Are you a D.I.Y?

I like to "do it yourself" on many items where I feel I can achieve good results and save money. Also, there is some satisfaction and pride in researching and building things, especially if it's your own design. I would supect that there are others on Audiogon who feel the same. If you "DIY", tell us about your ideas and projects you made that you had success(or failures) with. And would you DIY again?
If you like to tinker its great. It's the equivalent of home cooking. I have only messed with tubes for a short period and it is amazing to me how few components are needed for a circuit and most of the designs have been around forever. Audioexpress has an "Audio Classroom series" online with all the articles by Crowhurst and Marshall that were published in the mid 50s in Audiocraft Magazine and they are still great.

Just completed (the solder is still hot) a nice system for my niece who is off at college. She saved 1k to spend on music and asked me what to buy. (She came to me because she knows I'm a soft touch.) I matched it and made the following for around 2k from kits: 1) Adire Audio's HE10.1 speaker, 2)the "Billie" 300b SET amp and "Basie" pre amp from diyhifi supply. This is all really simple kit stuff. Added a Heart 4000 cd player, the opamp is taken out and 6922 triodes (tubes) are used for output stage. It's a modification of a Marantz and is nice for a fairly cheap cd player. Could have saved some $ on the pre.

She listens to a lot of folk/jazz and for this music it's a nice musical system for about 2k. In addition, the amp is very tweakable with lots of modifications documented at Audioasylum. Does not sound like a beginner's set-up at all, easy to make, and I think I would recommend it to anybody as a first project.

Might upgrade it with something based on a Lowther for her graduation. That would make it a keeper I think.

After a few years of tweaking a 2 1/2 way speaker system (based on Northcreek design), which I still realy like, I am looking more at single drivers. It is amazing what a very simple SET circuit can do with a single driver for certain kinds of music. They flip out a little with full orchestral music but for small jazz and folk groups or classical quartets it is just wonderful... at least to my ears.

I have an idea to make a system with as few components as possible. Single ended... Single driver etc...If anybody has any info on this kind of thing I would like to hear about it.

Cheers, I remain
Yes, I'm definitely a DIYer. I've done quite a few projects over the past several years. Anything as simple as adding network card and more memory to my Tivo to much more difficult projects such as installing an LC Audio ZAPfilter Mk. II/LClock XO in a Rotel RCD-971. For the most part all of my projects come out really good as I usually spend 3 times as long thinking about how to do it right (my tonearm re-wiring project comes to mind) than actually doing the work. Here's some pictures and the installation guide I wrote for installing the ZAPfilter in the Rotel:

Right now I've just started working on building the JR Power Filter, but I'm held up waiting for parts as I'm going to use to modify the design some. I should have a guide written up when it's done. For my next project, I plan on modifying my Sonic Frontiers Phone 1 - it should be a lot of fun.

I definitely agree with you that I get a lot of pride from some of the projects I've done. I think that's half the fun of doing the work myself. Good luck on your next project!
I've posted this info many times, but new readers keep coming along so I'll do it once again. I have plans for RPG-style diffusors (three kinds), Argent Room Lens clones, and now a really cheap fairly good isolation platform, and more advice than you'll want to hear on passive preamps. If you get in touch, I'll email whatever you want to you. For the DIY projects, you'll need a table saw or equivalent.
DIY is FABULOUS. Not only does it expand your knowledge, fun and experience at the same time, it also saves you cash ( sometimes TALL cash ) along the way. You can build or modify an existing design to exactly what you want, tailoring the end result to meet your specific budget and needs.

Besides all of the above, it is a GREAT way to meet other audiophiles interested in such things. Show me a person that is into DIY and i'll show you someone that is more than willing to compare notes and is very proud of their system and accomplishments : ) Sean
I kinda wish I was DIY before I started buying expensive stuff. $500 in parts will build you a $2500 amp. $1,000 spent on speaker drivers and xover parts, and any commerical design would be going for at leat 4x times that. The only real downside is resale value can be a little tough to nonexistent.
Absolutely D.I.Y......I've had some very fine results building and bettering speakers.I also buy high quality cable and connectors in bulk and make my own speaker cables,interconnects and power cords.I really appreciate fine craftsmanship and after opening up many speakers, components and cables to notice the less than stellar handwork I decided that if you want the job done right D.I.Y....It's a great feeling to know that every connection and solder joint is solid.Take a look inside any Sonic Frontiers,ARC,Audible Illutions,Pass Labs equipment for superior workmanship,to give credit where credit is due.
i'm too green when it comes to tech stuff so i i'm a LDDI..LET the DESIGNER DO IT..heck he's got all the measurements on the drivers i choose..knows all the best xover parts..
Designing can be a tough road to go down, you need to know a lot.
There are LOTS of good designs out there.

I like to pick up bits of gear 10-20 yrs old and upgrade the parts to modern good stuff like multicaps and caddock. If you like the way it sounded stock, it will get better modified - like my VTL 100 monoblocks.

Despite what the press says, sonic progress is VERY slow and good gear has been around for many years. For instance, my Audio Alchemy DDE3/DTI pro 32 with Monolithic power supply has had Nihicon muse caps put through the power supply and lots of microsorb damping and TI sheild (absorbs stray radiation, magnetic and RF) every where - it now sounds AWESOME.
Wait till it gets the output op-amps and resistors upgraded, as well as all the dac caps changed to black gates!

As has been mentioned, the saving are just huge. I now have a very, very good sounding rig.
True, it has cost me many thousands as it is a bit excessive - good CD, LP and tape sources, plus it is 3-way active + 2 way passive and equivalent to about 700W/channel!

No way could I have EVER aforded this off the shelf. Home building is the only way to go and yes, I am proud of what I have achieved and yes, as mentioned, I like to help others do the same, so they can have as much pleasure from it as I have.