I’m stocked up again with a run of 10 kits. I’ve done a few things to add a bit of cost, take out a bit of fuss when building, improve the performance, and pave the way for the future.
First, I’ve completed the design, testing and implementation of the new power supply board. As I’ve mentioned previously, the power supply wiring on the terminal strips was sometimes a point of frustration for kit builders. After all, this is the heart of the Spud, and you want it to be right. To improve things, I’ve transitioned into a high quality PCB and very high precision / high quality parts. Can you say Nichicon, Dale, Vishay?
Next, I’ve transitioned over to an Edcor power transformer. The Edcor is beefier with much higher reserve current, easier to wire due to fewer unnecessary voltage taps, prettier with the striking blue powder coated end bells and of course, made in the USA. As you may know, my output transformers are a custom designed Edcor product that I commissioned Edcor to design specifically for my amplifier. I’ve been using them for many years with excellent results, and it only made sense to bring their power transformer to the platform. To accommodate the updated power transformer, I am drilling a few extra holes in the chassis for mounting. The Edcor is bigger than the Hammond it replaces, so you won’t see anything unsightly once it’s mounted. The next run of chassis will consider the new Edcor footprint, so I won’t have to do this manually prior to shipping.
Here’s the catch, I’ve managed to do all of this without increasing the price to kit builders. Cost of materials went up, additional labor went in (design, testing, rewriting instructions, etc.), and the price stayed the same…You may ask, “How’d he do that?” To be honest, I’m absorbing the cost. This kit is for music lovers who appreciate what can be done on a budget and with a little of their own labor. For now, the kit will continue to cater to that crowd. It’s a crowd who ends up alone in a room smiling to themselves while listening to well-recorded music for a few reasons. They have a beast of a flea-watt amp that is quieter and cleaner than anything they have ever heard, and they know what they paid for it!