Do you think it is worth the savings of $200 to build it yourself?
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It involves a lot of soldering in a very confined space. My only experience with soldering before this kit was in replacing capacitors and resistors with upgraded ones in my old Crown preamp and Crown amp. The phono section of the preamp was completely upgraded with Black Gate capacitors and expensive resistors so that it emerged as a high resolution phono preamp. I also upgraded the analog section of my Panasonic A110 DVD player so that it emerged as a much clearer and quieter player. Even so, when the kit arrived, I was shocked by the millions of pieces that had to be assembled. I have great patience so I eventually put the thing together after many hours of work over a couple weeks time. I diligently and carefully followed all directions but after finishing the kit, it would turn on then instantly blow a fuse. I was not able to repair it even after several calls to tne manufacturer. I ended up sending it back and paying $100 more for them to find and fix a single mistake that I had made but could not find.
There is a tremendous amount of satisfaction listening to something you assembled yourself. If you want to exercise the option of changing or upgrading which is one of a kits advantages, then you need to build it. You'll learn a lot and if you totally botch it, AES is there to bail you out. Try it. It's really a pretty simple kit and well laid out.