One of the strangest things I've read for weeks is this post which Gareth sent me about people modifying their EMU 1212m sound cards. The cards are already very well regarded (mine sounds great to me), but these guys remove various components - capacitors and op-amps - replacing them with higher-grade ones, like the semi-mythical Black Gate capacitors (which can cost up to £140 per capacitor, and have a fantastically cool logo). Iron Dreamer, the guy who seems to be the leader of the modders, claims that that the mods - which cost him $140, the same as the price of the card - have given improvements in " in the soundstaging/imaging, speed/slam, treble extension, background blackness, and detail".
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I'm not totally sure if a guy's MIT Media Lab graduation thesis counts as 'DIY', but respect to Nikita Pashenkov anyway. He took a bunch of spare parts and built something very like Final Scratch (which has just released Version 2), another playing-mp3s-through-your-decks device. See also: Miss Pinky's Interdimensional Wrecked System, which doesn't rely on weird retro CueCat technology. (Thanks to Tommy Walker III and Waxy.org)
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