In any event, I always thought that was why MSR came up with the Whisperlite ($60)a quiet liquid-fuel stove alternative to the then-dominant 123. And it's pretty compact, except when compared to some of the super-mini canister-fuel stoves. The Optimus Nova ($130) is one of the best liquid-fuel stoves around, if not the best: hot, simmers well, easy to use, pretty quiet, but not especially compact.
But no liquid-fuel stove can be REAL quiet. The fuel must be pressurized and emitted from the burner jet at high velocity, where it explodes into flameliterally a miniature jet engine. So the combustion process can get pretty loud, particularly when compared to canister-fuel stoves, which have a slightly different burn process, so tend to be much quieter. It's a tradeoffthe better cold-temp performance and economy of liquid-fuel stoves versus the ease of use and quieter operation of canister-fuel models.
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