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View Full Version : Slate/stone speaker cabinets.



twelvebears
05-05-2009, 10:55
OK folks, this may sound bonkers, but I'm investigating the possibility of having the cabs of my much loved speakers, reproduced in either slate/stone or Corian.

I love the looks and proportions of my 'boxes', but even though they are constructed from 1" mdf with bracing, it's amazing how resonant they still sound.

I've found a very helpful and interested company 'oop north' who are having a look at the plans to see if they are possible in stone, but I've yet to find a company dealing in Corian who are interested in having a crack at them.

Basically I'm after the most innert housings possible to let the drivers 'do their thing' and without very complex construction (sandwiched panels, bracing etc), it's hard to get the required deadness in the 'knuckle rap' test.

Has anyone got any experience/comments/suggestions?

Tom472
05-05-2009, 12:27
Slate is supposed to be the business - I'm sure i saw a TV program ages ago with a guy who had a pair of studio monitors made from slate - difficult to work with though.

I suppose any kind of stone would be pretty good, with the only obvious downside being the weight - presumably you have very sturdy floors?

The Grand Wazoo
05-05-2009, 12:38
You could try giving Pete at HNE Systems near Retford a go. He's the man for granite & very good, but don't expect to get it cheap!

twelvebears
05-05-2009, 12:43
It's in a new-build flat (with lifts!) and the floors are concrete, so weight shouldn't be an issue once they are in place.

Slate would seem the ideal choice (apart from the weight) as I'd expect the nactural layered structure and density to pretty much eliminate any resonances.

Unfortunately the cabs are big-ish, so if I do go down the rocky road, they will be seriously heavy.

Another option I'm exploring is Corian, as this is also dense and non-resonant and can be cut, glued, moulded and seemlessly joined.

Was drawing a complete blank on any companies down south who were even willing to discuss tackling a one-off in Corian, but once again, 'by the power of Google', I've managed to track down a small family run firm in Huddersfield who were genuinely interested in having a stab at it.

twelvebears
05-05-2009, 12:59
Hi GW.

Had already eliminated granite as an option due to its hardness and the amount of machining required for the speaker cut-outs etc.

Also, I just prefer the look of slate.

Anyway, depending on cost, I will probably go the Corian route. My cabs are finished in white at the mo and this is easily do-able in Corian, in fact it's ideal, as the thickest commercially available sheet (20mm) only comes in white.

Corian will be far tougher and damage resistant than slate, lighter than either slate or granite, should give a perfect finish on all the joints and can be invisibly repaired if it does get damaged.

Tom472
05-05-2009, 14:03
Ah Corian - I've seen some worktops made of that, looks and feels very nice. You'll have to let us know how resonant etc. it is - presumably DuPont don't publish that kind of info as it's a touch irrelevant for the intended market.

Could be on to a winner there, or worth a try at least. Good luck with the firm in Huddersfield.

Tom

twelvebears
05-05-2009, 15:00
It's a mineral loaded composite and pretty dense (twice the density of MDF), and hard enough for work surfaces so it should be pretty good.

Also, because of the way it can be seamlessly bonded, any joint is as strong as the material itself, so adding internal bracing should be pretty easy.

Moving the finished cabs will be another matter of course.....

Spectral Morn
05-05-2009, 15:26
Many years ago an American company called Barclay audio made a range of CD players and transports from Corian, for exactly the reasons you list fairly dead and easy to work. I love the finish too....marble like, but with none of the issues marble has, such as staining and ringing. Slate would be good to but its hard to work cleanly....I think it likes to split and chip.

Sounds interesting, keep us all posted on your design, and when finished maybe you would like to write about it in Strokes of Genius. Not often someone can do a before and after review that describes the sound differences cabinet material can make.


Regards D S D L

The Grand Wazoo
05-05-2009, 15:32
I seem to remember the Linaeum speakers (wierd ribbon tweeter) had Corian cabinets as an (expensive) option over the bog std. version.

Having just a couple of weeks ago laid a 24 ft long room with slate tiles, I can vouch for the messiness & unpredictability of working with it - it's awful

Spectral Morn
05-05-2009, 15:52
I seem to remember the Linaeum speakers (wierd ribbon tweeter) had Corian cabinets as an (expensive) option over the bog std. version.

Having just a couple of weeks ago laid a 24 ft long room with slate tiles, I can vouch for the messiness & unpredictability of working with it - it's awful


Forgot about those.....very nice.


Regards D S D L

twelvebears
05-05-2009, 16:57
My aim with this next cabinet design, is to remove the cabinet 'sound' from the equation as much as possible.

Despite my attempts at damping the current cabs, the ol' knuckle rap test shows there's still significant resonance in the lower part of the enclosure where the panels are bigger, and unfortunately, this is of course where the critical mid-bass driver sits.

At least I'm lucky enough to be totally happy with the aesthetics of the cabs otherwise:

http://i682.photobucket.com/albums/vv187/twelvebears/P1010202.jpg

which means I can concentrate on getting the construction right this time.

I will be adding two bracing 'hoops' horizontally within the section below the mid-bass, which will stiffen front, back and side panels.

The other thing I will do is to borrow an accelerometer and oscilloscope from an engineer friend and do more scientific testing alongside listening tests.

Mike
06-05-2009, 18:27
Anyone remember these concrete jobbies?

http://www.avance-audio.net/en/about.asp

http://www.avance-audio.net/en/products_show.asp?id=375


:)

Spectral Morn
06-05-2009, 19:41
Anyone remember these concrete jobbies?

http://www.avance-audio.net/en/about.asp

http://www.avance-audio.net/en/products_show.asp?id=375


:)


Yes my local branch of Radio rentals did these along with Luxman, Target, A&R Cambridge and a few other brands I can't remember...that was about 20 years ago.

The links are not working for me :confused:


Regards D S D L

The Grand Wazoo
06-05-2009, 20:22
I seem to remember a truncated pyramid floorstander with a concrete cabinet - are they the ones?

Talking of removing the effect of the cabinet, I always wanted to have a listen to the Mordaunt Short System 442's but never got the chance.

John
06-05-2009, 20:27
I used to have table made of Corian (Solid Tech) really good inert stuff

Mike
06-05-2009, 20:39
I seem to remember a truncated pyramid floorstander with a concrete cabinet - are they the ones?

Yup... but they got a bit 'posher' later on I think.

Spectral Morn
06-05-2009, 21:08
Links working now....Nice speakers shame about the electronics. What on earth...no style no brand identity. Marantz, Denon, Harmon Kardon clones....identity kit copies from China by the looks of it IMHO.

Jamo screwed up trying this a few years ago IMHO...plasmas and all in one dvd home cinema kit...disaster. They went from having a lovely self efficient factory (been there, very nice) to not, and being bought by a foreign company.


Regards D S D L

twelvebears
07-05-2009, 13:10
Right, well things are progressing well.....

I've found a small company who were more than happy to producing the cabs in 19mm Corian, in fact they were quite enthusiastic because it was a 'different and interesting project' It not cheap though as the two cabs will need a full 760x3680mm sheet which costs 500 for the materials alone....

Finish and quality should be awesome though and accoustically 'dead' compaired with anything apart from stone.

I'm also awaiting a quote from another company who are equally confident about producing them in Cumbrian slate, which would also be fantastic, assuming I can find a team of Sherpas to help me move them.... Nice touch was that he knows someone who can produce a rolled-edge bass port in stainless steel.

Not sure what will kill me first, my other half, my bank manager or my back...

aquapiranha
14-05-2009, 20:16
Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but I have found this site..

http://www.concretespeakers.co.uk/?gclid=CKTUmtTPvJoCFQxBkgodYhgqdA

clive7164
15-05-2009, 13:43
steve,
I called up to see john at the slate place a couple of days ago and got a quote for the turntable plinth i am thinking of doing. He seems a nice bloke and definately knows what he is doing. Im going to see him next week to finalise things and order the plinth. Good price too.
Clive

twelvebears
21-05-2009, 14:03
Hi Clive.

Yep he is a very nice guy and keen to get involved directly with individuals wanting something special, and pricing is very good.

Only issue I have is moving the cabs he's building - 88kg EACH!


steve,
I called up to see john at the slate place a couple of days ago and got a quote for the turntable plinth i am thinking of doing. He seems a nice bloke and definately knows what he is doing. Im going to see him next week to finalise things and order the plinth. Good price too.
Clive

twelvebears
14-06-2009, 16:11
So in less than a week I'll have collected my new cabs from Johnslate up a Slate Age. :)

Everything is prepared for their arrival; crossovers are all wired up and ready to go, drivers are on the table ready to go in, and most importantly, the 150Kg platform trolley is in the hall so that I can actually move the things. :doh:

I've also booked an extra pair of hands to help get them out of the car as moving a box the same weight as myself is probably not something to tackle single-handed.

John has promised to take a series of photos during the final fabrication this week which I will post along with plenty of the finished article.

Very, very excited! Susy thinks it's a bit sad really but she's glad I'm happy.

aquapiranha
14-06-2009, 19:01
I look forward to the pics and a full report!!!

DSJR
14-06-2009, 19:55
A bit of useless information... Linn were looking at doing concrete cabs for a 'Brik like speaker, but i suspect the weight put them off. They settled for Ku-Stone blocks on the inner cabinet walls instead......

twelvebears
14-06-2009, 20:51
The one consolation is that in about 5 weeks we will be moving to what will probably be a very long term address, so at least I won't have to move them very often.....