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Where are all of the builders? - Page 3

post #31 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post


There is no other forum that is better for the Starving Student than right here on Head-Fi. It's where the Starving Student began. The threads are still here, just do a simple search ... or simply scroll down a bit ...


Yeah I have been reading through them. Lots of good info.

post #32 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodacose View Post
 

 

Diyaudio dot com is active, though the peanut gallery is not always friendly to beginners (mostly jockeying to measure intellects, I think).  That said, if you have thick skin and patience, there's no better gathering of the great vacuum tube minds (IMO).

 

If you're on Reddit, /r/diytubes has grown into a nicely supportive atmosphere, though still small in relative terms (I'm one of the mods, full disclosure).  

 

Yes, there was a few that I set in their place there at diyaudio.

 

But I have to admit. I had to block 3 weenies here because they think they are experts.  No contributions to the forum just ridicule and rudeness.

post #33 of 78
Thread Starter 


Something cool is on the bench!
post #34 of 78
I think I'm going to try and build something similar to the MAD Ear+ HD. I just need to decide how to do the PS.
post #35 of 78

Something from my bench :)

 

 

Wife loves that my 'bench' is also the coffee table.  That's winter in the Midwest though.

post #36 of 78
Ok, so I cheated a bit to get started. Picked up a Crack + speedball for the 15% Black Friday sale. Still gotta build for my low Z cans though.tongue.gif. So the Ear style is still on the table.
post #37 of 78

I've been building tube guitar amps and pedals for years and have only just started getting into doing simple hi-fi stuff starting with headphone amps. Sad to hear this forum's DIY section is apparently diminishing.

post #38 of 78

I've built a revC Dynalo (Sigma22+JoeTree), O2, QRV08, The Wire BAL, Hypa17, Soekris DAC... I'm infinitely thankful to designers of all of these devices, because they made me learn something new.

 

For me DIY used to be about getting the design I wanted for a reasonable price. Here in EU there is no Schiit audio. Well, there is, but it's a lot more expensive than stateside. I partly blame the RoHAS directive for that because it severely limits the influx of DIY'ers turning into mfgs.

 

Now DIY for me is building interesting topologies and experiencing their sound. The problem is that there aren't that many interesting headamps out there. There's the Gilmore gang with a Dynalo for gentlemen of every size (just got my mini), Cavalli hybrids, Bottlehead tubes, ye olde AMB amps, Pass SE room heaters, Doug's + Tomb's Torpedo, Sjostrom amps for budding microsurgeons and Neurochrome for actual microsurgeons (because of $$$, which I'm not critiquing btw).

 

So my counter-question is, where are all of the designers? You won't out-price Jason's gang, at least not in US, so come up with designs too crazy for serial production. I'm not afraid of SMT, I solder it 2x faster than TH and it leaves less mess. Design audio worthy SMPS'es, digitally controlled amps, I dunno... Be the final frontier!

 

So far I've found more interesting designs in Russian forums than DIYA and all of the other english speaking forums combined. Here's a taste - http://forum.vegalab.ru/showthread.php?t=76016&p=2267003&viewfull=1#post2267003 (I hope HF doesn't mind me posting this, if so please delete)

post #39 of 78

That's a good question, RudeWolf.  Like you kind of allude to, some successful DIY designers eventually move on to a commercial product and stop releasing designs to the public.  Look at Cavalli, Bottlehead (don't release schematics), or even Pete Millett's Apex designs (which are actually probably the property of Apex, not PM).  I definitely am not criticizing this choice.  When they're making an investment in parts/equipment for production, they have to have a way of protecting the IP. I think this is a natural progression for hobbyists that want to take a shot at making their passion a full time gig.

 

So maybe the question is "how does one make designing amps and releasing those designs to the public a full time gig?" Boards and kits are one way, but you still end up with the same potential IP problem (eBay copycats, etc). Ad revenue is the traditional way of monetizing a website, but would even all the DIY headphone traffic in the world be enough to create meaningful income?  I'm not sure.

 

I think part of the solution is to grow the DIY audio user base. Get more people participating and building their own devices.  For that we need more CMoys, SSMHs, and simple amps and they need to be looked at not for performance or cost, but for the experience and pride of DIY. In that respect, the race to the high end DIY design hurts the DIY community by making it more intimidating to beginners and losing the focus of the fundamental pleasures of DIYing (namely that you can create something really cool yourself without an engineering degree).

 

I firmly believe that the selling point of DIY shouldn't be about THD or output impedance; it should be about the process and the builder. Through DIY you will learn new things about audio and yourself. Fun over performance, learning over cost, simple over cutting-edge. 

 

But that's just my 2 cents.

post #40 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RudeWolf View Post
 

I've built a revC Dynalo (Sigma22+JoeTree), O2, QRV08, The Wire BAL, Hypa17, Soekris DAC... I'm infinitely thankful to designers of all of these devices, because they made me learn something new.

 

For me DIY used to be about getting the design I wanted for a reasonable price. Here in EU there is no Schiit audio. Well, there is, but it's a lot more expensive than stateside. I partly blame the RoHAS directive for that because it severely limits the influx of DIY'ers turning into mfgs.

 

Now DIY for me is building interesting topologies and experiencing their sound. The problem is that there aren't that many interesting headamps out there. There's the Gilmore gang with a Dynalo for gentlemen of every size (just got my mini), Cavalli hybrids, Bottlehead tubes, ye olde AMB amps, Pass SE room heaters, Doug's + Tomb's Torpedo, Sjostrom amps for budding microsurgeons and Neurochrome for actual microsurgeons (because of $$$, which I'm not critiquing btw).

 

So my counter-question is, where are all of the designers? You won't out-price Jason's gang, at least not in US, so come up with designs too crazy for serial production. I'm not afraid of SMT, I solder it 2x faster than TH and it leaves less mess. Design audio worthy SMPS'es, digitally controlled amps, I dunno... Be the final frontier!

 

So far I've found more interesting designs in Russian forums than DIYA and all of the other english speaking forums combined. Here's a taste - http://forum.vegalab.ru/showthread.php?t=76016&p=2267003&viewfull=1#post2267003 (I hope HF doesn't mind me posting this, if so please delete)

 

I think generally, linking to other forums is frowned upon here. Not personally an issue, but it's an obvious conflict of interest from a site point of view.

 

In that regard, Kevin Gilmore and a couple of other designers are on "the other forum" coming up with cool stuff, but I do miss them being here as well.

 

I've worked on Gilmore's amps recently and have built a Soekris DAC for myself (and one for someone else) but my recent experience has turned sour. Unfortunately, something failed in my latest build and Soren hasn't been very accommodating in terms of support. No RMA, which may be justified as I've added the 12 bypass caps that the board is designed for, but I tested the +/- 12V psu, S/PDIF input and I2S inputs with isolated 3.3V separately and they all work. It just died and I can't revive it. All I'm looking at is $300+ down the drain since there's no schematic and I can't debug it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodacose View Post
 

That's a good question, RudeWolf.  Like you kind of allude to, some successful DIY designers eventually move on to a commercial product and stop releasing designs to the public.  Look at Cavalli, Bottlehead (don't release schematics), or even Pete Millett's Apex designs (which are actually probably the property of Apex, not PM).  I definitely am not criticizing this choice.  When they're making an investment in parts/equipment for production, they have to have a way of protecting the IP. I think this is a natural progression for hobbyists that want to take a shot at making their passion a full time gig.

 

So maybe the question is "how does one make designing amps and releasing those designs to the public a full time gig?" Boards and kits are one way, but you still end up with the same potential IP problem (eBay copycats, etc). Ad revenue is the traditional way of monetizing a website, but would even all the DIY headphone traffic in the world be enough to create meaningful income?  I'm not sure.

 

I think part of the solution is to grow the DIY audio user base. Get more people participating and building their own devices.  For that we need more CMoys, SSMHs, and simple amps and they need to be looked at not for performance or cost, but for the experience and pride of DIY. In that respect, the race to the high end DIY design hurts the DIY community by making it more intimidating to beginners and losing the focus of the fundamental pleasures of DIYing (namely that you can create something really cool yourself without an engineering degree).

 

I firmly believe that the selling point of DIY shouldn't be about THD or output impedance; it should be about the process and the builder. Through DIY you will learn new things about audio and yourself. Fun over performance, learning over cost, simple over cutting-edge. 

 

But that's just my 2 cents.

 

Lots of information packed in this reply and I greatly respect that. Responding in order of my train of thought:

 

1) Lots of simple amp designs to get people into DIY are already out there but there aren't too many new ones coming out because it's already there. Who writes math and physics books on Newtonian physics when they'res just about every avenue exhausted? It's already there. There won't be "new" simple amps coming out because the simple amps already exist.

2) High end DIY turns off new builders - well, maybe they should be looking at learning from the vast number of older simple DIY amps. You aren't expected to get into any other field starting at the top, so why would this be any different?

3) I absolutely agree, as I think most others would, that DIY isn't about best performance for the price, it's about the hobby. There's a category of people, myself at the beginning included, that looked at DIY as the "cheaper" option, but that isn't the case anymore. This has been demonstrated by others above.

4) IP and designing with intent to market - that's simply not the way it would work on a public forum. We've all suffered through the mess of the SOHA and know how terribly things can go.

post #41 of 78

I should rephrase my thought.  I love advanced and creative designs and it's something I aspire to when building/designing.  However, I recognize that what I want to build and what a beginner should build are not necessarily the same thing. It's not a question of whether high-end is good or bad (and I expressed that poorly I think), but a question of what gets the most attention within the DIY communities and how this is perceived by newbies.  

 

The forum at diyaudio is a great example of this. There are some seriously capable and creative designers over there and it results in one-up-manship at times. The great minds are quick to grapple with the device in question rather than the capability and understanding of the builder. Threads very quickly go over the heads of beginners. I don't blame them at all (and when you can follow it, it's great), but I also know it is intimidating and demotivating when you're starting out. If you post saying you want a 5W tube amp, you'll get a million and one topologies as well as examples of why a simple two-stage single-ended amplifier is a terrible idea (when that's exactly what a beginner should build). 

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that DIY in general could use a more builder-centric approach. Keep the high-end designs, of course, but don't deride the simple stuff because that's what grows the audience and hobby. As far as "new" simple amps, I partially agree. Yes, the topologies are all pretty mature, but there are new parts and devices released (or re-discovered) all the time. That won't reinvent the wheel, but it helps to put some new and interesting rubber on the road from time to time.

post #42 of 78
Thread Starter 
I agree with one main thing here, people always look for new thing is better. This is why diy falls.
post #43 of 78
We're still out here... I've got a backlog of projects at the moment and I'm constantly grabbing PCBs/kits for various designs I find interesting as I come across them. My current project list is;

PM Butte - on the bench being built
PM STarving Student - PCB on the way
Cavalli CTH - hunting for parts - I have a nice case and a pile of parts but many from the original BOM are out of production
CMOY - came across an interesting variant on eBay - on the way

I build them mostly for the challenge of finding the proper components and the novelty of the DIY designs. That said, I can understand why the market has kinda fallen away and in turn so have the retailers/designers. That said, I'm glad there are some higher end amps that are still available in kit form from Beezar and AMB.
post #44 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emilio84 View Post

We're still out here... I've got a backlog of projects at the moment and I'm constantly grabbing PCBs/kits for various designs I find interesting as I come across them. My current project list is;

PM Butte - on the bench being built
PM STarving Student - PCB on the way
Cavalli CTH - hunting for parts - I have a nice case and a pile of parts but many from the original BOM are out of production
CMOY - came across an interesting variant on eBay - on the way

I build them mostly for the challenge of finding the proper components and the novelty of the DIY designs. That said, I can understand why the market has kinda fallen away and in turn so have the retailers/designers. That said, I'm glad there are some higher end amps that are still available in kit form from Beezar and AMB.

 

Good stuff! Check out the 12AU7+MOSFET (IRF510/610) amp too, it's very cheap and a fun little build.

post #45 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenAngel View Post

Good stuff! Check out the 12AU7+MOSFET (IRF510/610) amp too, it's very cheap and a fun little build.

I did a quick search and saw some circuit diagrams. Do you know if any available PCBs? Any preferred enclosures?
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