A rose by any other name is just as sweet


So said Shakespeare, but give me a break!

Unfortunately, we humans, always have a pre-judged (mis)conception of things before we even start to see things for what they are. Call a rose another name, say "cow dung" and before you even see the rose, the imagery isn't of the sweet smelling variety anymore! (Okay, my analogy is not great, but hope you get the idea. Read on.)

Likewise, DIY audio seems to have a certain bad vibes among certain folks. Looking down on DIYers seem to be a favourite past time among some section of the audio populace. Must be those countless experience with uninformed DIYers who built speakers with no regards to speaker driver T/S parameters. Just "cut and paste" your way through. But DIYers come in all shapes and sizes! Some are more informed, while some are more exacting in their requirements! 

Here is what I propose. If you are a DIYer, if the negativity some perceive bothers you, then don't refer yourself as a DIYer anymore. Refer yourself as an "audio researcher".

Are you one? Why not? When you change a tube's operating point in a circuit, you are trying to find out whether this new operating point will "gel" better with the rest of the system, you are trying to discover new ground, you are trying to get a sound to your taste. The same happens with changing components to change sonic flavours. Ditto with experimenting with different circuit topologies. You ARE researching on how to get your "sound". It doesn't matter whether you know the hows as long as you know the ways. 

As the Malaysian government realizes we need to push forward more R&D activities, instead of concentrating on manufacturing, little did they realize that as the local audio DIY community grows stronger, there's little labs scattered throughout the country, honing their skills, practicing this art of achieving "audio nirvana". Only difference with using the term "R&D" is because our budget is at the wrong end of the decimal. And of course, our instruments aren't multi-million moolah instruments, but our humble ear. Something which even these instruments can't measure! Can they measure soundstage?!

So next time some high-nosed hi-fi snob looks down at your DIY projects (some of us make equipment that look like a rat's nest. but I defend: "it's sonics that matters not aesthetics! to each his own!"), just tell them you are an audio researcher. If at the end of a lengthy explanation, they are angered by your rhetoric and play of words, hey, what's wrong with this? Ask them to figure this out : petrol distribution engineer, signaling supervisor.

I guess at the end of the day, I still agree with Shakespeare.


* Petrol distribution engineer    -    petrol pump attendant
Signaling supervisor    -    traffic controller (no offense!)