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The Axe FX could be 30% shorter

Clockwork Creep

Power User
Hi there.
I touched this in another thread, but it was out of topic. So I'll carry on here.
This is the inside of the AXE FX 2:
IMG_1503_Sm.JPG

As you can see, there is plenty of unused space inside, which contributes to useless weight of the unit.
Is it a good idea to move the PSU to another place, ant then cut 30% off of the chassis (Or make a new one)?
I don't believe this would lead to heat problems, but I may be wrong.
Some time ago, I saw that one person has made a custom chassis for his axe FX and made it shorter and lighter, but he added a bigger fan, which I don't think is necessary. He said he had absolutely no issues with his customization.

Side note, the Axe FX ultra is even worse! 40%.
Axe-FXguts.jpg
 
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brokenvail

Fractal Fanatic
The way I see it was it if it could be shorter Cliff would have made it shorter. It needed that space to circulate air and keep the heat under control. I send my Axe in a shallow Gator case used right angle connectors and kept everything plugged in all the time. I never said darn I wish this thing was shorter. As always I bet there is a group on here who wishes it was shorter we will never all be happy
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
The way I see it was it if it could be shorter Cliff would have made it shorter. It needed that space to circulate air and keep the heat under control. I send my Axe in a shallow Gator case used right angle connectors and kept everything plugged in all the time. I never said darn I wish this thing was shorter. As always I bet there is a group on here who wishes it was shorter we will never all be happy

I don't think the OP is questioning the design. I took it more to mean, "can I re-house this to save weight without causing issues".
 

rocket

Member
How much weight could you save...pound, maybe 2? Is that worth the effort? Economies of scale!
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Well for one thing, shorter really isn't going to save much weight as its empty volume

Second, where would that PS go, since the circuit board takes up nearly the rest of the space ?

Third, perhaps you wouldn't want the circuit board right next to the inputs or outputs in order to achieve the lowest noise floor

Finally, if portability is a goal, there is the ax8. I'm just fine with the axe II being standard rack size, because it's standard, and fits into my standard sized racks, with my other standard sized rack gear.

Essentially, I can discern zero benefit, at least for most rack users, in making the thing shorter, but a number of short comings
 

Clockwork Creep

Power User
Well for one thing, shorter really isn't going to save much weight as its empty volume

Not quite. Most weight of the axe comes from the thick metal the case is built from. So getting rid of 30% of it will have an impact. Maybe the whole case could be replaced with thinner metal (except from front and back plates). More weight saved in exange to strenght. But it will be in a rack case anyway, so no big deal.
Also - Imagine a 4-5 Unit rack case the Axe is in, and all other rack devices are significantly shorter than the Axe FX (In my case, that is true). So, if you lose 30% of the depth of that whole rack case, you are losing a lot of weight. And also gain accessibility - It's easier to reach all outputs of those devices if they are close to the end of the rack case.

since the circuit board takes up nearly the rest of the space
The PSU can be put on it's side. So, it would remain in the same place, just that it's on a 90 degree angle, or it could be anywhere else on the case side,
Or, it could be screwed on the top lid. (it's 2U tall, so it's a fair distance to the motherboard)
Or above the right side, where there the motherboard has no circuit parts. Though, that's close to the guitar input cable. I don't know whether that would raise the noise floor noticeably. A test would be nice.

Finally, if portability is a goal, there is the ax8.
That would mean a loss of functionality.


Here's another benefit:
13220986_1734693833476728_5872008093726293837_n.jpg

Notice how the rack sleeve above is longer than the cab only because of the axe fx. That's not ideal.
 
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Clockwork Creep

Power User
I'm glad it's not shorter! If it was, I'd need longer cables from the Axe to the Matrix ;)
I don't get it.... You'd need shorter cables, if the axe was shorter.

About heat...
If a PC with a graphics card can fit in this without heat issues, maybe the axe could lose some weight too?
1saxrz.jpg
 
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ps43203

Experienced
The case design allows for better heat dissipation, as well as, possible future daughter boards, or similar, for additional features.
The size of the case also gives added protection for road worthiness. Just because you see space doesn't necessarily mean
that it is useless.
 

Clockwork Creep

Power User
The case design allows for better heat dissipation, as well as, possible future daughter boards, or similar, for additional features.
The size of the case also gives added protection for road worthiness. Just because you see space doesn't necessarily mean
that it is useless.
It's kind of like driving a bus alone to your friends house, just because you are less likely to get injured if someone hits you, and maybe you will find some people along the way to fill the seats. I'd say, take a bike.
There will be no future daughter boards for Axe FX 2. It's done.
Then again, maybe that's something you could fill up yourself... Like building a wireless into it which would be a cool mod... hah.
But yeah, I am not gonna do that....

Also - Bigger chassis does not add strength.
It's easier to bend a bigger sheet of metal than a smaller one.
 
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solo-act

Fractal Fanatic
I have the Mark I in a short rack for a variety of reasons. The Ultra was perfect for that. With the II, all the cables (power, midi, AES and rear inputs) have to be unplugged for every gig. It's a small inconvenience I'd love to be rid of. The reasons for short rack are very valid and I won't get into.

If someone made a kit for the Axe-Fx II that consisted of a shorter chassis and an aluminum top plate, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. That thick steel top cover is heavy.

Metric halo responded to user requests for a lighter top plate and made an aluminum version. Fractal could make a few bucks doing that if they wanted. I'd buy it even if I couldn't get a kit for shorter chassis.
 

ps43203

Experienced
I was referring to shock absorption mainly, with the road worthy comment. The more space, the less chance
the motherboard could be damaged from a direct hit in the rear. Unlikely, but possible. The space could also
be used to put an el34 in there and a couple small custom torodial transformers, lol. You know, for the powered
Axe-Fx II tube edition, that's coming out this fall. Oops I let the cat out of the bag, sorry Cliff.
 

axifist

Experienced
I don't get it.... You'd need shorter cables, if the axe was shorter.
You are right, the Matrix is shorter than the Axe, so it's the other way around.

Correction: I'm glad the Axe isn't longer, because then I'd need longer cables ;)

I should have known, because my Ultra is shorter than the II, makes it easier to connect it to the Matrix.
 

Hellbat

Fractal Fanatic
You don't want your digital circuits (mainboard) in too close to your analog circuits for noise/interference reasons, so I'd imagine that is the main reason they are not stacked. They could have probably engineered the power on to the mainboard itself, but then you'd lose the cheap/easy option of repair if the power supply goes down.
 

iaresee

Administrator
Moderator
The computer you pictured can have its components packed densely for two reasons:
  1. It does not do amplification of analog signals so inductive noise is not a problem;
  2. It does not need to meet the quiet operation standards demanded for professional audio equipment.
Maybe the AFII could have been a tad bit shorter, but the increased design costs the came with making it shorter were likely not linear.

If you find this stuff fascinating I highly recommend pursuing a degree in electrical engineering.
 

ps43203

Experienced
The design is the way it is for a reason. Rack design is more complicated than you would think,
there are a bunch of regulations and standards. Plus, There is a more compact version, The AX8.
 
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