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Old 20th January 2002, 12:31 AM   #11
JohnR is online now JohnR  Australia
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Hi Pete, I don't think you said anything about blind testing before!

FWIW I owned an Alpha 10 for a while and I don't remember it ever sounding as good as the AKSA does. However all the rest of the equipment was different and I no longer have the amp so can't compare directly.

With the well-known kits, it is sometimes possible to hear them in advance, if you can hook up with someone nearby that has already built one. I would be surprised if there wasn't someone somewhere in Sydney that wouldn't let you come over for a listen. In the case of the AKSA perhaps Hugh could steer you to someone?

Cheers

JohnR
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Old 20th January 2002, 01:10 AM   #12
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John, I didn't specifically mention blind testing per se, as I was simply asking a general philosophical question about DIY in general. It was never intended to be a specific discussion about X v. Y, since, as you mention, this involves personal preferences. However it would be interesting, again as a very broad generalisation, to have some idea of what performance level people expect based on “rules of thumb” of price against performance. In other words if a DIY amp cost $500 to build, should this compare favourably with commercial units costing $500, $1,000, $1,500, etc? As I mentioned, because my emphasis was on keeping this very general, I don’t feel this is an unfair question based on other peoples’ experience and opinions.

Cheers,

Pete
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Old 20th January 2002, 01:16 AM   #13
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Default DIY/Commercial Ratio

I think there are 2 major facors in the cost ratio I would expect between commercial and DIY.

Firstly to make a profit, there is a rule of thumb that MLO (material, Labor and Overhead) to produce a product is about 1/3 - 1/4 of final selling price, depending on the distribution channel. So when you design a product to sell at a given cost point that defines your MLO budget. DIY does not suffer from this multiplier. However the labor content in DIY can be very high (but freely given).

Secondly DIY designs are free from the commercial constraints of design to a specified component line, use of existing manufacturing equipment, use of a design already owned - so there is the possibility of a "better" design in DIY.

I guess disregarding labor, I expect a 1:4 ratio on the gear I build. Including labor at my normal consulting rates the ratio is probably 2:1 - but I have so much fun building and can't hire out as an electronics assembler at the rates I can get as a software program manager/project turnaround manager so I can't use that ratio.
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Old 20th January 2002, 01:28 AM   #14
JoeBob is offline JoeBob  Canada
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I think you're missing the point of DIY. If you buy an amp then it'll sound like the manufacturer wanted it to (within it's low budget, afterall there's profit). But with DIY you can always change things until it sounds like you want it to. Afterall how good the amp sounds is subjective and someone will always think it sucks.
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Old 20th January 2002, 01:49 AM   #15
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Joe, different people have different motivations for DIY, so what could be “The Point” for you may not be so for others. I would suggest it is generally easier to modify commercial equipment than it is to build from scratch, yet modifying may well achieve the result you are after.
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Old 20th January 2002, 02:05 AM   #16
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I agree that modifying commercial designs can be easy - they usually make obvious compromises that can be improved. Personally I build for the enjoyment of making things as well as for their use.
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Old 20th January 2002, 02:15 AM   #17
JoeBob is offline JoeBob  Canada
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Ya, I guess I should have said one of the goals, or something of the sort....
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Old 29th June 2008, 06:08 AM   #18
lineup is offline lineup  Sweden
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Fleming
One of the problems with “rolling one’s own” equipment is the ability of comparing the circuit or even a kit with commercial products before commencing.

It is hardly surprising that, having spent hours building a project, we’d like to think it is the greatest sounding piece of equipment on earth, however this could hardly be considered an impartial opinion. One thing I’ve noticed is that testimonials are often by people upgrading from what I consider to be fairly “low/mid-fi” equipment, hence a substantial improvement is possibly not difficult to achieve.

I presently use an Arcam Alpha 10 as my main amp (A9 CD player/ EPOS ES-22 or ES-11 speakers), however am most impressed with the design philosophy of Mr Nelson Pass, whereby he adopts the KISS principle to great benefit. It would also appear Mr Hugh Dean follows the same principles with his ASKA kit. Given that it is not possible to hear the amplifiers before building, I am interested in hearing the opinions of those who might like to compare some of the Pass or ASKA amplifiers with those that are commercially available.

As an aside, in a previous thread much was mentioned about the wisdom of Mr Pass in making his designs so freely available. In addition to my electronics background, I completed a marketing degree “just for fun” and can certainly testify as to the merits of Mr Pass’ attitude from a commercial perspective. The fact remains that we, as audio enthusiasts pass on our “wisdom” to all those who care to listen (sometimes whether they want to hear it or not!). Goodness knows how many times, upon learning that this is one of my hobbies, an acquaintance will ask for my opinion on suitable audio equipment to purchase. By having a group of audio enthusiasts “on side” a manufacturer essentially has a very large group of “salespeople” selling their product for zero cost. While I would not like to suggest this is Mr Pass’ motivation, I believe it may help put some people’s minds at ease regrading the morals of reverse engineering etc. After all, as someone else pointed out, to another manufacturer, the information is available is already out there, either as patents or as finished products; it is simply naïve to believe otherwise.

Cheers, Pete
Hi Pete

.... however am most impressed with the design philosophy of Mr Nelson Pass,
whereby he adopts the KISS principle to great benefit.
It would also appear Mr Hugh Dean follows the same principles with his ASKA kit.


Yeah. Me too.
I get, maybe not impressed, but I can sure appreciate Pass good circuits.
Because, without bragging & being too proud,
I know I can understand what good audio amplifiers are. At least a bit, by now.

I mean, me to, I like to keep things as clean and simple as possible myself.
I can't stand amplifiers with 73,5 transistors and 715,3 resistors.
I can not see what is happening. Can anybody?

I bet even the music, The Audio Signals, get confused when enter some amplifiers
... not knowing which patch, which rail, transistor or way to go.
Can only create Un-Necessary distortion of higher order harmonics

AKSA Hugh Dean is of a similar audio philosophy school.
Just an example:
They both are not too much deadly afraid of using Output Capacitors.
They are Brave Men. Not boys. Some kids of un-certainty and low self-estime.
- Big Capacitors at time are an excellent way to Keep It Simple:
- Avoiding DC-offset correctional elements (like servo, temp compensation).
- They also are the simple and safe way to protect your Dear Speakers!


I am interested in hearing the opinions of those
who might like to compare some of the Pass or ASKA amplifiers
with those that are commercially available.


All I know in this, comes from reading these forums. For several years and often many times daily.
So, although I never listened to a Pass or AKSA DIY amplifier, I think I can say they can be compared in performance with
- most commercial amplifier of same price: Easily!
- most commercial amplifiers 2-3 times higher price: Mostly!
- real high end amplifiers: Some times. Yes

If they were not good amplifiers, it would be foolish, if not stupid, to share them in public.
Be it as full diy building instructions or as affordable KITS.



Finally.
There are those that can confirm my opinion, my judgement, my verdict better.
Those that have built several Pass/AKSA diy amplifiers.


Muchos Regardas, Lineup same age as Hugh & Nelson ( born 1951 )
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Old 29th June 2008, 07:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
If they were not good amplifiers, it would be foolish, if not stupid, to share them in public.
Plenty of published schematics out there that make you wonder....what they were thinking


Also.......
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Old 29th June 2008, 07:13 AM   #20
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