Making your ARC 110/210/220 dead quiet

One of the problems with latest ARC gear, is that they come equipped with fans. This may or may not detract from the music, depending on the room, listening position and the background noise. In my room the OE fans were clearly audible on quiet passages, which I found quite irritating.

In order to solve this problem, I paid a visit to the local shop that specialises in computer cooling accesories - they sell gazillion of different fans, water cooling systems etc.

I reffered my problem to the salesman and he recommended me two different 80mm fans - Thermal BTF80Pro (10 EUR) and Noctua NF-R8-1800 (15 EUR). In their lowest settings, they are said to generate as little as 9dB/1m and 7dB/1m of noise respectively.

Anyone who ever dealed with fans knows, that the biggest source of noise is not the noise generated by blades/air, but rather the vibrations transmitted to the computer/amp chassis which turn into noise as soon as the fan is fastened.

So even though the fan my be dead quiet when you hold it in your hand - it starts to make noise when it touches the chassis.

Because of that, the Thermal fan, which on paper generates 2dB of noise more than Noctua, but prolly also has a better bearing/motor assembly design, turned out to be much quiter.

The amp is now almost dead quiet - meaning that in the middle of the night, in my sound proofed dedicated listening room (read: with EXTREMELY low background noise), I can BARELY hear it from my listening chair when NO MUSIC is playing.

At the same conditions, but during the day (slightly higher background noise) I cannot hear it at all so I can say that it really is dead quiet.

I cannot recommend this upgrade to any ARC user highly enough.

Here is the pic of the 2 fans I tried + ARC one (middle):

To allow easy fan exchange/upgrade in the future, I soldered in computer fan sockets:

Fans installed:
92efbda5 9cba 4d79 9e39 cc1d8039b6b7elberoth2
Wish I had thought of this... Thank you- and nice system!
Well, the other way to get rid of the fan noise is to disconnect them and run the amp with the top cover removed. That is how a friend of mine is running his 210s.

IMO, my solution to the fan noise problem is much more elegant though.
I have a pair of ARC Classic 120's and although i do not find the fans (2 in each units) that "noisy", for critical listening i do with the cages off the units. I also like to see those tubes blueish glow in the dark. Having said that, i have a PS audio premier power plant in my system and the fan is quite noisy when it kicks in and there has been a lot of outcry in the audio world about that even on PS Audio discussion forum. So, i think that i will take the unit apart myself and remove the stock fans and replace them with Noctua's with isolation kits.
Thanks for the hint elberoth2.
I can feel your pain. I used to have the PS Audio P-300 and I used to run it with the fan disconnected. The noise from that fan was unbearable for me. PS Audio allowed to run P-300 with no fan unless you did not draw more than 80-100W. Maybe you can do the same with Premier ?
Thank You for the info! All my gear is Audio Research, and I've lived with that awful pabst fan on my ARC VT200II for too many years.

I Remain

jas carpender