Hi-Fi Kit Building
 
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This section is the main reason that I began writing this website. I wanted to introduce people to the joys and rewards of building your own Hi-Fi equipment.

My first such venture goes back about twenty years or so when I took possession of a schematic of a Leak Stereo 20 transistor amplifier from a friend who had one. That's all I had, just the circuit diagram, so with the help of various people I reverse-engineered the circuit boards, etched them and built the amplifier. It took a long time to complete and was pretty unusable because of the levels of hum (I knew nothing about such things as earth loops in those days) but it did actually work.

Nowadays I don't have the luxury of lots of time to spend developing such things (although I would love to get stuck into a raw design of my own) so I now have to rely on kits.

I have built a few along the years and have come to settle on the AudioNote range of kits. I have a great respect for them as a Hi-Fi company along with their non-compliant philosophies towards Hi-Fi and the Hi-Fi industry in general. As a company they offer what is perhaps the most extensive range of audio components; beginning with the affordable and going all the way up to the type of exotica most of us can only dream of and will only ever see at the best Hi-Fi shows.

Fortunately AudioNote seem to care about people, their access to high fidelity music, and were kind enough to produce a number of upgradeable kits to allow people to build and experiment on their own. In recent years they have farmed off their kits to another company because of the difficulty in maintaining so many 'branches', namely AudioNoteKits.com who appear to be taking their privileged position very seriously thanks to their head man and founder Brian Smith.

Deciding whether to build such kits is always a difficult decision because you don't always know the level of difficulty of the build, whether the instruction manuals are any good (a very important thing and often overlooked by some companies), whether the resulting product is actually worthwhile building, etc. So, I have decided that whenever I begin a new kit, I intend to document the build on this site. Unfortunately, the first AudioNote kit that I built (the DAC Kit 1.1) was built before this site was even thought of, but I do intend to document any official upgrades that are supposed to be appearing in the future.

Information Update: Since writing the above, AudioNote Kits have produced the DAC Kit 2.1 which I have now built and documented. There are now upgrades available for the DAC Kit 1.1 but they are effectively upgrades that allow it to become a DAC Kit 2.1.

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