know it's a trivial feature for some of you but for
me nothing says "my creators really cared about
my appearance" more than well presented packaging,
and that's what the WaveMaster comes wrapped in.
that you'll be stood admiring the box for too long
before the urge to rip it open and get to the contents
overwhelms you. And there, nestled snugly between
two slabs of Polystyrene lies the Wave Master, in
my particular case the all aluminium TAC-TO1- E1C,
though it also comes in a superbly finished black
I'm guessing here but I'd imagine the kind of minimalist
design of the Wave Master isn't going to appeal to
those who like their cases, well, Xaser-ish.
exterior finish is actually brush finished, anodised
and chemically polished, so there!
the magnetically secured door open reveals four 5.25"
external bays and just a single 3.5" bay. The
inclusion of just a single 3.5" bay wouldn't
have been an issue until fairly recently when the
sudden swarm of multi-format memory card readers made
it to the market, most of which seem to be designed
specifically for a 3.5 bay. Still, I think most users
would be quite happy to demote their floppy drive
to the drawer at a push.
door can't be reversed to open the opposite way which
is a bit of a shame.
of the bay blanks are secured internally using two
screws, a real pain when you need to remove one but
far better than them being spring mounted and vibrating
every time you power up.
a gentle push the flap covering the top mounted connectors
springs open revealing the two USB ports, Fire Wire
port and a mic and headphone jack.
the back things look equally well planned. The power
supply fits from the outside and you can then fir
the required finishing plate depending on whether
it a conventional or a redundant unit. Both plates
come with the case.
down a bit there sits a single 80mm cooling fan. To
all the companies who go to all the trouble of stamping
out grills or drilling vent holes please take note,
this is how it's done! Cut a big hole and let the
air pass through it virtually unhindered. Easy really!
are ten thumb screws on the rear of the case, six
used to retain each of the two side panels and four
to secure the removable motherboard tray but we'll
get to that in a minute.
side panels were the first real disappointment of
this case. Not because they're thin, I can cope with
that, but more because they stick and just don't feel
particularly precise or smooth. They have a tendancy
to resonate quite a lot too, particularly if the hooked
locating tabs that secure them bend open too far,
something they have an unfortunate habit of doing
unless you're particularly careful when taking them
course the side panels are strictly a functional thing
and not something you'll need to be taking off every
day, for most people anyway. It just seems a shame
that they felt so unrefined considering the image
the case portrays.
they did come off and that's where we're headed next.....inside!