Any high end audio enthusiasts in this group?

I'm ready to start on the Aleph-X DIY amp. I bought 3 stereo sets of circuit boards during the group buy at diyaudio.com and enough output
FETs for all of them, even for the higher power version (app 80W/ch). I also have the appropriate torroid transformers. The rest of the parts will be ordered from Mouser when the actual build takes place. I'm looking for someone with metalworking experience and access to the right tools to make nice looking enclosures. To help getting started I can get some AutoCAD drawings done at work. Here is the deal, I'll supply working electronics for the three stereo amps (including power supplies), you make three enclosures and get to keep one complete amp. The cost of parts for all the enclosures should end up being less than or comparable to the cost of the guts for one amp. Suitable torroids alone are over $100.00/piece. The boards, fets, caps, resistors and other parts run close to $100.00 per amp as well. Each amp will need heatsinks. Their size will depend on how much power will the amp be biased for and whether we use 4 or 8 FETs per channel. I have some heatsinks for one of the amps. Again, I would like to end up with nice looking, presentable amps and not some rough-edged, square boxes. I'm not looking to steal design ideas, but the pic below shows a really nice DIY amp effort.
http://www.passdiy.com/images/zen%20gallery/zenv4-p8-f1.jpg
A gallery of DIY Pass related projects:
http://www.passdiy.com/gallery-misc.htm
For folks unfamilliar with Aleph-X, the design is based on a super symmetry patent by Nelson Pass as used in his X series amps (starting at $3000.00 or so) and is a hot-running class-A design. The circuit is confirmed to be working with excellent results by people at diyaudio.com who participated in the group buy and finished their amps already. There are many threads about it on that forum. The project, as a DIY effort has the blessing of Nelson Pass himself. I live in Central PA and would like to collaborate with someone reasonably close. If interrested, drop me an email: groups at thuneau dot com.
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Are ya gonna use any of those $400 wood knobs on it. I think they look really kewl. Much better than the cryogenically-treated wall outlet - fer crying out loud, none of my hi-end audio buddies will notice that, it's behind the chesterfield.
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Those are strictly passe my friend. Everyone in the know understands that you need to have cryogenically treated vintage knob-and-tube wiring for those systems to really perform.
Jim
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jim rozen wrote:

You mean there's no market for my copper billet-cut speaker conductors?
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Jim, I think you're being short sighted. I would think "billet gold" would be the target. Or at least "billet silver" that's been plated with 24k.
Or cryo-treated, gold plated, billet silver.
That's the ticket.
As we all know, all too well, there is no limit to the amount of money one can spend on any hobby.
jtaylor says...

fer
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calmly ranted:

Not since I put out the Heimdall Strumpet II speaker sytem (made with pyrometallurgical, oxygen-free, copper billet-cut conductors) there isn't, buddy.
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That's gotta be better'n Radio Shack's gold speaker wire! The audio vendors pick one thing that should be obvious to the most uniniated and harp on it. Extra heavy, extra conductive speaker wire is one example. Show me an audio type that says he can tell one speaker wire from another and I'll show you a sucker that can be easily separated from his money.
I can only barely buy into the notion that vacuum tubes make better audio amps than solid state devices. Theoretically, I can see why tubes would be better - but I'd never be able to tell the difference with my shot hearing.
Bob Swinney
jtaylor says...

fer
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wrote:

With my hearing, anything above a walkman and OEM earphones is a waste - too many DC9's at close proximity. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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I would certainly have been interested to get involved, but unfortunately PA is a bit far from NZ ...

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Well, since you're going ALL OUT with this system, might I suggest that your speakers will make up a large percentage of your system's overall quality.
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Have I ever mentioned to anyone here, that while I only chat about working with Metal here, I'm also a stone sculptor? A couple years back I created a pair of solid stone speakers. They are approximately 52" high and have even won an award at the VSAC (Vaccuum State of the Art) convention last year.
They use High efficiency Excell drivers, so 80 watts would be PLENTY to drive them since since 1 amp (per channel) tube drivers are enough, but that just means you'd never have to work your amp too hard.
You can see a picture and some information on them here: http://www.jameskelseystudios.com/heimdallstrumpets.html
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Just to keep this all ON TOPIC, the Company I worked with to design the drivers and electronics gave me a volume requirement that the stone alone couldn't meet, so I added integral STEEL bases to each speaker.
They match the very odd shape of the stone perfectly and are made of 1/4" walls and have 2.5" steel plate at the bottom to help with the center of gravity... Each speakers weighs approximately 350 lbs.
Oh, and they sound good too.
James Kelsey, Seattle (port orchard), Washington, USA, Earth
On 15 Aug 2004 15:19:53 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@thuneau.com (Thuneau) wrote:

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James, These are cool. Being a DIY speaker guy myself I can appreciate the effort- great work. I'm affraid to think how much these sold for to the end user. Getting back to a bit off topic (seems to be going around). Is there no controversial topics in metalworking, and guys who just have to pick on someone pick on audio related posts? BTW, Pass Labs is a very respected amp manufacturer. Their Class A designs are engineered to meet commonly accepted standards of excellence. No voodoo there. I'm not planning on using esoteric parts in these amps.

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Whoa, don't get me started.
I was blissfully ignorant of any metalworking, had been DIY-ing amps from Hawk here in holland ( http://www.audio.nl ), when I decided to tweak my recordplayer. I used to have a thorens, which is quite OK, but decided to buy a bearing and platter from Thomas Scheu ( http://www.scheu-analogue.com/eng/ ) This is a guy from Solingen, Germany who, as the head of a cnc shop, decided to build his own turntable en went on to sell the parts and, eventually, complete kits to DIYers.
So I went to visit him, he has a lovely little cottage, and in it an archetypical "Listening Room": one wall lined with LPs, another wall lined with tube amps and various turntables, beautiful loudspeakers
and a lathe.
I didn't pay attention to it initially, until a friend came over asking him to help him with some part for his turntable. He went to pick a slab of aluminium (indeed, billet I believe) from somewhere and proceeded to transform this ugly, unfinished, greyish hunk of metal into a beautiful, shiny, round piece of audiophilia with countersunk screwholes and everything, the works.I was completely blown away.
My life hasn't been the same since.
Hans
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I was into hi fi from 1969 to 1980 and I built allot of gear. I have found that the crummier the stereo, the more I enjoy the music.
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On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 03:02:15 GMT, Clark Magnuson
......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

You believe this or quote it as a joke? ***************************************************** Marriage. Where two people decide to get together so that neither of them can do what they want to because of the other one.
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On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 03:02:15 GMT, Clark Magnuson
......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

Why?
To fill in. I appreciate the joke about the HIFI fanatic who went to a live performance and came out saying "Too much treble"
But there seems to be a reverse class distinction going on here.
***************************************************** Marriage. Where two people decide to get together so that neither of them can do what they want to because of the other one.
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vaguely proposed a theory

Actually, given the amount of "acoustic tuning" done in high-end concert venues, it's not as funny as it sounds.
Norm
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wrote:

I agree with everything you've said but I'm not giving up my rhodium plated line plugs.
Laurie Forbes
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