Stuck at home? Make a kit!!

Hey all,

If you’ve been in audio for any length of time you might have talked shop about speakers, or amps, or tubes quite a bit. Maybe cables. If you are going to be quarantined, or socially isolating or just really don’t like other people (something I respect) maybe now is time to try a kit.

Lots of Pass fans here, so why not try a First Watt amp kit? Maybe build your own passive line stage?

How about pure silver interconnects? A speaker with a Be tweeter? How about a small coaxial speaker for the surrounds, or just to tinker? Desktop full range?

Build your own music streamer for Roon with a Raspberri Pi?

Got kids at home you need project ideas for? Just keep the solder fumes out of their faces, and use lead free. :)


 Been building various equipment since I was in high school. The thing to be careful of is the idea that what you built is some of the best out there. "Hey everybody, look at what I did". True enough, I see those who are incredibly talented, and to them I tip my hat. Some of what I have made over the decades is great, but was always someone else's design. Even at that, not all of it was what I had hoped. Just like the store bought stuff. OTOH, I wouldn't even try to build something too far out of my league. Somebody wants a good DAC, don't look at me. Speakers... I have a much better chance of hitting the mark as far as construction. I usually go with DIY because of the quality, real quality, has a pretty high price most of the time.
The thing to be careful of is the idea that what you built is some of the best out there.

True, but on the other hand, you will never learn as much by buying as you do building, and the value of experience is priceless, even if you do make a frog and end up giving to your kids. :)
The kids will put in the cupboard and use their phones instead.

On the other hand.....

We know the price of many hi-fi products is a direct result of the cost of the parts used to make them. They are built to a price point, compromises made to reach a target retail price. Rythmik designer/owner Brian Ding freely admits that he builds his F15HP subwoofer with a 3cu.ft enclosure to keep shipping costs reasonable, though the sub’s plate amp and woofer can have their output increased by installing the kit version into a 4cu.ft. enclosure.

If you buy the kit and make your own box (or have it built by a cabinet maker locally), you can make the enclosure not only 4cu.ft., but also double-walled (two layers of MDF or Baltic Birch, or even better one of each) with constrained layer damping (such as ASC Wall Damp) between them, and braced like Jim Salk does in his Rythmik/Salk subs. An F15HP so built easily outperforms the factory-built F15 (which has a China-sourced average-build quality box), and costs less.

In one of his GR Research Tech Talk Tuesday videos (viewable on You Tube), Danny Richie discusses the subject of the value of his DIY loudspeaker kits, comparing the quality of the parts (drivers, x/o parts, wiring, not to mention the designs themselves) in the kit with those in similarly-priced commercial loudspeakers. If you can be bothered to search for the video, you'll be very glad you did.

I've soldered Dynakit boards together, scratched out SWTP amps from parts and cookbooked speakers from mdf.
Thanx anyway, history. I hope I can fix my Otari.