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Is there a preferred finish for the baffle (in a ported enclosure)? I am planning on tinting the baffle black with india ink so it will not be so visible behind the speaker cloth (or maybe it will look so nice that my wife will not require coverage).
After that comes the question - from an audio performance perspective should it be left natural wood, or is it better to put on a coat or two of lacquer to make the surface more sound 'reflective'/less sound absorbant. Since I am spending a fair amount of time trying to do these right, maybe there is an optimal approach for this fairly large surface (approx 42 x 24 inches). Of maybe it just indicated the operation of an obsessive mind........
regards -- Roger
Edits: 06/18/17Follow Ups:
Have you understood the resonance value of that wood based on it's thickness and proportions?
Sorry, you say you want to do this right the first time so you need to study up.
Typically MDF or something very strong and non-resonant is used unless you are building a speaker that mimics a musical instrument and you want it to resonate.
I am basically resizing an Altec Magnificent cabinet down to 9 cu ft for my Altec 604s. That is all vintage 3/4 ply, with walnut veneer, in good condition. I am adding the baffle (dado in) and a center support (dado in) from 3/4 ply (also quite vintage). So at the end of the day this is a 'standard' Altec cabinet with a baffle. Question is - after I blacken it with india ink, is there acoustic merit in lacquering the face of the baffle, or best to leave it 'raw' plywood?
I imagine the baffle people do a lot of experimentation, and if a concensus has been reached on 'finish or not finish baffle' - I would be interested in the merits / drawbacks...
regards -- Roger
There is zero, none, nada difference with regard to sound. If you put on a polyurethane or other finish which affects the stiffness of the panel, you 'might' get some measurable change, but it will be very slight.
On musical instruments, such as trumpet - with which I am very familiar, the thin metal is an essential part of the sound and resonates the way the designer wants it to. Adding lacquer and/or plating will affect the sound. But when you're talking about a (hopefully/ideally) non-resonant panel such as your speaker cabinet, the cosmetic finish is irrelevant.
As Richard Blaine said, "ask your wife".
"Ask your wife."
In which Mrs Blandings is explaining to Charlie, the painter, the colors she wants, just as Mr Padelford, the contractor, happens by...
Mrs. Muriel Blandings: I want it to be a soft green, not as blue-green as a robin's egg, but not as yellow-green as daffodil buds. Now, the only sample I could get is a little too yellow, but don't let whoever does it go to the other extreme and get it too blue. It should just be a sort of grayish-yellow-green. Now, the dining room. I'd like yellow. Not just yellow; a very gay yellow. Something bright and sunshine-y. I tell you, Mr. PeDelford, if you'll send one of your men to the grocer for a pound of their best butter, and match that exactly, you can't go wrong! Now, this is the paper we're going to use in the hall. It's flowered, but I don't want the ceiling to match any of the colors of the flowers. There's some little dots in the background, and it's these dots I want you to match. Not the little greenish dot near the hollyhock leaf, but the little bluish dot between the rosebud and the delphinium blossom. Is that clear? Now the kitchen is to be white. Not a cold, antiseptic hospital white. A little warmer, but still, not to suggest any other color but white. Now for the powder room - in here - I want you to match this thread, and don't lose it. It's the only spool I have and I had an awful time finding it! As you can see, it's practically an apple red. Somewhere between a healthy winesap and an unripened Jonathan. Oh, excuse me...
Mr. PeDelford: You got that Charlie?
Charlie, Painter: Red, green, blue, yellow, white.
Mr. PeDelford: Check.
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