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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, graham67 said:

Hi, looking for some recommendations on amplifier case suppliers for a preamp I am thinking of commissioning.

 I have looked at aliexpress and am looking for something similar to the wa12 or wa19 cases but with 3 knobs to allow for input selector, volume and l/r balance control.

https://a.aliexpress.com/_BUtDTq

https://a.aliexpress.com/_BUd9dw

Talk to Jessica_k, Graham

Edited by wizmax

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Posted (edited)

If you are doing this with folded sheet metal, try https://www.pagsheetmetal.com/

If you are doing a one off and want a simple easy CAD based design service with online ordering (easy but pricey), try: https://www.schaeffer-ag.de/en/

For bespoke laser etching in anodised panels, contact: http://www.fortuneuk.com/Fortune_UK_Home.html

I have used all of these suppliers and have all been very good

Thx, Nap

Edited by napoleonblownafet
Correction
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19 hours ago, napoleonblownafet said:

If you are doing this with folded sheet metal, try https://www.pagsheetmetal.com/

If you are doing a one off and want a simple easy CAD based design service with online ordering (easy but pricey), try: https://www.schaeffer-ag.de/en/

For bespoke laser etching in anodised panels, contact: http://www.fortuneuk.com/Fortune_UK_Home.html

I have used all of these suppliers and have all been very good

Thx, Nap

Hi  nap.  Very useful thanks 🙂

I actually wont be doing anything as will be getting someone who is good at this to do all the work.  I know my limitations 😉.  But am trying to source a suitable case to build it with.

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Posted (edited)

If you've go specific requirements, I can help you CAD them up for a small consideration. I have a bunch of designs already done for stuff I build and have had made, so maybe a few tweaks required.

The chinese stuff looks good too. A little more limited in terms of options, but if you can always get something like that and have the front panel laser etched to your own specs here in the UK - laser etching is super cheap - like £10 for a flat panel.

Ta Nap

Edited by napoleonblownafet

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Hi again nap, and many thanks for offer. 🙂

I am not familiar with the ins and outs of laser etchings so i have a few dumb questions...

is laser etching performed before or after the panel has been anodized? 

I would be after a black panel so is the writing going to be silver coloured ie the colour of the underlying aluminium, or can it be any colour?

Is cad used for specifying a case and/or a standalone front panel?

Can I take the existing panel of a pre built case and get that laser etched?

Can I take an existing front panel from a circa 2005 Sugden a21 and use that as a template to produce a design and etching with some minor mods?

Hope these make sense 🤪

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Posted (edited)

Hi Graham,

Laser etching is very easy to do in the way you describe i.e. laser through the black anodise to reveal bare metal below. Works well. Anodise is done before lasering.

The other thing you can do - and the guys at Fortune UK have done this for me - is to coat bright aluminium (or steel or brass) with a water based paint that contains a ceramic compound. When this is lasered, it burns a dark grey lettering onto the bright metal, effectively giving you dark text on a light background. The remaining water-based paint is simply sponged away. The panel doesn't have to be anodised for this, but a plain grey anodise looks better than bare sheet - pic attached

You can't laser a specific colour however, like printing in ink. Not on metal at least. Laser etching is a burning away of other material. The ceramic paint I described above is the only exception I know of and that only comes in one colour - as Henry Ford would say!

I gave these guys an swf file that I made in a bit of free CAD software. I used a particular font that I gave them the font file for and they did the rest.

If your case has a removable panel, you should be able to make a CAD/SWF file based on the dimentions of the panel, send it to the etchers along with the panel itself and it shouldn't be complicated. Etching onto the front of the whole enclosure might be more challenging as laser etching machines tend to be flat-bed.

Finally, you (they) can laser etch onto a plastic material that has a self-adhesive backing and has multiple coloured layers. 3M make an inexpensive adhesive material that is two layers of vinyl-plastic e.g.white with black over the top. When this is laser etched, the black is etched through, revealing white text. The material comes in numerous colour combinations so you have what you want really. You can even laser holes in it - as shown in the attached pic.

Whether you can emulate a Sugden A21 using CAD is up to you - happy to give you a hand if you know what you want.

I've attached some picures of the samples of what Fortune did for me. He's based in Slough, but there are lots of people around the UK with similar setups.The guys that sell etched or engraved brass doggy-tags on eBay often have this kind of kit - worth asking them directly on eBay.

Best wishes, NAP

BlackAnodise.jpg

GreyAnodise.jpg

AdhesivePlastic.jpg

Edited by napoleonblownafet
typo

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Awesome thanks for the info and pics nap 😃.  Let me have a think and I will get back to you. 

Ps could the laser etcher also drill some holes at same time? As I could then just purchase a plain case and get the front and back panel cut to suit?

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3 minutes ago, graham67 said:

Awesome thanks for the info and pics nap 😃.  Let me have a think and I will get back to you. 

Ps could the laser etcher also drill some holes at same time? As I could then just purchase a plain case and get the front and back panel cut to suit?

Don't know about laser etching holes in metal. I know Pag Sheet Metal have a laster metal cutter than can do holes, but an etching machine probably doesn't have the energy to cut right through metal, although it did cut holes in the plastic material I showed you there.

When I saw the laser metal cutter at Pag in action it was all enlosed behind toughened glass and looked pretty intense! The etcher at Fortune's place was open an a somewhat quieter affair, so I think it's safe to assume you need a big laser - or a drill/router to make your holes in your metal panel.

Ta NAP

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7 minutes ago, napoleonblownafet said:

Don't know about laser etching holes in metal. I know Pag Sheet Metal have a laster metal cutter than can do holes, but an etching machine probably doesn't have the energy to cut right through metal, although it did cut holes in the plastic material I showed you there.

When I saw the laser metal cutter at Pag in action it was all enlosed behind toughened glass and looked pretty intense! The etcher at Fortune's place was open an a somewhat quieter affair, so I think it's safe to assume you need a big laser - or a drill/router to make your holes in your metal panel.

Ta NAP

Sorry I wasn't very clear nap.  I think I meant to ask if the later etching place could also drill holes in the panel for a one stop solution.  So.perhaps somewhere like pag that does both would be worth considering?

The other option would be to get a plain flat fronted case and get a separate anodized panel made up with big 30mm approx knob cut outs and etched which could be attached to front of original case which could be drilled with smaller 8mm approx shaft holes.  This would allow the knobs to be recessed which always looks more pro.

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Posted (edited)

I would go for your second option.

No one I listed does both metal cutting and etching, which is why I use(d) two suppliers.

One off anodise panels can be pricey cos - as I understand - the minimum batch cost is £110 - well, that's what PAG quoted me because they have to subcontract that.

If I was in your shoes, I'd get the front panel made at shaeffer using their online CAD solution - https://www.schaeffer-ag.de/en/

I spoke with them about something called subsequent anodising. This is where they take a pre-anodised black panel (or grey), cut it, drill it, then anodise it again so all the cut edges are black (or grey) again (they do this onsite so your job will go in the same anodising tank as a bunch of other jobs). They do engraving with paint infill, which I have had done and looks good - as an alternative to etching, which they don't do. This could be a one-stop job for you with shaeffer and while is pretty aggro free, might end up costing about £120 for your panel as described. I've emailed the shaeffer guys in Germany on many occasions and their English is excellent and they are very helpful. Shipping is cheap (via UPS) and total job turnaround is about 8-10 days.

The amplifier panels on this webpage were done by shaeffer which were engraved with paint infill: http://www.zinamp.co.uk/

Ta NAP

Edited by napoleonblownafet
typo

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Grab Handles.

I've been looking around for handles for a power amp I have stripped, and for a preamp in the form of an Audio Research type enclosure. Not a lot of luck. Found some of the width I wanted, but didn't like the sloping profile. Found some having a square section, but the widest was only 12mm, which was too thin, to me.

Eventually found these. Basically, a round bar section with the mounting sections. 15mm wide and they look OK. 5 for £10.60. Came today and quite happy with them. You can get them in silver too from a number of sellers:

http://ebay.co.uk/itm/163387606661

466e35215d61c05cdc97dfc9d9a73b1b.jpg

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https://www.kgaenclosures.com/Files/IndexPages/Home.php

Added by the company and I have never used them, but show as suppliers of Hammond stuff, including transformers and chokes.

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