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Hi, been lurking for a few months sporadically and just wanna get some opinions, I did a search and nothing came up. Also wasn't sure if this should be under 'speaker but this forum seemed more appropriate.


I just started working at a dedicated A/V store (had 3 yrs experience at a general CE retailer where I basically had to teach myself everything). And Audio is my weakness, pretty good with TV's and computing.


Anyway I'm just wondering what is preferred for your speakers, wood housing or metal?


Also, the PSB system I'm looking at have metal grilles and the Cerwin Vega's have fabric.....does that make a difference?
 

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A wood cabinet is most common and preferred. MDF is used by almost every speaker company. It has no grain patterns so it's consistent for sound qualities and won't color the sound like a wood with inconsistent grain like natural woods have. Even ultra expensive speakers start with an MDF cabinet and are covered with finer wood on top of the MDF. As far as what speaker grills are made of it shouldn't make much of a difference in sound to the average person. Some will claim that they can hear the difference in sound with the grills off compared to with the grill on. I own speakers with cloth grills and I also own speakers with metal grills and I don't have a preference of one over the other. Metal grills are not all that common so most of the time you will have cloth grills.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel /forum/post/20876541


A wood cabinet is most common and preferred. MDF is used by almost every speaker company. It has no grain patterns so it's consistent for sound qualities and won't color the sound like a wood with inconsistent grain like natural woods have. Even ultra expensive speakers start with an MDF cabinet and are covered with finer wood on top of the MDF. As far as what speaker grills are made of it shouldn't make much of a difference in sound to the average person. Some will claim that they can hear the difference in sound with the grills off compared to with the grill on. I own speakers with cloth grills and I also own speakers with metal grills and I don't have a preference of one over the other. Metal grills are not all that common so most of the time you will have cloth grills.

I would agree with this with a few qualifications - some ultra expensive speakers use plywood, some use natural wood (usually really esoteric stuff); I honestly doubt it does a thing for them aside from allowing them to build whatever shape they wanted (the plywood boxes I'm thinking of are B&W's 800 series - "bending" MDF is not as easy - based on what I know of woodworking (which isn't much), I would assume that many curved wood cabinets are plywood at least in part).


There's also a bunch of plastic speakers out there - some are absolute junk, some are sold right alongside the multi-thousand dollar wood boxes. Genelec is an example.


Absolute bottom line: judge the thing as a finished/complete system, not based on a single parameter. There are some components that are made from absurdly expensive materials across the board, and end up being complete fud, and others that are made from seemingly mundane bits and are extremely well regarded.


Grilles - I haven't seen metal grilles on a home speaker. On PA cabinets and portable devices though they're fairly common (they're usually harder to kick in, among other things). Shouldn't matter unless you've got some of those ancient "cloth" grilles that have essentially a second baffle built-in (very old speakers, they usually also have velcro and are dry-rotted by this point). Even then, I haven't heard a set of speakers with such a grille that wasn't so far gone that I could give that design a fair shake either way.


Here's an incredibly theory driven article on cabinet/enclosure design:
http://www.silcom.com/~aludwig/Louds...struction.html
 
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