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[Project] Homemade Stereo Valve (Vacuum Tube) Amplifier

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
First off I'd like to say if the Mods decide this is in the wrong place go ahead and redirect it, as this isn't computing but is a mod/build in the end of the day and I'd like to share it with fellow OCNers. Thanks in advance.


So after being driven to boredom after finishing my Water Cooled Raspberry Pi build last year I've been searching for a new project. Due to me being a poor student I can't afford to build anything with as much eye candy as the rest of you lot, so I tend to opt for something unique and low cost, focusing on the concept rather than how big a wad of cash I can blow in a week wink.gif

I have an 1953 Pye P75 Valve radio (long wave, medium wave) in good working condition, but cosmetically is an eyesore. I've had this for over a year now and the first thing I did with it was scrap the cabinet as some of it had been eaten away by whatever infestation (this radio was a barn find).

Originally I was going to make my own housing for it in a theme but the chassis and the majority of components need to be replaced if they are to be displayed purposefully.

Speaking with my Dad we came to the idea of stripping out the majority of the radio and keeping the mains transformer along with the sound output transformer and valves and turning it into an amplifier.

Progressing from there I wanted this to be a little more capable so decided to make this a stereo valve amplifier.

The chassis will be crafted from aluminium and I will be forming it with an aluminium bender and guillotine similar to what I did on my raspberry pi.

The amplifier will accept input from a 3.5mm auxiliary jack or phono input, so I can hook it up to an existing media device. This will be controlled by a toggle switch.

The amplifier will output through either a 3.5mm headphone jack or through a speaker chassis panel in hope that this will drive my Wharfedale E.50s. This will also be controlled by a toggle switch.

I will have 4 potentiometers of varying ohms ratings to control volume, bass, treble and balance.

This build is in the planning stages untill the end of March and I will also be using this time to gather funds for the valves and transformers.

In this month expect to see hand drawn sketches, simple 3D models, and pictures of parts I may accumulate in this time.

As always suggestions and constructive criticism are welcome!
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post #2 of 68

Subbed 1st!!!! I win :D

    
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4930k Rampage IV Black Edition w/EK Clean CSQ Block PowerColor 290x BF4 (2 More Coming) G Skill Trident X 
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Silverstone Slotload Bluray Burner EK Supremacy Clean CSQ Alphacool XT45 360 XSPC EX360 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Alphacool ST30 240 3 x Phobya NB E-Loops (1600RPM) Alphacool UT60 120 (White Edition) 7 x Gentle Typhoon AP-00 (2150) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
3 x Gentle Typhoon AP-15 6 x Phobya G1/4 Inline Temp Sensor Coupler (2 P... Aquacomputer G1/4 High Flow Meter Swiftech MCP35x 
CoolingOSPowerCase
XSPC Photon 170 Reservoir Windows 7 + Linux Antec HCP-1300 Platinum CoolerMaster HAF XB (Modded) 
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Silverstone FP58 Thermaltake Max 5 Duo Phobya 6 x 16mm Vandal Switch Plate  6 x 16mm Vandal Switches (ModSmart & Lamptron) 
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post #3 of 68
sub 2nd, I loose frown.gif
 
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post #4 of 68
Thread Starter 
Took some photos of the gear I already have for this project. I'll also share some existing photos of the radio that I shall be stripping down entirely in the near future (not sure if I will get it done today).

Battling the dull gear ambient light from the typical British weather, apologies if the quality isn't up to scratch.

Panel light I inted to use as a power indicator. Uses a 6v bulb which will run from the Valve heater voltage.



Speaker chassis panel so I can hook up my Wharfedale E.50s



Mullard pre-amp I am toying with the idea of using for higher gain and easier control over Bass and Treble.




Pictures of the Radio - full album here http://imgur.com/a/nyQhQ







Quote:
Originally Posted by kpoeticg View Post

Subbed 1st!!!! I win biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaMbi2004 View Post

sub 2nd, I loose frown.gif

Actually I subbed first wink.gif
Edited by wthenshaw - 3/2/14 at 2:21am
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post #5 of 68
Thread Starter 
This is what the panel light should look like illuminated.



Also took a couple more parting shots of the radio before stripping it down.




tested the old bulb that came with the panel light, good job too. thing turned to milk in a second.

Edited by wthenshaw - 3/2/14 at 3:36am
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post #6 of 68

I'm as in as a Russian in a black sea port.
post #7 of 68
Thread Starter 
Took me a few read through to understand this haha, welcome.
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post #8 of 68
Thread Starter 
Good news update! Won the auction for a Decca SRG707 valve amp and tuner on ebay. This will provide me the valves and sound output transformers, along with the rectifier and mains transformer for my build. Will still have to buy all new resistors and capacitors, and most likely the new potentiometers and definitely the valve bases to give this a new and clean look.

Stay tuned! (Pardon the pun)
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post #9 of 68
Thread Starter 
So, I arrived at my dad's and the first thing I do is pull out the donor radio and take some photos for you guys biggrin.gif

Quality will be *meh* as I am just taking photos on the table with sunlight streaming through the window.

Posting to you from my dad's awfully slow laptop, jeez my phone is quicker than this!

Some overview shots






Quick snaps of the undercarriage.



Pristine Mullard EL84! What I like to see biggrin.gif I had no idea on the condition of the donor radio and its valves so I am very happy to see one is such beautiful condition


Second EL84 (This is a stereo amp) is a Mazda, I presume it replaced a faulty Mullard before, as all the rest of the valves in it seem to be Mullard. Once this amp is up and running I may look into replacing the Mazda with another Mullard hopefully in such condition as the first EL84 to match the rest of the AMP

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post #10 of 68
I'll 'fess up, I have no idea what is going on or what you are doing here redface.gif but after reading through your last two build logs. I'm v curious. for me, it's all about taking a pre existing product and making it your own. It's easy to take say a huge caselabs case and put a water loop in it, you could train a monkey to do it. This kind of build shows real human ingenuity, for this I applaud you sir.


keep on pushing
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