Amp Camp Amp Parts Kit Only (PRE-ORDER NOW, SHIPPING JANUARY 2021)
10 Sep 2020 UPDATE - THE AMP CAMP AMP HAS NOW SOLD OUT, NEXT PRE-ORDER BATCH IS OPEN, SHIPPING JANUARY 2021
After a long wait, the new and improved version of the ACA, the ACA V1.8, is in stock. V1.8 adds a lovely new silkscreened rear panel to aid in the configuration of 3 different types of mono operation, as well as a new selector switch. There are some minor wiring changes compared to V1.6. Please note that the build guide for the ACA V1.8 has not yet been released, and until it is you will need to ensure you wire it up according to the new V1.8 wiring diagram. We will be updating these product information pages to bring them up to V1.8 spec over the next few days. The minor modifications required to the build guide so it matches the V1.8 wiring will be ready in a few weeks.
The Amp Camp Parts Kit includes everything you need to build the Amp Camp Amp except the recommended power supply and a chassis. You can also buy the complete Amp Camp Amp kit which has everything included.
- All parts are purchased directly from reputable US distributors
- Printed circuit boards (Revision 1.6)
- Transistors including Linear Systems's JFETs and IRC MOSFETs
- Switches, LEDs, capacitors, resistors, everything is included except the PSU and chassis
- The same parts quality Nelson Pass uses in his own amplifiers
- 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 over 20 watts per channel)
As a new DIY audio builder, this was a perfect kit for me. I worked in the electronics contract manufacturing world for decades, but never made any of my own gear. The PCB was very high quality, well designed and well made. The parts kit was complete and organized. The build guide was excellent and well thought out (I built version 1.8). Combined with he support of the DIYAudio forum and the many articles available from Nelson Pass online, I learned a tremendous amount about DIY Audio and gained a lot of confidence for future builds. That combination really makes this kit stand out among other beginner DIY projects; It was a perfect combination of great product and quality education, not unlike an engineering lab class at the college level.
The final product sounds absolutely fantastic. I have a nice Yamaha receiver as my main system at home and had a small Lepai Class D amp in my office. This ACA Amp replaced the Lepai in my office and it was a tremendous step up in sound quality (I couldn't possibly go back to the Lepai, it made my ears tired after a couple of hours). It also surpasses my Yamaha receiver in sound quality. I have it connected to some Klipsch RB51 bookshelf speakers and fed by a DAC connected to my laptop and the system is wonderful in my office and gets louder than I would ever want. I find that myself getting lost in the music a bit to much these days and staying late at the office just to listen on many evenings.
The DIYAudio store has top notch customer service. From the time I placed the oder till the time I was enjoying music they were prompt, timely, communicative and have performance standards that rival the very best online stores. I will go out of my way to do business with them in the future.
I'm EU based, so only ordered the parts kit from DIY Audio, the chassis is from the EU in any case. I've been building Eurorack modules for several years now, which means I have familiarity with getting a bag of parts, a circuit board, and some kind of a build guide-- that's part of what I'll be comparing to.
PCBs and components. All top quality. Very nice sturdy boards, Bournes trimmer pots, .... the baseline standard is "very good to excellent". You'll have to work hard find better components.
Board spacing is quite generous. My biggest learning issue was bending the resistors 1/4 inch out from their ends; my habit from Eurorack is to bend right where the wire leaves the ceramic. Soldering was simple and fast. I did have to raise the temperature for one or two joins where the contract traces were larger; this is expected as the larger traces pipe away the heat faster. I mentioned that I have experience, I want to add that yes, I still use the printed circuit diagram and check off each part as I add it to the board. I find this really satisfying, like crossing items off your to=do list, and a key to any successful build is parts management.
Eurorack usually doesn't require a wiring harness (it is usually etched into the top PCB, and you solder the jacks/pots/switches/LEDS directly into the PCB), so making the harness was more mental energy than expected. However, the amount of supplied wire is very generous and forgiving, and the instructions clear and straightforward. I enjoyed learning how the author(s) structured and present the information.
The instruction manual is very good. It is clearly designed for a motivated novice, i.e. small steps with lots of detail. It is also evident that the authors have walked many people through this, and iterated the build guide as they did so.
I work slowly, because this is a hobby not a job, and spend way too much time on each design decision. I'm about 5 hours in and just finishing the wire harness. I think I could build it in half the time next time.
Very happy with my amp camp.
I bought the aca 1.6 kit as my first project, it was straight forward to put together.
It sounds fantastic, very smooth. I use it with 8ohm 88db 3 way speakers, the sound good but miss tight bass, nevertheless the midrange and highs are fantastic and non-fatiguing.
I am going to build the M2X to have some more power.
The aca is definitely a keeper, also it dissipates 40watt vs the 160watt of the m2x, so useful for the hot summers.
Coming from the Heathkit, Dynaco and Hafler kits generation, building this kit was an easy and fun project. The build instructions and step by step layout was easy to follow. For the diy person there's no better enjoyment than to build your own great sounding audio gear. This Amp Camp Amp is a very clean sounding amp, you will not be disappointed
I've more than 30 years experience listening to Hi-End equipment, but I hardly found a solid state amplifier that's cheap enough and sound that good, the greatest part of this amplifier is simple, though the output just 5W (24V power supply, stereo), but it can drive my Totem Rainmaker (4 Ohm) with quality sound, and less than 10 hours after I finished the construction! I'm no good in circuit reading and complex wiring, but I'd manage to make this within one day and the bias adjust is easy! Highly recommend for anyone love quality sound!
At long last, and after 3 iterations, I’m reviewing my ACA 1.6.
I bought one complete kit plus an additional kit not including the chassis and power supply. Being new to DIY audio, I built the first kit exactly per 6L6’s excellent instructions. It went without a hitch and was a ton of fun to build. Any downsides? I wasn’t happy with my (really) old speakers with the ACA and I went shopping for something that would work better.
I ended up with (to my own surprise) a set of B&W CM5 S2’s and wow! What an amazing little amp! Such a lively, fun, clean sound! After years with music as a sideline affair, I’ve finally re-discovered my passion!
It had been my plan to use the second ACA kit (and much more heatsink) to create a bridged (approx) 15 watt amp. After living with the “Stock” amp for a couple of months and reading some of Nelson Pass’s writing on the subject, I decided to to use the second kit to bi-amp my speakers instead.
So, another power supply, much more heatsink, and 2 iterations later, I’m thrilled to say that my 4 individual amplifiers, in a cabinet of my own making, are powering a pair of bookshelf speakers in a way that I never dreamed possible from such low power and such small speakers.
It really is the first watt that matters most!
And the support here at DIYAudio is amazing! So much knowledge…
I can’t thank you all enough for helping me experience music again this way!
I bought this amp to test Paul Klipsch statement that all he needed was a great 5 watt amplifier to drive his Klipschorns. I will attest that this amplifier does to job extremely well. Great kit. This is my second build of a Nelson Pass amp. I built a First Watt F5 several years ago to compare it to my Harmon Kardon Citation II. All three amps are sound fantastic.
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