If it is possible to generalize which group of individuals in audio possess maximum amplitude of idiocy and at the same time archived the minimum audio result then unquestionably the leading position would be belong the audio industry marketing boys and the representatives of DIY Audio. Let leave the industry people along for now and look at the DIY Audio.
The DIY in audio has a very faulty semantic meaning. The fault derives from the actual phrase “Do It Yourself”. The term does not imply a level of RESULT but only the way of obtaining the result. Most of the audio people get frustrated with the absurd prices and low availability of so called high-end audio and the decided to make audio themselves. Thier frustrations are perfectly rational but let drop the entire concept of cost and price form this entire article, and here is why…. Certainly home made audio helps to avoid dealing with some thrift-manufactures who produce their junk-product and who in any other industry would end up probably in jail or certainly out of business. However, DIY will only save only money but it will NOT enable an audio user to get or to understand better Sound. If you give to each of the DIY enthusiast $1.000.000 and ask them to buy audio with no limitation or restriction then those DIYers will ended up with the system that would produce the IDENTICAL POOR RESULT as they have now. So, the cost benefit is not the subject under which the DIY should be viewed. Unquestionably DIY does save a tone of money but it does not have any single audio benefit; quite contrarily: DIY, as it understood by majority of audio people helps to breed the metastases of audio-idiocy.
DIY audio is very simple, however high-end audio at the level “how it might/should be” is very complex. It is very simple to assemble an amplifier or loudspeaker but it very difficult to understand, to make and to evolve into realization how that amplifier or loudspeaker should operate, how to USE them and what to do with all those built things after the fused do not blow anymore. A DIY movement, in the way in which it currently understood and publicized (and many wily audio industry scams take quite good advantage of this publicity) does not deal with a person but only with the process. As the result, an average DIYer learns how to solder, to buy, to assemble, or do a rudimentary design but his personal audio, musical or cultural progress is completely irrelevant to his actions. Consequentially 90% of DIYer have the general barbaric taste, cultural level of an average Taxes armadillo digger and the musical reference points so primitive that it frightens.
Do you think I unreasonably assault the nice DIY people out there? Well, visit their listening room; look at this collection of music, talk with them about something else then the “double bass on the left, piano on the right and the girl in the middle”, visit the countless DIY-centric communities-breeding Websites and explore the level of musical discussions they have in there. Those people are completely dead audio-vise. They created for themselves a club of co-thinker where anyone knows what Ohm, bias of Fs means and they lovely coexist in the hobby, without have a clue what/why they do and where they going. They move from projects to project making new audio happens but thier audio does not benefit them as the listeners. Certainly a DIY audio hobby is way more socially acceptable then drinks vodka or sniff cocaine. However, audio-wise, from the point of AUDIO RESULT, not from a point of self-entertainment, that DIY-hobby is worthless.
Here we are approaching another important reasons why the DIY Audio is actually is an idiotic movement. Without having the civilized cultural reference points, or without internal imaginative integrity whatever a DIYer dose is condemned to be sounds-producing junk. DIY audio is like a programming in 4GL development platform (PowerBuilder, Delphi, Visual Basic) - whatever you do, and no mater how you do - will works. Certainly it is possible to design very complex and very serious system via those programming languages but to do so require a consciousness of the architects and developers but not just a bunch of the kids who pile lines of code and encouraged that “something does not blow”. The seriousness of those Information Technology Systems is in the seriousness of the demands and requirements. The very similar is in audio. A average Morons-DIYer, has no serious requirements or no serious objectives to sound reproduction or in music. DIYers primary interests are to make something for less money of juts to make “something working” because they have a free workspace in basement and free time. They do not make a specific sound of thier mind but they build a “soundable sound” or in worst case they develop thier own ides how sound should be. Why “worst case”? Stop in their listening room and see the actual result the get. Then you would stop asking why “worst case”?
I use to meet many DIYers and walked in their listening rooms and after listing this installations I always was trying to grasp what they want to accomplish or to say by mean of those installations. I was hardly possible and then I usually asked them about their objectives, intentions and motivations. I always (100%) after hearing thier explanation (or a luck of them) was able to find a parallel between the poor performance of thier playbacks and the primitivism of thier objectives. Later, I begin to play more radical games: I begin to listen people (DIYers for instance) and to visualize what they might achieve by means of tubes, drivers, cable, capacitors and resistors. Amazingly, I was absolutely correct in each and single of my “bold prediction” after I eventually had a chance to listen their systems and to confirm my visualizations. Now, I do not ever go there and instead of queasily to most of the DIYer I expires an arrogance and superiority. It is easy to extrapolate Sound of DIYer playback form what he says and mostly I have no interest to waste my time with DIYer’s so-called “audio thinking”. Their thinking is not about audio but about process of making the dB-producing machinery. That they do is as far form the Real Audio as barricading bricks from designing a skyscraper.
Unquestionably, among the people who make own audio there are very- very small group of interesting and talented people however they hardly would call themselves DIYers and for them making/exploring audio is not a hobby or leisure. The differents between this small group and the rest of DIY-waste is not in their depth of DIY involvement but only in their more advanced audio and musical objectives and self- consciousness about own actions. Those people use DIY method (or entire audio) only as the tools for SOMETHING ELSE and they have no preoccupations or excessive obsession with the audio-making methods.
DIYer would not understand it. DIYer’s primitive mind is wired differently. He (it is always him) is disabled to evaluate results. He can only create own rules, build concepts, try different method and push out of own experience the patters that bring him to a highest level of his pseudo-satisfaction. Thanks God, audio has unlimited possibilities and ways for the DIY-psychos to satisfy his hands-moving-soldering-frustrations. DIYer can do countless things in audio and always receive a new irrelevant result. They would write the PhD destination studying the sonic directivity of 1” copper conductor and they give you 4534 reasons why whatever they do not have in their room is not suitable to sound reproduction. I could give a hundreds hilarious illustrations of my sweeping generalization about DIYers. However, I think you get the message that I would like to pass.
Really, I personally do not see any values in DIY oriented community. Nothing wrong to bult own audio but the reasons for “building” should be slight nobler and more serious then “it is possible to do it”. I always say that Audio starts from library or form a certain intellectualism of listening sensations. DIYers do not have it and they DON NOT care to have it. A few years ago when the Audio Asylum’s archives were not purged, “brushed” and edited (at the time when the AA moderating dirt ultimatum me that they will delete my posts in their Musical Forum if I post the negative comments about the products that they sponsored at that time) it was possible to go to the AA’s multiple DIY forums and correlate the idiocy of a given poster expressed on the subjects of audio with the same poster’s posts (if you find any) in the Musical forum. That train BEVER was late and that relation always was perfect: the idiot listener = idiot audio DIYer.
So, DIY Audio movement is not intrinsically bad concept but the intrinsically poor quality of the individuals who infested the DIY audio make DIYers form Audio quite unattractive group to expect form them an interesting Sound or an interesting result. The time spent to learn how to bult audio for most of the DIYer is completely self-consumed into dead education instead of involvement. As the result, the gratuitous objectives lead to the superfluous and needless methods. There are actions but there are no results. A lot of smoke and fire-like sparkles but there is not heart. In other words: the 90% of DIY audio is mostly about the compulsive nothingness and creative soldering then about own creation of audio solutions.
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche