Ringing amplifier

I was near my amplifier the other day with the system off and shouted for some reason and was surprised to hear a ringing noise for a few seconds after the shout. The sound was coming from the heatsinks because it's easily stopped by applying light pressure to the heatsinks with a hand or arm. The amplifier is a Classe CA-200, the later model with the big heatsinks on the sides.

The ringing noise was pretty quiet. If the system was on I doubt I would hear anything when close to the amplifier, and surely not from the listening position. If excited by the louspeakers, I doubt the noise coming off of the heatsinks will do anything to degrade the sound in the room. It doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

Is there something else going on when components ring? Does the ringing somehow manifest itself in the audio signal and get amplified by the amp? I'm wondering why ringing is believed to be so bad if it can't be heard from the listening position.
Heat sinks do that. Just brush them with lightly with your hand and you will hear a ringing (brush anything with your hand and you will hear something). Your hearing is extremely sensitive and I doubt you can hear this above even quiet music from across the room.

This has no affect on the audio signals amplified by the amp. In order for metal vibration to induce current flow in metal there must be a strong magnetic field in the vicinity (Maxwell's equations). For example hysteresis will cause tranformers to vibrate and by logical extension transformer vibration will incude a very small voltage signal in a transformer (note by small voltage I mean extremely small becuase a transformer winding is of low resistance and therefore something extremely unlikely to get through the power supply circuitry to th eaudio signal chain)
YBA feels that it is a real problem and that it can affect the sound. McIntosh also makes a conscious effort to avoid it happening by putting a thin layer of damping material between the heatsink and the chassis. I have also seen this in French Euphya amps. My personal feeling is that it probably has a bigger impact on the signal than, say, speaker cable lifters do. And some people swear cable lifters improve the sound.

Some amps' heatsinks will ring simply by being on with no one touching the heatsinks. This is due to the mechanical excitation coming from the transformers. Some amp designers pot the transformers to isolate them from the chassis so vibrations don't get into the signal. I know Karan does this.

Also, some amplifiers are designed with a massive chassis to dampen all vibrations. The weight of the casing in general will absorb any vibrational energy coming in or going out so that it doesn't get transmitted to the circuit (and heatsinks).

The easy way to stop the ringing of heatsinks is to barely loosen their mounting screws. If the screws are on too tight, the resonance frequency of the heatsink will rise into the audible range, which is what you are experiencing. It only takes about 1/8 turn to make a difference.

Incidentally, that is why every nut and bolt on a car has a specific torque setting that you must respect when tightening them. The vibrations from the engine and road will excite resonance frequencies of all parts and if the bolts are on too tight, they will vibrate and back off. The "sweet spot" is quite small in many cases. Same goes for your transformers and heatsink screws. I bet nobody told the Classe shop guys that they shouldn't wrench the screws on as tightly as possible.

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Did damping the heatsinks change anything? If you had not done it and know what you know now, would you bother damping them?