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Old 23rd March 2007, 09:10 AM   #11
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Solid wood worst choice for speakers?!? I think not. It depends on your material knowledge, but anything with a tight grain and high stiffness / weight ratio should beat MDF hands down. Look at Terry Cain's creations -I suppose the now pretty distant original inspiration for Calhoun. Fir and pine, if treated right according to Terry, are amongst the best materials for horns or their variations, so long as the moisture is low. Love that idea. GMs pine came from an old barn door I believe, ~150 years old if memory serves, and had similar properties to aluminium after aging for that time.

Roundovers go somewhat against the design intentions, which is to deliberately have the sharp edges, but as Dave says, if you want to, the the transition of the initial port to the bell-flare is the place to put them.
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Old 23rd March 2007, 09:38 AM   #12
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Solid wood is a problem when it comes to wide panels, the expansion and contraction may cause cracking and joints to open up. I personally wouldn't use panels any wider than about 10-12" maximum.
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Old 23rd March 2007, 04:31 PM   #13
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I just about made the Calhoun's with the pine board. The boards (pine shelving) at Home Depot showed enough twisting that I thought the better of it. If I had enough clamps it would have been fine but I was using a finish nailer and that doesn't provide enough strength to suck the two pieces together so I made it from Maple plywood and the horns from MDF. The horns were made of MDF because it comes as a 3/4" board where as the ply is now metric and measures 23/32"

It was all done in modules. The horns and inside cabinets were made ahead of time then simply slapped the sides on.

EDITED: Overstated the obvious
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Old 23rd March 2007, 09:35 PM   #14
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Quote: "Solid wood is a problem when it comes to wide panels, the expansion and contraction may cause cracking and joints to open up"

pinkmouse: My hat's off you, once again the voice of reason.
Is this a DIY forum? Yes, solid wood can be used to build speakers, but it must at a stable moisture content. How does the average DIY guy know if his laminated spruce panel is at 4% moisture? I'm pretty sure a reliable moisture meter is no in the DIY toolbox. Also solid wood should be sealed on all sides to maintain the moisture content. It's more expensive. Three strikes, you're out.
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Old 23rd March 2007, 10:03 PM   #15
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4% hmmm, I actually do have access to a moisture meter. (floor layers use it on hardwood)
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Old 23rd March 2007, 10:51 PM   #16
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Old 23rd March 2007, 11:01 PM   #17
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I have access to people who know how to use it to. And besides its a moisture meter, not the space shuttle.

It's just one more tool I can use the check the practicality of useing that pine shelving.
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Old 23rd March 2007, 11:13 PM   #18
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I don't mean to offend you, it's just using solid wood ( even laminated ) is not a very good choice. It's sonic properties are not consistant, it's prone to warpage and movement.
Do your self a favour and do a Google search for: "use solid wood for speakers" and read some of the results. My bet is that the result will not be encouraging.
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Old 23rd March 2007, 11:58 PM   #19
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MJ -do yourself a favour and read everything Terry Cain ever wrote on the subject of solid wood and speaker cabinets. You might find it of interest. Admittedly TC was the God of materials, but his lessons are worth learning. GM's remarks on the subject too are most enlightening. Solid woods offer many potential benefits -like cabinet design, it's a matter of learning what they can offer, and utilising them correctly.

Example: a BIB could be usefully constructed using solid walnut side-panels, pine internal baffle and rear, and alder front. We use the different properties of the materials to suit what we want each to do. For man-made, change that to BB ply for the sides, particle-board for the inner and rear baffles, and a lamination of MDF and ply for the front baffle. It won't be as good as the solid wood though. Or look as good come to that. True, you have to know how to work with the solid woods, but that's no great trial -it's a fascinating subject I'm working on at the moment.
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Old 24th March 2007, 12:09 AM   #20
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Guys, chill. This is supposed to be fun, you know?
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