Sunday, June 10, 2012

Home Theater Construction That Really Sings

When creating a home theater, it can help to heed some sound advice: Working with the right materials can do a lot to improve the overall acoustic integrity of the system.

For example, medium density fiberboard (MDF) is widely used in the manufacture of furniture, cabinets, door parts, mouldings, millwork and laminate flooring. MDF is a composite panel product consisting of recycled wood fibers combined with a synthetic bonding system and joined together under heat and pressure. Additives may be introduced during manufacturing to impart additional characteristics.

The surface of MDF is flat, smooth, uniform, dense and free of knots and grain patterns, all of which make finishing operations easier and more consistent, especially for demanding uses such as direct printing and thin laminates. The homogeneous density profile of MDF allows intricate and precise machining and finishing for high end architectural products.

Hitting The Right Notes

MDF is an extremely versatile building material. As a dense, rigid, acoustically inert product, MDF has no peers when it comes to creating speaker cabinets capable of delivering high-fidelity and high-energy audio. A properly designed MDF speaker cabinet will focus the maximum "acoustic energy" at the listeners, while keeping vibration transition to a minimum. When building a home theater, it's important to use materials that will bring out the system's sound quality.

In some cases, designers have used MDF for wall panels with special fabric coverings to control acoustic reflections in the room. MDF is considered a smart choice for home audiophiles who like higher sound pressure levels. You can really add punch to a sound system with "tactile transducers" under the home theater floor. These are piston-driven devices, connected to the base channel, that can shake the whole room. Such installations are invariably coordinated with double layers of MDF.

The Composite Panel Association brings together 39 North American producers of particleboard, medium density fiberboard and other compatible products.

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