Mini3 complete
Sep 13, 2009 at 5:46 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

fewjr

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Hello All,
I tested my Mini3 tonight without a hitch and I am very happy about that. This is the first time soldering parts this small and I must say I was a little nervous about shorts around the op-amps. Now I want to build a tube or hybrid headphone amp for at my house. What would be your suggestions? I would like the best sound possible.

fewjr
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 7:53 AM Post #2 of 8

srserl

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Congrats on finishing your amp; I love mine for portable use. The Mini3 was also my first time soldering any surface mount parts, and I remember how worried I was. Seems silly now because they are really easy parts to solder. I hope it gives you the confidence to try projects with somewhat more difficult surface mount parts such as a gamma1 dac; they are not as difficult to solder as they seem at first look.

I think a tube hybrid would be a great next project for you and I would recommend either a Millet Hybrid (either a Max or MiniMax), or a Cavalli Audio CTH. Both projects are well supported here on Head-Fi, and both produce excellent sound.

There is a kit available for the CTH from SpruceCanyonLabs. The CTH is very compact, and some of the parts must be "tombstoned" onto the board. There are a lot of parts crammed in there, so it takes extra care to get them all placed in the correct orientation. Cost for the kit is around $200 depending on options.

There is no kit available for the MHM, but the layout is larger and the instructions are exceptional (at diyforums.org), so it may be slightly easier to assemble. There is a really nice custom case available for the MiniMax. If you don't use the custom case, a MHM can be built for around $170 (if prices for parts have not increased too much since the last time I built one).

Both amps sound excellent, so you should read the threads on them to decide for yourself which one you would like to build.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 9:52 AM Post #3 of 8

fewjr

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srserl,
Thanks for the response. I've been reading about the Millett all night and it is very well documented. Parts are available here: Beezar.com but they seem to have run out of Max boards. I'm not sure how long till they get more ready. Looks like they have a new version board in the works.

I'm not sure what the difference is between the Max and Mini-Max yet. But size isn't an issue for this amp. I would prefer a larger footprint.


What do you think of the SOHA II. I found that one also. Which of the four do you think sounds the best, (CTH. Max, Mini-Max, SOHA II)? Bottlehead has added a battery powered pre-amp for $99.00 that can be modded to use as a headphone amp. I came across that tonight.

fewjr
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 12:34 PM Post #4 of 8

nightanole

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How about a tube buffer for the mini3
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 8:53 PM Post #6 of 8

srserl

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I have not yet heard a SOHA II. The sound of the CTH is very tube dependent and I like the MHM with 12AE6 tubes better than the CTH with 12AU7 tubes. I have 12bh7 tubes in my CTH and like it better with my Grado HF2 than the MHM, but I like them equally with my D2000. There are many, many tubes that can be used in the CTH, so tube rolling can become an addiction.
The MiniMax is basically the same as the max, but designed for a smaller size. It's power supply has been tweaked for better performance than the old MHM. If the custom case is used, then you are limited to small heatsinks, so you can't bias it as high as the normal MHM. But if you mounted it in a case that could accept taller heatsinks, then it could be biased the same.
There is a new version of the MHM being prototyped right now, and I think the new boards will be here soon. It incorporates the improved power supply and has a space on the board to mount a bantam dac so you can have an integrated usb dac in the case.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 10:10 PM Post #7 of 8

xnor

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fewjr /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I would like the best sound possible.


Well, solid state amps is the way to go then. The Mini3's an excellent choice. I don't think there's anything you would want to improve if you take a look at the Mini3 measurements...
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 10:59 PM Post #8 of 8

nightanole

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