Okay, I'm sick of being afraid of my soldering iron... :lol: Here's what I'm planning to start with. I have a ART ProVLA. I kinda like it on a lot of things, but I want better and more! So, here are the first things that I'm gonna attempt. 1 - replace all potentiometers with detented controls (likely Penny and Giles - both for general overall quality and for availability). I get a woody over detented controls - I wish EVERYONE would detent! 2 - replace the tubes. I'll probably do this first - maybe even today. I get radically different sound out of the left and right channels. Left is heavily distorted and outputs a non-symmetrical waveform, right looks and sounds fine. I think I'll go for GT Gold series. Yeah, I know there are far better tubes out there, but I've been pleased with other GT Golds in the past - and what they do is test a bunch of tubes and rate them into their Silver, Gold and Regular lines. The consistency from one Gold Series to the next is there. 3 - replace the power supply. I don't know how much advnantage I'll get out of this with the ART, but I HATE the attached power cord. So, I figure I'll give it a whirl and see if there's a benefit. These will be my first steps. If I'm confident from there out, I may get down to the board level and start picking and choosing components to replace. Goodbye chinese capacitors - hello British split-foils! We'll see. So, I have a few DIY questions. 1. When DIY'ing cable, I use a torch and a mechanical arm to hold the cable and connectors respectively. I tin the cable leads and then apply solder to the connector. Then, I place the cable on the connector and apply precise heat. So far this has worked FAR better than any attempts I've had at soldering. I use a couple different blow torches for instrument repair for very detailed work, so I'm pretty good with them - as far as getting heat where I want it and how much I want. Does anyone know any serious disadvantages to me doing it this way? 2. Where is a good place to get DIY parts? I've got a source on some good P&G faders/potentiometers, but caps and power supplies and so on - a little tough! 2. b. Who makes good board components (caps, resistors, etc.)? I think that's it for now. I'll keep everyone posted. Who knows, maybe I can make a mastering limiter out of this thing yet. BTW - the reasons that I'm dissatisfied are: 1. Inprecise. I can NEVER return the device to the same place twice. Part of this is due to the lack of detents, the other is that ARTs markings are essentially useless. Their thresholds are wrong, their ratios are wrong and their output level indicators are wrong. I hope to correct this with better potentiometers and some paint! 2. Sound. I genuinely LIKE the sound of the unit when it is the right sound. BUT, I think it could be far more versatile than it is. I just don't understand why a piece with this design should impart SO much color! More later........ J.