Saturday, April 2, 2011

Maybe I'll just let Oppo whirr

It does sound wonderful, despite the whirring sound of the fan.  I continue to believe the Oppo mechanism is one of the quietest, with the package only marred by an audible (if not terribly so) fan.

I put a sound absorbing 6" pyramid Sonex panel behind the Oppo, since nearly all of the noise seems directed toward the rear (nice way to go, if you must go) and it did seem to make it quieter.

I then noticed how loud the computer sounds were coming from the second bedroom Computer (and Electronic Tech) Room.  I put the panel in front of the old caseless Amiga computer in that room, and voila it made more audible difference than anything I did behind the Oppo.  So now the total noiselevel drops, and once again the Oppo is audible.  It does seem like the Oppo is *less loud* in some sense than before, apparently the additional noise was partly parceled out from the Amiga sound to the Oppo sound by my perceptual system.  But, on the other hand, now the Oppo more dominates the noise landscape from the listening position (when all else like A/C and refrigerator are not running) much more than before because all else is so quiet.  So it goes with trying to make rooms quieter.

I then worked on putting a case on the Amiga, making it quieter still.  (It has been one of the sore points of my castle that one old computer makes so much noise).  The measurement in-room ultimately dropped from about 45dB to 36dBA, and at the door from 40 to 33, if I remember correctly.

Part of the change to Amiga 3000 involved turning off an external whirring CDRom drive (still haven't figured out how to get it to work on Amiga, maybe it can't) and removing one of two harddrives from the chassis (putting one into safe retirement) before putting on the case.

Listening to Weather Report SACD, I was really thinking I could just live with the Oppo and its fan noise in front of the room.  But when the music was over for awhile, I again decided I couldn't.

A friend thinks, possibly wisely, that I should deal with the noise at the source somehow, rather than trying to move player to back of room.

I think it must be possible to have a quieter fan.  I measure 40dBA at 6 inches from the rear opening (background level is only 38.5 however, so this is higher than accurate) rising to 70dB right at the case (perhaps that kind of measurement, picking up vibration, is inaccurate, the SPL is not a proper vibration meter).

It seems that sooner or later someone ought to work out a mod for this.  I'm not sure I want to void my warranty just yet, though perhaps just opening the box and checking out the fan wouldn't do that.

I also wonder how the Denon 5900 would sound in front of room plugged into the Lavry.

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