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Old 26th March 2005, 06:42 PM   #1
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Default small MLTL is hardwood OK?

I have some free time today, so I wanted to whip up a pair of speakers. I have a tendency to leave projects in an unfinished state for a long time once they are good enough for listening. Although I have some good plywood, I'm thinking why not use some of the beautiful hardwood I have. Once I get the panels planed and smooth I'll still have at least 1" thick panels. Using GM's little MLTL design for the FE127E , the panels are small and narrow (interior dimensions are 4.58"x7.43"x22.38"). I thought I could get away with using hardwood. It's well dried and I plan to insert the pipe into routed out top and bottom caps, since I may use them upside down on top of an entertainment center or on my desktop and they'll be stable upside down or right side up. I'll call them my AC/DC pipes.

Is this a good idea for a one day start to fully finished project, or would there be some problem with hardwood on a small MLTL?

On the topic of hardwoods, I also have some very dense hardwood too. This stuff is so dense you can't drive a nail through it, it eats router bits for lunch, and sand paper has almost no effect. It's so rigid and heavy that I was thinking it might be good for building an RLH. Is hardwood a good idea for horns or should I just save it for making speaker baffles and cab tops?
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Old 26th March 2005, 07:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: small MLTL is hardwood OK?

Quote:
Originally posted by johninCR
On the topic of hardwoods, I also have some very dense hardwood too. This stuff is so dense you can't drive a nail through it, it eats router bits for lunch, and sand paper has almost no effect. It's so rigid and heavy that I was thinking it might be good for building an RLH. Is hardwood a good idea for horns or should I just save it for making speaker baffles and cab tops?
I would save this for a nice table top or similar Use plywood for your speakers - much easier to work with especially if you need to rebuild any part of them and much less likely to warp.
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Old 26th March 2005, 10:42 PM   #3
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Your call really. It rather depends on if you like it's resonant character, which until you build it would be difficult to ascertain. If you're not going to be generating huge SPLs, it might be worth a shot. It'll sound different to ply, and from MDF / HDF, which are much less resonant than either as a rule. Lots of peole swear by it -I know someone who built a big transmission line from 30mm hardwood and loved it, and Terry Cain's speakers have, shall we say, a loyal following, but some don't favour its signiture, which is fair enough. (It's comfy on this fence you know
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Old 26th March 2005, 11:35 PM   #4
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add a couple of strings in front of the driver and tune it to your liking. Thats what I think of solid wood for speakers. As far as my opinion matters.
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Old 26th March 2005, 11:44 PM   #5
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My thought process is that the thick wood in such small dimensions will be quite dead and I'm hoping the resonant frequency of the pipe is well below that of the panels and that the stuffing damps anything near the RF of the wood. From the looks of TC's designs, they appear to take advantage of resonances and the construction materials would have a huge impact. No way I'd build an Abby clone out of MDF.

I really don't think splitting or warping will be an issue due to the small sizes of the panels ensuring strong structural support. Temperature is a non-factor down here with 60-75 F year-round. I'll put some poly on the inside before sealing it up and rub some oil on the outside to fight against humidity. Plus they won't get any direct sunlight.

Ease of construction strongly favors the hardwood to me. Cut the pieces and glue the pipe. Butt joints should be much stronger than with plywood. Cut driver and port holes. Do some routing and sanding. Mount the driver which will be hard wired. Add some polyfill and glue the top and bottom caps. Rub on some Danish oil and they're totally ready with a beautiful finish. No veneering, nice rounded exposed edges, no ugly tubes in the port, and easily a 1 day job with half of it spent waiting on the glue.
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Old 26th March 2005, 11:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by audio-kraut
add a couple of strings in front of the driver and tune it to your liking. Thats what I think of solid wood for speakers. As far as my opinion matters.
I'm using a totally different type of wood than what is available to you way up there and with the small dimensions I doubt that my cabs will be singing at all, so I can forget about the strings on this pair.
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Old 27th March 2005, 07:53 AM   #7
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Several people have tried to talk you out of it, but I get the impression you are going to do it anyway. So why did you ask?
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Old 27th March 2005, 08:16 AM   #8
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contrary to opinions of some "highenders" a loudspeaker to me is not a musical instrument, but a music reproducing instrument, and as such in the same category as an amp or a cd player. Any resonances produced by this reproducer is frowned upon by me and considered an unwelcome alteration and deviation from the goal of reproducing as neutral as possible, as true to the source as possible.
So - if you consider for beauty sake to use this material that usually does not behave in a neutral manner - go ahead, but don't complain afterwards.
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Old 27th March 2005, 08:28 AM   #9
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Hmm. I can see the liking for speakers that have been designed in the same fashion as a musical instrument; they're lovely for, say, classical and jazz etc, though they won't be the most accurate or versatile. Have you seen Bosendofor's new models, with huge soundboards like one of their pianos energised by reflex ports on the sides for example? I've heard a few speakers designed like instruments, and enjoyed them with certain material, though it's not how I go about building my own cabinets. I do like to blast Iron Maiden sometimes, which doesn't suit something that's been designed like a chello too well.

On the up side, at least it's not a full-scale TQWT built from -wait for it: unfinished pine as an aquaintence of mine did a few weeks ago. Worse still, it was to the infamous So=0 Voigt design (he must be be spinning in his grave to be associated with such a rotten cabinet type).
Oh listen. Is that the sound of pine splitting when our rotten British summer kicks in?
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Old 27th March 2005, 09:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scottmoose
Have you seen Bosendofor's new models, with huge soundboards like one of their pianos energised by reflex ports on the sides for example?

I had never heard of them until I read your response, so I googled. They say it took 175 years to figure out how to use soundboards like that. There would appear to be a learning curve. I also found this on the Bösendorfer web site:

Quote:
In order to guarantee this quality standard Bösendorfer has carried out countless tests before selecting the ideal speaker Cables and having them custom-tuned to our system.
Cough.
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