Silicone mat

Mycroft Holmes

Well-known member
May 17, 2020
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Hello forum,

question of the day: my hifi rack has thick glass shelves. Similar to this:


My amp is just below the DAC and it emits a lot of heat, so the glass above gets quite warm. I never measured precisely, but it's uncomfortable to touch.

At the moment, I kind of solved the issue with a small usb-powered fan on the side, but (long story short), the fan is powered by a TV at the top, which turns off after a while, so way too often, the amp is still on, but the fan -unnoticed- shuts down.

The DAC has 4 feet, so it's not touching the glass directly, but I'm afraid that the thin layer of air in between will get hot quickly and may possibly damage the electronics. So I was considering to put a thin a silicone mat below the DAC, e.g.:
cooking mat

Any advice?

thanks,
MH
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
462
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19,270
Hi,
What amplifier is it ?

For it to get that hot, to heat the shelf above and the air between the DAC and shelf being an issue, then the amplifier potentially has a fault ?

Unless there are vents in the DAC base enclosure, then the heat is not an issue, but i would be concerned about the amplifier getting that hot - uncomfortable to the touch.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
809
499
19,270
I am assuming it is a USB fan, if so just get a USB power plug/brick and power it direct from your power strip/socket.
As a general rule of thumb you need the same space to the next shelf as the height of the amp for best cooling if you do not have fan assistance. (This only applies to solid state amps, not valve/tube amps which require a lot more space)

Bill
 

Mycroft Holmes

Well-known member
May 17, 2020
17
1
525
I am assuming it is a USB fan, if so just get a USB power plug/brick and power it direct from your power strip/socket.
yes, that's definitely an improvement I'll do.


As a general rule of thumb you need the same space to the next shelf as the height of the amp for best cooling
thanks for the hint, but that's not going to happen. no shelf is that tall.
in my case, there's about 1cm between the amp and the glass.
that's why I need an opinion about the silicone mat.
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
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19,270
If that’s all the room you have above the amp then you will need at least 2 fans at the rear (Assuming they are normal USB fans) pulling the air over the top of the amp from front to rear, otherwise you will be putting a lot of strain on the amp components causing premature failure. (You can use the mat as an addition but not as a replacement for the fans)
Is it possible to move the DAC up one level and remove the glass panel that is getting warm as that would be the ideal solution? (Amps need room to breathe)

Bill
 

Mycroft Holmes

Well-known member
May 17, 2020
17
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Put the amp on the top shelf?
That's a very good question.
According to the specs of the glass shelf (see the pic I posted in the thread), the lower shelf can sustain a much larger weight than the rest. If that's true, that's the only place where the amp can go.
However, all the glass plates are literally identical, so I'm a bit unsure.
 
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Mycroft Holmes

Well-known member
May 17, 2020
17
1
525
Assuming they are normal USB fans
Well.. no, it's not a normal USB fan, it's USB-powered but it's silent and decently powerful. It's mounted sideways, at an optimal angle, and it works superbly.
When the fan is on, the glass stays more or less at room temperature.

Please, allow me to ask explicitly, forget for a second about the rest of the rack. Do you think the silicone mat would be effective in protecting the DAC (I insist: forget about the amp, the fans, etc.)?
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
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Looking at the details on Amazon it will make minimal difference, however if you use baking foil underneath it to reflect the heat, it will give some protection.
I know you didn’t want the fan mentioned but if its doing its job as you say, then nothing else is required. (A small amount of heat will make no difference to the DAC)

Bill
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
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That's a very good question.
According to the specs of the glass shelf (see the pic I posted in the thread), the lower shelf can sustain a much larger weight than the rest. If that's true, that's the only place where the amp can go.
However, all the glass plates are literally identical, so I'm a bit unsure.
I had a very similar rack years ago. All the shelves had the same specification re weight. If the glass is the same thickness then I doubt it differs in it's weight limit....
 

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