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Adcom GFA-5500 Cooling

3708 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Teseract
I picked up an Adcom GFA-5500, which I like, but I'm a little concerned about heat. It's in an entertainment credenza that has about 4" of clearance above it, but only about 1.5" from each side with an open front.

This amp runs hot even in the open, and with it in the entertainment credenza after an hour or so of use I can't keep my hand on one of the heat sinks for more than a few seconds they get so hot. The LEDs for heat protection never come on, however.

I was considering rigging up a couple of spare quiet 120mm fans from a PC case I have laying around and running it off a 12v power supply and rigging them to blow over the heat sinks. Is this worth my time or is the heat just the "nature of the beast"?


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The 5500 has fairly extensive Heat Sinking and does not tend to run ridiculously hot like some other Amplifiers. Truth be told, using an Amplifier Stand just off the Ground would be ideal for Ventilation and would also result in shorter Speaker Cable runs as well. However, I really think it would be fine in a Entertainment Center. It could not hurt to add Fans as you have them.

Yeah, I don't really have the space for a separate stand. I only have runs of about a max of 6' currently, it only runs to my Polk RTi12's in the front sound stage.

I'm just going to hack up a spare power brick and solder on a couple of PC style molex connectors. I don't know if should suspend them off the shelf above to get a more spread out air pattern or just rest them on top of the heat sinks. I suspect suspending them would be quieter though.
I have a couple of fans in my equipment rack. I use a 5v adapter, makes them almost silent. Can't hear them 2 feet from the rack.
Yeah, these are fans with 3 way switches for speed. I don't know if it would even spin up on 5v, but I have some 9v and 12v ones laying around.
Its worth the time if you think heat is an issue. My Carver 5 channel never gets hot at all but its in an open rack and I added some risers to give it a inch or two of clearance at the bottom.

I would use the fans and possibly get one of these covers for them:


They also make a full kit w/ fans which you might not need, but it comes with the right adaptors to run off a wall outlet (or switched one on an AVR if your lucky like that)


Also if you wanted to simply put a hole in the back of your current unit to suck air out, they have stuff for that too...

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I don't think I need to go that extreme, I've never driven it into thermal protection yet. If I was I think I would go that far.

I suppose I could use a dremel to cut out a couple of fan holes in the rear panel of the credenza and set them to blow out, so it would pull air front to back. I'd be worried about it resonating though because it's fairly thin particle board. Something blowing/sucking from a above or below may be more effective considering the heat sink design on the GFA-5500:

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I picked up a infrared thermometer gun the other day and it looks like the left heat sink is hitting about 116F and the right 126F (not sure why there's a differential) when playing at moderate volume. A little toasty.
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