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Old 8th October 2012, 07:14 PM   #1
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Default Solid wood suggestions for cabs.

Im looking for solid wood, or at least finger jointed wood, for my new speakers. Having read the BBC papers in the past, Ive used birch ply in my last project. Im trying to get away from the traditional sheet materials (ive got a small 2 way using granite also in the pipeline). So far ive arrived at 2 choices, birch and beech. Does anyone have any better suggestions?
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Old 8th October 2012, 07:24 PM   #2
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I would stay away from solid wood as speaker cabs should be fairly dead, leave that to luthiers.

As for block glued the cheapest way would probably be Ikea work tops.
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Old 8th October 2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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haha thanks Charles, I am from the same 'school' believe me. Kitchen block was my initial thought, probably in the 38 or 40mm thickness, so i dont think the 8 litre cabs will be too 'live'. However there remains the option to glue 40mm square timber myself in a lego like fashion. Alot of mitre block work though.
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Old 8th October 2012, 07:59 PM   #4
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Try walnut, maple, sapele mahogany.. You could of course laminate your own, lego fashion or in sheets.
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Old 9th October 2012, 03:02 AM   #5
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The problem with solid wood has got nothing to do with 'sound' or 'timbre' or 'deadness' but with movement. It doesn't matter if you finger joint it, dovetail it, sliding dovetail it, biscuit it .... it still moves. That's why in a furniture carcass, with wide sides, any internal partitions, dividers, drawer supports etc. are designed to slide (sliding dovetail, fastened at the front, floating at rear etc.). Wood moves across the grain, not with. You might get away with all solid sides, top, and bottom, given that all grain is oriented the same way (ie up the sides), but then your front & rear baffles will be trying to expand while your top and bottom baffles won't - stress and conflict.
These are the simple reasons why plywood was such a huge innovation: the multiple, opposing direction layers, bonded under pressure, don't move.
Don't take my word for it, check any good furniture construction book - check Taunton Press.
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Old 9th October 2012, 04:31 AM   #6
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this is true, but less so if i use wood for only the sides and top and bottom.
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Old 9th October 2012, 05:05 AM   #7
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I know that my view isn't a popular one, and my reasoning isn't in line with most people's, but here's another point of view:

I used to build cabinets out of MDF & ply years ago, but I switched to solid wood for the sheer enjoyment of working with solid wood.
So far I've detected no wood movement in the speakers I built five years ago and use at home. I expect there may be some movement in five to ten years time, and if that's the case I'll build another set of cabinets and enjoy working with solid wood again.

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Old 9th October 2012, 06:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ Wykes View Post
I used to build cabinets out of MDF & ply years ago, but I switched to solid wood for the sheer enjoyment of working with solid wood.
There are quite a few companies that make cabinets out of solid wood. Daedalus Audio's Lou Hinkley for example loves to use solid wood. In the old days (early 70s) in India many local cabinet makers used soild wood. My dad used to have speakers that had cabients made of solid teak and mahagony. I remember them sounding lovely.
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Old 9th October 2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prairieboy View Post
The problem with solid wood has got nothing to do with 'sound' or 'timbre' or 'deadness' but with movement. It doesn't matter if you finger joint it, dovetail it, sliding dovetail it, biscuit it .... it still moves. That's why in a furniture carcass, with wide sides, any internal partitions, dividers, drawer supports etc. are designed to slide (sliding dovetail, fastened at the front, floating at rear etc.). Wood moves across the grain, not with. You might get away with all solid sides, top, and bottom, given that all grain is oriented the same way (ie up the sides), but then your front & rear baffles will be trying to expand while your top and bottom baffles won't - stress and conflict.
I quite agree. But, if you have smallish panels, (no more than, say, 250mm across the grain), and use well seasoned wood in a stable climate, then you can get away with it.
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Old 9th October 2012, 08:35 AM   #10
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I made these speakers for a pair of Mark Audio Alpair 7.3's

They are 'solid engineered' Walnut.

Click the image to open in full size.

They are infact made from engineered floorboards...it comes as 5mm thick solid wood, bonded to 12mm plywood. I then glued this to 6mm mdf to ensure it had a solid base to work from, and power sanded the top finish off making them perfectly flat.

I bought these off-cuts for 20, and have a speaker that has the external walls made of solid wood, a plywood central core and the deadening inside of mdf.

I think for me it is the perfect speaker building material....so far
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