What's this about?

As long as I can remember, I've been interested in electronics.

I didn't make it my career though. I never studied it or gained any qualifications in the subject. It was just a life-long, dormant interest.

Also, I've always been interested in audio – I was bitten by the hi-fi bug at a very young age, mostly thanks to exposure from my father who was a recording engineer. 

As soon as I started earning money, I started on the quest for equipment to satisfy the quest for pure sound. A variety of black-box (usually) Japanese equipment served my listening purposes, usually mated to well-mannered English speakers. (My taste has always been toward the pure and clear sound with pinpoint imaging, instead of blasting out phat beats, yo!)

By a varied path I came to be exposed to some rather delicious valve gear a few years ago which led to an instant epiphany... despite my extreme cynicism and scepticism about audiophiles (who I saw as idiots who want to buy expensive gear just to brag about how expensive their gear is, not because of any quality benefits), this valve sound was something that I couldn't just condemn as pretentious.

This was the fertile ground in which the idea of building my own no-compromise design, valve/tube-based integrated amplifier took root.....


To do this I'd need to pick up a lot of learning, read a lot of books, and fill in a lot of missing gaps in my knowledge. Also build a few circuits on a trial-and-error basis.

Over the course of several months, I went on a slow mission to pick up the tools and equipment I needed, work through lots of books and reference material, and evaluate different software solutions for circuit design and simulation, chassis design, and so on.

The result was my first ever creation - a big, ambitious beast of an amplifier that was probably a foolhardy first project, but it worked very well and is now my daily driver, feeding my big KEF floorstanding speakers, as well as producing a good amount of heat in the winter months!

I started this blog to chronicle the progress as I started at the "ambitious but clueless n00b" level, slowly picking up knowledge and skill along the way, through the design of my project.

Since building that big amp for my own usage, I then had a friend approach me to build another, which I did, then I created a tone control, then another amplifier, and so on. Now I'm taking orders...

Each project builds on the previous and introduces some refinement. My goal is that each project is better than the previous.

And as long as people are reading, I'll keep writing.

Follow the links for each project in the sidebar...



(Admin note: I am not American, so throughout this blog, I'll be calling them valves. Go ahead and read "tube" if you want... I don't make any judgements... tomato/potato)

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