Or, “Solder Slingin’ Steve Rides Again”
By Steve Graham
Can success breed success? Like the efficacious DIY Phono Stage from 2018, I’m going have another go at a DIY project. This time it will be an EL84 push-pull integrated/power amplifier.
The build will start with the Simple Push Pull board available from Tubelab.com. Of course, buying a board is the easy part. A chassis, tubes, transformers, jacks, speaker terminals, resistors, capacitors and all the other bits are needed. But hey, when it comes to details, I’m your guy! (You knew that already, right?)
What I’m proposing is a build sponsored by a kind patron, the same as was done with the above-mentioned phono stage. I’m not asking someone to blindly jump in. Using transformers reclaimed from an old Heathkit, I’m building a prototype with the board you see my niece, the lovely Miss K, holding above. I’ll build my prototype into a decent chassis using all new parts (except for the aforementioned transformers).
Once the prototype is built and debugged, I’ll generate a parts list and costing. Following that, I’ll solicit for a patron from among the WoS flock, someone willing to trust me to deliver an amplifier, even better than my prototype, paid for with their hard-earned dosh.
If a patron can be found then I’ll document the build to my usual level of excruciating detail, so that you solder-inclined WoS’ers can build your own too.
I’m going to simplify the metal working, the most onerous task of DIY builds, as much as possible. An electric drill will be the most exotic tool required.
Just to give you a ballpark figure, a finished amp, in a nice chassis, with tubes, using high-quality brand name components that will last for years, will cost about $900 Canadian or about $700 US. Sure, one can build an EL84 amp for less, but I’m not going to cheap-out on parts that will compromise sound quality and reliability.
So, watch this space or sign up below for updates. I’ll update you once the prototype has been built (it’s already underway) and tested.