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DIY amplifier wood case question

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Posted on February 14, 2017 at 14:36:36
krankkall
Audiophile

Posts: 261
Location: New Mexico
Joined: April 5, 2014
So what kind of wood do you like to put around your amplifier, so it doesn't look like a glowing, chrome plated Toaster?

I like Black Walnut myself...........................................

Steve

 

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RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 14, 2017 at 14:40:38
FenderLover
Bored Member

Posts: 12345
Joined: July 31, 2007
Contributor
  Since:
May 17, 2009
Black walnut veneer over quality MDF might be nice.

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 14, 2017 at 14:56:53
Posts: 30
Location: United Kingdom
Joined: November 22, 2005

Currently liking bird's eye maple veneer.

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 14, 2017 at 14:59:10
justdavid
Audiophile

Posts: 93
Joined: February 27, 2009
Gorgeous choice.
In my experience- the cabinet wood is often
Overlooked while the overall color is not.
Decide if you're looking for dark brown, reddish,
Or lighter. Sure you can stain- but I let the woods
Natural color make the choice. Or at least get close.

David

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 14, 2017 at 15:24:53
SteveBrown
Audiophile

Posts: 2270
Location: Portland, OR
Joined: November 14, 2002
Mostly I use cherry - solid cherry. I like the way it ages, cuts well, etc. Usually use simple finish like Tung Oil.

 

Mesquite, Bubinga, Walnut, Curly or Birdseye Maple, posted on February 14, 2017 at 16:35:28
Chip647
Audiophile

Posts: 1657
Location: The South
Joined: December 24, 2012
With thick aluminum top plates.
I also like the hard core industrial distressed look.

 

RE: Mesquite, Bubinga, Walnut, Curly or Birdseye Maple, posted on February 14, 2017 at 16:40:05
krankkall
Audiophile

Posts: 261
Location: New Mexico
Joined: April 5, 2014
I think Mesquite is great!
I make custom fixed blade 1095 carbon steel hunting knives with Mesquite handles....da good stuff!!!

Steve

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 14, 2017 at 17:38:29
hifipaul
Audiophile

Posts: 671
Location: NY
Joined: December 22, 2008

Being a perennial scrounger, I use whatever I have lying around. Mahogany was the last choice. Up next is some nice teak that I found.

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 14, 2017 at 18:54:49
bean
Audiophile

Posts: 336
Joined: November 4, 2003

I'm stuffing a PP 300b amp into the center section of this. Two tiered. Turntable/phono pre on right, PC behind the left door. Sections are a bit too narrow for modern gear, tho.

I have the matching speaker cabs too; original owner purchased in 1962. Ultimate WAF.

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 14, 2017 at 20:35:11
kitch29
Audiophile

Posts: 617
Joined: May 1, 2015
My latest amplifier project, KT-88 mono blocks, are native North Carolina Walnut. All but Old Growth Walnut these days is prone to finish with a grey cast which I remedy with a base coat of Amber Shellac then several top coats of Sherwin-Williams Wood Classics Satin Clear Varnish.






The follow-on 76 pre-amp, also of Walnut knocked me out with the look of just the Shellac so I skipped the Varnish.



10 years ago I lived in Central Ohio and there was a great lumber yard near Millersville that had a wonderful selection of tropicals. This 45 amplifier case is Padauk with 12 coats of Amber Shellac successively sanded finer than rubbed until the finish coat was nothing but the denatured alcohol held as close as possible on a fresh pad without touching. It's since mellowed to a rich reddish brown, ahallmark of Padauk.









 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 14, 2017 at 20:51:35
tube wrangler
Manufacturer

Posts: 1636
Location: USA
Joined: January 29, 2007
Here are some observations for you concerning wooden chassis
embellishment:

(1) Two metals drastically outperform all other metals:

Brass and Steel. If you use brass, make your fasteners stainless
steel.

If you use steel, make your fasteners brass. In both cases, all iron
must be physically elevated above the chassis. Aluminum is THE WORST
metal from a sonic standpoint-- it dulls, and it reacts against
steel (your transformers and chokes). This isn't funny musically.

(2) If your chassis is built correctly, wooden panels, etc., will
seriously degrade overall performance.

(3) If your chassis is a lightweight "tin-can", then wooden panels
will provide some badly needed acoustical dampening. With proper
construction, however, this should NOT be used.

(4) The "best" overall wood for this, performance-wise, is solid Maple.

(5) Wooden panels, while decorative, create "hot" spots" in a chassis--
acoustically. Wood isn't uniform, and attachment never is, either.

(6) Wooden parts around electrical equipment, while stylish, is a
definite fire hazard.

There you are!

-Dennis-



 

RE: Music can sound good played on Bubinga and Mahogany too., posted on February 14, 2017 at 21:03:20
kitch29
Audiophile

Posts: 617
Joined: May 1, 2015
Brass fittings were used for height and tilt though ;-}






 

Pine isnt that bad that it seems, posted on February 14, 2017 at 23:03:46
pix
Audiophile

Posts: 357
Location: sweden
Joined: March 18, 2006

I usually use whats been offered at the scrapyard.
Old used furniture wood is good because they are really dry and stable.

Even soft woods like pine works fine, if it is of really good quality.
Besides old furniture, good quality pine could be found in furniture frames etc.
I used an old pine kitchen hatch and mahogany inlays in this line amp.

 

I like pine too, posted on February 14, 2017 at 23:41:46
BenM
Audiophile

Posts: 40
Location: British Columbia
Joined: January 22, 2001



Not as elegant as Pix's.

Perma-breadboard monoblock 5842/45 parafeed with 0D3 on mdf with pine enclosure.

 

RE: I like pine too , posted on February 14, 2017 at 23:44:42
BenM
Audiophile

Posts: 40
Location: British Columbia
Joined: January 22, 2001



Pine enclosure removed.

 

RE: Pine is´nt that bad that it seems, posted on February 15, 2017 at 00:38:10
pix
Audiophile

Posts: 357
Location: sweden
Joined: March 18, 2006

On top I used an 3mm thick aluplate which i "brusched" using a band grinder.
After grinding I coated the plate to avoid aluminium oxidation.

 

RE: Pine is´nt that bad that it seems, posted on February 15, 2017 at 00:42:03
pix
Audiophile

Posts: 357
Location: sweden
Joined: March 18, 2006

Resently I changed the diy tube-holders made out of Birch to floating o-ring holders. And also added an aluminum cage over the tubes.

 

Hard Maple (Acer saccharum), posted on February 15, 2017 at 06:07:11
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 15124
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005
Is about as hard they come. Now tell me if the hard vs. soft choice has anything to do with reflection vs. absorption properties. Or, do you base your choice simply on durability.

It should be sealed, first?

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 15, 2017 at 06:10:48
Frihed89
Audiophile

Posts: 15124
Location: Copenhagen
Joined: March 21, 2005
Teak tends to turn grey and ugly (at least out in the elements; don't know about indoors).

 

RE: That's beautiful work..., posted on February 15, 2017 at 08:56:21
fred76
Audiophile

Posts: 1476
Location: Manila
Joined: February 28, 2004
Is that a DHT preamp? I really like the aesthetics, even the cage looks attractive.

Regards...

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 15, 2017 at 09:36:30
6AS7_6SN7
Audiophile

Posts: 678
Joined: September 10, 2009









Some ideas.




ecc230

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 15, 2017 at 11:43:07
pmaneri@samsontech.com
Manufacturer

Posts: 41
Location: Long Island,NY
Joined: May 22, 2015
"Aluminum is THE WORST
metal from a sonic standpoint-- it dulls, and it reacts against
steel (your transformers and chokes)."

Please elaborate on this. How does it dull? - Pete

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 15, 2017 at 12:00:19
xaudiomanx
Audiophile

Posts: 2947
Joined: August 16, 2004
I know this is off-topic but I kinda like the chassis that is used by Dennis Fraker. It seems over well made and is very clean looking. I'm sure they are costly but it might be worth the investment.

Wood is a nice less expensive alternative but not a favorite of mine. Landfall Systems makes a nice chassis and I find them very reasonably priced. You can also get total custom sizes as well.

 

Thanks, yes, but its teard apart right now, posted on February 15, 2017 at 23:43:10
pix
Audiophile

Posts: 357
Location: sweden
Joined: March 18, 2006
Thanks,
Yes, its a preamp built around old Telefunken RE114 DHTs with battery filament supply.
I never got it quite silent though so Its teard apart now for a 4P1L rebuilt.
Please follow the link for a complete built tread

 

Very nice work. (Nt), posted on February 16, 2017 at 13:20:44
benie
Audiophile

Posts: 1848
Location: Alberta, Canada
Joined: October 24, 2004
Nt

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 16, 2017 at 20:46:07
tube wrangler
Manufacturer

Posts: 1636
Location: USA
Joined: January 29, 2007
Take what I tell you in the right spirit-- I'm talking all-else-being
equal here.
By using the right capacitors, wiring, layout and parts, and by correcting a few circuit points, one can make almost any material
sound better than ordinary. Understand That I'm talking in idealistic
terms-- as in "the best".

There! Now we can talk! To Industry Professionals who build studio
gear, and to people like me who try to build "ideal" electronics for audio, Aluminum has a "whitish" coloration.

That is, it imparts both a dulling, and at the same time, a reactive
component-- it generates an aggressive upper midrange highly-driven "bleaching out"-- this might not be noticed on low or medium-Eff. speakers.

Arguments abound about this "whitish" idea-- is this caused by aluminum reacting against iron components, or is it also just part of aluminum itself? I don't pretend to know, but I suspect it's a combination of both.

I use aluminum for LOW VOLTAGE power supplies with no problems at all.
When I mount High-Voltage components, the aluminum starts to sing, and dull transients slightly at the same time. It is reactive and absorptive at the same time.

I would use it with great caution for another reason-- it is poisonous--
that is, the filings and dust are. Is it as bad as Lead? Well, it does
different things-- it usually ends up in brain and nerve tissue, Lead usually does that but also, Lead, due to its weight, tends to accumulate
more in lower areas such as your legs. Both aluminum and Mercury are brain and nerve poisons. SEE: Alzheimer's Disease, Mercury poisoning, "mad-Hatter's Disease", and etc.

Aluminum? You don't need it for many reasons. When you do use it, don't breathe the dust and don't get it on your skin....

-Dennis--

 

RE: Thanks, yes, but its teard apart right now, posted on February 17, 2017 at 02:09:56
fred76
Audiophile

Posts: 1476
Location: Manila
Joined: February 28, 2004
Thanks for that link.. looks neat inside too. Good luck with wthe 4p1L as rebuild..

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 17, 2017 at 10:09:25
Ed Sawyer
Audiophile

Posts: 2532
Joined: November 3, 2000
I like a combination of figured maple and figured claro walnut. (This is only the power supply, of course.)

 

Industry professionals?, posted on February 17, 2017 at 10:45:18
gusser
Audiophile

Posts: 2378
Location: So. California
Joined: September 6, 2006
I work in one of the worlds largest TV & film mastering facilities. Our building is flanked by two major recording studios. One of which is "Ocean Way Recording", who also have an esteemed studio in Nashville. We have done several installations in their equipment spaces.

I would estimate 90% of equipment enclosures are aluminum.

This is just more of your tired old drivel. As usual you have absolutely no scientific data to back up these outlandish claims.

 

RE: Industry professionals?, posted on February 17, 2017 at 11:14:45
LinuxGuru
Audiophile

Posts: 537
Location: European Union
Joined: November 11, 2008
That guy from Serious whatever is from another industry - fantasy land.

 

RE: DIY amplifier wood case question, posted on February 17, 2017 at 12:28:57
pmaneri@samsontech.com
Manufacturer

Posts: 41
Location: Long Island,NY
Joined: May 22, 2015
Dennis - There are a few good reasons to use aluminum chassis. They are non-ferrous so they don't conduct magnetic lines of flux. It's lighter and easier to tool. Aluminum conducts heat better than steel.
As a builder in an apartment, I have to use a power drill so aluminum is my friend. It's very hard to drill through steel that way.
Plus you used terms like "whitish" and "bleaching out" of the sound. I have never heard such terms.

 

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