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View Poll Results: Did you build or buy. Why?
I built my own. [Please answer why below] 24 85.71%
I bought my own. [Please answer why below] 0 0%
I have no idea, I just like to vote. 4 14.29%
Voters: 28. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 7th December 2011, 06:53 PM   #1
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Default Amplifiers: Building Vs Buying

I would like to see the advantages of building over buying.

From what I read, its basically a more direct/pure signal as there are not as many checks (thermal, short circuit protection, etc).

Why did you build your own over buying one already made?
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Old 7th December 2011, 07:11 PM   #2
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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do you mean more unreliable, dangerous to your speakers, possibly to your health and safety from skimping on electrical and fire safety measures?

at the "lower" end of the cost, perceived quality scale mass manufactured amps are cheaper than you can buy the raw parts for as an individual

good deals can be found on "intermediate" used amps from big consumer names - Earl Geddes has done research on amp distortion audibility, published in the JAES
he uses a Pioneer amp for demoing his custom waveguide speakers - clearly he believes the amp isn't compromising the sound

if you want a hobby and are willing to accept the higher costs for uncertain, possibly imaginary results then you can "play" with various audiophile fads, pretensions
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Old 7th December 2011, 07:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2MuchRiceMakesMeSick View Post
I would like to see the advantages of building over buying.

From what I read, its basically a more direct/pure signal as there are not as many checks (thermal, short circuit protection, etc).

Why did you build your own over buying one already made?
Subject to the constructor's abilities, here are a few advantages:

Cost. Significant savings may be achieved in home-constructed equipment, especially when recycling old hardware. Disused or faulty amplifiers often have usable cases and working transformers, connectors and heatsinks (amongst other parts). These may be found online for next to nothing and can save the constructor from much of the mechanical work. The more skilled constructors may elect to build everything from scratch including the panels. One way or another, it shouldn't be too difficult to build fairly presentable-looking equipment for just a modest outlay.

Performance. Well-constructed equipment following a proven design (many of which are available on this forum) will often exceed the performance of commercial products costing many times more.

The experience. Building and commissioning your own equipment will teach you a considerable amount: Design, construction, fault-finding, etc.

Pleasure. The satisfaction of owning and using a home-made amplifier which performs well cannot be underestimated!

Experimentation. As for the signal purity, the constructor will be presented with many design options - some tried and tested, some cutting-edge and relatively unproven. Whether short-circuit or other protection is incorporated or not will depend on the risk the constructor is prepared to take versus their quest for the most direct signal path. It's all about choice.

Regards,
currentflow
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Old 7th December 2011, 07:39 PM   #4
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Building an amp can get quite costly, especially when experimenting or when things don't go as planned. However, there aren't too many people who can say they built their own amps and you have a lot of control over the quality and construction to suit your needs..

Really the only way it can be cheaper is if you go with cheaper parts, which might be fine. Manufacturers buy in such bulk that they can get the expensive stuff we want at really low prices.
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Old 7th December 2011, 08:00 PM   #5
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Wink The good feeling of building it!

Most of the diy amps made here are way better than many commercial ones. Most commercial ones are low in build quality and parts as well. and do not forget here at diyaudio.com there are some excellent and well known amp designers/builders that help you building very good amps. Building your own amp for sure is a wonderful feeling!
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Old 7th December 2011, 08:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lanchile View Post
Most of the diy amps made here are way better than many commercial ones. !
Measurably?
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Old 7th December 2011, 08:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rob g View Post
Measurably?
yes!, and also in quality of the parts that people use. in my case I use in my power supply Mundorf audio grade caps 125c. There are not many commercial amps that use Mundorf audio grade caps in their power supply. if you find one they are going to charge a lot!!!! just one cap is about $30 and some people use several or so. some people say all parts are the same...I do not think so!!!. But of course you will find some diy amps that sound like crab!.

This is from Mundorf site at partsconexion.

The Black (Titanium) Cathode coating is remarkably impressive at both measurements and music performance. The Titanium coating replaces the ordinary aluminum oxide coating (dielectric) in order to avoid the electrolyte being the cathode for the anode foil and, that the electrolyte operates as anode for the aluminum contact foil, simultaneously. Our Black Cathode electrolyte capacitor really does feature a separate cathode foil enabling super fast and almost loss free ion movement for reduced ESR, distortion and 'noise' to the utmost lowest level. These positive effects are similar to (but much stronger) graphite modified electrolytics (like Black-Gate).

With the MLytic® Audio Grade series we are extending our range of products to a series especially conceived for applications within pre-amplifiers or small power amplifiers.

The assemblage always refers to snap-in models for assembly boards.

Throughout its development, importance was placed upon attaining low ESR and ESL values, as well as, a low inner-sound development.

Specifications:

- Long lifespan

- All contacts welded

- Compact size

http://www.partsconnexion.com/prod_pdf/mund_ag.pdf

Last edited by lanchile; 7th December 2011 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 7th December 2011, 08:25 PM   #8
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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then where are the measurements?

I like to see comparative measures too - whats your "reference" amp?
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Old 7th December 2011, 08:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post
then where are the measurements?

I like to see comparative measures too - whats your "reference" amp?
You compare with some comercial amps now!!! I spent about $500 in my diy amp!
2sk1058 2sk2221 irfp9240 mosfet amplifier schematic
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Old 7th December 2011, 08:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post
then where are the measurements?

I like to see comparative measures too - whats your "reference" amp?
I could build it using dual power supply and use more capacitance (using two toroidal transformers and more caps) but my target was to build it as small as I could, but at the same time make it good. I had a Bryston B60R before this and the sound of this diy amp "believe or not" is better. The Bryston was a little noisy, and fatiguing at high volume and it got extremely hot. also it had back noise without input connected. my diy amp is as quiet as a mouse and it has more power and it does not get as hot as the Bryston. as long as I am happy with sound. all is good!

PS: to be a diy amp it is not so ugly (I think).

Last edited by lanchile; 7th December 2011 at 09:15 PM.
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