Waily and his Wild Things!



Oh yeah, I'm pretty proud of Waily's system as it consists of lots of diyparadise gems. (Yeah, I know. I am very thick-skinned...)

On the left is the Simple EL84 with just 4 EL84 tubes. On the right, sits the Simple 5687 preamp.

Note that after Waily has built the Simple 5687, he has gone to great lengths to tweak it. It's now using Lundahl output trans as output and no longer cap coupling.

What? You have never tried tube DIY before? Neither has Waily before the Simple 5687. Everyone has to start somewhere. The problem is, once you start, you can't stop. Just ask Waily...


Here's a closer look of the Simple EL84. Much better chassis work than mine... (what else is new?)


Here's what Waily has to say about the Simple EL84.

Date: Wed, 2 Jul 2003 07:04:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: waily
Subject: Re: Simple el84 pp
To: yeo

OK, let me gives an official comments on this amp;-), hopefully u can post it up and psycho more diy'ers to try their hand in this project;-), find anything too kuah cheong, do not hesitate to omit any line .:-)..

At first, never thought of taking up this project as I found my setups is good enough, some sort of a hybrid as using 5687 tube preamp driving a 60W SS amp Roksan amp. After reading some articles on your site plus your strong recommendations from you, I finally start messing my place with drills, cutter, file, soldered or whatever you name it DIY'ers life saving tools and equipment:-), Got hold of a metal casing, Hammond output transformer 1608, hammond choke 193L, all metalfilm resistor at the grid leak and CCS section, coffin resistor at power supply, 100u+100u LCR leftover from 5687 project power supply caps, Tonsin trans,JJ EL84 tubes, CCS components on a protoboard, etc, built similar to the one listed in the website, except the preamp section is ignored. As usual, the chassis and spray painting takes the hell out from me:-(...Finished it in about 4 days, I tend to slow down nowadays as not as anxious as before:-).., followed by some minor troubleshooting during power-up, miss a few wires connection :-), luckily the tube and the CCS still survives. Once plugged into my system after some voltage measurements, err...the rest is history..

Anyway, initially the sound seems congested, a bit distorted and somehow the music is missing a bit here and there, of course it got me worried..Luckily with Yeo kind advice, I am able to find the problem. The biasing of the CCS is way out and too low. It is running at only less than 60 mA per channel with 10mA+ difference between two tubes..After re-bias it, to now about 80mA and with less than 4.5mA difference in both tubes, it really gives me a good smack in my face.

This simple el84pp really has the oomph in a sense that my SS power amp cannot match it. The fluidity, smoothness and especially the low end(bass) will makes you start to wonder how come there is so much lows that your favourite song should have (due to the great design of the CCS).That's to say, my SS amp can produce hell of bass but unfortunately not as taut and low as this el84 can gives, anyway I really prefer this kind of bass as compare to my SS as it it much realistic and goes lower. And when comes to the detail, this is another area that my previous SS amp loses flat out, you can hear much more of it as previously in SS it is being muddied out or not as defined as this tube can easily belts out. Another veil is removes:-)...

For the power wise, do not belittle this 10W pp as I believe with the cap-coupling output of a 5687 or ECC99 preamp, it will sound loud enough until your neighbor comes and knock your door:-)...As for my case due to the design nature of Lundahl output transformer in my 5687 preamp (some good reason why I implement this OPT in place of the capacitor output:-)), I can crank the volume pot to the max, it is still loud enough for my bedroom...So for any preamp design that is using cap-coupling output, rest assured that you will be surprise with the power that this beast can offer. (for your info. I am driving a paradigm reference 20 with a sensitivity of 89db) For your info. the OPT configuration will somehow reduce the preamp gain due to the windings arrangement of the Lundahl's as I'd experience a drop in output level compared to cap-coupling output..

Anyway, the JJ el84 also needs to run in for tens of hour as the sound will be blooming after that, it seems getting better and better when listening to it. The mids is sweet and I feel that it has improves after some run in. So with proper biasing of the CCS, and run-in of the tubes, the sound out from this simple el84 pp will grows on you..Believe it or not, I'd heard quite a number of setup, this combo will can easily match or smoke the rest (IMHO), please do not flame me!, The speed of this amp is comparable to a SS amp as rectification is solid state as well. To cut it short, let me extract an email from Yeo for this simple el84 pp "the sound is just nice. quite polite. and a tad sweet, it's like a very nice lady, with grace and poise." and the thing I will add on following his line is "accurate and produce unimaginable bass, and lastly this amp will grows into you:-)...in layman terms, the performance of a Porsche with the cost of a Proton.... Well done, ONCE AGAIN Yeo!



Thanks for your great comments Waily.
Congrats on a job well done!
Please note that it's YOU who built the amp. Not me. So all credit goes to YOU. By the way, you forgot to mention that you met this yeo guy before. And what a handsome chap! : )

Totally unrelated, but here's some other stuffs Waily has done. If you are terrified, don't worry. Very soon you'll be terrifying other diyers as well. This I assure you.

Clockwise from top left.
Non-oversampling DAC. With just TDA1543 and a handful of components. This is implemented in the Marantz CD63. Waily prefers his original DAC's sound to this. Told you it's a taste thing.
An orgy of Black Gates!
Elna Cerafines and Black Gates
Audiocom Super Clock
Beefing up the power supply


Way to go Waily!