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Amp Camp Amp

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Original price $ 327.00 - Original price $ 359.00
Original price $ 327.00
$ 359.00
$ 359.00 - $ 359.00
Current price $ 359.00

This complete kit is everything you need to build a working stereo amplifier.

The parts kit, power supply and chassis are also available for purchase separately.

A Beautiful "Class A" Amplifier Kit

Stereo chassis or monoblocks. Easy to Build. Everything included.
Parts Kit $129 - Power Supply $49 - Chassis $159
What Exactly is an Amp Camp Amp Anyway?

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?

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.

What do diyAudio forum members think?

Insane amount of detail, deep bass and crystal highs


The hairs on the back of my head nearly lifted me off the floor!


Great power, bass and massive detail


Highly detailed, yet smooth and sweet


I am amazed at the sound quality


Blows away the Yamaha AV receiver I have been using (until today)


It's not just a kit, it's an education - here's why everyone is falling in love with the Amp Camp Amp

Watch TekThing build the ACA

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 or become a patron and get perks! Please note that in this video Patrick applies the Keratherm incorrectly - you need to peel off the backing before applying it!

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

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.

View the Build Guide
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!

Benefit From New Skills

Don't sit on the sidelines - get building today! You'll learn new skills you can apply to other projects, refine your ear and duly feel pride in your accomplishment.

Enjoy Quality Sound

If you want to hear the sound of one transistor clapping this is the
ticket. Dead silent, pure and luxurious. Reviews speak for themselves: "Insane detail", "deep bass", "crystal highs", "great power", "fluid", "sharp", "smooth", "sweet".

Relax Knowing This Is a Great Choice

The Amp Camp Amp Kit sounds like a much more expensive amplifier, is quick and easy to build, simple to understand, includes all the parts, comes with instructions, and has a wealth of support if you need it. You can't go wrong with this tried and tested project.

Meet Other Audiophile Makers

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.

1. The Parts Kit

  • High quality genuine parts purchased directly from "Tier 1" US distributors such as Mouser and Digikey
  • Printed circuit boards (Revision 1.6)
  • Transistors including Linear Systems LSK170 JFETs and IRC MOSFETs
  • Switches, LEDs, capacitors, resistors, we include everything 
  • The same parts quality that Nelson Pass uses in his own amplifiers
  • Components purchased either from "Tier 1" distributors or do-it-yourself audio favorites like Parts Express 
  • Keratherm® MOSFET insulators - very efficient and no grease required
  • M3 board mounting standoffs, w/ stainless steel bolts and washers 
  • Stainless steel mounting bolts and washers for MOSFETs
  • Gold plated speaker terminals and RCA Jacks
  • Power connector jack
  • Copper hookup wire in assorted colors
  • Cover plate for XLR hole (for advanced users, the XLR hole gives the possibility to create monoblocks with 15 watts per channel)

2. The Power Supply

  • From Meanwell, the best known producer of high quality SMPS in the world
  • The power supply is universal and operates from 86-264VAC and 47-63HZ
  • It comes from a best-of-breed manufacturer, has less noise, more
    power and weighs more than twice as much as the previous power supply
  • You can read more about it on the Meanwell 24V 5A power supply page
  • This new power supply is also a suitable upgrade for all previous Amp Camp Amps, just plug and play (see notes here)
  • This power supply is Nelson's lab tested recommendation, but to save
    money you can BYO 19V or 24V 5A laptop style power supply. YMMV!
  • It has a generic 3 prong IEC 60320/C13 power cord inlet suitable for use with a "kettle cord"
  • We ship it with a Linvox 3271V86 6 foot cord that has a US 3 prong
    plug. If that plug doesn't work for you, you can use a plug adapter, or
    "borrow" an IEC cord from your least favorite piece of equipment.

3. The Chassis

  • From the Italian chassis artisans at Hi-Fi 2000
  • Custom design for the ACA / ACA parts kit
  • Ships direct to you from Italy with FedEx International
  • All the work done is for you - just screw it together!
  • 10mm aluminum front panels drilled (dual LED holes), anodized and silkscreened with hole for a front power switch
  • 3mm aluminum rear panels drilled (power jack, RCA input, speaker
    output, power switch and XLR expansion module hole) and anodized
  • 40mm aluminum heatsinks pre-drilled and pre-tapped with M3 threads for easy mounting of circuit boards
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.

Detailed Build Guide

We've put together an all new detailed build guide for the new ACA complete with step by step photos and instructions so you're never lost. Plus, our friends at TekThing recorded a beautiful 30 minute build-video of how to put together the previous version!

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!

Designed by an Audio Legend - Nelson Pass

Nelson's company Pass Labs makes some of the finest (and most expensive) amplifiers in the world. This amplifier has its roots in decades of award winning amplifier design experience.

Minimalist Amplifier Topology

Less is more. Nelson is famous for his "Zen" approach to design and this amp is no exception - it's a minimalist circuit that delivers purity through simplicity.

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".

Technical Specifications

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

The Amp Camp Amp Kit has received coverage in these publications

The reviews speak for themselves

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.


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!!


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.


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...


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!


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


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Author's name

Customer Reviews

Based on 288 reviews
J T.
Epic sound

As bridged monoblocks they have the best sound ive heard to date in my system. instrument detail , stereo image in vinyl has exeeded all my expectations and the overall sound is beautifull, gives you a smile. Totaly recomend it and will buy again to build for friends

Steve M.
Fun little amp!!

First and foremost, this is a nice little project! That being said there were a couple of small issues I ran into. First, two of the resistors were the incorrect size. I dug out some correct ones from my stash, not a big deal. Secondly, the instructions were sometimes difficult to follow. For example making the back panel power bus, I soldered it to all three terminals before reading "do not solder to speaker terminals yet". Maybe I was in a hurry, but I had to unsolder and redo that bus like 6 times. Read all the way through each section before soldering anything. I also had to redo the enclosure to heatsink mounting a few times to make sure everything fit without touching. It's entirely possible that my excitement got the best of me, and I got ahead of myself (normal occurrence). After all is said and done, this is a fun little amp. It definitely does not have the power reserves that my Yamaha M-80 has, but it can drive my Cornscala's (6 ohms) to reasonable levels, and sounds pretty good doing it! I will soon be trying the mono mode, when a friend brings his ACA over for a listening session. I have high hopes for that as well. I would definitely build another one, given the chance.

Andrew C.
Fun, Fast, Quality Sound

Recommended. It went by quick. I'm burning the amp in to the Grateful Dead as I write. Very surprised and pleased the sound quality, loudness, and bass. Build hints: 1) Read 1.6 (board build) and separate 1.8 (wiring only) instructions end-to-end first including helpful comments. 2) Brush up on soldering technique 3) Would be nice to get a chart listing wire count and length but plenty wire supplied. It worked first time. Easy peasy.

ACA 1.8 as single stereo and as xlr dual mono with Advent Large Speakers

Just finished my two mono blocks and was totally amazed that a single ACA would easily drive a pair of large advents (~86db sensitivity) in our small music room. Absolute jaw dropper and dynamic wide sound stage. I only drive one pair of Advents, while the Sansui drives the other pair and paradigm speakers.

Genuinely, thank you all for your experiential knowledge and support...

Easy to build with a clear head and no distractions... Yes!

David A.
Simple build for a first-timer

I bought this as a fun holiday project, and with appropriate reverence for the talents of Mr Pass, but with none for myself as I'd never soldered before. I kitted-up with a basic soldering iron and a decent multimeter and took a deep breath. Rest-assured, if you're a reasonably methodical person capable of following basic instructions, you'll be fine. Faults were easy to track down using the diagnostics supplied and first principles. Mistakes were easily remedied. Once I'd biased the channels (simple but finicky process) and checked for DC offset (almost negligible at about 3mV), I hooked the amp up to my usual Sugden IA4 running as a preamp. This being a low power amp, I was happy to be feeding it to very sensitive Klipsch Forte IIIs. I expected it to sound decent. It's way better than that, it blew me away. While it lacked the muscularity of a higher-powered amp, it had no problem driving the speakers to ear-splitting levels with real class. The midrange clarity and soundstage are lovely, really suiting quieter acoustic music. The biggest issue I noticed, is that during particularly busy sections, the amp couldn't deliver the clean and tight bass that the Sugden can - the ACA bottom-end reaches plenty-deep, but its presentation is more disorganised and smeared. Another thing to note: this amp runs hot. Very hot. It has that classic slightly warm class-A sound and the heat that comes with it. This is probably not an amp to leave on all the time.

So, is the Amp Camp Amp any good? Well, there is joy and pride to be found in building the amp yourself, but that only goes so far if it sounds bad or even just disapoointingly fine. Fear not, it's much better than that. I'm so impressed that I'm building a new desktop system around it for my workspace. I've selected Omega speakers for their ease with flea-watts... and I see those Zen Triode kits... However, ACA? I freaking love it!

Carlos D.
Fantastic fun project for an audiophile newby...

I started this project being amazed by all the comments and fantastic feedback posted everywhere. I thought this is definitely something, well, I am a natural maker with very little electronics knowledge and an audiophile newby, so it could be an inexpensive way to begin this journey and it catches me deeply.

The sound signature is delicious, the only drawback is its small power, but found out thanks to James from TungstenAudio and his genius and generosity, that it is possible to hack the ACA and take it to a better level, I followed up his recommendations and wow, more power and even better sound, it reminds me the sound stage of a tube amp, very, very nice.

You can find the suggested upgrade here

I am running a pair of Elac's Debut 6.2 (87 dB sensitivity) and they sound great.

My next step is to try a 48V linear power supply and see how it performs, if it does't give more power I will purchase another one to build a mono block set.

Thank you to Nelson Pass for his creativity and generosity and to DIY audio to make it so easy and also thanks to James from Tungsten audio for the tweeks, he really took this mini amp to another level.