EE would help troubleshoot mistakes and faults. Soldering skills however can be seen as a completely separate skill, though both seem to compliment each other very well.
I for one am a hobbyist whom picked up soldering but know next to nothing about electronics. Luckily I am as thorough as I am patient when following assembly instructions.
I still can't find a good reason yet to try out the ODA, since my O2 already has the mod board. Perhaps I'll give the ODA a shot once it reaches the next few revisions and when I find myself with "real" disposable income.
Soldering is what worries me. Every time I've picked up a hot soldering iron, I keep worrying i'm going to burn myself. I'm thinking of trying to assemble my own O2 at some point, after a little practice. Maybe on a CMoy or something like that.
And, mod board?
The ODA is definitely not a starter project, certainly if you've never soldered before. Parts are very small and if you don't know what you're doing and have no equipment, debugging will be virtually impossible. There are many other projects out there that will give you a good dac/amp with power to spare and are easier builds due to less parts and larger components/spacious boards. Take a look on diyaudio.
Oh I can tell. Just looking at the O2 is worrying enough given my newbie status as it pertains to soldering.
Oh I know I don't need one but the variable gain settings and bass boost circuit (what can I say? I'm a basshead) by themselves are enough to pique my interest. And who knows? I've been bitten by the planar bug with the HE-400 so someday I might end up getting an HE-6, if only just to see what the fuss is about.