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Old 9th May 2008, 04:34 AM   #1
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Default Car Sub Enclosure Material

I did do a search to see if anyone else has discussed this topic.

I'm building only one sealed sub with an internal volume of 1.2cuft and I did a bit of research at the 'home improvement' store.

Available wood choices are (all 48" x 96" x 3/4" size sheets):
1. Particle board (the heavy glue-filled stuff white in complexion)
2. MDF Panel
3. Red Oak with MDF center
4. Birch with MDF center
5. Birch (solid)
6. Baltic Birch 13-ply (i.e. solid baltic birch with many bonded layers)

These are in increasing price level and since I'm only building one sub, I'd like to select the most dense and inflexible wood available to me (i.e. cost really doesn't matter). Also, if 1" thick board were available at the store, I would choose that.

So, from the list above, would the 13-ply Baltic Birch really kick butt over the others?

I do apologize if there is an existing excellent article already on the website that discusses various wood densities and their applications, heh.

Thanks!
Joe
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Old 9th May 2008, 11:08 AM   #2
spooney is offline spooney  United States
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MDF/particle board are the most used enclosure materials by far.They are easy to work with and are on the cheaper end of the scale.It would suit your needs just fine.Personally I would choose mdf out of all your choices.It is easy to work with and one of the cheaper options. It doesn't hold up too well to moisture so as long as your trunk doesn't leak you should be just fine using it.One downfall to it is the weight but with the size of your enclosure it shouldn't be too bad.Also given the size enclosure your building 3/4" mdf would be just fine.I don't think you'd see any noticeable improvement using one inch.
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Old 9th May 2008, 01:21 PM   #3
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Generic rule of thumb is that MDF works well in midrange boxes (like your traditional mini-monitor speakers in the home or studio). The MDF has some favorable damping properties in the midrange spectrum.

For bass/subwoofer, you desire the stiffest construction with bracing. This would tend towards the 13 ply baltic birch. It's what I made my bass drivers from.

That being said, in a car, I would still use the MDF, as the cost of the baltic doesn't justify the sound quality issues dealt with in a car. If you are motivated, make the front baffle out of two sheets glued together, for a 1.5" thick baffle.
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Old 10th May 2008, 04:27 PM   #4
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I have never liked plywood for fidelity enclosures (great for pro audio). IMO the best enclosure material is a product called Medite http://www.sierrapine.com/index.php?pid=67

Also fiberglass can make a great speaker box, I have done many fiberglass boxes with a 10 guage sheet metal form. Once covered in fiberglass (and the inside painted with magic paint) the boxes were crazy stiff and lighter than .75 mdf or Medite.
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Old 11th May 2008, 06:42 AM   #5
Clipped is offline Clipped  Thailand
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there is a type of material made from something like plastic, a synthetic wood substitute...i cant remember the name of it, but its half as heavy as MDF and just as rigid.

anyone know what its called?
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Old 11th May 2008, 04:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
there is a type of material made from something like plastic, a synthetic wood substitute...i cant remember the name of it, but its half as heavy as MDF and just as rigid.
I think you are talking about Corian (used mostly for making countertops but also makes great speaker boxes).


http://www2.dupont.com/Corian_Global..._US/index.html

Corian sheet pdf

http://www2.dupont.com/Surfaces_Comm...nformation.pdf
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Old 11th May 2008, 05:34 PM   #7
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My experiences with fiberglass (Bondo) subwoofer boxes have been most unfavorable. And these were thick enclosures, maybe over a half inch. That's pretty rigid for fiberglass.

I would stick with natural materials.
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Old 12th May 2008, 04:46 AM   #8
jol50 is offline jol50  United States
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I like plywood, a grade that fits the job. I have used other stuff but most often I can use ply, glue it, ram a pile of drywall screws into it, seal it, and lay on some carpet for a nice box that may weigh less than MDF. Now for paint MDF is easier to finish, and it may have a better sound due to higher density. But I never could hear the difference for sub in a car using a well made box of either and I like carpet better, plus the ply is easier to assemble for me.
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Old 12th May 2008, 06:15 AM   #9
luka is offline luka  Slovenia
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Hi

MDF is the way to go
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