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These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording
system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to
LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no
audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent
a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.
Each recording starts with ambient noise, then 10 second segments of product
at various states. For the most realistic results,
set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then
don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.
The MonCaso 301 is an excellent product that hits the mark in all the important
categories. The enclosure is well-built with thick non-resonant panels. A good level
of ventilation is provided, especially in the area around the CPU and expansion
slots, to facilitate cooling. The unit is pleasing to the eye with a smooth
brush aluminum front panel, stealthed face-plate for the optical drive, and
a nifty looking VFD. The iMon Pad, Moneual's remote control
puts the 301 over top. Its range is excellent, the control it allows
is superb, and the level of customization available gives it unparalleled potential.
With the right components, the MonCaso 301 can be the base for a stylish, versatile
theater PC. The Moneual 301 system as shipped to us is a lesson in what
not to use. The hardware inside was substandard at best and generated far too
much noise to be considered quiet in most environments. We don't recommend it
for any of our readers the level of modification required to bring its
noise level down to tolerable levels is high, and not worth the time, effort,
and/or monetary investment. The case and remote aren't enough to counterbalance
its inherent weaknesses. Hopefully Moneual has updated the system with more up-to-date components of higher quality and lower noise.
The MonCaso 301 case can be found for as low as US$190. Considering its aesthetics,
build quality, and the exemplary remote control, it's a very good value at the price. It is a slim case, so only low-profile expansion cards and
shorter CPU coolers can be used. It doesn't have enough room for a powerhouse
system, which is OK for HTPC. It's exceptionally well-suited for a home theater PC.
Our thanks to Moneual
for the Moneual 301 system sample.
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