Why do you do this diy audio stuff?


2003-02-11 9:02 am
Just like any other hobbies? Yes, audio is more pathetic. Chess is almost as pathetic, as it is also a game. There is similarity here. It takes many years to perfect your chess skill and every improvement is a joy. Same with audio. It takes even more years to understand what we understand today. BTW, have you found the secret of the holly grail of music reproduction?
Personally, I just enjoy the process of making things and I feel like this hobby in particular keeps my brain sharp and active because there's so much to learn. It's a nice mix of science, design, and magic.

I'm also a musician and I work in the music industry (musical instruments and products, not record labels), so I'm always around audio. Might as well understand what I'm working with. I love being able to chat (somewhat) intelligently with engineers at trade shows.
It really is good brain food, which seems somewhat more important to me as I grow older. And as a music lover, the rewards of this hobby are much more tangible than plenty of others I might have chosen. Not that there ever really was a choice - I've been hacking on this stuff ever since I wired a pair of extension speakers to the family's Zenith console stereo at age 12 or so. (Most of that time I've even been getting paid for it.) I can't imagine not doing it.

-- Jim
Why? Because I can, that's why!

Blowing up automobile engines and transaxles by extracting 250+ HP from a powertrain designed to make about 90 HP just got too expensive......and the local racetrack closed down.

My fascination with electricity started when the paper clip met the wall outlet somewhere around age 5. In the early years I mostly took stuff apart, and collected dead radios and such.

I've been hacking on this stuff ever since I wired a pair of extension speakers to the family's Zenith console stereo at age 12 or so.

Somewhere around age 8 or so my parents decided that the oldest two (of 3) kids needed to play musical instruments. I was given an electric guitar, but no amplifier. Quiet enough to play by myself unplugged, but able to get loud when at the music store that gave lessons.

Somewhere around age 9 or 10 my parents upgraded the living room HiFi to a new stereo, and I got the old Magnavox. It took me about 3 minutes to cut a guitar cable in half and twist the wires to the wires on the cartridge in the Maggie's tone arm......I now had a guitar amp...and it was loud enough to rattle the parents, and I wasn't even a rebellious teenager yet.

Guitar lessons continued all the way through high school.....the practice volumes kept escalating whenever the parents weren't home......Do you know what happens when you unleash 8 X 6L6's (the old metal ones) through eight 10 inch speakers.....the cops show up, that's what happens.

Don't like plugging it in.

Maybe it goes back to the paper clip VS wall outlet, but with few exceptions (rare or expensive parts) I don't mind seeing something I just built blow up. If something I dreamed up doesn't work good, I have been known to keep turning up the power supply until it doesn't exist any longer. Do you know that some guitar amps sound pretty neat when run at 2 or 3 times the maximum plate voltage rating. This is how you discover that a pair of 6Y6GT tubes will crank out 30 to 40 watts on 300 to 400 volts of B+, and not blow up.

Always have a fire extinguisher nearby.....I have never needed it, but there have been some exploding electrolytics and mosfets.
To end up with an audio system that reproduces cleanly/accurately/musically enough such that I can properly enjoy music in all forms and genres....mission accomplished.
This is a two edged sword....all other systems sound wrong.


This for the most part. I've noticed an inverse in time spent on tinkering vs. performance achieved. The higher the performance the less time spent on looking for the next fix.

Bass guitar is also a major hobby and they do intersect and switch back and forth in attention given.
I am hooked on building speakers and designing amplifiers.
Seriously thinking of buying shares in Fane.
Getting to the point now where the house is full.
Certainly no room for a wife !

I started dabbling around 1980 when I bought Maplins various kits to build a mobile disco.
I built a 225WRMS amplifier, record decks, pre amps and mixer. 2 speaker boxes with 2 Fane 50WRMS in each.
Sound to light unit.

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2002-06-06 4:43 am
Love music and like meddling with hi-fi equipment which turned into a fanatical hobby of building equipment. Now it's like an incurable disease !
Keeps me busy all the time and keeps draining my pockets ! However I now try to stop buying 'odd parts' though acquisition of tubes still hasn't stopped as I 'might' come across that tube that sounds really 'magical' ! It's a form of madness I think ...in a good way ! :)