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View Full Version : what's cheaper material for a box?



dafobbishon3
03-07-2009, 11:00 AM
well im going to try and save money and try a build? so im wondering, is it cheaper and or better to use plywood? or mdf?

grimreper912003
03-07-2009, 11:03 AM
well im going to try and save money and try a build? so im wondering, is it cheaper and or better to use plywood? or mdf?

Use MDF. Its only $30 a sheet. Can get two boxes out of a sheet if they are small enough. I got 2.6 cu ft and 1.4 cu ft both ported out of 1 sheet. So about $15 a box.

dropped_mazda
03-07-2009, 11:06 AM
3/4 partical board works good also
its cheaper then mdf

scarolinablazin
03-07-2009, 11:07 AM
3/4 partical board works good also
its cheaper then mdf

you're joking right?? you didn't really just suggest using partical board did you?

grimreper912003
03-07-2009, 11:08 AM
3/4 partical board works good also
its cheaper then mdf

I wouldnt. Less dense the MDF and isnt as strong. You may be able to get away with it, but I wouldn't personaly. If your sub isn't that powerful you can use 1/2" instead of 3/4" which will save some.

dafobbishon3
03-07-2009, 11:28 AM
so mdf > plywood?

but i think mdf is alot more expensive in my area. i know for sure its no $30 a sheet. plywood is cheaper. and pywood here costs about 60-70 a sheet. :\

chaunb3400
03-07-2009, 12:00 PM
Lowes?? Home Depot?? Have u checked???

bjfish11
03-07-2009, 12:03 PM
Plywood is a very vague term. Prices on difference plywoods at my supplier at my supplier range from ~$20 anywhere up over $100 per sheet...

Just use MDF.

Girr
03-07-2009, 12:04 PM
so mdf > plywood?

but i think mdf is alot more expensive in my area. i know for sure its no $30 a sheet. plywood is cheaper. and pywood here costs about 60-70 a sheet. :\

Wow thats pricey I just went out and ordered a sheet for my next build @ my local hardware store and 3/4 mdf was only $24 a sheet.

x2o
03-07-2009, 12:06 PM
Go MDF or good-quality Birch Ply.

I like MDF though. Cheaper most of the time. $25 a sheet here.

01 S 10
03-07-2009, 12:07 PM
MDF = $24.85 at Lowes FTW

grimreper912003
03-07-2009, 12:09 PM
so mdf > plywood?

but i think mdf is alot more expensive in my area. i know for sure its no $30 a sheet. plywood is cheaper. and pywood here costs about 60-70 a sheet. :\

You sure your not looking at Birch ply?

DonH
03-07-2009, 12:16 PM
MDF = $24.85 at Lowes FTW

not here its 31 for me. i go to a lumber yard and get it for 26 a sheet :crap:

dafobbishon3
03-07-2009, 03:01 PM
idk. i did check the lowes and home depots. and those were their prices on a sheet of fly. but man. if one sheet of mdf cost roughly 20-30. then yeah. ill go for that. and for making about 4 cu airspace with a port. how many sheets do you think i'll need??

SPL Blazer
03-07-2009, 03:05 PM
MDF is the way to go. You need to design your enclosure before you can figure out how many sheets you'll need. Most likely you'll need two, but you'll have to design the box to be sure.

mlstrass
03-07-2009, 03:16 PM
idk. i did check the lowes and home depots. and those were their prices on a sheet of fly. but man. if one sheet of mdf cost roughly 20-30. then yeah. ill go for that. and for making about 4 cu airspace with a port. how many sheets do you think i'll need??

If doing a single baffle you "should" be able to get it out of 1 sheet....

dafobbishon3
03-07-2009, 03:21 PM
really? hmm. idk. i need to ask people for a design. i've yet to find out if i want sub up port back. but im kinda thinking that that design is made only for SUV's and with my trunk in my car. sub back port back would be most utilizing.

know anyone that makes designs? i have my dims. i have about 100 to spend on materials.

SPL Blazer
03-07-2009, 03:23 PM
You could always try designing it yourself. There are plenty of resources online to use.

SPL Blazer
03-07-2009, 03:26 PM
The 12 Volt Box Calculators (http://www.the12volt.com/caraudio/boxcalcs.asp)

Port Calculators (http://www.carstereo.com/help/Articles.cfm?id=31)

dafobbishon3
03-07-2009, 03:27 PM
i want to do that. but man am i a noob at designing. especially when it comes to port size and freq. :\

dafobbishon3
03-07-2009, 03:27 PM
oh. ty.

mlstrass
03-07-2009, 03:28 PM
what sub?

dafobbishon3
03-07-2009, 03:30 PM
boston g2s

dafobbishon3
03-07-2009, 03:30 PM
im sooooo pooor :[ fcukkkk

mlstrass
03-07-2009, 03:34 PM
boston g2s

got nothing for them, sorry. Plenty of designs for AQ/FI/DD subs that I've done the past few years...

dafobbishon3
03-07-2009, 03:38 PM
lol it's all right man.. theres bound to be others..

dafobbishon3
03-07-2009, 03:41 PM
DD sub. hmmmmmmmmmm. idk. there was this guy though. who has a dd 9515 that was selling. if i "miraculously" pick it up from him. maybe u can help me with that one?

mlstrass
03-07-2009, 04:52 PM
DD sub. hmmmmmmmmmm. idk. there was this guy though. who has a dd 9515 that was selling. if i "miraculously" pick it up from him. maybe u can help me with that one?

Just did a 4 cube box for a 9515 last week. Unforntunately the sub smoked in a hurry as it was used and abused, but the AQ in there is sounding quite good while I wait for the recone to show up.

on1wheel01
03-07-2009, 05:11 PM
i made a 4.5 cubed box and used 1 sheet and yes go 3/4 mdf if you go cheap it may sound cheap just spend the 30. Speaking of a dd 9515 thats the sub I am usin a d motor. Picked her up for a decent price. puttin 2k rms at her in a 5 cube box with 3 maybe 4 4 " aero's. Should be nice. Good luck with your project man

DidUHearThat?
03-07-2009, 05:19 PM
Brick or concrete also work well and are pretty cheap. MDF has the needed density to raise the boxes resonance point above the subs range. Partical board or regular ply are not dense enough and will resonate within the subs range. It will vibrate and sound like ***.
Marine grade hardwood ply like marine birch is much denser than regular ply, but still not as dense as MDF. Marine Birch is tough and can take alot of abuse.

Pro audio cabinets are frequently made of MDF on the inside, then sheathed in marine birch to handle abuse of being dragged around and dropped.

dafobbishon3
03-08-2009, 01:02 AM
Brick or concrete also work well and are pretty cheap. MDF has the needed density to raise the boxes resonance point above the subs range. Partical board or regular ply are not dense enough and will resonate within the subs range. It will vibrate and sound like ***.
Marine grade hardwood ply like marine birch is much denser than regular ply, but still not as dense as MDF. Marine Birch is tough and can take alot of abuse.

Pro audio cabinets are frequently made of MDF on the inside, then sheathed in marine birch to handle abuse of being dragged around and dropped.



i made a 4.5 cubed box and used 1 sheet and yes go 3/4 mdf if you go cheap it may sound cheap just spend the 30. Speaking of a dd 9515 thats the sub I am usin a d motor. Picked her up for a decent price. puttin 2k rms at her in a 5 cube box with 3 maybe 4 4 " aero's. Should be nice. Good luck with your project man



thanks alot for your guys' advice. :]

MDF it is. i mean if you did a whole 4.5 cubic in one sheet? well dammm. lol 30 bucks for wood. that's nice.

i doubt im goin to get a DD. now or in the near future. probably in the far future. lol it's way to pricey for me. but if i do get a DD. it would most likely be a 3500 series. the 9500's are alot of power. but mannn. lol. idk. im still debating ;)

but i wonder, will changing from a high tuned probox, to a much lower tuned custom box, have a big difference in SQ and/or SPL?

Johnny Law.Lulz
03-08-2009, 01:09 AM
I know people are gonna flame me but ive never had a problem with ply. 5/8 Ply, When i do my junk for my truck i might use somethin heavier like birch or somethin but plys always worked for lower power subs for me

silvercookie
03-08-2009, 01:09 AM
just ask around for a cut sheet

dafobbishon3
03-08-2009, 01:12 AM
I know people are gonna flame me but ive never had a problem with ply. 5/8 Ply, When i do my junk for my truck i might use somethin heavier like birch or somethin but plys always worked for lower power subs for me

really?? yeah cause my friend has two type r's and he put them each in their own single sealed enclosure made of plywood. i thought it wasn't that baddd. he told me to use plywood. and he said its cheaper, and that it was 60 dollars a sheet. i was like. well if plywood is cheaper than mdf. then i'll go plywood.

but all you guys are telling me plywood is only roughly 30 dollars a sheet. sooo.
im in a state of confusion. i'll go check out home depot or lowes later this week.

DidUHearThat?
03-08-2009, 04:36 AM
I know people are gonna flame me but ive never had a problem with ply. 5/8 Ply, When i do my junk for my truck i might use somethin heavier like birch or somethin but plys always worked for lower power subs for me

No flaming here, but...
You would get much better performance, lower bass, louder and less resonance with 3/4" - 1" mdf from the same drivers and amps. Your wasting efficiency with ply or particle board.

IDSkoT
03-08-2009, 04:49 AM
3/4 partical board works good also
its cheaper then mdf

Not at all. Particle Board is thin and has barely no density.


so mdf > plywood?

but i think mdf is alot more expensive in my area. i know for sure its no $30 a sheet. plywood is cheaper. and pywood here costs about 60-70 a sheet. :\

The problem with plywood is that during the compacting, there are some times holes in the plywood. The top of my desk is made out of plywood, and there's holes in the layers between the sheets of wood. There's one so big, I put in a regular sized guitar pick in there, and pushed it as far as I could, and now I can't get it out. I use one of them to hold a straight razor. These holes cause obviously weak points in terms of density. Hence why, MDF is superior to Plywood.
However, talk to the big names (BJFish, PWK, etc.) They might tell you different materials that aren't covered here. Most, though, are not cost effective.
Birch is denser than MDF, but it's more expensive. Trupan is lighter, and just as dense as MDF, and I believe is easier to cut, but is more expensive. (BJ Fisher uses Trupan), and I believe eDuh has their own flavor of the week. Or at least, did, claiming it was more environmentally friendly.
For the most part, people use MDF because it's dense, it's relatively cheap, and it's easy to work with. Birch is an alternative that I've seen people do. It's more expensive, but denser, and it looks nicer. You can stain it, and it looks fantastic.

DidUHearThat?
03-08-2009, 05:30 AM
Actually, MDF is denser than birch ply (of equal thickness). MDF really is the best material for sub boxes. Marine ply is stronger and more durable, which is nice if you drop the box on it's corner MDF crumbles and you can destroy it by dropping it. People like to say that marine ply is stronger, which is true, but acoustically what you really need is density. Your trying to make a box that is dense and rigid. Not all Marine plys are dense enough. Birch is almost as dense as MDF, another good one is Marine grade Applewood ply. Birch is the cheapest of the dense hardwood plys. The hardwoods are dense, avoid the soft wood marine ply's like cedar or pine they are no where near dense enough. They are great for building boats, but not sub boxes.

Unless you plan on dropping you box alot, there is no reason to use anything other than MDF. It's cheap, easy to work with, very dense and makes great sub boxes.
1" MDF is best, 3/4" is fine for small low power systems.

And I was serious, brick and concrete will work very well for sub boxes. Just not very practical.

dafobbishon3
03-09-2009, 10:22 AM
Not at all. Particle Board is thin and has barely no density.



The problem with plywood is that during the compacting, there are some times holes in the plywood. The top of my desk is made out of plywood, and there's holes in the layers between the sheets of wood. There's one so big, I put in a regular sized guitar pick in there, and pushed it as far as I could, and now I can't get it out. I use one of them to hold a straight razor. These holes cause obviously weak points in terms of density. Hence why, MDF is superior to Plywood.
However, talk to the big names (BJFish, PWK, etc.) They might tell you different materials that aren't covered here. Most, though, are not cost effective.
Birch is denser than MDF, but it's more expensive. Trupan is lighter, and just as dense as MDF, and I believe is easier to cut, but is more expensive. (BJ Fisher uses Trupan), and I believe eDuh has their own flavor of the week. Or at least, did, claiming it was more environmentally friendly.
For the most part, people use MDF because it's dense, it's relatively cheap, and it's easy to work with. Birch is an alternative that I've seen people do. It's more expensive, but denser, and it looks nicer. You can stain it, and it looks fantastic.

really? man im def. taking plywood outta the picture. mdf sounds like the best true material for building a box, besides HDF that is made from proboxes :crap: even though:crap: they aren't tuned very well :[ it is nice material.

dafobbishon3
03-09-2009, 10:23 AM
Actually, MDF is denser than birch ply (of equal thickness). MDF really is the best material for sub boxes. Marine ply is stronger and more durable, which is nice if you drop the box on it's corner MDF crumbles and you can destroy it by dropping it. People like to say that marine ply is stronger, which is true, but acoustically what you really need is density. Your trying to make a box that is dense and rigid. Not all Marine plys are dense enough. Birch is almost as dense as MDF, another good one is Marine grade Applewood ply. Birch is the cheapest of the dense hardwood plys. The hardwoods are dense, avoid the soft wood marine ply's like cedar or pine they are no where near dense enough. They are great for building boats, but not sub boxes.

Unless you plan on dropping you box alot, there is no reason to use anything other than MDF. It's cheap, easy to work with, very dense and makes great sub boxes.
1" MDF is best, 3/4" is fine for small low power systems.

And I was serious, brick and concrete will work very well for sub boxes. Just not very practical.

man. i didn't know there were so many diff. kinds of plywood that u can use for building a box, but they don't sound as reliable as mdf like you all have said.
thanks alot for all your feedback. MDF is the way to go.


i didnt know you can make them out of brick and concrete. lol hows that possible? i wouldnt even know where to start if i tried making one

SPL Blazer
03-09-2009, 12:21 PM
i didnt know you can make them out of brick and concrete. lol hows that possible? i wouldnt even know where to start if i tried making one

extreme class vehicles surround their enclosures with concrete, it keeps the enclosure from flexing when it's hitting over 170 db's. Flexing hurts your score when your competing, especially when you have bigger sides to the enclosure.

Lakota
03-09-2009, 02:12 PM
density = mass/volume

think about it......