In my post “How to Camouflage Your Hi-Fi System for Higher WAF” I called for a modular, fine, antiqued wood paneling system that would make your high tech CD player look like a antique decoration instead of ugly kit. At least one audio component manufacturer agrees: DIY Paradise.
For the past week I’ve been obsessively searching for an affordable outboard DAC to improve the performance of my Airport Express (haven’t found anything that I can afford that will outperform my Onkyo TX-DS989’s DAC, but I’ll post a survey of what I’ve found). Along the way I found the Monica 2 DAC in a Jewelry Box at DIY paradise. You can buy the DAC as a bare bones DIY PCB up to a fully built model in a high grade aluminum case. Another option is to conceal the electronics in an antique jewelry box. The above pictures give you the idea. I have no idea if it’s a good idea to set a DAC PCB on velvet (probably not).
The Monica 2 is well regarded on forums (like head-fi.org where I first read about it). As an audiophile, you have to ask yourself if the wood enclosure gives the DAC a different sonic character than aluminum. Falsely transferring visual asthetics to sonic ones you could guess that the jewelry box sounds warmer, fuller with lots of treble “sparkle”; the normal aluminum case is cold and hard and analytical. Heh.
So now that we have a real world example of a camoflaged hi-fi component do think it’s a good idea or just a novelty. I wonder if DIY Paradise sells many of these compared to the fully assembled aluminums.