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WHAT a Liberty!

Postby ef37a » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:26 pm

As one who earned his meagre crusts mainly by fixing things I was immediately struck by the ventilation holes atop the Mytek DAC Hugh reviewed in the August issue.

Accident waiting to happen IMHO. Guitar amps used to have top vents but eventually mnfcts realized they are AS averse to "B****g Watneys Red Barrel " as the rest of us and now I think you would struggle to find the practice?

Even if the odd G&T does not go in there I suppose the thing is smart enough to shut down if one inadvertently leaves one's copy of SoS on top?

Maybe though Mytek think that at these prices the potential user will be some OCD being who would NEVER be so daft?

I also agree it should have had RC. Motorized pot and on/off as a minimum.

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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:02 pm

Harsh but sensible advice from a professional there Dave :beamup:


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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:03 pm

I have just dropped substantial wedge on a new item of equipment that has a significantly perforated top, though it is 19 inch rack so typically that is where it will be expected to live.

The Massive Passive here also has a filly grilled top, it is not uncommon.

Although it does indeed make it open to spillages.
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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby ef37a » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:22 pm

SafeandSound Mastering wrote:I have just dropped substantial wedge on a new item of equipment that has a significantly perforated top, though it is 19 inch rack so typically that is where it will be expected to live.

The Massive Passive here also has a filly grilled top, it is not uncommon.

Although it does indeed make it open to spillages.

In a rack it is protected from beer etc but then the conundrum arises of where to put it? If the unit develops significant heat you don't want it at the very top but then you don't want it cooking anything else! There are of course rack vents but they are a "waste of space".

I recall wiring 4 fans in a "top hat" on a full height rack but that was for a network comms room, not something you want in a studio.

My solution would be side and possibly rear vents or, if the consumption is not too high, just put in enough "metal" to ensure it stabilizes with any likely ambient temperature. Not likely studio gear will be used in a place humans cannot live?

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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:52 pm

I am lucky this item will be no where near any routine tea cups so it should be fine. It is on approval for 14 days but I do not anticipate it going back. It seems fairly common on USA built kit to have a perforated/grilled top and less so from elsewhere I note the item you refer to is designed in the USA. (a USA lower volts/higher current throwback ?) Most pro kit is dual voltage these days, maybe it is just a design protocol in the USA.

It is always a slight risk with holes in the top panel, as you say. With high ticket equipment it is generally expected that the user is responsible and that it will be used in a pro environment.

Most modern PC's ship with a case that is more than 50pct holes in the top so you just have to be sensible.
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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby ef37a » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:49 pm

"Most modern PC's ship with a case that is more than 50pct holes in the top so you just have to be sensible."

Oh! Mine must be bloody old then! Why? A desktop is paradoxically usually put UNDER the desk so top access is not possible.

I guess in the "pro" world people are sensible in control rooms and perhaps it is no longer quite such a "Wild West" in the recording space?

Still, it seems poor, lazy design to me. Not only can liquids get it (coz 'it'appen) but tiny bits of metal such as a paper staple? Then, some of the stuff is SO expensive they could go for solid state coolers! One other thought? The oft despised line lump PSU does at least keep some of the heat out of the interesting bits!

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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby Folderol » Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:51 pm

I'm a great believer in honking great (vertically aligned) aluminium heatsinks on the back of a unit - preferably black anodised, not painted.
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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:41 pm

No horse in the race, I just apply common sense in use. If there is a risk of overheating I prefer the holes than not. You have to trust the designer in the end and it is rarely this that determines worthiness of gear or not.

I recall a Digitech Studioquad having a rear heatsink. The back of the HCL Vari Mu and the Summit DCL-200 here has them on the back as well.
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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:36 pm

None of my desktop computers have holes on top (and I can't remember owning one thet did).....
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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:05 pm

ef37a wrote:Maybe though Mytek think that at these prices the potential user will be some OCD being who would NEVER be so daft?

Yes, I think that's probably what they were thinking! :headbang:

Maybe I'm very unusual, but no G&Ts (nor any other liquid) has ever found their way near (let alone into) any of my hi-fi or pro-audio gear in over 40 years...
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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby ef37a » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:46 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
ef37a wrote:Maybe though Mytek think that at these prices the potential user will be some OCD being who would NEVER be so daft?

Yes, I think that's probably what they were thinking! :headbang:

Maybe I'm very unusual, but no G&Ts (nor any other liquid) has ever found their way near (let alone into) any of my hi-fi or pro-audio gear in over 40 years...

I guess Hugh it is just that I had fifty years of idiots destroying things! When tellies were cubes they were rarely without a plant on top. I had a bass G cab and even though I had a big sign on it telling peeps NOT to put their beer on it, they did and it would 'walk off'.

Whenever I built a bit of gear for myself or others I would make it as "bombproof" as I could. I would keep dissipations down as low as possible and , as Folderol mentioned, use heat sinks instead of air flow where possible. Studios are I suspect very clean places in general but in the big, nasty rest of the world allowing air to circulate means a coating of fluff and "GKWhat gathers inside at the rate of about 1mm per year. Ever had the covers off a microwave?

I suppose I just come from a rougher, grimier world than Mytek!

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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:46 pm

ef37a wrote:Studios are I suspect very clean places in general but in the big, nasty rest of the world allowing air to circulate means a coating of fluff

Before the smoking ban studios were pretty dirty places - most musicians seemed to smoke copious amounts of anything that could be smoked and every bit of kit would have a brown layer on it. Any flat surface would be seen as a coffee table though I don't remember too many issues with spills - I was always careful to make sure things were cleaned up quickly.

My MM mixer even had a convenient flat area for a pint glass and had a permanent beer stain there for a good few years.

Things are much cleaner these days.
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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby Freelance Subversive » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:34 am

ef37a wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
ef37a wrote:Maybe though Mytek think that at these prices the potential user will be some OCD being who would NEVER be so daft?

Yes, I think that's probably what they were thinking! :headbang:

Maybe I'm very unusual, but no G&Ts (nor any other liquid) has ever found their way near (let alone into) any of my hi-fi or pro-audio gear in over 40 years...

I guess Hugh it is just that I had fifty years of idiots destroying things! When tellies were cubes they were rarely without a plant on top. I had a bass G cab and even though I had a big sign on it telling peeps NOT to put their beer on it, they did and it would 'walk off'

Precisely! As with road use, for the most part it is everybody else one should be concerned about. A soon departed drummer, despite warnings, nearly ruined my then newly acquired '65 AC30 'Top Boost', after placing then knocking over a bottle of beer.

Manufacturers and owners alike are in an invidious position.
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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby ef37a » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:51 am

Freelance Subversive wrote:
ef37a wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:
ef37a wrote:Maybe though Mytek think that at these prices the potential user will be some OCD being who would NEVER be so daft?

Yes, I think that's probably what they were thinking! :headbang:

Maybe I'm very unusual, but no G&Ts (nor any other liquid) has ever found their way near (let alone into) any of my hi-fi or pro-audio gear in over 40 years...

I guess Hugh it is just that I had fifty years of idiots destroying things! When tellies were cubes they were rarely without a plant on top. I had a bass G cab and even though I had a big sign on it telling peeps NOT to put their beer on it, they did and it would 'walk off'

Precisely! As with road use, for the most part it is everybody else one should be concerned about. A soon departed drummer, despite warnings, nearly ruined my then newly acquired '65 AC30 'Top Boost', after placing then knocking over a bottle of beer.

Manufacturers and owners alike are in an invidious position.

"Invidious" Free? Difficult and challenging I agree but they don't HAVE to put holes in the fekkin' top!

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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:20 am

The holes on the top of cases are there for 140mm fans. My 7 year old machine (sitting as back up) has such perforations and my brand new machine has 2 sets together making almost 300mm of holes in the top, easily 2/3rds of the top surface.

This is probably to accomodate passive silent convection cooling which my new PC has as well as for people who need high levels of forced air movement. It makes no difference to me as the machines are isolated from where I work. It is very common nowadays.

Navigate to 01:34 for a scan across the top of the case:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B3TKMmglls
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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby ef37a » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:43 am

SafeandSound Mastering wrote:The holes on the top of cases are there for 140mm fans. My 7 year old machine (sitting as back up) has such perforations and my brand new machine has 2 sets together making almost 300mm of holes in the top, easily 2/3rds of the top surface.

This is probably to accomodate passive silent convection cooling which my new PC has as well as for people who need high levels of forced air movement. It makes no difference to me as the machines are isolated from where I work. It is very common nowadays.

Navigate to 01:34 for a scan across the top of the case:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B3TKMmglls

Gotcha! Well, daft design IMHO. Is it JUST to keep a "sexy" plain front for the adpuff people? Even if that is the case, why no grills in the base and an air path up, over and through to the rear?

I have an old tower in my living room and it sits under a trolley that supports a printer/scanner. There is maybe a 15mm gap at the top and call me a messy sod if you like but 'stuff' does get shoved in there!

But then I am outgunned here I think by peeps who NEVER spill things or have (temporary?) friends that do. They have NEVER clouted a USB cable and bust the front mounted port. Never tripped over a cable or snagged one and ripped things out!

Fire Wire ports should have supported hot swapping AFAIK and the plugs should NOT have been capable of reversed insertion. As I said before. ***t'appen!

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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:52 am

The base of the case is a slide in grill (with feet stand offs so air can flow). It also has a grilled front.... I could have flouro elephants on it for all I care as I rarely stare at it. In fact it is a really nicely made case. I understand when you build stuff you have your methods, that's good and shows you are conscientious about your gear and aware of usage and abuse.

The most annoying issue I have experienced design wise is an Apple USB extension lead having a plastic notch sticking out (female end and presumably the opposite the other way) making it unusable with the internationally agreed design for USB 2.0 leads. I was engineering an outside broadcast for a very large British music awards ceremony at the time and was not best pleased. Luckily we had others that did work packed with us.

I agree that dongles etc. are highly precarious and yes those that stick out the top of a PC are very scary indeed. Generally to be avoided unless in emergency, almost asking to be snapped off. I put an additional self made guard on the pc sides/top around the rear dongle occupied USB ports just for a little extra safety.

Another thing is PC PSU's that switch a machine off with a slight voltage sag (happened when stage lights went on, this is my suspicion.. again we had back up flash card recorders running so we had it covered 1 out of 4 pc's in use switched it self off during record). I use only Seasonic PSU's now, they have never let me down so far. Latest machine has a Titanium beast of a PSU, totally over specced but has 10 year warranty (at time of writing 12 years). Quality is worth paying for to reduce downtime and durability for least hassle.

Anyway, better crack on with the days work, love talking shop mind you.
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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby garrettendi » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:40 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Maybe I'm very unusual, but no G&Ts (nor any other liquid) has ever found their way near (let alone into) any of my hi-fi or pro-audio gear in over 40 years...

The guys in my old band used to always put their cans of beer on top of the half stack amps in the rehearsal studios we frequented at the time.

I got sick of telling them not to so I just decided that as long as it's not on my amp, then if they want to do something so daft its their own responsibility.

The amps were even provided by the rehearsal venue themselves, so if the worst HAD happened, the guilty parties would have got a right walloping.
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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:54 am

garrettendi wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote:Maybe I'm very unusual, but no G&Ts (nor any other liquid) has ever found their way near (let alone into) any of my hi-fi or pro-audio gear in over 40 years...

The guys in my old band used to always put their cans of beer on top of the half stack amps in the rehearsal studios we frequented at the time.

Yes, I understand the problem in a stage/rehearsal room situation -- although I've never personally had an issue myself. My rule has always been that amps and other gear sit on stands and beer bottles stay on the floor (and no drinks anywhere near the mixing console!)

But the Mytek isn't a stage device, it's a studio or hi-fi device -- and it costs £1k so it needs to be looked after!

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Re: WHAT a Liberty!

Postby garrettendi » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:57 am

I 100% agree, I apologise if I wasn't clear! I meant my bandmates were doing something idiotic.

My rule for myself has always been to get a chair, and put the beer on that, so it can easily be picked up but won't be catastropic if it falls over.

Trying to get my bandmates to put the beer on the floor or a chair was like getting blood out of a stone!
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