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Is DIY worth it ?
Is DIY worth it ?
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Old 16th January 2013, 01:15 AM   #21
KatieandDad is offline KatieandDad  United Kingdom
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You can always use second hand bits but then it takes longer to collect them.
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Old 16th January 2013, 02:01 AM   #22
terry j is offline terry j  Australia
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Originally Posted by chris661 View Post
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.

why does the 'challenge' always come down to this? Yeah for sure it is a valid question, but I hardly ever see the opposite.

Why can the question not be 'build something equal to or exceeding those mega buck bling systems (80 thou mains with cables and ics worth tens of thou with amps costing another fifty large)' and then tell us how much it cost you????

Sure, it will cost a pretty penny, but far less than buying from the boutique guys.

Can it be done? Why not, as much as the mags et al will try and tell us there is an arcane art to it and alon wolf etc has the hidden knowledge.....

anyway, as much as the question posed is valid then equally is the other question.
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Old 16th January 2013, 02:02 AM   #23
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
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Originally Posted by slungu View Post
I was making up the math for building two monoblocks of bridged LM3886 and was getting out somewhere around 200,- EUR for everything


but in terms of best value for the money performance wise, how do you see our DIY activity ?
Take advices from experienced DIYers, then you can get better sound with less money.

LM3886 is very cheap for the sound it can produce. Commercial amps with LM3886 cost far more than 200 euro.

Now there is price for cosmetics and beauties. If cosmetics is not important for you, put the amp in shoe box

You used 2 monoblocks. The casings will be more expensive than one box with one transformer. Almost nothing to gain in term of sound quality.

And gold plated WBT will not sound better than bare wires...

Used amps are usually cheap (especially if it is broken, just make sure the power supply is okay). You can replace the amp module with 12-Euro LM3886s. Imagine what vintage amp you can get with 88 Euros to make up a 100-Euro Gainclone amp.

Last edited by Jay; 16th January 2013 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 16th January 2013, 09:27 AM   #24
ODougbo is offline ODougbo  United States
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hun? oh that's right, I love going to the Be*t B*y store and listen to plastic box speakers
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Old 16th January 2013, 10:04 AM   #25
KatieandDad is offline KatieandDad  United Kingdom
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DIY comes into it's own if you already have some of the parts or are prepared to salvage. many of us become real magpies over time and pick things up from everywhere and anywhere.

Building even cheapie gain clone monoblocks is never going to be a cheap excercise if you are going to buy everything from new.

As had already been said, the LM3886 is good but not fantastic. You won't realy benefit from a dual monoblock system, you won't necessarily hear any improvment with a dual monobrick (ie two amps in one shared case). With a reasonable power supply you may not even notice too much difference with a standard stereo set-up.

DIY realy comes into its own when you start to consider cloning the real leviathons out there. Krell, Mark Levinson, Pass to name just three. Now these beasts cost many tens of thousands of pounds, even second hand, and can be sucessfully cloned for just a few hundred pounds.
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Old 16th January 2013, 10:11 AM   #26
gmphadte is offline gmphadte  India
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I love this hobby and can go for it without ever getting a thought of anything, for hours daily. Keeps me free of tension and so, healthy.

Forget the expenses, they r much cheaper for what I gain.

Gajanan Phadte
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Old 16th January 2013, 11:46 AM   #27
chris661 is offline chris661  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by terry j View Post
why does the 'challenge' always come down to this? Yeah for sure it is a valid question, but I hardly ever see the opposite.
I'd consider those Behringers a minimum for home stereo. If you just wanted to listen to music (instead of tweaking forever), my point is that you couldn't spend less and get more.

At the other end of the scale, it's easy, especially when you look at "HiFi" gear (studio gear appears to be more difficult to beat): that stuff is (so far as I've seen) always sold with a huge profit margin. The Neat Motive range, for example, uses Peerless midbasses at 16 a pop. The completed speakers cost circa 1000.
I could probably build something similar for a couple of hundred pounds, or spend 1000 and build something that would annihilate them.

Going further up the scale to the really expensive gear, and I expect bigger still profit margins, which again makes them easy to beat.

Part of DIY is the challenge. Getting better performance than commercial HiFi speakers at a similar price is fairly easy. Outdoing Behringer, with the massive economies of scale in their favour, that is where the challenges are.

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Old 16th January 2013, 12:58 PM   #28
potepuh is offline potepuh  Slovenia
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The feeling of making something work by own hand invaluable, for everything else
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Old 16th January 2013, 01:14 PM   #29
dimkasta is offline dimkasta  Greece
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DIY is all about the journey, not the destination...
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Old 16th January 2013, 01:17 PM   #30
Beacon64 is offline Beacon64  Scotland
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Interesting thread! I've listened to many amps, tube & solid state, and I can say the gainclone is very good, as are the many Tripath class amps, and they are available very cheaply. Where things get expensive is how you choose to supply power & the cosmetic standards you are prepared to accept. I ended up spending 10 times the cost of the gainclone card on it's psu. The key here choice...I'd rather plan a project using parts that I think have a good performance : cost ratio, than buy cheap and rip out the generic components to replace with higher quality. Buy cheap, buy twice?

I also agree with Katie&Dad - I could open a shop with all the bits I've accumulated! I've also yet to meet someone who can justify the price of Krell, Goldmund, etc, with a demonstrably huge gap between their kit and mine. Law of diminishing returns.
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