DIY cabinet vs. PE cabinet

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Ryan Leemhuis, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    I like the look of the finished Parts express cabinets as they come with real vineer and bracing. Just wondering what I could do to adjust the volume to be a bit more on target for what I want? lets say my speakers come out to a box size of .88 cu ft or something(just throwing out a number) what can I do to make that the volume of the 1 cu ft. boxes? I would also like to know how expensive making your own cabinets is, where you can get real vineer and if they ever end up looking as good as these
     
  2. Jason Dalton

    Jason Dalton Stunt Coordinator

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    I would just design the speaker for the size box you have. Doesn't make sense to waste the volume. But if you REALLY want to adjust the volume you could just glue a hunk of wood inside the cabinet.

    Cabinets aren't difficult to build, making them look nice is a little more difficult. It takes a bit of experience to get a professional fit and finish.

    I haven't seen the PE boxes but I've heard the finish is excellent. It's not likely that a novice would be able to recreate that on the first try.

    If you did want to try to finish the box in a veneer, you could look places like:

    http://www.tapeease.com/products.htm
    http://www.oakwoodveneer.com/index.html
    http://www.constantines.com/
    http://www.wood-veneers.com/veneers.htm
    http://www.rockler.com/CategoryView.cfm?Cat_ID=1459

    among others.
     
  3. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    So your saying pick drivers for the appropriate volume? Instead of a volume to fit the driver?

    Heres an interesting question:

    If I got a .75 Cu Ft. Box and I put in 1 6" speaker ideally for .66 cu ft. Would this be about right because I would think you would have to subtract the area the drivers take up and subtract the port size no?

    Man, I just keep finding more questions. Does morel not post frequency response charts of their tweeters? I can't seem to find any. I am looking at the MDT 22 as it has a nice low resonance and would be nice to crossover with a Hi Vi M6a. Anybody have any opinions on this and how it compares to the Seas 27TDFC/TV?
     
  4. Jason Dalton

    Jason Dalton Stunt Coordinator

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    Did you check Morel's website? I know I've seen FR response plots from there before.

    What do you mean by "a speaker that is ideally for .66 cu.ft."? Are you talking about getting a Q of .7? Chances are putting it in a .75 cu.ft. box isn't going to make much of a difference.
     
  5. Ryan Leemhuis

    Ryan Leemhuis Second Unit

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    what I mean is I am looking through the PE catalog and it gives "vented volume" for each driver. One of the drivers I am looking at is .75 the other is 1.9. Does this mean they won't work well in any other size? I looked at Morels website and could not find any FR graphs for the tweeters...maybe I just didn't look hard enough.

    Can someone tell me the difference please between the Hi-Vi M8N and M8A? From what I can see the M8N looks better or the same in almost every aspect yet costs $10 less.
     
  6. Jason Dalton

    Jason Dalton Stunt Coordinator

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    When it lists a volume for a certain speaker, that is just a general guideline. Its not necessarily the optimum volume for that speaker. The optimum volume is dependent on many variables. One of which may be the designers (i.e. you) size restrictions. To find out what volume will work best for you you can use modeling programs and/or test enclosures.
     
  7. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    A 4' X 8' sheet of 3/4" MDF will run around $20 at Home Depot. They also sell rolls of red oak veneer for around $18 IIRC.

    So, when it comes to building a speaker, usually the enclosure is the least expensive part. But, like Jason said, getting it to look good can take a little practice.

    I finished my first set of speakers in oak veneer and... well... I was in such a hurry to hear how they sound, I rushed the construction a bit. :b They don't look terrible.. I just like to think they have a "handcrafted" look to them. [​IMG]
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    For 5 speakers, I spent about $42 in oak veneer, probably spent $60 in MDF sheets, and then another $25 in materials for veneer stain and clearcoat treatment.

    If you have no easy access to power tools to cut the panel to specifications, the pre-fab cabinets are pretty nice, especially in the screw-in front baffle system that allows for driver hole cutout mishaps (screw it up, get another front baffle and work on that one). All you need to do is route out the driver holes and pop in some screw holes, and also install the terminal cup on the backside. Just realize you are paying around $50-$70 per speaker box extra for the "labor" in buying pre-fab.
     
  9. Michael Whitney

    Michael Whitney Stunt Coordinator

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    Great looking veneer is easy to find on Ebay. Look under the woodworking section of the crafts area. You can get some real top notch veneer for reasonable prices. It may be slightly more difficult to use as most is not paper backed, but the results and types are outstanding. Depending on size of speakers, you could experiment with a sheet or 2 then use the rest for the project.
     
  10. TimForman

    TimForman Supporting Actor

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    If you like the PE boxes and would prefer that over building from scratch I suggest looking for designs that will fit in that box size. Minor volume changes (say 10%) will not have a major impact and can sometimes even be compensated by changing the port.
    Check the Madisound website for Morel FR graphs.
     

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