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scottder

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Ok, first I will admit, I first heard about thison The Screensavers, but after looking around on websites, I have become very intereted in building a portable headphone amp. My problem is I have NO experience with electronics or soldering. Is there a good book or resource to check out that would help me on my way to building such a beast.

Thanks in advance,

We're all Newbies at some point...

Scott
 
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scottder

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PS - I'm picking up a pair of Grado SR80's soon...need SOMETHING to replace the cheap-ass $20 Sony's I have
 
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Dreamslacker

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FOr picking up soldering, my advice is to watch someone do it and then learn from there.

You can't really pick up soldering from books unless they include an extremely comprehensive set of pictures to guide you through. But observing someone else do it is free and definitely a better way to learn.

After that, try soldering some simple stuff on your own and learn from mistakes you make. If the iron flies, don't!, I repeat: DON'T! attempt to catch it. LOL...

For basic electronics knowledge try picking up physics textbooks for students. Now, I do not know how the education system is like in your country. But the syllabus in pre-university (GCE Advance levels over here) physics should include op-amps already.
 
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scottder

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I have a friend who is willing to show me the ropes of soldering, so I guess that's a "good thing". Thanks for the tips.
 
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blip

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Hey welcome to DIY audio... As the traditional greeting goes "I'm sorry about your wallet!"


Anyway, I'm not much further advanced than you are... (just finalising plans to build my CMoy... I may get it done over thanksgiving... College takes up too much of my time to make much headway on it normally!) so good luck... Us n00bs need to stick together.


As for sites and books. I've heard really good things about the introductory electronics books that they have at RadioShack. I'd also recommend poking around some electronics books in your local library. (That's how I learned how to read a circuit diagram.)

Soldering is one of those thing that you just have to do to understand so practice, practice, practice. At least that was my experience over this summer. I had never soldered before and at the beginning I did pretty terrible work. By the end of the summer, though my joints were quite passable. (Good enough for the fan control and light rig I built for my computer at least.)

Of course the best site for new builders like us is Tangents tutorial. You probably already knew about that one but I figured I would post it just in case. I would also recommend this tutorial on opamps. It provides a ton of information about what is actually going on inside the opamp. Actually that entire website is a pretty good read. It helped me get a much better grasp of the theory behind audio equipment.

Anyway, good luck and keep us posted.
 
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scottder

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Thanks for the suggestions, sounds like a trip to RatShack is in order. Also have you looked at the Meta42 headphone amp, looks like a fun easy way to get an amp together.

http://tangentsoft.net/audio/meta42/

Scott
 
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blip

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I've heard great things about the Meta42. ( I think pretty much everyone agrees that it is an amazing little amp.) Definitely, it kicks the CMoy in terms of quality.

People have said that it is a little harder to build than a CMoy but if you think your ready for it, it is worth it. (Assuming you use the Meta42 PCB that is. I've heard that buildinhg a Meta42 look alike without a PCB is pretty harrowing.)

Personally I'm going with the CMoy because it is a little simpler, a little cheaper (in case I bake the parts) and I find it easier to understand. (That way I learn more about amplifier design.) Assuming I get it pulled together, though, I will probably be building a Meta42 for the increased quality.
 
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puppyslugg

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Dreamslacker,
Quote:

If the iron flies, don't!, I repeat: DON'T! attempt to catch it. LOL...


Speaking from experience?



scottder,

The meta is good amp. Of course, not all meta's sound the same. It depends a great deal on the opamp, buffer(s), psu and parts employed in the meta. Seeings how you have a buddy to help you out, the meta may not be out of the question.

Good luck.
 
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scottder

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Perhaps I will start with Cmoy then, my friend knows how to solder, but not about amp design.

Let me know how you prject goes, I want to find a real nice looking enclosure for it too


Scott
 
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GL I will be trying to do one over thanksgiving too


Heheh I was wondering how many people would come here after that TV segment.
 
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scottder

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Are there any books around specifically about DIY Audio projects. SOmething like that would be great as well.

Scott
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by puppyslugg
Dreamslacker,

Speaking from experience?



Hehehe... No.. I don't have a problem with flying irons.. But I've noted 2 people who made that mistake on some other forums.

OT: I've ordered the 2 of the OPA637BP's and 2 TLE2426's from TI's sampling program. They should reach me on Friday.
Time to have fun....
 
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If you haven't built anything before, you should probably start with a CMOY or a kit of some kind before attempting a Meta, otherwise you risk getting frustrated and giving up, and that's a pretty bad feeling after spending all the money for parts. DIY should be fun! e.g. Tangent's website is really super, but nowhere does it explain explicitly that electrolytic capacitors often have a "polarity" and may have to go in the "right" way. This would be an easy mistake to make, and you'd never figure out why your amp didn't sound right. Also, if you're building a Meta, I recommend that you buy a multimeter. It's just invaluable in tracking down and avoiding problems.

Personally, I built a kit before trying the Meta. It was really a fun experience, and it encouraged me to get started building something else. Also, the kit came with a free multimeter. You can read about my experiences in this thread:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showth...threadid=17155
 
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Start with a CMoy, because:

1. It hurts less to fail on a CMoy: $20-30 in parts vs. at least $60 for a META42.

2. My CMoy assembly tutorial is written with newbies in mind and my META42 instructions are not.

3. Not only will the META42 instructions not hold your hand, it throws a whole lot of options and tech details at you. This is good if you know what you are doing, but confusing if you haven't already built an amp or three.

4. You'll appreciate a good amp more if you listen to a CMoy first. (The CMoy will sound pretty good, but you can do better.)

5. If this is your first electronics project, trust me, you need the practice.
 
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scottder

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Thanks again for all the advice (and a very helpful web site Tangent). Looks like I will be spending some time at Rat SHack soon (for some beginner books and a soldering iron).

Scott
 
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