Bamboo SongTowers

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jsalk

Bamboo SongTowers
« on: 15 Mar 2009, 02:21 am »
After getting a few requests, we decided to try building a pair of SongTowers using bamboo plywood.  Here in Michigan, a 4' x 8' sheet costs about 10 times as much as 3/4" MDF. But it is strong, machines well, does not require veneering and looks very attractive.  What's more, bamboo is actually a grass and is totally renewable.

While bamboo can be dyed almost any color imaginable, we decided to simply go with the natural color on this pair. And since the baffles on a standard pair of SongTowers is MDF, we decided to go totally bamboo and did a top to bottom front baffle in it as well.

Here are some pictures...



and a close-up...



We really liked working with bamboo and will probably build quite a few more pairs over the coming months.  It is more expensive, but we can still manage to produce them for $1995 per pair with any color dye finish at no additional cost.

This particular pair will be for sale and placed on the "Available for Immediate Delivery" board late this coming week.

- Jim



pjchappy

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #1 on: 15 Mar 2009, 02:25 am »
Those look fantastic!
 :drool:

rahimlee54

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Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #2 on: 15 Mar 2009, 02:27 am »
Those look very clean.

Watson

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Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #3 on: 15 Mar 2009, 02:29 am »
Those are very nice. Did you experience any splintering with the bamboo veneer? I've heard the veneer can be difficult to work with.

rydenfan

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #4 on: 15 Mar 2009, 02:30 am »
The front baffle looks great  :thumb:

zybar

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #5 on: 15 Mar 2009, 02:33 am »
Looks very nice Jim.

What are some of the dye colors that you think would work well?

Did you ever try any dyes?  If so, can you post what they look like?

George

PMAT

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #6 on: 15 Mar 2009, 02:49 am »
Those are very nice. Did you experience any splintering with the bamboo veneer? I've heard the veneer can be difficult to work with.
I think its just bamboo ply, no veneer other than the bonded outer layer. Nice looking for modern and Asian decors as well as others. Great to have choices, no?

DMurphy

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Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #7 on: 15 Mar 2009, 03:08 am »
Whoa.  If Michigan's economy hadn't completely tanked and taken with it all my Michigan bank stock, I would order a pair.  I love the completely clean look, and the contrasting black of the drivers and the thin black border between the baffle and cabinet are outstanding.  Does the bamboo do better than the mdf in the knuckle test?

Nuance

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #8 on: 15 Mar 2009, 04:08 am »
Wow, those look fantastic, Jim.  Kudos to you and your team.  Now stop giving me reasons to spend more money!  :D

Cacophonix

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #9 on: 15 Mar 2009, 05:59 am »
This one has to be one of the cleanest and classiest looking speakers! Great job, Jim! Would love to see some hi-rez pics of the baffle.

planet10

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Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #10 on: 15 Mar 2009, 06:38 am »
I think its just bamboo ply, no veneer other than the bonded outer layer. Nice looking for modern and Asian decors as well as others. Great to have choices, no?

There are a growing number of colours and styles of bamboo plywood -- this enables a wide range of aesthetics. The "plyboo" that we have used is actually laminated blocks with a skin of bamboo on each side. With a little care & attention you can take advantage of the structure. The "marquetry" on these cabinets is actually just exposed end-grain.



IMO bamboo makes a MUCH better cabinet than MDF, and is worth the extra cost regardless of the gourgeous aesthetics.

dave

Zero

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #11 on: 15 Mar 2009, 06:54 am »
I love the look Jim.  Shoot, if I had those in - you might have never seen em' back.  :lol:   :thumb:

funkmonkey

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #12 on: 15 Mar 2009, 07:07 am »
 :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Those look great, Jim!!!!
Very nice job.  I'm also interested in seeing what they dyed bamboo looks like.  Did you have enough scrap to try out some samples?  If so, please post some pics.  Have you noticed any sonic differences?
Again, very nice job.

mcgsxr

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #13 on: 15 Mar 2009, 12:49 pm »
Very cool, I have been following the bamboo ply market closely, as I desire to build OB speakers with this material in time.

I personally really like the look of these speakers Jim built, as there is no added baffle - to me that looks odd in some of the other designs, so to see this one with a one piece front, all in the same material, looks cleaner and more coherent.

Beautiful work as always from the Salk family workshop!

BradJudy

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #14 on: 15 Mar 2009, 12:57 pm »
Very nice Jim.  I expect it will become a regular request for the Song Towers. 

I've been thinking of a couple of style variants.  One was similar to the single drivers posted above with a partial baffle of either black walnut or bamboo with a deep walnut dye. 

Another (assuming you can mask the dye well) is to mask off stringers then dye the speaker a deep walnut, leaving natural colored stringers.  Vertical ones would probably look the best upon close inspection, given the direction of the ply.

Bill Baker

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Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #15 on: 15 Mar 2009, 02:32 pm »
Jim, As always, beautiful work. I hope you don't mind me posting in your circle (feel free to remove if inappropriate) but I too have recently tried a little work with Bamboo. Not the easiest stuff to work with but I do like the looks. Here is a Purity L/P preamp I recently completed in Bamboo.


bigbwb

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Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #16 on: 15 Mar 2009, 02:46 pm »
Jim,

excellent work!  Love the full front baffle look.  Wondering just as Dennis is, are they a more solid cabinet, any differences over the MDF?

Thanks,
Brandon

fishinbob

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #17 on: 15 Mar 2009, 03:11 pm »
I like the look of the drivers against the light baffle, the whole unadorned look suits me fine. The CA15s seem more stylish looking or something? Maybe that's why I went for the plain anodized baffle for my RTs.
Jim - I would be interested to see some stain samples. Have you played around and done a few we might have a look at? 


Captain Humble

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #18 on: 15 Mar 2009, 03:35 pm »
Nice looking speakers Jim. :thumb:
My wife selected bamboo over hardwood when she replaced the floors in the entry way and dinning room.

zybar

Re: Bamboo SongTowers
« Reply #19 on: 15 Mar 2009, 03:40 pm »
Jim, As always, beautiful work. I hope you don't mind me posting in your circle (feel free to remove if inappropriate) but I too have recently tried a little work with Bamboo. Not the easiest stuff to work with but I do like the looks. Here is a Purity L/P preamp I recently completed in Bamboo.



Bill,

While you did a nice job on the unit, my personal preference would be to add a dye to the bamboo or maybe some nice accents for some color.  Having it all big one block of bamboo just is a little too plain.

Again, just my opinion.

George