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Topic: Building a soundproof cabinet for Giga Computers

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  1. #1

    Building a soundproof cabinet for Giga Computers

    I do not have seperate machine room, and my giga computers are very noisy. I\'ve looked into issorax and other soundproof glass cabinets, but they are pricey. I\'m thinking how hard could it be to build one, or convert a regular wood rack cabinet by adding a glass door, insulation and a fan. Does anyone have any experience with this and knowlege they can share. I really don\'t know what kind of fan to put in and how to vent it properly so thinks don\'t overhear - while also keeping quiet.

    Thanks,

    Colin

  2. #2

    Re: Building a soundproof cabinet for Giga Computers

    I\'ve got this problem as well. I tried to supress the noise from the 5 fans in my box by replacing them with \"stealth\" fans, but that has not worked...it is still quite loud. I did build a case for my G4, and it is working pretty well, however, I do not have any specific cooling accommodations for it. It is lined with some dense foam, which is effective in controling the noise. I keep the front and back door ajar just a crack unless I\'m doing mic recording...even with the doors open a crack for air, it cuts the noise from the computer to about 1/4 of full. The isorax is WAY expensive for people with minimum budgets (me).
    I would imagine a working noise control enclosure has to have a box within a box for running cables and providing air....air must be brought in through another area of the enclosure..possibly vents under the floor...of course quiet fans are a must..here\'s one link, but there are a few others: http://www.quietpcusa.com
    If you come up with some worthy info on this, please let me know.


    \"Does anyone have any experience with this and knowlege they can share. I really don\'t know what kind of fan to put in and how to vent it properly so thinks don\'t overhear - while also keeping quiet. \"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Building a soundproof cabinet for Giga Computers

    The Isoraxx is essentially a thick MDF rackbox with filtered air intake from the bottom, a set of four large baffled exhaust fans exiting the back door, 1\" Auralex foam lining, and tightly sealed doors front and back.

    It doesn\'t completely kill the noise from the three very noisy machines I have inside, but it knocks it down to the point that I can do some recording in my space. If I kill all but one of the computers to do the recording, and turn the fans down to the lowest speed (they are variable), I can track vocals in the room.

    I think anyone could build one. The sticking point is that by the time you\'ve shopped the components, done the woodwork, mounted all the hinges, clasps, hardware, foam, fans, etc., the Isoraxx looks like a steal.

    Alternately, if you found the rack rails at a good price, and could specify the cabinet well, you could probably get the cabinet work done by any decent cabinet shop.

    Still, I plan to move all the computers out of my space sometime next year when I have time to deal with all the re-wiring that would entail. Ventilation is a big problem with today\'s machines. Five years ago, we didn\'t need supercooling type fans, or for that matter, anything but healthy heatsinking on most processors. I like the performance I\'m getting from my two AMD 2200+ machines, especially for the price I paid, but the cooling is a major drag, and they\'re really much much noisier than the Intel versions of the same boxes before I upgraded.

  4. #4

    Re: Building a soundproof cabinet for Giga Computers

    I think the key thing here is to try and get the PC as quiet as possible first, which obviously makes the job of any cabinet that much easier.

    I\'m using these very cool looking Silent Drive enclosures from Japan, Zalman CPU fan, insulating foam barrier inside the PC case, and about to install a totally silent PSU (massive heatsink, no fan).

    Fairly expensive kit, especially if you\'re running multiple computers, but it\'s made a cabinet almost unnecessary.

    Actually, if you\'re only running 1 or 2 PCs it\'s probably possible to get them to be as quiet as the fans on a \'silent\' rack. This is sheer speculation though, BTW.

    Some useful links:

    silicon acoustics

    quiet pc

    silent pc review

  5. #5

    Re: Building a soundproof cabinet for Giga Computers

    I was thinking about getting one of those IsoRaxx at somepoint. Lee mentioned that it\'s a nice luxury to get back there and make adjustments etc. Does anyone have an IsoRaxx? I\'d like to know how easy it is to get to the back of it to do wiring. I assume it has some sort of back panel that can be removed.

  6. #6

    Re: Building a soundproof cabinet for Giga Computers

    Long extension cables are a lot cheaper and more effective than trying to quiet the noise inside the studio room. I have my DAW in the next room, and it is totally quiet in the studio. Try a closet or even a wheeled cart to move it in the next room only when you are recording.

    -- Martin

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Building a soundproof cabinet for Giga Computers

    Originally posted by vaultcomplex:
    I was thinking about getting one of those IsoRaxx at somepoint. Lee mentioned that it\'s a nice luxury to get back there and make adjustments etc. Does anyone have an IsoRaxx? I\'d like to know how easy it is to get to the back of it to do wiring. I assume it has some sort of back panel that can be removed.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Yes, I have one. Getting to the back is easy. It\'s sealed, just like the front, except there\'s a keylatch which holds it shut. Just open it up, and there are the components. It\'s on casters, too, which makes it pretty easy to wheel around.

    Here\'s a link to a photo of mine:
    Click this, then scroll about halfway down the page. The isoraxx is in the corner.

  8. #8

    Re: Building a soundproof cabinet for Giga Computers

    I\'m gonna pick up an Isoraxx and use it for te new Rackmounts I\'m building, with sliding rack shelves it should be easy to get into

    The machines I\'ll be putting in there are actually pretty quiet, using all Quiet PC parts (CPU and PSU). I jsut spliced one of their quiet fans into one of my old PSU\'s and it quietened it up a bit too. The Rackmount is a 4 u rack and in fact is near silent without a case fan turned on (even silent ones) and temps are pretty low without the case fan, bu tI have it in there jsut in case. Mind you this is a Duron 1.3 machine, I\'m sure its a different story with Athlon XP 2200+ machines...but I\'m building one of those soon so we\'ll find out.

    I have a closet and have thought about putting all the machines in there but was concerned about heating issues, and having to build a new door to keep it silient.......and trying to figure out where to put all the nice clothes... This is why I\'m opting for atleast one Isoraxx. I\'m going to put 3/4 machines in it. See how it works/sounds. If its worth it buy another, or see if I can build a cheap one.

    ultimately I want a cabinet/desk maker to make me a studio desk with closable rack spaces with ventalation for all the computers, with rubber insulation to minimize \"Desk rumble\" hehee

    THIS is the only real reason I could run everything in real time on one machine [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    However when (maybe thats an \"if\" not \"when\") the new gear is setup this year it shold atleast look neat.

    maybe I should be saving for a house instead....

  9. #9

    Re: Building a soundproof cabinet for Giga Computers

    Yeah, it\'s amazing how quickly this stuff can add up. Hmmm, should I get some giga-PCs or a car?

  10. #10

    Re: Building a soundproof cabinet for Giga Computers

    I\'ve got an Isoraxx as well - and I have to say it is money well spent. Just open the door and you realize how noisy it was before. I\'ve got 3 computers and about 7 rack spaces of gear stuffed into it and like Bruce said, it\'s really easy to get behind it at the wires. Not a big deal, especially if you\'re neat when you install everything and label cables. Just fyi, I found the prices on the web really high, and picked one up at Guitar Center in LA for WAY less than list - I was surprised at the price they gave me. I would suggest the big one if you get it - the price difference is less than $200 and you will be happy that you did later on.

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