Hiding speakers in cabinets - perforated metal?

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Forum topic by BethMartin posted 05-03-2009 04:44 AM 7258 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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111 posts in 3579 days

05-03-2009 04:44 AM

I’m working on my built-ins, and pretty soon I’ll have to figure out what to cover up the speakers with. I’ve got a space in the shelving to accomodate a speaker, and I want to cover it up. What I was thinking would be cool is some sort of decorative perforated metal. I don’t really know where to get that, though. I know that I can find speaker cloth online, but I think I might like how a metal looks better, unless there’s some reason that the metal messes with the speaker somehow.

I’m also wanting to use a decorative metal screen later on when I make our desks, because I want to make the whole computer cabinet side a removable screen so that the computer can breathe well, but it needs to be sturdy enough if it gets kicked. So if I can get something like that for both applications, that would be great. But where does one find this stuff if you are not a builder?

Any insights appreciated! :)

-- Beth

14 replies so far

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3660 days

#1 posted 05-03-2009 04:56 AM

There are sometimes issues with using metal in front of speakers… If the metal is to thin, then it will vibrate and give your sound a “tinny” sound. Some companies sell metal grills for speakers, but they are fairly thick and are usually coated with a rubberized material to prevent them from vibrating.

You could use something like
But, it may vibrate at loud volumes.

-- San Diego, CA

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 3562 days

#2 posted 05-03-2009 05:00 AM

as long as the metal is tight it will work.. you may lose some base.. you could get thin stock and cut your pattern by hand.. the last project i needed a metal element for, i bought a brass kick plate, that screw to the bottom of exterior doors from lows..

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View BethMartin's profile


111 posts in 3579 days

#3 posted 05-03-2009 05:14 AM

interpim – that’s a good link, they have a lot of decorative patterns. I’ll have to ask them if they would sell retail and how much it would be.

johnpoolesc – that’s pretty ambitious to cut it yourself! I am not that ambitious! lol!

I was thinking of a thinner metal, but bend it around a supporting frame that would simply set into the face of the cabinet and just pop in/out. I suppose I could just try it and if it affects the sound it wouldn’t be too much trouble to replace the metal with cloth.


-- Beth

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3778 days

#4 posted 05-03-2009 05:16 AM

Many speakers have fabric in front of them

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18390 posts in 3877 days

#5 posted 05-03-2009 05:17 AM

You could try a wood lattice??

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View BethMartin's profile


111 posts in 3579 days

#6 posted 05-03-2009 05:30 AM

A wood lattice is an interesting option too. I’ll have to think on that…

-- Beth

View BethMartin's profile


111 posts in 3579 days

#7 posted 05-03-2009 05:35 AM

bentlyj~ oooh…that’s an interesting link too. This page has got some of what I’m looking for on it. That whole catalog looks interesting to peruse!

-- Beth

View lew's profile


12430 posts in 3957 days

#8 posted 05-03-2009 06:05 AM

Here’s another place:

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View BethMartin's profile


111 posts in 3579 days

#9 posted 05-03-2009 06:14 PM

Thanks, Lew!

-- Beth

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2832 posts in 3639 days

#10 posted 05-03-2009 07:34 PM

I’m assuming your speakers are already in a speaker enclosure? The enclosure is important for the sound. The air entrance hole needs to be a certain size according to the size and type of speakers, etc. The grill is only important in that it can’t add to the sound.

I was just thinking. If they aren’t too large wouldn’t it be nice to make a nice decorative lacy looking one with a scroll or coping saw. Now that would be impressive.. hmm…

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3850 days

#11 posted 05-03-2009 08:15 PM

use Fabric front to let the sound pass through with least amount of loss… don’t use metal, not very audio/sound friendly.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3683 days

#12 posted 05-04-2009 03:57 PM

People have been using metal speaker grills in cars for years with little or no affect to the sound. I say find the grill you like and use it. If it does change the sound you can always send it back.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3727 days

#13 posted 05-04-2009 07:08 PM

Yes, you use metal over speakers in a car, but it’s a metal mesh, not solid metal or wood with a few holes cut into it. Anything put in front of the speakers will affect the sound somewhat. If you just want to hear sound out of it, put whatever you want in front of it. If you want quality sound then I ‘d suggest using mesh. You can get it in just about any color to fit any project.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2658 posts in 3728 days

#14 posted 05-04-2009 08:41 PM

Just a thought… If the speakers are mounted high then possibly use wood louvers. If they are solidly mounted then a down direction would be in order, if they can be adjusted then they can be closed when not in use and opened for the best sound. ...just a thought.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

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