Originally Posted by rlowe
Your design seems to have the same properties of an enclosure so I was wondering how you were approaching that from a sound quality perspective.
I read your entire thread and looks like you have a good discussion going on over there.
My design has changed a bit since I started. In the beginning, I was planning to build a front entertainment center and put the speaker inside. One thing I made sure was that my front speakers were front ported (Paradigm Studio 20s in my case). I believe the B&Ws 602s are front ported too - so that's good news.
Secondly, bpape wanted me to build baffles around the speakers. Basically, it's a hole in the column that is cut to the exact size of the speaker face with weather stripping around it to be sure it's a tight seal. This makes sure that the area on the sides and behind the speakers do not become more speaker box and change the properties of the speaker - basically increasing the size of speaker box (which is a bad thing). So, in a sense (at least based on my limited knowledge), as long as the speaker is front ported (or sealed) and you build a baffle around it, you can get away with putting it inside a sealed cabinet with some insulation inside to help absorb anything that escapes back there. Is it the best for audio, no - but it can work.
Now, with that said, I've now turned my room 180deg. This allows me to build my front entertainment in front of a 2' deep false wall area. My columns on each side of the screen are only 10 deep and are 100% open to the 2' area behind them -- allowing my speakers to breathe. With this design, rear ported speakers are an okay option. However, bpape still requested me to build the baffle around the speaker opening because, even though the back is open, that 10 deep column space can still affect the speakers performance for the same reasons I listed above.
With that said, the best option is to have the speaker x inches from the rear wall and totally exposed on the outside. WAF dictated that this was NOT an option for me (and you too) - which is the reason I'm hiding mine as much as I can. In her defense, it does create a very clean look - which is what were after.
Maybe bpape/Bryan will ring in with some more "professional" comments on this subject