Altec 1566A: Mic Preamp and Direct Box Kit
Alternatives to building from scratch © April 2003 by Eddie Ciletti
Part-1: The Sound of Vacuum Tubes
Part-2: Modern and NOS Vacuum Tube Evaluation
Thinking about building, but don't know where to start?   Here are some tips...


  • If you've barely got a budget, no skills, minimal tools and even less time, may I suggest either of the two tube preamps offered by Rolls / Bellari.  The RP-220 and RP-520 are based on a real tube front end, running on high voltage and not "starved," with an IC opamp output stage.  Rolls / Bellari even have scratch and dent models to choose from.   These are the most affordable real tube preamps on the market.  Start here and modify / upgrade later. 
  • If you've got more money than time and construction skills, consider buying the Dynaco PAS-series tube preamp, available on e-bay.  This is a Hi-Fi preamp with input selector, phono preamp and tone controls that will provide a "house," a power supply and circuit boards.  The only "issues" are your modification skills, expecially mechanical, specifically mounting the XLR and Instrument connectors.
No matter how the Altec 1566 kit is approached, this is THE mini-electronics course for classic tube circuits, a real tube preamp with real high voltage.  You will learn about electronics -- from power supply to audio circuits, vacuum tubes and construction techniques. 
Need Tools?:  Check out this link
  • soldering iron
  • oscillator
  • voltmeter
  • oscilloscope
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