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post #1 of 22 Old 02-22-2014, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Speaker Cabinet Build

I'm looking to build cabinets for my front speakers. The the speaker size is H: 39.25, W: 8.25, D: 13, I'm in the real beginning of this and will probably be a few months out before I get started. But I thought I should have a game plan.

Here is what I'd like to try to build:
http://www.theaterseatstore.com/larg...tegory=1130957

When building cabinets, what kind of wood to use? If i were going to use oak, do i use oak plywood or do they make solid wood boards?
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-22-2014, 11:00 PM
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So you are just building fronts, not cabinets? Cabinet cavities are what make or break the quality of the system. Are you building crossover networks? I built a set modeled after Rectilinear III's, they were sweet. This was about 40 years ago. There was a store in Glen Burnie, Maryland; might have been called Layette Radio or Electronics that sold most of what I needed as far as speakers and crossover components. They even had grill cloth. I built them out of oak plywood for the most part. I have a book around here somewhere on speaker building. If I can find it I will send it to you free of charge.

Paul



A quick search on the web just brought up plenty of info about speaker building. Here a link to a place that has most everything even crossovers. You won't have to do the calculations there already made.
http://www.parts-express.com/cat/hi-...es-tweeters/13

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Last edited by madmantrapper; 02-22-2014 at 11:06 PM. Reason: added info about web
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-22-2014, 11:11 PM
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Man that website is awesome, it gives every detail about the speakers, cavity volume and all. Makes building them easy.

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post #4 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 08:10 AM
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Madman, the guys over on this site should prove to be very helpful also. Check them out at the link below.
http://www.avsforum.com/f/155/diy-speakers-and-subs
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry, maybe I didn't provide enough info. I want to build columns/cabinets that will hold my speakers for the left and right fronts. The column/cabinet will be about 7.5 feet tall. I would like to have the cabinet be in two pieces. The bottom piece will be where the speaker will sit on. The top piece will cover the speaker. The top piece will have a door or a grill with acoustical fabric so the sound can pass through. Then between the columns will be a projector screen.
I already have the speakers. They are Infinity P363. I want to be able to put the whole speaker in the cabinet so you won't be able to see any speakers.
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jburchill View Post
I'm looking to build cabinets for my front speakers. The the speaker size is H: 39.25, W: 8.25, D: 13, I'm in the real beginning of this and will probably be a few months out before I get started. But I thought I should have a game plan.

Here is what I'd like to try to build:
http://www.theaterseatstore.com/larg...tegory=1130957

When building cabinets, what kind of wood to use? If i were going to use oak, do i use oak plywood or do they make solid wood boards?
What you linked to is only trim pieces intended to hide the actual cabinets behind them. Web site says stained "hardwood", which is probably Poplar (tulip wood). Since it's only a pretty face in front of the speaker cabinet, you could use whatever you want.

The speaker enclosure itself has a huge effect on the sound. The speakers should be in a box with whatever volume the manufacturer recommends. Typically we use MDF for that instead of wood, since it's dense and not prone to adding resonances to the sound.

"do they make solid wood boards?" .. um, yes. They come from trees.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #7 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 10:02 AM
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Wow! The guy is not building speakers. He is building a column that will have a door that will house his store bought speakers.
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post #8 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 11:34 AM
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I知 no speaker cabinet builder and certainly no sound engineer. With that being said I still suggest that you post and or read some threads over on the site I linked before. There are people over there that build their own speaker cabinets and mount them in-wall. I have read that the sound quality will suffer if the sound waves bounce around inside your cabinet after it leaves the front baffle of the speaker cabinet. If you make your opening the size of your speaker and let it set flush and use the speaker痴 own grill the sound quality would probably be better. Do go and check out the HT rooms some of those guys are building over on that site I think it will help.
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post #9 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 12:26 PM
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resonance ?

I have a little experience building some ported bass reflex cabinets years ago using 3/4 particle board faced with HPL. But, I know nothing about resonance frequencies, except that the speaker has one and the cabinet has another, maybe not the same frequency?
I would be concerned that at a certain low frequency, a cabinet that is just placed inside another cabinet will resonate...... I donno? That would not be good.

The choices seem to be either a rigid mount or a floating or suspended mounting system. Both may have an advantage.
Mass is a good thing, so a rigid mount may work better. Floating will isolate them from one another, possibly also a good thing.... more research may be needed?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 12:38 PM
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Getting back to the OP's question, from what I saw on your link YES I think those are very doable. Not overly difficult IF you have some woodworking experience and access to the right tools. The carcass for the columns can be done in 3/4 plywood. The trim would be in hardwood. The bottom columns are nothing more than rectangular boxes. The top is a long, narrow cabinet with a face frame door. It's then all trimmed out to make it look purdy. It looks like you could utilize off the shelf molding for much of the trim work. I don't see why you can't build this. Especially if your intent is to place your existing Infinities into this column rather than remove the speakers from the factory carcasses. You mentioned Oak, is that the finish you're going for?
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post #11 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maylar View Post
What you linked to is only trim pieces intended to hide the actual cabinets behind them. Web site says stained "hardwood", which is probably Poplar (tulip wood). Since it's only a pretty face in front of the speaker cabinet, you could use whatever you want.

The speaker enclosure itself has a huge effect on the sound. The speakers should be in a box with whatever volume the manufacturer recommends. Typically we use MDF for that instead of wood, since it's dense and not prone to adding resonances to the sound.

"do they make solid wood boards?" .. um, yes. They come from trees.

Thanks for the reply...

If the sound does resonate in the enclosure I'd try to add some acoustice material to dampen the sound.

I should of added to what I meant to about wood boards. Do they make them 15 inches wide? Never seen them that wide. Sorry total newbie to building any cabinets.
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post #12 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Getting back to the OP's question, from what I saw on your link YES I think those are very doable. Not overly difficult IF you have some woodworking experience and access to the right tools. The carcass for the columns can be done in 3/4 plywood. The trim would be in hardwood. The bottom columns are nothing more than rectangular boxes. The top is a long, narrow cabinet with a face frame door. It's then all trimmed out to make it look purdy. It looks like you could utilize off the shelf molding for much of the trim work. I don't see why you can't build this. Especially if your intent is to place your existing Infinities into this column rather than remove the speakers from the factory carcasses. You mentioned Oak, is that the finish you're going for?
Either Oak or Cherry finish...
So to build these, its pretty much using 3/4 inch oak/cherry plywood for the main box? then find trim to make the details of it?
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post #13 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 02:25 PM
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If you are handy at all this project should not be that hard. Speaker cloth like what is shown in the link will work just fine for allowing sound through as well as allowing front firing port to "breath". I aspire to be an audiophile, the only thing keeping me from it is $$$$$. 2 kids in college and another one starting in 2 years. I do have many friends that are appropriately called audiophiles and a few of them have similar installs to the one you would like to do with no problems whatsoever. One of then even has a custom subwoofer that is mounted in the attic and hidden behind an hvac return air grill. It is built isobaric magnet to magnet I think inverse polarity canceling the vibration in the cabinet. I currently have a set of paradigm studio 20's in my entertainment center.




I have been thinking of building a set of spendor A-9 clones. This thread may rekindle the fire.

If you go for the build feel free to ask questions here. You will find many people including myself that will help.
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post #14 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ttharp
If you are handy at all this project should not be that hard. Speaker cloth like what is shown in the link will work just fine for allowing sound through as well as allowing front firing port to "breath". I aspire to be an audiophile, the only thing keeping me from it is $$$$$. 2 kids in college and another one starting in 2 years. I do have many friends that are appropriately called audiophiles and a few of them have similar installs to the one you would like to do with no problems whatsoever. One of then even has a custom subwoofer that is mounted in the attic and hidden behind an hvac return air grill. It is built isobaric magnet to magnet I think inverse polarity canceling the vibration in the cabinet. I currently have a set of paradigm studio 20's in my entertainment center. I have been thinking of building a set of spendor A-9 clones. This thread may rekindle the fire. If you go for the build feel free to ask questions here. You will find many people including myself that will help.

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post #15 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jburchill
Either Oak or Cherry finish... So to build these, its pretty much using 3/4 inch oak/cherry plywood for the main box? then find trim to make the details of it?
Exactly.


I think I would possibly not build a door, but recess that section to take the frame and speaker cloth so that it would be flush with the face of the column and hold it on with rare earth magnets.
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post #16 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 03:03 PM
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Exactly.


I think I would possibly not build a door, but recess that section to take the frame and speaker cloth so that it would be flush with the face of the column and hold it on with rare earth magnets.
There ya go, that's a good idea too! After all, how often are you going to open the front once the speakers are set in there.

Take a look at Tharps' entertainment center above paying attention to the top and bottom. See how the top flares out? That's done by using crown molding which can be bought at your local big box store. Now cutting it to fit is the fun part. A miter saw will be high on your list of tools to get if you don't already have one. To duplicate the look of the column in your link you would use this molding at the top and midway where the solid column transitions to the box holding the speaker. The bottom can be done with case molding, again readily available.

Decide what you want to do. Let us know what tools and skill set you bring to the table, and ask questions. Oh, and take pictures as you go along. That's the one thing I always seem to forget to do myself. It sure makes helping a lot easier.
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post #17 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 09:20 PM
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I am a long time audiophile and have some experience in the wood shop. I would suggest a couple of things. First and foremost, if you are going to invest the time and money to build the cabinet for your speakers, make sure that the speakers are going to be a long term use item and are of the quality you want. Amps, pre-amps etc and their specs are very important, but the sound ultimately emanates from the speaker and each speaker is different. Infinity is a solid brand of speaker, but I am not familiar with the specific speaker you own. Make sure your cabinet can house both the speaker you own now and the speaker you may upgrade to later. You also want to avoid making the fit too tight, speakers vibrate and you don't want have them wedged against the sides of the cabinet, this will produce distortion to the sound.
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post #18 of 22 Old 02-23-2014, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdS
Make sure your cabinet can house both the speaker you own now and the speaker you may upgrade to later. You also want to avoid making the fit too tight, speakers vibrate and you don't want have them wedged against the sides of the cabinet, this will produce distortion to the sound.
This is great advice. I would oversize the cabinet and make the shelves adjustable so you can get the speakers positioned for your primary listening position.

I built my shop tall enough to put a second story over the kitchen with hopes of one day building a room specifically for 2 channel audio listening.

EdS make us drool. What is your current set up?
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post #19 of 22 Old 02-24-2014, 11:40 AM
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Just a little background.I owned a custom cabinet and furniture shop for 14 years and after that got into building custom guitar and audio amps including enclosures.For audio I would use a MDF enclosure.You want the rigidity and solid mass.There are tons of information on the net as far as porting and baffles so I won't get into that here.As far as woodworking and something appealing like the link showed,I would build out of the species of your choice but make room for a mdf enclosure to fit inside containing the speakers and crossovers.There is much info on the net for the golden rule as far as the size for what you intend to use.It is a true science and can get very extreme and opinionated.Grill cloth comes in many different style and colors and can be matched with any d馗or.The link above to Parts Express is a good one,You can also look at tubesandmore.com for other options on cloth.
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post #20 of 22 Old 02-24-2014, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jburchill View Post
Thanks for the reply...

If the sound does resonate in the enclosure I'd try to add some acoustice material to dampen the sound.

I should of added to what I meant to about wood boards. Do they make them 15 inches wide? Never seen them that wide. Sorry total newbie to building any cabinets.
Standard width for hardwoods is 6 inches, which is actually 5 1/2 or so after the edges are trimmed. After that you pay a premium for anything wider. You'll see terms like "8 and wider" referring to boards that are 8 + inches wide and "10 and wider" etc, but the price goes ~way~ up when you get to wide boards and they're really hard to find. Oak is one of the species that grows big trees, so wide boards are not impossible to get. But for the price of them, we generally take the standard 6" width stock and glue them together.

It would make sense to use plywood for large flat surfaces and trim with real wood where it matters. As has been said already, MDF is usually chosen for the speaker cabinet part because of it's mass. There is a move recently however to use cabinet grade birch plywood (the 13 ply stuff) for car audio sub enclosures, and people say they can't tell the difference to MDF. Not sure if that would apply to a full range system.

One other note - my friend has some Infinity home speakers that are in HDF (high density fiberboard) enclosures, with veneered exterior. It's all about eliminating the resonances.

Dave in CT, USA
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