As a first hi-fi project, I decided to build a power amp; since the combination of Capaciti’s ESLs and the amp/preamp from www.hifiakademie.de is excellent and offers lots of options (e.g. DSP upgrade), that’s what I went with. I had initially planned to buy the naked PCB and build everything from scratch, but in the end I opted to buy the pre-built version and concentrate on the case.


  • Pre-built poweramp PCB, transformer and soft-start module from http://www.hifiakademie.de
  • Case from http://www.modushop.biz. I went with the Slimline 2U in 23cm depth and ordered the 3mm base (absolutely necessary since the transformer is a heavy beast)
  • Neutrik chinch connectors, the speaker connectors I found on eBay
  • 2 elegant feet “borrowed” from an old CD-player…
  • The usual bits and bobs (wiring, screws, gratuitous swearing)
  • The rear panel was mangled using a combination of drills and a saw. Note to self: If you draw things on the reverse side, they are mirrored…
  • The front panel is solid 45 x 9 x 1cm aluminium, but the only thing that needed to be done was drill a hole for the LED. Thankfully, the front comes pre-fitted for handles, so all I needed to do was drill the final few mm.


I ended up with a few more scratches in the sides and back panel than I had hoped, but all in all I’m pretty pleased with the result. I’m very glad I bought the pre-built PCB, I still can’t quite get the hang of soldering and I probably would have made a mess of it. Even so, after connecting everything up it was still a suspenseful moment when first flicking the power switch.

To dos…

  • I need to reinforce the case slightly, probably using an L-profile to connect front panel with the base
  • Add a port for the DSP module and connection for controlling the standby circuit
  • Decide what color LED to use :)


amp_panel.jpg amp_internals.jpg amp.jpg