Solid wood audio unit build - #1 IR Repeaters

AKT

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Hello FMs,

I am commissioning a build for a simple audio unit made with beautiful walnut wood. I would fondly seek your advice around isolation and wire management but right now my biggest road block is the front fascia.
I want the front to be single blocks of wood but I am adding glass panes to let IR from remotes in. Following are the photos. I do not like it. My only alternative is to use IR blasters/repeaters.

What has been your experience with IR repeaters? Would you suggest using them long term? Thank you.
 

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mahaaprasaad

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While planning for cable management, do not forget to leave enough paths for air circulation, in case you are planning to keep Amps and other equipment which needs lot of air to breath.
 

Naturelover

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There was a thread quite recently where someone had moved his AV gear to an adjacent room and was using IR blaster for control.
 

blackscorpio

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IR blaster shouldn't be issue, I own one, not using anymore. The biggest problem would be air circulation with closed front door.

For wire management, run a long plastic/pvc tube or electrical casing end to end along length of the unit, one in the top section & one for the bottom section. 2 benefits, open wires attract lot of dust & with plastic tubing it will be easy to clean. You can cut a slit opening in the tubing where ever there need a connection. I hope it is clear what I am trying to say or at least get the idea.
 

AKT

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@mahaaprasaad , @blackscorpio - Thank you for your comments on air circulation. It is noted.
If you look at the drawings, there are slats on the middle partition. I plan to add those slats at the bottom and rear as well. Do you think that would be sufficient even if I put a class A or tube amp inside?
 

blackscorpio

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slats are good but not enough. Plan for some active cooling, like AV Cabinet fans, one at the each end, LEFT & RIGHT.


BTW, don't you think flip down door would be very inconvenient?
 

mahaaprasaad

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@mahaaprasaad , @blackscorpio - Thank you for your comments on air circulation. It is noted.
If you look at the drawings, there are slats on the middle partition. I plan to add those slats at the bottom and rear as well. Do you think that would be sufficient even if I put a class A or tube amp inside?
Hot Air always moves upper direction and Cold Air occupies the bottom space. You can make 2 X 3 inch holes at each of the top and bottom compartment, that will allow movement of Air from bottom to top utilizing the slots provided in the support planks. You can add 3" PC fans or the AC Cabinet Cooling fans suggested by @blackscorpio for the top holes, to push hot Air from inside to outside(Like exhaust). I suggest to use the fans to push-out the Hot air (at top), instead of pushing the cold Air inside(at bottom), to avoid picking up dust from floor (This is how the HVAC Engineers design Air circulation in big buildings).
 

Hiten

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Do you think that would be sufficient even if I put a class A or tube amp inside?
That depends on how powerfull the amps, your listening levels and duration are. Some low power class A Ss and Tube Amps/Preamps dont run too hot. The heatsinks provided by the manufacturers will give you an idea how much the heat is expected to be dissipated.
Another thing is if things that get hot are put in enclosure (Amp and cabinet) the heat accumulates in hot environment and probably there would be significant heat builtup.
regards.
 

mahaaprasaad

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Hot Air always moves upper direction and Cold Air occupies the bottom space. You can make 2 X 3 inch holes at each of the top and bottom compartment, that will allow movement of Air from bottom to top utilizing the slots provided in the support planks. You can add 3" PC fans or the AC Cabinet Cooling fans suggested by @blackscorpio for the top holes, to push hot Air from inside to outside(Like exhaust). I suggest to use the fans to push-out the Hot air (at top), instead of pushing the cold Air inside(at bottom), to avoid picking up dust from floor (This is how the HVAC Engineers design Air circulation in big buildings).
Thanks to @ajaipuriyar, the acinfinity site is having similar design suggested by me.

1471.jpg

But, the OP can eliminate the bottom fans for air inflow, instead keep only the open holes or sheet of hardboard with pegholes like backside panels of vintage radios. Once the hot air pushes outside, the cold air moves automatically inside through bottom holes. No need to put additional force through fans.

1472.jpg
 

AKT

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slats are good but not enough. Plan for some active cooling, like AV Cabinet fans, one at the each end, LEFT & RIGHT.

BTW, don't you think flip down door would be very inconvenient?
Thank you. I really want to stay away from active cooling.
I agree, the flip down door might be inconvenient. That is a design option suggested by my woodworker. I would not deny that once open, it does give a nice appearance. Still considering, not finalized...

Hot Air always moves upper direction and Cold Air occupies the bottom space. You can make 2 X 3 inch holes at each of the top and bottom compartment, that will allow movement of Air from bottom to top utilizing the slots provided in the support planks. You can add 3" PC fans or the AC Cabinet Cooling fans suggested by @blackscorpio for the top holes, to push hot Air from inside to outside(Like exhaust). I suggest to use the fans to push-out the Hot air (at top), instead of pushing the cold Air inside(at bottom), to avoid picking up dust from floor (This is how the HVAC Engineers design Air circulation in big buildings).
Thank you. That is indeed a data-center cooling solution!
I however do not intend to put fans (however quite the Noctua fans are though). Isn't there an organic and simple air circulation solution??

That depends on how powerfull the amps, your listening levels and duration are. Some low power class A Ss and Tube Amps/Preamps dont run too hot. The heatsinks provided by the manufacturers will give you an idea how much the heat is expected to be dissipated.
Another thing is if things that get hot are put in enclosure (Amp and cabinet) the heat accumulates in hot environment and probably there would be significant heat builtup.
regards.
I usually do not limp towards very high powered amplifiers. ~100-150W class A/B or ~30W Class A would be my limit. My audible levels are not too high either (~82dB max) but I do have typically long (~4-5 hrs) listening sessions. I understand where are you coming from Hiten but I do not want to keep my equipment out in an open rack either.

Thanks to @ajaipuriyar, the acinfinity site is having similar design suggested by me.

View attachment 55055

But, the OP can eliminate the bottom fans for air inflow, instead keep only the open holes or sheet of hardboard with pegholes like backside panels of vintage radios. Once the hot air pushes outside, the cold air moves automatically inside through bottom holes. No need to put additional force through fans.

View attachment 55056
@mahaaprasaad - I would be fine with putting holes like vintage radio but no fans. The design you shared is closed on all ends so an active cooling is needed.
 

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mahaaprasaad

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@mahaaprasaad - I would be fine with putting holes like vintage radio but no fans. The design you shared is closed on all ends so an active cooling is needed.

That would be good idea. Hifi cooling is not really needed for home use. You can use perforated hardboard for top and bottom compartments, with some aesthetic design, so it takes natural bottom-to-top air movement inside the cabinet. No mechanics, fans.
 

Hiten

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Hope this inspires some new ideas.
You can create air circulation / ventilation by having slots in side panles too. and it helps. See attached pic. I have removed the bottom panel and replaced with only two sturdy panels to rest equipment feet on.Shown in center section. Back panel is open but can be made with ample slots or few panels or hollow square tube or channel to route the wires. (Separate for power and signal cables) Sliding doors or roll in doors (Like this or this)(Front panel can be decorated with design if plain looks are not one preferes) can be made to make it look elegant with wood mouldings, carvings, different wood etc. For creative mind possibilities are there. Following is just rough design.
cabinet.jpg
 

ajaipuriyar

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That would be good idea. Hifi cooling is not really needed for home use. You can use perforated hardboard for top and bottom compartments, with some aesthetic design, so it takes natural bottom-to-top air movement inside the cabinet. No mechanics, fans.
For stereo playback using low powered class AB or D, natural ventilation will work. But if you are putting an AVR inside or any class A amp, active cooling is recommended.

overheating will have a direct impact on the life of your electronics.
 

AKT

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Friends,
Thank you for such overwhelming and unending enthusiasm. Almost, all of you have pointed out heat issues due to a closed cabinet design; which I was unsuccessfully planning to solve using an IR repeater!

Following is a simple credenza which I am trying to build. Look at that gorgeous grain. Who would want to put slats, pegs, fan holes or any other functional distractions on it. I want to leave as much wood visible as possible in all its pristine hand-rubbed oil finish glory.

Walnut Mid Century.jpg


I am really looking for a passive cooling suggestion with no holes at the top or sides but I am good with them at the back and bottom though.

@Hiten left another suggestion for honeycombed internal partitions. Great idea but I plan to use birch ply for these partitions where a honeycomb would weaken it. Solid wood all around would increase the cost.

I am currently using a Class AB amp so heating is not much of an issue but I would eventually want to move to a class A amp and your concerns are leaving me worried now :(
 
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Naturelover

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Class A = open shelves. No way out there.
In fact most amps would need air circulation when in use.

There was a thread quite recently where someone had moved his AV gear to an adjacent room and was using IR blaster for control.

I found that thread

 

Hiten

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yes eabhishek,
Honecomb side panel can have less and small ventilation holes so it can have strength. For Class A/B your latest design looks good. Remember "Best is enemy of good" No point in overthinking and delaying. Real wood panels in that size will not be available probably. You can put real wood veneer on ply. Tell us how it goes.
Regards.
 

AKT

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Tell us how it goes.
Regards.
Sure. Seasoned walnut is getting difficult to find in India. The risk of warping etc. lies with the buyer otherwise. Considering white oak but the costs have gone up astronomical due to import restrictions which has pushed prices of Indian timbre as well.
 
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