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Better Sound that
You Can Build!
GT-101 Power Amplifier Kit

$299+$26 shipping (48 states, kit form)

GT-101 with the top removed

The GT-101 (shown with the cover removed) features the parts quality found in high-end equipment,
yet the kit costs just $299+$26 shipping (48 states)
You can buy it assembled for $473+$26 shipping (48 states).

About the GT-101 Power Amplifier Kit

You can build a great sounding stereo power amplifier. Just start with the GT-101 kit, a few hand tools, and a little bit of time. It delivers 50 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms, and nearly double that into 4 Ohms. That's enough power to rock the room. And as excited as you might get listening, the amp stays cool owing to its large finned heat sinks. It looks great, and has the kind of sound that would cost 3 to 6 times more anywhere else. The parts quality is top-notch, the kind of stuff typically found in high-end equipment.

You'll get a great sense of satisfaction from building something that looks and sounds so great. It's fun to build. It's a great project for dads (or moms) and kids to do together. A number of happy customers have built GT-101's as personalized presents for their kids or grand-kids.

Why the GT-101?

It’s a complete kit...everything you need to build a great looking, great sounding power amplifier is included in this kit. It has an acclaimed assembly manual with clear directions that produce first time success for 97% of the builders. Quick email support makes the other 3% successful, too. The GT-101 is a proven design with knowledgeable support.

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You Can Do It!

The manual is so carefully written that even electronic novices have successfully built the kit. It guides you step by step through the assembly process in the manner of the classic assembly manuals from Dynaco and Heathkit. Lots of people have built the GT-101, going straight from assembly to great sound. We've gotten lots of compliments on the clear and easy-to-follow assembly manual. We've also incorporated feedback from our builders so that the manual keeps getting better. GT-101 Assembly Manual. The assembly manual is a 2.5 Mbyte pdf file, so it might take a little time to download. This link may be useful if you have browser/pdf problems.

Great Sound and Great Specs!

Akitika’s GT-101 is a complete stereo power amplifier kit that delivers more than 50 Watts per channel of clean, low noise power into 8 Ohm loads, and nearly double that into 4 Ohms. More measurements can be found here. The kit supplies everything but the solder. Add a few hours of labor and the result is Better Sound, because you build it. Take a look at what our customers have to say about the GT-101.

Top Quality Components

The kit includes a toroidal power transformer, film and COG capacitors, metal film resistors, heavy-duty extruded aluminum heat sinks, isolated input jacks, double-sided PC boards, and a fully regulated power supply, all elegantly fitted into a black custom chassis. The GT-101 puts out more than 50 Watts per channel in 8 Ohms, and nearly twice that into 4 Ohms. It may well be the best sound you'll ever build!

The GT-101 can be wired for either 120 or 240 Volt operation at either 50 or 60 Hz. For 240 Volt operation, please order the V240 kit as well as the GT-101. The V240 kit manual includes wiring directions for 240 volt operation. Owing to the large number of different AC power plugs outside of the United States, international customers will have to supply their own country specific IEC power cord.

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Reasons to Build a GT-101 Stereo Amplifier Kit

1. Kit building is fun!

2. You know exactly what's inside your amp...you put it there!

3. It sounds great!

4. You'd have to pay a lot more to get this quality of components anywhere else.

5. The detailed assembly manual makes it easy for you to succeed.

6. Your sweat equity gives you high-end performance at an affordable price.

7. It's educational. Steve Jobs built Heathkits.

Life Lessons from a Kit

The following excerpt is from Appendix C of "The Innovator's DNA", by Dyer, Gregersen, and Christensen. The paragraph speaks about the influence that building electronic kits had on Steve Jobs.

...Later, Jobs's neighbor, Larry Lang, taught him (and other interested neighborhood kids) a lot about electronics by building Heathkits together. In retrospect, Jobs realized that building Heathkits with a neighbor and exploring things on his father's workbench ultimately gave him an understanding of what lurked inside a finished product. More importantly, Jobs acquired the sense that "things were not mysteries", and as a result, he also gained "a tremendous level of self-confidence" about mechanical and electronic things.

A Review of the GT-101 by Bob Grossman

Bob Grossman is a senior equipment reviewer for AVShowrooms, the Principal Librarian for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and a Professional Bassoonist. This is what he had to say:

"Wow, what a great amp kit. This thing really rocks and delivers the goods! The volume and quality of the sound is limitless. The AkitikA GT-101 amp easily drove my demanding and power hungry Magneplaner 3.6 speakers without stress or compression.

The amp kit is cleverly designed with a simple well finished case. It provided a good spatial representation that floated a dimensional image in my room so that each of the instruments and vocals could be clearly distinguished in a nicely landscaped sound. The amp was equally adept at playing classical, jazz, and rock without favoring any frequency range or type of room response. It has a nicely balanced sound from high to low that didn't add any particular coloration to the sound. I don't run bench tests to access the performance numbers but my ears couldn't hear any signs of distortion even when playing at unreasonably loud sound levels. Maggie tweeters can be ruthless in revealing flaws and creating fatigue when driven hard by some amps yet my ears were happy even after multiple hours of listening to the GT-101 amp. You can't go wrong with this amp if you like to play your music at loud levels while maintaining a quality sound.

It also runs very cool and isn't a room radiator like other big amps that I own. Dan J. has done well with the design. At this price performance value level, you'll never miss having a laser engraved solid one piece machined faceplate and heat sinks that look like tank armor. Anyone buying this amp kit will be thrilled with the results and will be getting a great value and performance treat.

It's hard to believe in this day and age that it's possible to own such a good amp for so little money. If you own a solder iron and take pride in DIY projects, I confidently endorse and recommend taking advantage of building this kit. Invite some friends over to hear some good music. After you see their toes tapping and heads swinging, let them know you built it yourself. They won't believe you! I bet they think you spent a lot more money to get something that sounds this good. But if you let them in on the deal and source, I wouldn't be surprised if they ask you to build a GT-101 kit for them to own."

Bob Grossman
Senior Equipment Reviewer for AVShowrooms
Principal Librarian for The Philadelphia Orchestra
Professional Bassoonist

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Talk to the Designer

We have many satisifed customers for both the Akitika GT-101 and the Updatemydynaco line of products. Still, I know that it's hard to send $299 plus $26 shipping via Paypal when you've never done business with us before. In addition, you may have questions about the amp, about building the kit, and how it might work out in your system. I urge you to send me an email with questions.

Customer Impressions

Here are impressions from GT-101 customers about building the kit, the quality, and the sound.

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Class AB with a Regulated Supply...Approaching Class A?

The GT-101 has an electronically regulated power supply. That makes it unusual among audio power amplifers. But in some ways, it offers an advantage similar to class A operation.

Class A amplifiers can be among the most linear of amplifiers, and the least efficient. They draw a constant current from the power supply, no matter what signal is being delivered to the speaker. That says that a Class A amplifier doesn't modulate the supply rails..constant current drain produces a constant load on the power supply, and hence a constant voltage.

Is a Class AB amplifier with an electronically regulated power supply almost as good in that respect? If the power supply's output impedance is low, then the output signal minimally modulates the rails. That should cause less distortion at the output. In that sense, the Class AB with regulated power supply should be about as blameless as a Class A amp.

The one way that the Class A amplifier still has it over the Class AB is that at low listening levels, the output device has nearly constant current. That is, its operating current is the large class A bias current with the small signal modulations. Of course, at high output levels, the Class A advantage diminishes, as the output device then experiences wide swings in operating current.

Specification Summary

Measurement graphs are available here. Or, you can ask a question

Warranty

With the exception of fuses, Akitika will replace for free any parts of a correctly assembled GT-101 that fail within one year of the date of purchase when the amplifier has been used in home stereo applications. It is the responsibility of the kit builder to install the replacement part(s). This warranty applies to the original purchaser only. It does not apply to units that have been physically or electrically abused, or modified without prior written authorization.

How Can I Get One?

We currently have kits in stock for immediate shipping. Shipments are by UPS surface. Don't miss out...order your GT-101 kit today!

Buy a GT-101 at the Akitika store. Note: When you check out, the invoice will say Updatemydynaco. Updatemydynaco is a product line of Akitika LLC

How does $299 stack up?

In 1966, a Dynaco Stereo 120 in kit form cost $209.00. That’s $1483.19 in 2012 dollars. The GT-101 is just $299 plus $26 shipping (48-states). That’s a real deal when you consider all the goodies inside...film input capacitors, toroidal transformer, regulated power supply, 0.1% gain setting resistors, COG capacitors in the feedback, beautiful custom metalwork, 2-layer FR-4 PCB’s, and serious heat sinks. The kit contains everything that you need but the solder!

All the Best....

dan@akitika.com

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Now you Can Get It Assembled!

We think that most people will enjoy building their GT-101 power amplifier. However, some folks would rather purchase an assembled, tested unit. You can do that now. We build and test the kits to order. The assembled, tested, GT-101 amp costs $473 plus $26 shipping in the lower 48 states. Assuming we have kits in stock when you order the assembled unit, our typical lead time is about 10 business days. Send email to request current delivery schedule and place an order.

See our Ad in Stereophile Magazine and AudioXpress

The GT-101 is advertised in current and upcoming issues of both Stereophile Magazine and AudioExpress (January issue, page 29, and the cover, emphasis added).

AudioXpress January 2013 Cover

A Few Closeups

Here are some views of the assembled unit. You might also check out the Assembly manual for a number of detailed photos inside and out.The Five-Way binding posts have holes big enough to accept quite heavy speaker wire. The IEC power connector lets you easily experiment with different power cords. The RCA input connectors are isolated from the chassis to allow optimum grounding.

GT-101 three quarter view

GT-101 back view

GT-101 with top off

GT-101 viewed from above

See what our customers have to say. This is a refined and improved version of the kind of results we've delivered in the Stereo 120 Upgrade kits.

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About AkitikA

You may be familiar with Akitika's Updatemydynaco kits that make the Stereo 120 and PAT-4 better than new. Those are certainly great kits, but you need an old Dynaco to get the ball rolling. What if you want to build a new kit, from the ground up? That's what you'll find at this web site, starting with the GT-101 Power Amplifier Kit.

Akitika is a pallindrome on "A kit". We pronouce it Ah-kuh-TEE-kuh.

A Bit of Kit History

Lots of people used to build electronic kits. Heathkit, Eico, and Dynaco let anyone assemble great stuff and save a lot of money. On top of that, building the kits was relaxing, educational, and rewarding. We’re here to say that the good times are back! Akitika has designed a high performance Stereo Amplifier kit, the GT-101. With our carefully selected parts and your labor, you get great sound and a great value.

About the Kits

Component Quality

The amplifier modules are built on high quality 2-layer FR-4 PC Boards. Critical signal path capacitors have high linearity NPO or poly-film dielectrics. Metal film resistors, a toroidal transformer, and an elegant basic black custom chassis are the great ingredients that produce remarkable results.

About Assembly

Kit construction has four steps:

  1. Downloading and printing the latest version of the assembly manual
  2. Stuffing and soldering the new PC boards.
  3. Wiring the Chassis
  4. Mounting the new PC boards, and completing final assembly.

The kit uses all through-hole components. The circuit board has been specially designed with generous spacing between all the soldered points, making assembly easy.Check out our YouTube video (not yet available), where we summarize the assembly process.

FAQS

Q. How long does it take to assemble?
A. Probably about 8 hours of work.

Q. What tools do I need?
A. At the minimum, you’ll need:

  1. 30 Watt pencil style soldering iron
  2. Wire cutters and strippers
  3. Phillips screwdrivers
  4. Needle nose and/or regular pliers

It’s also handy, but not necessary, to have:

  1. Nut drivers
  2. A multi-meter

Q. I haven't soldered for a while. Is there somewhere I can get a refresher?
A. This youtube video reviews soldering technique.

Q. Do I have to be an electronics genius to build it?
A. Not at all. If you can stay calm and follow directions, you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Q. Do I need any supplies that aren’t in the kit?
A. Just solder!

Q. What are the shipping options?
A. All shipments are by UPS.

Q. What's the relation between AkitikA and Updatemydynaco?
A. Updatemydynaco is one of Akitika LLC's product lines.

Q. How good does it sound? How easy is it to put together?
A. The GT-101 contains a number of enhancements to the technology found in the Updatemydynaco products. Here are Testimonials about the sound of the Updatemydynaco products and the building experience.

Q. What amplifier IC does the GT-101 use?
A. The GT-101 uses the LM3886 power amplifier IC. Then, we do a couple of things that get the most out of this highly regarded part. We use the metal tab version, this maximizes the ability to get heat out of the IC. The grounding arrangement allows for direct contact between the metal tab and the heatsink, so we don't suffer the thermal resistance of an additional insulator. The part is mounted on large, deep-finned heatsinks. Finally, the electronically regulated power supply gives the chip really quiet DC power to work with, which maximizes its ability to produce clean output power.

Q. I don't see the answer to my question here. What can I do?
A. Submit a Technical Question

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