So, why build a tube amplifier? Tube amps look really cool and produce a unique warm sound. There are some other considerations as well. We live in a digital age, with most of our devices digitally controlled and connected. Tube amplifiers are from an analogue era. Another reason is price; tube amps, such as the one I mention below, cost several thousand dollars.
So, by making a tube amp, I can enjoy all the pleasure of the warm sounds made by the amplifier and all the convenience of being able to control it with digital devices. In effect, by building it at home I can make a custom amplifier to meet my needs.
Every project begins with research. I’ve never built an amplifier before, but I have worked with them. I am going to start this off by looking at kits, and other amps that have been made. This will give me and idea for what kind of design I would like to make and what sort of enclosure I need to build.
I do have some preliminary ideas.
I recently put in a countertop made out of some reclaimed wood from some cabinets that were in my parent’s house from when they remodeled one of their bathrooms. This countertop is stained a dep brown/red. I think that Aesthetically I will want to use the same kind of wood stain and contrast it with chromed elements, to make a high contrast, industrial-looking piece.
A sample of what a tube amp looks like, in a style that I personally enjoy, would be the lauded and very beautiful McIntosh 275, which has been around since 1961.
So, when I google for a stereo tube amp kit, the first website that comes up is tubedepot.com. This website offers kits to make hi-fi stereo amplifiers, but the options are a little but overwhelming. What’s the difference between a monobloc tube amp and an integrated tube amp anyway? These are important distinctions because they impact the price of the parts.
Speaking of price, how much can I expect to spend on an amplifier kit, and how much am I going to budget for this build? These are questions I haven’t answered yet, but will explore.