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Reasons not to birch ply instead of MDF [message #92128] Tue, 28 July 2020 12:30 Go to next message
Phorize is currently offline  Phorize
Messages: 6
Registered: April 2020
I have a feeling that I already know the answer to this. Beyond my own arbitrary prejudices related to 'real wood' vs composite products, is there a single objective reason to prefer birch ply over mdf on a pi 4 build?

All the best,

Re: Reasons not to birch ply instead of MDF [message #92129 is a reply to message #92128] Tue, 28 July 2020 13:19 Go to previous message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17882
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Birch plywood has one benefit, which that it is more durable, especially in the presence of water. Not that you would put your cabinets in water, but even high humidity can cause MDF to swell. Sometimes you can actually see the edge of an MDF panel under veneer, if butt joints are used on a speaker in an environment where humidity is high. The slight swelling shows the edge. And if the cabinet stands in water for a while, the MDF on the bottom will become mush.

But to tell the truth, I still prefer MDF over Baltic birch where possible. If the speaker will always be indoors, MDF is my wood of choice. It's a little more self-damped than plywood, so the panel resonance is lower. Rap your knuckles on a panel of MDF and then on a similarly sized panel of Baltic birch and you can hear what I mean. Both are good, but the MDF panel is a little more "dead."

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