I recently completed this little 6CL6 SEP project. This is the highly regarded kit from Gerald Curtis and is available here: https://spudkit.com
Jerry has clearly taken a lot of care putting this kit together. All parts are high quality. The build is straightforward and the kit comes with exact and easy-to-follow instructions. The Huon Pine (from Tasmania) wood side panels are my own and as you can see are attached with plywood cleats. The finish is just a flat poly coat for protecting metals from tarnishing, as that's what I had in the shed. The quality chassis is beautifully made, quite thick and heavy with a luxuriously textured paint job. This is certainly no pressed steel jobbie. The transformers are by Edcor, with the output transformers having been specially commissioned by Jerry.
His support was outstanding when I needed to debug the power supply due to an error I had made. If anyone is looking to build something simple as a first project, this is it. With Jerry's support, you will not be alone either if you run into a snag. You will be rewarded with an amplifier that will blow your socks off. It really took me by surprise. There is zero hum, even when the volume is turned up to max.
How does it sound? I have compared it directly with my Decware SE84ZS, which runs EL84 or SV83 high-bandwidth triode video tubes. My Decware runs a Russian military version of the EL84, ie. 6P15P-EV. The Spud amp kit comes supplied with GE 6CL6 tubes, also a type of high bandwidth video tube, but these are pentodes. Both amps are simple single-ended designs, both use video tubes, and both put out around 2.3WPC, so a direct comparison is fair enough. However, I really had no expectation that the Spud would be in the same league as the SE84Zs. That it did indeed jump into the ring and whup the Decware was a total surprise. Both amps have gloriously smooth mids and highs, but where the Spud really stood out to be separated was in its bass. There is oodles of bass.
Well, there you go. A simple little project without compromising anything. I love it to bits.
Well I just got my kit the other day and it took a good couple hours to build - very very few parts- minus the wood sides- it sounds great- the little guy puts out for 2 1/2 watts - have to sat it's my lowest powered amp I've had the privilege of owning - I added an red led power lite-alps volume pot and did scrape the paint ( not in the instructions) for the star ground.it's as quiet as a church mouse ,, kit is very well put together and very simple- no need for some good coupling caps in there- there are none!! very clean audio path- it's also my 1st SEP - many SET's. I got the cherry wood sides I still need to stain and a new volume knob then she's a rap. Been listening for a few hours today .. I still need to look at her on the scope and do some measurements - but she does sound great.
Very Very Very intresting - So this beats the Decware Zen? I have been wanting that Decware for a long long time- it has some of the best reviews out there! it's 2.5watts beats just about everything out there that 6P15P-EV tube is supposed to sound awesome. Decware also has the Zen kit also - the waiting list for their amp is about 2yrs. Do you buy their assembled amp or their kit? SE84UFO?Have many tube amps and Skunkie's 300B is by far the best - the Decware Zen has been the next one I was to pursue- So this spud amp is on par with the Zen but better bass? It must sound fantasic - I will look into this for sure.
That looks awesome! :) Is it being run as a pure pentode or a UL type design? And given it has no driver tubes, does it need a preamp to drive it?