Sunday, January 14, 2007
why would you even bother to DIY audio equipment?
well... one reason could be cost... perhaps?? for example the wavac sh-833 monoblock amplifier would cost a cool USD350k in july 2004. ok... it might be technically close to impossible to clone that amp, but it might be possible to clone the wavac he-833 monoblock amplifier, similiar to the bigger wavac, but minus the elaborate power supply and at a much cheaper retail of USD47k... still no peanuts... or could be peanuts to some.
at least the DIY route will enable some enthusiasts to achieve the 833 single-ended sound in their rooms without breaking the bank for it.
one other reason is to be able to build equipment that uses lesser used or commercially unavailable components or design topology. in the case of tube amplifiers, there are tubes aplenty that are not used in everyday commercial offerings from big name audio companies... why is that so? well... i would think that they are not keen to sail in uncharted waters.
my motivation for DIY audio is the satisfaction of being able to build something that, when made to work, will bring joy to myself. also, i will not be able to sell these hand-crafted creations as easily and thereby curbing my cravings to repeatedly "upgrade" my audio chain. this is not to say that i will not build more amplifiers if i already have one though... maybe my place will end up being a storage for DIY audio equipment...
even in DIY, there seem to be an "accepted" norm to do things... take a preamp based on the 5687 double section indirectly heated triode that i am building right now. most people run this tube at a higher plate and bias voltage that i do. my design requires them to be operated at just 115v, -4v bias, producing 25mA per tube. this puts the tube in one of its' most linear regions as far as the datasheet shows. why then, would other DIYers run them at a much inferior curve? is it because of the herd mentality? because they have tried and tested all possible operation points and proved to themselves that the generally accepted parameters are indeed the best? or is it just because of conformance to the general rule?
why would you bother to DIY if it is not because of the ability to freely reign in design?