Are there tricks to make an amplifier enclosure look good? - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Design & Build > Construction Tips

Construction Tips Construction techniques and tips

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 24th September 2009, 02:33 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
destroyer X's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Recife - Brasil Northeast
Default Are there tricks to make an amplifier enclosure look good?

Greek people told about some proportion, some golden rule that made relationship between length and high...some rules.

I could see awfull equipments because the names printed on them were too much big.

Do you have a formula, an idea to help me to understand that?

I know that slim units looks good for several folks, but not for all them.... i think how tall is the feet, if that support is visible or not, the button shape and the panel shape..some mixing of circles and squares...

Are there some tricks?.... maybe people has study that stuff.... what we think is the simetrical shape?...... must be black?.... gray?

Are there emphatic colours...something that call atention (yellow?)

Post your contributions.

I really need to post that stupid question, as i am entirelly and completelly unable to make pretty things...i use to do and them i hate the result.. looks heavy, massive... strange.


  Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 03:40 AM   #2
diyAudio Member
Richard Ellis's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mar del Plata, a BIG seasonal getaway city, can see the Ocean from our residence.
Default Esthetics.....

" Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
Often times this has been quoted, and it is very true. What one will find great looking will look gawd-awful to most others. There are indeed some basic rules to follow.Lets make some rules here and now.
Color: The prevailing color today is black...some call it "The black death", totally uninspiring, looks Ok if it is sequestered in a rack somewhere in a Radio Stations equipment rack...but downright ugly in the Home. Deep blues, some Silver brushed Aluminum, Wooden cases or trim, Pewter, Nickel, some Acrylic clear. Beware of bright colors, except for guitar amps.
Fit and finish: There is a saying in the automotive business, "Looks good at ten feet" Translation" don't look too close" The finish MUST be perfect way up close.
If you can see imperfections with your nose up to it, others will too.
Symmetry: Perfect symmetry can be overdone...perfect left to right can look too orderly...looking like a shrine or pyramidal in structure, spacings must be broken up by asymmetry within say a control panel.
Height to Width to Depth is going to be rather standardized as you don't want your prized component to look out of place within your other audio components.
Do NOT use different shaped and sized Knobs...this looks goofy, keep Knobs the same for classes of functions, differing knobs for other classes of functions.
Look up the front face of a Marantz 2285B, and an old series Yamaha Receiver. The Yamaha has a great case of "Knob malfunction".All different shape knobs...too busy. The Marantz is downright classy.
For clean looks try the Harmon Kardon 730 Receiver. The Carver "The receiver" MXR-130 is a great case of excellent esthetics.
__________________________________________________ _____Rick...

Last edited by Richard Ellis; 24th September 2009 at 03:51 AM. Reason: Found model #
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 03:43 AM   #3
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
diyAudio Member
Glowbug's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hillsborough, NC
looks heavy, massive... strange.
As audio equipment should look!

Seriously, this is part of the coolness factor of DIY - what looks good to someone may not look good to another, so it's hard to make any kind of generalizations. Some people might think the DarTZeel stuff looks like modern art, while others can't stand it.
The machine does not isolate us from the great problems of nature but plunges us more deeply into them. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 03:50 AM   #4
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bakersfield Ca
If you do a search on golden ratio there is quite amount of info. It is difficult to mentally conceptualize how the ratios interact. Usually a small model with scale parts help me in layout. If you take 3 different tubes with different diminutions and space them equal apart the do not look right. Color too cannot be taken for granite, there has been much study in the advertising industry on emotional response to color and shape. Again modeling is how I sometimes come to my conclusion. More often it is what is left in the cans in the cabinet you can never go wrong with black, and textured paint hides a lot of sins. For face plateds I have been using wood, you can sculpt them easier than metal, combing different woods is not to difficult. Laser etching an inlaying for greater effect is within our grasps.

  Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 07:23 AM   #5
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Originally Posted by destroyer X View Post
Do you have a formula, an idea to help me to understand that?
If I were to ask you how to get good at building sweet sounding SS circuits what would you tell me? I'm sure just about everybody would say the only way to really know is to jump in and just start doing it.
If the focus is solely on getting things connected electrically then how it looks will be a reflection of that. If you want to shift your focus the very best thing to do is make time where you play ONLY with form for a while.

Get some different kinds of adhesives - couple kinds of glue, couple kinds of tape, some string, paper, cardboard, plastic from yogurt containers or 2 litre pop bottles etc, any sort of materials you can have fun with and start building forms. At first you might feel like a fish out of water and think you need direction or a plan but just fool around a little and you'll start to see things in what you're making. The problem isn't so much of learning all the rules that people before you made up as it is one of getting your perception to shift its involvement with circuits to a more visual and physical involvement with forms.

If you really get stuck then start with a shoebox, cut a couple of cm off one end of both the bottom and top and put the ends back on. Close the box and see how the change looks and what the feel of it is. Then do it again, and then again, and then again . . . until the box is as short as you can get it. Watch your perception of the box change as you go through the half way point etc.

Then build cardboard houses/floor-plans with the walls and stuff like that. (Even toy cars or models of hot babes!)
Make the ideal basic forms too - pyramid, cube , sphere and so on. Also pay more attention to forms as you walk through your house and other environments. Then you'll start seeing how form feels and begin to recognize your own gut responses to them. Notice also how the surface texture of a form changes the impact of it.

Try moving a collection of small objects like pebbles around on a table top until you get them into pleasing arrangements where the spaces between them are as important to the arrangement as the objects themselves.

It might be hard to get into because the whole time you're thinking "I don't want to build cardboard ****, I want to build a beautiful Amp!" but if you can put aside the drive to produce a finished product, take your time and just have fun for a while I guarantee you it really will help.
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 07:38 AM   #6
diyAudio Member
destroyer X's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Recife - Brasil Northeast
Default Interesting stuff, your opinions about, dear folks...some of them awsome, unexpected

different points of view...different analists.

Good that, thank you very much.

Continue to post your ideas here, they are almost unbeliavable, some are product/result of our modern days..other are ancient and seems was generated/created into the dawn of civilization.

Some seems that came from "Collective Unconscious", the Yung psicho social. a subject of psychosocial knowledge area.


Last edited by destroyer X; 24th September 2009 at 07:44 AM. Reason: Good that!.. i have, finally, learned how to edit post tittle
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 07:58 AM   #7
diyAudio Member
destroyer X's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Recife - Brasil Northeast
Default Maybe this results of cultural things... artistic things that comes from heritage

Genetic heritage.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg A cultural thing....maybe.jpg (782.3 KB, 777 views)
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 08:01 AM   #8
Key is offline Key  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
imo it's about avoiding overused patterns.

For a simple example there is photography. Most people when given a camera and told to take a picture of a sunset will take the picture with the horizon located in the very center of the picture. This just looks too obvious.

Someone who has taken a class or 2 on photography will tend to put the horizon 1/3 of the way from the top or the bottom. This looks better but to the art lover or an artist this looks overused and therefore is a cliche.

Someone who has taken a painting class or an architecture class might put the horizon (provided they have a nice guide or can crop to it) on the golden section of the top or the bottom of the frame. And maybe to someone picky like me this will look like a cliche but to most anyone it seems to be "just right".

All three are a cliche at this point, but what isn't? They are a cliche because they are effective. It's all about what you do with it. You can come up with your own ratios/guides that deviate from these with computers and I think you can get just as much of an effect out of them. Avoiding the overused and obvious ones. Basically if it looks bad to you then don't do that.
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 08:13 AM   #9
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
diyAudio Moderator
Mooly's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2007
Keep it simple and uncluttered I say, unless you have skills for screen printing on metals etc. No lettering is better than poorly applied lettering.
There are some wonderful enclosures available but very expensive, costa as much as all the amp parts
Maybe us DIY'ers should standardise are designs (PCB sizes etc) then we could make a modular amp and easily try new designs in the same enclosure.

Remember... a job doesn't have to be perfect "But it has to look it"
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th September 2009, 10:27 AM   #10
diyAudio Member
destroyer X's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Recife - Brasil Northeast
Default "poor applied lettering"...that's a big problem, for sure

- "Someone who has taken a class or 2 on photography will tend to put the horizon 1/3 of the way from the top"

Yes...this is common use.



Last edited by destroyer X; 24th September 2009 at 10:30 AM.
  Reply With Quote


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Good looking amplifier \ preamp enclosure Dave Everything Else 4 30th March 2008 12:41 PM
Make A Good Pre-amplifier??? broka Solid State 5 26th November 2006 05:00 PM
Dimensions to make the enclosure look tall and slim. rakeshln Multi-Way 15 8th July 2004 04:12 AM

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:15 AM.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2015 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2015 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2