Whammy – Wayne Colburn

Built: July 2019

This is the second DIY project I decided to undertake. I purchased this particular board from the diyAudio store in the US. As I am based in the UK it took around two weeks to arrive.

This board also has a simplistic layout and I decided to build it after reading about it in the diyAudio and Head-Fi forums. It has a lot of customisation options so you can actually build it according to your needs.

While following the guide, it was suggested to first start populating the power supply side of things as there are a few ways in which you can configure it. As you can see above, I opted for the Talema 22v 25VA transformer so the extra power was there if I needed it but it meant the regulators would run a bit warmer.

I configured the power supply on my Whammy using the LED voltage reference method. Instead of using the standard 1.7v red LED's as suggested in the guide, I opted for 1.9v green LED's to lift the regulator voltage a bit more raising it to (+/-) 16.95v on both rails.

This is what the board looks like finished. I used all Nichicon capacitors from parts suggested in the guide and the brown resistors are Vishay Dale mil-spec. I also used the IRF FET's which came as an alternative parts suggestion in the guide. I have made no other alterations to the build other than the green LED's so this is pretty much a standard stock build Whammy.

The Whammy is getting there now and is actually starting to resemble a headphone amp. The board was designed to slide straight into the Hammond enclosure so mounting screws are not necessary unless you use a different enclosure. One of the easiest parts of the build was drilling the front panel for the power LED indicator, headphone jack and the volume knob.

The back panel was the biggest headache. Cutting out and filing by hand the hole for the power switch IEC module took me 2 hours! I decided to add an extra set of RCA jacks for a pre-out feature to maybe use in the future.

For the headphone jack I used a Neutrik switched 1/4 inch jack. This enables me to wire up the pre-out correctly so when the headphones are plugged in it will mute the pre-out.

Its a very tight fit having the OP Amp socket positioned between two capacitors so to make OP Amp rolling much easier I simply stacked multiple sockets on top of each other and installed the OP Amp on top. This makes access a lot easier.

This is what it looks like fully built. I used some tour grade shielded microphone cable for the internal audio connections grounded through a 0.47uf / 250v filter capacitor to the mains earth. This results in a properly grounded and safe headphone amp. Because of this it is dead silent, no hum, buzz or hiss.

Another view of the finished build and it sounds amazing. Very neutral, crystal clear and nice wide soundstage. I really love this amp, it has become my daily for music and TV.