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Ayup, that's the title of this thread. Some time back when the virtues of MDF VS Baltic Birch raged I had threatened to do a bottle test. A chunk of each in a jar of water and pictures of daily progress made on the condition of each. Of course the idea that a speaker would be immersed in water is ridiculous to all but those with broken pipes or flooding or leaky roofs. Or buyers of used speakers. Immersion is not required to ruin MDF though and after buying and selling and looking at but not buying probably over a couple hundred sets of Klipsch now I know where quality is present and where it is not.

 

  In any case I have had in my wood torture laboratory a piece of 18mm Baltic under the wheel of my trailer tongue jack. Outside and lonely and subject to laying flat on the ground and wet and frozen and neglected for probably four months now it toils on without complaining. It also does so without rotting and delaminating and the real surprise is that it has not deformed under the trailer tongue weight after all this time.

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Some of us knew what the results were going to be.  I've had BB pieces that laid outside for months.  If you did that with MDF, it would be gone by now. 

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So, those who prefer MDF should hold their tongues?

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Depends on what they want to say.

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Depends on frequency and if you are going to play your speakers and try to talk to the Dolphins, make sure you don't us MDF.

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Also make sure you don't marry a lady with potted plants everywhere.

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Do a resonance test, not a strength and resistances to element test.

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8 minutes ago, Schu said:

Do a resonance test, not a strength and resistances to element test.

If you factor in DENSITY, then you will use thicker Baltic Birch to match the weight of MDF, only then can you do a resonance test. Besides, if you simply use BRACING to add that extra weight to compensate, your "resonance test" will pass just fine.

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I don't think density and resonance necessarily scale the same, inversely or otherwise.  There's more at play.

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2 hours ago, ClaudeJ1 said:

If you factor in DENSITY, then you will use thicker Baltic Birch to match the weight of MDF, only then can you do a resonance test. Besides, if you simply use BRACING to add that extra weight to compensate, your "resonance test" will pass just fine.

Someone once said that 'wave's' actually move FASTER thru a more dense medium... I think that part is true.

 

what we (me) are concerned with, I think, are waves that seem to get magnified and therefore resonate longer (or distort) after the initial impulse has already decayed.

 

I am sure this is all probably moot in a well designed piece.

 

3... 2... 1... here comes Chris :)

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Different is not the same, which, obviously, applies here, especially when you consider COST, which drives everything, mostly. I vote for Marble Speaker enclosures, so I'm sure that if I made LaScalas with marble as the material, resonance would be super low and way out of band. This is my EXTREME example to prove my points.

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2 hours ago, Schu said:

Do a resonance test, not a strength and resistances to element test.

DaveA's results still speak to the superior overall quality of the material when the production budget need not apply.

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Well, no one has mentioned voids. I had not seen them before in Baltic birch plywood until January when I was making a cover for the Bogen DB20 and there it was. This is the only void in the sheet that I saw, but I guess stuff happens:rolleyes:

 

Gary

 

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I have a large research group in Nashville. Sales reps for the two big Baltic outlets tell me MDF goes to boom boxes on wheels and BB goes to people building serious commercial cabinets for the music industry. Clearly cost is a consideration and the durability and I expect great sound also (since good sound is what the pros need + durability) make BB the economical choice. If it lasts longer and sounds great doing so it is cheaper. These guys look at all aspects of cost which is after all cost to buy AND cost of ownership. Sure the upfront purchase price of MDF is better but long term cost and over all savings over MDF is the domain of BB. I am amused by those who can't see past the purchase price of a piece of wood to total cost over the life expectancy.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, garyeanderson said:

Well, no one has mentioned voids. I had not seen them before in Baltic birch plywood until January when I was making a cover for the Bogen DB20 and there it was. This is the only void in the sheet that I saw, but I guess stuff happens:rolleyes:

 

Gary

 

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There is a difference between birch plywood and Baltic Birch plywood. You were not using BB as is evident by looking at the edge of your pieces. There is also a big difference between Chinese birch and Baltic birch and of course the Chinese stuff is really bad.

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Here is a picture of real BB. All the plys are the same thickness. If the lumber yard told you they were selling you BB they misrepresented their product.

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Dave A said:

There is a difference between birch plywood and Baltic Birch plywood. You were not using BB as is evident by looking at the edge of your pieces. There is also a big difference between Chinese birch and Baltic birch and of course the Chinese stuff is really bad.

I am not sure about country of origin, but I cut up the sheet pretty well and it was the only issue with that particular sheet.

 

IMG_1144.thumb.JPG.8412a85e5033352dc9b466feae79dd7c.JPG

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I had some Chinese birch plywood from a yard close by once. The ply appearance from the side was one of uniform ply thicknesses but after that were voids and poor patches where knot holes were filled and it also weighed a lot less. You could pick up a piece of the Chinese junk and tap it with your knuckle and it sounded  entirely different than the BB doing the same thing. Your material is regular plywood with Birch outer layers as far as I can tell.

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On 3/16/2020 at 9:10 AM, Dave A said:

I had some Chinese birch plywood from a yard close by once. The ply appearance from the side was one of uniform ply thicknesses but after that were voids and poor patches where knot holes were filled and it also weighed a lot less. You could pick up a piece of the Chinese junk and tap it with your knuckle and it sounded  entirely different than the BB doing the same thing. Your material is regular plywood with Birch outer layers as far as I can tell.

Excessive patches on knot holes? You may be right. Ask me how I know. In my defense, I was on pain meds at the time and that knot was supposed to be on the bottom. I put the trim in backwards that holds the front and back panels . (front is recessed for the grill) 

Front left corner ON THE TOP!!!

 

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