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Old 25th September 2012, 09:08 PM   #1
FozzZ is offline FozzZ  Canada
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Default MDF vs. Baltic Birch

For the most part, I use MDF for all my loudspeaker projects. I've heard many say Baltic Birch is better, but I've yet to find any genuine proof to back up this notion. Baltic Birch is stronger, no question. But is the added strength required for speaker building? MDF is more dense which I feel is more important than strength for speaker building. This is assuming there are no large unsupported spans. I also understand that having a speaker weigh less can be an advantage if its being moved a lot.

Acoustically, what advantages does Baltic Birch really provide.
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Old 25th September 2012, 09:11 PM   #2
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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It's a topic that has been discussed quite a bit on this forum. Surely you've seen it?
There will be more than one opinion.
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Old 25th September 2012, 09:19 PM   #3
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I'll just enter this thread to wait for Planet10 and Cal to show up... This ought to be informative.
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Old 25th September 2012, 09:35 PM   #4
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Or redundant.
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Old 25th September 2012, 09:43 PM   #5
FozzZ is offline FozzZ  Canada
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I did a quick search before posting. I found some references to the topic, but nothing specifically about it.
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Old 25th September 2012, 10:12 PM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overtheairbroadcast View Post
I'll just enter this thread to wait for Planet10 and Cal to show up... This ought to be informative.

Well I'm neither of those 2, but I'll be happy to pipe in - short story - just build a pair from Baltic Birch (or equivalent)- identical to something you already have in MDF and decide for yourself

I've been using nothing but the BB for the best part of 10yrs - must be well over 100 pairs by now.
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Old 25th September 2012, 10:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
I've been using nothing but the BB for the best part of 10yrs
Time flies eh Chris?

jeff
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Old 25th September 2012, 10:37 PM   #8
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I won't attempt to comment in the differences in resonances, however, the dust from MDF is horrific.
However, if the cabinets are properly braced, can the difference be heard ?

As Troels points out, routering the back of the front baffle - behind a mid or bass driver - is critical.
This is to minimize turbulence at the back of a driver.
With a baffle made from Baltic Birch - I think the routering can be pushed farther than with MDF.
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Old 25th September 2012, 10:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FozzZ View Post
MDF is more dense which I feel is more important than strength for speaker building.
High mass/density by itself is not a good thing.

Discussion on what materials to build speakers out of

This has been discussed over & over again, go do your homework. When i 1st arrived here it was "common knowedge" that MDF was "the" material to build boxes out. Since then many people have essentially done what Chris suggests and are now building with superior materials (detect some bias there? There definitly is). Now days if you do a survey -- especially on the FR Forum -- a whole lot more people are building with quality plywood.

IMO MDFs only positive attributes are that it is cheap and relatively easy to finish (making it even cheaper) -- the attributes that marketing departments of commercial speaker manufacturers have pounded on so long & so hard that the myth is pervasive, otherwise competent speaker designers using it by default.

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Old 25th September 2012, 10:46 PM   #10
sippy is offline sippy  United Kingdom
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There's a HUGE thread on this (in Multi- Way part of forum), one camp for MDF and 'tother for Ply and a third camp cant make their minds up.
Me, I'm for plywood. It has grain structure, has a higher resonant freq per panel size and its dust, though not considered a health and well being product, is way better than wood dust infused with formaldehyde based glue.
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