Jeep Enthusiast Forums banner
181 - 186 of 186 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,493 Posts
I sent these box drawings to my friend.
He Is a cabinet maker.
He said he could build it on his lunch hour out of scrap wood free.
I mentioned 5/8s mdf.
He wants to use 1/2" dense hard wood.
Like mahogany or black walnut.
It will b lined and poly filled.

Do you think hard wood would work ok?
I listen to old jam band rock.
Bass is more filler to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
I sent these box drawings to my friend.
He Is a cabinet maker.
He said he could build it on his lunch hour out of scrap wood free.
I mentioned 5/8s mdf.
He wants to use 1/2" dense hard wood.
Like mahogany or black walnut.
It will b lined and poly filled.

Do you think hard wood would work ok?
I listen to old jam band rock.
Bass is more filler to me.
Don't do it. MDF and plywood are used for a reason. You will have a tough time keeping a hardwood box permanently sealed at every, single seam, 100% because real wood moves over time. MDF is about as stable as it gets. Also, wood resonates, which is wonderful for a violin but horrible for a speaker box.

Read this. It does a good job of explaining why solid woods are a poor choice for speaker boxes.

http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Speaker_Box_Material__Solid_Wood_or_MDF.html

I use a mixture of 1/2" thick Baltic birch plywood (almost as spendy as some good hardwoods) and 3/4" MDF on my TJ boxes. They work great. I made one of these out of hickory and it came apart after about six months. It also never sounded as good as the MDF/BB mix I am now using on this design. (I also actually dumped that design and did one of my own that is about 3.1cf airspace after the speaker has been installed. With some polyfill I can get the box to function as though it has at least .4cf of space with the speaker installed. (I have not yet tried a 10" with a need for .5cf airspace. I have not been asked to, and I don't want to drop the money simply to find out. But the amount of power contained within this small box and the fact that you can only THIN it out to gain space tells me that I have probably reached a tipping point with the internal airspace versus the thinness of the walls. Any more power and I will *have* to use 3/4" material all around, and that would then reduce the airspace back to where I am now at about 3.1cf)

If you use neutral, stable stuff that will not curve and warp on you and very slightly widen or lengthen just enough to allow a seam to blow open on you, such as MDF or Baltic birch (note: not "birch plywood" from a big box store, but actual Baltic birch that you will have to shop for and spend money on) and you keep your subwoofer to a modest 8" you can make a very solid, sealed box out of 3/4" sides and 1/2" for everything else. It will never be an acoustic hairdryer like the kiddies prefer, but neither of use listen to that sort of music, anyway, right? Heh, heh...

Just keep in mind that a box has to be made using very specific methods, none of which are difficult or magical, but they *must* be used or the mechanical function of the box will not work and all you will have is a box with a speaker in it. A subwoofer enclosure is a mechanical device that works with the speaker acoustically, making it much louder (read: audible) and this is needed since the frequency range is at one of the extremes of our natural hearing range. Any box will enhance your speaker, but doing it carefully using techniques that have proven to be effective will really make your speaker into something decent enough to hear with the top down while moving. Just building a box and slapping a speaker in it will get you a decent sound (in some cases) but you will not hear or feel much while you are actually driving the jeep.

As I mentioned before, hardwoods resonate, which creates muddiness in a subwoofer. You really only want the cone of the speaker to vibrate. The air inside a sealed box acts as a spring, magnifying the power output, sort of. If the box has ANY leaks or if your material vibrates you lose the energy in the speaker. A stable, perfectly sealed box will transfer most of the energy in your speaker's movement into sound waves.

Finally, the cheap plywood found at HD or Lowes is filled with voids. (Simply look at a sheet from any side and you will see this.) It is absolute crap for this type of stuff. If you have to use it then by all means, go ahead, but, depending on the amount of void space in your box's panels you will lose a lot of the rigidity needed by such a device. The expense of Baltic birch is due to the very fine plies with little to no patching, and NO filling the voids with glue, only with matching, wood patches, and the piles are thinner, so there are more of them. The wood is VERY ridged and dense.

Now, after all that nonsense I just wrote, if your friend uses proven methods to seal the box inside and out and your speaker works with the available airspace in the box you will be pleased with the outcome. It is just that hardwoods are not used for specific, mechanical reasons, so you will be somewhat less pleased, and it may not function correctly over time, even if built by a master cabinet man. Speaker boxes are sort of an art, even though some pretty bad artists are making money at it. The problem for us is the extremely weird shape of the box we need to fill that armrest space.

Good luck, man!
 
181 - 186 of 186 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top