Our 10 Favorite Places to Buy Parts (that aren't Mouser or Digi-Key) June 03, 2016 14:33

A huge part of what we do here at DIYRE is "sourcing"—finding the best vendor for each part in our kits. What that means in practice is countless hours of scouring the internet and navigating clunky, decade-old parametric search forms for deals on parts.

Some people actually enjoy this (those people are broken inside), but for those of you who don't we've compiled this list of our favorite sources.

  1. Redco Audio: One-stop shop for jacks and cabling. Simply the best prices anywhere for Neutrik jacks.
  2. OSHPark: Get your own PCBs made for cheap in the US! OSHPark has an awesome online ordering system, charges a very fair price of $5/square inch, and sends you 3 copies of your PCB within 2-3 weeks. We use them monthly for our prototypes.
  3. Apex Jr.: Specializes in buying vintage overstock. Great for old tubes, transformers, and weird stuff!
  4. Edcor Electronics: Transformers made-to-order in the USA for incredible prices. We use their PC10:10k in our L2A Re-amplifier.
  5. McMaster-Carr: The hardware superstore with the coolest website in the world. Get your nuts, screws, standoffs, etc. here in every size and finish imaginable.
  6. MonoPrice: Known for cheap earbuds and USB cables—but have you seen their audio adapters section? The perfect place to stock up on those magically disappearing TRS adapters.
  7. Bitches Love My Switches: Cheap guitar pedal parts with an attitude. Great prices on 1/4” jacks, switches, knobs, and cases.
  8. Tayda Electronics: Tayda was introduced to me as, “the site that brazenly undercuts everyone else.” I’d say that’s about right. Tayda stocks generic versions of the essentials for prices that beggar belief. And here’s a pro tip: always check Tayda’s Facebook page for their monthly 15% discount code before your order. 
  9. All Electronics: You might be aware of the huge distributors like Mouser and Digi-Key. But sometimes their gigantic catalogs are more confusing than convenient. That’s why I like All Electronics as a general parts store—they have almost everything you’d want, but not in every variety, brand, etc.
  10. AliExpress: Need 1-100 of a unique part of questionable quality and mysterious origin? Look no further than AliExpress. How about 100 mic capsules for $0.07 each? Or 100 Neve-style knobs for $0.50 each?

I hope this list saves you a few hours hunched over a computer (that you could have spent hunched over a soldering iron!) and leads you to some good deals. If you know of any gems we missed, please let us know in the comments.