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Researchers develop new driver material - wood

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  • Researchers develop new driver material - wood

    Probably not the very first time anyone has used a piece of wood for the cone, but they have definitely taken it to a new level in the way they process the wood to increase the strength.

    ... researchers at the University of Maryland have recently developed a super-thin wood speaker boasting high tensile strength and excellent acoustic properties, which offers a promising alternative to next-gen acoustic speakers.

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  • #2
    I would think balsa wood would work good. Light, stiff and good damping.


    • #3
      I think several Airborne drivers have wood cones?


      • #4
        Apparently, the Airborne and Misco drivers are a faux-wood man-made product. Rory could tell you the name of it. I think these all sound really good.
        JVC had some wood-cone 'executive systems' a decade ago with sake-soaked wood that was then formed into a cone.
        Focal has a new wooden-style cone in their commercial offerings.
        End-grain Balsa is cut into a cone for the Vandersteen 3-ways' midranges, then dual-skinned with carbon fiber. It acts well and mimics that of a natural Rohacell structure.
        Digital Designs had subs with a 'veneer style' cone for a bit. Looked good.
        Vifa's old XT series woofers were a wood-pulp formed cone, and the newer NE series are also utilizing wood fibers.

        There have been many woofers over the years made from a wood product, especially that of paper, as it comes from wood.

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        • #5
          Kind of what I was thinking, paper cones have been around for how long and now wood is the new thing? Um....


          • #6
            Originally posted by Kornbread View Post
            Kind of what I was thinking, paper cones have been around for how long and now wood is the new thing? Um....
            As Wolf said,,, it’s not new.

            Have Fun! Mark


            • #8
              All well and good until the audiophile termites show up.


              • #9
                I'm a very visual person and some of them that I've seen give me wood! Badaboom! I've not ever heard one, but one could make a stunningly beautiful speaker if wood patterns are your thing. I love the look of some of the large wooden horns, and I could see a wild looking setup if it also had wood cones. Glenn.


                • #10
                  A little off topic but the reference to audiophile reminded me of a story ...

                  Once upon a time a buddy had saved up his coin and wanted me to accompany him speaker shopping in a neighboring town. Understand, we live in a poor rural community, and for the most part, had never experienced anything better than WalMart's hi-fi offerings. His mind was already set on this brand new kind of tiny speaker surround system, that sounded like a big speaker system, which all the critics raved about called the Bose Acoustimass. At the store, which also sold all kinds of household furnishings, we gave the system a listen. And while it did sound better than anything we had ever experienced, I encouraged him to hold off a bit on the purchase. A short trip across the main drag in town found us at a 'salon' stereo shop. Picture two teenage kids wearing dirty boots, jeans, and t-shirts getting out of an old Ford Ranger and entering a stereo 'salon'. And quite contrary to future visits to other salons, this shop was very hospitable.

                  We were looking at shelves full of tube gear thinking wth is this junk? Haven't these guys ever heard of transistors and how much better they are than tubes? Geez ....

                  The salesman asked one of us to take a seat and then preceded to play us some music. It has been so many years ago I cannot remember if the tube gear was Marantz, Carver, or a mixture of both, but the speakers were Apogee Acoustics. I was dumbfounded. I have been an audiophile since that fateful day.

                  Somewhere along the way, Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, and even Stereo Review (if it measures the same it sounds the same) amassed in piles on my shelves. One thing I always liked about Stereophile, the 'golden ear' reviewer, who may or may not push certain 'questionable' high priced gadgets, always had to answer to a rather full set of measurements leaving at least some interpretation of the review to the reader.

                  The online Cambridge dictionary defines audiophile as a person who is very interested in and enthusiastic about equipment for playing recorded sound and its quality. I feel most all of us here can be called audiophiles.


                  • #11
                    At first I thought this may have been a typo for "wool" speakers, of which there's at least one brand - Silver Flute - but there are some beautiful timbers or even plywood around which could look really cool as material as a base for speaker cones.

                    As a PS to Kornbread's post about scruffy people going to stores, there's nice story about Alex Encel, the founder of high quality stereo in Australia. A very successful business man, he walked into a Rolls Royce dealer in jeans and t shirt and got "the bum's rush" from the snobs in the showroom. So he proceeded to the local Mercedes dealership - this is in the late 60s when they made good cars - and bought the top model on the spot. Alex then proceeded to drive his new car to the RR dealership to teach them a lesson!

                    I'm certainly an 'audiophile' according to the Cambridge dictionary, but much of our music is not that well recorded and we still enjoy it despite the sound. For example, Hendrix live at the LA Forum 1970, an audience recording, is great and hearing Rachmaninov playing his own music in a 1936 recording is magic.