Modular Voxel: What to build it from?

So the usual material to build speaker cabinets from is apparently MDF, which stands for “medium density fiber”. ¬†For a Voxel build, MDF that is half an inch thick would be fine. — MDF is basically what you get when you mix sawdust with epoxy and form it into sheets…

However, I don’t drive, so picking up anything from a big box store is a little bit of a pain. — Luckily there is a small neighborhood hardware store just down the street, but unfortunately that small neighborhood hardware store does not sell MDF, but they have furniture-grade plywood. — Plywood is comprised of very thin layers of wood glued to each other such that the direction of the wood fibers in each layer is perpendicular to the direction of the fibers in the adjacent layers.

There are many threads you can find on DIY audio forums where people discuss the pros and cons of plywood vs. MDF, but for my use case the net-net seems to be that it doesn’t really matter:

  • For a subwoofer you want rigid material. And plywood wins over MDF here, actually.
  • MDF is guaranteed to be uniform, while plywood might actually contain small cavities that can act as resonance chambers. — However, if you are building a subwoofer, the wavelength of the frequencies you are dealing with is (in my case) much larger than the entire dimensions of the tiny Voxel sub, so even if there are small cavities in the plywood it shouldn’t really matter.

So 1/2 inch plywood it is. — We’ll see how it sounds when it is done…


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