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Re building speaker boxes a good idea?

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Forum topic by Tolik posted 10-29-2010 09:05 PM 1407 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tolik

8 posts in 2353 days


10-29-2010 09:05 PM

Hi everyone,

I have a chance on buying a set of high quality THX certified 7.1 speakers for a real good price. The problem? All the boxes seem to have damage. It looks as though a dog went through all of them. It just looks BAD.

My question is, is it ok to build new boxes for them of same size, just like out of cherry or something? Will it degrade the quality of the sound? Or it won’t make much difference? I really want them, but not in the condition they are in now.

Let me know what you guys think. Thanks!


10 replies so far

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

325 posts in 2386 days


#1 posted 10-29-2010 09:15 PM

Yes, it will likely degrade the sound. The best thing to use is probably MDF or EFS (Environmentally Friendly Substrate… similar to MDF , some say it’s actually better for sound and it is of course “greener”). You can also use marine grade or void free ply but that will resonate a little more than the MDF/EFS.

-- Scroll saw patterns @ http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com

View Moron's profile

Moron

5032 posts in 3359 days


#2 posted 10-29-2010 09:31 PM

MDF, as stated above makes for good sound retention, as does some of the baltic birch and even particle board.

I might consider using the existing speaker boxes, sand them down to bare finsih, repair dents etc., with two part auto body filler, sand again. Then re-veneer them. Cover/laminate with some kind of decorative plastic laminate or wood veneer or both. You could even repair as above and paint them.

Good luck.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 2449 days


#3 posted 10-29-2010 09:33 PM

You shouldn’t have very much of a variation in sound provided the proper ports and baffles are in the same position as the cabinets you are replacing. If there are no baffles or ports in the original cabinet you will want to add a port to allow pressure to release to reduce reverberation in the cabinets.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Tolik's profile

Tolik

8 posts in 2353 days


#4 posted 10-29-2010 09:36 PM

So if mdf, then maybe a veneer on top or like a 1/4” sheet of hardwood on top of mdf to make it look better than plain black mdf? Or will that ruin it too?

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Moron

5032 posts in 3359 days


#5 posted 10-29-2010 09:48 PM

I’ld use the same cabinets and re-face them. Way quicker, way less expensive and all the engineering is done. You can even buy self adhesive vynyll (tougher then a pigs nose) and it comes in white, black, grain tectured oak in black

nuff said

good luck

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Tolik's profile

Tolik

8 posts in 2353 days


#6 posted 10-29-2010 10:18 PM

Oh yah! I didn’t even think of that! Great idea. Thanks!

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

7216 posts in 2841 days


#7 posted 10-29-2010 11:24 PM

There are many levels of “high quality”, and varying opinions on those levels (regardless, your opinion is what matters here)....the bigger the name, the more mainstream the product is likely to be. My point is that what many consider high quality is more likely better “mid-fi” in the eyes of the high end crowd. In which case the original cabinets aren’t likely to be all that well made, and will likely be pressboard that’s thinner than 3/4” with a vinyl veneer. If that’s the case, you could upgrade the cabinets by rebuilding them yourself, then follow the original internal size and dimensions closely.

If the speakers are indeed more on the mid-fi level, it’s not so hard to improve the wires and capacitors in the original crossovers while you’re at it, and get a design sound improvement that still uses the orginal design. No crossover mods…just component upgrades to a couple of items. Swap out cheap electrolytic capacitors with better poly caps using identical (or very similar) capacitance values (voltage won’t matter for speakers). Places like Parts Express and Ebay have a good selection of better caps. Use at least 10-14 gauge oxygen free copper wire…Monster is the big name, but has no sonic advantage of comparably made wire of another name. If the speakers are already true high end, all that will already be done for you, in which case I’d just refinish the originals.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Tolik's profile

Tolik

8 posts in 2353 days


#8 posted 10-30-2010 08:35 PM

Knotscott, the speakers retail about $6,500 for a set of 6. For 95% of us here that would be a high end setup.

I’ll try veneering on top of them, not to screw up the sound pf them.. Thanks all for the help :)

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knotscott

7216 posts in 2841 days


#9 posted 10-31-2010 01:24 AM

That’d probably be high end for 99.9% of us! Should be the real deal then…enjoy!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1437 posts in 3024 days


#10 posted 10-31-2010 11:06 AM

I used to build speaker boxes for cars out of “fireboard”, a very high density particle board, which contains the bass without leaking. We butt joined the corners with countersunk drywall screws and carpeted over them.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

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