je2a3 amp


Twenty three years ago, I built my first 2A3 amp in the basement of the very same house I'm staying in right now. This was a pair of PP2A3 amps with a Mullard-Style driver circuit pumping 8W per channel of pure Class A to drive 82dB/1W/1M (in)efficient BBC LS3/5As, with external preamplification.


As I enter another phase in life, I am back in the same house, mellower with age but hopefully wiser, building a single channel, single-ended 2A3 amp with 3.5W output to drive a 99dB/1M/1W efficient Altec 2-way horn system, with a phono and line stage on board.


This project started with a chassis and choke (amongst other things) handed over by Joe Roberts at the Capital Audio Fest last July. Additional parts were either donated by my hamfest/radio show buddy, Chong Ong or ordered online, like the Hammond 272X power transformer, which came from Steve at Angela Instruments. Back in the 90s, I could have built this amp (except for the output transformer) using parts sourced from hamfests and radio shows. But times have changed, sadly for this project, the only parts I got from a hamfest were the tube sockets ;(


I had been exchanging emails with J-Rob regarding the WE/Altec 32, Emilar horns/drivers, ROK idler TTs, viscous damped tonearms, vintage cartridges like GE RPX, Shure M3D, etc. Among the tubes he suggested I try in lieu of my favorite octal 6SL/SN7s and 5-pin 27/37 and 56/76s, which are getting quite expensive, are the Loktal equivalents + the "Mickey Mouse" plate and grid-capped 2C22/7193 med-mu triode.
WARNING: the 2C22 is not for the faint-hearted, there is over 200VDC in the plate cap if accidentally disconnected while the amp is operating!!!



As depicted in the above block diagram, this is classic (nothing new = boring) JE Labs ;) I used 2 x 7B6 loktals in the RCA derived RIAA phono stage sans variable EQ. A stereo > mono mixer via a WE111C repeat coil to process digital sources was integrated into the chassis, then a single medium-mu triode 2C22/7193 acts as a line stage preamp cap coupled to a Radiotron SE2A3 amp.



The chassis was painted in Silver Hammerite, but wiring had to wait due to actual music making and more important projects ;)


Fancy-schmanzy boutique parts were not used in this amp - just plain old carbon resistors, paper in oil caps and electrolytics in the tube rectified/choke filtered power supply.


The amp section is currently fitted with a Noguchi PMF-15WS OPT I got in Akihabara. It sounds really good! You just have to take my word for it since I don't have a scope and audio generator to prove it ;)


At a later date I might swap in the PMF-10Ws, but ultimately I'd like to permanently install an American made OPT, maybe an Edcor or ask/beg Mike L. at Magnequest to wind a single TFA204 OPT just to keep the amp an ALL American classic ;)

Time Out



ala  Turk

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