This is the virgin board. It's time to start adding components so this thing doesn't look so lonely. Purchased from www.tubelab.com . Standard disclaimer -- I'm just a happy customer.
Whoo-Hoo! First component installed! That's a 150 ohm 5W resistor for the power supply. Time to add the rest of the resistors...
Look, more resistors! This must be a fascinating web album by now. There are three resistors missing because supplier #1 didn't carry the recommended ones. They'll probably arrive this week. I'm so excited.
Tube sockets installed. I've built a couple electronics projects before, but I was still surprised by how much fun it was to solder a ceramic tube socket. I'm not kidding. It was a blast. I actually giggled. Well, not exactly giggled, but it was close.
Capacitors. Nine capacitors. The 0.22 uF coupling caps are just cheap ones by Solen. I might add expensive caps (Auricaps, I think) later, to increase the audio voodoo factor.
'Constant Current Source' chips installed. I was supposed to install these before the wire connectors, but I didn't have the right hardware to mount the heatsinks.
Mounted a full set of tubes just to see how it looks. For the curious, this entire set is by 'JJ' (formerly Tesla) in the Slovak Republic. GZ34 (5AR4) rectifier is at top right. 12AT7 preamp/driver is the little one. The pretty blue ones are EL34 power tubes. The blue glass was a $3 (each) upgrade.
A close-up of the blue power tubes. I hope they sound good, because I really like the appearance. Yes, the one on the right looks crooked.
Boxes. Just in case you want to shop for audio vacuum tubes at your local dealer, this is what they look like. Yes, I know that's unlikely.
Removed the JJ tubes and installed a bitching set of Chinese 6L6GC power tubes. These are the 'Coke Bottle' glass versions. I don't think there's a difference in performance from the different glass shape, they just looked neat.
I think my hood scoop is trying to eat my amplifier. Just another outdoor shot. ('04 Subaru STi, if you were curious)
I originally bought enough parts to build two amplifier circuit boards. Well, almost enough parts. I cheated and only purchased one rectifier tube. Then I broke it while I was installing it into the socket for the first time. It was a really tight fit and I pushed too hard. After the first time, it has been pretty easy to install/remove. The white top indicates that it has lost vacuum and is dead. A replacement (and a spare this time) is on order. Credit goes to "Ty_Bower" on the diyaudio.com forums for noticing the problem.
The intended victim of the amplifier when it's finished. A Half-Chang design from http://www.frugal-horn.com/spawn.html . Being built by my good friend Joshua while I watch and hand him tools.
Replacement rectifier tubes. One replacement 'JJ' and one spare from Sovtek. 5AR4 is supposed to be the same as GZ34, but these are obviously different sizes. Notice the beautiful silvery tops? Not dead yet!!! (neet to add a date here -- 13 June 2008)
I really wanted a Chinese rectifier tube to make a matched set with the 'Coke Bottle" output tubes, but they seem to be on back-order at Antique Electronic Supply.
On a whim, I added a "Fender" branded driver tube to my order. I am totally ready for some rock-and-roll music now. Wait, aren't Fender guitar amps known for their distortion? This might be a bad idea...
"Fender" tube is made in Russia.
Look! A little wire basket from Target (TM). US$ 3.50 on sale. What is this doing here?
Remove two screws, take off the handle, and we have a discount wire cage for the circuit board. It should reduce the painful finger-poking from innocent visitors.
Another view. I think this is going to have plenty of clearance. The mounting screws for the handle are just about perfect for attaching it to a chassis.
Shopping day. Went to my local surplus dealer ( http://www.skycraftsurplus.com ) and asked for a nice selection of 18ga wire suitable for use in a tube amp. Notice the price tag -- US4.20 for 70' seems cheap to me after shopping online.
More Skycraft fun. A $2 grab-bag of heat shrink, a $2 power switch (good enough for now), and a $3 collection of female terminals. I'm still not sure why I spent two hours wandering around the store, but that seems to happen to me all the time.
No sound yet, but look at the pretty glowing thingies.