Building 400 wpc Tube Monoblocks....

nooshinjohn
nooshinjohn Posts: 22,909
edited April 2012 in DIY, Mods & Tweaks
I have started this thread to chronicle the build of my Carver "Silver Four" vacuum tube monoblock amps. Last week, I recieved the chassis from Bob for the "Cherry 180's" he builds for sale on Ebay, along with the schematics for them, and they will form the basis of this project. Bob has given his blessings for naming the amps and will be doing custom transformers and advising on the project.

Currently, the chassis are being fitted with 3/8 inch highly polished black granite decks and faceplates, along with polished aluminum bezels that will ring the tubes at their base. I will post pictures as I get them of every step of the build.:cool:
The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2 cartridge and Origin Conqueror Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right” — George Orwell

“If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
Post edited by nooshinjohn on
«13456710

Comments

  • fishbones
    fishbones Posts: 947
    edited September 2010
    Holy crap!....Sounds like a very cool project!

    Your gonna need your own power-grid with the equipment in your house. :eek:

    Good luck and enjoy
    ..... ><////(*>
  • ShinAce
    ShinAce Posts: 1,194
    edited September 2010
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 24,135
    edited September 2010
    I have started this thread to chronicle the build of my Carver "Silver Four" vacuum tube monoblock amps. Last week, I recieved the chassis from Bob for the "Cherry 180's" he builds for sale on Ebay, along with the schematics for them, and they will form the basis of this project. Bob has given his blessings for naming the amps and will be doing custom transformers and advising on the project.

    Currently, the chassis are being fitted with 3/8 inch highly polished black granite decks and faceplates, along with polished aluminum bezels that will ring the tubes at their base. I will post pictures as I get them of every step of the build.:cool:

    Beyond the cool chassis, what do you know about electronics? Building high power tube amps is not for the faint of heart. What testing equipment do you have? A schematic and some mentoring isn't going to cut it without a pretty thorough knowledge of electronics.

    I have a pretty good understanding, albeit basics, about circuits, etc and I'd be a little anxious building these, especially without any type of equipment for measuring beyond a DVM.

    http://www.elekit.co.jp/material/english_product_html/TU-879S.php?page=1&ssi=

    I assume for your project all the tubes will be checked and tested before you use them.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 22,909
    edited September 2010
    heiney9 wrote: »
    Beyond the cool chassis, what do you know about electronics? Building high power tube amps is not for the faint of heart. What testing equipment do you have? A schematic and some mentoring isn't going to cut it without a pretty thorough knowledge of electronics.

    I have a pretty good understanding, albeit basics, about circuits, etc and I'd be a little anxious building these, especially without any type of equipment for measuring beyond a DVM.

    http://www.elekit.co.jp/material/english_product_html/TU-879S.php?page=1&ssi=

    I assume for your project all the tubes will be checked and tested before you use them.

    All tubes will be tested and checked beforehand, and the amps will be tested and triple-checked before being plugged in. The last thing I want to be responsble for is crashing the power grid for the entire east coast!:p:D


    I will be using cryo'd KT120's... two sets of six that have been matched and burned in for 100hrs before they go in the amp.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2 cartridge and Origin Conqueror Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right” — George Orwell

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited September 2010
    Congrats on the projects, and get ready for more man hours than you ever dreamed on investing in a project. I love DIY projects and you are a brave man for undertaking something of this nature. Please post lots of pictures and good luck!
  • Polkersince85
    Polkersince85 Posts: 2,883
    edited September 2010
    Go outside and watch the Bug Zapper for a little while to learn what not to do.
    >
    >
    >This message has been scanned by the NSA and found to be free of harmful intent.<
  • ben62670
    ben62670 Posts: 15,969
    edited September 2010
    I think it is a great idea for John to build these amps. If you are going to go for it go big. You don't need any test equipment, or a variac. Fire those bad boys up and video it.
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 22,909
    edited September 2010
    Thanks Ben.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2 cartridge and Origin Conqueror Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right” — George Orwell

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • zingo
    zingo Audiophile Posts: 11,255
    edited September 2010
    Don't do this please... :D

    How-To-Build-A-Vacuum-Tube-Tesla-Coil-VTTC.jpg
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 22,909
    edited September 2010
    LMAO....

    That is not the reaction I will be getting.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2 cartridge and Origin Conqueror Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right” — George Orwell

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • headrott
    headrott Posts: 5,477
    edited September 2010
    zingo wrote: »
    Don't do this please... :D

    How-To-Build-A-Vacuum-Tube-Tesla-Coil-VTTC.jpg

    Great photo there!!! It's kinda shocking what is posted sometimes.:D

    Greg
    Relayer-Big-O-Poster.jpg
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:
    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion." :\
    My response is: If you need 60 seconds to respond in one sentence, you probably should't be evaluating Polk speakers.....


    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee
  • messiah
    messiah Posts: 1,790
    edited September 2010
    Wow, that's crazy, but cool! :D Please keep us up to date with pics.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    Benjamin Franklin, February 17th, 1775.

    "The day that I have to give up my constitutional rights AND let some dude rub my junk...well, let's just say that it's gonna be a real bad day for the dude trying to rub my junk!!"
    messiah, November 23rd, 2010
  • sm88
    sm88 Posts: 353
    edited September 2010
    1.21 Gigawatts?!

    1955_doc_a.jpg
    Current System:
    Paradigm Signature S2 v2
    Conrad Johnson MF2500
    Wyred4Sound DAC2
    Audioquest Black Mamba II


    For Sale:
    3x Wilson Cub's
    Conrad Johnson MF2500
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 22,909
    edited September 2010
    I am buying all the parts myself, as there is no "kit", but I expect they will cost me about 3 grand by the time they play their first note. The granite work alone is going to be $400 bucks.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2 cartridge and Origin Conqueror Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right” — George Orwell

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • Midnite Mick
    Midnite Mick Posts: 1,592
    edited September 2010
    wow that is quite the undertaking. Good luck and stay safe.

    Regards,
    Mike
    Modwright SWL 9.0 SE (6Sons Audio Thunderbird PC with Oyaide 004 terminations)
    Consonance cd120T
    Consonance Cyber 800 tube monoblocks (6Sons Audio Thunderbird PC's with Oyaide 004 terminations)
    Usher CP 6311

    Phillips Pronto TS1000 Universal Remote
  • ShinAce
    ShinAce Posts: 1,194
    edited September 2010
    I am buying all the parts myself, as there is no "kit", but I expect they will cost me about 4 grand by the time I get the next power bill. The granite work alone is going to be $400 bucks.

    Fixed!
  • wz2p7j
    wz2p7j Posts: 840
    edited September 2010
    Awesome project! Pics or it didn't happen! :)

    Good luck, Chris
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 22,909
    edited September 2010
    wz2p7j wrote: »
    Awesome project! Pics or it didn't happen! :)

    Good luck, Chris

    I will begin posting up some pics next week after I get the granite work back from the shop.

    For those of you not familiar with the "Cherry 180's", here is a link to the latest set to hit Ebay. I am building a highly modded and hotrodded version of these amps.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Stereo-Pair-Monoblock-Tube-Amplifiers-Amps-Carver-KT88-/180561402275?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item2a0a4c59a3
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2 cartridge and Origin Conqueror Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right” — George Orwell

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • kawizx9r
    kawizx9r Posts: 5,151
    edited September 2010
    Goodluck with the project John, definitely can't wait to see how it all comes out.

    -Freddy
    Truck setup
    Alpine 9856
    Phoenix Gold RSD65CS

    For Sale
    Polk SR6500
    Polk SR5250
    Polk SR104


    heiney9 wrote: »
    Any clue how to use the internet? Found it in about 10 sec.
  • chargerman426
    chargerman426 Posts: 419
    edited September 2010
    Sounds really cool. I have been wanting to see an amp built around the new KT-120s and you look like your ready to take them for a spin. Good luck and if you need anything let me know.
    If life had more tubes it would be a lot smoother.
  • thsmith
    thsmith Posts: 6,082
    edited September 2010
    I am buying all the parts myself, as there is no "kit", but I expect they will cost me about 3 grand by the time they play their first note. The granite work alone is going to be $400 bucks.

    Looks like Bob winds his own transformers. Are you going to stick with his parts list or make changes?

    I bet they are heaters.
    Speakers: SDA-1C (most all the goodies)
    Preamp: Joule Electra LA-150 MKII SE
    Amp: Wright WPA 50-50 EAT KT88s
    Analog: Marantz TT-15S1 MBS Glider SL| Wright WPP100C Amperex BB 6er5 and 7316 & WPM-100 SUT
    Digital: Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core i5 8g RAM 1.5 TB HDD Music Server Amarra (memory play) - USB - W4S DAC 2
    Cables: Mits S3 IC and Spk cables| PS Audio PCs
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 22,909
    edited September 2010
    I will be following the parts list, except where instructed otherwise. I will be buying the transformers from Bob as well.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2 cartridge and Origin Conqueror Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right” — George Orwell

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • amulford
    amulford Posts: 5,020
    edited September 2010
    I wanna see this project. I will be following it very closely. I need a high powered tube amp, too, and this sounds like just the ticket...:cool:
    I smell ****, burning ****, glowing cherry red spanked ****.

    RT1
  • Conradicles
    Conradicles Posts: 5,984
    edited September 2010
    John...great project!!! The rewards will be well worth the time and effort and Bob Carver is a legend.
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,235
    edited September 2010
    Nice John, a big undertaking for sure. My advice to you is to stay commited,do it right,use quality parts. I never heard a full blown tube amp of 400 watts but I can tell you back in the day,I had some Sonic Frontiers stuff that would blow your mind at 200 watts. Who knows,once your done,you may find alot of new friends stopping by for a visit.:)
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 22,909
    edited September 2010
    Thanks guy... I gotta say that I have learned quick and early that each and EVERY detail must be triple checked, verified and checked again. The granite is still being cut and already the first calculation I missed was caught. The holes being cut for the KT120's were about an 1/8th inch to small, so the specs had to be reloaded into the cutter.

    My intent is to make these amps look, feel, and sound like they were built by a professional. The only way I know to accomplish that is to become one.

    I will be heading to North Carolina to hang out with some fellow Carverites, and meet with Bob. The granite comes home next week, and the next task will be to finish out the cherrywood side panels for the amps and prep the chassis' rear panels and tube sockets. I will post the first series of pictures Wednesday night.

    Again, thanks for the encouragement and support.

    John
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2 cartridge and Origin Conqueror Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right” — George Orwell

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • devani
    devani Posts: 1,497
    edited September 2010
    wow, great project...so let me get this straight, you are building a beautiful looking space heater, correct?
    Video: LG 55LN5100/Samsung LNT4065F
    Receiver: HK AVR445
    Source: OPPO BDP-93
    HT: POLK SPEAKERS RTi6, FXi3, CSi5, VTF-3 MK2
    2Ch system: MC2105, AR-XA, AR-2A, AR9, BX-300, OPPO BDP-83
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 22,909
    edited September 2010
    devani wrote: »
    wow, great project...so let me get this straight, you are building a beautiful looking space heater, correct?

    A pair of space heaters actually.:p

    I am working on setting the amps up for a common ground connection so they will play nice with my SDA's.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Statement V2 cartridge and Origin Conqueror Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered…History has stopped. Nothing exists except the endless present in which the party is always right” — George Orwell

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • SolidSqual
    SolidSqual Posts: 5,218
    edited September 2010
    A pair of space heaters actually.:p

    I am working on setting the amps up for a common ground connection so they will play nice with my SDA's.

    I'm telling Obama and Gore that you are living beyond your acceptable carbon footprint. If you want, I can sell you some of my carbon credits? I have some left over thanks to my Icepower!
  • Outfitter03
    Outfitter03 Posts: 563
    edited September 2010
    In my reading I have been under the impression that watt ratings on Tube Amplifiers vs Solid State are not an apples to apples comparison, just as they are not a good apples to apples comparison from an AVR to high current solid state power amplifier. To illustrate I have read about pushing a set of speakers with a 80 watt tube amp with excellent results where a 200 watt solid state power amplifier would be required for same kind of response. In general is this true?

    With that in mind what kind of speakers would need, or the listener hear a significant improvement with a 400 watt tube amp vs 180watt tube amp?

    This amp sounds really cool, can't wait to see pictures as you put it together.
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