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  1. #1

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    Default diy subwoofer isolation riser...wood,granite,marble...?

    Hey all. I'm trying to find the best material to build my subwoofer riser out of. I see that a majority use MDF wood for the platform. I did some research and found that some use granite slabs, marble slabs also. Right now I have an unused dinner tray table that fits my sub's dimensions. It is made of rubberwood...seems pretty solid. Would this be good to use? Or should I consider the other materials I stated previously? Any suggestions? Thanks :-)

  2. #2

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    You can use anything that is high density and non-resonant. MDF is used a lot because it is cheap, easy to cut, the density is consistent and somewhat easy to finish. The only thing about MDF is that it is very messy, leaving a lot of residue behind when cutting....

  3. #3

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    I got ya. I found a piece of MDF in my garage that surprisingly also fits my sub's dimensions. Deciding on whether to use the MDF or the rubberwood. They both feel like they weigh the same...don't know if that matters tho.

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    IMHO, it'd depend on if you need more ISOLATION or COUPLING for your sub. For isolation, MDF has its non-resonant property but it may not be enough to isolate a sub. For coupling, you'd need something much more heavier such as ganite slab. The best is to combine both.

    Are you placing the sub on something prone to resonate, such as on raised hollow wooden floor? In this case you'd need good isolation. Better than MDF is to use very dense foam (such as CD100 packing foam). If your sub is going to be on carpet over concrete, then you can achieve better coupling by spiking the sub through the carpet to the concrete.

    Coupling will amplify your sub (which is a good thing most of the time for a sub) and isolation will not. If you have to apply isolation, it'd be good that you add coupling at the same time as well. For example, sit your sub on a granite slab (the heavier the better) on top of a layer of dense foam (> 3" thick).


    p.s. I imagine some people may want the sensation of their sub shaking the wooden floor underneath
    Last edited by sk88; 09-13-2013 at 06:13 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by felipe View Post
    I got ya. I found a piece of MDF in my garage that surprisingly also fits my sub's dimensions. Deciding on whether to use the MDF or the rubberwood. They both feel like they weigh the same...don't know if that matters tho.
    MDF not to be confused with HDF (High Density Fiberboard) is medium in density. Rubberwood falls in the Maple family and is medium in density also. So, use either sheet and mimic the Auralex Subdude design: http://www.auralex.com/sound_isolati...subdude_hd.asp

    Just cover the wood with material, then sit it on top of a piece os think open cell foam: http://www.foambymail.com/acoustical-foam-products.html
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    My floor is concrete with carpet. I was thinking about using both granite and MDF, but after researching both I'm leaning more towards the MDF. I'm doing more isolation than coupling...don't want the rattles lol...sound only lol. I'll be using from legs from an old sub I had a while back with the MDF piece. I see that most people cover it with carpet. I was thinking of just painting it. What's the purpose of covering with carpet? Is it purely for appearance or is there some performance aspect to it? Not sure if I'm going to use foam underneath it.

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    Carpet is for car audio or pro audio...I would not carpet on my speakers in my HT or living room. Paint or veneer are best, but if you're not able to do either proficiently, then use baltic birch plywood and stain/seal.
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    Carpet is not bad if you have carpet in the room and the carpet matches...it will blend right in. Other than that, finish off the MDF with whatever you wish! Also, did you see the wedges i posted in the link:

    http://www.foambymail.com/MIW/monito...ion-wedge.html



    $9.99 for the 4 pack, $14.99 for the 8 pack is you want a flat surface.
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    Since OP has concrete underneath, why not spike?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk88 View Post
    Since OP has concrete underneath, why not spike?
    Well, for the best sound in the room I agree that the OP should try both decoupling (foam) and coupling (spikes) to see what works.

    Myself, I'm about to try a decoupling solution. The home I'm in has a wood floor that transfers a lot of energy. With just one side of the RT3000p's bass modules playing, that are spiked through the carpet, the whole floor in several rooms vibrates like crazy. Not the effect I want all the time.
    Last edited by WLDock; 09-17-2013 at 10:49 AM.
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    Well, I finished building my sub isolation pad/riser. I painted the MDF with flat black spray paint as an undercoat, than finished it off with a "Make it Stone" Gray textured spray paint. For the legs, I used legs from an old down-firing sub. They're about 1.5 inches long...so theyre more like stubs lol..but it gets the job done :). I found some A/C insulating panels that I used as the foam to put underneath it. to further dampen vibration, i used neoprene washers and rubber-tipped feet (the kind you put on stools) on the legs. I set it up...re-ran my audyssey auto-cal and it decreased the sub level by 4db. to test it, I played the movie "Inception" (Which has a lot of bass in the soundtrack) and WOOW!! a def increase in volume with virtually none of the rattles. It sounds more defined and better clarity as well:). Have not yet tried music, but a def improvement inthe movie department.

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    This is a great thread, i am adapting the information for use on my speaker stands for mixing audio. Thank you all!

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    Lol nice :-). I have some leftover foam from my sub riser build. Would it be useful to use it on my speaker stands? Think it would improve the sound at all? Any thoughts?

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    Same concept.....isolation of extraneous vibrations from the floor to improve clarity and definition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WLDock View Post
    Same concept.....isolation of extraneous vibrations from the floor to improve clarity and definition.


    Actually, to clarify I was thinking on using the foam for the top plate? Maybe placing it underneath the top plate? Would it have the same effect in terms of the sound not so much isolation from vibration but improved clarity?

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    Yes, it would be the same thinking as in what Ultimate Support does with their Studio MS Series stands: http://www.ultimatesupport.com/categ...nds__MS_Series

    ...tame vibrations and get out of the way so that the speakers can do what they do!
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by WLDock View Post
    Yes, it would be the same thinking as in what Ultimate Support does with their Studio MS Series stands: http://www.ultimatesupport.com/categ...nds__MS_Series

    ...tame vibrations and get out of the way so that the speakers can do what they do!

    Well I used the leftover foam panels from my sub riser, cut them, and "snug" fitted them in between the MDF pillars. It actually looks pretty nice:-) . this should help with the imaging and clarity...besides looking good lol.

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    Sub riser update...the legs on my sub riser broke so I replaced them with solid "doorstops" which raised it up another inch or so making the height to about 3.5 inches off the ground. Any thoughts?

    Speaker stand update...I purchased an extra-large mouse pad from office depot and cut two pieces to fit the top plate...to act as the anti-slip pads for the speakers. The mouse pad was about 1/8 thick (thick for a mouse pad IMO...but aids in isolation I think). Any thoughts?

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    Well the doorstops didn't work out, so I went to home depot and purchased "furniture feet" made of pine oak wood...painted them flat black and hooked them up...looks quite good :-) I'll post pics when I get the chance.

    I recently obtained some vintage look r40s from a friend of mine. Any thoughts or opinions on whether or not I should build some stands for them (theyre not quite at ear level)?

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by felipe View Post
    Well the doorstops didn't work out, so I went to home depot and purchased "furniture feet" made of pine oak wood...painted them flat black and hooked them up...looks quite good :-) I'll post pics when I get the chance.

    I recently obtained some vintage look r40s from a friend of mine. Any thoughts or opinions on whether or not I should build some stands for them (theyre not quite at ear level)?

    Finally got some pics..some with my PSW110. let me know what ya think :)
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by felipe View Post
    Well, I finished building my sub isolation pad/riser. I painted the MDF with flat black spray paint as an undercoat, than finished it off with a "Make it Stone" Gray textured spray paint. For the legs, I used legs from an old down-firing sub. They're about 1.5 inches long...so theyre more like stubs lol..but it gets the job done :). I found some A/C insulating panels that I used as the foam to put underneath it. to further dampen vibration, i used neoprene washers and rubber-tipped feet (the kind you put on stools) on the legs. I set it up...re-ran my audyssey auto-cal and it decreased the sub level by 4db. to test it, I played the movie "Inception" (Which has a lot of bass in the soundtrack) and WOOW!! a def increase in volume with virtually none of the rattles. It sounds more defined and better clarity as well:). Have not yet tried music, but a def improvement inthe movie department.
    That's all well and good but the question to be answered is where did you find the black paint??
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken brydson View Post
    That's all well and good but the question to be answered is where did you find the black paint??

    Lol....Walmart of course . as you can see, its been altered a bit since that quote ;)

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    Well...my sub riser unfortunately got damaged beyond repair, so I constructed another...but took a different design direction. I purchased a sheet of mdf from home depot, cut it to desired dimensions..painted it in the same fashion as the other. The difference? Instead of using legs, found some EVA foam mats ( the same ones used for exercise equipment, etc.) Cut a couple of pieces to fit the MDF board and placed them underneath. To my surprise, it sounds significantly better! I'll post pics when I get the chance. Any thoughts to why it would sound better?

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by felipe View Post
    Well...my sub riser unfortunately got damaged beyond repair, so I constructed another...but took a different design direction. I purchased a sheet of mdf from home depot, cut it to desired dimensions..painted it in the same fashion as the other. The difference? Instead of using legs, found some EVA foam mats ( the same ones used for exercise equipment, etc.) Cut a couple of pieces to fit the MDF board and placed them underneath. To my surprise, it sounds significantly better! I'll post pics when I get the chance. Any thoughts to why it would sound better?
    Heres some pics of the new sub riser/ iso pad
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  25. #25

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    Looks good!
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