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Discussion Starter #1
I have read a ton on this site about building a set of front speakers (decided on the Dayton III's) and a center speaker (Cynosure from Parts Express).


What I have not been able to find anywhere is the cost of the wood involved in making these speakers.


Does anyone build these using real wood, or does everyone use MDF and veneer covers?


The DIII's require (3)- 3/4" x 2' x 4' sheets of either wood or MDF. What is the difference in cost between using wood or the MDF/veneer combo?


By not being able to find any info through searches about the use of real wood I am beginning to think there is some reason for it..??


Thanks for the help.
 

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Real wood is not ideal for speaker cabinets. You can glue up slabs by alternating grain, but you are still likely to get cracks due to expansion over time. Then you would have air leaks which would cause problems. You can do a solid front, top, etc over an MDF enclosure though. We have done this quite often. This subwoofer would be an example:




This cabinet was actually 2 layers of 3/4" mdf and then the solid wood over the top.


You can also use a void free plywood, 13 ply baltic birch being the most common. It has gone way up in price though and only comes in 5ft x 5ft sheets. I think people have told me they are paying upwards of $60 a sheet now. A 4x8 sheet of 3/4" MDF at home depot is around $20 +/- $3 depending on supply/demand issues. A 4x8 sheet of Oak veneer is around $30 from TapeEase, www.tapeease.com You can also get MDF with veneer on one side in oak, maple, and a few others, but the quality of veneer usually isn't quite as good, and it's typically easier to just veneer an enclosure when done.


John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick response... it sounds like the MDF is the way to go. I have not done a veneer finish before on anything. How difficult is it?
 

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I have a pair of DIII's that I have just replaced with some Hawthorne Audio Dipoles. I built them in April of '03 and have had them as my mains in my theater. Just took them out a couple of days ago and haven't even thought of what I might do with them. My wife is now asking me where I am going to put them. If you are interested in them I'm sure we can come to some agreement on price. That is, unless you are in this to build your own.


Harold
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I may be interested... got any pics? I am excited about doing a build, but I could still do the center channel...
 

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Yeah, I can get some pics in the next day. BTW, I'm in San Diego and shipping might prove difficult. Where are you located?


Harold
 

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I actually am just finishing a project which all of it I used solid oak. The wood only cost me $136 and I did all 5 speakers, shelves for the rear speakers, a shelf for the projector, and I still have a good sized piece left over. The time before I built them out of MDF and veneer I got from Tape Ease and I don't think it was much cheaper.


I did try and price out some oak to build shelves for an entertainment center and found with the widths I needed (22") the cost jumped up considerably since they would have to join two pieces together.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It seems as though the general concensus is that the MDF is the way to go... not only will it keep the cost down, but may help with dampening cabinet resonation.


After reading through a lot of these posts I am hearing a lot of good things about the Modula MT's.. does anyone have any opinions or knowledge about their abilities compared to the DIII's?
 

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It really dpends on what kind of finish you want. I prefer using 7-ply oak veneer which considerable lighter with less flex than MDF. A 4X8 sheet is around $50 but it stains so beautifully.

Of course, that is irreleveant if you are going paint it or use truck bed liner, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmst3 /forum/post/12945685


It really dpends on what kind of finish you want. I prefer using 7-ply oak veneer which considerable lighter with less flex than MDF. A 4X8 sheet is around $50 but it stains so beautifully.

Of course, that is irreleveant if you are going paint it or use truck bed liner, etc.

Do you have any pics of this in use?


The finish is kind of what I was excited about with using the real wood cabinets, but I also don't want to sacrifice performance to get a real wood finish. Have you built using both methods? And if so do you notice any significant differences in sound quality?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BNW /forum/post/12946166


Has anyone ever veneered a Sonotube? Been thinking about it for a finish for my pair of 30 inchers

You'd have to be pretty precise with the veneer sheet since the 8' sheet would be just longer than the circumference of that tube, but I recall some guys using the thinner paper backed veneer sheets to do that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimwhit33 /forum/post/12946472


Do you have any pics of this in use?


The finish is kind of what I was excited about with using the real wood cabinets, but I also don't want to sacrifice performance to get a real wood finish. Have you built using both methods? And if so do you notice any significant differences in sound quality?

Yep, you can check out the results in my build thread .


If your enclosure(s) are braced properly you will not notice any difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Those are both very impressive JPM... excellent work. I'll have to think this through a little.


This is going to be a dumb question...I know. But can MDF be stained and finished, or does the veneer have to be added first?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slimwhit33 /forum/post/12947237


Those are both very impressive JPM... excellent work. I'll have to think this through a little.


This is going to be a dumb question...I know. But can MDF be stained and finished, or does the veneer have to be added first?

Thanks.


Yes, you would have to add veneer to get a woodgrain look. Otherwise, the MDF would need to be painted in some way. You could also go the piano gloss black in you have patience and elbow grease a plenty.
 

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I just built the Cynosure center channel this past weekend. I made a short write-up of my experience here, it might be helpful for you:

ninjaburglar.com/blogs/DD



I haven't gotten the PDFs of the individual parts posted yet, I will try to add them tonight. Please go easy on me, it's only my second speaker project, so I'm sure I made some mistakes. However I've been doing woodworking on and off for a while now, so at least as far as the woodworking goes I might have some useful thoughts. I'm open for suggestions for improvements on my next project..


wm
 
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