DiY Tube Headphone Amps & R2R DAC

there seems to be quite the niche market for enthusiasts who make custom amps and sell them with high profit margins. this leads me to some questions…

  • do any of them sell their schematics for the DiY’er to try?
  • are there any DiY tube amps designs that are open source / royalty free and are they any good?
  • these enthusiasts…where are they sourcing the parts? I’ve heard that some of them are quite expensive.

I haven’t seen anything about niche enthusiasts making custom R2R DAC, so if there are, ejumicate me. at the same time, same questions as above. can you buy schematics or are there any good royalty free designs that when done right can challenge what you can buy? I’ll gess you likely get the parts for these from the same places as the amp parts…but if not, where do you go?

I know the Shigeru Wada circuit gained a lot of popularity as a preamp layout and schematics are easily found. I had a Chinese 728a preamp for a while and sold it. I miss it and I’ll probably get another one some day. It was great and I only sold it to buy something new to try and still haven’t found a preamp I liked nearly as much.

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I can’t help on the schematics as I don’t even know if the guy I bought my last tube pre is still alive…but for hard parts when I would mess around and build crossovers I used to get parts from digikey. I’m from norther North Dakota so it was pretty easy to order parts from them.

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Yes. Digikey is fucking amazing. I feel like there’s almost nothing they don’t have.

My sister used to work there so it was nice having a discount when I was building. Side note after moving all over the world the only other place I’d get decent customer service was parts express. for everything you may want.

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I know of the “Black Cat” by the Technische Universität Berlin

Their entire documentation for download: Seite existiert nicht mehr

Digikey, CPC, Mauser Electronics, Rapid, etc.
For specialised audio components, you have to dig around in the audio sections of electronics forums a bit.
AudioPhonics has some selection.

Problem with that is, that you need extensive knowledge with FPGAs (and by extend, program in VHDL), and obviously broad knowledge about analog and digital circuitry.

Here is one such project:

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there are lots of free designs out there. start with 8 bit for r2r if you decide to go that route. 16 bit is expensive and a pain in the rump for the laymen to make as the resistors have to be so closely matched(something like 0.000001 tolerance of each other for 16bit)

as far as headphone tube amps. i dont specifically know of any offhand, but any low power tube amp you can use and just terminate to jack of choice instead of speaker terminals.