DIY Tube Amplifier



Today’s topic is about DIY tube amplifier! Back in my university years, I always fancied having amplifiers with glowing vacuum tubes on them. Too bad the price was just out of my reach for a student. I could only watch and drool, not forgetting to listen to my little mini hifi, hahaha… I still remembered the UKP600 price tag on a small low power Audio Sterling tube amplifier published in What Hifi! magazine that sold for UKP2 back then. If I knew that NOS (New Old Stock) tubes could fetch such a price now, I would have thrown in all my tuition fees and stock them up! :)

Scroll down to the bottom to look at various DIY tube amplifiers!

So, for best ROI (Return of Investment), DIY tube amplifier by yourselves! Get your hands dirty and complete some DIY audio projects, especially tube amplifier! You will be rewarded with things money couldn’t buy. Your own amplifier! Your signature sound! Your future business and income perhaps. And, you really spend money on where it will bring you the best bang of the buck in your creation!

DIY amplifier projects could be cheaper, or it could be even more expensive! Who says DIY is an inexpensive hobby? I’ve seen some components that are sold with obscene prices. Crazy, but interesting! I would really like to try them out one day when I’ve the financial capability to do so. DIY could be simple; yet, it could be made extremely complicated as well. It all depends on how you want to approach it, and how much resource you have on hand.

6C45 6C33CB Vacuum Tube Picture

Do you have no ideas where to start on DIY tube amplifier? Afraid of screwing up the project? Well, you’ve come to the right place! We hope to share with you the processes (and our valuable experiences) on DIY vacuum tube amplifiers, from start till the end, and show you the tips & tricks for excellent sound.

I was pretty brave 10 years ago when I DIY my FIRST vacuum tube amplifier using the Russian 6C45PI / 6S45PI driving the huge 6C33CB triode to produce 15W-20W of single ended triode power. Due to lack of experience and knowledge, the results were good but not great in all sense, from circuit, component selection, and to implementation. It could have been better if I were to build it again. Despite the results, I gain valuable experiences from it and move on to be a better designer and builder.


So, what do you get out of DIY tube amplifier?

  • Fun!
  • Satisfaction!
  • Value for money!
  • Kill your extra time!
  • Start your own audio business!
  • Gain knowledge and experience!
  • Customization to suit your unique needs!
  • Or maybe, hide away from your spouse and kids, or in-laws! :P Hahaha…

Seriously, I’m addicted to DIY vacuum tube amplifiers! I love DIY audio amplifiers! I’ve built so many projects over the course of 10 years and I could not really keep track of them. Let’s see…

  • Integrated – 5842 driving 300B, 5U4G rectified
  • Integrated – 6C4PI driving 6C33CB, SS rectified
  • Integrated – 5842 driving 6B4G, 5U4G rectified
  • Integrated – 5687 driving 5687 driving 300B, 5U4G rectified
  • Integrated – 6C45PI SPUD, 5U4G rectified
  • Integrated – 6SL7GT driving EL34, SS rectified
  • Power amp - #31 driving 45, 5U4G rectified
  • Power amp – 5687 driving 300B, 5R4G rectified
  • Preamp - #1H4G, 5Y3G rectified
  • Preamp – #26 SET, #83 rectified
  • Preamp – 6SN7, 5Y3G rectified
  • Preamp – 5687, SS rectified
  • Preamp - #26, 5Y3G rectified
  • Preamp – 6SN7 SRPP, 6SN7 tube regulated, 5Y3G rectified
  • Etc…

These are all tube amplifiers I could remember so far. If I recall more, I will list it out later. For those sensitive enough, you would have noticed that I focused mainly on single ended triodes. It is so as I’m addicted to these types of sound characteristics. That does not mean that I’m not supporting other types of amplifiers in this guide and I shall cover them in the articles published in near future. Other tubes planned – EL84, EL34, KT88, 6V6, 6L6 and etc.


Let’s look into the process of DIY audio projects or making your own vacuum tube amplifier. It can be categorized into several main processes.

  1. Wants & needs analysis
  2. Research & design amplifier
  3. Expandability and design for test
  4. Planning & sourcing for components
  5. Build and finishing
  6. Testing & tuning for good sound
  7. Installation and setting up in your system

Click here to look at DIY amplifier thought process om detail.

Go to DIY Amplifier Process


DIY Tube Amplifier Projects

Check out these DIY audio projects!

DIY RE604 Tube Amplifier

Go to DIY MOD 102 Guitar Amplifier

Go to DIY 6c45-PI Amplifier

Go to DIY 2A3 Amplifier

Go to DIY VT25 Amplifier (push pull)

Go to DIY 801A Amplifier

Go to DIY 300B Amplifier

Go to Tube Amplifier Gallery

Something related to vacuum tubes!

Direct Heated Triode

801A Direct Heated Triode

801A Direct Heated Triode - Applications

801A Output Transformers

Soft Start your tubes!

Have you built any tube amplifiers?

Do you have a great amplifier project? Share it!

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