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Miniblok photo
Build an inexpensive yet authentic
Single-Ended Triode Amplifier

This venerable circuit topology, essentially the simplest possible tube amplifier, has reached almost cult status in today's audiophile circles. What is it about this circuit that commands such a loyal following? Here is your opportunity to explore the possible answers for yourself, at very reasonable cost. Even if you have to pay retail for all the parts, the project should cost no more than about USD $100.

Interestingly, the euphonious nature of the Single-Ended Triode (SET) Amplifier can be demonstrated even via mp3 files! A simple A/B comparison is available on the Sound clips page.

This project is recommended for beginning vacuum-tube do-it-yourselfers. However, some previous experience with building vacuum tube circuits is highly recommended. A very basic electronics knowledge is assumed, as are the soldering and mechanical skills required to assemble and wire the project. The information provided here is believed to be correct, but the author and Dogstar Music assume no liability for damages incurred through use or misuse of the information provided herein.

With the disclaimer out of the way, I can only add that this is the ideal project for exploring the mystique of the single-ended triode amplifer. If you like the sound of the SET topology, you just might find yourself using the MiniBlok as a warmup for a larger project. If not, you haven't invested much, and might still find MiniBlok useful as a "center-channel" fill-in amplifier to add some depth and colour to your stereo system.

  • Approximately 1 watt maximum undistorted output
  • Uses a single, inexpensive dissimilar-dual-triode
  • Clean and quiet demonstration of the SET sound
  • Simple, self-contained power supply from common parts
  • Uses readily-available components
  • Low power consumption

Copyright Notice:

This article, including all schematics, text, diagrams and photographs are Copyright ©2002 by Fred Nachbaur, Dogstar Music. All rights reserved. This site may be freely linked, but none of the contents may be posted anywhere else without express permission of the copyright holder.

The information presented here may be used for personal, non-commercial use only. Any commercial applications of this design or any part thereof requires previous licensing arrangements with the author and copyright holder, Fred Nachbaur.

Article Index:

1: Introduction

2: How It Works

3: Performance

4: Construction

5: Parts List

6: Sound Demo

Underside of MiniBlok


You may contact me regarding this project at fnachbaur@netscape.net. While I'm not keen on answering questions covered in the article, I'd be happy to help out with any concerns not adequately addressed on this site.

To find out what other kinds of trouble I get into, check out my sites listed below:

Back to Tube Projects Main Page
My main Dogstar Music site
Fred's ZX81 retro computer page
My Theremin Exploits

Original music on IUMA.com
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