DIYRE EQP5. very affordable, super easy to build. Sounds amazing. Get the vintage output. Also easy to modify.
CAPI stuff. Can't go wrong with any of it I think. I can't wait to build some of the eqs but have done some mic pressed and the ML2. Good stuff. The SumBus is on my list too.
I'm going to to some AML stuff next. The ez1073 and the 2254 compressor which looks easily tweaked (att/release times). Heard great things about amls stuff.
I also have 3 DIY Racked kits to build and some Serpent Audio ones which aren't really a thing anymore.
Hairballs stuff is good too. I want a pair of Lola's. I helped a local college build some of the copper mic pres and haven't worked on them but they seem super cool and interesting. I've built two 1176 500s from them too and they sound good.
The Lola is really nice. Being able to use it as a line amp is a bonus. I'd also suggest Hairball's Copper. I have 2 of each. Copper is an easier build. Neither are that hard though (I did botch one op amp on a Lola). The Copper has a cool character. At some point I plan on having a rack full of them and not worrying about preamps anymore.
The CAPI stuff is nice too. I have 2 of the 553f and LC25 over here. Both relatively simple builds. I don't think I could live without the LC25 at this point. It's THE bass EQ I've always wanted. I need like 8 more of them. 553f is a low key killer too.
Two VP312's, which were pretty easy and sound great. Two VP28's, which were fucking hard (next time I'll just by the damn opamps assembled) and they sound awesome. Two Lola's, which sounded kind boring to me. I know people love em, but I just don't get the hype. I guess I like colored preamps. Build was pretty straightforward, but again, not worth it to build the opamps. Currently working on the DR-PQ8, which is a monster project. Hopefully I'll finish by the end of the year.
Two VP28's, which were fucking hard (next time I'll just by the damn opamps assembled) and they sound awesome. Two Lola's, which sounded kind boring to me....Build was pretty straightforward, but again, not worth it to build the opamps.
Op amps are indeed a pain, especially when you're building 8-16 of em at any given time! I build everything under the sun CAPI-wise and I too was underwhelmed by the lola- nothing touches the 28's.
I had all the Hairball pres here for demoing and found them all underwhelming. Love their 1176s though.
are you saying you found the lola underwhelming
Yeah. After building/using one of their 1176s, I was considering selling off my more expensive preamps and going all Hairball. After trying them out I couldn’t get back to my DMA73 fast enough. I just didn’t like them. The Lola was my fav of the Hairball stuff but I didn’t really dig it.