Cooling fans

I’m having apparent thermal cut offs on my DSD Dac and now my new BHK preamp. I am concerned about my shelving made of wood 3/4 thick.PS Audio

I have 6 inches of open space above the DAC and 4.5 inches above the BHK.

SO I am thinking about buying quiet 4-6 inch fans to improve circulation. They are rated in dba with the quietest one I can find rated at 19 dba. They run either off AC or 5 volt USB power.

Anyone find a quieter fan or have other suggestions? I don’t need to move much air but would like rubber standoffs so I can lay the fans on top of the two PSA devices.

I know you’re asking about fans, but have you tried using a more open cabinet without back or sides? I have my BHK preamp about 1 3/4" from the shelf above and have never experienced any shutdowns. My DS DAC also works fine without any forced air and it’s got another component on top of it.

I’m stuck with these shelves. They are built into the house by previous owner. Conversion would be a $80K house remodeling

FWIW you probably can’t get the DS.(Sr) hot enough to stop working. The DAC proper uses less than 17 Watts max, but can run fine even when it’s too hot to touch.

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I second what Ted says here. I can tell from the picture, you aren’t going to have any trouble with heat at all. That’s more than enough room for them to breathe happy. It is starting to get warmer around here, but if you keep your house at a typical temp, along with that amount of space around the pre and DAC, you’ll be just fine.

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If you feel the fans are a necessity or just something you want to try look into the AC Infinity line of equipment fans. They are also available through dealers but by buying through Amazon you get a trial period.


Plenty of space for those component as long as there’s no glass door that stays closed during playback.

Get a fan rated for higher and get a control to turn it down. Fans are generally rated at max output.

A lot of the 5 volt quiet fans are 12 volt computer fans but run at 5 volt, which is exactly what I do.
Not fro PS Audio kit though.
As per Ted and others unless your house is an actual furnace there might be something else going on here?

maybe consider drilling some holes…in those adjustable shelves…a usable drill & bits will cost somewhat under a $80k renovation…

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I use these:

They have a speed controller and in the lowest speed they are silent. You can connect two together with the included wiring and controller the speed of both with just one controller.

They are $11 each so it’s a pretty easy trial. I use mine to cool my various power supplies.


I have very limited experience but if you can get under 20 dba, you may be doing about as well as you can. I have a (now discontinued) Parasound Zbreeze cooling fan and its rated at 20 db on low, 35 db on medium and 50 db on high. I don’t use it currently, but I always thought of it as pretty quiet on the low setting and too intrusive/loud on high.

What I like most about this unit is its small size and the fact that it has three fans.

Good luck to you.


Have you considered drilling holes in, or otherwise ventilating the back of spaces housing the PS Audio kit? You could drill holes and then cut some relatively porous cloth to fit over the holes and serve as a screen.

Just going to throw this out there… but… Your pre might be cooking your DS. Heat rises so put the hottest stuff on top is how I normally do it.

As far as fans go… how is air circulation in the room? Just a little bit air movement anywhere will help. A quick Google search pulled up AC Infinity which @dawkinsj already mentioned. There are some small “PC” fans which are under 10db but then require 12v dc power from somewhere.

I’d be more concerned about resonances on those boards than about heat to be honest.


“PSA” – OP said he is having apparent heat issues, not that he is afraid he will:

“I’m having apparent thermal cut offs on my DSD Dac and now my new BHK preamp.”

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Yes, but the DS doesn’t have any thermal cutoffs and if you can hold your hand on the case without a burn it’s still a very long way from it’s design parameters. At least in the case of the DS (sr.), something else must be going on. Perhaps something as simple as thermal expansion of a loose connection in some interconnect or its connectors.


Thanks for all the replys. I think the DAC runs warmer the BHK on or in standby so the hot box is on top. The cut off might be cables or my LAN server. I have experienced short glitchs in music (Roon) on several occations. Ted will the DAC go into standby if the bridge II signal is interupted?

Measuring the BHK temp is subtle. If the thermometer is on the right side the temp goes to about 95. But if I put the thermometer over the tubes it goes to 110. Not saying that’s wrong just that moving the thermometer a little right/left makes a difference.

I did turn on my AC today. The house is always in the 70s so not an oven.

BTY I get my M1200s tomorrow.

Unfortunately I don’t know all of the Bridge’s features/possible bugs, someone else may be able to help there.

I’ve been considering getting one of these to try to keep my amp’s internal fans from coming on. Problem is I have no way of knowing if they’re noisier or quieter than the amp’s fans. Obviously, only one of those scenarios would be acceptable. :slightly_smiling_face:

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If you order from Amazon you can send it back.