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Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

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  • Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

    I don't know if any of you remember but awhile back someone posted about using bubble wrap in an enclosure instead of poly-fil, wool, acoustic foam, etc.... At the time I thought what a silly idea this was and chalked it off as non-sense. I couldn't think of any way this would be able to create the same effect.
    Until now, even though I have not tried it myself. I recently read that the newer Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution have a bag stuffed with bubble wrap in them. They also have several other materials on the inside, but it is interesting that they would choose bubble wrap.
    So that brings me to the question. Why bubble wrap and exactly what effect would it have inside an enclosure?
    Thanks ,
    JB

  • #2
    Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

    Originally posted by DjDisturbed View Post
    I don't know if any of you remember but awhile back someone posted about using bubble wrap in an enclosure instead of poly-fil, wool, acoustic foam, etc.... At the time I thought what a silly idea this was and chalked it off as non-sense. I couldn't think of any way this would be able to create the same effect.
    Until now, even though I have not tried it myself. I recently read that the newer Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution have a bag stuffed with bubble wrap in them. They also have several other materials on the inside, but it is interesting that they would choose bubble wrap.
    So that brings me to the question. Why bubble wrap and exactly what effect would it have inside an enclosure?
    Would bubble wrap act like a passive radiator, in that it would flex and compress under higher cabinet pressure?

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    • #3
      Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

      IDK
      When I first saw someone post about it in an enclosure. I really thought they were just trying to troll, just to get sh!t stirred up.
      Now I don't know what to think. I am working on a couple speakers now, I will try to do some measurements and post them when I get that point. I will do one with the bubble wrap and one with out. I will do both acoustic and electrical measurements. Nothing to involved but detailed enough to be able to see if their is a measurable difference or not.
      Thanks ,
      JB

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      • #4
        Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

        I would have a hard time believing bubble wrap would be any better than something like fiberglass. The bubbles would compress and expand in sympathy with the interior pressure variation, and they would create a difficult path for any standing waves to form. But that's what fiber fill does already.

        If it does work just as well, it would be a "neater" interior treatment.
        R = h/(2*pi*m*c) and don't you forget it! || Periodic Table as redrawn by Marshall Freerks and Ignatius Schumacher || King Crimson Radio
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        • #5
          Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

          KEF has shown that activated carbon has the ability to double the apparent volume of an speaker enclosure.

          If you used it though I would think that it would need to be kept isolated from impurities so that the microscopic pores don't load up.

          So maybe the "bubblewrap" is actually hermeticly sealed carbon 'bubblepacks'.

          If that's not it then I don't know what use bubblewrap would be in a speaker enclosure.

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          • #6
            Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

            Originally posted by daryl View Post
            KEF has shown that activated carbon has the ability to double the apparent volume of an speaker enclosure.

            If you used it though I would think that it would need to be kept isolated from impurities so that the microscopic pores don't load up.

            So maybe the "bubblewrap" is actually hermeticly sealed carbon 'bubblepacks'.

            If that's not it then I don't know what use bubblewrap would be in a speaker enclosure.
            Activated carbon particles have a surface area of something like 100x thier measurable dimensions. This is why the effective volume seems much larger in the KEF enclosures. That is why carbon is much more effective filtration than nearly anything else available.
            1 spoonful of activated carbon particles has the surface area of a football field- I saw this on the science channel, I will try and stir up some facts tonight.

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            • #7
              Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

              Sounds cheap to me. Every company has a different marketing approach. Bubble wrap sounds crazy, there the first to put that crap in speakers. I dont believe everything I read or hear about.

              To me it would sound terrible, but people do spend there money on terrible stuff. You make a good thread on this forum, to me its just another gimick to get them to buy there stuff. Or maybe they dont want to invest alot of money into damping material. Sounds lame, but compaines use cardboard ports instead of a plastic port. Companies look for other materails that are cheaper and can past the test of a human ear. To one guy that knows nothing about sound, would buy that. And to the diy guy, wouldnt touch those thoughts with a stick.
              I love Diy audio, because its just me and my ideas and my shop. I can make and mold my ideas and put them to play, its an amazing thing to be able to do!!

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              • #8
                Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

                Not to mention that activated carbon is pretty expensive by volume. A mesh bag of it in a small bookshelf system might be a pretty efficient way to extend bass response......but the amount required in a bigger box would become cost prohibitive pretty quickly.

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                • #9
                  Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

                  Originally posted by Bart Oetken View Post
                  Sounds cheap to me. Every company has a different marketing approach. Bubble wrap sounds crazy, there the first to put that crap in speakers. I dont believe everything I read or hear about.

                  To me it would sound terrible, but people do spend there money on terrible stuff. You make a good thread on this forum, to me its just another gimick to get them to buy there stuff. Or maybe they dont want to invest alot of money into damping material. Sounds lame, but compaines use cardboard ports instead of a plastic port. Companies look for other materails that are cheaper and can past the test of a human ear. To one guy that knows nothing about sound, would buy that. And to the diy guy, wouldnt touch those thoughts with a stick.
                  They are not the only company that puts it in their speakers. A few other companies do as well. I just found it more interesting , that they would put it in a cloth bag in a fairly expensive speaker. These retail for $20,000 a pair, and that is without stands.
                  The enclosure are in no way cheap by any means. The inside of the cabinets are lined with felt and they have a tuning arm that is hand tuned to reduce cabinet resonances. At the bottom of the enclosures they have another material that looks to be poly-fil batting. So if they are putting this in their it's not to cut cost. And they clearly have means to many other mediums, but they choose the bag with bubble wrap.
                  So like I said I thought myself this had to be a silly idea at first. But now I am wondering what this could do.
                  Thanks ,
                  JB

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

                    The bubbles would compress and expand in sympathy with the interior pressure variation, and they would create a difficult path for any standing waves to form. But that's what fiber fill does already.
                    But the "bubbles" in fiber fill are much smaller than the bubbles in bubble wrap. To promote damping don't the bubbles need to be small compared to the dimensions of the enclosure?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

                      I think it's quite funny that this thread comes up now...

                      The bubble wrap idea stuck in my head too, but it was just this week that I finally tried it in a cabinet that I had tried almost everything in. Fiberglass, Black hole 5, acoustic foam, polyfil, and acoustastuf. I couldn't get the right balance in the .4 cu. ft. box.

                      So I found some old bubble wrap, large bubbles and some busted. Rolled it up and shoved it in. Not right. Took the center roll out and stuck in a tiny wad of polyfil leaving the bubble wrap on the sides and back. Multilayer foam in top of box.

                      I'm finally satisfied with them. The bubble wrap was noisy going in, but I don't hear it in there.

                      It might have nothing to do with the bubble wrap, maybe I just got lucky or sick of trying, so there's nothing scientific to see here. No measurements, no speculation on possible reasons it might work, just a funny coincidence I thought I'd share.
                      "Looks like you may have to design your own speakers. Its not that hard." -DE Focht

                      Diffraction Happens

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                      • #12
                        Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

                        I'm a proud owner of a pair of Goldmund Logos1 monitors, $15,000pr. (of course I didn't pay that much). As far as I remember, they have been using fairly densely wrapped bubble wrap inside of their speakers since the mid 80's.

                        The Logos1 uses a Peerless 6.5" Nomex mid-woofer (830875) in a 14.552 liter dual ported enclosure. The speakers have (and measure) an F3 of 54Hz and an F6 of 45Hz. The bubble wrap gives an effect of a "heavy stuffed" enclosure.

                        I've built a replica of this same speaker and no combination and, or amount of fiberfill, Acousta Stuf, fiberglass, wool, foam, etc. can even come close to giving an F3 of 54Hz. Only bubble wrap

                        Take it for what it's worth, but the bubble wrap works like magic. And the measurements don't lie!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

                          Well this is quite a "Jesus in my toast" moment. Gonna have to bust out my guinea pig speakers and stuff 'em with bubble wrap and take some measurements. Man, I can't believe I'm going to put bubble wrap in a speaker. Who'd a thunk it? :eek:
                          Bryan K.

                          Midwest Audio Club

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                          • #14
                            Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

                            Originally posted by bkeane1259 View Post
                            Well this is quite a "Jesus in my toast" moment. Gonna have to bust out my guinea pig speakers and stuff 'em with bubble wrap and take some measurements. Man, I can't believe I'm going to put bubble wrap in a speaker. Who'd a thunk it? :eek:
                            I look forward to what your measurements show or do not show. I liked how you measured the effectiveness of foam and poly-fil in a earlier post.
                            If you are using the same enclosure, it should be easy to make a quick direct comparison. Thanks for at least trying. I will try to do some measurements this weekend when I get my enclosures done for my NS6 Aura's.
                            Thanks ,
                            JB

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                            • #15
                              Re: Why bubble wrap instead of poly-fil ???

                              I hope you share them.

                              Originally posted by bkeane1259 View Post
                              Well this is quite a "Jesus in my toast" moment. Gonna have to bust out my guinea pig speakers and stuff 'em with bubble wrap and take some measurements. Man, I can't believe I'm going to put bubble wrap in a speaker. Who'd a thunk it? :eek:
                              An apostrophe with an "s" does not mean plural.

                              Speaker's IS NOT PLURAL.

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