Would you ever create and use a DIY component in your system?

Would you ever create and use a DIY component in your system?
13% (44 votes)
I might, if I had the time and know-how
26% (89 votes)
DIY, while cost-effective, can't compete with the major brands
4% (13 votes)
Yes, I have a DIY component (or two)
58% (198 votes)
Total votes: 344

Audio continues to host a healthy Do-It-Yourself (DIY) market. Folks build everything from components to wire to speaker systems. Has the DIY bug bitten you?

tony esporma's picture

When I was a kid, I built a Dynaco amp. Great project. I wish more high end companies would sell kits. Other than that, I'm building a high-end audio streamer on a PC chassis.

Vance's picture

DIY: 1)Advantage: make components whose performance equal or exceed commercial components at fraction of cost. 2) Disadvantage: Do-It-Yourself.

Mike J.'s picture

Hell, a system *IS* a DIY project in itself! At least, I seem to have been working on it for years.

Bill Hojnowski's picture

I'm using homemade speakers and cables. Sound as good or better than the best out there at any price. Next I'll build a preamp, amp, and even CD player. Probably in that order. I'm reconsidering the amp, though. With new amps like the Creek 5350SE, it would be cheeper to buy a quality amp. When it comes to speakers though, nothing beats down home quality craftsmanship and progressive tweeking and upgrading.

Robert's picture

This is the way of the future, at least for me.

Jason Watkins's picture

for a person who is willing to invest the right amount of time, and has the skills, DIY can result in a system that maches your personal objectives better than any professonal product, short of hiring a professional designer yourself.

Anonymous's picture

I have a DIY CD player and a DIY PSU for my DACT phono preamp.

martin s (denmark)'s picture

Through my studies (product design), I have access to great professional workshops, so it would be a sin not to build my own loudspeakers. Lowther horns, as a matter of fact!

Philippe Elhem's picture

I have a passive preamp built by a friend of mine. It beats most of the preamps I've heard (including Audio Research and Krell) for a very, very low price (about $400).

Bruno Deutz's picture

I own a DIY 300B amplifier from a French company called "La cave au tubes." Generally good value for money, it sounds good and has never broken since I purchased it. I also now listen though Diatone p610 single driver loudspeaker I made following their design. It works pretty well for almost nothing. I now enjoy single-ended triode though a single-driver loudspeaker. It is marvelous for the kind of music I listen to.

Vincent Quek's picture

Well, It all depends on whether or not one has the knowledge and Money to do it. While having a pair of Dynaudio Confidence 5, I have built two pair of DIY speaker. One cost More than the Confidence 5 and another cost 1/2 of it. Performance? Basically, No free Lunch, The one cost more perform better. That is, My very expensive 3 way DIY perform better.(All Dynaudio Top Drivers) I have also built a pair of 300B PSE and a Pre-amp very much base on Matisse Ref 1. I also own Ayre K1x and Pass Labs X600. So, We have to understand, Not everyone can have the money and the Knowledge. I'm one of the lucky one who can Do It Myself with more than enough FUND.

John Crossett's picture

Does making my own sabbox isolation bases count? If so, then I'm a DIY'er.

Mike K.'s picture

I've built and used a passive preamp (since replaced) and am considering building an RIAA-compliant MM front end. DIY _can_ compete with major brands - there's no reason building the same circuit with the same parts should sound any different - given a little skill with a soldering iron. And when the result is good sound, the self-satisfaction that derives is unbeatable.

Spousal Unit of I.M.  Outthere's picture

If DIY means he's going to spend his "audio time" at home instead of flitting from store to store on those mind-numbing auditions, then, by all means, I'd love to see a few DIY components assembled in our home. I'll even write the first check. Any suggestions on a couple of good resources?

Arvind Kohli's picture

I have made all of my own speaker cables and interconnects. If I ever get the time and knowledge, I will make other gear as well. The only thing I think is not worth doing is source equipment.

Mike Healey's picture

Unless assembling speaker stands counts, I'll have to say "Never." Some of my friends have built excellent sounding systems more or less from scratch. As for me, I'll let the manufacturers worry about how I want my music to sound.

Mats Eriksson's picture

I think that they can compete with the major brands.

Chris S.'s picture

I would love to be able to build my own components. I actually looked at some source material on speakers and amplifiers. I just don't have the time to devote to learning how to do it right. I think people who don't think a DIY setup can compete with a major brand are deluding themselves. Compare a nice off-the-lot sports car to a tricked out muscle car. Also, look at computers. I don't know a single manufacturer that has a machine that can compete with the kind of over-clocked, water-cooled, beast that a lot of guys, myself included, are building in their basements these days. I believe that if you were looking for your idea of the perfect sound, you would benefit greatly by building a component or two to suit your own tastes. Manufacturers can only build to suit the musical tastes of their designers.

Brent Tucker's picture

I built my MC tube preamp (Welborne Labs), tube preamp (Welborne Labs-Reville), and tube DAC (Curiso Audio). My speakers are built from the ground up, and compete with some of the major players in market. You can get great sound, and save money by carfully selecting your DIY projects.

DAB Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

Familial life precludes me from devoting time to building things audio, but that has not always been the case. I have built Eico, Heathkits, and various loudspeaker configurations which are now sitting in my garage collecting dust. My wife wants to know when I intend to sell (or donate!?) them. I suppose I really ought to free up our three car garage after all these years, but I just can't seem to part with my little labors of love. Besides, they still sound decent! Now that our daughters have begun to drive

Bevo's picture

I have made Cables and such and speakers, it is fun to do, but it does cost you a lot of time

Willy Clarke's picture

I will, ....

Nicholas Fulford's picture

DIY is merely one pole that has at its other end mass marketed mega-corporations. The passion of the DIY'er is the fertile ground from which many of tomorrow's finest specialty products spring. Like any inclusion in my system, I consider sonics, reliability, service issues, and cost. There is something special though about using components that are closer to the DIY end of the spectrum. And that is being involved either directly or with the designer who may become the next Levinson. That adds spice and fun that is missing when purchasing a "finished" product.

Tony P., Phoenix, AZ's picture

Even if I had the time and the know-how, anything I would build would not even begin to approach a professional design, professionally built. Anyone who thinks they could are seriously deluding themselves.

BobM's picture

Let's see now. I have: DIY interconnects, DIY speaker cables, DIY speakers, DIY power conditioner, DIY turntable (Aries clone), and DIY component isolation (of various kinds). All of which have helped me to increase my knowledge of audio, engineering, and electricity

Paul Van Dyck - Istanbul's picture

I have a home-brew DAC based on the PCM63-K sitting next to a Chord DAC64. It is fun to switch between the two units, which are both driven by a transport simultanuously.

Randy's picture

Look, I'm a scientist and know how to use a soldering iron, but I know enough to know that I don't have a fraction of the experience or talent of a professional audio engineer.

Fred's picture

I would build everything that I instead of buying the overpriced crap that all you go nuts over. I have also modified plenty of over priced stuff where most of the money was spent on the front panel and overpriced ads.

James Hietbrink's picture

But I mostly mod commercial products.

Rob Cornelson's picture

I started in car audio, which is DIY if you don't want to pay an installer. When I got into home gear, I couldn't help opening everything up and looking inside for possible areas of improvement. I still prefer making my own cables and tweaking my tube gear.