Hi folks... another question here. Would I be better off building an EL34 amp myself? Or should I just buy a Reisong A10/A12 or a Nobsound 6P1 and do mods? I'm thinking of this from a perspective of balancing economics, effort and results. Also, I have virtually no test equipment currently. I do have a DVM. If I do a build, do I really need to to "test" it with a signal generator and scope? Or just be sure to follow the schematic accurately and do some basic DVM checks when powering up? (Part of this of course is personal preference, in terms of the satisfaction of building it myself from scratch, but let's leave that out of this for now. Part of me would love to do that, but it seems it will actually cost more, and I'm not sure that's the best entry point to tube audio. BTW, I'm a very skilled electromechanical tech, with good soldering skills, etc., so that's not an issue.)
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hi there - i'm starting a build based on steph's 300b design. if you are just out to save $$ building is probably not a great idea. I'm in it for the challenge and satisfaction. You'll need a scope and signal generator for sure, but they can be had used for not a lot. A variable transformer is a must for safety/sanity on that first power up
From an economical point of view and considering effort and the predictability of results you are certainly better off buying an amp. But if you look at these parameters honestly, you actually shouldn't be getting into tubes anyway. You'll get a nice SS amp for what I spent on my 6SQ7/EL34 and you wouldn't be chained to high efficiency speakers. But it sounds you don't want that much efficiency. A kit might be the best path because you can rely that they work (ELEKIT, Bottlehead, etc. are all tried and true). I have not done any mods to a Reising (etc.) because I wanted a scratch build. I have done a Bottlehead kit and liked it, but I wanted a scratch build next ...
Your question is hard to answer because only you know how much time you have and what your frustration tolerance is. Mine came when a voice in my head said, "make your own circuit, use some cool driver tubes, handwind your transformers ,,," But I would build the 6SQU7 again, it was pain free and very satisfying, and I know that this kind of amp with the quality components I used would be expensive to buy. You should not have any problems given your skill level.
Your DVM might be sufficient for that but a DMM is better. Except for a variac, I only used my cheapish DMM for the amp (before I bought a higher end FLUKE for the next project).