I'm afraid that I'm not in a very good mood at the moment. I received the Isoraxx hush box today. I intended it to house my soon-to-be-here DAW and my D1624, in an effort to cut some of the last of the machine noise out of my room. The results were not at all up to my expectations.
The Isoraxx is shipped via truck, fully assembled on a pallet. I unpacked mine, and it had the usual dents and dings that inexpensive laminate furniture tends to have whenever it is moved further than 6 inches. The first thing that I noticed was that the door is not reversible: it is hinged on the left side, which is exactly backwards to the setup that I actually need. Normally, you'd expect that the door on modular furniture would be easily reversible, but for some inexplicable reason they laid out the hinges and the catches on two different drill patterns- so reversing the door would leave many holes hanging out in the air. Not my idea of a good thing for a box that cost lotsa dolla. Strike 1.
The second thing is that with the "optional" casters removed, as I'd been planning on, the box sits close enough to flush on a carpeted floor to block the cooling air intake. In other words, the casters aren't optional at all, if the equipment inside is to survive. Strike 2.
Those items annoyed me, but I figured that I'd give the thing a chance anyway. So I set up one of my small monitor speakers inside the box to use as a signal source, so that I could use a signal generator and make some real measurements of the acoustic attentuation provided by the unit (since the manufacturer does not provide any specs as to attentuation: they just say that it "does some"). At the last minute I decided that, as in a real-world application, I should have the internal cooling fans running while making these measurements. So I fired them up- rocked back on my heels- and immediately started packing the unit up to return to the vendor. Didn't even bother making any measurements.
Why? Because the damned thing is noisier than the equipment I was going to put into it, even with the door closed and the fans set for "minimum". My modified D1624 is easily 12dB quieter than this unit, and I have every reason to believe that my rack-mount DAW will be quieter as well. Empty and with the door closed, it is significantly louder than the *unmodified* D1624 was: easily heard from the other side of the room... Strike 3: yer freakin' *outta here*.
Result: a complete, utter, and total lose. I'm very glad that I'd arranged with the vendor to have a money-back guarantee on this, since I was purchasing it sight unseen. Sorry, but this is one unit that I cannot advocate to anybody: it doesn't come anywhere *close* to meeting my expectations. You'd have to put one hell of a noisy somethingorother in there for it to do much good.
Caveat emptor is one of my favorite phrases here, and this is a great example. I should have been *much* more skeptical of the manufacturer's claims, since they had no concrete specs to back them up. So I'm back to my original plan: tracking only to the D1624, and only powering up the DAW when its acoustical noise is a nonissue. We'll see how quickly I can get a truck here to pick the damned thing up and ship it back: I don't want it taking up space any longer than it has to.
So for anyone who is considering a hushbox, after reading my other posts suggesting that they may be a viable option: I was wrong, at least with respect to this unit at the low-cost end of the scale. If you'd like to try a hushbox anyway (and I'm sure that there are more expnsive units that might well perform better), make sure that you listen to the exact unit you are considering in a quiet environment first, and buyer beware.
Argh. Oh, well- if we knew what was gonna happen, it wouldn't be research...