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  • DIY Simple Preamp?

    So I have a Sound Blaster X-Fi 5.1 Surround USB driving a Sure 4 channel amp for my sound system/theater, but on older analog CD rips I'm having a problem reaching full volume. I'm sure I'm needing a preamp in between these two, but don't want to break the bank. Any simple fixed gain DIY preamps out there to be hand for low or moderate cost? (I'm thinking sub-200$ but 100$ would be awesome). I'm thinking fixed 10db (or maybe 15db) gain would work perfectly.
    Audio: Media PC -> Sabre ESS 9023 DAC -> Behringer EP2500 -> (insert speakers of the moment)
    Sites: Jupiter Audioworks - Flicker Stream - Proud Member of Midwest Audio Club

  • #2
    Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

    Go to Audiogon and pick up a parasound or something like it. You can ususally get something for around $140 you do not have to DIY.

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    • #3
      Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

      A couple of options:
      TCC TC-780LC
      Ocean Matrix OMX-HHLAS
      "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
      “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
      "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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      • #4
        Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

        How DIY do you want to go? A simple dual op-amp of your choice (LM833, TLO72, OPA2134, etc) and a few resistors - you are there. Only tricky part is +/- 15V supply. Maybe you can use the supply rails in that Sure amp?

        Otherwise, some of the prosound solutions might work for you. ART Cleanbox for example.

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        • #5
          Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

          Check out Aric Audio. Formerly of this forum. He is a great guy and does good work. Google him.

          Howard

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          • #6
            Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

            Lots of old but great preamps on ebay and audiogon. SS or tube. Rotel, parasound, sony, marantz, and many more.

            If you want to DIY, go to www.diyaudio.com and look at the Pass B1 thread, or go to www.passdiy.com. the B1 buffer preamp, same as the First Watt pre that sells for more than 1K, can be made for less than $175 and is a great piece. tho realize it has 0 gain.

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            • #7
              Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

              Originally posted by engr_dave View Post
              How DIY do you want to go? A simple dual op-amp of your choice (LM833, TLO72, OPA2134, etc) and a few resistors - you are there. Only tricky part is +/- 15V supply. Maybe you can use the supply rails in that Sure amp?

              Otherwise, some of the prosound solutions might work for you. ART Cleanbox for example.
              Going full-on DIY is fine with me, I mean, I've built the other parts of the audio chain, whats one more piece? Any chance of find a circuit design online somewhere?

              Otherwise that TCC preamp looks like something that fits the bill exactly.

              Thanks!
              Audio: Media PC -> Sabre ESS 9023 DAC -> Behringer EP2500 -> (insert speakers of the moment)
              Sites: Jupiter Audioworks - Flicker Stream - Proud Member of Midwest Audio Club

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

                Here's a decent preamp:

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                • #9
                  Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

                  Originally posted by JasonP View Post
                  Going full-on DIY is fine with me,
                  This sounds like it's right up your alley...
                  I was looking into making a simple preamp I considered the Pass B1 Buffer but was worried if it would have enough gain. I decided to make one out of...

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                  • #10
                    Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

                    Being a member of the headphone audiophile group, I recommend a headphone amplifier. All of them can be easily modified to be a simple pre-amp with no volume control and they won't impose their own sound since they all aim to have a neutral sound signature as a primary amp for headphones.

                    Here is a list of common ones.
                    http://www.head-fi.org/t/537398/list...one-amplifiers

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                    • #11
                      Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

                      Surprised no one has mentioned the great Rod Elliot DIY site.
                      Lots of excellent projects, some simple and HQ preamps:
                      http://sound.westhost.com/projects-2.htm

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                      • #12
                        Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

                        Originally posted by iLovPieNCake View Post
                        I recommend a headphone amplifier.
                        Here's a good example of a DIY headphone amp that would make an awesome preamp. Ridiculously low levels of distortion. :eek:



                        Group buy is almost closed, but I think there are some balanced to SE kits left. Should be easy to set up as as SE input too I think.

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                        • #13
                          Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

                          Originally posted by JasonP View Post
                          Going full-on DIY is fine with me, I mean, I've built the other parts of the audio chain, whats one more piece? Any chance of find a circuit design online somewhere?

                          Otherwise that TCC preamp looks like something that fits the bill exactly.

                          Thanks!
                          There are many circuits on line: op-amp based and transistor based:
                          Here's one using a 2N3904

                          If you have a amply "junk box" of parts to cannibalize - fabrication is very cheap:
                          However it is often hard to find/buy single "specialty" parts ( without large shipping costs ) and so it often becomes "a labor of love" and not cheaper than buying a fabricated product from a company that has advantages ( like lower parts costs ).

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                          "Not a Speaker Designer - Not even on the Internet"
                          “Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.”
                          "If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."

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                          • #14
                            Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

                            Originally posted by JasonP View Post
                            So I have a Sound Blaster X-Fi 5.1 Surround USB driving a Sure 4 channel amp for my sound system/theater, but on older analog CD rips I'm having a problem reaching full volume. I'm sure I'm needing a preamp in between these two, but don't want to break the bank. Any simple fixed gain DIY preamps out there to be hand for low or moderate cost? (I'm thinking sub-200$ but 100$ would be awesome). I'm thinking fixed 10db (or maybe 15db) gain would work perfectly.


                            Best investment you will make all you need is a small 12V-0-12V transformer and a DIY case. Very low distortion and plenty of gain plus you can adjust the gain wtih a couple of minor resistor changes. Distortion is .0003%. Will drive any amp to full power and is inexpensive and an easy Saturday morning DIY project.
                            Dave

                            If you can read this, thank a teacher.
                            If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran
                            .

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                            • #15
                              Re: DIY Simple Preamp?

                              Originally posted by dthomas View Post
                              http://www.ebay.com/itm/OPA2604-Serv...item336ea77b58

                              Best investment you will make all you need is a small 12V-0-12V transformer and a DIY case. Very low distortion and plenty of gain plus you can adjust the gain wtih a couple of minor resistor changes. Distortion is .0003%. Will drive any amp to full power and is inexpensive and an easy Saturday morning DIY project.
                              Did a schematic come with that? Any chance you could post a scan of it?

                              I was thinking about trying that same kit, but I would like to see the design first.
                              "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas A. Edison

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