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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Amplifier Hum

Let us share a story related to amplifier hum with you guys. We think that it is worth reading as it may be applicable to some of the new DIY guys.

Recently, there's a guy that ordered a full set of Level 3 transformers from us. That includes - 1 Level 3 power transformer with Super Hi-B double C core, 2 Nanocrystalline double C choke, and a pair of Nanocrystalline output transformer.

According to him, his previous similar project ended up being too noisy and has pretty serious humming although he is using quite decent transformers from some company that we should not mention here. He is hoping that by getting high quality transformers from us, it will help to resolve all his problems.

We have heard this comment for many times and we always replied the same message to them, that we will write below. Since it affects a lot of the newbies, we decided to publish an article here so that everyone is clear on this topic.

A good set of transformers will no doubt bring you better signal to noise ratio, low hum, darker background, wider bandwidth, better THD and all those goodies, but, if your design look like these:


Amplifier layout that looks like Ampang Yong Tau Fu

Design that looks like Char Koay Teow (fried noodle)

Wiring that looks like Singapore Char Bee Hoon

A good set of transformers will only give you the edge and advantage to be at a higher ground than other low quality transformers, but if the design, ground, wiring, layout and all those important aspects of amplifier building are not followed, the end results are not going to delight you very much.

One thing that new DIY guys can do is to look at how others do the layout design on the WWW, and LEARN from them. There are thousands of nicely laid out design in the market nowadays. Their level of workmanship is simply stunning. We admit, we cannot come even close to some of the masters out there too but we'd always exchange photos internally when we come across those excellent designs out there and keep polishing our layout skills.

Layout is an art!

On schematic, or circuit design wise, beware of what you want to copy or clone. We've repaired many branded amplifiers and clones. There are a lot of "flawed" or purposely modified famous designs out there to mislead someone that by cloning these famous design, they get close to the sound of the OEM equipment. We found that a lot of those schematics floating online are NOT the actual design someone purchases on the shelf. They are mislabeled, values are changed, designs are changed purposely for you know what reasons. So, unless you know what you are copying, go ask someone that knows before you do something. If you are lucky, it works perfectly or substandard-ly. If not, kaboom!

Good luck in your DIY journey! Questions and discussions welcomed even if you are not purchasing from us. Audio is not just our business but our hobby too. Just use the contact us box in our blog to reach us.

P/S: No pun intended on using food pictures as references. It is just an analogy. These are no doubt great hawker food in South East Asia.

J&K Audio Design
1/18/2015

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Iso-trans: link 1, link 2
* Finished amplifiers, DACs, audio gadgets, upgrades and repairs - this is not our core business and we do it out of passion. We do not have fixed models, fixed price and we customize for each individuals. The sky is limit of creativity.  
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Product Lists

Product Lists

Level 0: link 1

Level 1: link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4

Level 2: link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5, link 6, link 7, Link 8, link 9

Level 3: depends on type, size and complexity. Email us for details.

Iso-trans: link 1, link 2

Power-trans: link 1

* Finished amplifiers, DACs, audio gadgets, upgrades and repairs - this is not our core business and we do it out of passion. We do not have fixed models, fixed price and we customize for each individuals. The sky is limit of creativity.

* Our product lines are always improving and increasing. If you do not see what you want, contact us!

* Please email for volume discounts, distributor and OEM pricing.

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