Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,993 Member Since: 20/01/2011


Mar 15 16 7:05 PM

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An architect is proposing wall mounted HVAC units that claim 20dba noise figures (well, when set to 'low' at least) for use in studios 

anyone here SUCCESSFULLY used, or seen used, this type of unit?

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Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,123 Member Since:24/01/2011

#1 [url]

Mar 15 16 7:43 PM

The only ones I've any experience with that come close to that level are mini split systems, which have the compressor sections outside, with just a low speed fan blowing already chilled air into rooms... these work REALLY well, can be zoned, etc...but have limitations as to how far the run from compressor section to blower sections can be... a bit pricey compared to window units, but a LOT cheaper than central...

Mitsubishi, Gold Star, and others are the more popular brands I know of...and yes, I've seen more than a few in studio applications in Texas.

Ken Morgan

Please...Give It A Rest

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Posts: 1,503 Member Since:28/11/2011

#2 [url]

Mar 15 16 7:46 PM

Like those Mitsubishi split units?

The space I rented for 3 years had one. It was pretty quiet on LOW. Never measured it though.

Once the room got to temp at a higher setting, I could turn it down and leave it there. Not so sure how well it would work in a room full of lots of hot gear running.

When editing or mixing it didn't bug me really. When tracking I had to take care a bit with mic placement.

If I were building a more professional room than what I had, I'm not sure I would got with that type of system.

 "Real People, Real Performances."

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Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,615 Member Since:27/07/2011

#3 [url]

Mar 15 16 7:53 PM

Mini splits are quiet and keep things cool. My only complaint is that you end up refrigerating 'stale' air instead of 'fresh' air since there is no air exchange between the air in the room and that from the great outdoors, but that is really the only downside. I would add Fujitsu to the brands that Ken mentioned.

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Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,436 Member Since:24/01/2011

#4 [url]

Mar 16 16 11:48 AM

We ran the Mitsubishi units in couple of our smaller rooms. I'm highly suspicious of that 20 dBA figure. We barely measure that in our main studio with an excellent highly tuned AC system.

My main complaint was the condensation that often dripped from the heat exchanger when the drain line clogged up. If you keep the unit clean that won't likely be a problem.

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Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,993 Member Since:20/01/2011

#5 [url]

Mar 16 16 2:49 PM

thanks for all the feedback... please keep it coming!

so do you, using them, find you CAN leave them on recording a vocal?
especially in a hot climate?

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Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,351 Member Since:27/01/2011

#6 [url]

Mar 16 16 3:02 PM

I've had a Panasonic Mini-split and a Mitsubishi "Mr. Slim" unit in different control rooms. The Mitsubishi was the better of the two. As far as noise, they're quiet - well below the noise floor of most control rooms, but I personally wouldn't want one in a recording room. at least not a small one where I was doing vocals/acoustic instruments. It would be fine in a large room, especially if I'm putting gobos around the vocalist.

As has been said already, they do not do air exchange, so I would think of them as a supplemental system (like in a control room/machine room), rather than the primary cooling system.

Kyle Mann :: www.kylemann.com

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Gold Finger

Posts: 387 Member Since:28/01/2011

#7 [url]

Mar 16 16 3:29 PM

I'm in the midst of finishing the designs for the systems for my new place, and we're using fujitsu ducted split systems (Fran originally spec'd Mitsubishis, but the mechanical subcon wanted to go with fujitsus and it seems like they're fairly interchangeable in terms of noise and other specs.)

I believe that the idea with these is you get the best of all worlds - they're mini split systems - relatively small, efficient, and affordable - with the condensers placed outdoors, but you can also place the air handler unit outside of the room being treated and run appropriate ductwork to reduce noise further. With a well-implemented system, it should be very quiet. At least that's how I understand it. Not sure if this would be an option for what William has in mind, but just throwing it out there. Of course, my system has yet to be built, so I can't personally comment on its noise level. But Fran claims that he's had good luck with similar systems in other builds.

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Diamond Forever

Posts: 21,264 Member Since:08/01/2011

#8 [url]

Mar 16 16 5:57 PM

I use mini splits in most of my rooms. They are definitely "quiet," but often when I am doing softer vocal overdubs, they still make enough noise to hear.

Mine are not "extra ducted" as mentioned above however.

The newest ones I got…and also the best and quietest so far… are Lennox branded, but I'm sure they are made in the same Asian factory whence many others come.

Last Edited By: compasspnt Jun 12 17 10:24 PM. Edited 1 time.

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steve hudson.lucasmicrophone

Tin Man

Posts: 22 Member Since:20/11/2013

#9 [url]

Mar 22 16 8:39 AM

I've been using a Mitsubishi mini-split in my new all-in-one room, and it's very quiet at the lowest fan speed (Mitsubishi claims it's 19 dB(A)). The room is big enough (380 sf, 3600 cf) that I can place a mic 15+ feet from the AC unit and have no issues.

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Tin Man

Posts: 40 Member Since:06/02/2011

#10 [url]

Jun 7 17 4:24 PM

I occasionally master my work in a nice home mastering set up. He installed a mini split system.Here in New Orleans summertime means almost constant duty cycle. It is quite, not silent, But WAY better than a comparable window unit. I think he has another standard window unit in another smaller room. To speed cool down or under the worst conditions he may run that one additionally, it will cycle with the thermostat an d ride it on critical listening.
He got the unit and hired an A.C. contractor to install it. I think it had to be professionally installed. He mentioned the unit was 50% more expensive and I think the install was in addition to that.
Keep in mind, we set a record for the most consecutive days where we didn't hit the 70s. Not even a night. I think we had 20 days where it broke 95 several times but never cooled down below the 80s.

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Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,262 Member Since:16/07/2012

#11 [url]

Jun 8 17 2:37 AM

I have a client with split systems in his studio, they work fine, although I would be skeptical about the claimed noise level. Its very good, but I don't think that good.

His control room has a single mini blower in a room with an API Legacy 32, and four 7' racks full of external gear, half of it tube, a Studer A820MCH, Ampex ATR and Studer C37. As well as a class A threshold amp. Its always fine in there with the unit on. The converters and computer are in another room.


Alan Garren
Waltzing Bear Audio

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