The Best JFET Preamp You've Never Heard

posted 22 august 2011

A simple JFET high-performance preamplifier ideal for hooking ipods, portable media goobers, in fact anything with a headphone jack, into your hi-fi. Easy to build. Check it out!


Phono Preamp Scrapbook

posted 17 February 2011

A collection of schematics, ideas and snippets regarding phono preamps. Check it out!


Build a Passive iPod Preamplifier

posted 2 feb 2011

Need a simple way to boost your iPod/portable media player's output for car or stereo use. Here's a dirt simple passive project using small audio transformers. Cheap and easy.

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Phono Cartridge Loading

posted 17 jan 2011

Did you know you can improve your phono setup sound by monkeying around with input impedance?

This article shows you how to adjust input impedance to best match your cartridge.

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Let's Build a Class D Amplifier!

posted 15 july 2009

I just can't help myself. I love to build amplifiers. In this project, we take a Class D amplifier PCB (premade off ebay) and build an enclosure for it.

Loads of pics, tips, and general geekieness.

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hook up your iPod to your car stereo

posted 15 may 2009

Spend too much time in your car? Might as well make it fun. Here's some tips on how to hook your iPod up in your car, with various options for convenience vs. sound quality. Of course, we will always sacrifice convenience for sound quality.

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curve dock IPod dock

posted 4 may 2009

I added a page to post pix of random things I've built. The first posting is an IPod dock built from random parts. Read more....

class D amp done!

posted 27 april 2009

Finally completed with upgraded components. Does it sound better than stock? Sure does! Read more....

the humble volume control

posted 21 april 2009

Many volume controls are built with simple dual-gang potentiometers. Read more about why that approach is less than ideal, and find some alternatives.


tripath TA2040 class d amp project

posted 17 april 2009

I've been workling on a small Class-D amplifier for use in a bookshelf stereo project. Using a pre-populated PCB from the wonderful folks at, I've fashioned a hunk-o-wood base, machined some end panels and the enclosure is starting to look rather nifty.... Here's the progress.

Tripath TA2024 Amplifier DIY

20 dollar DIY cd player

posted 12 april 2009

Mission: Build a DIY CD Player. Budget: 20 dollars and parts laying around the beavis lab. Reward: Bizarre and Unique!



let's went to mexico!

 posted 8 april 2009

I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I shot this video, nor can a remember the purpose. Maybe it was related to a DIY CD project I'm working on. The sound quality is atrocious and the video is blurry. Yes, chianti is my friend.


little lebowski urban achiever power amp

posted 5 april 2009

Here is an easy to build stereo power amp that puts out a little less than one watt per channel. Cheap parts, so it won't break the bank either. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you with the Little Lebowski Urban Achiever Mark I power amp.


compare sounds with the BabyA/B

posted 31 march 2009

Compare A to B in real time with a fun and easy to build project, the BabyA/B


ipod headphone jack + stereo = fail

posted 28 march 2009

Still hooking your ipod up to your stereo with the headphone jack? There's a much better way, here's how and why.

let's start something new

posted 25 march 2009

Over the last few months I have become re-infected with the desire to listen to music. My previous four years have been absorbed by finding ways to create music, as evidenced in my beavis audio research site.

This newly rekindled interest in listening to music has dredged up all the great memories of my youth. I remember that whenever I moved somewhere new, the first order of business was to hook up the stereo. All other considerations were secondary. I remembered one of the few bonding experiences with my dad was hooking up stereos and learning what he knew about tube amps, speakers, great old reel-to-real decks, phonograph  players and all that great shit.

And I rediscovered my love of non-audiophile hi-fi.

Wait, WTF does that mean, non-audiophile hi-fi...

To me, the term audiophile defines the pursuit of high-end gear for its own sake. The desire to acquire gear where cost is a secondary consideration. To listen to the golden-ear oracles spout off about imaging, sound-stage, oxygen content in copper, cable directionality and all the other drivel that irrevocably takes the fuckkin fun out of listening to music.

Steve Martin once said "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture." And that quote, to me, absolutely nails the idea of listening to experts tell me how stuff sounds good.

So my term is hi-fi. Hi-fi is setting up various components, sound sources, speakers, and other stuff in ways that makes music sound good to me not to a reviewer who gets a free set of 1,000 dollar speaker cables and feels compelled to gush about them by using hackneyed and tired terms.

Hi-Fi to me is getting the best bang for the buck out of non-high-end gear, and often finding that a $100 dollar preamp will not only sound better, but be better built than some $1,000 mystery box that is very often comprised of cheap components arranged according to a pilfered open-source design.

Hi-fi to me is openness and sharing. Schematics are free. Everything I learn is built on the shoulders of others, like-minded fanatics who share instead of conceal.

Hi-fi to me is How Does This Sound to Me?

Now I don't want to sound like some bitter tone peasant. Really I don't. It is just that the Great Audiophile Circus does nothing for me, it is boring and somewhat pointless.

So enough of the ranting. What is this site about?

In simple terms, it is about the fun of figuring out what gear sounds good. It is about learning more about the innards of our hi-fi gear and dispelling the bullshit that creeps into so many subjective conversations. And the really important part: it is about DIY.

DIY means that everything I learn, I share. It means that every design I come up with gets a full published schematic, and in a lot of cases, a thorough how-to project article. It is about sharing the mistakes and successes that happen as I spelunk through the joys of good old fashioned hi-fi fun.

But most importantly, it is about building a two-way community of like-minded people. Folks who are just as crazy as me, who aren't afraid to wire something up wrong, who aren't worried about always following the conventional wisdom. Because as non-linear crazy bastards, we a) have more fun, b) learn more, and c) share more. I'll post stuff and you can try it, but you should also make a point of telling me what you are up to: what did you hack today? What have you learned? The beauty of the interwebs (well, besides all the great porn and LOLcats content) is the huge open-house of fun and knowledge we can share.

So there you have it, my first post here and hopefully something of a chaotic, loosely-defined mission statement. Let the tone debauchery commence!

Your humble servant,
-beavis (dano)




My name is dano and I build and hack hi-fi stuff Thanks for visiting my site. Use the nav bar up there to browse through articles and projects.
Into guitar effects?
Check out my
beavis audio research site!
Headphone Jack+Stereo=Fail
Why the Line Out Jack makes life so much better when working with stereos. 
Volume Controls

All about 'em, how to choose 'em and how to build 'em.
Various parts I've found that are useful for hi-fi DIY 
Build a Class D Stereo Amp
Build the Chairman Mao--an awesome Tripath TA2024-based stereo amplifier.
Compare Devices with an A/B Box
Compare A to B in real time with a fun and easy to build project.
Little Lebowski Urban Achiever
A half-watt stereo power amp that will drive small speakers.
Misc Builds

Here's a running list of various builds that solve various problems.

20 Dollar CD Player
Highly unusual and questionable CD player from partz.
Tangentsoft = Great! forums
Head-Fi forums
Elliot Sound Products - the Motherlode
Pass Labs DIY
Bent Audio = WOW
beavis non-volatile


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