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  • Material to use for small speakers

    Hello,

    I only just started learning about audio and made my first few small bluetooth speakers. My friends are happy with them and want me to make more.

    I have many difficulties and am solving them 1 by 1. One of the problems is finding the right material that is cheap, light and easy to work with.

    Most difficulty i have with small speakers of enclosure 2.5L or less. Wood is out of the question because it is to heavy and to thick and therefor speaker will not be as light and compact as wanted. So i ordered some cheap square pvc pipe, you can see it on picture attached. It worked absolutely great for small speakers (the only thing wrong is that its damn hard to glue it with anything, epoxy doesnt work at all). But now it seems i pushed this pvc pipe to the limit. It is very thin. And when i put inside it the mighty Dayton TCP115 (i call them mighty), it makes the pvc pipe vibrate badly at anything lower than 80Hz. And this is a problem.

    So i would like to know of some other materials i can use. I have been on the search for very very thin wood, like plywood that would be only 0.5cm. Sadly, i couldnt find it anywhere. Give me some ideas and it would be great if it came in the form of square pipe which would mean a lot less work with cutting and glueing.

  • #2
    Some folks seem to be good at finding existing prefabricated and prefinished boxes for other uses from places like Target, or Ikea, places like that... they use the box as a pre-fab enclosure and just make a baffle with speaker cut-outs to mount the drivers.

    Do a little digging and you may find something that would work.

    TomZ
    Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
    *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

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    • #3
      Lite ply is poplar plywood. It is quite light. I have used it for flying models. i cannot vouch for this source, but it is widely available.

      https://www.nationalbalsa.com/Lite_Plywood_s/66.htm

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      • #4
        https://www.homedepot.com/p/Underlay...-202093874-_-N

        https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-5-in-x...1178/203183010

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        • #5
          You can use 1/4 inch birch plywood. It is very light but, I would put bracing inside the enclosure if you have enough room.

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          • #6
            I think your problem is that light and compact aren't going to make a very good cabinet for the TCP115. Light and compact work for tiny little speakers without much low frequency output. Maybe aluminum? May be hard to "build" a cabinet but to Tom's point, you might be able to find clever aluminum/metal boxes to re-purpose. I know over at diyaudio.com someone just build an amp in an old computer case.

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            • #7
              Plain old round PVC pipe much less vibration prone.

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              • #8
                I agree pvc is pretty resistant to normal glues like epoxy and CA. I’d recommend using the specific pvc primer and adhesive from the plumbing department.

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                • #9
                  I agree that round PVC is more likely to resist vibrating, but if you can find a working adhesive (like Dynamo mentioned above) then I'd bet you can simply glue some simple wooden dowels across the inside of your square PVC to help it avoid resonating. Building braces perfectly spaced/centered means you'll end up with uniform resonating surfaces, so this is a situation where you can happily embrace things being a little crooked and get better results from it.

                  Using some sandpaper to roughen up the PVC surfaces you're trying to glue may also help give the adhesive something more to grip onto.

                  Personally, I've had great luck so far using 1/4inch (about 0.6cm) plywood which is very cheap and lightweight for smaller boxes (around 2-7L) though the bracing from side-to-side is still going to be somewhat important.
                  My first 2way build

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SentinelAeon View Post
                    Hello,

                    I only just started learning about audio and made my first few small bluetooth speakers. My friends are happy with them and want me to make more.

                    I have many difficulties and am solving them 1 by 1. One of the problems is finding the right material that is cheap, light and easy to work with.

                    Most difficulty i have with small speakers of enclosure 2.5L or less. Wood is out of the question because it is to heavy and to thick and therefor speaker will not be as light and compact as wanted. So i ordered some cheap square pvc pipe, you can see it on picture attached. It worked absolutely great for small speakers (the only thing wrong is that its damn hard to glue it with anything, epoxy doesnt work at all). But now it seems i pushed this pvc pipe to the limit. It is very thin. And when i put inside it the mighty Dayton TCP115 (i call them mighty), it makes the pvc pipe vibrate badly at anything lower than 80Hz. And this is a problem.

                    So i would like to know of some other materials i can use. I have been on the search for very very thin wood, like plywood that would be only 0.5cm. Sadly, i couldnt find it anywhere. Give me some ideas and it would be great if it came in the form of square pipe which would mean a lot less work with cutting and glueing.
                    i used 8mm for my little bose clone and that was the thinnest pine i could source in the width i wanted. I found the 6mm ply wasnt as premium as my hardware store implied, as the layers were thin and the levels of sanding i liked to do ate way at the top layer, plus it wasnt that study. But really depends on the speaker i found. The ND65 build used 12mm and the TEBM65's (tuned below 60hz) used 19mm

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                    • #11
                      Have you tried a product called GOOP? I love that stuff, seems to stick to just about anything.
                      A mains
                      The Ventures
                      Open Invit8tions
                      RSR
                      Sound Troopers
                      Acorns
                      442
                      DGBG's
                      The Monuments

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                      • #12
                        If there is a cigar store in your area, quite a few folks are using cigar boxes to build small, unique looking speakers. The going price is free to $2.00 each.

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                        • #13
                          I have used these with some success .
                          https://www.polycase.com/dc-series

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                          • #14
                            I made a wooden enclosure from leftover wood today and it wasn't pleasant. Sawdust everywhere, cutting with jigsaw trying my best to cut in a straight line. The good thing is that i didnt need to use glue much and its easy to open the speaker if something needs to be repaired. I will need to find thiner wood though as soon as shops open. And more importantly, plan ahead. I measured everything, cut it and ofcourse found out that i didnt account for the fact how sides go together (if u want speaker of 10cm x 5, that doesnt mean u cut 10 and 5, it means u cut 10 and 5-thickness of wood). Really sucks and i make the mistake every time. Also its really hard to make openings for like square wooden display and switch. In the end it was quite ok, would be much easier with nice thin wood.

                            What i am trying to say is, i will use pvc square pipe for smaller speakers and use wood for bigger ones until i find a proper fair priced square pipe. I did get some offers from some companies to make custom nice pvc pipes for me, but their price is such that i would spend more money on enclosure than i would on all other parts. Which is insane. The pvc pipes i got right now are dirt cheap.

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                            • #15
                              Check out Plumbing and Electrical Junction Boxes: https://www.homedepot.com/s/Plumbing...20boxes?NCNI-5

                              This one for example: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon-6...87RR/100404096

                              is 6x6x4 which comes to close to 2 liters. I don't know if the thickness is enough to handle a real woofer inside, but I remember seeing some plumbing and electrical junction-type boxes that looked fairly beefy; like 1/4" thick plastic material or close to it. It's $14 here.

                              Maybe not what you're looking for, just throwing out ideas. Also, there are some speakers out there made of cinder blocks and terra cotta pieces of pipe with wooden front/rear baffles.

                              I remember making boxes out of cheap wood using a jig-saw to cut it with... man, talk about frustration! Keep at it, and if you can get or borrow a circular saw and feel comfortable using it safely, it will really help with getting good cuts that mate up flush and airtight.

                              Good luck.

                              TomZ
                              Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                              *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

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