Coming This Winter: an EL84 DIY Amplifier Build

Bored yet, Miss K?

Or, “Solder Slingin’ Steve Rides Again”

By Steve Graham

Can success breed success?  Like the efficacious DIY Phono Stage from 2018I’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. Update: a patron was found and the project is a go! ..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.

Cheers, Steve    

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6 Comments on Coming This Winter: an EL84 DIY Amplifier Build

  1. Keep me posted on the diy el84

    • Hi Dave,
      Sure thing – I’ve added you to the mailing list, so you’ll get email notifications of new articles as soon as we post them.
      Thanks,
      Noam

  2. Steve Graham // 2019/11/06 at 9:30 am // Reply

    Dave,
    Thank you for your interest in Wall of Sound. As soon as the prototype is built, burned in and tested an update will appear on WOS. I expect this to happen before the end of November. If you wish to jump in and sponsor the build of the all-new amplifier, and own it when it’s completed, unit please feel free. 🙂
    Regards, Steve Graham

  3. Bob Boyko // 2019/11/08 at 11:35 am // Reply

    I have been pondering building a kit as a retirement project. Is this something that someone with basic soldering skills could complete?

  4. Yup, lovely indeed — she could sell rain to an Englishman.

    Unfortunately, I’m transistors all the way…

  5. Steve Graham // 2019/11/11 at 10:21 pm // Reply

    Bob,
    Thank you for your interest in Wall of Sound.
    If you haven’t done any electronic assembly a tube power amp might not be the best place to start. You’ll be dealing with AC and DC voltages in the range of several hundred volts.
    If you know resistors from capacitors (not to be insulting), have a multimeter and temperature controlled soldering iron you should be OK.
    You might want to start with something a bit simpler with less intimidating voltages like my WOS line stage build from a couple of years back. Read through the build instructions on this and the phono build from a year ago. The power amp build, if a patron steps up, will be similar.

    Regards, Steve

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