Monday, October 22, 2012

Objective2 Headphone Amplifier SS Front Panel

All sold as of 2/20/2013!  I could have another batch made if there is enough demand but so far the batch of 20 has not been profitable for me and it doesn't seem like there is much interest.  Be happy if you're one of the few people that managed to get one!

When I decided to build a batch of five O2 amps with my friends I, like many others, went to JDSLabs to order their aluminum front panels.  When I got them, however, I was honestly rather disappointed - it looked all shiny and nice in the pictures on their website but the actual parts I received looked fairly lackluster and were rough around the edges.  I wasn't a big fan of their company logo on the front panel of my DIY amp either.  I decided to fire up my CAD program and look into getting some nice stainless steel panels custom machined for me...

DIY Audio Forum Thread

This revision features chemically etched lettering and symbols filled with black oil-enamel paint and uses a #4 (brushed) finish rather than 2B.  The panel material remains 304 stainless steel and it can be either waterjet, laser cut, or CNC milled depending on my supplier's capabilities.

Overall I think it is much nicer than the panels from either JDSLabs or Head 'n' HiFi though admittedly it's a good deal more expensive to manufacture as well.  You can see from the images that my panel is slightly thicker and fits more tightly around everything.

Here are some images of my initial prototype batch of 20 with Kunshan Krell:
Machined Stainless Steel Objective2 O2 Front Panel
For a production batch of 100 I can easily hit a $12 price point.  The main problem is that I never wanted to commit the investment for such a large batch since this isn't my full time job and I don't want to potentially end up sitting on a large pile of these.


  1. Hey there Yang, I'm curious about trying a design myself. Where did you find your supplier?

    1. For smaller quantity projects I usually work with as they are willing to take on small projects and are fairly fast. made me a pretty good large batch quote though for this particular project.

  2. yzrandome,

    Nice work! It looks like you posted this around the time we were experimenting with CNC speeds and aluminum finishes. Quality should match our photos, with smooth edges. Please send us a note if you'd like replacement pieces!


    1. I did notice that your panels looked a lot nicer later on so good work to you guys as well!