Alternatives Materials

Hello,

I'd like to know if any of you tired alternative materials for speaker enclosures. For my next project I was thinking about using marble or making a mold and using acrylics or even concrete (and why not sand in glue).

However, I would prefer to know about potential problems before as I'm sure it's not the same as MDF.

Thanks
 
While those exotic materials may give a solid non resonant enclosure, the tone of the speaker will be affected. I heard a pair of marble speakers using a 5.5'' seas paper cone. Sounded very cold, the decay of instruments were too quick, resulting in a less emotional listening experience.

Did you compare the exact same system using the exact same enclosure specifications using different materials in the same room? Was there any test equipment involved?
 
While those exotic materials may give a solid non resonant enclosure, the tone of the speaker will be affected. I heard a pair of marble speakers using a 5.5'' seas paper cone. Sounded very cold, the decay of instruments were too quick, resulting in a less emotional listening experience.

For some reason I can't ignore this one.

The decay would now simply be the decay of the instruments and NOT the decay of the instrument confounded with the decay of the cabinet.

Perhaps you do not like instruments simply sounding like instruments.
 
For some reason I can't ignore this one.

The decay would now simply be the decay of the instruments and NOT the decay of the instrument confounded with the decay of the cabinet.

Perhaps you do not like instruments simply sounding like instruments.

Wouldn't reducing the decay of the cabinet be a good thing ? I can't see it as a bad thing... If I want to *add* something I'll put an EQ or other filters; well that's my solution for the "emotional" side of things
 
Last edited:

ScottG

Member
2003-02-04 12:23 am
US
Here is an interesting article from a manufacturer's perspective:

6moons audio reviews: Living Voice OBX-RW

Though not about cabinet material, this is my favorite statement:

"We’ve compared virtually the same drive unit in a fancy cast magnesium basket against a stamped God-help-us steel basket with all the bad connotations and unmarketability this entails. The stampers sounded fluid and powerful with quiet backgrounds. The Magnesium versions were bleached and gray."


Note that marble enclosure example mentioned in the thread may well have had an overdamped driver. So yes, it may be a bad thing is far as reproducing accurate sound.
 
Last edited:

ScottG

Member
2003-02-04 12:23 am
US
This is a bad fix but for damping, couldn't an EQ fix this ? And is it really a bad fix ?

I don't tend to think of this in terms of "fixing"; rather applying the right baffle/enclosure for the driver in it's intended operational bandwidth.

The better "fix" is generally getting a better driver.

Still, there is no such thing as the "perfect" driver" - it's all about compromises.

We like to assume that the best enclosure for any design is the most inert, but it isn't always true. ;)


..and no, eq is not going to do it.
 
Note that marble enclosure example mentioned in the thread may well have had an overdamped driver. So yes, it may be a bad thing is far as reproducing accurate sound.[/QUOTE


If you want a white wall,any kind of color is a distortion.
If you want to hear what's in a disc,as opposed to accurate sound,you must remove all colors.
However, the colorations of a said cabinet,which is highly unlikely,might be part of the engineering of a speaker.Then again, it might be not ,and it pays to know,if it is so,and why.
No wild guessing is part of a distortionless sound system.Only knowledge of the subject and solid plain engineering
The razor thin line that separates good engineering from black magic is,well,razor thin.

And by the way what is that grey sound?


B.L
 

ScottG

Member
2003-02-04 12:23 am
US
Hello,

I'd like to know if any of you tired alternative materials for speaker enclosures. For my next project I was thinking about using marble or making a mold and using acrylics or even concrete (and why not sand in glue).

However, I would prefer to know about potential problems before as I'm sure it's not the same as MDF.

Thanks


I've done both concrete and cement casting. There are numerous problems, but nothing terribly difficult to overcome.

Generally use cement with a polymer additive (or a "ready-mix" version.. typically anything that is water proof is). The cement can be a bit more dense than concrete and there is no aggregate to worry about when you drill the holes for driver. Make sure to use the color additive you want - painting with anything other than special epoxies, and prep., latter is "no-no".

The mold or cast is usually made with mdf and a silicone skim coat OR with a poor-over liquid urethane (see Smooth-on).

This was all for baffles, NOT the entire enclosure.

You have to be careful about the driver inset and chamfering - to avoid cavity resonances near the driver.

The easier route is to go to a steel fabricator and get some 1/4" plate cut, then damp that on each flat side with MDF and a very thin complaint skim-coat between the steel plat and each MDF board.