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Old 15th January 2013, 02:51 PM   #1
slungu is offline slungu  Germany
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Default Is DIY worth it ?

I was making up the math for building two monoblocks of bridged LM3886 and was getting out somewhere around 200,- EUR for everything and was wondering if it really is worth the trouble. Ok, it is maybe not a huge amount of money, but still some money to be burn. Of course, it is a great feeling to get to the end of the process and have something that you built, that is working as it should and so on, but in terms of best value for the money performance wise, how do you see our DIY activity ?

Regards, Stefan
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Old 15th January 2013, 02:56 PM   #2
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DIY audio can be an expensive hobby - especially if you include the cost of tools and test equipment and whatever you consider your time to be worth. But all of the frustration involved with seeing something actually go up in smoke - that's priceless!!!!
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Old 15th January 2013, 03:06 PM   #3
billyk is offline billyk  United States
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Yes! The value is undeniable for me. Inexpensive, no, that is one thing it is not!
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Old 15th January 2013, 03:10 PM   #4
slungu is offline slungu  Germany
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I was actually wondering about the "measurable" advantage. It is not inexpensive, for sure, and if you would count in your time it would get even worse ( I never do since it is a recreational activity for me ), but I was simply wondering if making a pair of monoblocks at around 2x80W for 200,- EUR is presenting a performance or price advantage. I will make them anyhow, or they will go up in smoke, but I was still wondering about the "cold" ( i.e. material ) part of this.
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Old 15th January 2013, 03:34 PM   #5
billyk is offline billyk  United States
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I don't know.... I think that depends on the project. An F5 may cost $500.00 - $1,000.00 for a basic build (I know that folks do a lot of beautiful custom casework that has to cost big $$$) but I am sure it rivals and / or surpasses many of the big dollar commercial products. The AmpCamp amps combined with a B1 and an ODAC in one case cost me about $350.00 and I don't think I can find anything that sounds as good as that for twice the price.
Look about the web for something simialar to what you are building if you want a price comparison, I find a lot of these great DIY designs can sound better dollar for dollar than a similar commercial product.
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Old 15th January 2013, 04:10 PM   #6
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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mostly its cheaper to just buy it
but the joy of buying is short
the building process last much longer
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Old 15th January 2013, 04:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c2cthomas View Post
DIY audio can be an expensive hobby - especially if you include the cost of tools and test equipment and whatever you consider your time to be worth. But all of the frustration involved with seeing something actually go up in smoke - that's priceless!!!!
I even changed my signature line to this!!!!
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Old 15th January 2013, 04:27 PM   #8
Zen Mod is offline Zen Mod  Serbia
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speaking of Gainclones - just look at price of some of commercial ones

I even spent some power and time , years ago , to make quick'n'dirt one and same but with esoteric execution ;

I didn't heard difference , using same (external cased ) mains xformer

and I really tried to hear difference .....

so , now I'm officially both - blind and deaf

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Old 15th January 2013, 04:27 PM   #9
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You can build it with plain or exotic components or with what you might have leftover from other projects totally unrelated to audio. You could also reuse parts from old things dead or broke. Or you could buy everything with custom cut and finished hardware filled with near unobtainium parts just to squeeze out that extra low distortion number.

Depends how far you want to go, but always remember to enjoy yourself along the way. The getting there to the finish line is worth it for me.
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Old 15th January 2013, 04:49 PM   #10
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I vote "no." Of course the answer is "it depends." Do you live in a high-tax country? Then it may be cheaper to buy a kit or parts and assemble something yourself. (Think of how IKEA got started.) If you already have a set of tools, it might make sense. For example, if you are a master cabinet maker, you would probably be a fool to NOT seriously consider building top-quality cabinets and making yourself a nice speaker system, if you wanted a good system. It would be far cheaper than buying a brand name one. There is the satisfaction of designing, building, or just working on your own creation. Audio (hearing) is a subjective pleasure, and many claim to be able to hear differences. I am a skeptic. I say buy the cheapest device that will meet your needs and resist the many psychological games. If someone claims X is better than your Y, then demand some form of proof -- a blind test at least, rather than the glowing recommendation of a salesman, lunatic fringe magazine, or even a close friend.
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