The Dynaco Tube Audio Forum

Dedicated to the restoration and preservation of all original Dynaco tube audio equipment - Customer support for Dynaco VTA tube amp kits, all Tubes4hifi.com products and all Dynakitparts.com products


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    Ernstmach

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2015-08-30
    Location : Lower Michigan

    New member

    Post by Ernstmach on Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:44 am

    Wanted to say Hello and stop lurking and become more involved.
    I have been listening to tubes for the last few years. Now that I have more time I would like to build my own gear.
    Have been a machinist for 38 years with the last 28 years running a college machine shop. So working with my hands is what I enjoy most.

    I have spent some time reading many of the threads here and like the vibe. Seems everyone here is very friendly and willing to advise and help.

    I hope to learn and be valued member here.

    I will be posting here where I have questions or offer up what little knowledge I can.
    Thanks,
    Bob. / (Ernstmach)

    peterh

    Posts : 643
    Join date : 2012-12-25
    Location : gothenburg, sweden

    Re: New member

    Post by peterh on Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:37 am

    Welcome!

    Frank111

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2015-02-23
    Location : Minneapolis/StPaul Area

    Re: New member

    Post by Frank111 on Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:45 am

    Hi Bob, and welcome. It sounds like you're a good candidate for some of the amp kits that are available. I built the M125 mono block amps and SP-14 preamp. They are both nice products, and from reading you're post, you'll get the same satisfaction that I do every time I'm listening to them having built them myself. Enjoy the hobby!

    Frank.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Welcome, Bob

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:08 pm

    Welcome, Ernstmach
    'Tis a good, if slightly bent, lot, this board.
    The only dumb question is the question not asked. And if we don't have the correct answer right at hand, we'll make something up that's really cool sounding.
    My M-125s were very easy to build. I've found the preamps slightly above my pay grade, and on this board you'll find a few guys who are happy to put 'em together for a very reasonable price; they do truly professional-grade work.
    Bob Latino is also there 24/7 to coax you through any confusion.
    Being a machinist you could probably do some really cool stuff with the chassis. Check out some of sKIzo's and others' pics of their custom builds.
    Again, welcome. I look forward to reports on your journey to the perfect sound.

    Ernstmach

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2015-08-30
    Location : Lower Michigan

    Re: New member

    Post by Ernstmach on Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:09 pm

    Thanks Everyone!

    Frank111, I am looking to assemble the M125's. Currently I'm having an Aretha preamp built. Should arrive soon. Is there a thread detailing your build of the M125's?

    deepee99, Also interested in reading about your M125 build. Any thread?

    Thanks again!
    Bob.

    Frank111

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2015-02-23
    Location : Minneapolis/StPaul Area

    Re: New member

    Post by Frank111 on Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:26 pm

    Bob, I didn't put up a detailed thread for my M125 builds, but I did have a few small points clarified on the forum. I have some pictures of the final product, but I'm unable to put them up myself.

    I built my M125's per the instructions with no modifications. I did use the extra transformer wire for the filament wires for the two front output tubes instead of the red 20 gauge. I spent a lot of time on neatness of the build which was really important to me. But there are many threads out there that you'll find interesting. Just page back some, and see what you find helpful. Both of my amps worked when completed. Just take your time. A lot of the fun for me was the build process.

    If you have any questions as you build your amps, just ask, and you'll find plenty of help here!

    Frank.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Beware cheap soldering irons

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:03 pm

    Ernstmach wrote:Thanks Everyone!

    Frank111, I am looking to assemble the M125's. Currently I'm having an Aretha preamp built. Should arrive soon. Is there a thread detailing your build of the M125's?

    deepee99, Also interested in reading about your M125 build. Any thread?

    Thanks again!
    Bob.

    Hi, Bob, no thread for my build. (It would be embarrassing.) What caused me the most grief was the crappy cheap Weller soldering iron I was using. The instructions are quite straight-foward and Bob includes a pictorial.
    My cheap Weller was too hot for small connexions such as to the circuit board, and woefully inadequate for multi-wire ground lug hook-ups. Drove me nuts, and I melted a tube socket and some wire insulation in the process.
    CircuitSpecialists.com make a very nice soldering iron kit, good temperature control, and some handy bells and whistles (pump, brass tip-cleaning dish, etc., etc.) for about $70. Even comes in a Plano tool box. I am very pleased with mine and wish I'd had one before I started assembly. Others here will have their own favourites; I got mine on the recommendation of somebody here on the board.
    Avoid any of the new politically-correct solders with too-low lead content. Skizo has a favourite real 60/40 solder made by Cardas. I just used basic Ace Hardware 60/40 but he makes a good case for the Cardas.
    Something else you could do in advance of receiving and building the kits is buy a can of De-Oxit D5 spray (Amazon, etc.) and when you're done building them, squirt a bit on each of the tube socket-holes before installing the tubes.
    As for tubes, Jim McShane at www.mcshanedesign.net is my favourite source for new Russian-made output tubes (KT-120s, KT-88s and the like). I'd consult with Bob L. on the driver tubes.


    Last edited by deepee99 on Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : A little added misinformation . . .)

    Dale Stevens

    Posts : 77
    Join date : 2014-07-06
    Age : 67
    Location : Loris, SC

    Re: New member

    Post by Dale Stevens on Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:08 pm

    Bob, welcome here. Do you have a CNC machine? Sure would make a lot of your new friends here very happy. And Deepee wouldn't be on your case as much! Dale

    Ernstmach

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2015-08-30
    Location : Lower Michigan

    Re: New member

    Post by Ernstmach on Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:43 pm

    deepee99,
    Thanks very much for the advice! I do have a very nice soldering station. Why is the Cardas solder better than something I can source locally?
    Silver content?

    Dale Stevens,
    Sorry to say access to any cnc is gone for me. Retirement has that ONE downside.
    Now that I have more time I have thought of so many projects that I could do given access to cnc and manual mill and lathe.
    Maybe in my next life!

    When I am able I will post a snap of the turntable I built from a pile of 6061 and an old Thorens tt.

    Frank111,
    Thanks for your reply. Like you I will build these right to the instructions. Only thing I may add would be the TDR. Hopefully info about adding them will be available.
    I also will do all I can to make sure that all wiring is neat and well laid out. That's why I am interested in seeing pictures of those amps that everyone has built.

    The fun has started and it's only going to get better!
    Thanks everybody!
    Bob.

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1287
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: New member

    Post by sKiZo on Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:36 pm

    Cardas is a eutetic blend, which means there's only two states ... solid and liquid, with an almost instantaneous transition. Less chance of having it fool ya and ending up with a cold joint. Also cools to solid quicker (once again, almost instantaneous) so less wiggle time for components, which can also cause weak joints. It does like a lot of heat - I use it at around 725F, which should be easy enough with a good soldering station. I like my Weller WS51 for that. One advantage is less tip time, so less chance of lifting a pad or overheating a component.

    Cardas also adds trace amounts of silver and copper to the mix for improved conductivity. Costs more, but hey, you're worth it!  ;-}

    Oh ... and welcome aboard! I went with an ST120 because of rave reviews and the complete step by step build and start up instructions. Great support here as well, even when I started coloring outside the lines and soldering myself into a corner or two ... all's well that ends well, right?


    Tube Nube

    Posts : 603
    Join date : 2008-12-06
    Age : 53
    Location : Calgary, AB

    Re: New member

    Post by Tube Nube on Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:43 pm

    And here I was thinking Cardas solder cured the insidious problems of skin effect and transmission line effects that plague audio gear made with anything less.

    ;-)

    I would certainly welcome a solder that has the properties described. I'll give it a try in my next project.

    Ernst, welcome. Your sense of the place fits with my experience of several years--friendly, fun and helpful. I don't think I've ever seen an unkind word. Considering other internet forums, I think this one deserves an award.

    deepee99

    Posts : 1260
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: New member

    Post by deepee99 on Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:15 pm

    Ernstmach,
    For the price and minimal hassle installing, the TDRs are a bargain -- especially if you're going to be using solid-state or direct-heated rectifiers. It lets the filaments get up all nice and warm and cozy before slapping the B+ juice to your tubes. They also provide protection from intermittent on-off-on power-line blips, which Dynaco power supplies just hate.
    Another necessary IMHO add-on is, get yourself a MANUAL RESET ground fault current interrupter, (GFCI), $20 or so on Amazon, and install it between the wall socket and your amp(s). It will trip if the power quits and will not pass current again until you manually reset it. Auto-resets, like the one in your bathroom, are no good, make sure it's a manual reset; that way the caps can discharge and you have control over when the juice gets reapplied. Between lightning strikes in the summer and heavy snow in winters here causing 5-second power-line blips, it has saved my gear more than once.
    I see Skizo has provided the case for Cardas solder.
    There is a further and very useful instruction video on all matters Dynaco here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLDgQg6bq7o

    sKiZo

    Posts : 1287
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: New member

    Post by sKiZo on Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:20 pm

    Tube Nube wrote:And here I was thinking Cardas solder cured the insidious problems of skin effect and transmission line effects that plague audio gear made with anything less.

    It makes your farts smell better too if you breathe massive quantities of the fumes ...

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    When you do your build, feel free to scribble outside the lines ... that's half the FUN ... I mocked this up a while back and never built it ... feel free to steal the idea ... or not.



    (Obviously something that came about after breathing massive quantities of something or other)  ;-}

    PS ... an ST120 is a SIX slicer!

    MontanaWay

    Posts : 767
    Join date : 2014-02-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Cameron, Montana

    Re: New member

    Post by MontanaWay on Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:47 pm

    welcome to the never ending abyss of the tube world!
    Enjoy your new found hobby....or nightmare!!! affraid

    bluemeanies

    Posts : 119
    Join date : 2015-02-09
    Age : 66
    Location : Folsom Pa.

    Re: New member

    Post by bluemeanies on Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:39 am

    Welcome and enjoy your new journey!

    Ernstmach

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2015-08-30
    Location : Lower Michigan

    Re: New member

    Post by Ernstmach on Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:18 am

    Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!
    It's good to be here.

    I think the toaster is awesome! wish I had thought of that..

    Thanks for the info on the Cardas solder. I will pick some up.

    Deepee99, I also think the TDR is a good idea and will order a pair when I order the M125's
    Already have the GFCI in the chain so I'm good to go! Thanks for the advice.

    Have a great day everyone!
    Bob.

    pedrocols

    Posts : 62
    Join date : 2014-11-24
    Location : Western MA

    Re: New member

    Post by pedrocols on Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:05 pm

    Welcome!

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