Fleawatt Recommended Recording

One of my all time favorite albums & Duke's best selling.  Recorded live in 1956 & some tracks, two days later in studio.  The musical performance and atmosphere of the recording are goose bump inducing. Much has been written about the history of this recording.  Specifically, the performance of  Diminuendo In Blue & Crescendo In Blue.
I recommend the Columbia two disc set.  Here is a short documentary if you are unfamiliar.

Amtrans Gold Plated OFC Wired TPA3116D2 (Sold to Dean M. in Massachussetts)

This is the first amplifier I've built that incorporates Amtrans gold plated oxygen free copper hook up wire.  The wire is teflon insulated and expensive at $14 for 3 feet.  You may not be a believer that wire makes a difference in audio reproduction.  I do.   Other parts used in this build is an Alps Blue Velvet volume pot,  solid brass, gold plated, five way binding posts, real walnut veneer & a genuine Peavey guitar knob.  My favorite new accent is the solid brass switch and solid machined brass on/off plate. 
The "Audiobah" sourced circuit board is mounted on vibration isolating neoprene washers and 3M elastomer pads are affixed to the bottom of the chassis.  

I received these unsolicited comments after the amp was delivered:
The amp sounded great out of the box, but I  wanetd to let it burn in for a few days before I got back to you about the sound.  In short, it sounds fantastic.  I'm not great with the adjectives, but suffice to say you knocked this one out of the park!

Many thanks,

"Kind of Blue" TPA3116D2 30 Watts x 2 (Available)

This amplifier is equipped with the "Audiobah" Model AC1308 1.0 TPA3116D2 circuit board.  This is the first of three amps I will build with this board.   Listening tests confirm it is a keeper.  Silky smooth midrange and highs, with the well known tight bass of the 3116.  As I've written before, I won't sell an amp with a board I wouldn't use myself in my rig.  I recently discarded three different 3116 circuit boards that I didn't care for.   Parts on this amp include side chassis mounted, five way, gold plated, insulated binding posts,  gold plated RCA inputs, genuine Fender chromed brass volume knob, Alpha volume pot & twisted solid copper signal wiring.   Hand made little chunks of audio art.  No two ever the same.

Rosewood Klipsch Klipschorns

My new reference speakers.  These are a Rosewood veneered 1980 model I acquired from the original owner in Chicago.
The AA crossovers have been updated with Sonic Craft Sonicaps. 

Alps Blue Velvet & Jupiter Cotton Insulated Wire Volume Control (Sold to George S. of Towson, Maryland)


Equipped with "boutique" Jupiter Condenser 26ga. 4n purity cotton insulated copper wire.  100K Alps Blue Velvet potentiometer is star grounded for maximum noise free operation.  Die cast aluminum chassis for maximum RFI & EMI rejection.  Gold plated RCA connectors.
3M urethane isolation feet.   

"Little Dude" TPA3110 Integrated Amplifier (Sold to Guillaume of Rosemere, Quebec Canada)

5"x4"x2" bare naked die-cast aluminum enclosure lent itself to my ten year-old daughter nicknaming this amp..."The Little Dude".  
Inside is a Sure TPA3110 5 watt Class D amplifier mated to a nice sounding Alpha volume pot and gold plated connectors.  Very short runs of internal wiring is twisted solid core copper.  This amp is perfect for powering some small desktop speakers or gigantic, efficient horn speakers!  As long as the speakers are efficient, 96db and up, this amp will work well.  Many posts & reviews regarding this Sure circuit board can be found with a Google search.  Over 15 short reviews of the board on the Parts Express site, which constantly sells out of this popular board.   I include a beefy12 volt, 5amp external switching power supply.   $99 plus $12 priority mail shipping will cover the adoption fees of "The Little Dude".

"Positive Feedback"

I typically get e-mails from audiophiles who buy my amps, letting me know they arrived unscathed & surprised by the sonics.  Recently, I received more of a review, from Michael, who purchased one of my amps.   His comments were completely unsolicited.  I asked him if I could post his words to my blog and he obliged.  Here are his comments:

As it is right now, I prefer this amp to many SE tube amps and highly acclaimed solid state integrated amps that have come through the system.  It's not as romantic, lush, or other additive adjectives that SE brings to the table, but it sounds more real and clear.  I'm around live music on a regular basis, and this amp offers a detailed yet musical presentation that  I think accurately captures the gestalt of the artists/engineers intentions.  It has more heart and soul compared to my other amps.

$3,000 sound for a total cost of about $150.  It kind of feels like the emperor's clothes story….when comparing it to the rest of the overpriced high-end spread.

I'm using this with a pair of Triangle Zerius, and the gain from the amp, along with my transformer volume control, is just about perfect in my small room.  If anyone is looking for a great match, a used Triangle Zerius or Titus would be a great suggestion.

Thanks for offering an interesting and great sounding amp at a price everyone can afford.  I might be interested in trying an integrated DAC with the ability to switch between my external phono pre to on-board DAC.  I'll keep up with your webpage to see if you ever make such a thing.



24kt gold pin stripe JDS Labs ODAC TPA3116 (Sold to Craig G. of Tarzana, California)

This is the second amplifier I've created with a built-in DAC.  The JDS Labs ODAC is one of those stellar "bang for the buck" DAC's.
You have to spend a lot more money to get a significant sonic benefit over the ODAC.  If you can hear the difference between interconnects in your system, you'll immediately realize the improvement of having the DAC just inches away from the amplifier board.   Eliminating a set of interconnects can get us that much closer to the original signal.
Parts utilized in this build include a Yuan Jing TPA3116D2 (blue/black circuit board), Dayton gold plated five way binding posts,  24kt gold leafing enamel pin striping, red enamel with three coats of gloss clear,  solid brass, gold plated volume knob,  Alpha brand 50K volume pot & a combination of twisted solid core copper/shielded copper signal wiring.   

Premium Post TPA3116D2 (Sold to Todd E. of Redding, California)

"Got the amp last week.  Excellent for the cash. No question. I am really amazed that something so tiny and so LIGHT can drive two 6 foot tall speakers with 4, 10" woofers, 4 mids, and two tweeters. Amazing really. Does great with voices. Been really busy so I have not had time to play around A / B -ing it with my other amps, but again I am really impressed with what I have heard so far. I am running a mac laptop, just standard 320 mp3's into a Michael Yee / Musical Surroundings MYDAC II through the USB input. Very simple set up, so compact. This uber simple set up would be very hard to beat for the money.
I am excited to try it with some of my smaller speakers once I get some free time. Excellent packing and shipping time too. Thanks for everything. I LOVE the aesthetics of it, the green cube light, the retro switch. Aluminum / Walnut. So cool."

Display Case TPA3116D2 Amplifier (Sold to Michael S. in La Crosse, Wisconsin)

Glass & wood 8"x10" display case with a Yuan Jing TPA3116D2 mounted inside.
13.8 volt, 5 amp external linear power supply feeds it.
High quality gold plated five way binding posts & Neutrik brand RCA inputs with gold plated connectors.  This power supply gives this amplifier a lot of authority.

TPA3116 with built-in JDS Labs ODAC (Sold to Sergio in Norwalk, CT)

Fleawatt TPA3116D2 with built-in, directly wired to the amp, JDS Labs ODAC. 
 One USB input connects directly to your computer or USB digital audio source.
Direct signal path from the DAC to the YuanJing "black board" amplifier circuit board with a short length of solid core twisted copper wire.  An Alps blue velvet volume pot compliments this circuit nicely.  Combining this highly regarded Class D amplifier with a directly wired giant killer DAC approaches the pinnacle of high fidelity audio with very little cash outlay.  As with all my amplifiers, the amplifier board is vibration isolated on neoprene isolation washers.  High quality gold plated five way binding posts.  3M brand isolation pads on the bottom of the solid, die-cast aluminum chassis.   A copper faux steam gauge and copper colored hardware makes for an understated, mild steampunk theme. 

Lonely Flea TPA3116D2 (Sold to Robert K. of Diamondhead, MS)

One of a kind.  Hand made.  Yuan Jing "Black" board (better sounding) TPA3116D2.
Very dark brown, nearly black, gloss metallic enamel painted aluminum chassis.
Wood burned flea logo in real walnut veneer.  Solid, machined brass volume knob adorns a VALAB brand stepped attenuator.  The Valab attenuator features Japan made KOA 1/4W 1% 25ppm precision resistors.  Only two of these audiophile resistors in the signal path.  The most open and revealing of volume pots I've ever used.

10K Gold Leaf & Green TPA3116D2 (Sold to Sarah A. of Medford, MA)

Hand made.  One of a kind.  Glossy dark green die cast aluminum chassis accented with real walnut veneer, 10K gold leafing enamel pin striping and real brass accents.  Equipped with an Alpha brand volume pot, gold plated RCA connectors and gold plated, insulated, five way binding posts.  3M brand elastomer bump ons on the bottom.  Neoprene isolators for circuit board mounting.  Walnut veneer has a natural oil finish.  Includes a 12 volt/5amp external power supply.
This amp uses the Yuan Jing TPA3116D2 2.0  "black board" (better sounding than red)

Walnut Brass & Black Valab TPA3116 (Sold to Eric P. of Frisco, Texas)

Hand made, one of a kind.  Textured black enamel paint, walnut veneer and brass accents.  Solid machined brass volume knob.
This amp has the power switch in the back to facilitate shorter power supply wiring.
Equipped with a VALAB brand stepped attenuator.  The Valab stepped attenuators use Japan made KOA 1/4W 1% 25ppm precision resistors.  Only two resistors in the signal path.  This is the most open & revealing volume pot I've sampled.   As with all my amps, teflon coated solid core copper is used for all the signal wiring.  3M brand elastomer bump-on's on the bottom of the solid die-cast aluminum chassis.  The circuit board is supported by neoprene isolation washers.
This amp uses the Yuan Jing TPA3116 D2 2.0 "black" circuit board, which is the better sounding version.

Dayton Audio B652 Fleawatt Modified (Sold to Sarah A. of Medford, MA)

These are highly modified Dayton Audio B652's budget audiophile speakers.   Read the reviews on the web.  The speakers are good for the money.  However, when the stock particle board cabinets are substituted for hand made 3/4" thick maple ply cabinets, a 1% polyfilm audio grade cap replaces a no name Chinese electrolytic cap, gold binding posts replace spring clips and acoustic stuff brand fill replaces 1" thick polyester batting, the speakers become audiophile stand outs!  These speakers were finished in bright red to match Sarah's bright red & maple wood amp.  (photo below)

Fleaburned Alps Blue Velvet TPA3116 (Sold to Joshua R. of Louisville, KY)

Yuan Jing TPA3116 2.0 "black board".  Board mounted on neoprene isolators.  Gold plated, insulated five way binding posts.  Gold plated RCA connectors.  Solid, brushed aluminum volume knob.  Nickel plated, vintage style toggle switch.   Teflon coated, twisted, solid core copper wiring.  WBT silver solder.  Real maple wood veneer with burned logo.  The wood is coated with a clear matte acrylic.  A highly regarded Alps Blue Velvet pot was used in this build.   The aluminum chassis is untreated and can be periodically polished or let go for a natural patina.  Elastomer isolation feet on the bottom.

Valab TPA3116 2.0 Maple Wood Burned (Sold to Timo O. in Everett, WA)

Another 3116 version 2.0 amp built with the incredibly transparent VALAB brand stepped attenuator.  Only two Japan made KOA 1% tolerance resistors in each incremental step.  Incredibly transparent.  This amp employs the side mounted power input and switch allowing for incredibly short wiring.   The circuit board is also oriented within the chassis to minimize the length of all connections.  This amp has the word "Fleawatt" burned into the real wood veneer.  A clear matte acrylic protects the wood.  The rest of the chassis is hand brushed and unfinished die cast aluminum for a industrial look. Keep it polished up or let it go for a natural patina.

SSR (Short Signal Path) TPA3116D2 (Sold to Jeff T. of Sherman Oaks, California)


This amplifier was built with sonics as a priority.  Everything was laid out for the Shortest Signal Path possible.   Internal wiring can act as antenna, picking up radio frequency interference & electrical magnetic interference, which can add distortion to the delicate original signal.  The shorter the length, the better.  My favorite volume potentiometer, a VALAB stepped attenuators, using made in Japan 1% tolerance KOA resistors was used in this build.  Only two audiophile quality resistors in the signal path.  This hand made volume pot is the most open and transparent I've heard.   I sprung for the $40 a pair WBT style gold plated, solid brass binding posts.  These are very heavy, solid and I believe contribute to the excellent sound of this amp.  The DC power connector and switch were placed on the side, which keeps the power bus wiring to be less than two inches in length.  The circuit board is suspended from the top of the chassis on neoprene washers for additional isolation.  Elastomer isolation pads adorn the bottom plate.   The chassis is a die-cast solid aluminum with a natural, brushed finish.  There is no clear coat on it for a natural aluminum patina.  A solid aluminum volume knob and Fleawatt placard finishes it off.