Inside the Headmaster...
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WJK

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I have had my Headmaster for some time now and have been growing ever more curious as to what is contained within it's minimalist exterior.

Well, today I threw caution to the wind and opened it up. Now, here is where a problem arises. I know very little about electronic components and as such, the only thing I could properly identify was a blue Alps pot. If there is enough interest I will borrow a digital camera, hopefully on Monday, and post a picture of the innards for all to disect.

Also, if there's anyone sat at home with a Headmaster, digital camera and 30mins to spare, dismantling the amp was easier than I expected and it went back together with minimal fuss, so give it a go!

On the other hand, maybe I'm the only one who had no idea what was in this thing?
(I did a search)
 
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flashbak

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WJK,
I for one would love to see pictures of the inside of the Headmaster. Please do so!
 
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steinie

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Yes!! Pictures please..........
 
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kelly

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Vertigo snapped a couple shots of the Headmaster guts. I haven't opened mine yet but I've talked to Kurt quite a bit about it.

The gist of it is this -- the circuit board is about half the size of the external body of the amp and runs the length of the case. The pot is the Alps Blue that most of the DIYers here love and which also appears in the Corda HA-1. The circuits are discrete components and almost all unlabeled.

Unfortunately, upgrading the Headmaster would largely be a shot in the dark and I'm not sure anyone on here on HeadFi other than Kevin Gilmore would have the right skillset to know what to look for.... and Kevin's rather proud of his own design.

One curiosity I have immediately is wondering whether the motor from the remote has enough power to turn the volume of a stepped attenuator like the DACT. It'd be nice to swap that out without losing the functionality of the remote. The jacks already seem to be high quality although one could argue for a locking neutrick if you were willing to give up the minimalist sheek styling the normal jack provides.

My gut feeling is that the place to do upgrades here is largely in the power section and if someone knows something about that, I'd love to hear your comments. I wish a dual mono version of this amp could be developed but that would require either ordering another Sugden *and* knowing what you're doing.

Just my two cents.
 
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zzz

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
One curiosity I have immediately is wondering whether the motor from the remote has enough power to turn the volume of a stepped attenuator like the DACT. It'd be nice to swap that out without losing the functionality of the remote.


I am pretty sure that this is a motorized Alps pot, thus both motor and potentiometer are in one enclosure. So to preserve the functionality of the remote after installing say DACT one would need to get his own motor and figure out a way to hook it up to the switch.

Or maybe there are some motorized stepped attenuators around. There should be, but I don't know any.


(damn I want this amp
)
 
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WJK

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Kelly, I have to say that pretty much sums up what I saw. Mine's a non-remote version though so replacing the pot shouldn't be much of a problem. I think I might look at taking a basic electronics/soldering course... I'm glad the Headmaster doesn't have legs or it'd be heading for the door right now
.

Warning, embarrassing lack of electronic knowledge ahoy:

Another thing, the transformer can best be described as a big blue square thing, I was expecting one of those tordial dealies. Is the blue thing a weak point?
 
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Budgie

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That blue tranny is a high isolation type and is better than a toroid as it will pass less noise on to the secondary and into the circuits. (Something toroids are really good at.)
 
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zzz

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Quote:

Originally posted by WJK
Another thing, the transformer can best be described as a big blue square thing, I was expecting one of those tordial dealies. Is the blue thing a weak point?


Torodial transformers normally have higher bandwidth and lower emissions than other types, but you don't really want huge bandwidth in a power supply transformer as it would only pass AC noise better. And I suppose the blue thingy is probably pretty well shielded anyhow.
 
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kelly

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zzz
I think the motor for the remote is seperate from the Alps Blue pot. If so, it's only a matter of motor strength (or tuning, maybe).

I love these kinds of threads, by the way.
 
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Nik

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How did you opened the Sugden? I cannot...
 
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WJK

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Quote:

Originally posted by Nik
How did you opened the Sugden? I cannot...


Note, these intrustions are for the non-remote version of the amp.

Flip the amp upside down and unscrew the metal feet by twisting them. Underneath you will see a threaded rod with a nut on the end. Remove the nut and repeat for the other 3 legs. Next, grab the amp firmly (like one would grip a sandwich) and flip it back over, the right way up. The threaded rods will pop up and you can now remove them from the chassis. You are now free to pull off the 'lid' and stare at the mysteries within
.

Once the amp is opened the sides and corner posts will be free and have a tendancy to fall over. When reassembling make certain that the corner posts and side panels are seated properly or they will be sloping and crooked when you screw things back together (like my first attempt
). I'd imagine this could be tricky if you have the remote version of the amp.

Just out of curiosity, what number is your amp? Mine's 0116.
 
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Nik

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Thanks a lot wjk


The serial number of my unit is: 0419 is the remote control version. I recieved it 20 days ago.
 
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Fadamacka

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Uhm, Nik... If you decide to get rid of the Sugden after your R10 amp has arrived, i'd be happy to buy it from you (assuming its 230V, i live in Norway, Europe)
 
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Gariver

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Photos are nice! However, if you copy the part numbers, we will be able to identify the components used in the Headmaster HP amp. I'm very curious about the amp's amplification parts.
 
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Nik

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What photos are you talking about?
Are they the Sugden inside?
 
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