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Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

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  • #16
    Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

    I have used birch interior quality plywood for subwoofer enclosrues in car before. Ported, they have a much different resonance then MDF and in fact i preferred the sound. Its hard to put a finger on it, but its a very natural sound

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    • #17
      Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

      [QUOTE=tpremo55;1536943] (Hey Ryan - you out there? :D). /QUOTE]

      Yep, I'm here. Those were the good ole days, huh! I got pictures of our beast somewhere.

      Making a good mold for concrete would probably be more effort than building a box speaker. I once contemplated Carbon Fiber and others, but in the end I don't see any deficiencies in my boxes made from BB Ply, and my wife is happy enough with square boxes, so that is what I stick to.

      Now, if I was wanting curved cabs, I would think harder.
      - Ryan

      CJD Ochocinco ND140/BC25SC06 MTM & TM
      CJD Khanspires - A Dayton RS28/RS150/RS225 WMTMW
      CJD Khancenter - A Dayton RS28/RS150/RS180 WTMW Center
      CJD In-Khan-Neatos - A Dayton RS180/RS150/RS28 In/On Wall MTW

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      • #18
        Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

        [QUOTE=---k---;1536948]
        Originally posted by tpremo55 View Post
        Making a good mold for concrete would probably be more effort than building a box speaker. ...

        <snip>

        Now, if I was wanting curved cabs, I would think harder.
        Yeah - the benefit is primarily easy shapes and repetition - however concrete is also dense although I've not looked-up/measured a modulus for it in years...

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        • #19
          Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

          I started experimenting with a 1.5" oil impregnated nylon. The oil has turned out to ba an excellent dampening agent. This can be obtained from just about any plastics vendor. I am using one of the speakers for a drum monitor in a sound reinforcement application. The drummers love it and you can drive a truck over it.

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          • #20
            Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

            Concrete would be good, even better if you could sheath it in a material which is strong in tension.

            You could vacuum bag fiberglass to the outside of concrete to improve the bending strength (this puts the concrete in compression as it tries to stretch the fiberglass outside layer).

            -David

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            • #21
              Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

              I thought about mixing sand with epoxy resin, the pouring the resulting paste into some mold.

              I also think that glass of sufficient thickness could work?

              My current small mt boxes are chimney tiles caped with mdf baffle and back and they are dead!

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              • #22
                Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

                Originally posted by Max_Andrews View Post
                Just a reference for the mechanical strength, 1-1/8" acrylic will stop a .45 slug dead, and is what they use in banks for the teller windows
                Um Maxie, wouldn't that be Lexan (which is Polycarbonate, not Acrylic)? They look nearly the same but the Modulus is quite different. Acrylic is harder and more scratch-resistant while Polycarbonate is softer but stronger.

                A similar small point for those headed in the "Corian" material direction.

                Genuine Corian is Acrylic-based, glues well with crazy glue or good epoxy, and can be bent into reasonable shapes using mild heat. It is very durable.
                The Stone-look Solid Surfaces work fine but usually don't bend as well due to the aggregate mixed in making them more brittle.

                There are many Corian-like materials on the market now. A select few are acrylic and generally perform as above. The greater majority are Polyester-based. Polyester is the resin that's used for fiberglass. It can be glued pretty well using that resin or good epoxy. These cannot be bent and will scratch more easily.

                All of these materials machine just fine using normal woodworking tools. Routers love it! Pretend it's wood and you'll be fine.

                To the folks looking at HDPE, there is a name-brand material called Starboard which is very cmmon in the marine industry. The cutting boards are usually cheaper than trying to get actual Starboard. If you need bigger pieces however, Starboard would be an alternative. Polyethylene is an extremely slick material. I've never attempted to glue it and I suspect it would be difficult. If I had to do it I would try roughing it up and using a good epoxy. I'd also try a little strip of fiberglass cloth saturated with epoxy to support and seal the inside corners. You could alo try the Polyurethane or Neoprene based construction adhesives but I really don't think the HDPE is porous enough for them to adhere to.

                Materials is something I've studied a lot. Feel free to contact me offline if you want to brainstorm something specific.

                bb

                Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything.
                - Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662)

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                • #23
                  Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

                  I have recently made 2 pair of speakers from OSB, Oriented Strand Board. The type suitable for exterior use is dense and strong. Left natural, the material looks like a calico cat. It does accept stain or can be covered.
                  Mongo only pawn in game of life
                  ____
                  Ed

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                  • #24
                    Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

                    simple baltic birch and solid wood build see link

                    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=206997

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                    • #25
                      Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

                      I have some bamboo projects in mind. will need to line these for stability. i will line the cylinder with a sonotube and glue it in. the cut off pyramid will get lined with some 1/4 inch mdf and lots of glue. they will cost under 80 bucks for all four boxes. the drawback is they are small.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #26
                        Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

                        Originally posted by bobblickle View Post
                        Um Maxie, wouldn't that be Lexan (which is Polycarbonate, not Acrylic)? They look nearly the same but the Modulus is quite different. Acrylic is harder and more scratch-resistant while Polycarbonate is softer but stronger.
                        Actually, both are used for bulletproofing:
                        http://www.tapplastics.com/shop/product.php?pid=440&

                        The only major difference in mechanical properties between the two is the IZOD impact strength, which is far superior on the polycarbnate than with normal acrylic. But I guess if you make it thick enough it doesn't matter Perhaps the tradeoff is that you need to use thicker acrylic to get the same protection, but it ends up being cheaper?

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                        • #27
                          Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

                          I would avoid fiberglass at ALL costs, unless you already have a good bit of experience working with composite lay up materials. I have done fiberglass work for automobile enclosure, and half the reason I got sick of car audio was because of fiberglass. But, there are not a lot of options for some of the crazy designs(like the nautilus recreation).

                          Concrete was mentioned, and while I know it sounds crazy, it is actually an excellent material for enclosures (but obviously they will be heavy as sin).

                          This is going to sound crazy, but there are some fairly strong types of gypsum cement (the white powder you mix with water). That would be easy to work with assuming you could make the molds. Would NOT want to attatch things directly to it though.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

                            Originally posted by sbrtoy View Post
                            I have been toying around with what a cabinet could be constructed from, something besides old faithful MDF...
                            You could try Quietwood:
                            http://www.quietsolution.com/html/quietwood.html





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                            "Our Nation’s interests are best served by fostering a peaceful global system comprised
                            of interdependent networks of trade, finance, information, law, people and governance."
                            - from the October 2007 U.S. Naval capstone doctrine
                            A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
                            (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)

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                            • #29
                              Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

                              Bob or Max,
                              I came across a deal on CL last year to get 2 sheets of 1-1/4" ex-gas station attendant protector, but I have no idea what material it is. Is there an easy way to find out? I have heard that the two differing materials (polycarbonate or acrylic) require differing methods of cutting or machining, is this correct?

                              I'd love to make a sub enclosure out of this stuff! Except that the box would weigh a TON!!!
                              Proud creator of the Frojo, and many other ridiculously named speakers.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Speaker Cabinet Materials: Beyond MDF

                                Originally posted by philiparcario View Post
                                I have some bamboo projects in mind. will need to line these for stability. i will line the cylinder with a sonotube and glue it in. the cut off pyramid will get lined with some 1/4 inch mdf and lots of glue. they will cost under 80 bucks for all four boxes. the drawback is they are small.
                                Hey Phil. Where did you find those bamboo cylinders. I have been looking for something like that.

                                DaveH

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