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Old 11th September 2002, 06:29 PM   #1
Electrons are yellow and more is better!
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Hi!

I'm puzzled of the DIY "distribution" in what is appealing.

My personal reason (now when I was younger, in the 70's) was to be able to build something with higher performance than the normal stuff had at the time to a reasonable cost. I didn't mind some complexity.

Now (when I'm more experienced) I want to design if I can and build as good as possible but with some sense, good engineering. I find it also the design process important, in fact VERY important, to do something of your own.

I have noticed that my monster overkill phono project is rather unattractive for most DIY'ers, but I have no intention to make "simple" products in order to sell more. My brand is high performance but can I design a high performing and simple circuit I will do that.

I respect all people who want projects which are easy to build and also those who want to sell (and earn money I suppose) pcb's. I do my thing beacuse it's fun. I'll never get rich (let's face it) so therefore I can afford to be "stubborn" and not to release popular and simple(easy) projects. (Please be kind to me Mr The One and Only. Simple can be good )

My design goal is always (nowadays) to make my project easy to build with no trimming and/or matching if possible. If it from work with series production, if 1000 people build myuu amp, everyone should succeed if they follow my component suggestions.

OK, enough of promotion.

Question:

What things are for YOU important when you deside to build a DIY project. Let's here it.
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Old 11th September 2002, 06:34 PM   #2
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Performance only. If the complexity is a key, I don't mind it, but it is rarely a case.

By performance I mean the sound and not measured specs which are never of interest to me (unless this are speakers which have to be measured).
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Old 11th September 2002, 07:07 PM   #3
Cobra2 is offline Cobra2  Norway
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Beeing a tweaker (& hot-rodder) I think my preferences are:

1) Sonic performance

2) Practical in use

3) Must be reliable

Arne K
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Old 11th September 2002, 07:08 PM   #4
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In THE order of priority:

Safety
Reliability
Performance (same as Peter's sound quality)
Flexibility (Easy to modify and replace, source parts)
Appearance

I believe the performance part really is the drive, to spend the same amount of money in DIY to get if not 3 times of the performance it would be for a brand name product.
Chris
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Old 11th September 2002, 07:14 PM   #5
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And of course the appearance. It has to be satisfying not only to ears but eyes as well.
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“Do something really well. See how much time it takes. It might be a product, a work of art, who knows? Then give it away cheaply, just because you feel that it should not cost so much, even if it took a lot of time and expensive materials to make it.” - JC
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Old 11th September 2002, 08:00 PM   #6
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there's a certain thrill when you plug it in and it really works. Further, you don't have to compromise on quality the way an OEM does.

When I was a Technician Class ham, nothing better than building a transmitter and getting your first contact on it. When I graduated to General I purchased a transceiver and ham radio wasn't the same fun anymore.

things I don't do anymore: anything having to do with a ladder, plumbing, anything which has to do with the "mains box".

things which I now do: roll my own test equipment, build speakers, build amps, program PIC Micros, program VBasic...and I burn my own PCBoards!
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Old 11th September 2002, 08:12 PM   #7
mlloyd1 is offline mlloyd1  United States
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OK, I'll come clean ....

When I was younger, maxmium measured performance came first. I didn't think my ears were trustworthy enough and I had extreme confidence that the laws of physics as I understood them would not permit failure - "the spec is all". Elegant design meant compensating for problematic parameters, so lots of cascodes, feedback loops, feedforward, etc. It was good experience to teach me about stability (you know, the trial by fire thing). As far as using lots of parts, more parts (properly applied of course) meant I knew what I was doing.

My motivation to build my own was two fold; I couldn't afford to buy and I enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction obtained from doing it myself.

Now, I listen first and foremost. If if pleases me, I don't measure it to death anymore. I don't dismiss circuits that have > 0.1% THD anymore as "bad designs", but I do still frown on crazy things like capacitive coupling to loudspeakers. I still like and use op amps, but I've built and listen to discrete designs whose sound pleases me more. I've learned my lesson that attention to details is what separates wheat from the chaff more than topology, designer parts, etc. Elegant design means getting maximum performance with fewest parts properly applied that work synergistically, implying decisions with a lot more understanding, engineering judgement and experience behind them. I really appreciate Nelson's story about spending 20 years understanding and finally figuring out how to properly apply X/SUSY, for example. Reliability is more important now too, because I don't have time to do much in the way of repairs anymore (see below).

Over the last five years, I've had to figure out how to build the performance I want very cheaply in almost zero time, because I got married and I still haven't finished training her yet (maybe I got that backwards) . I wish I had the time and equipment to do the caliber of work I've seen from some of you folks. Very inspirational!
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Old 11th September 2002, 08:22 PM   #8
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Wink What I design for.

1.Sonics
2.Sonics
3.Sonics
4.Reliability
5.Don't use a couple of hundred parts if a couple of dozen will work.
6.Extremeness
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Old 12th September 2002, 01:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: What I design for.

Quote:
Originally posted by HarryHaller
1.Sonics
2.Sonics
3.Sonics
4.Reliability
5.Don't use a couple of hundred parts if a couple of dozen will work.
6.Extremeness
I'm with Harry.
I'd rather listen to an amp that was full of <shudder> <i>sand</i> than something with a 300B in it. They're so, well, <i>plebian</i>. D<i>aaah</i>links.

There are so many DIY designs and topologies out there that manufacturers can't use due to all sorts of limitations like parts availability, cost, legal liability or perceived market acceptance, but which are capable of much increased performance over what's available commercially.

Hasta
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Old 12th September 2002, 02:39 AM   #10
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Default Driving entropy uphill.

For me, the greatest satisfaction comes from looking around around my rubble-strewn shed (aka the junkbox) and then looking at something that I actually built from that stuff; stuff that would otherwise have become landfill. Often I have made something that cost zero, or at most maybe a couple of dollars. This way I can afford to be as over the top as I want. For example I have an up and coming 50 WRMS per channel class A amp (that I had not mentioned previously) that for filter caps uses a string of 100 x 2200uF 35v caps just because I had them. Also it uses an 85mH inductor in each source leg and these weigh 14kg each Cost was zero although I did have to keep them for 10 1/2 years to find a use. When I turn it on soon, satisfaction will radiate out of it and fill the room, and me a the same time. I will be in moderate-fi heaven

GP.
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