Originally Posted by Newbie01
Wood isn't inherently better than MDF...just more expensive and wood has it's own positives and negatives. Speakers sometimes blur the line between furniture and appliances or for some speakers are another musical instrument. That is why at least having real wood veneres vs. plastic wrap is sometimes desired. Some call it WAF (Wife Exceptence Factor)
As long as the MDF is thick enough and well enough braced it is fine. I don't think in this price range you would find a full wood speaker. There is something called the rap test... If you knock on a speaker and get a thud all is well..if you get a hollow sound...not so good.
Its hit or miss in the 600-1500 price range, as far as good cabinets/bad cabinets. Even if the knuckle test is hollow doesn't mean it will be a bad speaker but it definitely means to pass on that speaker, depending on its price.
Heres a picture of the Arx A5 bracing, 3 of those for one for each 5.25" woofer, with solid MDF panels making the sub enclosure for the top midrange so 5 3/4" braces with no large gaps, making knuckle test a dead thunk.
Arx A5 is right around the budget. http://www.theaudioinsider.com/product_info.php?p=arx-a5-floorstanding-loudspeaker&products_id=227&
Great sounding towers, with top notch build quality.
EMP Tek E55, HTD Level 3 towers, I would also add the Martin Logan Motion 12 from Newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882981006
and the Polk RTi A5 towers.