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Old 10th November 2012, 10:30 PM   #1
xrk971 is online now xrk971  United States
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Default Foam Core Board Speaker Enclosures?

Has anyone tried using foam board (paper laminated with foam core) as quick and dirty speaker enclosures? There is something really satisfying in using nothing more than an x-acto knife and a hot melt glue gun to build transmission lines, horns, etc to try out designs on smaller 3 in and 2 in low power full range drivers. Interestingly, they actually sound pretty good and weigh nothing compared to mdf. I am just wondering if I am the only trying this sort of stuff before cutting real wood. My latest build is a stereo pair transmission line that is very flat and hangs like a picture on a wall. Lots of fun and very quick and clean. The foam core actually has built in damping capabilities. I do find that it sometimes resonates like a guitar body but that is not necessarily bad.

I am editing this first post to show what is possible with foam core and hot melt glue - the elusive Cornu spiral horn.... Read on if you are interested in this wonderful speaker and have a day or two to try building it.


Index:

Cornu spiral BLH original vs Smooth Curve Ever think of building a Cornu Spiral horn? Now you can!

pdf plan for Cornu spiral by Planet10 can be found here: Foam Core Board Speaker Enclosures?

Flat wall mount stereo MLTL with Vifa TC9FD Foam Core Board Speaker Enclosures?

Flat BIB or FIB with Vifa Terry Cain's BIB -why does it work and does anyone have those Fostex Craft Handbooks?

FIB alternate without V channel Terry Cain's BIB -why does it work and does anyone have those Fostex Craft Handbooks?

Folded bookshelf MLTL with Vifa Fostex Fe83en the right small box?

FH3 Inspired Floorstanding Back Horn with Vifa FH3-inspired Foam Core Mini Build and here FH3-inspired Foam Core Mini Build

Mini Karlsonator (0.53x Scale) with dual Vifa TC9FD's A Speaker that Kicks Butt in Large Spaces
A Speaker that Kicks Butt in Large Spaces

Mini Karlsonator (0.4x Scale) with single Vifa TC9FD
Mini Karlsonator (0.53X) with Dual TC9FD's

Nautaloss spiral sealed-end TL Reference Monitor (200 Hz to 20 kHz) with Vifa TC9FD
The Nautaloss Ref Monitor

Teardrop Shaped Sealed Monitor (200 Hz to 20 kHz) with Vifa TC9FD
Foam Core Board Speaker Enclosures?

Nautaloss sealed quad driver push-pull sub: The Nautaloss Ref Monitor

XPS Foam & Foam Core MLTL using PE's 6.5 in Polycone Woofer (Buyouts): Foam Core Board Speaker Enclosures?

The simplest FC speaker ever - "The Dual Exciter OB Cheap Thrills" speaker: Foam Core Board Speaker Enclosures?

Dual Chamber Reflex with Curvy Walls - Viva la Vifa! - nice desktop monitor speaker:
Viva la Vifa! Curvy Cabinet DCR with TC9FD

Single Speaker Stereo (SSS) - matrix 3 channel:
Foam Core Board Speaker Enclosures?

A real 40 Hz (-3dB) 113dB SPL capable sub woofer (slot loaded band pass) that weighs less than a pound (excluding driver weight):
Light as Air Slot Loaded Band Pass Sub

A 175Hz 28in wide x 17in tall x 22in deep tractrix horn for the 5MR450NDY, a full range horn capable of 300Hz to 15kHz and +125dB:
PRV 5MR450-NDY for FAST applications

A tractrix synergy horn - the Trynergy, the best sounding speaker I have built out of foam core to date. Perhaps my most ambitious speaker but surprisingly easy to build:
Presenting the Trynergy - a full range tractrix synergy.

Last edited by xrk971; 9th September 2014 at 10:20 AM. Reason: Adding index to quickly point to where plans are for designs.
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Old 11th November 2012, 04:08 AM   #2
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actually it is bad if it moves or resonates... could be fun, but not accurate.

interesting idea though...

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Old 11th November 2012, 09:29 AM   #3
xrk971 is online now xrk971  United States
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Perhaps for accuracy it is bad, but for normal listening like enjoying music in most situations it works quite well. I want to challenge the notion that speaker enclosure movement or resonance is always bad based on the fact that many music sources that listen to generate their sound from resonance and movement of the body walls: acoustic guitars, violins, cellos, etc. If you think about it, even a speaker diaphragm makes sound by moving. If the speaker cabinet moves somewhat and generates some of the sound energy, why is that bad? Why does a speaker cabinet have to be ultra dense, stiff, and weigh 20 to 100 lbs to be considered good sounding? I agree that if the cabinet resonates and rattles or hums, that is bad. But what if it moves and essentially acts as sort of a passive radiator? Just a thought because I am having a lot of good listening to some speaker cabinets that weigh ounces instead of pounds. For bass reflex or applications where significant bass pressure needs to be contained, it would not be good, but for low power applications like back loaded horns or transmission lines with full range drivers meant for less than 5 W of power, I think there is real potential here for trying things quickly, cleanly, low budget, and most of all, for having fun.
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Old 11th November 2012, 10:03 AM   #4
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Have you looked into the NXT stuff? That uses the whole surface to generate sound. Foamcore is a material that works pretty well for that.

Tactile Transducers in the Speaker Components Department at Parts Express | 18
Put a few of those on the board and off you go!

And yes, I have built speaker enclosures out of foam core, cardboard and matte board.
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Old 11th November 2012, 03:48 PM   #5
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"Has anyone tried using foam board (paper laminated with foam core) as quick and dirty speaker enclosures?"

Yes, for small enclosure prototypes I think it works good enough. I have built dozens of various experimental waveguide/transmission line designs. I braced internally for larger spans and used white gorilla glue, dries fast and strong (plus expands).
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Old 11th November 2012, 06:20 PM   #6
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In the case of some musical instruments the vibrations of the enclosures do play a significant role in the sound that they produce. However, *all* examples of say guitars are not equal. So merely having vibrating parts does not insure quality. In the case of a high quality guitar a lot of effort and time, selection of materials is required.

In the case of a speaker, the goal is to reproduce the input signal at the output. Anything that adds or subtracts from that is defined as "distortion". You can have pleasant or unpleasant distortion.

Also, box losses play a role in the the way that the speaker will perform in a given enclosure.

Folks have built speakers with a variety of materials having a similar concept - the walls of the speaker playing a role in the output via vibration/resonance.

It's fine to do this, but it's what it is, not something else.

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Old 11th November 2012, 09:47 PM   #7
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with respect to styrofoam and speakers i remember hearing a pair of for the lack definition planars that where made of a styrofoam back plane and a mylar membrane i don't remember what the drive assembly was if memory serves it was a coil magnet arrangement.
also has anyone else here ever checked out Jose Pino's making a speaker out of a styrofoam plate

i really gotta learn cut/paste kung fu!

Last edited by turk 182; 11th November 2012 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 12th November 2012, 08:18 PM   #8
xrk971 is online now xrk971  United States
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There is a foam core quarter wave transmission line mp3 player/speaker for a 1-inch driver based on the TABAQ design that I just posted on the TABAQ for TL thread. It was a lot of fun and sounds really good. Thread is here: TABAQ TL for Tang Band

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Old 12th November 2012, 08:29 PM   #9
xrk971 is online now xrk971  United States
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Default Wall hanging foam core transmission line

I have started my stereo transmission line hanging picture speaker project. This was inspired by a design from: VIFAntastisch ! Der Wandlautsprecher, Projekte der Nutzer / Eigenentwicklungen - HIFI-FORUM which is for a single speaker and is made of particle board and pine strips. I decided to make it out of 20 in x 30 sheets of foam core board. The pathlength had to be reduced from 1.2 m to 1.0 m to allow me to fit two speakers side-by-side on a single foam core board. This tuning is for about 87 Hz. Now I await the Vifa TC9D speakers to arrive and finish assembly.
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Old 12th November 2012, 11:15 PM   #10
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Get real. Everyone knows cardboard beats foam core...
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