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Discussion Starter #1
Me and a friend are having a conversation about what door baffles should be made of? I know MDF is the most popular but I understood it to be poor choice, is this true? If it is rubberized does this prevent all issues?
 

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Me and a friend are having a conversation about what door baffles should be made of? I know MDF is the most popular but I understood it to be poor choice, is this true? If it is rubberized does this prevent all issues?
I used a plastic cutting board from wally world.
 

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the issue with wood in a door is rot and fall-apart.(thats a technical term) MDF absorbs moisture and bloats, then rots, molds, and falls apart. if you coat it with some water proofing, it may be ok, but a nylon material would be better since it is not subject to water damage.
 

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I used Oak, then stained and coated it to reduce any chances of water absorption. But, I had oak laying around so didnt have to purchase it anew. To go along with my OCD, it is stain matched to the dash, amp racks, etc... Cant imagine anyone else is likely to see it, but knowing it matches makes me sleep better at night. MDF, in my experience can soak liquids up like a sponge in a relatively short time.
 

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Cutting boards/HDPE have gained popularity and seem to do well. Steel is also always a good choice. :D

If you want to use wood, I would stay away from MDF. I'm fond of 13-ply baltic birch since it less dense than MDF, stronger than MDF, and less likely to swell/rot/fall apart than MDF (even without treatment).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
why steel? i would expect its resistance to malleability be an issue when sealing the door as well as additional vibration added due to that particular material. HDPE sounds interesting. How would that compare to birch/oak?
 

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why steel? i would expect its resistance to malleability be an issue when sealing the door as well as additional vibration added due to that particular material. HDPE sounds interesting. How would that compare to birch/oak?
The baffle that a speaker is attached to should be completely flat so even pressure is applied to the speaker at it's mounting points. A baffle should also be securely mounted so vibration isn't of concern. Those two points should be achieved no matter what material is used.

If you can achieve those two points, steel is generally the best option because: it is heavy (which reduces vibrations) and is very rigid (which reduces vibrations). Remember that any energy lost to vibration is output lost by the speaker as well. That is why I would rather have somthing "hard coupled" and deal with rattles/resonances than decoupled when I can do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is there a technique for cutting metal? Any metal cutting I have done was either a plasma cutter of tin snips which didn't come out the best.
 

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I use ply, about anything exterior rated like cheap CDX since nobody sees it anyway. Why? because it holds screws great, it deadens like wood does and is strong, easy to work with, and will hold up to moisture unless your inner door is getting soaked constantly and no car I have ever owned did that. You could paint it, better yet just wipe it down with linseed oil that is a great way to shed water off wood and takes seconds to apply. I have used hardwood but I think is no better in fact it may ring a little more than ply however I don't think that is really an issue with any wood for this use. I like ply because it will not split/warp in normal use.

The plastic cutting boards can work nice, but I have ply sitting here. I'd use them if I really had a moisture issue in there....or wanted pretty photos to post on my install thread lol. I'd rather use ply than metal, but have used metal. IMO it needs deadening and wood does not. I have used 1/8th alum plate before it worked nicely for depth issues. But I only use MDF to deaden some sub boxes, I like to use ply for many things. Most only use MDF for subs, and I only do for high power and larger spans, etc.

For metal cutting you can get better quality snips, nibblers, power shears, or the trusty jigsaw. Cheap snips rarely cut well on metal used in cars they are for thinner ducting metal and such.
 

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MDF is perfectly fine, just make sure you seal it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everybody. It seems like 13 ply birch, steel, or HDPE are the best. Ill probably use whatever I can get for free/cheapest :)
 

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The baffle that a speaker is attached to should be completely flat so even pressure is applied to the speaker at it's mounting points. A baffle should also be securely mounted so vibration isn't of concern. Those two points should be achieved no matter what material is used.

If you can achieve those two points, steel is generally the best option because: it is heavy (which reduces vibrations) and is very rigid (which reduces vibrations). Remember that any energy lost to vibration is output lost by the speaker as well. That is why I would rather have somthing "hard coupled" and deal with rattles/resonances than decoupled when I can do it.
Completely agreed. My next baffles will be steel. As of now, my speakers are coupled, and the enclosure has the crap mass loaded out of it to prevent resonances. Using concrete, steel bbs, and resin.
 
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