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project by Nelson Pass

Amp Camp Amp

The most well known project in the diyAudio community. A low voltage, low power perfect first project to get your feet wet in the world of do-it-yourself audio.

Amp Camp Amp

Amp Camp Amp

From $ 10.00 USD
3 options


  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Hours: 10
  • Type:
  • Build Guide:
  • All Parts Sold Here: Nelson Pass
  • Designer:


  • Class A amplifier built by 1,000s
  • Suitable for DIYers of all levels
  • Buy two for a set of monoblocks that work with a huge variety of speakers

What Exactly is an Amp Camp Amp Anyway?

The Amp Camp Amp was created by Nelson Pass for a special event called "Amp Camp" in which 20 people built their very first amplifier from start to finish in one afternoon. The event was held outdoors on a lovely sunny day in California and all attendees walked away with a fully functioning amplifier and a smile on their dials.

Naturally, other people wanted share that same amazing experience of successfully building their first amplifier so diyAudio has created the three essential ingredients you need for that same journey - the parts, the instructions, and the community.

Read more in the Amp Camp Amp article hosted on diyAudio.

How does it sound?

Once you build the Amp Camp Amp you'll never look at power and distortion figures the same way again.

Each channel is just 8 watts, but they're very good watts. In fact Nelson's DIY endeavors are called "First Watt" because in his own words"The first watt is the most important watt".The amp has enough power for medium to high efficiency speakers at normal listening levels. They sound even better bi-amped with an active crossover.

Insane amount of detail, deep bass and crystal highs! Tried few old restored amps with 4000M's, ACA's are perfect match so far. So, thanks Mr.Pass for this eye-opening experience...

diyAudio Member

Amps go together so easily! Really a great initiation!...absolutely massive, dense, fluid, sharp as a knife sound. Played a few tracks I'm familiar with and the hairs on the back of my head nearly lifted me off the floor!!

diyAudio Member

The amp sounds great....great power, bass and massive detail...Amazing amp for the build cost. The amp is dead silent between tracks.

diyAudio Member

I am using 4 x ACA's kits to drive 8 ohm Selenium D405 midrange and BMS 4540 high frequency compression drivers in a Digital XO tri-amp set up... I am impressed with the sound quality - highly detailed, yet smooth and sweet.

diyAudio Member

Spent 2 nights assembling the kit and volia now it is singing. Source is a old niam cd2 > BA3 FE > ACA > Markaudio Alpair 6 floorstander. I am amazed by the sound quality. Once again, thank you Papa Pass.

diyAudio Member

I have it my office and it blows away the Yamaha AV receiver I have been using (until today). I am very surprised by the difference. Definition and sound stage are so much better. This with low end bookshelf speakers...I am hooked!

diyAudio Member

Watch TekThing build the ACA

TekThing is an awesome video blog for technology geeks. In this 30 minute video Patrick Norton talks about the history of the Amp Camp Amp, and then builds a channel from start to finish! If you like the video consider subscribing to the TekThing YouTube channel for regular geekery.

Steve Guttenberg Audiophiliac Interview

Steve has created an amazing 6 part interview series on Nelson Pass for his YouTube channel. This episode goes deep on the Amp Camp Amp.

A step-by-step build guide and forum pit crew standing by to help to get to the finish line

We've just launched "diyAudio Guides" (beta), a brand new place to find and share knowledge about audio DIY. The Amp Camp Amp Build Guide is now more accessible than ever. Follow step-by-step on your phone or tablet while you're actually building the amp or printed the guide as a PDF - it's never been easier to complete your Amp Camp Amp in one sitting!

If you need more help, there's hundreds of diyAudio members who consider it their mission to help any ACA builder get their first amplifier build completed. No question is a stupid question in the ACA thread, so join in the discussion and meet other first time and veteran builders in the Amp Camp Amp discussion thread.

Save Time and Money

You could spend days or weeks trying to find the right parts, then
paying over and over for shipping from multiple suppliers. Or you could buy the Amp Camp Amp kit!

So Simple, You're going to Complete It!

We've got you covered with easy to follow step-by-step visual Amp Camp Amp Build Guide. There's also an amazing build-video of an earlier ACA version from TekThing showing construction from start to finish!

Quick and Easy to Build

Even a kid can build it and many have! All you need it one afternoon and you'll have finished and be listening to a beautiful class A stereo amplifier!

A Pure "Class A" Design

Most amplifier designs switch transistors on and off causing noise. Class A amplifiers are always operating in their sweet spot, which is why people say they sound "silky smooth".

Everything Included

It can take days of searching and ordering from multiple suppliers to obtain all these parts. We've done that for you. Everything you need is included, other than basic tools.

Meet Other Audiophiles Who Share Your Passion

As you breathe life into these amps, they'll literally breathe it back to you! Be a part of the super friendly Amp Camp Amp maker community on diyAudio and meet other makers that share your obsession with quality sound.

Technical Specifications

  • Frequency response: 10 - 20 kHz +/- 0.1 dB
  • Power (stereo): 8W into 8 Ohms per channel
  • Power (monoblock): 15W into 8 Ohms per channel. See ACA operation modes for details on monoblock operation.
  • Power Measurement: Measured at clipping with 3% distortion
  • Distortion: 0.7% at 1 Watt (primarily second order harmonic which being even-order is described as "sweet, tubey" and being low-order as "benign/inaudible")
  • Input impedance: 10 Kohm
  • Max Gain: 14dB
  • Damping factor: 10
  • Output noise: 100 uV
  • Power supply input: Universal 86-264VAC 47-63HZ
  • Power supply output: 24V 5A
  • Heat dissipation: 20 Watts per Channel