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Old 10th March 2011, 07:00 PM   #1
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Location: middle of canada
Default Clay as speaker enclosure?

I have a final project due in the next while for my ceramics class and figured I could build a swanky set of speakers.

I haven't put much though to the particulars of the design as I only though about this yesterday. All I have so far is a general idea of the shape I want.

Essentially though, I'm curious to know if clay would function as an adequate enclosure. Specifically for a small set of horn loaded speakers.

I don't want to make a simple sealed or ported enclosure as that is much to simple for what i am required to do, and imo, would not look anywhere near as interesting.

I've attached a quick&dirty sketchup model of my basic idea.

As far as drivers are concerned, im thinking along the lines of
Tang Band W3-881SJ 3" Shielded Neodymium Driver
HiVi B3N 3" Aluminum Driver Round Frame
largely because I've little interest in spending large amounts of money on this.

They would likely be paired with the DTA-2 t-amp for which I would also build a fancy little box for.
Dayton Audio DTA-2 Class T Digital Audio Amplifier Module

Lastly, this is one of the rare instances where I would place form as a priority over function (I have plenty of fabulous sounding and monolithic speakers already). Having both would certainly not hurt though.

ceramics project.png
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Old 10th March 2011, 07:12 PM   #2
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I liked the first part of your post , till you named the speakers & amps
maybe my expectations are too high . Not sophisticated ... but a nice 8" and a tweeter Oh sorry !!!! This is FR Forum !!
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Old 10th March 2011, 07:17 PM   #3
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Location: Near Vancouver
Ivan I think it's a great idea. Fired clay would be good and strong. Would you place any kind of reinforcing mat within the clay for extra rigidity, and how would you mount the driver to it? Is it called porcelain once it's fired?
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Old 10th March 2011, 07:34 PM   #4
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I have thinked of this before , and Cal had reminded me of the oven . I knew the limitations are the measures of the oven , and also the need for some structure for not making it fluffy..Oh ..Cal got it !! A segmented structure ,made of two or three pieces , with the junctions well closed.
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Old 10th March 2011, 07:48 PM   #5
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Location: middle of canada
There are varying qualities of clay, from Stoneware (which I have a bunch of atm) to porcelain. The difference between them is largely in how the particles arrange themselves once the clay is fired. Stoneware turns more to rock, whereas porcelain turns to glass.

I'm aiming for bookshelf sized speakers so the rigidity of the clay itself would likely be enough that it wouldn't need reinforcements. If I had to though, it would be very easy to implement.

I haven't worked the details of mounting the driver, but im likely to build it in such a way that I can epoxy a piece of wood to which the driver would be attached.

The kilns(giant high temp oven) at the university are reasonably large, so I dont think that I need to make it in segments.
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Old 10th March 2011, 08:17 PM   #6
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some terra&tubes from Serbia

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
some of my Designs
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Old 10th March 2011, 08:22 PM   #7
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Location: Victoria, BC
Why not?

Working enclosures have been made from more than the 'ever popular' particle board and MDF. Cast aluminum (RS Minimus?), plastic (Gedlee), ABS/PVC (Linkwitz).....

Be sure to post the results of your creative ideas here!
(I'm thinkin' His Master's Voice doggie with open mouth, howlin'...)
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Old 10th March 2011, 09:37 PM   #8
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Clay is scary
In those pics I recognize a stove or a fire or, in the first one , a fish in a meta-baroque manner

One is omni ...but the trumpet ?

Same for the fish'n'trumpet : where's the speaker

I was to say that if clay works ,and it should ,it could be made in full scale , maybe some honeycomb pattern to help .

Last edited by picowallspeaker; 10th March 2011 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 10th March 2011, 09:43 PM   #9
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
While not an entire enclosure, Wharfedale Airedale speakers had clay tiles placed inside the cabinet against the sidewalls, as part of the design.
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Old 10th March 2011, 11:47 PM   #10
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Location: Bangkok/London
Ivan, Corian or Himacs would be great for that design. You can get that shape thermoformed in 12 or 19mm white. Its very dense, a v good material for speaker builds and far superior to mdf.
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