Another stop on the DIY Tube Audio highway...
It's been a long time coming for an update to my site. If you'd like to visit my original one, here's a link.
logo above to go to a page of photos taken at the
European Triode Festival 2006 at
logo to go to a page of photos taken at the
European Triode Festival 2007 at
building my own tube amplifiers some years ago after I made a successful
electrical restoration on
four McIntosh MC-30 amplifiers that I had owned for years. My repair person passed away so I was
forced to learn to repair them or change to <gasp!> solid state. My uncle who's a Ham operator
from waaaayyyyy back, turned me on to Antique Electronic Supply in
to restore all four amps. I later found a box at an estate sale labeled "Old Tubes" which I bought
along with some other goodies and found several used Type 45 tubes. About that time I had started reading
Sound Practices magazine, the best DIY rag that's ever been printed.
were doing with these flea power tubes got me interested and I built my first from-scratch amp. You can see
information about it and the other amps I've built. Just scroll on down and click the picture that interests you.
If you're interested in an amp you see here, I do build custom amps on a per-order basis. Just drop me an email.
I think it's time to insert my disclaimer:
AMPS AND OTHER TUBE EQUIPMENT USE LETHAL VOLTAGES WHICH CAN BE
PRESENT WHEN THE AMP IS TURNED OFF AND UNPLUGGED. ANYTHING YOU USE FROM
THIS SITE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. BE CAREFUL AND DON'T KILL YOURSELF.
YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE WORKING WITH HIGH VOLTAGES, ENLIST THE
HELP OF SOMEONE WHO IS.
That being said, have fun.
My first DIY amp, a SE Type 45. Crude compared to my current work, but this is where I started.
still my shop amp today. I listen to it with a Teac CD player and a pair
Electro-Voice "Aristocrat" speakers
which were a gift from the the builder, the father of a business associate, who knows I have this interest. They're
very efficient speakers and play with plenty of volume with only 1.5 watts.
around the time I built this amp that I decided to use the name Time Bandit.
It's a name I used some years ago
for a resale shop. It describes what I do with my amps: Take the best of the old and recreate it with new components run
conservatively. My aesthic ideas were inspired by the McIntosh amps I have and I appreciate the McIntosh build quality.
the first amp I built for a client who found my website and emailed me. This
amp went to the
area and now it lives on the east coast.
another one of these amps which is still in use by a friend in
read quite a bit about SE triode amps by this time and of course, the 300B was
featured prominently. I had to try one and
here is my first stab at a 300B amp.
never get the hum level low enough in this amp. I eventually built three
different amps in this chassis and I settled
on the WE91A circuit as my favorite.
friend, Ray Gallagher, owned a 2A3 amp like the one you see above, and when he
heard the 300B, he had to have one.
This is the one I built for him.
was built almost 5 years ago and has had heavy use without a failure (except
for the driver tubes).
I began to have problems with the Philips 6SJ7GT tubes that I was using. They were prone to heater-cathode shorts
in this circuit causing ugly hum. I tried the metal 6SJ7s with some success, but lately I have been using 5693s exclusively
with very good results. I've been collecting them for some time and I have a good stock on hand.
after a little discussion, we decided on a white finish. I think it's a very distinctive style, very clean-looking.
good friend, Ton van Loenen, from
vintage jazz recordings when he visited me. He very much wanted an amp of his own, so I built him this one.
Ton passed way on 19 August, 2005. He enjoyed his amp even through his illness.
I'm happy that I could do
this for him. The amp is still making music for Marlies Vonk, his life partner. Marlies is an artist. Take a look at her work
at www.marliesvonk.com (IE compatible only)
now, I had used
good performers. I decided to try another brand about which I had read good things, the James 6123HS. I can say
that they do exceed the performance of the
do any meaningful comparisons, but from what I've seen published on the web, the James iron is very good.
This is the first amp I built using the James iron and it's the one I listen to every day in my own home.
second European amp, built for Wouter Vriesman who lives near
Here's a link to my monster project, the SE845. It's still a work in progress.
a link to an amp I built using Type 47 pentodes. Unlike my usual designs.
Here's a link to an amp I built using Type 47 pentodes. Unlike my usual designs.
a link to an amp I built in May of 2007 for Hal Hudgins of
Here's a link to an amp I built in August of 2007 for Larry Terry.
There's more to come in the near future, so check back again.
I welcome email from tube hobbyists.
© Raymond Koonce 1998-2007 all rights reserved.