MDF vs. particleboard - diyAudio
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Old 9th May 2006, 03:57 PM   #1
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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Default MDF vs. particleboard

I'm engaged in a "discussion" with a rather hardheaded individual about particleboard vs. MDF for subwoofer enclosures. He stresses there are no fundamental drawbacks to using particleboard, other than the fact that it looks like *** and is difficult to finish.

I disagree, but I need some concrete numbers or facts to back the claim up...or just any applicable evidence.

Thank you in advance!
The machine does not isolate us from the great problems of nature but plunges us more deeply into them. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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Old 9th May 2006, 08:25 PM   #2
Netlist is offline Netlist  Belgium
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To add to the confusion: I think multiplex is the best.
I've been told by experienced speaker builders here on the forum not to use MDF for subwoofers, certainly not in a pro environment.

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Old 9th May 2006, 08:43 PM   #3
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Whichever suits the DIY'ers sonic taste and budget is best

That and have you tried a router on particleboard?
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Old 9th May 2006, 08:59 PM   #4
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Particle or K3 board is cheapest but weakest. Doesn't hold a screw forever and doesn't like moisture. Used it for years before MDF came along.

MDF is good sonically but doesn't like moisture and is only medium tough. Used it some.

Plywood is toughest but not as dense as MDF. Use nothing else now. IMHO easiest to work with.

I'm not sure you're going to find a concensus on this . Like Gregg says, it's up to the DIY budget.
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Old 10th May 2006, 10:21 AM   #5
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if correctly damped and braced, i don't think that particleboard is so much worse than MDF, only screw are never sufficient with particle

also i prefer to work with particle board, i really hate this MDF dust, it don't even smell wood

so for me : if you are poor : particle board
if you are rich : Plywood

i built a sealed sub out of particleboard with a SLS 12, and it is totally inert
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Old 10th May 2006, 11:02 AM   #6
westend is offline westend  United States
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Engineering specs. for appleply and plywood: Engineering specs . for chipboard: (page 5) What should be of primary concern would be the Modulus Of Elasticity. This will reflect how the materials bend and would effect cabinet construction. There is little question as to density. Lift a panel . If this is about the thread on SIN, yeah , the builder of those cheap boxes is way out of line.
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Old 10th May 2006, 11:08 AM   #7
DorinD is offline DorinD  Romania
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What about OSB? I was using and keep using that and I think is better even than plywood in some circumstances, like subs.
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Old 10th May 2006, 11:40 AM   #8
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I quite like chipboard for horns...
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Old 10th May 2006, 11:47 AM   #9
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Look at the following waterfallplots:



As you can see there is not much difference between both materials.

For people interested in the test conditions, more measurements, incluiding birch ply, meranti ply and sandwichstructures (it's in Dutch however):

With kind regards Johan

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Old 10th May 2006, 12:36 PM   #10
tade is offline tade  United States
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nemophyle: Hahahahahahaha. I love that. Perfectly quoteable.
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