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View Full Version : vc birch vs mdf



idontwant1
12-29-2003, 10:19 PM
ok i have a buddy who builds nice strong boxes out of vc(vaneer cored) birch and he swears by it ...i always use the standard 3/4 mdf now the vc is twice the money but its a bit lighter ..has anybody here used it and what do you think

paikiah
12-29-2003, 11:05 PM
birch wood is used on some high end boxes, if i'm not mistaken...

LoneRanger
12-30-2003, 12:39 AM
why pay more for something that does the same thing?

and the high-end boxes my buddy pakiah is speaking of are HT enclosures. the biggest reason these boxes are made from birch is that they can be stained to match the woodwork in your living room.

ditto985
12-30-2003, 12:52 AM
I have used both, the mdf ends up with a higher sound quality when finished. Save the money and end up with better sound, not a hard decision is it?

paikiah
12-30-2003, 12:57 AM
Listen to the man, he knows boxes. :)

idontwant1
12-30-2003, 08:12 AM
just thaught id throw out ideas

LoneRanger
12-30-2003, 11:05 AM
I have used both, the mdf ends up with a higher sound quality when finished. Save the money and end up with better sound, not a hard decision is it?

higher sound quality?

whatever you're smokin, i'll take $20 worth :)

zane
12-30-2003, 11:20 AM
I've used both quite frequently in car audio and building applications.

The Birch Plywood is basically a lot lighter, and a little easier to work with than standard MDF, HDF.

The Birch is just as dense as MDF, so it makes a suitable material for enclosure building.


Audible differences between the two?

Not a chance.

take it easy,

-zane

idontwant1
12-30-2003, 01:27 PM
what have i started

ditto985
12-30-2003, 02:48 PM
if you were to build two identical boxes except for the wood, you would notice a difference of the sound the actual box is making. if you want to hear really bad wood, use particle board it's terrible

paikiah
12-30-2003, 02:50 PM
hmm, this is news to me... please elaborate...

idontwant1
12-30-2003, 03:01 PM
im going to build a balsa box and dispel all the myths :)

ramos
12-30-2003, 03:03 PM
Particle board doesn't come close to comparing to either mdf or birch plywood. Apples to oranges man. Any difference between birch and mdf isn't audible. :) The density of particle board is no where near that of mdf or birch plywood. :)

ditto985
12-30-2003, 03:03 PM
what i mean is the actual wood rattles, you will be surprised by what kind of a difference the type of wood you choose to build the box out of makes

ss3079
12-30-2003, 03:47 PM
Eh I'm pretty sure if you use birch with a brace in the middle and MDF with a brace in the middle you'll hear not a difference in terms of sound.

- Steve

ditto985
12-31-2003, 05:15 AM
No matter how nice of plywood you get, it is still plywood which by design is not as structuraly sound as mdf and never will be. The birtch has layers which will vibrate against each other a little giving you the difference in sound of the two boxes

ramos
12-31-2003, 09:08 AM
Yes............BUT birch ply is not your average plywood ,hence the price. Carefull steps are taken to better align the wood when making the birch / furniture grade plywood. Which makes for a much denser wood. Brace either material properly and you can't tell the difference. :)

zane
12-31-2003, 11:12 AM
No matter how nice of plywood you get, it is still plywood which by design is not as structuraly sound as mdf and never will be. The birtch has layers which will vibrate against each other a little giving you the difference in sound of the two boxes


This has gone quite far enough.


I believe the density issue is a moot point in case that hasnt been made clear.

Birch Plywood is just as dense as MDF. Therefore - no room for each ply to vibrate.

If you would like to inspect an actual piece of each to see for yourself, that can be arranged.


Not to mention that in nearly 14 years in the construction business, I have yet to see a single piece of plywood of any wood type, have enough space between it's ply's to actually vibrate. There is a reason for this too. Should the ply's have space between them to allow movement within the entire sheet, it would be non-uniform, have a spongy texture, and be completely off level. Quality Control and building codes prohibit this, as they require a solid surface and board for construction purposes. Since most plywood today is used in Floor, and Subfloor applications, as well as cabinetry, things must be solid.

Not to mention the fact that who in their right mind would actually stock, or purchase a defective "plyboard" in which the ply's are allowed to move.

Kind of defeats the purpose of it's makeup if it moves after being constructed to be solid.

The structually sound comment?

I have no idea where you were exposed to such nonsense.

On a daily basis I make several types of wood "structurally sound."

Now, tell me again how a birch plywood enclosure and an MDF enclosure of the same dimensions, thickness, and bracing, can possibly sound different.


take it easy,

-zane

idontwant1
12-31-2003, 11:36 AM
now thats some definate info heres a pic of a pair of vc birch boxes http://www.digitalpose.com/mbr/1/31286/p/622804_4383667776874419677_vl.jpg
also if your in the toronto area and need a box built the guy who made these 2 can make one for you pm me

ditto985
12-31-2003, 03:04 PM
build it and listen to how it sounds that is what will convince you, I am not denying that the birtch ply is a good wood for building with, I am just saying it is not the best to use to build a box with. However, if you are going for a naural look for the box, it is the best to use but if you are just going fora box definately go for the MDF. In the end the sound will speak for itself.

ss3079
12-31-2003, 03:10 PM
Oh trust me, I've done it before. Wont notice a difference between MDF and a properly built fiberglass or plexiglass box.

No audible difference - and I've got what you would call a very picky ear.

I've used 3/4" and 1" SOLID cherry, eastern maple, birch, and ash. No difference in terms of sound quality or output.

I don't know, maybe you've just had some poor experiences ... either that or your ears are playing games.

- Steve

zane
12-31-2003, 03:34 PM
build it and listen to how it sounds that is what will convince you, I am not denying that the birtch ply is a good wood for building with, I am just saying it is not the best to use to build a box with. However, if you are going for a naural look for the box, it is the best to use but if you are just going fora box definately go for the MDF. In the end the sound will speak for itself.


Fine, I'll bite. :)

Since I have dis-proven your former reasons for not using plywood in comparison with MDF, and you still maintain that there is an audible difference between the two;
Kindly explain what alter's the sound to achieve this difference?

take it easy,

-zane

ditto985
12-31-2003, 03:47 PM
Fine, I'll bite. :)

Since I have dis-proven your former reasons for not using plywood in comparison with MDF, and you still maintain that there is an audible difference between the two;
Kindly explain what alter's the sound to achieve this difference?

take it easy,

-zane
You have not disproven anything, you just proved it is a good wood to use in industrial applications. The simple fact is that the sound frequencies do make sounds come from the actuall wood. There are ways of keeping sound coming from the wood, such as fiberglassing the inside of the box. The wood still has layers and the layers do not so much move but with the different layers being different wood, possibly when the sound hits the different layers it changes the wavelength causing the sound difference. Keep in mind im not a scientist, im just a car audio guy trying to explain the difference in the two woods as far as box building goes

Gauntlet
12-31-2003, 04:06 PM
1) You're not making any sense.
2) When you run a Sony P5, does the quality of the box even matter?

ditto985
12-31-2003, 04:37 PM
Yes the box for a sony P5 does matter, but I also know about boxes because that is what I do as a living. When people are paying you $300 a box you sure as h*!! better know what you are doing. Don't go dissing the P5 because when tuned properly it hits hard. Besides you don't need much in a regular cab ford ranger

ss3079
12-31-2003, 04:41 PM
Yes the box for a sony P5 does matter, but I also know about boxes because that is what I do as a living. When people are paying you $300 a box you sure as h*!! better know what you are doing.

You'd think you'd know what you're doing if you do it for a living.

- Steve

Gauntlet
12-31-2003, 04:41 PM
:rotflol:

*note to self* Never take ditto985 seriously ever again

ditto985
12-31-2003, 04:48 PM
If want to box lets box, show me your work and I'll show you mine

zane
12-31-2003, 06:42 PM
You have not disproven anything, you just proved it is a good wood to use in industrial applications. The simple fact is that the sound frequencies do make sounds come from the actuall wood. There are ways of keeping sound coming from the wood, such as fiberglassing the inside of the box. The wood still has layers and the layers do not so much move but with the different layers being different wood, possibly when the sound hits the different layers it changes the wavelength causing the sound difference. Keep in mind im not a scientist, im just a car audio guy trying to explain the difference in the two woods as far as box building goes


May want to have a read of my previous few posts since you clearly have not absorbed it at this point.

Wood doesn't make the sound all on it's own, it can effect it based on how it is formed----> thus why enclosures of different size, shape, style, etc will react differently with different speakers at different frequencies.

Since you continue to dodge the question I posed, we can safely assume that you do not have an answer because there simply isn't one, nor is there a difference.

One more time, in a little more simple terms:

Since MDF and Birch Plywood are <b>equal in density</b><--keywords-- :) ), what exactly makes one sound different from the other if the only variance is the wood itself?

I suppose you can hear a difference in amplifiers too....


-zane

Gauntlet
12-31-2003, 06:48 PM
And if I remember correctly, birch (well, baltic birch at least) actually has a slightly stronger rigidity than MDF.

But hey, if it makes your P5 sound good, more power to you, fore you are a God.

ditto985
01-01-2004, 12:45 AM
May want to have a read of my previous few posts since you clearly have not absorbed it at this point.

Wood doesn't make the sound all on it's own, it can effect it based on how it is formed----> thus why enclosures of different size, shape, style, etc will react differently with different speakers at different frequencies.

Since you continue to dodge the question I posed, we can safely assume that you do not have an answer because there simply isn't one, nor is there a difference.

One more time, in a little more simple terms:

Since MDF and Birch Plywood are <b>equal in density</b><--keywords-- :) ), what exactly makes one sound different from the other if the only variance is the wood itself?

I suppose you can hear a difference in amplifiers too....


-zane

the middle part on the wood shaping the sound was what I was trying to say, the wood in of itself can shape the sound in a way as to cause a difference in the resulting sound you hear. I just was unable to put it smoothly. Thanks for the help of words

Gauntlet
01-01-2004, 02:30 AM
That wasn't putting it very smoothly.

Oh yeah, MTX > Sony.

paikiah
01-01-2004, 08:20 AM
This thread hasn't been very educatonal.

LoneRanger
01-01-2004, 10:57 AM
Yes the box for a sony P5 does matter, but I also know about boxes because that is what I do as a living. When people are paying you $300 a box you sure as h*!! better know what you are doing. Don't go dissing the P5 because when tuned properly it hits hard. Besides you don't need much in a regular cab ford ranger

I'll bite on this one :)

I will purchase one of your boxes!

I need a 4th order bandpass box for an 12" ED Kx. Please draw up some plans for this box and email them to [email protected] along with a price quote and your paypal addy.

The maximum dimensions are 36"w x 14"t x 20"d. I would like a .5" x 12" x 12"plexiglass window on the side of the sealed chamber, screw-type terminals and a double baffle on the chamber seperator wall where the sub will sit. The ports should be duel 4" round ports, but if you can suggest something better, I'm all for it. I would like the effective bandpass range to go from ~34hz and streach as far as possible (shouldn't start to dip until about 60hz at least). since the bandpass's frequency range is vital, i'd like a plot-pointed graph of the output for reference.

Thanks very much for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon!

PS - Its a lot harder to get loud in a regular cab ranger because of the crappy cabin acoustics....if you don't believe me, ask our old pal Rangerman. NSPL actually set up a seperate class for standard cab trucks because they were at such an acousitcal disadvantage.

idontwant1
01-01-2004, 11:16 AM
what am i missing i simply asked for an dopinion about wood now ive got a fued and 1 guy who builds boxes wanting to buy a box ...im confused

ss3079
01-01-2004, 01:37 PM
what am i missing i simply asked for an dopinion about wood now ive got a fued and 1 guy who builds boxes wanting to buy a box ...im confused

Go to the store, buy some MDF - build your box, call it a day.

End of story.

- Steve

LoneRanger
01-01-2004, 01:47 PM
what am i missing i simply asked for an dopinion about wood now ive got a fued and 1 guy who builds boxes wanting to buy a box ...im confused

If this guy is charging 300 a box, he's either doing something I'm totally unaware of (platinum ports?) or he's ripping people off. Either way, I'm interested in seeing his work :)

stuff tends to get a lil heated (usually when zane shows up for some reason, lol) but its all in good fun. I don't care what you make your box out of to be honest. The building material is not really as important as everyone makes it out to be. As long as the sumbish don't flex too bad or leak, it will work. I've seen boxes for 8's made out of 1/2" plywood that sounded just as good as a box I made out of 1" masonite. Solid construction is the key....just remember the three little pigs :p

ss3079
01-01-2004, 01:49 PM
If this guy is charging 300 a box, he's either doing something I'm totally unaware of (platinum ports?) or he's ripping people off. Either way, I'm interested in seeing his work :)


Material - $50
Labor - $250
Sucking at the internet - $25 / month.

- Steve

staggs
01-01-2004, 02:17 PM
Not meaning to HIJack the thread or anything, but Loneranger...could you please respond to my e-mail.

Thanks

Staggs

LoneRanger
01-01-2004, 02:28 PM
Not meaning to HIJack the thread or anything, but Loneranger...could you please respond to my e-mail.

Thanks

Staggs

don't worry about the thread-jacking....this one's pretty well jacked-up already :) check your email. if you sent me an email, I've probably replied to it already....check the other thread you "jacked" :p

idontwant1
01-01-2004, 02:41 PM
i want my thread back :(

zane
01-01-2004, 09:15 PM
what am i missing i simply asked for an dopinion about wood now ive got a fued and 1 guy who builds boxes wanting to buy a box ...im confused


You have got your answer, unless I have missed something....

MDF and Baltic Birch Plywood are both perfectly fine to build enclosures from.

The Birch simply weighs less and is easier to use in most cases.

The Birch is just as dense- and in most cases more rigid than MDF.


I simply have a huge quarrel with the notion that a box made from one wood will sound better than the other.

ditto has argued that the general makeup of Baltic Birch Plywood is not as solid as MDF.

Since I basically use both of these types of wood on a daily basis in the construction industry, I greatly disagree with this.

Here is a side view shot of standard 3/4 MDF:

http://www.bcae1.com/images/jpegs/box8.jpg


As you can see, the MDF is made from highly compressed sawdust, small wood fiber, and adhesive. A very tough and solid product, ideal for speaker enclosures.

Here is a side shot of standard 3/4 Baltic Birch Plywood:

http://www.schsons.com/kits/images/larger_views/bb_plywood.jpg

You can see here that the Birch Plywood is made from multiple layers of highly compresed layers of wood combined with adhesive.

This also provides as very tough and solid product, again, perfectly allright for speaker enclosures. As an added benefit, The plywood is exceptionally easier to work with, as it cut's smoothly, wont splinter or separate, and screws/air nailers generally seem to have less trouble penetrating it.


As far as an audible difference, where is it to be found?

If you refer to a variance in an enclosures Frequency Response, that is not determined by the wood used, but rather by the enclosure design.

The enclosures shape is ultimately what contributes to minimizing or accenting the enclosures standing waves which determine it's overall frequency response. - Not the wood.


As for any factual evidence that MDF and Baltic Birch sound different in equal size and constructed enclosures, I'd like to see it proven.

If we were to administer a double blind test between the two enclosures with all other factors constant, I would highly doubt that anyone would be able to discern any audible difference at all.



A couple more Installs with the Birch Plywood:

http://arawndark.netfirms.com/_D2s/

http://forum.soundillusions.net/showthread.php?t=29976&highlight=Birch

http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/breitensteini/detail?.dir=/Audio&.dnm=mounting+flange.jpg

take it easy,

-zane

idontwant1
01-01-2004, 10:16 PM
now that was clear and consise

Qckrun
01-01-2004, 10:56 PM
I'll bite on this one :)

I will purchase one of your boxes!

I need a 4th order bandpass box for an 12" ED Kx. Please draw up some plans for this box and email them to [email protected] along with a price quote and your paypal addy.

The maximum dimensions are 36"w x 14"t x 20"d. I would like a .5" x 12" x 12"plexiglass window on the side of the sealed chamber, screw-type terminals and a double baffle on the chamber seperator wall where the sub will sit. The ports should be duel 4" round ports, but if you can suggest something better, I'm all for it. I would like the effective bandpass range to go from ~34hz and streach as far as possible (shouldn't start to dip until about 60hz at least). since the bandpass's frequency range is vital, i'd like a plot-pointed graph of the output for reference.

Thanks very much for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon!

PS - Its a lot harder to get loud in a regular cab ranger because of the crappy cabin acoustics....if you don't believe me, ask our old pal Rangerman. NSPL actually set up a seperate class for standard cab trucks because they were at such an acousitcal disadvantage.

I believe mr. Ditto you have just been handed your arse on a silver platter and i suggest u stop talking as Loneranger and Zane have both handed you your arse on silver platters over and over

RangerMan
01-01-2004, 11:13 PM
Yes the box for a sony P5 does matter, but I also know about boxes because that is what I do as a living. When people are paying you $300 a box you sure as h*!! better know what you are doing. Don't go dissing the P5 because when tuned properly it hits hard. Besides you don't need much in a regular cab ford ranger

Sir.

Believe me on this...you need "much" in A Regular Cab Ford Ranger. Its taken me hour upon hours of design and thought to get my Ranger loud. Not sure what your idea of "much" is.

denim
01-02-2004, 05:12 PM
Sucking at the internet - $25 / month.

- Steve
all these years I was making my boxes wrong, haha mus thave to do with my spelling :hilarious :hilarious