Aluminum vs Steel chassis?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by zach5150, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. zach5150

    zach5150 Guest

    Hi...I'm getting closer to pullling the trigger on my first amp build. I've seen different chassis material out there and i was wondering what the best to go with? The aluminum is more $$$$ that just cause it's lighter, or are there other benefits?
  2. Damon

    Damon Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    There have actually been some pretty animated discussions here on this.

    I like aluminum because it's relatively non-magnetic, but more electrically conductive. In other words, it doesn't pick up and transmit electromagnetic "noise" into the circuit as easily (from the power transformer or elsewhere), plus it's a better conductor for grounds (it has about 1/20th the resistivity of stainless steel). Also (big also for me), it's easier to work. Downside is it's not as strong. I haven't used any huge heavy trannies yet. Good circuit and layout design can pretty much marginalize most of the differences though. Plenty (most?) of the "best amps ever made" were made on steel.
  3. doctorjp

    doctorjp Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    If you are making your own chassis try using 14 gauge aluminum. It is strong and easy to work with. Any sheet metal shop will gladly bend you a chassis and you get front and rear face plates from a sign or trophy shop. I have used 16 gaugge stainless steel and it was a bear to drill. I will be staying with aluminum. As for the magnetics issue....I'll leave that to the audiophiles. I like rock and roll better!
  4. samwheat

    samwheat Member

    Aug 14, 2005
    Scranton, PA
    you want to contact ..... its the best deal out there

    i have built amps with alum and steel chassis ..... alum looks nice
  5. zach5150

    zach5150 Guest

    Cool....Aluminum it is!! 4 out of 5 Audiophiles agree with the rock 'n rollers......good nough for me! :) The 5th one will cave eventually...:RoCkIn

    Naw....really, I appreciate everybody's experience and insight. Looks like the Aluminum does have multiple "pro's" over steel.....

    Now....if only i could play good enough to deserve the amp i'm gonna build!
  6. Shea

    Shea Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    One "pro" of steel is that you can solder to it. I never could solder anything to aluminum.

    Of course, that's only one factor to consider. When I made my own amps, I had the chasses made out of aluminum.


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