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Redd

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Greetings all )

So I'm not a woodworker, I work mainly with metal. I made this box, you can see its assembly is amatuerish, but the concept is pretty I think.





I transplanted the chrome from this Helix 4636 and really just copied the box









It has high quality speakers, Visaton B200 and I'm shocked at how good it sounds, I wasnt expecting that.

I would like to make version 2 using real wood, becuse I think real wood might sound even better. But I dont have a notion where to start.

It has occurred to me that the reason people use dovetail joints, is to cope with expansion - is that correct?

The reason most speakers are made from MDF and Plywood is that they don't expand, and that is why I used plywood.

All comments, pointers, tips, insight, banter and tangents welcomed and appreciated, I could do with some knowledge dropped on me.
 

novocaine

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Most cabinets are made from MDF because it's acoustically consistent and stable along with having low resonance. Real wood won't sound better I'm afraid.

have a google for speaker cabinet design, there are loads of forums devoted to nothing else, you could find yourself down a very very deep rabbit hole.
 

Redd

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Ah, okay, thats that then. I was hoping for a good reason to learn some actual woodworking skills, but that information saves me from making another, grand!
 

sploo

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Dovetails (other than looking nice) will hold a drawer front onto a drawer even if the glue fails (rendered animal in them olden days not being quite up to the standards of modern glues).

The problem with real wood or plywood is that it can have voids - and possibly even loose material in the voids - which will obviously be audible when that material vibrates. Speakers aren't instruments - in the sense that you don't really want the box colouring the sound. Additionally, as you noted, real wood expands and shrinks - so isn't be best choice for a box that you want to seal.

I have done it with smaller "bookshelf" type speakers (small-oak-loudspeakers-t97187.html?hilit=speakers), but I'd be wary for anything larger.

Generally good speakers are MDF covered with a decent veneer, as that provides a dense and homogeneous carcass, with the look of solid wood.

You may get some improvements with your current build with some dampening material on the inside. Even carpet tiles can provide a good poor man's insulator; having both a heavy rubberised backing and fluffy coating; good for deadening the panels, and reducing internal reflections from the rear of the speaker driver - which can re-radiate through the drive cone.
 

sploo

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Pete Maddex":lkdmljct said:
Chipboard is the deadest board but MDF is easer to work with.

Birch ply is used by more speaker manufactures these days and some have been using it for years https://shahinianacoustics.com/

Pete
Good quality ply is fine (though there are many beard-and-sandals arguments over the acoustic merits of MDF vs ply). If you're planning on painting or veneering I'd always use MDF as a base - even though it is basically just termite barf.
 

sammy.se

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Hey, I wouldn't give up on learning woodworking yet!!

Just because the box might be made of MDF or Ply, there is still plenty of fun to be had generating sawdust:

Veneering is a skill that is very rewarding, and it basically means you can build the box out of ply/MDF, but have any number of exotic wood finishes, which will make your speaker box truly unique. You can even combine veneers in your design.

Veneering combined with finishing - another skill (and art) - gives you an infinite number of variations to the design and look of your speaker box.

I personally love a speaker box with a beautiful veneer, that can fit in with nice designed room.
 

sammy.se

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Forgot to say, a chap named Matt Estlea has just launched a free online woodworking course, which might be a good way to have a structured learning curve. Look him up online/on YouTube.
 

Fitzroy

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sploo":48shljfu said:
Pete Maddex":48shljfu said:
Chipboard is the deadest board but MDF is easer to work with.

Birch ply is used by more speaker manufactures these days and some have been using it for years https://shahinianacoustics.com/

Pete
Good quality ply is fine (though there are many beard-and-sandals arguments over the acoustic merits of MDF vs ply). If you're planning on painting or veneering I'd always use MDF as a base - even though it is basically just termite barf.
Is that the speaker builders equivalent of a sharpening thread?
 

sploo

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Fitzroy":u3e3fj4j said:
sploo":u3e3fj4j said:
Pete Maddex":u3e3fj4j said:
Chipboard is the deadest board but MDF is easer to work with.

Birch ply is used by more speaker manufactures these days and some have been using it for years https://shahinianacoustics.com/

Pete
Good quality ply is fine (though there are many beard-and-sandals arguments over the acoustic merits of MDF vs ply). If you're planning on painting or veneering I'd always use MDF as a base - even though it is basically just termite barf.
Is that the speaker builders equivalent of a sharpening thread?
Most definitely. If you think there's "woo" in woodworking sharpening threads then just spend some time on audio forums; full tin foil hat brigade at times.
 

Redd

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Magic , thanks for all the replies, appreciated. Yah I was wandering around thinking to myself, well a stienway isnt mdf , a speaker is an instrument also.... But ye are saying its not. I have observed that this box doesnt like unrefined ectronic music, house and techno made in a bedroom, seem to cause it pain. but it responds really well to anything featuring actual instruments. It should be noted I have no notion what im talking about and these are the observations of a layman.

I'm contemplating using lowethers for the next box for the craic. 1400 euros worth of speakers in a boombox... Fostex might be more realistic. Lowethers are beautiful.

I think I would not mind real wood colouring the sound, it would make it unique. Might make 2 boxes, real wood and manufactured, and compare.
 

jlawford

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It would be unique in that it's undesirable :) Loudspeaker manufacturers sometimes use mathematical modelling to predict cabinet resonance then add extra bracing to remove it. Also HF horns made from non-resonant materials to eliminate ringing.
You want the enclosure as dead as possible. Of course if it sounds good it is good and maybe unique is what you want.
 

sploo

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Redd":iokca0px said:
Magic , thanks for all the replies, appreciated. Yah I was wandering around thinking to myself, well a stienway isnt mdf , a speaker is an instrument also.... But ye are saying its not. I have observed that this box doesnt like unrefined ectronic music, house and techno made in a bedroom, seem to cause it pain. but it responds really well to anything featuring actual instruments. It should be noted I have no notion what im talking about and these are the observations of a layman.

I'm contemplating using lowethers for the next box for the craic. 1400 euros worth of speakers in a boombox... Fostex might be more realistic. Lowethers are beautiful.

I think I would not mind real wood colouring the sound, it would make it unique. Might make 2 boxes, real wood and manufactured, and compare.
Basically, what jlawford said; but - a loudspeaker isn't an instrument - it's a device for sound reproduction.

The problem with any speaker cabinet that has "character" (i.e. introducing resonances) is that it's probably going to be pretty difficult to control what it'll add to the original sound (and what it adds may not be desirable). Best to try to control resonances by pushing them into higher frequencies with good bracing (or make speakers from a load of concrete :wink: ).

When you say your box doesn't like unrefined electronic music, is that music with a lot of very low bass content? If unable to handle it, it'll likely push the drivers into over excursion and unwanted noise.
 

sunnybob

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I was very "into" hi fi back in the late ;60,s and early 70,s when stereo was almost secondary to the Hi fi.

There was a massive explosion of speaker companies producing all sorts of exotic shapes and finishes. The best speakers were always thick mdf with whatever veneered finish you liked best.

The point is, looks are irrelevant if you want GOOD quality audio. Make the speaker boxes to an established design, unless of course you want to re-invent the wheel and spend the rest of your life doing research that has already been done for you.
Then cover them with sticky backed plastic if thats your thing.
 

DBT85

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Very nice final result there!

There was another thread on here probably a year or more ago from a chap that made a bluetooth speaker, had all the links to the speakers and bluetooth module etc. Been on my project list ever since.
 
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