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Case, Power Supply, Fan Reviews
  Product:     Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA)  
  Price:     $87 (CAN) / $75 (U.S) 
  Supplied By:     Mashie Design
  Author:     Hi-TEK
  Date:     January 7th, 2005
  Rating:     star star star star star star star star star

MODTHEBOX would like to thank Mashie from Mashie Design for sending the Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA) for review.

Mashie Design


Part of the enjoyment that most people get when discovering the wonderful world of case modification is that there are no rules when it comes to planning a project. Innovative enthusiasts have been able to incorporate new and unique items into a standard case modification project and at the same time define new procedures and techniques. The same principles that are applied to standard computer cases have recently also used in the modern day automobile. Johan Grundstrom aka Mashie is a world-class case modder known for his dazzling array of case modification projects which include Syrinix, Anemone, Oenone, 3, Y2k-bug, Asteroid, Doom 3: Hell Inside, Udat and Tranquillity. Recently, the modder launched his own company Mashie Design and developed his first commercial retail product. Today in MTB Labs, we will be evaluating the new Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA), a stereo 7-band audio spectrum analyzer for computer systems.


The MDVA is designed to fit two 5.25" bays where it will visualize the composition of a stereo analog audio on 112 LED's mounted in a circle. Here are some specifications as taken directly from the Mashie Design website:

Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA) - Key Specifications:
Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA): Manufactured by Mashie Design
Dimensions: 146mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 63mm (D)
Power: 5V using 4-pin harddrive Molex
Signal input range: 0-5V
Frequency bands: 63Hz, 160Hz, 400Hz, 1kHz, 2.5kHz, 6.25kHz and 16kHz
Audio connectivity: Y-cable with standard 3.5mm connectors
Minimum specification: Computer with two free 5.25" bays, one Molex power connector and an analogue sound output using a normal 3.5mm jack

Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA)
Click image for larger view
Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA)
Click image for larger view

The Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA) ships in a simple white corrugated cardboard box with the name and logo branded across the top. Overall shipping time from the U.K to Canada was excellent and the package was received via Royal Mail 10 days after I placed my order. Opening of the box revealed all contents to be neatly and tightly packaged together.

Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA)
Click image for larger view
Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA)
Click image for larger view
Inside the package were all the necessary items for installation along with some accessories which include the following:
  • Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA)
  • 4 x Nylon mounting screws
  • Audio Y-cable
  • One page reference guide
The one page reference guide is very brief and provides information on the installation, usage, troubleshooting and technical information. There are 8-steps that cover the installation process that should allow most users to get up and running in less than 15 mins.

Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA)
Click image for larger view
Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA)
Click image for larger view
Out of the box, the Mashie Design Visual Audio (MDVA) includes a smoked acrylic mounting bracket that measures approximately 146mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 63mm (D) and is designed to fit conveniently into two 5.25" drive bays. The concept for the MDVA was derived from one of Mashie's older projects dubbed Anemone which took first place in the Summer 2002 CPL Consummate Computer Competition (C3). The MDVA includes a green coloured PCB circuit board that is protected by thick black acrylic and includes pre-drilled mounting holes for simple installation into a standard case. The overall appearance is the MDVA is very clean with access to the rear of the PCB. Towards the bottom left of the PCB is the location for a 4-pin Molex connector which provides power to the unit while the right side includes a 3-pin header for the bundled Audio Y-cable.

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