This MDF Sound Bar Sounds Great

Everyone should build a speaker cabinet at least once in their life, if only so they can realize how much thought goes into building a simple box. [John] of wanted a sound bar for his home theater setup, and that means building a sound bar. The result is beautiful, and a demonstration of how much you can do with just a router and a table saw.

[John] built this sound bar almost entirely out of MDF, which isn’t the best material but it works well enough for a speaker cab that’s meant to be mounted to a wall. The sides were constructed first, with a rabbet holding the front and back on. Both the woofer and tweeter are inset into the front, and a standard piece of plumbing pipe serves as the bass port. Slap a round over bit into the router and do some light sanding, and everything looks great with a coat of black paint.

As with any speaker enclosure, the design is effectively parametric, designed entirely around the drivers being used. In this case, [John] is using a spreadsheet named ‘Unibox’ that gives you all the formulas and graphs for designing a speaker enclosure.

With the box built and the speakers installed, the only matter left were a few aesthetic choices. [John] went with a standard black finish with a very nice wooden grille held onto the front with magnets. It’s a design that pops, but the true test of a speaker is how it sounds. That’s a bit hard to convey over the Internet, but [John] included a few sound samples at the end of the build video, available below.

12 thoughts on “This MDF Sound Bar Sounds Great

  1. Why wouldnt MDF be a good choice for a speaker enclosure? its only been the choice of pretty much every speaker maker since the stuff was invented, its one of the few things that its good for

  2. You should really wear a mask when you are working with MDF. Especially if you are sanding it. Those boards are bonded with all sorts of disgusting crap that you don’t want to inhale.

    1. Not sure why the article is down on MDF. It is the ideal material for enclosures. Dense, stiff, heavy, you couldn’t ask for a better material. If by some miracle you have an audible panel resonance you can damp it easily. The only thing better is marine grade Baltic birch, and really that is just due to its higher stiffness.

      That said, the speaker grills are going to cause diffraction in the upper frequency range. Does it matter? Probably not for this application. But If you care about your polar response, it’s probably not a great idea to put essentially an acoustic diffraction grating in front of your drivers. But for movies / tv / casual music listening it is fine. For anything where you care about sound staging / imaging it may not be a good idea

      Awesome project. The finish looks fantastic. In addition to unibox, consider winisd and Basta!


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