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Is DIY worth it ?
Is DIY worth it ?
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Old 15th January 2013, 05:06 PM   #11
GoatGuy is offline GoatGuy  United States
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I vote YES - on "is it worth it?"

First... there is the "learning of electronics" from the topology (first) and then theory (second) and eventually the math (third). You go from reading about it, to looking at schematics, to gathering all sorts of schematics, to trying out the simple ones, to making changes you think might work, to having them fail, to learning theory, to working out the math, then making "informed" changes ... and having them work in a many-month-to-many-year process.

Second... you become part of a community of moderately eccentric fanatics who similarly understand to varying degrees, the same stuff. You'll never meet most of us. We're as virtual as the Internet allows.

Third... then there's Pride of Accomplishment, where even if you build exactly the same thing that someone else "just buys", ... you can say "yah, but, I built mine" ... which necessarily includes finding all the squirrely parts and finishing pieces.

Fourth... the combination of learning, understanding, prospecting and provisioning then becomes a Hobby ... where your mind can wander for years thinking up new designs, new fields to plough. This is not dissatisfaction, but wanderlust. Another mountain to climb, another vista to enjoy.

Fifth... Then there's the SKILL you also get - which granted ain't likely to get you many jobs, but still is analytic and will contribute to your future job market possibilities. This alone some argue "is worth it". I differ, and just think of it as a side-benefit.

Sixth... as you get older, surer, more realistic and confident at the same time, you will be surprised to find that there are younger folks who you can mentor, who want to supercharge their entry-and-advance. There's something satisfying about even light teaching, imparting knowledge to others. Pretty baseline human if you ask me.

Seventh... You will accumulate "things to give away" - special gifts for special friends. There'll always be a hand-me-down project that produced excellent results, but has been superceded by another fine design. Maybe you'll charge the friend a fraction of its real value (thus again gifting the friend), maybe you'll give it away, like my friend gives away his competency "working on cars". Handiwork, craftsmanship, all good.

There probably are another 3 ... to make the glorious "Ten Good Reasons" ... but these 7 are enough.

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Old 15th January 2013, 05:37 PM   #12
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by slungu View Post
but in terms of best value for the money performance wise,
how do you see our DIY activity ?

Regards, Stefan

Recapping the signal electrolytics in something like a used Pioneer
A-300X will give you a fantastic amplifier you couldn't hope to build
for anywhere near the price, its my favourite budget amplifier.

Both really good sound and excellent build quality, for a lot less
used than a A-400, which is also good, but not as good value.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 15th January 2013, 06:57 PM   #13
chris661 is offline chris661  United Kingdom
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In terms of sound for money, DIY is terrible.

I'll leave an open challenge here: build something better than a pair of Behringer B2030A monitors, for the same price (£250, all in).

Even if you work for free, the parts would cost more.

However, DIY is about more than that: see GoatGuy's post above.

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Old 15th January 2013, 07:16 PM   #14
balerit is offline balerit  South Africa
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That LM3886 is dirt cheap, about 6 Euro here in SA, someone is ripping you off.
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Old 15th January 2013, 08:54 PM   #15
mr_push_pull is offline mr_push_pull  Europe
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IMO DIY is seriously challenged by used equipment prices.
with the added advantage that one can listen to it prior to purchase.
DIY is suited to the real enthusiast who's not in it for the money.
jsut my opinion.
we all love a good ol' stereotype until it's against us
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Old 15th January 2013, 08:59 PM   #16
Pemo is offline Pemo  Mexico
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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!!!!
This is a statement that will last forever.
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Old 15th January 2013, 09:18 PM   #17
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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you can buy better amplifiers with DIY money, so its all for the experience ...
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Old 15th January 2013, 09:58 PM   #18
Bob Richards is offline Bob Richards  United States
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I've been researching, designing and building audio stuff since the mid 1960's, as a hobbyist, and eventually professionally. Before the mid 1980's I could justify the costs and time spent as an investment into my career. Now that most of the related jobs have moved out of the U.S., to places like China, it's just a hobby again. It's home to me. Gives me something to be excited about. It connects me to good quality people. My projects and ability to help other hobbyists gives me pride.

Part sources are gradually disappearing, and costs are getting too high, while China made products are so cheap for what you get that there's no way to really compete any more. Doing audio engineering as a hobby is sure a lot better than sitting in front of a TV set eating cheese puffs or drinking booze your whole life (like my neighbor who will probably be dead in the next year). I sure do miss being able to make a living with it though...
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Old 15th January 2013, 10:00 PM   #19
nigelwright7557 is offline nigelwright7557  United Kingdom
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Its fun building electronics and it works.

If it doesn't work then the challenge begins which is even more fun.

You learn very valuable lessons from your mistakes.
Murton-Pike Systems PCBCAD51 pcb design software. http://www.murtonpikesystems.co.uk
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Old 16th January 2013, 12:37 AM   #20
ODougbo is offline ODougbo  United States
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It's the Thrill of the Chase - that's all.
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