cu, simple coax cable but still using the 99.997% pure OCC copper and simpler RCA plugs (two pairs). Very good sounding cable according to UHF magazine reviews, see www.uhfmag.com
RCA Atlas Voyager, OFC copper, shielded, Direct gold plated, non-compressing, double screened, self-cleaning RCA plugs
RCA Atlas Element, OFC copper, shielded
RCA Wireworld Luna 7, 24ga. OFC copper, DNA Helix design, Composilex 2 insulation, Gold Tube RCA connector, shielded, 1.5m
RCA Cardas interconnect, 300-B Micro cable, 1m
Eichman Silver Bullet Plugs and Vacuum State Silver foil interconnect
RCA Furutech FP-101, Cable: Furutech FA-220 PC-OCC copper, shielded
RCA Cardas Wire Oyaide PA-02 PCOCC-A copper, shielded
RCA Cardas Wire: Kimber Tonik, Tri-Braid geometry, Varistrand Ultra Copper Conductors and Polyester sleeve.
RCA VAN DEN HUL M.C.D 102 MK III with Vampire RCA connectors
RCA WBT-0108 Wire: Litz braid (3 Silver and1
Oxygen Free Cooper wires), TFE insulation, Polyester sleeve, Belden braided shield
RCA WBT-0144 Wire: 1 strand Pure Silver with TFE insulation and Polyester expandable sleeve Belden braided shield
RCA WBT-0144 Wire: Canare L-2T2S (Shielded) and Polyester expandable sleeve
RCA WBT-0144 Wire: TFE 1/8 tube with 2 oxygen free copper, plated Silver AWG30 wire, Polyester expandable sleeve
RCA WBT-0144 Wire: Belden 89207, 100 ohms TwinAx, Tinned Copper and Bare Copper pair, TFE insulated, Duofoil Shield
RCA WBT-0144 Wire: Belden 83393, Tinned Copper Pair, Silicone Rubber, Foil Shield, Polyester sleeve
RCA Neutrik ProFi Wire: Cardas Crosslink 1L
RCA Neutrik ProFi Wire: Belden 83396, Tinned Copper Pair, Silicone Rubber (Red), Foil Shield
RCA Cardas and Cable twisted pair of JUPITER 28 awg, 6N Solid-Core Copper, Double layer unbleached Cotton, Wax-coated.
RCA Cardas and Cardas Crosslink 1L Interconnect Cable
RCA Neutrik ProFi and Cardas Crosslink 1L Interconnect Cable
RCA with Factory Sound Premium Cable - By Canare (L-2T2S-BK200C type)
Eichman Bullet Plugs and Mogami 2524 Cable
Eichman Bullet Plugs and Cardas Tonearm Cable with shield (for turntable interconnect)
Interconnects 48" (Single Ended - Pairs)
RCA Neutrik ProFi Wire: Belden 88641 (Shielded), Polyester expandable sleeve
Generic RCA Wire: Coax Cable, all copper with TFE, Polyester sleeve, QTY: 2
Interconnects Balanced XLR (Pairs)
Neutrik NC3FXX and NC3MXX XLR 3 pins, Cable: Atlas Navigator All-Cu, symmetrical pseudo-balanced Double shielded with copper mylar plus close lapped 99.997% pure OCC copper.
Neutrik NC3FX and NC3MX XLR 3 pins, Cable: Furutech FA-220 PC-OCC copper, shielded, length 36"
Neutrik NC3FXX and NC3MXX XLR 3 pins, Cable: Mogami W2534 Neglex Quad, Pure OFC Copper, 4c. 24awg microphone Cable
Neutrik NC3FX and NC3MX XLR 3 pins, Cable: Kimber
Tonik, Tri-Braid geometry, Varistrand Ultra Copper Conductors and Polyester
sleeve, length 36"
Neutrik NC3FX and NC3MX XLR 3 pins, Cable: Canare L-4E6S (Shielded), length 12 FT
Neutrik NC3FX and NC3MX XLR 3 pins, Cable: Canare L-2T2S (Shielded), length 6 & 3 FT
Neutrik NC3FX and NC3MX XLR 3 pins, Cable: Belden 83396, Tinned Copper Pair, Silicone Rubber, Foil Shield ,
length 12 FT
Neutrik NC3FX and NC3MX XLR 3 pins, Cable: Belden 83393, length 36"
Neutrik NC3FX and NC3MX XLR 3 pins, Cable: Custom wire (3 wires+shield), length 8 FT
WireWorld Ultraviolet 7 USB 2.0 cables with DNA-Helix geometry and carbon fiber plugs. It is using the same geometry as the famous Starlight USB cable but with slightly less silver plating. I have two, one length 1 m, the other one is 2m, see www.wireworldcable.com. Best USB 2.0 cable in 2010 by WhatHiFi magazine, see review www.whathifi.com. Starlight and Utraviolet cables are compared at www.adventuresinhifiaudio.com
Kimber Illuminations D-60, length 1 m, dual RCA connectors
Belkin Synapse Platinum Digital Audio Cable, dual RCA, 6FT length
Belden 1694A HD-SDI Precision coaxial 75 ohms, Canare RCA RCAP and BNC connectors, 6FT length, see www.bluejeanscable.com for great cables.
Canare LV-61S coaxial 75 ohms, dual RCA, 6FT length
(SPDIF) Amphenol 31-70000, True 75 ohms BNC Cable: Belden T9116,
Duobond Braid Shield, Low Loss, RG-6 75 ohms coaxial (2 cables),
(AES/EBU) Neutrik NC3FX and NC3MX XLR 3 pins Cable: Canare DA202, True 110 ohms digital cable (2 cables), length 48"
Optical Fiber Amphenol, 62.5um, ST connectors at both ends, length 3m
Glass Cable with armored jacket, 3
ft. High Bandwidth Audio Applications that
exceeds the 15Mbps data rates required by Toshiba's best TOSLINK
optical modules. Made with
470 Audio Data SILFLEX Glass Fiber Optic strands, see
Neutrik NJ3FC6 1/4 Stereo Locking Jack, Neutrik NP3C 1/4 Stereo Plug Cable: Canare L-2T2S (Shielded), length 12 FT
Straight Wire Octave, WBT-0645 and WBT-0644 banana connectors, one pair, length 11 ft
Cardas Crosslink 1S, 4 x 13awg, WBT-0610 CU banana connectors, one pair
WBT-0681 CU spade connectors (4 pairs) that I got for a deal, awaiting some fine speaker cable...
Totem Acoustic, oxygen free Pure copper pair cable with banana connector
TNT U-Byte DIY speaker cable: www.tnt-audio.com
ToneArm Upgrade Cables
Vandenhul D-502 DIN upgrade tonearm cable with Tiffany RCA connectors, uses with the Linn LP12 and its Ittok tonearm
Cardas upgrade tonearm cable with Bullet Plugs connector, uses on the Tecnodec Rega RB300 tonearm
Home Theater Cables
Supra HDMI Cable
BJC Belden Bonded-Pair HDMI 28AWG cables from www.bluejeanscable.com
Supra Speaker Cables.
Neutrik NC3FX and NC3MX XLR 3 pins Cable: Belden 83393, length 36", 7 Cables
Coax cable with BNC connectors for Sub-woofer.
AC Power Cables
Furutech Alpha3 PCOCC (12 AWG) cable, Furutech FI-25 (Gold) Connectors, my best...
Furutech FP-320Ag u-Ag OFC (14 AWG) cable, Furutech FI-25 (Gold) Connectors, 3FT (two cables)
DH Labs 'Red Wave' silver-coated OFC copper (10 AWG) cable, Furutech FI-15 (Gold) connectors, second best.
Furutech FP-314Ag one Silver plated (Live) & (Alpha) μ-OFC (14 AWG) cable, NeoTech connectors
Belden19364 Cable (14 AWG), shielded; Wattgate 320E IEC; Hubbell 8215C Plug
D.H. Labs Power Plus Cable (12 AWG); Wattgate 320E IEC; Hubbell 8215C Plug
Various AC Cables with Wattgate 320E IEC; Hubbell hospital grade Plug
Cardas Qualink AC Cord cable with Marinco and Shurter 320E IEC
Custom AC cord with multibraid 4X16AWG ultra pure copper strand, in nylon conduit and Marinco connectors
Nordost QRT Qvibe Qv2 AC Line Harmonizer. Little AC module that you plug into your system AC power distribution and that make a real difference, more musicality, ease the flow of music, intriguing. It really works, too bad it is sealed... Got it as an exchange for one of my project... For reviews see www.6moons.com
HIFace EVO M2TECH USB to SPDIF converter. 192K/24bits Digital Audio Interface with Low jitter, low phase noise, high stability oscillators. Support 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192Khz sampling frequencies. Inputs: USB 2.0 & external master clock. Outputs SPDIF x2 (RCA & BNC), AES/EBU (XLR), optical Toslink™ & ST, I2S (RJ-45) with optional low noise external supply from TeraDak www.teradak.com. See www.m2tech.biz for details. Used with the ML360S Dac and my Laptop & JRiver. Great review at www.highfidelity.pl
Entreq Tellus Grounding System(DIY)
Ground box designed to be the central ground point of your system. I was
sceptical to, but when we used it on a very high end system, all the noise went
down, and the music got like a firm foundation to it, that's difficult to
explain, but the result is certainly an improvement. A nice little project for
you to try. To see
what's inside this box, have a look at: www.monoandstereo.com
and that's basically what I did in mine.
Cambré CoreÔ system Audio Racks (Two of them), on my main system, see www.cambreproducts.com and Soundcare Superspikes as feet, see www.soundcare.no
Vibrapod Isolators, Cones, PEARL Tube Coolers
Cardas Male XLR to Female RCA adaptor, pair
Hagerman Audio Labs "FryDaddy" Audiophile Burn-In Generator (my own clone version): www.haglabs.com
Hagerman HagUSB USB to SPDIF converter, see www.hagtech.com
SPDIF to Optical Toslink converter
Dahlquist DQ-LP1 Stereo Low Pass filter (2X), see www.allegrosound.com
Wilson Audio Sasha, Serie 1 (Clone)____________________________________
January 2019, after 3 years of works, research, getting parts, etc, I finally completed my Wilson Audio Sasha clone speakers. Sounds is incredible. Sweet, crystal clear highs, medium to die for, and bass, solid as a rock. Perfectly integrated drivers. For me much better than the original WA Sasha. A success. Drivers are Focal TC120 beryllium tweeter (modified with damped rear cavity), mids is SEAS model ER18RNX, and woofers are Scan-Speak 21W-8553, modified with double magnets (the extra magnet is glued in place). I bought the woofers years ago from a seller on ebay that claim they were the original WA custom bass drivers. They were reconed, but were not visually perfect and he wanted the perfect ones...
The crossover is custom, and has a few possible adjustments with simple toggle switches. Some adjustments are close to the real Sasha frequency response, some are what I call 'Best'. I can adjust the Tweeter +3dB, 0ddB, and Min. The mids Sasha, 'Best', full range (this particular driver was selected out of 20 drivers to have the best full range response). An other switch allows for a +3dB bass boost.
All internal wirings is OFC copper from Transparent Audio cable, some Neotech and Mogami (woofers). There is no silver plated copper wiring anywhere... Binging posts connectors are CCGR-2 Cardas copper billet/gold plating. Crossover are assembled point-to-point.
I made the very complex enclosure myself, took me 12 weeks of work (7 weeks for the two top modules, 5 weeks for the bottom bass modules) with simple workshop tools, no fancy CNC. The top (Highs/Mids) is made of 3/4 MDF, well braced, joints are re-enforced with hard wood pieces, and 6.8Kg (13Lbs) of lead ingots in each enclosure are glued inside on the side panels. The head module is heavy and perfectly inert. I read the WA used to install lead sheets into the head module, but more stringent European regulation banned the use of lead into consumer products, and they had the replace the lead with new enclosure material.
The bass enclosure is very strong, braced and well damped. Front is made of 3/4+1/2MDF. Sides and rear panels are a sandwich of 3/4 MDF than 1/2MDF, that was damped by lead sheets glued inside multiple grooved cavities with a mix of wood glue and drywall joint compound. The lead sheets contains into two large recycled acid/lead batteries was used inside each bass module. On a bottom a custom 0.25'' aluminum base plate is used to firmly support the complete enclosure. The spikes (or wheels) screwed into this plate and not just into the MDF, insuring a solid mount. To give you an idea, the original Sasha bass module weights 125Lbs, mine is 110Lbs...
Speakers drivers are not simply screwed into the MDF, but metal insert Tee nuts are glued from the back, and Hex stainless bolt are screwed from the front, into the tee nut, in fact compressing the front panels while tightening the drivers in place. Window weather rubber strips are glued behind each driver frame, insuring a perfectly air tight mount into the enclosure.
As the original, I have laser cut felt damper sheets on the front around the drivers. I made also the protective grids
July 2019 Upgrade - Received the painted enclosures, titanium color, 18 coats paint process... Looking gorgeous!
In November 2010, After 10 years waiting to find the right parts, and the time to build such a complex speaker, I finally came across the parts I needed most, the original woofer and passive radiator used into the Finale. No need for more development or testing. I can use the original parts and crossover and build it as planned ;)
Tweeter D-260, 8 ohms, textile tweeter with ferrofluid
Midrange (Low): MW150 , 4 ohms (15W75 equivalent), 4" midrange/woofer, 3" aluminum voice coil
Midrange (High): D52-AF, 4 ohms, dome midrange
Woofers: 30W-100 XL with 30W-SL matching passive radiator.
Probably 2 boxes design, inspiration VerityAudio Parsifal model, www.verityaudio.com
High and Midrange Module:
First Order Crossover, Impedance Compensated, from bass module (As a Watt Puppy...)
Neotech Solid-core UP-OCC COPPER Wire, Teflon jacket Internal wiring
Pyramidal enclosure with bracing, Separate enclosure for crossover
Wall1 inch MDF+Asphalt Saturated Felt+Borosilicate damping
Aluminium 3/4'' plate separated by Sorbothane isolation pads
First Order Crossover, Impedance Compensated, Original Dynaudio Final design
Wall1 inch MDF+1/2" Birch Plywood+Asphalt Saturated Felt+Borosilicate damping
Extensive Bracing, Possibly Lead sheet on inside wall
Neotech Solid-core UP-OCC COPPER Wire, Teflon jacket Internal wiring
Sealed and using Passive radiator loading
Cabinet ACAD File: Dynaudio Speaker.zip (37k)
Dynaudio Finale Kit: Dynaudio Finale kit.zip (205k)
Excel Volume Box Calculator: Conv_Unit.zip (6k)
Yarra preamp Based on the ASKA Lender Preamp (www.diyaudio.com), the Yarra is a very good supply with motherboard and Input/Output that allows the use of different line stage module, or even an headphone amplifier module. The Line STage modules are the M2X Melbourne TH Daughterboards v2 (www.diyaudio.com) or the one designed by PassLabs Wayne's, the WBA18 (www.diyaudio.com). The Melbourne Class A headphone module details can be find at www.diyaudio.com. For details on the complete Yarra project, see the mean thread at www.diyaudio.com. There is also a custom built enclosure available from www.hifi2000.it
Curcio Daniel-2 Tube Reference preamp Designed by J.J.Curcio of CAE, this tube preamp is using a very clever unique tube to build a complete preamp. A single dual triode is used in what Curcio called a ''Triode-FET'' circuit to produce the two stereo channels. It is explained in these words from his website: ''Our "Triode-FET" circuit is based upon the fact that the plate load curves of certain triodes are almost a perfect compliment to the drain load curves of certain JFETs. By sharing the current between the two, the nonlinearities cancel resulting in a 40X increase in linearity over either device alone. All of the audio information appearing at the input including imaging, dynamics, purity, and musicality are preserved completely and delivered to the output without any distortion or coloration''. Two of my friends have this preamp as their 'Reference', and it sounds fantastic. In fact it is one of the preamp to beat for the best sound... So I decided to give it a try and I made my own pcb set to build one. For details see: www.curcioaudio.com
SSII Hybrid Tube headphone amp Designed by P.Millett this little amp uses the 18FX6 Pentagrid tube (very unusual radio tube), Mosfet output and option of CCS or Resistor plate loading. I made my own PCB to fit a vertical enclosure, looking like the Auris Euterpe tube headphone amp. I added a small vu-meter on the front. I won't have the preamp output option. Again I'll make my own enclosure...
Yamamoto A-08S SET amp (clone) (On-going project)Low 2W SET Tube amplifier (will be probably use as an headphone amp...) It use the 717 Pentode drive tube, the 45 Amp tube, with the No.80 Fullwave rectifier tube. I'll make my own enclosure.
Neurochrome 300B SET Tube Headphone amp (On-going project)Using now discontinued Neurochrome 300B drive and PCU PCB. I'll also use the Maida HV regs, and the Universal Filament Regulator PCB. I'll make my own enclosure.
Kondo M77 Tube Preamp (clone) (On-going project)Famous tube preamp with tube phono section. I got a nice clone enclosure, Tango power transformers, Cerafine HV capacitors, etc It will be assembled point-to-point as the original. We will see...
Pass DIY SONY VFET Amplifier I still have all the parts to build this amp as well. For details see: www.diyaudio.com
FirstWatt F5 Turbo Amplifier Just got the perfect power transformer and the output MOSFET. I already have an original Ayre recycled amplifier chassis for this project. For details see the F5 thread: www.diyaudio.com, building guide article: www.audioxpress.com, 6L6 member building guide: www.diyaudio.com, and F5 Turbo builders thread: www.diyaudio.com
FirstWatt B1 Preamp Dual mono version with AMB audio regulator and my own 24V Pre-Regs PCB, inputs selector and Mute delay timer PCB, more on this project later...
FirstWatt B1 Nutube Version Preamp Nelson Pass himself designed this interesting preamp, using using famous FirstWatt B1 preamp with the inclusion of the new KORG 6P1 Nutube. We can adjust the harmonic content using a simple trimmer on the pcb, and ran a GB to produce the PCB (PCB are still available, contact my on Diyaudio if interested). See the original thread at www.diyaudio.com, the Group Buy at: www.diyaudio.com and my own preamp at: www.diyaudio.com
FirstWatt LX Mini Crossover I bought the kit from the DIYAudio store, for details see: www.diyaudio.com
FirstWatt SIT-1 Dual Mono SIT Amplifier (DIY) I'm waiting for EUVL to provide the Semisouth SJEP120R100 SIT part to complete this project. I have a pair of clone enclosures just for that. I made my own pcb. For details see: www.firstwatt.com
Neurochrome HP-1 - Headphone Amp Designed by Tom Christiansen, the HP-1 is an ultra-high end headphone amplifier capable of producing up to 3 W into a 20 Ω load at vanishingly low distortion. Features include: Selectable Balanced or SE Inputs, 3 selectable gain, 1/8, 1/4 and XLR Output connectors, All signal switching done by gold plated switch relays, ALPS RK097 Volume control, Well filtered switching power supplies followed by onboard low noise linear post-regulators, Integrated Soft start, Surge & DC Output protections. Using Neurochrome 4 layers PCB I built my own, see www.diyaudio.com. See also Neurochrome website for details: www.neurochrome.com
Kaneda - No.209 'Grand Floyd' Amplifier (Ongoing project) I did a new version of the PCB set for it. See this thread for details forums.melaudia.net (sorry in French only...)
Kaneda - No.225 High Power SiC Amplifier 180W into 8 ohms or 300W into 4 ohms with jusy a pair of N-Channel MOSFET per channel. Intriguing, but true. Got most of the parts, will start this amp in the following weeks... For a few pictures see wwwww.hifido.co.jp
Kaneda - No.235 Hybrid SiC Amplifier Almost mystical Japanese Dr. Kaneda design, very famous in Japan. Current input, minimalist parts count amplifier, about 30W of pure music. The amp is using just a pair of N-CH Mosfet, special SiC semiconductor by ROHM. The Dr. Kaneda designed countless amps, preamp, A/D and D/A converters over the years, this is his 235th design, one of his latest.
Kaneda - No.218 Preamplifier IVC Direct current input preamp to go with the Kanadea IVC input amplifier. Built-in discrete headphone amp as well. Volume control is inserted into the preamp feedback loop, changing the preamp gain, instead of reducing the preamp input signal.
Kondo MR-77 Tube Preamplifier Clone of this famous preamp, without the 32K price tag. Supply will use the same Tango power transformers, Heater capacitor multiplier for vanishing HTR noise, Cerafine HV caps and final oil cap at the output. The High-Voltage will be regulated using the Emile Sprenger HV shunt regulator. I still have a few in stock... This preamp contains a phono stage as well, with double parallelled triodes at the output for increase drive. I'll build it into a Kondo clone enclosure. Instead of the very expensive volume step attenuator, I'll use the still excellent Noble NK27 Series volume potentiometer. This preamp is using eight 6072WA or 12AY7 tubes.
Xen Audio - DAO - Headphone Amp Designed by EUVL on diyaudio from the Xen Audio team, it is a full assault to create the ultimate headphone amp using the now discontinued Lovoltech LU1014D. This power JFET was first used by Nelson Pass with his FirstWatt F3 amplifier. The DAO used multiples sub assy to create a fully discrete amplifier heavily biased in Class-A, with no negative feedback, and using tightly hand matched parts achieved very low output dc offset without using any servo. The complete DAO comprise these modules: DAO output buffer with TCS3B CCS, HAGS SE/BAL converter, X-Feed with JFET buffer to drive the volume control. Since this amp produces large dc swing at start-up and take a few minutes to settle with minimum output DC offset, the use of the SHPP output protection pcb is mandatory. The amp uses also a very sophisticated 24V power supply with dual discrete rectifiers assy, pre-filter capacitors that supply the HAGS's Didden Super regulators with smd parts , then capacitor multipliers (with built-in 24V pre-regulators) supply the DAO-TCS3B. Finally the X-Feed buffer needs a lower 9V supply that uses discrete smd regulators. Probably the best solid-state headphone amp money can buy... The addition of the CCS TCS3B module to the DAO amp allows to drive very low load, such as magnetic planar headphones. To read about the DAO see www.diyaudio.com, for more details on the Didden regs www.diyaudio.com and linearaudio.nl, and the capacitor multiplier at www.diyaudio.com, post 137
Xen Audio - Transconductance Super Linear Headphone Amp Again from the Xen Audio deisgn team (EUVL on diyaudio) Amplifier working in current mode, contrary to most amplifiers that are working in voltage mode. It is designed specifically to drive magnaplanar headphones, such as my HiFiMAN HE-400 headphone. This design can be easily converted to operate in voltage mode using a small pcb adapter that plus in the original amplifier PCB, simple and elegant solution to have an amp compatible with both modes...For details see www.diyaudio.com
Goldmund Mimesis 27 Preamp (Clone) Excellent quality Main pcb is available on ebay from Jims_Audio(if you have access to the dual JFET 2N5556 as I do), Chassis clone is also available from different sellers. I'll add the rear I/O relay PCB, a front control digital indicator and possibly a remote volume kit. This preamp could be used with my upcoming Goldmund amps clone.
Xen Audio - Pioneer Super Linear Circuit - Headphone Amp New design based on an old Pioneer design, by EUVL on diyaudio, for details see www.diyaudio.com and my own amplifier at www.diyaudio.com pages 14 to 18
Sugden SPA-4 Masterclass Series Amplifier (Clone) Found a pair of amplifier pcb for sale on ebay, and bought them. I made my own support pcb, both Bal/SE converter SU9802 (left) & SU9803 (Right) PCB, and the DC protection PCB. I'll mount them into my own DIY made enclosure with the same recycled heatsinks I used for my XA30.8. As all Sugden amps it is biased in Class-A at about 1Amp per channel. It should produce 75W as the original. This amp is still made by Sugden, for details see www.sugdenaudio.com
High Octane Phono Preamp Interesting all discrete little phono preamp by h_a on diyaudio. This is a MM only phono preamp that is using the 2SC2547 transistor, a shunt regulator for the 40V supply and the DN2540 Mosfet as output stage. My own version included the latest mods and circuit changes that were found in the thread by different members, such as the Shunt reg improve Volt reference, adjustment of the RIAA network, CRC filtering for the first signal stage, etc. For details see www.diyaudio.com
AKSA's Lender Preamp with 40Vpp Output New preamp design from Aska and a group of enthusiast at Diyaudio. See the thread at www.diyaudio.com
HQ-Audio ES9038PRO Reference DAC with Tube I/V Newest DAC from HQ Audio using the top of the line ES9038PRO DAC chip and fully discrete Tube I/V and HV power supply. This DAC has also a Raspberry Pi-3 Music server built-in using the MoOde Audio software (MoOde Audio). The DAC board itself with the ES9038PRO has a Low jitter Master Clock, Digital isolator chip, and low noise LT3042 multiple separate supplies. The DAC is full featured with remote, digital volume control, choice of filters, 4 inputs (USB wt Amanero interface, SPDIF coax on BNC, AES/EBU Professional on XLR and Optical Toslink), SE output only from the Tube I/V using 12AU7 gold pins tubes. For details see HQ Audio and the thread on www.diyaudio.com, my own built at www.diyaudio.com
Oppo UDP-203 ES9038PRO upgrade DAC pcb This board is used to replace the stock Oppo UDP-203 4k player audio DAC board (stock AK4458 with NE5532A op-amps and cheap coupling caps) with a better sounding, stereo only DAC, using the ES9038PRO DAC chip and audio op-amps with Balanced outputs, not just SE as the stock model. It uses also the NDK NZ2520SD 80Mhz, 20ppm Ultra low phase noise oscillator, an upgrade from the stock DAC clock. I was fortunate enough to get the board and the programmed uP chip from the designer, see www.diyaudio.com. This board, as well as the upgrade analog power supply upgrade, is available from www.oppomod.com.
AK4490 DAC with DSD support The AK4490 32-bits DAC chip is very popular among HiRes DAC (Bryston, Teac, just to name a few). I always wanted to have one, the latest Bryston BDA-3 with asynchronous USB and discrete output stage is still costly on the used market. Mirand Audio (http://mirand-audio.dk/) offers for some time and interesting kit solution, but it was still expensive and their DAC has only USB input. The designer came out with a revised version, developed in part to fuel their commercial PD2 preamp with DAC offering, see www.phisonaudio.dk This new DIY DAC version has three inputs (SPDIF, TOSLINK & USB), support PCM & DSD and can be controlled with a new simple front PCB. An early bird offer included a fully discrete balanced output stage with 4 discrete opamp modules and daughterboard (as Bryston). The 5V Digital supply is from a shielded switching power supply module, and the analog +-15V is from a Twisted Pear Placid HD-BP Shunt regulator with Antek power transformer. See the thread at: www.diyaudio.com
Salas DCG3 preamp & Headphone Amp A superb sounding discrete Headphone Amp and preamp by Salas. It is fully discrete, uses only three power MOSFET for amplification, large 115ma Class-A bias, JFET input using the unusual uPA68H dual matched JFET from NEC instead of the usual 2SK389, massive dual mono DCSTB Salas power supplies. It also has a preamp output, if you wish to use it. See the designer thread at: www.diyaudio.com and my own built with measurements: www.diyaudio.com
Krell KSA5 Headphone Amp Classic Krell Headphone amp, JFET input, all discrete transistor design, no capacitor in the signal path dc coupled with servo, closely matched pair of power transistors per channel, driven well into Class-A. This amp can drive small desktop speakers with ease at a full 5W of power per channel. For details see: www.head-case.org You can see my own amp with measurements at: www.diyaudio.com
Aikido "All in One" Tube Preamp Nice tube preamp kit from GlassWare Audio Design using the Stereo Octal PCB. Got this kit from an other forum member, thanks Frankie! Can't wait to assemble this one, but I still have a few projects to complete first ;) See this site for details: glass-ware.stores.yahoo.net
Entreq Tellus Grounding System (DIY) Ground box designed to be the central ground point of your system. I made this one for fun since the inside details can be found on the net. It contains a main copper plate with large size connection wires, some other aluminum and brass bar, with granular filling, that some guess to be copper slag, within a plywood enclosure. This is how I made mine with rich plywood, maple front, and left over parts I had already in stock. See for details: www.pinkfishmedia.net
Blue Hawaii Hybrid Headphone Amp Based on an original Stax design, the Blue Hawaii uses a balanced JFET front end and a balanced grounded cathode EL34 tube output stage, DC coupled. Kevin Gilmore original design was first presented on the HeadWize forum (now defunct), but the article can still be found on the net. My own design is also partially based on the commercial version, see www.headamp.com. The first Kevin's design used parallel transistor CCS to bias the output tubes at 25ma. This transistor is now long time gone. The newest version uses IXYS IXCP10M90S CCS power Mosfet, and I'll use this CCS as well. The separate power supply provides +/-15Vdc, 6.3Vac for the tube filaments and regulated +/-400V supplies (timer power-on delayed). There is a dedicated thread on head-fi.org. See a few reviews of the commercial version at: www.theabsolutesound.com and www.themasterswitch.com. And my own version at: www.diyaudio.com
RaspBerry Pi-2 Music Server I finally joined the Raspberry & Volumio (an open source audiophile music player, see volumio.org) music server crowd. There are a few commercial offering of canned solution using the Raspberry processor, such as the newest Bryston BDP-Pi bryston.com, but at 1.3k U$ I'm pretty sure I can do my own little server for cheaper. I started with the RaspBerry Pi-2 board with Volumio pre-loaded on a small 4Gb Micro-SD card. This nice little kit was a gift from a friend (Thanks Chris!). But since the Pi-2 has only wired Ethernet and I needed Wifi, I bought a little USB Wifi adapter. Not all such adapters are compatible with the Volumio Linux distribution, but apparently this one is: www.amazon.com. You may need to activate the correct device driver in the Volumio Linux, see (ToDo...). Some report problem with the WIfi adapter stability, but it is caused by a too small Raspberry Pi dc adapter. To see if you have enough power, connect an HDMI screen and USB keyboard and start the Linux command line terminal (user: root, password: volumio). On the screen, top right corner if you see a small colored square, it indicates that the supply is to low, if it is not there than everything is good. I bought this recommended 3000ma recommended adapter: www.amazon.ca. One option to store your music locally is to use a larger Micro-SD card. I bought a 64Gb, but again not all SD card are compatible wit Raspberry, check this compatibility chart www.raspberry-pi.co.uk before committing to a specific model: Also you may need to partition a larger card in two partitions, one for the system, the order for the music, see this post: volumio.org. Or you can decide to access your music library on an external NAS drive on your network. In order to do so you need to activate the Volumio Linux Samba server, see: (ToDo...). Finally I completed my server with a nice LCD Touchscreen using the Raspberry HDMI interface. What is great with the HDMI is that you don't need special driver and your screen is guarantied to work with Arduino. I bought the nice SunFounder 7" IPS Display Panel Monitor 1024×600 HD LCD HDMIwith Case and Stand for Raspberry Pi : www.amazon.ca. The Raspberry plugs nicely on the back, with the Digi+ interface card. Simply connect your DAC and enjoy...
XSOno phono preamp This is a clone of superb PassLabs XP-15 phono preamp but with computer control. It has up to 4 separate phono inputs. Each input can be configured MC or MM and Cap/Res loading are all programmable and can be controlled by remote control. Sophisticated computer control with OLED display and rotary encoder interface make using this preamp a breeze. It will work with the same external power supply as my XP-20 PassLabs preamp clone. It is build around an incredible large 4-layers pcb made by Nagard Acoustique, in Europe. Naturally it is fully dual mono design and it has single ended and balanced outputs. The main preamp circuit is still based on the original XOno circuit but there are a lots of new features: The complete voltage regulation is new, the Mute part of the old XOno has now changed completely, the RIAA components (and the coupling capacitors) will have more space on the board. For example the RIAA caps can be larger Styroflex caps. It has 2 to 4 inputs. By "default" it has two MC and two MM inputs. For each input the signal and the ground are switched! There are 5 relays (5 bits) for resistive load of MC pickup, which will allow the following 32 load values: 26R to 47K. There are 3 relays (3 bits) for the capacitive loading of the MM pickup provided, which will allow the following 8 load values:100 to 750 pF. There are 4 gain settings for the MC Cartridge 56,60,66,70db on RCA single ended output, or both +6 dB more on balanced XLR output. MM gain is 40dB. I was fortunate enough to get a kit from one of my contact in Europe. Thanks guys! For details see the original analog forum GB thread (in german only, sorry): www.analog-forum.de. Nagard Acoustique XSono project files (and other interesting projects can be found at: docs.google.com
MUSE UGS preamp This is the latest version of the popular UGS 'All-Inclusive' preamp, but using MUSE Volume chip instead of the relay resistor ladder volume control of previous preamp. Also it has a newer controller with upgrade software. It is still using the UGS module, but I'm planning to use something more like an X's clone gain module, For detail see: www.diyaudio.com
Blue Hawaii SE Headphone Tube Amplifier One of
the best tube electrostatic headphone (Stax) amplifier. The original design
by Kevin Gilmore was originally presented in the HeadWize forum (now closed).
The amplifier has a differential topology from input to output to get a balanced
input and for lower noise. The first stage is a differential JFET amplifier with
feedback directly from the output stage. It works equally well with both
balanced and unbalanced audio input sources. The amp final section uses EL34s
X5 Headphone Amplifier 100% discrete signal path with the addition of DC servo circuitry to eliminate any capacitors in the signal path. It is pure Class A biased with zero global feedback. Signal amplification is provided by a High Definition Amplifier Module (HDAM) that is fully discrete and specially designed for high quality audio application. I'm doing my own PCB. See this original builder site: www.ks-projects.co.uk
Soekris R-2R Dac Reference DAC Module - Discrete R-2R Sign Magnitude 24 bit 384 Khz circuit. This Dac is a fully integrated solution with programmable FIR filter. The PCB contains all the needed supplies and even the Amanero digital insulated digital input lines. It has direct from the r-2R network passive SE outputs and op-amp based balanced outputs. Using the GB Amanero Input selector PCB (Link), it has USB (Amanero), SPDIF and Toslink selectable inputs. I'll use Salas Shunt regulator Reflektor-D to supply the Amanero, see at the end of this section for details on the Reflektor-D. See the Wiki www.diyaudio.com and the designer's own page at soekris.com
Aya-DAC 2014, ver0-030814, a TDA1541 (Double-Crown) - CS8416 DAC None Over Sampling, see: www.pedjarogic.com. With Amanero USB and SPDIF inputs. The built-in power supply uses Pedja original custom power transformers. I designed and built the Amanero carriage PCB with dedicated USB power supplies and digital insulator. The audio section is using Amtrans I/V resistor & Riken and ModWright GAX Series film coupling capacitors. Latest update, Pedja just issued a custom USB interface specially designed for the TDA1541, and I just ordered. It will replace the Amanero, see www.audialonline.com
GainWire mk3 CFA pre/phone amp with very low distortion at all frequencies and output levels. It could be used as level preamp or headphones preamp for low (ex: Grado 32 ohms) or high impedance headphones, in this case distortion is similar as used as preamp. It is a all discrete design with BC550C-560C transistors, has a DC servo and discrete shunt regulators. See the thread for details: www.diyaudio.com I was lucky to get one of the last original GB PCB...
Stax SRM-1, Tube Headphone Amplifier That will be my own clone of the renowned Stax tube headphone amplifier. My PCB are done, I have all the parts, just need the time to fit that into an enclosure. See a detailed presentation of the original SRM-1 at: kenrockwell.com. More to come...
Naim NAP 200 Amplifier (Clone) Classic Naim sound. Amp built using an exact clone of the original PCB, with a custom power transformer from UK. Features are: Custom made 300VA transformer, on 600VA core, dual 56Vct for the amp and 48Vct for the preamp supply, with shield and GOES band. Dual 117V primaries., LTP using selected BC239C with 10% difference HFE, and covered with thermal coupling aluminum block, Polystyrene caps at key location, as Naim do, Tantalum input caps as the original, Original Naim DIN input 4 pins connector as well as standard RCA, KENDEIL caps 10000μF, 63V for the amp supply and KENDEIL 4700μF, 50V for the preamp supply, Internal wiring done Naim style, Front power-On indicator, green led and Naim Logo, Feedback 27K resistor changed for Vishay CFM55 50 ppm type to reduce thermal modulation, 24V Preamp supply standard LM317 upgraded with DIY Jung Regulator, R14 Speaker Output 0R22 ohms bypassed and Zobel installed (15R/2W and home made coil 16T, 1mm enamelled copper wire, on 6.3mm drill bit), 75C thermal protection cutoff installed on bottom panel (as the original), Power-On switch hidden under the front right corner. See my amp at: www.diyaudio.com
UP Amplifier PassLabs Class-A X-100 style amplifier using an UGS voltage gain section. The front end is a basic current-mirror UGS with increased current output capabilities to properly drive paralleled Mosfet. The UGS is followed by a classical Vbe multiplier for biasing a typical triple push-pull of mosfets. Each channel amp PCB includes a DC protection built-in and the complete PCB set also includes dual mono CLC power supplies, soft-start and remote control and even the classis Pass front ampmeter drive circuit. Comments from the designer: In a few words compare to the Pass AX, the U.P. is sharper, wider, faster. The AX gives a "classical" class A feeling, with warmth and lushness, but a bit of fuzziness. The U.P. seems a bit "cold" in comparison, but seems to be more "balanced", in the sense that it does not seem to emphasis anything. It goes higher (some veil on the AX in comparison), is faster. The bass has a better slam than the AX which seems a bit slow here. And most of all, the U.P. is awesome on the spatialization. Not that it widens everything outrageously, but it's much more accurate and refined, much less fuzzy than the AX. Every frequency seem to be much more isolated and located...For details on the design and my own project, see www.diyaudio.com and for the original GB on this PCB set www.diyaudio.com.
Ovation NX Amplifier 100W, Class AB with current feedback. It is an excellent design and heavily biased into Class A for good sound. The design has numerous clever tricks, check the protection scheme for examples and for details see www.diyaudio.com. See also the designer's page at hifisonix.com for an excellent document explaining the design and how to build this very nice amplifier
PA03 deLuxe Gainclone Amplifier by Sjostromaudio, a 60W, Class AB using the LM4780 Power IC. It is a compact, Versatile (can be bridged, has SE or balanced inputs, etc), High performance, low distortion, low noise amplifier using an extremely well-done pcb with the Power supply on board except for transformer. It includes Start-up delay, Mute and standby function. It is also quite Reliable and has a lot's of protection circuits against short circuit, high temperature, loss of supply voltage and low supply voltage. For details see the designer's page at sjostromaudio.com
UGS ''All Inclusive'' preamplifier using UGS gain module inspired by Nelson Pass. I bought a complete PCB set from a french group buy done years ago www.homecinema-fr.com (sorry in French only). This preamp is very sophisticated and includes everthing from the rear panel to the custom machined front panel. It as 4 inputs, 2 outputs per channel all single ended or balanced, 7 trigger outputs and a gain adjustable stereo subwoofer output. It has a separate dual mono power supply, dual mono inside layout, with UGS gain module (K389/J109 famous fets), digital relays step attenuator and relay source selection ad Mute. All this we would not at be possible without an extensive mP controller. It is using an Atmel ATImeg64, 16Mhz processor, digital pots IC, 2x20 LCD display with backlight, digital step encoder, etc. I had access to complete source code, one the major reason I embarked into this project. For details see www.diyaudio.com and when I meant a complex project see the complete PCB at www.diyaudio.com
Goldmund Mimesis 8 Amplifier Clone, for details see www.diyaudio.com. See also this interesting Goldmund Telos clone page at www.diyaudio.com. See this amp review at www.stereophile.com. The Goldmund original amps can be seen at www.goldmund.com. French project page with a smaller Mimesis MOSFET clone www.quebecdiy.net
HQ-Audio ES9018 Reference DAC transformer PCB. Used to install three Talema toroidal transformers into this excellent DAC in replacement for the standard EI core transformers. Support the DAC dual ac supply 115/230V switch.
Hagerman Audio Labs, Trumpet Reference Phonostage Clone . Based on the original Trumpet (Stereophile class-A recommended component), it is a balanced tube design for the MM section and FET MC front-end. My own version doesn't used mP control but rather switches to control all functions. There are two discrete timers for the Heater and HV supplies and the start-up mute. In addition to standard RIAA equalization, three other curves used in the LP "microgroove" era have been included. I designed my own PCB and implemented my own internal layout. See details at www.haglabs.com
Hiraga 20W Class A amplifier. The final version by Jean Hiraga – Gérard Chrétien (l’Audiophile No. 15). I was able to get the kit with PCB and original transistors in 2016. Maybe I'll build this monster on day... See for details sound-au.com and diyaudioprojects.com.
HQ-Audio ES9018 Reference DAC, ESS Sabre32 New Reference 24 bits/192Khz & DSD DAC. Very sophisticated implementation of the excellent ES9018 32 bits ESS DAC chip with tons of features and superb PCB layout. These features are, just to name a few: 4 inputs (SPDIF coax, AES/EBU, Toslink and USB), USB using the excellent Amanero interface (Full ground isolation from USB module and I2S isolator with ISO7640), Ultra low noise 100Mhz crystal clock (jitter of 0.5psec) with buffer, Separated fast shunt regulators for digital and analog sections, etc. The I/V analog section is dual mono discrete Class-A inspired by the famous dCS Dac. It is a fully differential, no feedback discrete current amplifier with balanced and single ended outputs supplied again by shunt regulators. It supports 44,88,96,192,352,384KHz PCM and DSD to play SACD. It has full remote control of inputs, volume, filter, etc and has a 4x20 digital display. See for details www.diyaudio.com.
Tortuga LDR3x Passive Preamp. Tortuga release a DIY version of their excellent preamp. It employs digitally controlled audio grade light dependent analog resistors for the volume control insuring a very neutral sound. The nice kit support source selection (3), infrared remote (support the little Apple remote) and the new 2 digits digital display. I may end up using it with the SKA amplifier to create a nice integrated, see below. Kit details at www.tortugaaudio.com
SKA GB150D amplifier. This design went recently public domain at the designer's request. For details see www.diyaudio.com . Since the PCB design is critical in this case, I ordered the real one. I may well end building a nice integrated using the Tortuga passive preamp, see my other project. The designer site is at www.ska-audio.com
First Watt F5 Turbo V3 amplifier (In Progress...). I was able to buy a gorgeous Ayre V5 empty case on Audiogon and I'll use it to build my F5 amplifier. More details on this project soon. In the mean time see this great F5T project on www.fetaudio.com
Borbely Millennium 200 Monoblocks (In Progress...), Great amps from Borbely Audio that I had the chance to listen to at friends house. They use fully discrete FET front end, with Lateral MOSFET Final. I'll build a pair for me. This a private project.
Borbely All Fets Headphone Amp with companion All Fets Low Noise Discrete Regs, Fully discrete Class-A headphone amp and low noise supplies from Borbely Audio. I'll build one for me using extra parts from my Millennium project. I did my own PCB and I'll design a custom enclosure from FPE for it. This a private project.
Subbu DAC V3 - ES9023/WM8804 SPDIF, Nice, modern little DAC from diyaudio forum, designed by members. For details, see: www.diyaudio.com
Dulcet Tube Phonostage. An Allen Wright (from SVE fame) inspired MM tube phono preamp with some excellent discrete supplies and a little MC op-amp based headamp from Geco Audio (South Africa). See www.avforums.co.za
Lovely Cube Headphone Amplifier. This is a clone of the excellent Lehmann Black Cube Linear (BCL) amplifier. I upgraded to SE status by replacing the supply main caps by Mundorf MLytic, the input coupling caps by Mundorf M-Cap MKP and Mogami audio cable, as the original SE. I also drive the opamp in ClassA. See this site for details www.head-fi.org for details.
Paradise Lost Phono preamp, version R3, Fully dual mono discrete phono preamp with shunt regulators and external dual mono supplies. I did my own PCB sets. Read the complete MPP thread or jump directly at www.diyaudio.com for details. See my own built at: www.diyaudio.com
Pass Labs D1 Dac Clone, Version 3. A classic Balanced PCM63P-K DAC using Borbely FET I/V converter and all discrete Borbely FET Low noise analog supply. It has Burr Brown DIR9001(on daughter board) digital receiver, no 2nd PLL, SM5842 digital filter, 4 x PCM63 in balance mode and Jfet IV. See www.fetaudio.com for details.
LC-Audio Low Noise dual regulator, my own DIY version. I'm planning in using them in my next Anagram Sonic-2 DAC and the LC-Audio own Phono preamp, see www.lcaudio.com for details.
LC-Audio RIAA Phono Amplifier with MC Light Powered Step-Up, my own DIY version. I'm planning in my new AirTight ATC-2 preamp to have an integrated phono section. I'll keep the power supply external for lower noise, see www.lcaudio.com and www.diyaudio.com for details.
RJM Audio Sapphire Headphone Amplifier. Two stages design with first a non-inverting op amp voltage gain stage then a second stage using a "diamond buffer" discrete current amplifier. See http://phonoclone.com for details.
Schroeder DIY tonearm clone (In Progress...). My Schroeder arm is almost completed. It missing only the wood wand tube. It has a micrometric VTA adjuster kind like the one on the Graham tonearm. Counterweight with fine adjuster brass screw, plastic (Rulon material) sleeve insert between arm tube and counterweight for smoother adjustment and vibration control. I'll use a kevlar thread for the pivot point. The mounting hole is the same as a REGA, lifter (JL-45) from Jelco. The lifter will need a custom slide section. The standard one is not long enough. See www.diyaudio.com for details.
PassLabs D1 ESS Sabre DAC, Fully Balanced discrete FET Class-A output stage without any negative feedback for the ESS Sabre DAC (see below). See www.diyaudio.com for details. I'll use Twisted Pear Ballsie Balanced to single ended converter to provide both type of outputs. See this mirror site for the original PassLabs D1 DAC: www.passlabs.com
Buffalo-II ESS Sabre New Reference 24 bits/192Khz DAC (8 channels combined to 2 channels for exceptional low noise floor) based on twistedpearaudio Buffalo DAC PCB with USB, BNC, AES/EBU and Toslink/ST optical inputs, see www.diyaudio.com for my own contribution, an interconnect diagram that illustrates the different modules uses. I'll also use their upcoming Counterpoint I/V discrete fully symmetrical converter, single ended or fully balanced output, DC coupled, see it own thread on www.diyaudio.com. I built my own Supplies, Digital Inputs, ST glass fiber optical input, Switch Input selector and Transformers PCB. Everything is mounted into a very nice custom enclosure that I designed and it was made by Front Panel Express with exotic wood side panels. See www.diyaudio.com and www.twistedpearaudio.com for details
PassDIY Pearl 2 Phono Preamp. I did my own PCB, smaller than the standard PassLabs design. It fits on 6''x9'' double side PCB material sheet I used. I got very nice Mundorf M-Lytic power supply caps, Vishay RN-60D resistors all around, and 0.1% CMF-55 resistors at key locations, see www.passdiy.com and www.diyaudio.com for details.
Anagram Sonic2 DAC (In Progress...) with TimeLock low Jitter Clock module built around Edel S2 development board from ABC PCB. See www.abc-pcb.com for details and full documentation. See also forum.stereophile.com for very nice pictures of this DAC. I just bought a sophisticated asynchronous I2S and S/PDIF FIFO and multiple SPDIF inputs/outputs kits to go with this dac. See www.diyaudio.com for details.
ZD-50 A sophisticated Gain Clone amplifier (In Progress...) based on the LM3886, see www.diyaudio.com for details.
B1-DC Coupled Preamp with Shunt Regulator, The Mesmerize, see www.diyaudio.com for details.
Sonic Frontiers Line 1 Tube Preamp(In Progress...). I got the main PCB from an other diyaudio member at a good price. It a fully balanced design with sophisticated regulated power supply, almost completely DC coupled signal path(just one very good quality, low value capacitor) using a DC servo, high grade power transformer, very high quality 2oz copper PCB, three tubes per channel, input tube polarized with CCS current source, etc. For the price, I can never build such a sophisticated preamp, very nice indeed. To complete it, was only missing a delay timing circuit for the HV relays and a mute circuit that close when the already built-in DC error protection was detecting a DC offset at the output. This PCB was extensively moded with the best available, Vishay Bulk Metal foil, Caddock and Holco resistors. Multicap Thin-Foil fim capacitors, soft recovery diodes and instead of using the IC volume control, I use two external Noble potentiometers (much better, and no need for computer control). The original Line 1 has also an Headroom™ crossfeed headphone amplifier module. I built one too..., see www.diyaudio.com for details.
MOX Active crossover. Fully adjustable, HPF and LPF, 6,12,18 and 24 dB/Oct. It is based on the PassLabs XVR1 Electronic Crossover. It can accept op-amp or discrete op-amp module. I'm planning to use only the LPF section to power in dual amplification a bass module for my Verity Audio monitors. See www.diyaudio.com for details.
Yamamoto YDA-01 DAC Clone, with the Solid-State and Tube output sections. Very musical DAC based on the CS8416 MUX Digital Receiver and dual PCM1794A DAC chips. I made my own boards, and did my own change to the original design (better reset circuit, multiple selectable digital inputs, etc). The Tube section is using the WE408A. See the review of the YDA-01 (Solid State Output) and the YDA-01B (Tube Output).
The ShigaClone, a low cost CD Transport based on the JVC EZ31B Boombox CD mechanism. It is a 47Lab FlatFish Clone, see the original site at: www.sakurasystems.com for details and my own clone version at: www.diyaudio.com
Cornet 2 Tube Phonostage. My own version of the Hagerman Technology Cornet2 Tube Phono Preamp kit. A nice preamp with no feedback Pure Class A single-ended amplifier stages, split RIAA Passive equalization, Cathode follower output with CCS loading, Vacuum tube HV rectification and DC heaters. I also installed the AuriCap Caps Upgrade. See: www.diyaudio.com
PhonoClone3, MC dual mono phono preamp. Upgrade of the original PhonoClone using better shunt voltage regulators and optimized circuit and PCB layout. See www.diyaudio.com for details.
Peter Daniel PhonoClone version, MC dual mono phono preamp. Clone of the 47Lab Phono cube with shunt voltage regulators optimized circuit and PCB layout. Very specific parts selection, choose for the best sound, such as V-Cap, Muse & Black Gate caps, Caddock Resistors, MUR860 rectifier diodes, etc. See www.diyaudio.com for details.
"Heretical Tube Line Stage" Preamp with Unity Gain (explaining the "Heretical" name) to go with the F1 amplifier as well. Design optimized for Low distortion and very low noise floor. It is using the ECC88 tube, CineMag Input Transformer (for single-ended and balanced inputs), Dual HV active regulators using Film caps. Separate Power source with Transformers and Soft Recovery diodes. Finally an elegant Servo circuit eliminate the output coupling caps, and allow the use of a very high quality Teflon, small value input coupling cap. See www.diyaudio.com for details.
SDS Tube DAC using the PCM63-K DAC chip (maybe one of the best DAC chip ever made), passive I/V conversion and tube output. I'll add a USB digital input for the upcoming music server. See www.quadesl.com for details. An old design, but I have all the parts so...
Tube Buffer (In Progress...). Basic cathode follower with a choke for the cathode resistor. With ceramic comp resistors. The tubes are Jan 5687's and the rectifier is a 6v4. The PSU is a CLCLCR using only big Solen film caps and Hammond chokes. It has Edcor input transformers and Jensen in oil caps at the output. Finally there is an ALPS Black Beauty volume potentiometer. See www.diyaudio.com for details.
Mark Levinson ML38 and ML380 upgrade done from scratch, a long story, see this link for few details: www.diyaudio.com
Krell KSA50 Clone Amplifier, see www.diyaudio.com, It will be a fully dual mono amplifier with soft start and remote power On.
Pair of Aleph-X Mono blocks amplifiers, project still on development
Placette style, shunt step attenuator, see www.diyaudio.com
Tent Audio Low jitter clock module and low noise supply
Diamond Buffer PCB, see home.swipnet.se
SDS Headphone Amplifier with MOSFET Class A output, see: http://headwize.com
PassLabs Bride of Zen single stage preamp. Now superseed by the new B1 with Salas shunt regs.
My SuperDAC with low jitter PLL clock and Tube Output, see www.diyaudio.com for details.
Pass Labs Aleph30 30W Class-A Amplifier, see www.diyaudio.com
dAck! Clone, 1545-CS8414 DAC None Over Sampling, see www.diyaudio.com
TDA1543 NOS DAC based on Peter Daniel design, see www.diyaudio.com
Zen Headphone Amplifier, see it on www.diyaudio.com
Pioneer 563A, Universal DVD Player, Modified with new linear supplies, upgraded parts, new Jung Super Regulators and new audio section, see www.diyaudio.com
Amplifier Soft Start circuit and Main DC filter PCB, see www.diyaudio.com
Toccata (Work in Progress...), A variation of the Arthur Loesch Tube phono preamp Design by Thorsen Loesch. Using a sophisticated power supply design with Fast recovery diodes, extensive CRC and CLC filters, HV capacitor multiplier, dual mono HV shunt regulators and individual tube heater current regulators. The preamp circuit itself is using a Cascode Circuit using paralleled input valves with selectable gain (56 to 72 dB), split RIAA equalization, tube lithium battery bias, extensive ground layout, point-to-point wiring, great parts like PRP, RN60D and Mills resistors, Solen, Obbligato and Sprague NOS Oil caps and Amperex ECC88 NOS tubes . I even included the preamp drive stage to be able to drive almost any interconnect with ease. The final touch, a real Acoustic Research Reference Phono front panel, with all the AR functionalities, delay turn-on, standby mode, Muting, etc. See: Toccata and Toccata MKII
EL84 Tube Headphone Amplifiers (Work in Progress...), for details see headwize.com
Salas DC Shunt Regulator Reflektor-D. Shunt Regulator designed by Salas specifically to supply low noise voltage to Digital Circuit such as USB interface. I did my own PCB, see wwww.diyaudio.com for details.
HV Shunt Regulator PCB Original Design by Emile Sprenger, Excellent HV Regulator, used for example by Vacuum State (www.vacuumstate.com) in their products. I designed a PCB for it, based on Emile's design. There was a small group buy for a commercially made PCB.
High Precision Turntable DC Motor Controller based on Mark's Kelly design. I did a complete custom PCB for it. It is using a high quality Maxon Swiss made motor and Greg Nuspel on diyaudio designed two custom pulleys for it. One using 1/2 mylar tape, the other just a string, see it on www.diyaudio.com
Bridged LM3886T 300W Amplifier with balanced DRV134 Driver Board , see it on www.diyaudio.com
DRV134 Drive board, see it on www.diyaudio.com
DAC +Headphone Amplifier Project, see it on www.diyaudio.com. I designed a suppl. PCB for this project, a RCA line output PCB using BG coupling caps and the LT1028 High-Speed Op-Amp.
Aya-DAC ver 2.0c, a TDA1541 (Double-Crown)-CS8416 DAC None Over Sampling, see: www.pedjarogic.com. I designed two supply PCB's for this project, a Transformer PCB to mount the 5 separate transformers needed for the multiples 8 & 16Vac voltage supplies by this DAC design, and an active BNC digital input PCB, based on the same AD8611 High-Speed 4ns comparator used into the Headphone DAC project. This DAC is now sold. See www.diyaudio.com for details
Aya II-DAC, revision A, a TDA1541 (Double-Crown) - CS8414 DAC None Over Sampling, see: www.audialonline.com. This the latest AYA version with SPDIF and USB selectable inputs. I got on Audiogon a nice Ayre QB9 used enclosure (silver) for this DAC. I made my own PCB. It is using a TDA1541 (Double-Crown) chip. This DAC is now sold as well. See www.diyaudio.com for details
"The Pumpkin" Preamp with "The Shunty" dual mono shunt regulators to go with the F1 amplifier. I will install my Placette attenuator into this preamp. The Placette in/out connectors will be available on the back to allow the Placette to be use with other systems if I wish to. See www.diyaudio.com for details.
An off the record, almost secret project of mine, a replica of the famous CTC Design, Vendetta phono preamp. Prototype is almost completed, but no proof yet that I can make it work. See www.stereophile.com and www.kogerer.ru for reviews. See also amp8.com for inside pictures.
Peter Millet Soundcard Interface , Using the free AudioTester free software (now Ver 3), this is the best and cheapest alternative to get a great audio analyzer using just your PC/Laptop soundcard. For details see the designer site www.pmillett.com and the builders forum www.diyaudio.com. For the AudioTester software see: www.audiotester.de
EEZ PSU DIY programmable dual channel bench PSU 0-50V/3A , My latest electronic (not audio) project that I did to acquire SMD soldering skill and after about 800 SMD parts I think I'm getting there. This power supply is incredible, Controlled by Arduino Due processor card, graphical user interface based on LCD touchscreen, fully programmable, can be controlled remotely by USB or network, support SCPI instrument programming language, and the best part is that the complete design and software are open source and fully available, including pcb design and code source files. It is a great project to learn smd assembly and Arduino programming, see this thread for details: www.diyaudio.com and the site where the project is hosted https://github.com/eez-open
Audio Function Generator 10hz-1Mhz, with sweep, DC offset, 50/600 ohms outputs with attenuator and trigger outputs, schematics: AudioGen.zip (80k)
Mutlifunction Frequency Counter with 1.2Ghz prescaler and oven heated reference clock, complete schematics: FreqCounter.zip (290k)
Mike Preamplifier, schematic: MicPreamp.pdf (22k)
I published in DIYMagazine (http://basaudio.net/diymag.htm)two articles on making PCB by yourself at home. They explain own I do it, what are my little tricks, the material I use, etc. You may find it useful in your own projects. They are in no way professional advices. I'm just an amateur PCB maker, probably like you. But it may save you a lot of problems. Have fun.
If your using Eagle PCB and want to send your PCB design for production, read my little guide of the needed steps to prepare your PCB files. It may save you some problems, see: www.diyaudio.com
Dallas Semiconductor 1-Wire Weather Station. Parameters available: Temperature, Frost index, Wind Speed & Direction, Relative Humidity & Dew Point, Barometric Pressure and Rain Accumulation
I live in Quebec, Canada with my beloved wife and last boy still at home, 21 years old, our cat Kitty and the latest one, a little rabbit called Peanut. My two other sons (25 and 28) live by themselves now...
AMB Laboratories DIY Audio
Marché Québec Occasion
La Pavoni - The only real expresso machine, for the coffee DIYer in me