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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    De Pere WI
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    3,993

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    phil, good points, but you forgot medex. I have used this in the housing trade for exterior treatments around doors when people want fluted columns and the such. expensive for a sheet, but works just like mdf, however has some water RESISTANT properties. notice not waterproof.. still need to have some treatment, but will outlast mdf 10 to 1.
    it can be used, but the precautions I would take are to treat the entire box with some water repellent and ensure it's in a location that won't see direct contact and raised off the carpet..

    btw, sweet boat
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    295

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    Correct on medex; my bad. I know of a garage cabinet outfit that uses medex for cabinets that need high moisture resistance. It would be a reasonably suitable material for enclosure building, and yes, it lasts a lot longer than MDF...

    thanks for the nice comment on the boat. I have a few more of them, wanna buy one?

    Phil
    Kicker

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    De Pere WI
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    so to further this conversation a little and hope I can learn something, the school of thought has always been to use mdf in the automotive arena, and I believe that kicker has used this in the past on sub boxes? why then if it does not matter does mdf continue to be the material of choice, especially when 95% of auto installs use mdf strictly for sub boxes and the surrounding amp racks?

    I was of the belief that it was superior to other forms of "wood"
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    295

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    Acoustically, it is best for full range enclosures. It is largely irrelevant for sub boxes.

    The driving forces for use of MDF or HDP in enclosures are history, price and machinability. Frankly, speakers have been made from MDF for a LONG time. Plants were cranking out full range speaker enclosrues long before the advent of the mobile audio phenomenon. There was familiarity on behalf of the enclosure manufacturers.

    MDF in an enclosure plant is easily milled, and provides a smooth cut finish when compared with other materials. There are no fuzzy - furry splinter edges that would require sanding. It is a very flat product that almost never warps or twists in a plant and has an EXTERMELY uniform thickness from sheet to sheet making it easier for machines to handle.

    Finally, MDF delivers good perfornance in the acoustics and machining departments at a price that is as much as 50% to 75% lower when compared with an appropriate plywood material. The last sheet of 13-ply void-free wood I got was about $40.00 as I recall. In a plant where I used to do enclosure engineering, I recall that we could get a comparable sheet of MDF for about $16.00. It is higher at retail, about $30.00 for a similar sheet, but the savings are still there.

    Phil
    Kicker

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    De Pere WI
    Posts
    3,993

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    thanks
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,258

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    To play the devils advocate.............why not use MDF and seal it really good! Also install it above the ground so no direct water seeps in. Yes, eventually moisture will get in. That's a given. But "eventually" could be years down the road. In most cases (and I speak from experience) owners are going to upgrade and change, build a new box, trade in the boat on a new one, and the cycle continues. Many members on here have MDF sub enclosures and with good experience i think?

    If you happen to have the ONLY boat you are going to own, and want to install the "system of your dreams" then I say you are 100% correct.

    But be ready to invest the $$.

    Just food for thought!!
    2007 Moomba Outback - waiting for summer!

    Why Not? Play Hard! Get wet

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Pacific NW USA
    Posts
    488

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    Oh I cant resist a good game of devils advo

    Viking. I'll side with Phil on this one. I'd banter back, the very answer to your Q is the same reason that you bought a Moomba, "the boat doesnt have any wood in it to begin with..." (I wonder why? insert whistling dixie icon here).

    In all honesty, moisture will attack much faster than people realize. If you can afford it... go with a composite material. No 40 year financing on the box tho.

    ok, I'll head back to the peanut gallery.

    -Brian @ Exile

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    De Pere WI
    Posts
    3,993

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    viking

    I would say that many members have mdf boxes here and have had very good luck with them, but almost all of them are less than 1.5 years old, with a vast majority of them less than a year. lets see how they look at the 3-4 year mark.

    I bought medex from a local lumber yard. it was $23 for a sheet of 3/4" mdf, and the medex was $75. small price to pay for peace of mind, especially in a rig that cost more than some spend on a car..
    '06 Supra Launch 20SSV-gone but never forgotten

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    880

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    Todd,

    If I was building on a budget I would follow a couple of basic issues.

    1.) Simple Perko switch. Its manual but you can protect your batteries and alternator by understanding just a few things.

    2.) The tower is another zone for the benefit of those outside of the boat. I would begin with a balanced in-boat system. Even if you are not a 'bass head' you need a subwoofer or you'll be missing two octaves of important musical fundamentals.

    3.) Forget about power handling and instead focus on maximizing system efficiency through the right system choices including balanced components and system tuning. In many of the systems I hear, I can immediately tell that roughly a third of the system potential is wasted through insensitive subwoofers, mismatched equipment selections, bad system tuning and poor voltage management.

    4.) Do it in order. Look at your options in the context of your particular boat. The boat should dictate the type of sub box which will dictate the correct subwoofer which will dictate the right amplifier.

    5.) Do it right the first time so that nothing becomes obsolete in the future, especially when adding a tower system later. Choose your fusing, wiring, amplifier panel and more based on the final projected system and not just to get by for today. In the long run forward thinking will save.

    6.) Its not how much you save that determines the value and performance. Cheap gear with empty specs will not sound good and will not last. You can still buy quality within your stated budget.

    David
    Earmark Marine
    Last edited by EarmarkMarine; 05-06-2010 at 03:22 PM.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    27

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    David -

    Thanks for the point by point help. I do have a couple questions though.

    1) "Simple Perko switch. Its manual but you can protect your batteries and alternator by understanding just a few things."

    Why this versus the Blue Sea automatic switch (7650 Add a Battery)? I know the Blue Sea one is like $100 more, but does it not automatically switch to your house battery when you are just sitting around? (This is why all the battery threads had me confused)

    2) "Forget about power handling and instead focus on maximizing system efficiency through the right system choices including balanced components and system tuning. In many of the systems I hear, I can immediately tell that roughly a third of the system potential is wasted through insensitive subwoofers, mismatched equipment selections, bad system tuning and poor voltage management."

    Lost me. I can I be assured I have a balanced system? The only component I have right now is the stock Kenwood HU and just put in the Polk db651s. I have an '03 Mobius LS which has plenty of room in the driver floorboard area (picture attached). I have someone that can build whatever enclosure we want and have seen some good ideas posted here.


    I'm all about doing it right, and making it flexible for growth, so I do want to make sure I do it right, but still within a reasonable budget.

    -Todd
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