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Pilgrimage 2019 Chief Bonehead chats: LaScala/Jubes

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1 minute ago, CECAA850 said:

It's not an issue with glue.  Production methods have changed over the years.  I'll bet he never envisioned holding speakers together with box tape during assembly either.

And how is this germane to PWK's published findings and attitude back then? 1989 was 30 years ago and it would be foolish to think that zero assembly evolution would have occurred over 30 years, with younger, newer ideas coming to the forefront. I didn't agree with PWK's dislike of CD's or denying the existense of audibility of time delays between tweeter and midrange frequencies. But on the issue of Plywood, done right, as being a superior material (I only use PRO speakers myself), I would agree.

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So you're saying that the MDF today is the same as it was when the Dope from Hope article was written?  Look up Medite Tricoya Extreme.  MDF "done right" is extremely inert and structurally sound.  I'd love to see side by side measurements of MDF and identical ply cabs.

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8 minutes ago, CECAA850 said:

So you're saying that the MDF today is the same as it was when the Dope from Hope article was written?  Look up Medite Tricoya Extreme.  MDF "done right" is extremely inert and structurally sound.  I'd love to see side by side measurements of MDF and identical ply cabs.

Nope. I didn't say anything like that. But if you want to answer your own question, go build 2 cabinets of the 2 different materials you want to test and share you conclusion with us here. Baltic Birch is king in my book, and I had a pro cabinet maker in the building who used miles of the stuff for making cabinet drawers by the thousands.

 

Basically I'm not against using any material when it's the best choice (see the photos of my friend's speakers a few posts back). I think that Salk speakers that use MDF exclusively are a fine speaker as well. I'm not a purist but I ONLY wanted to point out how PWK felt about it at the time, nothing more.

 

I should also point out that Magico uses THICK machined ALUMINUM for their speaker enclosures, which has it's own unique cost/benefit ratios.

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11 minutes ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

But if you want to answer your own question, go build 2 cabinets of the 2 different materials you want to test and share you conclusion with us here.

That job would be for the person wanting to prove that one is superior to the other.  I'm of the opinion that there wouldn't be an audible difference and if there was it would be extremely small.

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1 hour ago, CECAA850 said:

That job would be for the person wanting to prove that one is superior to the other.  I'm of the opinion that there wouldn't be an audible difference and if there was it would be extremely small.

 

I agree.

 

I think some attach some degree of pride-of-ownership to speakers made w/ ply which is fine.  ..Just don't try to suggest speakers NOT made this way are inferior.  ..There are simply too many examples of fine speakers out there that are made from MDF.   The aforementioned SALK and Vandersteen are just two examples.  ..I don't think MDF sounds appreciably better, but I certainly don't believe PLY does either.   I do agree, however, that speakers meant for amusement parks and transportation stations, etc.. should probably be made from ply.

 

 

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4 hours ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

He actually tested it, and MDF's failure to "hold a screw on edge, at an angle" made it 7 times worse than plywood, performance wise.

 

With modern adhesives, the ability to hold a screw is really not relevant. One can build an enclosure without any screws whatsoever -- in fact, this is a superior technique because the adhesive does not distort the lumber like screws do.

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2 hours ago, CECAA850 said:

That job would be for the person wanting to prove that one is superior to the other.  I'm of the opinion that there wouldn't be an audible difference and if there was it would be extremely small.

THAT we agree on. It's mostly cosmetic vs. ruggedness issue, not a sonic one necessarily. A drop test would tell the story, but I don't know too many who would volunteer their speakers for that. LOL.

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57 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

 

I agree.

 

I think some attach some degree of pride-of-ownership to speakers made w/ ply which is fine.  ..Just don't try to suggest speakers NOT made this way are inferior.  ..There are simply too many examples of fine speakers out there that are made from MDF.   The aforementioned SALK and Vandersteen are just two examples.  ..I don't think MDF sounds appreciably better, but I certainly don't believe PLY does either.   I do agree, however, that speakers meant for amusement parks and transportation stations, etc.. should probably be made from ply.

 

 

I agree with your comments here also. It's been a fun topic to discuss either way.

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24 minutes ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

I agree with your comments here also. It's been a fun topic to discuss either way.

 

As a relevant aside, perusing Klipsch's pro series website you'll notice that MANY (if not all) of their permanent installation speakers (like the Ki-396 series) are built with an MDF motherboard (aka front baffle). 

 

1001045209_ScreenShot2019-07-23at6_15_36PM.thumb.png.741f3ed8c58744daa3be4cacf690f96e.png

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8 hours ago, codewritinfool said:

Mine are from around 1974 and 1976, if I remember correctly.

Look at the plys and count them. Baltic will be uniform across all of them and the 18mm which is .708" nominal should have 13 plys according to my spec sheet.

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3 hours ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

I should also point out that Magico uses THICK machined ALUMINUM for their speaker enclosures, which has it's own unique cost/benefit ratios.

I thought about making LS bass bins that way once.

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2 hours ago, ODS123 said:

I do agree, however, that speakers meant for amusement parks and transportation stations, etc.. should probably be made from ply.

Say OD when you want to hear a real speaker system stop on in. I have some recordings of trains in notch 8 from the Loops in NC, steam engines and Japanese fireworks that look great and go BOOM like you were really there. There is just so much you miss with a small system and never even realize it until you hear the real deal.

 

  

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35 minutes ago, Dave A said:

 There is just so much you miss with a small system and never even realize it until you hear the real deal.

 

Why so determined to denigrate my system dude?   With the Mac meters barely hitting 10 watts it plays loud enough to draw a visit from the cops and deep enough to rattle dishes in our cupboards - all without the slightest hint of strain.   ..So I'm content.  ..I hope you find contment too.  

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To all who are proponents of MDF I can only say this. I have probably gone through 100+ sets of various Klipsch now (both ones I have bought and those I have turned down) and the one constant is this. MDF is subject to unrepairable water damage, shock damage and dent damage. I have turned down the purchase of a number of sets because of this and many were in controlled environments. They are way to easy to damage and a couple foot drop can and does do them in. Oh yes it does happen to those who loved and babied their speakers and are heart broken about it. You turn your head and one cold drink left on your box from the party overnight with the resultant watermark you see the next day and a big ripple there forever. Potted plants the wife harasses the hubby into allowing on the speaker top are another one I see. Heck I don't know maybe she puts it up there when re-arranging the room thinking how pretty it looks and then hubby comes home to destruction.

 

  On the other hand all the La Scalas (with the exception of the Oak Ridge Boys gear)  I have had with damage, some pretty beaten up, still held together and played and could be restored. There were four from the Oak Ridge Boys beat up so bad the bottom was dish shaped from being skidded around and all corners beat to pieces and they still worked. MDF would never have gotten past first base. Now these were extreme but were also extreme examples of the durability of wood vs MDF. I have a 904 bass bin in the shop right now that was toppled forward. Accidents happen, even to Cornwalls I might add. That big heavy box had no damage except for the motorboard shifting forward on the top to being flush with the front edge and when I get around to it some glue and clamps and it will be like new. It went into service that way and stayed there for years and still plays fine. MDF would have busted to pieces.

 

  The other big bonus with MDF is wallowed out screw holes and they are legion. All the time people work on speaker upgrades or tinkering or just taking them apart to see inside and they manage to wallow these out.  It is easy to do. Now of course you can do it with real wood too but the rate of failure there has been FAR smaller in my experience.

 

I just use heavier Baltic and whatever sonic claim people have for MDF I get too and have a real durable box on top of it all. In my shop where my opinion is based on practical hands on experience MDF is not allowed unless it sadly came with a set of Klipsch speakers. I have handled a number of pristine MDF cabinets so I know they do last most of the time. But when unrepairable problems rear their ugly head that also is the domain of MDF.

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1 hour ago, ODS123 said:

 

As a relevant aside, perusing Klipsch's pro series website you'll notice that MANY (if not all) of their permanent installation speakers (like the Ki-396 series) are built with an MDF motherboard (aka front baffle). 

 

1001045209_ScreenShot2019-07-23at6_15_36PM.thumb.png.741f3ed8c58744daa3be4cacf690f96e.png

Yep, it's the bean counters at work. My point valid from Klipsch as company when Paul was still in charge, from 1946-1989, which is 53 years, or, if your prefer, 73% of the company's history.

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1 minute ago, ODS123 said:

 

Why so determined to denigrate my system dude?   With the Mac meters barely hitting 10 watts it plays loud enough to draw a visit from the cops and deep enough to rattle dishes in our cupboards - all without the slightest hint of strain.   ..So I'm content.  ..I hope you find contment too.  

Because you are fun to poke. You are so certain that what you believe is the very best in both equipment and taste that is is amusing. I remember another thread that started all this with awe. Every time I read your pro gear trains and amusement park comments meant to denigrate my system I just bust out laughing. I am quite willing to have serious conversations and do most of the time with people who are serious.

  What you have is a much better system than most people will ever hear. It is also not good enough for amusement parks and train stations. If you want to have serious discussions I am quite willing. Just posted why I don't like MDF and being serious about it.

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I am sorry this thread  has degenerated into a MDF vs Plywood debate, There are plenty of them over at DIYaudio. 

None of them are interesting,

 

 

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"The last point applies even with an otherwise thin-wall midrange cabinet. One experiment had one bass-mid driver in a 25mm birch-ply box and the other bass-mid driver in a damped 12mm birch-ply box and an active crossover feeding below 400Hz to one and above 400Hz to the other. This gave the best results so far, and then when another 12mm layer of birch-ply was glued to the baffle it improved further."

 

  This was my experience with 25mm too and part of what this guy was talking about reminds me of the profound difference you get when you go from 18mm equivalent to 25mm in La Scala bass bins.

23 minutes ago, PrestonTom said:

I am sorry this thread  has degenerated into a MDF vs Plywood debate, There are plenty of them over at DIYaudio. 

None of them are interesting,

 

 

Speaker construction methods and material is a part of the speaker world I think. It's OK Tom you don't have to tune in and if you do it was a choice.

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8 hours ago, Dave A said:

"The last point applies even with an otherwise thin-wall midrange cabinet. One experiment had one bass-mid driver in a 25mm birch-ply box and the other bass-mid driver in a damped 12mm birch-ply box and an active crossover feeding below 400Hz to one and above 400Hz to the other. This gave the best results so far, and then when another 12mm layer of birch-ply was glued to the baffle it improved further."

 

  This was my experience with 25mm too and part of what this guy was talking about reminds me of the profound difference you get when you go from 18mm equivalent to 25mm in La Scala bass bins.

 

I wish that I could find the article, but someone summed it up concisely in the past:

 

All panels resonate. Some more than others, but they all resonate. For woofers, you want the enclosure walls to be as stiff as possible, so that their resonant frequencies are above the frequency range of the woofer. For midranges, you want the enclosure walls to be "floppy", so that their resonant frequencies are below the frequency range of the midrange. In all cases, you want them to be well-damped.

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