look carefully, this ain't ARC! you are smart if you can spot the missing ARC badge ;-)

this is a D.I.Y 300B power amp by a hongkonger. the way they made the chassis looks like ARC is quite funny, which goes to show that chinese can make anything looks like the real mccoy. they are amazing. the D.I.Y community in hong kong is thriving; they even have regular classes whereby they teach wannabes in DIY-ing their hifi.

incidentally, panzer, ever so kind, also lent me his D.I.Y ARC LS25 preamp as an interim measure. i must say the build quality of the preamp is superb. it looks like any commercial product with good weight to boot and it even has a LED screen like the new LS26!

since panzer told me it is still a work-in-progress project, i would be so bold to comment on the sound. it sounds like a malnutrition and under-nourished kid! no kidding, so much is missing, to the extent that i don't know where to start commenting! tho' it is not bad by any measure, it doesn't have the "fullness" and "completeness" of sound and information that i am used to in LS25, or any good preamp. this factor itself is crippling the enjoyment of music.

panzer, sorry, i don't mean to degrade your efforts but it has still some way to go before it can compete with LS25, which i owned previously. however, i would be so glad to lend you my ears if you need to improve on it.


Jimel said...

Hi there,
Do be careful when purchase chinese made product. I had once been bitten by them. I bought a pre-amp from one of the small dealer (no need to mention the brand-quite a famous one and the dealer). No box or manual. He brought it to my house and tried it. I as naive as I can get, bought it and used it from some years. Although this guy praised the product, I still think that it was not that good but to keep up his spirit, I agreed. Later on, one of the input connector became loose (as I kept pulling and pushing interconnects). I was quite baffled as how this could happen (as I also did the same to my other equipment). I became suspicious. I took the thing for repair (to the same man). He said 'biasalah'. I being a good samaritan didn't argue. Because of that incident, I had to change to another pre-amp (once broken twice shy). I bought 2nd hand pre-amp (well known hi end). Good product although quite old. I spend sometime with it. Then I decided to sell of the chinese made pre-amp (the man from who I bought the 2nd hand pre-amp didn't want that chinese one). It was bought by a guy who runs a 2nd hand hifi shop. He opened up the thing and to my surprise he found old spare parts in it. It has been tampered with. No original spare part. Some has been replaced by who-know-what-low-quality things. Now the question is, did the dealer know about it? If he knew, why he sold the thing to me (as he knew me quite well)? I never confront him but I refused to buy from him anymore. So lesson to be learned from this incident:

1. Make sure you know what you are buying. If brand new make sure it comes in a box with manuals and warranty card(although you know him from head to toe). If 2nd hand, check and check (although you know him from head to toe).

2. Just be extra careful when buying chinese made product. Although some are well known and well made, just be extra careful (you never know when you are going to end up-the good or the bad side). From my experience, Taiwan made product are better in terms of quality (you may differ).

So there it goes. Now I'm a proud owner of Audio Research LS26. Good product, good quality and most important, glorious sound. Now that is music.

Anonymous said...

I am quite taken aback by the poor performance of panzer's DIY preamp as I have heard it previously. It was put side by side with a LS25 and though it may not have been an ARC, it wasn't that far away. This of course is IMHO.

From your post, I gather that your LS25 is not in your possession presently, and I am wondering if there have been any change in your other components. If there is, then it would be most interesting if your original component or components are back in place and conduct another listening session.

I have come to understand (but not privileged yet to listen), that your system is very transparent and I am sure that such a system will reveal a component's weakness or strengths.

Rique said...

I am sure the DIY version couldn't match the real thing.

Even then ,I still like DIYs projects and immerse myself in such whenever time permits.For me though it give me a better chance to understand equipments better i.e more for educational purpose more than anything else:)

Anonymous said...

Rique, meaning no offence, that's too sweeping a statement to make. Many of the big names in the HiFi world started off as DIYers. Could be that you have not been afforded a listening to a good DIY system.

Anonymous said...

i don't think it is chinese products. do you mind to share the dealer? so that we can be aware. he might do the same even for other products.