Monday, 28 March 2011

Front Panels Arrive

Probably one of the few companies with excellent service around, the panels ordered from Front Panel Express arrived today in very good condition and packaging. No damage, everything as designed.
This was to aid in the construction of the chassis and the mounting of the tube sockets. But creating a standard cut-out on the panels, I can drill an oversized hole in the timber chassis, without excessive precision, and these tube panels can be mounted on the inside. That way, reducing the cost of large custom cut panels and maintaining the timber chassis look that I like.

The cut-outs were sized for the CMC Teflon sockets. You will see these floating around eBay, Internet and many of the Hi-fi stores. Good quality, but definitely not a premium product. Some of the machining is a little rough, but still excellent value for money. See how well they fit into the panel, and with a 3mm thick panel, the top of the socket is near flush. But at around US$10 each, you can't go wrong!

The order consisted of tops plates for; 1 Bottlehead Crack/Speedball (with a 9 pine and octal), 2 Dual 9 pin plates (one for the D3a build, and another as spare), and 5 dual Octal plates (two for the ST70, two for the D3a and one spare).
See the photos.


  1. How do you intend to use the panels with the Bottlehead Crack? Cut a hole and mount it on top of the existing plate?

  2. Plan on a new chassis, all timber. I will drill a few holes through it and mount the plate underneath it. Or I might form a wide 'picture frame' around the panel. Either way, want to keep more timber as I am familiar with the material and can work with it easier than metal.