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The HeadAmp GS-X and GS-X MK2 Thread

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by macedonianhero, Oct 22, 2012.
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  1. Fapandeggs
    Can you please give me rough estimate of parts/components cost for DIY? I am poor but I dream about GSX MKII lol

    I read on one forum I should not name from one of its members that its like "sandpaper" and that the member hates it,I consistently found that my taste is 180 degree opposite of that particular poster so for me that is like the greatest involuntary recommendation.Anyway,I would probably skip the expensive DACT stepped attenuator and use some decent cheaper conventional pot.So if we dont count the pot,how much do the parts cost? Please note I am from Europe.

    Also,I need the PCBs,I see that Jason/HeadAmp and Kevin Gilmore are Americans,I saw only Americans build this thing,its quite a American thing this GSX,,, Is there any way to get the PCBs in Eu and avoid the shipping? I believe its expensive to buy small amount of PCB so how often are these group buys for PCBs happening? Or does someone store the PCBs and sells them to individuals at any time?

    Also about the transistor matching,I read that it needs well matched transistors... cant I just buy already matched transistors? Is DMM and lab power supply enough to match the transistors or would I need oscilloscope or source measure unit?
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  2. Rhamnetin
    I can't say, but I can point you to this thread below. A DIY thread for the Dynalo Mk2; what you'd want to build is a Pure BiPolar, which is just a balanced Dynalo Mk2, and you'd want to use the Golden Reference Low Voltage power supply (start with one if that's all your budget permits, but you'd want two eventually).

    Fapandeggs likes this.
  3. Fapandeggs
    Wait,so PureBipolar + balanced + Golden psu = GSX? Doesnt GSX have JFETs and not just bipolar transistors? Or do suggest to give up on GSX becose its too expensive and make Golden psu balanced PureBipolar becose you believe its cheaper,easier to build and sound very similiar?
  4. Rhamnetin
    GS-X Mk2 is also a balanced Dynalo, but I believe a different variation and with different power supplies. They all use BJT output devices. But yeah it'll be much easier to build a Pure BiPolar, and the end result will be extremely similar if done right. But will it be cheaper than the GS-X Mini I wonder? Which is hardly a "mini" as it's a beast... ($1,795 - $1,995)
    Fapandeggs likes this.
  5. rumina
    i build a supersymmetry dynalo with one grlv powersupply and the bom with good parts is around 450.- usd. then + 150.- usd for dual powersupply, + 20-50.- usd for a tkd balanced potientometer (mine has now a tkd cp 601 potentiometer).


    then i finished last week a smd supersymmetry dynalo which has a bit les power, here the bom is around 300.- usd + 65.- usd case + 60.- usd tkd cp 601 potentiometer).


    but justins amp are wonderful made and the case cost easy a good part of the bom, it's fun to build them yourself but even if i could build a blue hawaii se i have one from justin because i like his work a lot. the price for the gs-x mini and his other amps from him are very fair priced compared to other high dollar amps i know.
    montanari and Rhamnetin like this.
  6. Whitigir
    You just can not judge these DIY amps by part costs. Whoever is doing so, is sitting on their chair (a polite way to put it) and typing on the keyboards.

    So, given a free design, and a free BOM, you only need to buy parts and so very little brain to put them together with some fingers in soldering. If you can do that much, then you would sit back, and think about the cost of these Amps, including BHSE, GSX MKII or Mini. Once you have gone through that, then you will only find it to be appreciating what Headamp has done to mass produce these devices.

    Every amps from Headamp is a favor done by Justin, pricing is honestly low down to the ground for any mass produced products from the point of view of any business model, period.
    purk likes this.
  7. Fapandeggs
    Can I get PCBs to make exactly same amp as the Justins HeadAmp GSX MKII? They dont need to have the same layout,I mean they dont need to have same shape,look the same,I dont need the finished amp to look like Justins,I just want amp that outputs identical signal,amp that is electricaly the same,amp that sounds and measures indistinguishable from Justins.

    What exactly is it? Isnt PureBipolar and Dynalo/Dynahi different than GSX MKII?
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  8. Whitigir
    No, you can only follow what is given to you for free. If you want something similar to Headamp, engineer it your own. You can even use Silver printed circuit traces instead of copper, you can do whatever.

    Same designs, lay out, components, produced the same amplifier, and it would sound slightly different from one to another due to tolerances of components, adjustments...etc....there are never the same duplicate of anything....heck, even twin born human don’t have everything replicated exactly the same....there is no perfection in this universe, you need to get out of it to seek perfection
    purk and Rhamnetin like this.
  9. Fapandeggs
    Do you mean that the GSX MKII is not a publicly avaliable DIY design? And what about that GSX mini,that one too is unavaliable to DIY people?
  10. bfreedma

    I’m almost certain that the GSX variants are not published designs. As mentioned earlier, the balanced Dynalo MkII is probably as close as you’re going to get as an “open source” DIY design.
    Fapandeggs likes this.
  11. Fapandeggs
  12. Fapandeggs
    Ok then,how different is that Dynalo MKII when it comes to sound and measurements? I read from that certain someone that Justin GSX MKII is like "sandpaper" harsh bright sound,that person also wrote that he heard other Kevin Gilmore designs like unknown persons DIY Dynalo and that it was "smooth" and pleasent sounding.Like I wrote earlier I found that my taste is complete opposite of that person so what he praises I dislike and what he hates I love so that makes me worried Dynalo would sound different and not as good to me as the GSX.
  13. TSAVJason
    There is nothing remotely like sandpaper about the GSX.
    The Source AV TSAVJason Stay updated on The Source AV at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
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    Fapandeggs likes this.
  14. bfreedma

    I’ve heard an older Dynalo DIY build but unfortunately, it was well before my GSX MkII arrived. With that caveat, my impression was that they had similar sound signatures or more accurately, no sound signature.

    The description of the GSX sounding like sandpaper certainly doesn’t fit with my experience. What the GSX is is uncolored and distortion free. It isn’t going to cover up flaws in a recording by adding distortion in the way a tube amp might.
    Fapandeggs likes this.
  15. rumina
    @fapangdeggs it's a good idea to do some diy audio stuff, you learn a lot about factors that can shape the sound of a amplifier. but you should ask these question in the specialized forum for diy audio stuff. when you gently asking there for help for building a amplifiert and what would be a good start project you find there a lot of helpful people.

    take this chance at the right place, nowadays its easy to start into diyaudio. when i build my first amp the internet wasn't born, in these days you had to buy books, learn to interpret circuits desing, planing a pcb, etching pcb and finding the right parts from dotzen differnt importers. was also a fun time but a project was hard work for months not weeks as today.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
    Fapandeggs likes this.
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