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Speaker amps for headphones - Page 73

post #1081 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post

Ouch! Hope your hand isn't too bad off. Let me know if you want a ready-to-go DIY build and I'll be more than happy to help a brotha out beerchug.gif  

EDIT: On a lighter note, my matched NOS FETs for the First Watt F5 have arrived 2 weeks earlier than expected! biggrin.gif

LOL, Thanks! I'm a klutz. I was just soldering a Molex connector onto a LiPo battery's leads - about as far as my DIY efforts ever go. Even still, it's always a production. The iron gets the wire hot enough to start melting insulation, but when I hold the solder against the wire it doesn't melt. Or the solder bends because I'm pressing too hard, or the solder melts into the wire but doesn't stick to the Molex pin, or I burn myself or suck smoke up my nose trying to see what I'm doing. etc. etc. It absolutely escapes me how someone could solder up an entire amplifier! :-) Surely there's a secret society where the right tools, supplies, and techniques are kept hidden from the rest of us! :-)
Edited by zilch0md - 9/23/13 at 9:38pm
post #1082 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post


LOL, Thanks! I'm a klutz. I was just soldering a Molex connector onto a LiPo battery's leads - about as far as my DIY efforts ever go. Even still, it's always a production. The iron gets the wire hot enough to start melting insulation, but when I hold the solder against the wire it doesn't melt. Or the solder bends because I'm pressing too hard, or the solder melts into the wire but doesn't stick to the Molex pin, or I burn myself or suck smoke up my nose trying to see what I'm doing. etc. etc. It absolutely escapes me how someone could solder up an entire amplifier! :-) Surely there's a secret society where the right tools, supplies, and techniques are kept hidden from the rest of us! :-)

 

Lol. Yeah there are things like "third hands", heat sinks and chisel tips that alleviate these issues, along with a temp. controlled iron. The third hands are a god send though!

post #1083 of 2933
I'll second the good iron comment! Pick up an old Weller or similar off the 'bay. With a decent set of tips and a "third hand" you'll be pro in no time!
post #1084 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by potterma View Post

I'll second the good iron comment! Pick up an old Weller or similar off the 'bay. With a decent set of tips and a "third hand" you'll be pro in no time!

 

I use this one myself. Really good quality for the price. Tips are a bit pricey, but make sure you buy all the ones you would use in one shipment because they charge through the nose for shipping. I also got a nice 5A Variac from them for a really good price too.

:beerchug:
post #1085 of 2933
Ok, i'm sold, but they offer 12 tips! :-)

Which two or three (or more?) should I start with and how do I know which tip goes with what task? (Mysteries abound.)

Which solder do you use? More than one type? And why?

Is there a book on this stuff? :-)

Thanks!
post #1086 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post

Ok, i'm sold, but they offer 12 tips! :-)

Which two or three (or more?) should I start with and how do I know which tip goes with what task? (Mysteries abound.)

Which solder do you use? More than one type? And why?

Is there a book on this stuff? :-)

Thanks!

 

OK, you have the conical that comes stock, it's good for soldering places where you need to "reach" a bit, like a RCA adapter that has a hollow pin. I would then recommend the 1.6mm chisel for finer PCB work, and the 2.4mm chisel for heavier PCB work and Point-to-Point and other general duties.

 
I personally use 2 solders, but 1 can suffice as well. First is a 4% silver lead-free solder from Dayton Audio (parts-express) that requires a hot temp, which requires caution with PCB work, but i use it for pretty much everything audio related. It's a little tricky to learn lead-free soldering because it has a short flow time, so find a guide to learn the ropes and you'll be good. Second, I use a basic 60/40 (lead/tin or Sn/Pb) for anything that is not directly in the signal path, or requires a very good flow for a solid connection. For both types, I get the smallest diameter possible which allows you have better control of the amount of solder, and you can stick it more places. If you want just one type of solder, a eutectic solder is the best choice. The favorite amogst DIY'ers is Cardas Quad Eutectic solder, it's a little pricey but it flows really well and makes solid connections a breeze.
 
For soldering advice, YouTube has proven to be a great visual resource. Perhaps start off by making your own LODs and headphone adapters, or a Bottlehead Crack or Quickie and you'll be a pro in no time.
 
Other things you'll want - Brass sponge tip cleaner, third hand, magnifying glass, diagonal wire cutters to clip leads, small electrical pliers, solder sucker and solder wick, a DMM (with alligator clips), and a little kit of "solder tools". Those are the staples, everything else is pretty much secondary. I personally find solder flux paste to be optional, but its inexpensive enough to keep handy.

 

EDIT: Oh and a very well-lit workspace or LED headlamp, with preferably a white table/cover/placemat. Small parts are hard to see otherwise.


Edited by brunk - 9/24/13 at 4:06am
post #1087 of 2933
Really good advise brunk. Personally, I stay away from lead free. Too much of a PITA to work with. I admit my skills behind the iron could use some help!
I find a pair of decent flush cut dikes to be very useful, as well.
post #1088 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by potterma View Post

Really good advise brunk. Personally, I stay away from lead free. Too much of a PITA to work with. I admit my skills behind the iron could use some help!
I find a pair of decent flush cut dikes to be very useful, as well.

 

Lead-free is hard to work with at first, but is ultimately the best in the end, IMO. I can't remember where i found this guide, so I'm going to copy/paste it here, sorry if it's a mess.

 

Lead-free Solder Guide (Click to show)
 

----------------------- Page 1-----------------------

                    Best results with lead free solder 

 

When using lead free (silver) solder for the first time, you are probably much disappointed. The 

solder joint looks not nice, looks unreliable, and badly done. Well, and that is probably just what it 

is. Lead-free soldering is not more difficult, but mostly it is A NOTHER process, and you probably 

don't know that. All you need to do is change the way you are soldering, and you can have very nice 

results. Lead-free soldering was always done to get solder joints of higher stability. So... what 

keeps you from doing it? . 

 

Here is a typical problem situation: 

 

       You want to add a wire to an existing connection. The solder joint gets too big and dirty, and the 

       more solder you take the worse it gets . The components around it start to over heat, and the 

       solder is not flowing still. So you take some more solder from the roll, but the flux that is inside 

       doesn't do the job very good, and the solder joint looks as if a young boy has done it. Higher solder 

       temperature makes it worse, and at lower temperature also. 

       You want to make a normal joint, but it doesn't look nice. So you take some more solder, and re 

       melt the joint to make it look better. Like as you were used from normal solder. However now 

       comes the surprise. The extra solder doesn't flow nice at all. You re flow it again. And again? After 

       a while the components around it are burned, and/or the the PC board cracks off the solder pads . 

       You remove everything and try it again. 

 

What causes this problem? 

 

Here is the difference. W ith lead solder, the moment it melts, and there is some flux, it will flow nicely. 

The flux is active from the very moment the solder has melted, and lead solder melts at such a "low" 

temperature, the flux will not burn away quickly, doing it's job all of the time. 

 

Not so with lead-free solder. The flux is initially not working. You need to understand this . You have to 

heat up the joint, until the flux starts to burn away, which means really it is quite hot. It is this very 

moment, where the flux burns away, the solder suddenly flows nice, and after that is nti functional, and 

you have to remove the solder iron. However, this moment is short, since the burning flux is disappearing 

quickly. This makes the moment of good solder flow so short, and you can only make small solder joints, 

like solder two little wires together. The moment you need to do something larger, you simple need to 

apply extra flux, or even apply it a few times . I have tried everything, but I find this the only way. For best 

optical results, you can remove the flux residue with alcohol, and it will look very nice. 

 

                      This is a liquid flux, of highest possible concentration, so as much as possible will 

                      stay on the object. It looks like honey. If for some reason you find it too thick, you 

                      can use alcohol to make it thinner. 

 

                      You can also use it to prepare printed circuit boards before soldering. For this 

                      application, mix  1 part of the liquid solder flux with  1 part alcohol. Paint the PCB 

                      with this, let is dry on the air for one hour, or dry it with air from a hair dryer. W hen 


----------------------- Page 2-----------------------

   Ordering code:        dry, solder the PCB the normal way. Don't bother how it looks afterwards, you can 

     610-007-76          remove the residue nicely with  100% pure alcohol. 

 

                         Hint: Resin in a good glue. So keep the bottle clean before you close it. If in any 

                         case you glue the lid on, with spoiled residue, you can open it after warming the lid 

                         with very hot water, or leave the closed bottle in alcohol a few hours . 

 

How to apply extra flux? 

 

The good old way, to dip the solder iron into some flux is not working with lead free solder. The flux is 

burning away already on the solder iron. The small residue that is left, will not spread over the solder joint 

insufficient, and you may just burn the components . 

 

Process for larger solder joints: 

 

    1.  Apply liquid flux on all surfaces that you want to solder. Use as much as you can apply on it. Better 

        take too much as too little, any residue can be very easily wiped off afterwards with a cloth and 

        some alcohol. 

    2.  W ith litz wires, apply liquid flux solder before you solder them. Then pre solder those very thin, 

        before soldering finally into the solder joint that they are intended for. 

    3.  Solder the normal way. I you have enough solder, but you feel there is not enough flux, let cool 

        down the joint, paint as much liquid flux on is as you can and re solder. 

    4.  If that will not help, here is another method. Empty half of the bottle content in some small metal 

        container. (Like the metal lid of some bottles) Let it dry in there until you have a sticky paste, of 

        which you can apply as much as you need then. W ith this it will always work nice. 

    5.  Smaller joints will need less attention, the above is for larger, more difficult joints . 

    6.  Once you have this technique under control, you will not understand why you ever had problems 

        with it :) 

    7.  Conclusion: You do need to apply extra flux, when soldering lead free. There is no other good way. 

 

Hint: For clean de soldering we sell an excellent, and low cost de soldering iron. (Check under "tools" in 

the menu)  

post #1089 of 2933

Thanks Brunk!  

 

I have no excuse but to follow your advice.  I feel as if you've given me the keys to the soldering kingdom!  

 

I'll start acquiring the tools and see what I can take on as a first project...

 

Joy!

 

Mike

post #1090 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilch0md View Post
 

Thanks Brunk!  

 

I have no excuse but to follow your advice.  I feel as if you've given me the keys to the soldering kingdom!  

 

I'll start acquiring the tools and see what I can take on as a first project...

 

Joy!

 

Mike

 

Way to go Mike! Send me a PM if you have any questions at all with equipment, projects or whatever. I'll be more than happy to help :)

 

EDIT: parts-express, Jameco, and Harbor Freight Tools are an excellent place to pick up the various tools on the cheap.


Edited by brunk - 9/24/13 at 5:34pm
post #1091 of 2933
Thanks again!
post #1092 of 2933

Mike and I have another thing in common:  our soldering skills.  But he's braver than I am, as he's willing to invest in tools.  Not I --  burn me once, shame on you, burn me about 50 times, and I'm just gonna hire somebody to do the damned job.  For me it was always getting solder blobs all over the place, except where the solder was supposed to go.  Even after I think I'm done, if I do a quick little tug to test the connection.. CRAP!!!!  And then there are the inevitable burned items, such as hardware, hands, tabletops, etc.

 

There are some jobs I just know I'm not meant to do...

post #1093 of 2933
Some people seem to have a gift for soldering. I have a friend who does prototype assembly of pc boards/ proto boards and such. Some skills! Others, not so much. One co worker was once accused of using a Bunsen burner and a spoon instead of a soldering iron smily_headphones1.gif I'm somewhere in between. Not my best skill, but I get by...
post #1094 of 2933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary in MD View Post

As an aside, I think I've now p'd off everybody on the "Amp recommendations for LCD-3" thread by recommending the Cyclops and MIllenia.  I'm getting all of the usual responses:  "You'll blow up your headphones" and "You'll hear too much noise" and "my sister's boyfriend's cousin tried a speaker amp on his cans and his head exploded."   Or similar authoritative statements..

I think I've got a few guys at least thinking about it, but the MJ and Soloist, not to mention the GS-X Mk II, have such fierce defenders that you don't dare criticize them.  I wonder how long it will be before I get banned from their thread...

I think people will defend their purchase decisions as validation that they are "correct" and that tends to matter as much as the sonic performance of the device. I own a Mjolnir and while I think it sounds very nice with the LCD3s, I am really curious about the Odyssey Cyclops amp and most especially paired with the MSB dac. Unfortunately there was other things that needed immediate attention so it will be a while till I can get a Cyclops amp and will try it with the Gungnir dac to start with. Until then I would never claim the amp I have is the best there is only that it sounds pretty good and was a good start to enter the world of headphone musical reproduction. If I am going to spend a fairly substantial sum for an amp I would like for it to be able to drive some speakers also.
post #1095 of 2933

Well.. I've love the Millenia.. I couldn't be happier with it.  But I've got to move away from full sized phones for a bit, so my Millenia (and resistor box) will (unfortunately) have to go up for sale (already sold the HD800).  Thought I'd give a heads up to the folks here before posting it in the classifieds.

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