AMB M3 Headamp Evolvedhelped a friend build a case for his M3 headamp...
This made my own private M3 look like an amateurish take on things. This is in fact not too far from the truth, since it was the first headphone amplifier I ever built... Anyways, after grieving for about half a year I got around to design a new case for it...
This time, I decided to go all in and make something I would really appreciate.
First I started working on a new design and I thought to myself what I could do to match my last build... I went online turned to my long-time favourite case provider: Modushop. I found a case I thought would be able to house the amp and then thought to myself: "I NEED MORE BLING!".
"Bling", as we all know is offered in excess on eBay so I went there to see if I could find something to really make the front stand out... BINGO! There it was, the VU-meter. Often found in vintage amplifiers and taking me back to the "good ol' times" I instantly bought a couple of different ones so that I could decide till they showed up in the mail.
VU-meters are sometimes referred to as "Virtually Useless -meters" but that is SO NOT TRUE. The dancing needles will hypnotize you and make the music sound ABSOLUTELY FRIGGIN' AWESOME!
Please note that VU-meters requires a driver board that needs to be fed power, so before incorporating a VU-meter into your projects remember to also account for the driver board and PSU
With the VU-meter and knobs sorted out I started to draft something up that would make for a nice front and after some weeks debating with Modushop about what could and could not be done I was finally ready to put in the order.
After much waiting I started to receive my goods, the VU-meters and the case arrived and I found a headphone connector socket with a chrome ring on it I thought would look nice.
These are the main components for the visual expression of the front besides the case itself. The VU-meter, the headphone socket and the chrome knobs.
With the visuals all done, I thought of adding one more feature, a built in DAC. Truth is I have built both the GrubDAC and SkeletonDAC, but neither got any use so why not see if I could elegantly integrate a simple DAC into the build. That was I will always have a DAC at hand in case I am out of other sources, and all I will need is a USB cable to connect the amplifier directly to a PC/mobile phone/tablet etc.
Also, internal DAC's seem to have made their entrance on commercially available amplifiers and I most definitely did not want to build something short on essential features when an internal DAC is all the rage these days. The M3 was one thing, but since I opted for the VU-meter I would have to also make a new case for the power supply with a second supply for the VU-meter driver board.