Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?

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actonusa

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Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« on: 24 Apr 2018, 03:23 pm »
I am going to be starting a build or two soon and seeking a couple suggestions.  I plan on building a set of BFM SLA's that will be mounted on my covered deck and a set of TLAH that will be used in my barn.  Although the speakers will never be directly in the elements they will be "outdoors" at all times.  I live in the woods, on a creek and in a valley so the humidity is a problem most of the year.

I was thinking of building the TLAH cabs out of MDO and giving them a good coat of epoxy.  For the SLA's I was thinking of using a sheet of 1/2 or 3/4 HDPE or UHMW.  I can't seem to find anything regarding the use of plastic sheet for speaker cabs, would there be any negatives to it?

Being that both HDPE and UHMW are fairly dense and amorphous materials I think they would be good for an enclosure, any thoughts?

mresseguie

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Re: Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« Reply #1 on: 24 Apr 2018, 04:30 pm »
https://billfitzmaurice.info/SLA.html  Yes?

https://billfitzmaurice.info/TLAH.html

Use enough abbreviations and it stops being English for some of us.  :scratch:

actonusa

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Re: Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« Reply #2 on: 24 Apr 2018, 04:58 pm »
Sorry

MDO = Medium density overlay.  Better than MDF for machining and moisture
HDPE = High density polyethylene.  Plastic, available in 4x8 sheets and various thicknesses
UHMW = Ultra high molecular weight.  Also plastic sheeting.

Read through everything on the BFM site and nobody mentions the use of plastic boxes (at least that I could find).

gregfisk

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Re: Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« Reply #3 on: 24 Apr 2018, 04:59 pm »
https://billfitzmaurice.info/SLA.html  Yes?

https://billfitzmaurice.info/TLAH.html

Use enough abbreviations and it stops being English for some of us.  :scratch:

That's very funny, I was thinking the same thing.

To the OP, I would consider something like Corian which is very stiff and of coarse waterproof. It's easy to cut and it glues up nicely. I would be hesitant to use any type of wood other than treated water resistant ply which is pretty ugly but could be painted and would do the job. You could use regular ply but it would need to be sealed really well at least on the outside.

ADDED: Now I see what you were talking about. It seems like those products would work well, don't know how expensive they are compared to corian type material.

It would be great if you could return and let us know what you decided and how it worked out, I've been thinking about building a sub for out on my patio and have been thinking about the same thing.

mcgsxr

Re: Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« Reply #4 on: 24 Apr 2018, 07:46 pm »
Assume for outdoor speakers they will be sealed (vs ported).  Keep the critters out!

actonusa

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Re: Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« Reply #5 on: 24 Apr 2018, 08:58 pm »
To reply to both of the previous posts.

If I shop around I can get 1/2" x 4'x8' sheets of High density polyethylene for about $80. Not sure what Corian costs. The big issue I see with plastic is that it doesn't  glue well, so I would have to alter the plans a bit to get a "real" joint.

Yes the SLA are sealed for the deck application. Otherwise they would have critters in them. For the TLAH in the barn, if I put a bit of a grill on the port they should be good. They will be hung from the ceiling so only have to worry about the occasional moise or bat.

Bob2

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Re: Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« Reply #6 on: 24 Apr 2018, 09:26 pm »
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« Last Edit: 10 May 2018, 12:12 am by Bob2 »

cody69

Re: Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« Reply #7 on: 24 Apr 2018, 11:45 pm »
I built a set of GR Research X-LS Encores to hang up in my gazebo out of 3/4" MDF.
Used several coats of a hammered paint for the finish and they've held up really well... better than I expected.
They hang up high in the gazebo and do not get any wind-blown rain or direct moisture.
I'm in the NJ area, and the summers can get a bit humid.
I do bring them in during the winter... not sure if it would hurt them... but more of a habit.
Took them out during the warm spell we had last weekend and after 6 years they look absolutely fine.
Good luck!




WGH

Re: Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« Reply #8 on: 24 Apr 2018, 11:54 pm »
I would use marine grade plywood which doesn't have voids like regular exterior CDX plywood.
Titebond III for the glue then prime and paint with 3 coats house paint of your favorite color.

If you want to get extreme then use West System epoxy for the glue, sand and apply West epoxy over the entire box, sand smooth then paint.

https://www.westsystem.com/

https://www.westsystem.com/instruction-2/epoxy-basics/finish-coatings/

actonusa

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Re: Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« Reply #9 on: 25 Apr 2018, 11:41 am »
I built a set of GR Research X-LS Encores to hang up in my gazebo out of 3/4" MDF.
Used several coats of a hammered paint for the finish and they've held up really well... better than I expected.
They hang up high in the gazebo and do not get any wind-blown rain or direct moisture.
I'm in the NJ area, and the summers can get a bit humid.
I do bring them in during the winter... not sure if it would hurt them... but more of a habit.
Took them out during the warm spell we had last weekend and after 6 years they look absolutely fine.
Good luck!




cody69,

After my outdoor speakers are completed I plan on building the GR Research N3TL and N3S for the house.  I had contemplated a couple different GR models for outdoor use but ultimately thought the BFM models would give better efficiency and SPL.  I have a couple yard parties in the summer and would need to fill the backyard with sound.

How are the XLS for outdoor listening?  The MDF has obviously held up well, how about the M165 woofers?  Is the treated paper cone holding up?


cody69

Re: Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« Reply #10 on: 26 Apr 2018, 09:58 am »
Quote
cody69,

After my outdoor speakers are completed I plan on building the GR Research N3TL and N3S for the house.  I had contemplated a couple different GR models for outdoor use but ultimately thought the BFM models would give better efficiency and SPL.  I have a couple yard parties in the summer and would need to fill the backyard with sound.

How are the XLS for outdoor listening?  The MDF has obviously held up well, how about the M165 woofers?  Is the treated paper cone holding up?

All good questions Acton...

The X-LS sound great inside the gazebo, which measures 12' x 12'. Of course the sound radiates outside into other areas of the deck and patio and provides pleasant ambient music. I'm not pushing them hard with heavy rock and such, so personal preferences may vary. I have built a few of these speakers for others as gifts and they always impress. The pair in my gazebo have extra damping added to make them very inert (and heavy).

I spoke with Danny at GR Research to get his thoughts on how well the drivers would hold up in an outdoor setting. His take was no issue with the tweeters and the woofer should last quite a while. Each winter when I pull them down I take a peek and they look as good as new.

As I said, I have been really impressed how well these have held up over the years. For reference, here's a picture of where the speakers are placed. This was before I mounted them... they sit on platforms mounted on the top header and sit between the roof joists.






actonusa

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Re: Outdoor speaker.....what cabinet material?
« Reply #11 on: 27 Apr 2018, 10:26 am »
The deck has been completed since this photo was taken.  I was planning on mounting the speakers either to the house or the columns closest to the house.  Wanted to mount them in such a way that I could pivot them to direct sound a bit (going to build a bar into the lower area of the deck so I imagine that is where most of my time will be spent)