For far too long, high-end has been synonymous with (and all too often a euphemism for) high prices. But, you don’t always get what you pay for and price really is no guarantee of quality of performance. There are a disturbing number of brands where the cheapest products offer not just the best value but the best performance too! The moral of this story is that you don’t HAVE to spend big money to get great results. In fact, you can go further than that. There’s no more cost effective approach than the DIY route. Building your own cutting edge CD player or kW amplifier might be beyond most mere mortals, but other critical aspects of system performance – such as equipment support – can be accomplished with a little effort and very little compromise. DIY certainly isn’t for everyone, but it is equally certain that as a way of engaging with and enjoying the pursuit of superior musical performance, it is way more cost effective than churning system components! The ‘sand-box’ support is incredibly cheap and simple to produce, yet capable of delivering a significant performance upgrade; sort of like the Ikea bamboo chopping boards with added personal investment and a greater sense of achievement. If the tinker bug bites, there are few easier or better places to start.