The Steam Amp WIP


A Steampunk Amplifier? Why Not!

This is my latest project; a steampunk tube amplifier (or valve amp if you’re a brit). I’ve always wanted to build a tube amp, and it’s been a long road to get here. I think I began this obsession almost two years ago, but just haven’t had the chance to get to it until now. What I really want to do is build a HUUUUUGE direct-wired tube amp, but I figured it’s probably wise to start small with new things.

This is a simple kit to build that I bought from Tube Depot. It’s an 8 watt stereo job, the K-12G model. It wasn’t too terribly expensive either, and considering how freaking amazing it sounds, I’d say it’s well worth the money. Of course the kit didn’t come with a case, so I built my own.. that’s half the fun right!?

I won’t bore everyone with too many details, I think the photos are pretty self explanatory, but a few little notes:

It took perhaps an hour to construct the kit, anyone with a little soldering experience could build this thing. I mounted all the components other than the tube sockets on the underside of the board so I could mount it to the underside of the 1/8″ copper plate.

I actually broke down and bought a full set of forstner wood bits for this project. They are pure bliss, I highly recommend them if you like clean holes in your wood. Also I bought metal knock-out punches for making nice holes in metal, no way you’re getting holes that large in metal that thick without them.. well worth the money.

The glowey-rods in the round glass window are 1/4″ blue ultra violet acrylic. I bought a 6 foot length of the stuff on line for about 10 bucks I think, it really lights up with the UV LED’s I put under each one. It’s a very cool effect. God I love black light.

The LED’s run off a separate transformer attached underneath. It was a sony power brick type, and a very stable 12 volts I might have to pick up a few more of those, as most 12v wall warts actually put out between 13 and 15 volts.. you can seriously tax your LED’s unless you adjust your resistance accordingly. My LED’s had the resisters and leads pre-soldered, so I needed to make sure I wasn’t over 12v.

I’m building speakers to go with this, they hopefully will be done soon, and of course I’ll post pix here when they are.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop a line!