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Old 29th October 2012, 11:28 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default cabinet surface

Most speaker cabinets are veneered and/or painted. Some have aluminum, carbon fiber, stone or concrete. All of these are hard surfaces. But almost none of the speakers I have seen or read about have soft surface coverings. I can only think of leather (Sonus Faber) or furniture grade linoleum (Lindemann). Other materials I can think of would be wool felt or microfiber fabric.
These softer materials should have some damping effect (a lot of discussion is concerned with damping inside the box) and may have also some effect on dispersion and edge diffraction.
Has anyone investigated these materials and their effect (even made some measurements)?
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Old 30th October 2012, 12:26 AM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: in half space
I agree it seems no concern has been given to a final layer of damping. Not that I think internal methods should be ignored, but once you've done your best inside, any remaining losses might be absorbed by something on the outside, yet hard surfaces seem to be the order of the day, while whining about WAF.

Granted, while maybe not apropos for your "man cave", I've upholstered a few speakers with foam and restaurant grade Jacquard fabric. On one I used corner moldings to cover the edges, on another I rolled the upholstery around the edge (ever seen a Kustom guitar amplifier?) and I suspect it had a similar effect on diffraction to the felt being discussed in another thread.

I haven't figured out how to measure any differences, the contact mic I use for bare wood cabs doesn't seem to work. Or maybe it does, and the foam completely absorbs everything. I need a cabinet sized hole in the wall, so I can measure things with a regular mic to be sure.

At any rate, I think the cabs look nice, and they fit in with my Colonial decor better than plain wood cabs which always seem to want to be nestled in amongst some Danish Modern.
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Old 30th October 2012, 08:57 AM   #3
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Md
A bit of discussion about felt in the "what's with sharp edge" thread. Lots of ideas for DIY; none very commercial. They build what people expect. People expect very normal things where DIY has more freedom. Keri is dead on with blending improved sound with the decor. A comments about WAF aside.

On measurement, I would expect playing with the gate time of MLS to see differences in short term diffraction and any changes in long term reflections.

Years ago I used a phono cartridge to measure panel resonances.
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