ICEpower 200AC Amplifier

A while ago I realised I still had a single pair of ICEpower 200AC modules left over as well as a suitable transformer – and why miss an obvious opportunity to make another power amplifier I don’t really need? 😀

The 200AC module is exactly the same amplifier section as the better-known ICEpower 200ASC only without the onboard power supply. The 200AC board is very compact at app. 55 x 107 mm per channel but will still put out over 200W into 4 ohms and because I had the transformer available I opted for a linear power supply. The transformer is a custom one I got from ebay (I think) with a 32VAC winding and a single 12VAC winding. This makes it perfect for the ICEpower modules as the dual-rail low-voltage supply can easily be generated via a voltage doubler. The main power rail is a bit lower power than I might have wished for (160VA), but not overly so, and the transformer is made by what I consider a quality manufacturer so it should be OK. 160VA is still more than 1/3 of the peak power which should work as a rule of thumb (yes, I know it is a bit more more complex than that but a good starting point as far as I am concerned).

The power supply board is a variation/update of a design I first made nearly ten years ago (when I started building with the ICEpower modules) and quite simple. I will publish the board files shortly as it might be useful for other users of the ICEpower AC-series and A-series modules without switching PSUs. I’ve used a dual-mono setup with separate PSUs mainly to be able to add a bit more capacitance to the mail supply rail (2 x 10000uF per channel) which shouldn’t hurt. The capacitors are very audiophile-approved “Gold Tune” types from Nichicon, not because I think it is audible per se, but because I like the look (yes I know, I shouldn’t admit to such things :D)

Apart from the amplifier boards and the power supplies I have added fuses on both the primary and the secondary sides of the transformer via a couple of my supporting PCBs. The secondary-side fuse board is the one I published here and the primary side fuse board is somewhere in the pipeline :). Obviously using these boards aren’t strictly required, but I wanted the fuses in the amp and especially the secondary-side board also makes for much neater wiring than would otherwise be possible for me to achieve.

I also wanted this amp to be fairly compact and unfortunately that took a few bits of custom metal work to achieve, namely a mounting plate for the modules and PSUs, another for the transformer and a small one for the primary fuse board (not fitted yet in the picture below). That obviously pushes the cost up a bit, but fortunately I have decided to ignore that part 😉

The back panel sketch is done and will be included in my next order with Schaeffer/FPX. Still to do is a front panel and some wiring, although I might actually hold off doing the front panel until later. That way I can match the looks of this power amp to an as-yet unspecified DAC/preamp/whatever to make a matching set 😀

200ac-amp-1

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14 Responses to ICEpower 200AC Amplifier

  1. Pingback: Project files: ICEpower Linear PSU | theslowdiyer

  2. Just recently found your blog and I’m really enjoying reading about your projects. In particular the ICEpower related ones.

    I myself am very new to the hifi diy but am, like you, planning a dac and amp project:)

  3. Fun!:)

    Do you know what dac or speakers you will hook this up to?

  4. Must sound awsome:)

    Im upgrading my pair of BeoLab Penta’s to go with the to-be-built icepower amp.
    Ive been quoted 250$ for a 500ASP and 350$ for a 1000ASP. The shipping would be expensive. Is that a fair price? From where did you source your amps?

    • theslowdiyer says:

      I haven’t bought modules on “the open market” for a while but using what I had in stock so I don’t know what the ASPs go for these days. If the shipping is on top of those prices I’d say they are maybe on the high side, but on the other hand you may struggle to find better offers.

  5. Im evaluating using 250asx2 in btl mode, 700asx, 700asc or 700asc2 to run my 8ohm speakers. The 250asx2 has the more powerful output in 8 ohm but thats just specs. Whats your impression of the asc series compared to the asx series when it comes to features and sound?

    Looking forward to see more pictures from your build. What case are you using?

    • theslowdiyer says:

      I haven’t tried the newer ASC-modules (300ASC and 700ASC) nor the 700ASX, so can’t comment on those. Of the “previous” models the ASX-series sounds better than the 200ASC, but they were based on different technologies as well. I think the “newer” ASC series might use the same circuitry and the difference is mainly in features – that’s certainly the case for the 700ASC/ASX.

      The case I used for my build is a GX388 from Modushop.

      /U.

  6. Thanks! Really good information.

    What do you think of the asp series? I read about your 1000asp build and that you preferred the 500 to the 1000. How do they compare to the newer series?

    • theslowdiyer says:

      Hi Martin,

      I think the ASX-modules sound better than the ASP-series. However, I also think it’s deep into “personal preference”-territory and I am quite sure that someone with a different system and/or a different set of preferences would think otherwise 🙂

      /U.

  7. Thank you. Im sure you are right:)

  8. I really like how you mount your boards on aluminium. Makes for a really clean installation.

    Do you have your own cnc or how do you achieve such uniform radius of the corners?

    • theslowdiyer says:

      The mounting plates are made by Schaeffer/Front Panel Express, so yes it is CNC. It’s not a cheap solution, but if the design is kept simple (no engravings etc.) then I think it’s sometimes worth it. Apart from making the sketch using the FPX software, my involvement is limited to paying the bill 😉

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