Temperature of McCormack DNA-1?

How hot should the DNA-1 get? Mine gets hot enough, after running hard for a few hours, I can't put my hand on it for more than a second or two.
Should it get that hot? Does anyone know the exact temp when it's at it's hottest?
Hi Rubber -

Your experience is within the normal range for the DNA-1. Just how hot it gets depends on a number of factors, including where it is located (for instance, in a closed cabinet vs. out in the open), how much air flow it gets, the ambient temperature, your AC line voltage, type of speaker, size of your room, how loud you play your music, and for how long.

Typical heatsink temperature for the DNA-1 located out in the open with free air flow is around 45C/113F. This is obviously warm, but you can leave your hand on the sinks with no problem. When pushed hard into a low-impedance load (especially with limited air flow) for several minutes, the temp may reach 60C/140F or more, making it difficult to touch the sinks for more than a few seconds. With reasonable air flow, the sink temp should return to normal very quickly when your listening session is over.

The DNA-1 (like all DNA amps) is designed so that it is the heatsinks that get hot - the interior of the amp should remain relatively cool, given reasonable air flow. If your amp is located in a closed cabinet of some sort (or if the airflow is otherwise restricted), you might consider adding a small fan to move air over the heatsinks.

Best regards,

Steve McCormack
SMc Audio
Thanks for the info. As usual, you're a class act.
I dug out a couple of small 12 volt fans I have, but they're kinda noisy. The amp is in a cabinet that's open front and back, but the sides are close to the sides of the amp.
I may have to get it out of the cabinet.
What would be the safe continuous high temperature?
Hi Ben -

It's no big deal if the heatsinks get very hot, so long as the ambient temperature inside the amp stays relatively cool. The amp can operate at temperatures that would burn you, but the fact remains that heat is the enemy of component longevity. So, the cooler you can keep your amp, the better off you are. If you have the option of removing your DNA-1 from its cabinet, that would be helpful. If not, I am sure that you can find some quiet fans at your local computer parts store (especially multi-speed switchable types). If you do get it out of the cabinet, don't set it directly on a floor with thick carpet - use some sort of riser or feet like TipToes cones. This will allow free air movement around the amp, which is the key to keeping it cool.

Best regards,

Steve McCormack
SMc Audio
I posed a similar question about a year ago about my stock DNA-225. I've since moved it from a somewhat enclosed cabinet to a rack that is open on all four sides and has about an eight inch clearance to the shelf above it. She's fine now; just somewhat warm. Steve, thanks again for your response back then.

Greetings all. I'm thinking about putting a stock McCormack DNA-1 in my cabinet that is only 8" high BUT has screens in the front and right side and the rear of the cabinet can be removed to let air in as well as help with routing of ICs. The cabinet is the U-22D from Studiotech.

Now from reading the above replies I looked at the space in my cabiet and find that I'm able to place 4 Antec 120mm computer case fans lined up in a row on the sides of each heat sink of the DNA 1 or any other amp with heat sinks on the side. I'd be blowing air right onto the heatsinks. Each fan spins at 1200 RPM, 39 CFM Air Flow and has a noise level of 25 dBA.

Would this be ok in terms of keeping the amp cool? Would I be sending heat to the middle of the DNA-1 and making things worse for the amp's reliability in the long run or would I be cooling the unit down in general? Would it be better for me to have the rows of fans on each side face the other way and try to blow the heat from the heat sinks away from the DNA-1?

Sorry for the stupid questions & thanks in advance.
The trick is to keep the air moving through the enclosure so that heat will not build-up. What you have proposed should work fine, but you might get better results by positioning the fans to pull air in on one side and push it out on the other. You don't need to move a lot of air volume quickly - just a "gentle breeze" will work well.

I hope you enjoy your DNA-1.

Best regards,

Steve McCormack
SMc Audio