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SUPPORT FORUMS FOR ZKITS >> ZKIT 60 Support Forum >> Zkit60 Introduction
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Message started by dank on 03/12/18 at 20:05:20

Title: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by dank on 03/12/18 at 20:05:20

The Zkit60 is a solid state amp that actually sounds good.  The output stage is a class AB mosfet design delivering 60 watts per channel.  Some of you have heard the Zkit60 at Decfest 2017 for a half dozen songs or so.  I've been listening to the prototype and a number of builds into different chassis for about a year now.  The amp just keeps getting better and better the more I listen to it.  To be offered at a highly praised (traditionally) tube shop like Decware is a HUGE endorsement.

The kit is designed to go into the chassis of your choice.  With one of the better chassis I've found also being offered for sale.  The amp can be built on a board, like the Zkit1, if an appropriate amount of heat sink material is supplied for the five flat pack semiconductors.  It can also be built into an old Dynaco 120 chassis and can even use the original Dynaco 120 power transformer (again, suitable heat sink material must be provided).

Lets get building!


Dan


Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by Donnie on 03/12/18 at 23:45:53

Hmmm, very interesting.

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by Steve Deckert on 03/30/18 at 02:20:28





Here is the link to the kit:  https://www.decware.com/newsite/ZKIT60.html


Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by Donnie on 03/30/18 at 02:46:00

Hmmm, working with tubes scares the hell out of me, but this for some reason doesn't.
I need to finish up some current projects, polishing a aluminum intake manifold for a flat head Ford, building some sort of ridiculous sub for my nephew's car. But after that I don't really have anything except for a couple of speaker projects......

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/29/18 at 18:38:01

Donnie, did you build one or are still considering?

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by Donnie on 01/04/19 at 17:27:43

Stone,
I'm still contemplating if my skill set is up to par for this amp.
I did listen to one of these amps at the DecFest last October and was very impressed. It had the right sound for my taste and plenty of headroom playing some Monoliths.
I would think that it wouldn't be that difficult to build, it looked pretty straightforward and tidy.
Truthfully, for the price of a finished one, I don't see how you could go wrong.....

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by 4krow on 01/04/19 at 20:01:26

Donnie,

 Really? YOU wonder if you have the skill level needed for this build? From what I gather, if you don't have the skill, you will likely acquire it. If you buy this amp, and for some reason don't want to start/finish it, please let me know. I will either finish it for you, or maybe even buy it from you, especially if you have put a bit of your own 'design' into the build.

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by Donnie on 01/04/19 at 22:08:44

Dan,
Please elaborate on what skills I would need.
I would assume soldering, I'm pretty sure I can "fake" that.
What kind of Multimeter skills would I need? That would probably be the part I would be most nervous about, I'd hate to probe this when I needed to probe that and end up letting all of the smoke out of the insides.
I can somewhat follow a electrical schematic, I figure that there is more than enough stuff online that could get me through that, a print is a print, right?
The case work doesn't scare me in the least bit, metal cutting is all I've done for the last 41 years (even my 10 years in the big house, they put me in charge of stamping out licence plates) ;D
So I guess what I'm asking is what would it take a semi skilled but highly motivated individual such as myself to build one of these amps and not screw it up?

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by 4krow on 01/04/19 at 22:42:11

 Donnie,

 Just download the instruction manual of this kit. It gives all the info that you will need for tools, and experience. really, I don't see a problem here for you since the bulk of it involves circuit boards, and the machining/drilling that you would be doing is old hat to you.

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by dank on 01/05/19 at 23:47:57

Donnie

I would say the Zkit60 kit build is more difficult mechanically than it is electrically.  You do have to populate, solder, and trim / clean 3 circuit boards, but they are straight forward and "expected"...there is nothing new here.

Mechanically, there is some new stuff that the average person has not done before.  Holes most be drilled in-between the heat sink fins for bolts that mount the circuit boards and bolts that mount the power transistors in a "close enough" position so the leads can be bent at 90 degrees so they touch the proper eyelets on the circuit boards so they can be soldered in place.  There is even more to it if the newer, smaller, chassis (which I recommend) is used such as this one:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2412C-Full-Aluminum-Enclosure-mini-AMP-case-power-amplifier-chassi-240x120x271mm/252934138536?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

When building in this smaller enclosure it is best to mount the two audio boards "mirror image" to each other (so one is mounted up-side-down) so the large capacitors almost touch - this leaves plenty of room (where the capacitors aren't) for the power transformer.  Again, this is all mechanical and just requires a little planning before the drilling starts.  And even if you goof it only means a few extra holes that can be plugged (epoxy glue) and touch up painted.

I recommend buying the circuit boards and parts from Decware and then buying the chassis yourself from Ebay.  That way the chassis is only shipped once.

Multi-meter wise, if you follow the directions you shouldn't have any trouble.  There are current measurements and voltage measurements but they are spelled out clearly.   A bit of effort went into coming up with a way to set the bias and balance without an oscilloscope, signal generator, and dummy load and it seems to be working well.

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/06/19 at 19:05:00

Rules me out ;D

I'm just a worker bee assembly DC to AC Inverter's. Now, being a super drone making Boards at Seagate. Keeps me busy/I like it cause I get a 4 day weekend and a 3 day weekend the next!

I digress.....

Love this Amp and I bet it sounds good. The cost to have it made and shipped to TX is fair. Cool dank.

Donnie, glad I blew the dust off this Thread....go for it!

Title: Re: Zkit60 question
Post by Raduschka on 12/28/19 at 16:00:10

Hi everyone,
In case Steve is busy: I 'm about to buy the zen kit 60 for my dad, who has a mini torii (clone) and full range speakers (10 inch audio nirvana). Do you know if the mini torii can be used as a preamp with this power amp? The mini torii has outputs, but they are taken from the output transformers (speakers out) and are intended for subwoofers, if I understand correctly. Can those outputs also work with a power amp? If so, would it be desirable to somehow take the signal out from the input stage directly?
thank you and
happy... I don't know, new year soon

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by Donnie on 12/28/19 at 16:19:19

You don't really need a pre amp for the Zkit 60.

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by Raduschka on 12/28/19 at 16:36:55

Hi Donnie,

how is that? Can you hook up a fixed output dac to it and adjust the volume with the volume pot that it seems to be fitted with?
Also, before I buy it, can you comment on its performance, soundwise? I suppose it sounds great, since Steve endorses it. But how great? :-)

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by Donnie on 12/28/19 at 20:11:48

Raduschka,
Yes, just hook your CD player up to it and use the volume knob.
I have only listened to one for a hour or so but it sounded real good.
Good enough that I have one on order right now, I am thinking that I need a solid state amp in my arsenal.
I hope that this helps you.

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by Raduschka on 12/28/19 at 23:45:12

Hi Donnie, it does! Thank you

My dad has a mini torii, I was hoping to do away with the volume pot on the zen kit 60, but I could use a high quality att and he can plug his dac into it directly. I have never used a power amp, only integrated ones, plus I cannot remember the last time I heard a SS amplifier. My only fear is that it sounds meh, like some high watters I've heard (that came highly recommended :-)) I have a push pull all tube 70 watter gathering dust at my place too... So I 'm just hoping it's an 'exceptional' amplifier, this zen kit 60 :-)

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by Donnie on 01/08/20 at 11:39:20

OH joyous day! I just checked my Email and see that my Zkit 60 has shipped and will be delivered today.
Soon the tempting serpent that is solid state will be let loose in my home.
I hope that I can stay strong and resist her apple.

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by Donnie on 01/08/20 at 22:45:20

My Zkit 60 is plugged in and making music.
It fits on my big hunk of maple like it was made for it.
Currently it is powering my BIB horns.
I will let it at least get up to room temperature before I make any kind of judgment.



Looking at this picture reminds me that I sure do have a lot of speakers. There are 2 more pairs that you can't see in the room plus 2 more pairs in the garage.

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by FullRangeMan on 01/09/20 at 08:47:33

Hi all,
STM the Zen Kit 60 is a great value option to a Hi-Fi rig.

Iam no a tech guy so Iam wondering if it have a Single Ended output stage ?
Thanks in advance. ))

Title: Re: Zkit60 Introduction
Post by dank on 01/09/20 at 13:45:34

The Zkit60 output stage is a push pull class B mosfet output stage that is biased slightly into class A (both "push" and "pull" on) at idle.  So, class AB.


Dan

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