This case got gold recommendation and while i understand it is a case with great potential my practical experiences might be helpful to some.
1. It has the potential to be really quiet but is definitly not quiet out of the box!
2. Make shure to buy a 180mm fan replacement that is known to undervolt well (meaning it has very little noise from fan motor) before you buy the TJ08-E because the stock fan is audible even at 300rpm. Its reported to have a rumbling noise with some people (me included). Its either a issue of vibration or the motor being bad or the AP fan grill being bad. At 300rpm it is also not very effective because its supposed to push out the hot air throu the back of the case but needs a bit more airflow to do this.
3. If you are changing the 180mm fan you need to remove the front, if one is to remove its easier to do this before installing any of the parts.
4. I suggest installing in this order: PSU, motherboard + CPU + CPUcooler, CPUfan, SSD on cage floor, HDD in lower hdd cage outside of the case, HDD cage onto the case. The parts that should be off the case when starting to install is both side panels, top, top and lower HDD cage. Put back these case parts only after you are sure you are done with installing CPU+cooler+fan.
5. nr 2 is also somewhat important to what kind of GPU one has to choose. If you are using the stock 180mm fan at low rpms it might be able to push in cool air well but maybe not push it out throu the GPU vent. Therefore a radial fan on the GPU might better if its possible to have a quiet one.
6. Think of HDD vibration! I dont even use the top HDD cage but i still get HDD vibration from the HDD because the little rubber dampening on the lower HDD slot isnt enough to eliminate vibration. I suggest trying to get a hold of good HDD vibration kit for the top 5,25" bays. Noisemagic, Sharkoon and Tichté are the 3 that basically eliminates hdd vibration.
7. Foam padding the sides is possible but maybe not optimal. I have some that is slim from silverstone but with it on i can only put on 1 screw on each side.
8. Make sure which CPUfan you are going to use before you install both lower HDD cage and GPU because its difficult to change CPUfans with the HDD installed.
Hope i didn't post a useless thread, if so just delete it.
this is strange, i have my AP181s @ ~300rpms and i cant hear them unless i open the side panel and put my head closer. its possible that i am just missing the sound, or that other noise is covering it up, so ill check it out later. anyway, i was under the impression that the AP181s are a high quality 180mm fan? they seem to come with a quality bearing and a grill that helps to focus the airflow