Need help picking a DIY kit for tube headphone amp

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by ikorman, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. ikorman

    ikorman Active Member

    Messages:
    276
    Folks, I would like to attempt a build of a tube headphone amp. I listen to headphones quite a bit so it makes no sense to run the whole big amp to do that. Also, I just discovered tube sound with a Heathkit AA-121, and I am not going back to solid state...

    So, where do I find a kit for a nicer tube headphone amp? I head stuff for $50 has drawbacks, so I might as well spend a bit more and get something without compromising. Any help will be appreciated.
     
  2. ikorman

    ikorman Active Member

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    276
    P.S. Looking at something called Project Sunrise II, how is it?
     
  3. gguillot

    gguillot Super Member

    Messages:
    1,591
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Check out Pete Millett's "Jonokuchi" headphone amp. I have heard good things about that one. Pete sells the circuit board on ebay - just do a search on "Jonokuchi." It requires more than a $50 investment, but looks like a high quality design.
     
  4. apurcell22

    apurcell22 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    526
    Location:
    Vacaville, CA
    +1 on the Jonokuchi. I built one and it sounds very good. It also doubles as a low power SET speaker amp. It's also an easy build.
    Al
     
  5. BmWr75

    BmWr75 Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,512
    Location:
    Northeast MS
    Bottlehead Crack kit if your have high impedance cans.
     
  6. ikorman

    ikorman Active Member

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    276
    Just for follow-up...

    I ordered all the stuff for Jonokuchi and most of it already get delivered, only thing missing are transformers. Dang! Five-six weeks wait sucks. So I got a Bellari HA540 to keep me company till the Jonokuchi gets done. Bellari sounds really great with my ATH-M35 cans. Makes me wonder why I spent close to $300 for Jonokuchi parts, but I haven't done the comparison yet...
     
  7. kansei

    kansei AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,217
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I built the Starving Student, the "Super Simple 6dj8" and a Bijou.

    My favorite was the "Super Simple", although it needed a really good tube in there to really shine (JAN 6922 worked really well in my case). Parts cost was around $70 including the enclosure. You could also look on eBay for 6dj8 headphone amps and put good parts in the signal path, they cost around $80 as well.
     
  8. ikorman

    ikorman Active Member

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    276
    I just finished the Jonokuchi today, what a feat for me, a lame amateur! I decided to perform the described mod to get rid of the hum. I screwed up at first, leaving the left channel with a resistor still in place so the right channel was 6db louder till I figured out what's wrong.

    Either way, the long-awaited comparison with Bellari and Jonokuchi is trailing. Even with the mod, Jonokuchi has the hum. Bellari is DEAD quiet. Musically, they are about the same, at least to my ear.

    I am keeping Jonokuchi, however. If just to play with small speakers. I will run the internal speaker wiring tomorrow and try something small with it. I doubt it can run my Klipsch Heresy pair, but let's see...
     
  9. TerryO

    TerryO Super Member

    Messages:
    4,173
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    As I have been using Sennheiser Headphones for over 35 years, I would definately go with the Bottlehead "Crack" HP amp.

    Best Regards,
    TerryO
     
  10. ikorman

    ikorman Active Member

    Messages:
    276
    I heard great things about this, but 2 headphone amps is enough for me. Running out of room over here!
     
  11. cary

    cary Active Member

    Messages:
    357
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Bottlehead Crack or the SEX amp. I built the SEX amp and really love it, it's dead quiet, the Crack kit is the most popular kit from them. Bottlehead kit instructions are very very easy to follow almost idiot proof. Check out their web site lots of happy customers.
     
  12. gogofast

    gogofast AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,810
    Location:
    Seattle
    i got an email from bottlehead saying they're offering free speedball upgrade for the crack amp now.
     
  13. gguillot

    gguillot Super Member

    Messages:
    1,591
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    ikorman,

    Did you see this thread with the reply from Pete Millet? (Look at post #68)

    http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes-valves/182269-jonokuchi-new-desktop-amp-little-red-board-7.html

    Hopefully you can get your hum issue sorted out. You at least have to be proud of building your first amp!
     

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