Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Discussions › The Bijou project build (100% completed, final pics added)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The Bijou project build (100% completed, final pics added)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone!

 

I have not browsed this forum for a long time and recently I started looking around again. This was not a wise decision for my wallet as I finally decided to build a tube amp. I've been lusting over one for a long time and I decided to go with the Bijou. I ordered parts and am waiting until they arrive. In the mean time, I'm making my own enclosure to avoid the cost of buying one. I'll update this thread with progress as this thing moves along. After this, I'll be building a DAC and investing in some proper headphones. All I've got are 595's for the time being. 

 

The idea here is aluminum and wood. I also got my calculator and calipers out because I'm trying to build this thing to tight tolerances. Everything shall be nice and smooth (no sharp edges) just like in aviation. Due to the design I can't use aircraft style edge distances for holes or else I would, just for fun! The interior dimensions are ~12"x8 3/4"x 3". It was supposed to be a little over 9" deep but I was up all night and messed up the measurements. The top cover will have holes for the tubes and transformer (370 DAX). Things to come: wood control knobs and feet, top cover aluminum handles (mostly for looks), custom badge where the black indented portion sits and stain/wax on the wood.

 

By the way, the wood is hardwood from a bar-b-q tray and aluminum is from an old server PC case that I kept for the quality metal. Nice and free. This is my very first go at building any kind of enclosure from scratch. Hopefully this motivates more people to make their own audio equipment cases!

 

Is this going to be enough to fit the 3 circuit boards and the bottom part of the transformer in there? (302mm x 202mm, interior dimensions)

 

 


Edited by ady1989 - 12/16/13 at 2:28pm
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

A little update. I finished the top cover (not attached to case yet) and the feet (those took a very long time). I'll put some felt furniture pads under the feet when it's all done. Bulgin switch and RCA/headphone jacks will arrive in a day or two.

 

 

 

 

 

Mock-up. The handles will be sanded down to silver aluminum and the top cover will have a bit of a gap between it and the wood - maybe not this extreme. That's for a little bit of ventilation. The wood still needs to be waxed and finished.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Changed the front panel screws, countersunk the holes and made a wooden badge with my signature burned in (because I could :ph34r:). Starting to look a little better but it's a long way from being finished.

 

 

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Update time!

 

It's finally started to look like an amp. I got lots of bits and pieces from Mouser and the front panel is almost complete. I finished the top handles (the studs sticking out will be shaved down). Try not to mind the poor tape job holding up the pot knobs.

 

I'm trying to decide if the white LED hole should go below the screw in the bottom center of the panel or the top center by the power switch. Any input on this?

 

 

 

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

A little update: I got all the parts I need, now I'm on to the final assembly of this thing. Slowly and steady wins the race! I'm pretty happy with how it's all coming together.

 

 

 

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

The outside of the case is 99.9% done. I just have to trim the top panel bolts and blow all the swarf away with compressed air. Everything is mounted but now comes the part I've been dreading the most: wiring. Not bad for only using hand tools :)

 

 

post #7 of 13

It's looking very nice. A cool retro/classic look. Very unique. I especially like the handles.

 

When I built mine several years ago, I ended up with a bit of hum, which I attributed to the AC heaters.

I rewired the heaters with some shielded SPC wire from John's Silver Teflon Wire Shop on ebay, and it cleared up the hum.

 

FWIW

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

One step closer to completion! It's all wired and running. The problem with the arcing inside the rectifier tube was the tube itself. I replaced it for a tested Mullard and I'm very happy! A few things remain on the case including some much-needed ventilation. This sucker gets hot! Anyway, time to finish my beer and rock out to some awesome tunes :L3000:, enjoy the pics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #9 of 13

that beer sounds pretty good..   how'd your amp sound..? 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Sounds pretty darn good! It's definitely pushing the 595's pretty much as good as they can sound. I THINK I am getting lower volumes on the right channel but it's really hard to tell. Maybe it's just the large stereo separation/soundstage I'm not used to as different things seem to stand out on each channel. Seems to be the case with more than one pair of headphones and it really depends on the song and audio quality. Sometimes it's not noticeable, sometimes it stands out. Anyone else experience this? It's possible I may have more hearing damage on the right ear so maybe it's just me.

 

I'm getting very little AC induced hum on the left channel but I know why and I'll get on fixing it. Another technical aspect that needs work is the massive heat generated in the case. I didn't think it gets this hot and didn't plan for it. The 370 DAX gets almost just as hot as the tubes. I want to maximize component life and I know heat is a capacitor killer so I'll vent the top panel somehow. More to think about for the future but right now this was money and time well spent (I think)!

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ady1989 View Post
 

Sounds pretty darn good! It's definitely pushing the 595's pretty much as good as they can sound. I THINK I am getting lower volumes on the right channel but it's really hard to tell. Maybe it's just the large stereo separation/soundstage I'm not used to as different things seem to stand out on each channel. Seems to be the case with more than one pair of headphones and it really depends on the song and audio quality. Sometimes it's not noticeable, sometimes it stands out. Anyone else experience this? It's possible I may have more hearing damage on the right ear so maybe it's just me.

 

I'm getting very little AC induced hum on the left channel but I know why and I'll get on fixing it. Another technical aspect that needs work is the massive heat generated in the case. I didn't think it gets this hot and didn't plan for it. The 370 DAX gets almost just as hot as the tubes. I want to maximize component life and I know heat is a capacitor killer so I'll vent the top panel somehow. More to think about for the future but right now this was money and time well spent (I think)!

Ady yeah I'm New I've never Built anything but I was reading the data sheets and I noticed on more than one data sheet that there's a different output Value for each Triode even if they happen to be inside the same Tube and I was wondering if this just might be why you have different left and right volume levels. and if so How could it be acounted for? *  

 

Individual Triode Output Values.

<a href="http://www.head-fi.org/g/i/987551/a/829056/12ax7-data-sheet/sort/display_order/"><img src="http://www.head-fi.org/image/id/5389355/width/400/flags/LL"></a>


Edited by HiDeF EnThusiAs - 12/4/13 at 12:47am
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Finished! Done! Complete! 100%! I added the finishing touches on this beast and I can finally kick back and enjoy without messing with it again. The loudness issue seems to have fixed itself when I moved the wires around and put more distance between the AC and the amp boards. Sounds lovely and now I need something better than the 595's to do it justice. Overall, pretty good result with no machine shop, just a garage, hand tools and stock materials if I may say so!

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #13 of 13

I would be impressed.. :) *  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Discussions › The Bijou project build (100% completed, final pics added)