Ugly Retail Preamp Cases vs What We Really Want - diyAudio
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Old 20th June 2013, 07:12 PM   #1
kouiky is offline kouiky  United States
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Default Ugly Retail Preamp Cases vs What We Really Want

For the past decade I've been waiting for the DIY case makers to bring something attractive to the market for us DIYers. After all the work we go through to make it sound great, there should have been some better looking cases and chassis available by now. The manufacturers of the currently available cases may wonder why sales are slow and after speaking with some of them over the past year, I have shared why their designs don't sell.

This IS NOT what we want. It is devoid of any taste, originality and overall looks cheap:

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Below shows what we hope for. Notice the curves, clean lines, real veneers, matte sandblast finish and sealed anodized finish. In addition to this, provisions for up to four knobs (two large, two small) opens doors to customers who need more controls for secondary functions. Notice what makes most of these attractive is their sophisticated simplicity. The more complex model with the meter makes another interesting point, as meters hold merit for those who wish to monitor tube biasing or output VU at an instant. While this case may be a bit difficult to produce, a scaled down provision for meters is very possible. It would also be nice to see preamps with frontal windows for those who use tubes:

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Last edited by kouiky; 20th June 2013 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 20th June 2013, 07:50 PM   #2
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Buy an old Crown IC 150 change the jacks and pots and put the new preamp in the chassis.
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Old 21st June 2013, 04:33 AM   #3
amc184 is offline amc184  New Zealand
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Don't wait on someone else, just go custom! I've never seen an off the shelf case I like either, so for my latest few projects I've designed my own cases. You don't need a whole lot of skills or tools either, I sent all of mine out to be manufactured, it's not hard to find places that do sheetmetal, machining, linishing, anodising etc.
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Old 21st June 2013, 10:20 AM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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All a matter of taste. I quite like plain black boxes. Much modern audio looks quite vulgar to me, including some of the examples shown above. Money spent on the case has not been spent on what is inside the case.

I agree that there should be more variety, so that those who want to look at their hi-fi as well as listen to it can be satisfied.
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Old 24th June 2013, 07:46 PM   #6
Cassiel is offline Cassiel  Libya
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Yeah and cars are only for driving. Want something different? Pay a little more and it should be doable. Asking people to do something different for your own pleasure always costs some extra.
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Old 24th June 2013, 08:02 PM   #7
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I really liked this chassis for pre from taobao:
前级机箱 全铝机箱 专为本店M7定制的机箱 顶级全铝机箱 前级机箱-淘宝网

Did not buy it though
How to find time to finish my projects ?
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Old 24th June 2013, 09:43 PM   #8
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Originally Posted by Cassiel
Yeah and cars are only for driving.
Nice to find someone agreeing with me. That is why I always drive a Toyota: their cars are plain but very reliable.
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Old 24th June 2013, 11:09 PM   #9
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But for the beautiful MR2, which they do not sell here! E
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Old 24th June 2013, 11:39 PM   #10
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Default You have to design it yourself...

I think the problem with the available cases is that they are designed for no-one. They are generic, and therefore tend to be boring or gratuitous.

The best solution (in my view) is to look at the thing you're enclosing, think about where you will situate it, what it goes with, how you want to interact with it, and what materials you have.

The enclosure I'm happiest with is the one I created for my F4 from plywood, an aluminum door extrusion, and some redwood scraps (oh, and a couple of big heatsinks!).

I like it because it speaks to the idea of making, rather than to the idea of manufacturing. It seems more personal to me. It's also cheap!

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