Most original/unique finish/material you've seen on a speaker/sub?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Joe Hsu, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    So I'm just about ready to get going on my next sub design (Tempest + PE 250W), since I'm tired of this giant black contraption looking so out of place, but at least it works. I'm looking for some ideas on alternative approaches on how to finish the sub, either entirely, or just on the top surface.

    It will be designed with the dimensions per the Adire site, so I think it was 2'x2'4', and the top surface would be 2'x4', as it'll be used as a [coffee] table as well. Currently, I'm just planning on doing as high grade a furniture look that I can afford, but I've had the thought of a granite top or something else pop up. The internal box will be MDF, so everything else is purely aesthetic. With the MDF costing $40, I'd like to have everything else under $60, but I don't know what that will get me.

    One of my dreams would be to have a regular box with the corners rounded over, and sprayed to a piano black gloss finish, but I know how much time that'll take with the spraying and sanding and such, so I don't know if that's very possible.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions! If possible, please include pictures or links to a design with said material, as a visual would help greatly.
     
  2. Eric Eash

    Eric Eash Second Unit

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    i think the granite idea is cool. another thing along the granite lines, but would be more expensive, would be to make the box, and then set a nice 1"-2" piece of marble on top that's about 4" wider on all sides to form the tabletop. either way, i think you should put some sort of top on it that makes it look more like a table than a box. maybe even some glass on top. i'm going for the piano gloss finish myself. 3 sides, top and bottom piano gloss, and the front baffle side a dark cherry accenting the AV15's. good luck joe.

    eric
     
  3. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    I haven't seen this but I'm probably going to use it on my "next" Tempest box...

    You could inset the top mdf piece a little and put very high quality tile on the top. Since you would only use ~4 pieces for 12"x12" tile it wouldn't be all that expensive.
     
  4. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    Kyle, that sounds like a good idea...being 21, I don't have much experience with tiles, so where does one go to find very high quality tiles?

    Brett...thanks for the suggestion, I"ll check it out next time I'm out at the HD! Carbon fiber would rule, as I love the stuff...my watch face is even CF. [​IMG] But it's probably way too expensive, so oh well.
     
  5. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    Doing some quick searching...that WilsonArt stuff is pretty hot, but how easily would I be able to apply it to rounded corners? Other than that, 4*8 is 4 times the size of what I'd need for the top, if I just did that...otherwise I'd need another 2*4 piece...blah.

    Also, where would I go about looking at faux granite?
     
  6. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    WilsonArt also makes Faux Granite Laminates.

    How hard it would be to apply to roundovers I am not sure
    of. I guess it depends on the thickness of the Laminate.

    I beleive they are all wood backed maybe they could be
    steamed and formed around bends. I have never worked with
    the stuff I just know they have a massive lineup of gorgeous
    Laminate finishes.

    I wanted to do my Line Array's in Carbon Fiber (sides and
    back) with WilsonArt Brushed Aluminum Baffles and WilsonArt
    Granite Bases.

    But I most likely am not good enough to do it [​IMG] the bases
    and baffle's will be easy but wrapping real Carbon Fiber
    around the enclosure would take lots of time and patience
    and then the whole enclosures would have to be professionaly
    sprayed with numerous layers of clear coat to build up a
    nice finish.

    It's nice to dream though...
     
  7. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    Forget about bending laminate around radiused corners unless they're greater than maybe 6" or more.

    You can buy postform grade laminate which is specifically made for those applications like a countertop that has the laminate run continuously from the top of the splash to the bottom of the front edge, but this is done with heat and pressure using industrial sized machines.

    Pete
     
  8. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    Joe- Home Depot and Lowe's both have a decent selection. I'm still reading up on tiling myself. Anyone have any ideas on how to install tile to the top of a sub? Maybe four 12x12" pieces for a 24" cube?
     
  9. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    why do a round over when you can just butt it up?
     
  10. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Aluminum is nice.

    You can buy brushed aluminum sheets locally, and use spray adhesive + a roller to glue it to wood. Once it's "laminated" to the wood, you can cut it with a table saw.

    Then you can use solid wood like maple for the edges. On a pair of Jordans the speakers turned out very nice with 1/4" roundover hardwood maple edges.

    If you want something exotic, go to your local lumber store and pick out an exotic veneer, or just spray the box with something textured like sand paper, bed liner, or crackle paint, etc.

    I say if you want a unique sub, you should try and play with the form, and not just the surface appearance. [​IMG]

    Attaching tile to a sub doesn't seem hard. They sell tile adhesive in the tile section of like home depot. Just use that along with the grout that goes between the tiles and it should work right?
     
  11. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    aye, so many decisions...Chris, I agree that I should play with the form and not just the finish, but with my limited wood-working skills, I'd like to get a sub that I'm happy with first, and then experiment after that. [​IMG]

    I'll think some more about the tiling...and it seems that I'd have to have a completely flat box if I want to use the granite or metal laminates, and I don't know what I think about that...rounding the corners really softens the sub, but I'll think about it some more.

    Would it be possible to do something like making a normal box with rounded edges and corners, but about an inch away from every edge, to somehow take out 1-3mm all the way in the middle of that face? (Whatever the thickness of the laminate may be) That way I could set it flush to the face and still get my metal/granite look. I think that'd be pretty nice...get some cheap(er) wood, so all the edges and corners would be wood, and have the majority of the face to be granite.

    bah...I wonder how much sleep I've lost over this recently. [​IMG]
     
  12. John Wes

    John Wes Stunt Coordinator

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    It's not exotic or anything but I just used Oak to trim the edges and make a table top. It's a design I found here by someone else but I really like it. The mdf is sprayed with flat black.

    http://www.speedguide.net/~downhill/sub1.jpg
     
  13. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    You want exotic? Check out the Snow Leopard faux fur material on the BozeBuster and sub on page 2 of my crude web site: http://www.geocities.com/hankbond1/index
    Yes, it is soft and feels like fur and is tactilly irresistable. [​IMG]
    I covered my Tempest sonosub (24" diameter tube) with unbacked grey carpet and sprayed the top with fake stone texture paint.
    I have used WilsonArt faux granite laminate and plan to use their metal laminate, BUT you cannot bend them around a small radius.
     
  14. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    My enclosures already weigh too much... I can't imagine their weight after adding granite tile to them!
     
  15. Joe Hsu

    Joe Hsu Supporting Actor

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    hehe, keep the suggestions coming guys!

    Greg...as for the weight, I really don't plan on moving this sucker more than once or twice, so I don't mind it weighing 150 pounds.
     
  16. MattHoffman

    MattHoffman Auditioning

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    Fun thread! I have a similar dilemma with a sonosub that's in the works. There are a lot of interesting possibilities -- Hank's leopard skin being one of them ;-)
    Another I thought of: wrap the sides in dark leather (like the kind upholsterers use) and tack in rivets; make it look like a Cordovan leather chest. A nice dark hardwood top would be required then. Maybe fake leather (vinyl) would be ok for the eco-(and wallet-)friendly.

    And how about wrapping with a wicker table runner (I saw one at Pier One decorating store the other day) and putting a latch and a couple handles on it, and making it look like the chests/trunks that a lot of people use as coffee tables?

    Hmm...so many odd possibilities...
     
  17. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Hah, I remember seeing pictures of speakers that had various furs and skins grafted on them.

    That may actually improve the sound quality of the speakers due to baffle defraction. (Reflections off the front face) [​IMG]

    I remember seeing pictures of a tiled sub that looked a little short of hideous. (don't mean to be rude) Of course the tiles were 1x1" in different colors and were covering a large sonotube.

    I have recently designed an amplifier that uses 1" acrylic, tiger striped maple hardwood, and brushed aluminum/copper. It's going to use scandinavian wood bending techniques to create bent plywood for the design. Of course I couldn't build such a thing which is why I have a contractor to help me. Your project reminds me of the 4 month design process for my amp. It's tough.
     
  18. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Well.... I paid John J. for my Line Array's so they will be
    enroute within a few weeks..

    Now it seems that I have to figure out what methods and
    materials I am going to use to do my LA's..

    I really want to do Carbon Fiber/Aluminum but I don't know
    if I am good enough! And I know the CF won't be cheap for
    30 ounce weave (1 SQ YD) it's like $20.00 and that won't go
    very far!

    Argh... Something of this stature HAS to have some high end
    finish...
     
  19. RichardHOS

    RichardHOS Second Unit

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    making a nice composite finish on the exterior of an enclosure is going to be very, very, very difficult unless you use preformed flat panels and some sort of aluminum roundovers on the corners to hide the joints.

    It's typically the mold side that can be finished nicely, not the exposed side. Therefore, without a very nicely made female mold to work with (and even then it would be a PITA), your chances of making it look "commercial" are about nil.

    But... there's no reason to go with something as heavy as a 30 osy cloth for a simple veneer. It would take too thick of an epoxy coat to make a smooth surface. I'd suggest something of a much lighter weight. If you really want to try it, use something like a 5.7 osy cloth that will form corners readily, but of a twill patern that doesn't distort the diagonals as easily as a harness-satin and ruin the cosmetic appearance.

    check www.uscomposites.com

    You can find the above mentioned cloth for ~$30 per running yard in 50" width.
     

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