Originally Posted by Martycool007
Just out of curiosity, how hard is it to build one of these DIY amps? I would love to be able to build my own amps, or have the knowledge to tweak and/or modify various components. Can any of you guys recommend a book or place to start learning about this stuff?
Sorry, I can't recommend a good book, but I can give some insight at what is involved.
It takes an awful lot to design an amp like this one, but it is not too difficult to build, although it is time-consuming. You also may need special software and tools. I would not bread-board it, but would create a PCB, using mainly surface-mount components. I would then have the bare boards made by a low-cost prototyping house (like Sunstone
) and have a paste-mask made at the same time. The paste-mask allows me to "screen" the solder-paste onto the PCB in one swell-foop, and I then place the parts into the paste. Five minutes in a toaster over to reflow the solder-paste and you're done.
If I'm doing more than one or two, I have a prototyping shop do the assembly.
With surface-mount, it's difficult to swap components to experiment. That's never been a problem for me, as I do all of my experimenting on the computer with a Spice
simulator. Swapping components in circuit won't tell you the important things, like whether a value-change is causing stress on other components, or whether a transistor is getting too hot internally. Spice also helps you to determine the best tolerances for your components, which is close to impossible with experimenting.
If you really want to experiment with amplifiers, I would suggest starting with a free version of Spice, start drawing schematics and simulating them on the computer. It may not be as rewarding as actually hearing the results, but it's the best place to start, and I suspect your ears would be pleased when you're done.