Posted on Feb 7, 2014

Experimenting with `gainclone` amplifiers. Gainclone amplifiers use opamps instead of the tubes and transistors that can be found in most amplifiers. I now present the second reincarnation of the Chill-amp concept. My interest in trying something with opamps was born when I saw the raving reviews of the Gainc

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ard of 47 Labs and the article "Op-amps are More Fun than Tubes". Soon, I found some pages describing various clones of the gaincard (called gainclones). The most interesting was a forum dedicated to making amplifiers with opamps, the Amp Chip DIY Forum. I found an interesting circuit made by Thorsten Loesch there, an inverting gainclone. With this circuit, I made my first amplifier, the Thor-amp. That amplifier sounded quite sweet and for a long time I was quite happy with the result! I found some limitations. I tried the non-inverted After a while, opamp circuit, and found it to be superior to the inverted circuit in some ways. I called it the Chill-amp. Meanwhile, on Diyaudio a gainclone rage was born, especially after the gainclone thread with beautiful casework of Peter Daniel. Finishing the second version of the Chill-amp took longer than expected due to various reasons. There are still some things to be tried out, but I think that the difference in sound over the first version is worthy of a release. The target of the Chill-amp II was to raise the bar further in performance (detail, imaging, dynamics, instrument realism etc. ) while maintaining a good listenability with a wide range of material. Ultimately, I built this amplifier to enjoy all kinds of music, not to listen to some obscure audiophile labels only. The biggest difference compare to the Chill-amp I is in the supply. The supply makes use of two transformer...

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