Zigmahornet or Voigt Pipe as first DIY speaker? And other questions... - diyAudio
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Old 5th October 2005, 04:25 AM   #1
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Default Zigmahornet or Voigt Pipe as first DIY speaker? And other questions...

Hi All.

First time poster, long time reader.

I have decided to try my hand at making some speakers. I'm leaning towards making a pair of Zigmahornets but am also considering a Voigt Pipe as well. I want to keep the speaker thin, so a 4" driver is about right. One consideration is that these speakers will be for my living room TV/stereo and I may want to make a centre speaker eventually as well. With the pipes I figure a folded pipe would work well for a center (keep the speakers matched), but I don't see much mention here of using these speakers for home theatre. If I have good success with this project I may try and build a larger set for my dedicated home theatre. Any thoughts?

Anyone have any opinions on either speaker with a 4" driver?

I always thought MDF was the best material for a speaker enclosure, but I see lots of people using plywood with these speakers. Is there a better way to go? I want to put a nice veneer on them and think MDF would work better for that...

Any help would be appreciated!

James
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Old 5th October 2005, 07:58 AM   #2
Ropie is offline Ropie  United Kingdom
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Hi,

Don't forget to look at Cyburg's latest design for a thin, full range speaker: "Cyburgs-Stick" featuring W4-655SA I mention it because if you want to add a centre speaker at some point and keep your speakers matched, I would think it is much easier to find a bass-reflex centre design to try (I think Fostex have one on their website).

Plywood:
Pros: Heavier than MDF; Looks nicer than MDF; Easier to fit together
Cons: Expensive; blunts tools quickly; Low quality type has voids in the layers

MDF:
Pros: Cheap; Easier to apply veneer to; Acoustically deader than most materials
Cons: Harder to fit together than ply; Easily damaged around edges; Horrible dust to breathe (but plywood is not much better)
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Old 5th October 2005, 01:07 PM   #3
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I've got to seriously disagree with your analysis of MDF/plywood:

MDF is MUCH heavier than plywood. MDF produces a much "deader" cabinet than plywood. MDF is much easier to machine than plywood, although it dulls tools faster and the dust is massive and dangerous. MDF is easier to make tight joints and glues together easily with PVA glues. (I hate polyurethane glues, but I digress.) MDF is not suitable for a final finish. It can be painted, but it is best veneered.

Plywood can be the final finish if it is bought with a finish veneer. It is harder to paint than MDF. Void-free plywood is twice as expensive as MDF. Plywood cabinets tend to ring if not damped well. If not done right, the cabinet will sing, giving the speaker an overly bright sound. I must add than some folks like this sound -- more power to them, their ears are the final judge.

I make all of my speaker cabinets out of 3/4" MDF, laminated to 1/4" cement backer board -- Hardibacker by brand. I like dead cabinets.

Bob
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Old 5th October 2005, 03:05 PM   #4
Ropie is offline Ropie  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Brines
MDF is MUCH heavier than plywood
Yes, I got that the wrong way round.

Quote:
MDF is much easier to machine than plywood, although it dulls tools faster.
Not in my experience! And we don't all use machines to work with wood; I find plywood is much easier to cut well with a saw than MDF.

The thing about plywood is, being a less common product these days, its quality is incredibly variable. For best results you need to get the good stuff, though most of mine was found for free in skips outside building sites.
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Old 5th October 2005, 10:04 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, I think I'll go the MDF route. I can get HDF as well, but that would be overkill...

I ordered my drivers and expect to get them early next week. Hopefully this weekend I'll have time to build the enclosures. As long as I decide what speaker to go with!

James
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Old 13th October 2005, 08:15 PM   #6
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The drivers (FE103E) got to me on Friday, so I was able to put the speakers together last weekend.

I ended up using 3/8th MDF, since it was already cut for shelving and made transportation easy. I miss my old pickup truck and the ability to get 4' x 8' sheets of wood with impunity!

While making sawdust I played the drivers open, to help work them in. No need to comment on how they sounded that way!

At first I tried the Zigmahornets without any stuffing behind the driver to get an idea of how they will sound with and without. Since the driver were not yet worked in the bass was very lean and the mids/highs sounded shrill. Not that they sounded bad. On the contrary, they played with great detail. I played them a bit every night but ended up turning them off once I found I was getting fatigued by the sound. I was hoping that since they had less than 20 hrs of use they were still breaking in.

When I turned them on last night, they were like totally different speakers! The bass was fuller and the mids and highs clear but not harsh. I stuffed some 2" foam in behind the drivers and the sound was brought up another notch! I have to say that I love the clean clear sound these speakers make. I hate when speakers have that "in a sack" sound...

It's the small things I like about these speakers - When listening to a vocal harmany I can much easier pick out the individual voices. Same as bass and guitar. It's almost like you can hear the instrument along with the note if you catch my drift.

I like to listen to some very heavy metal as well, and that is where these speakers don't do so well, although I have yet to try that since the drivers opened up. These speakers aren't meant for huge SPLs and unfortunately bands like Opeth are...

I borrowed a SPL meter but have yet to measure their frequency response.

Overall, I love the speakers and had a good time building them. I need better tools! Tonight I start prepping them for a nice maple veneer - another first for me.

James
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Old 18th October 2010, 02:35 PM   #7
monreq is offline monreq  Philippines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semisentient View Post
The drivers (FE103E) got to me on Friday, so I was able to put the speakers together last weekend.

I ended up using 3/8th MDF, since it was already cut for shelving and made transportation easy. I miss my old pickup truck and the ability to get 4' x 8' sheets of wood with impunity!

While making sawdust I played the drivers open, to help work them in. No need to comment on how they sounded that way!

At first I tried the Zigmahornets without any stuffing behind the driver to get an idea of how they will sound with and without. Since the driver were not yet worked in the bass was very lean and the mids/highs sounded shrill. Not that they sounded bad. On the contrary, they played with great detail. I played them a bit every night but ended up turning them off once I found I was getting fatigued by the sound. I was hoping that since they had less than 20 hrs of use they were still breaking in.

When I turned them on last night, they were like totally different speakers! The bass was fuller and the mids and highs clear but not harsh. I stuffed some 2" foam in behind the drivers and the sound was brought up another notch! I have to say that I love the clean clear sound these speakers make. I hate when speakers have that "in a sack" sound...

It's the small things I like about these speakers - When listening to a vocal harmany I can much easier pick out the individual voices. Same as bass and guitar. It's almost like you can hear the instrument along with the note if you catch my drift.

I like to listen to some very heavy metal as well, and that is where these speakers don't do so well, although I have yet to try that since the drivers opened up. These speakers aren't meant for huge SPLs and unfortunately bands like Opeth are...

I borrowed a SPL meter but have yet to measure their frequency response.

Overall, I love the speakers and had a good time building them. I need better tools! Tonight I start prepping them for a nice maple veneer - another first for me.

James
I agree. I made my Zigmahornet using Bose Companion 2 speaker driver and still the sound stage is very good. My first project was AN Super 8 in 5.6 narrow MK2 cabinet style. Btw, I like Zigmahornet over Voigt Pipe with regards to sound stage and budget.
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