Computer noise is a major problem in the computer-based studio, especially where instruments or vocals have to be recorded in the same room. This product is designed to tackle such noise, and is essentially a soundproof cabinet with in-built cooling system. It's designed to accommodate anything up to the height of a Mac G5. There's a little width to spare, but it's not much room for any external drives, unless you can stand them on edge next to the computer. A modern Firewire drive might also fit on top of a G5 at a pinch.
Noren's cooling technology uses rods with exceptional thermal conductivity. One end of the rod projects into the box with the heat source while the other is fan cooled in a separate chamber, which means that up to 800W of heat can be extracted without needing a direct air path.
Separate fans circulate air over both ends of the rods, and extract the warm air via an acoustically absorbent ducting system. Because of the width of the heat exchanger system and the thick foam cabinet linings, the cabinet ends up being a fairly bulky 26 x 24 x 32 inches, even though the computer section measures only 22.75 x 12 x 24 inches.
The cabinet is black (although Maple finish is also available at no extra cost) and built from laminated MDF. Doors to the front and rear, held closed by basic catches, are kept airtight with foam gaskets. The rear door's gasket is thick enough to allow cables to exit the box simply by being 'trapped' in the door. A sliding base allows the computer to be slid out if necessary.
Even without the castors supplied, the gCab was too tall to fit under my studio worksurface. However, having set it up to one side, its top provided useful extra workspace.
The specifications state that the noise level of a desktop G4 computer can be reduced from 61.5dBA to 37dBA in the gCab. Tested subjectively, I found the gCab to be virtually inaudible, even when listened to in a quiet room, which after all is what you need to know. Given the complexity of building and shipping a unit like this, the UK price seems pretty fair, though it still seems a lot to pay for keeping your computer quiet, as you could buy a halfway decent PC for the same price. Nevertheless, if you need a quiet environment and you have space to accommodate the gCab, it could make the difference between being able to record in the same room and not. Measurements:
- Outside: 32”H X 26”W X 26”D (with 4” casters)
- Inside: 24”H X 12”W X 22”D
- Rack: Not applicable
- Weight: 139 lbs
- Temperature Meter, Digital (°F or °C)
- Door Locks, Front and/or Rear
- Internal Light, Front and/or Rear
- Light Switch, Door controlled on/off
- 4” fully rotating and locking casters
- Slide-Out Drawer for easy computer access
- Power Converter (from 220 VAC to 115 VAC)
- Sub-Floor to support your equipment