Every now and again something grabs one’s eye away from a market bloated with cheap, subminiature consumer goods, differentiated only by their brand logos or the sheer volume of functions confined by their tiny frames. Such is the case with Hammond Manufacturing’s latest lines of elegant and sexy desktop chassis.
Hammond describes its latest models as “retro chic”, referring to a time in the past where the functionality of the chassis dictated the way it looked, and that look became quite hip over time. Naturally, these components give a nod to the days of tube-based audio designs, an era that, believe it or not, has not ended. If you think vacuum tubes are obsolete, just take a look at the offerings on the shelves of any high-end audio outlet, i.e., Stereo Exchange, Park Avenue Audio, Sound by Singer, to name a few. Or better yet, just take a look inside your or your kid’s guitar amp. Chances are you’ll see at least one 12AX7 and an EL34 or two.
Hammond’s three models target high-end audio equipment and just about any product requiring a polished and noble appearance (see the photo above). The 1444CWW and the 1441CWW families are aluminium (natural finish) and steel (black powder finish), respectively, with walnut end panels. CWW units come in six sizes from 178 mm x 127 mm x 51 mm to 432 mm x 254 mm x 102 mm. Chassis are spot welded for strength and rigidity and come with an integral top panel, eliminating the need for visible fixings that may detract from the units’ stylish, boutique appearance.
For larger or more uniquely esoteric designs, the HWCHAS sports an aluminium top, with either a black powder coat or natural finish, supported by a full walnut base. Optional base panels are also on tap. The unit’s top panel measures a very durable 2-mm thick, enabling it to safely support hefty transformers and other weighty components.
HWCHAS chassis come in two sizes: 330 mm x 254 mm x 76 mm and 432 mm x 254 mm x 76 mm. Additionally, corners are dovetailed and reinforced with corner posts employing brass inserts to accommodate panel fixings.
Depending on size, suggested retail prices for the1444CWW and 1441CWW wood sided chassis range from $57 to $94 each. Prices for the HWCHAS series range from $85 to $110 each, also depending on size. Also, the company offers an impressive line of power and output transformers for both replacement and new designs. For more details, call HAMMOND MANUFACTURING CO. INC., Cheektowaga, NY. (716) 630-7030.