Hi. This ended up being long-winded, but since you Cooler Master guys actually participate in the forums, I thought you'd appreciate the feedback.
I recently purchased the Cavalier 1. It is really a nice case. Nice looking and really easy to work with. Everything went in without a hitch...except for one thing. The powersupply is a bit limited with only four 4pin molex connections. If you have two hard drives in the case, you can't really use the decibel meter in the front without purchasing a molex Y connector. So, I set the PC up and bought a Y adapter a couple of days later.
I set the meter aparatus and pci slot adapter up correctly and voila! nice blue lights and really crappy sound. The needle also barely moved. Double checked everything to make sure I followed the directions. I had done everything correctly.
For my setup I have an asus p4p800 and a fortissimo II pci soundcard.
So, I called CoolerMaster tech support to see if they knew what the problem could be. The person I spoke with said I'll email you the directions to set it up. I said, "I already have the directions." He asked if I followed the directions. I said "yes."
Rather than trying to troubleshoot, he said he would give me a return authorization for the part. Not knowing if it was the pci adapter the mechanism at the front, or some other issue, I said never mind. I'd rather return the case to the store (fry's) while I have the chance, rather than dealing with weeks of mailing parts back and forth to CM. But this will be a real pain in the tookus, since I have to take everything out of the case and repackage it. (heh, tookus...grandpa slang is the new hip)
So, today I ordered a new case. I really liked this case, so I ordered a Cav 3 (without psu) online and an antec true 380s psu to go in it. I decided when those come in, I'll switch out the guts and return this one.
Now here come the part that gets frustrating. I just now figured out what the problem is with my Cav 1. I was reading the posts on here and saw that some others had similar problems, but didn't see anyone really diagnose the issue. One person pointed out that moving the volume dial on the side of the PC was the only thing that really caused the needle to move on their problem unit. No where did I see it documented that the function of the decibel meter was somehow connected to the case's front sound imputs.
So guess what the problem is? The headers for the front headphone and speaker jacks are plugged into my motherboard. Normally this wouldn't be an issue..just means that they don't work since I am not using onboard sound. But with the decibel meter tied into the equation..then connected to your PCI soundcard, you create a total cluster.
So, Cooler Master guys, the next time you see someone having issues with the decibel meter in the cav 1 or 2, I would make sure of two things.
First, if they are using a pci sound card, make sure they don't connect the case sound headers to the motherboard. Second, make sure the person realizes that the volume dial on the side of the case will affect how active the needle is. If the volume dial is turned all the way down, the meter will not move. This isn't really mentioned anywhere that I have seen.
So, now I have the case working. But now, I also have a new (unneeded) Cav 3 and powersupply on the way to my house. Ugggh.
I really do like your cases.