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May 5, 2012 / billo44

My Ref Revision C Ultimate GB (Green Mountain Edition)

I first built this amp in early 2011 and then added the headphone output and new front panel in 2012 This amp is based on a design by Mauro Penasa.  This is the Revision C version with Ultimate bill of materials.

There was a group buy on the DIY Audio forum, and I bought a couple of boards.  I did not contribute anything to the design, I am just soldering by numbers. Those on the forum with real knowledge discussed and chose the best components aiming for a superb sounding amp at a very reasonable price.  Many thanks to  Uriah for all the hard work and to Sonidas for helping kitting up and packing/posting.

With the help of the build guide thread Dario organised, I got down to populating the boards….  (sounds a bit rude)!

Then there was the PSU for the lightspeed pre-amp… Thanks to Regi for kind advice.

And also thanks to my father Mike who was visiting and worked out the PSU circuit on the board.

Here we are testing the power supply unit.

Here is the lightspeed pre amp which basically uses light dependent resistors to control the incoming

audio signal volume thus eliminating noise and signal degradation from the volume control potentiometer.

Note my regrettable tendency to plait wiring… there is no excuse for this beyond the fact that I am

still a hippy at heart.

Next, trying to find a good  layout for all the ‘bits’ (technical term!).

Which was a complete waste of time, because I then patched the whole thing together from a different angle….

By popular (and very verbal) request I added a headphone output circuit!

Eventually I will have to commit ritual suicide by disembowelment, because the headphone jack is not mounted quite square (and I spilled beer on the the front of the amp), but I have been persuaded to put this event off for a while (thank you David).

Splendid Bakelite knob that though eh!

The wooden sides are made from Keyaki wood (Zelcova) which rubs up nice with a bit of Watco oil!

Sitting on top of the trusty old Marantz… on top of the 101 db/w 1969/70 Crysler Living Audio CE1-acII speakers, a much underrated Japanese brand

The thing sounds very fine to me!

The cast iron shell mark on the front panel is from a part from an old discontinued Vermont Castings Fireplace, and the top cover is a cast iron  floor register.  In the formative years Vermont Castings had gifted artistic designers working for them and they chose motifs and design styles based on New England furniture and architecture, such as this shell mark design.

I expect I bored you now….




Leave a Comment
  1. Brad / Aug 29 2013 11:37 am

    Simply stunning. Though it’s capable of lovely sound quality, perhaps it would’ve been appropriate to christen her using some heavy metal. 🙂

  2. billo44 / Apr 8 2018 8:48 am

    I just heard that Mauro Penasa died last year, he left us a legacy with his designs. The My Ref is a great amp. My condolences to his family. I went out to my shed and listen to Bill Evans ‘Waltz for Debbie’ on my My Ref…
    Sounded good!

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