Finishing Cabinet for Overnight Sensations

Discussion in 'DIY Speakers and Subwoofers' started by maltux, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. I have ordered my Overnight Sensation kit. What are the steps involved in finishing the cabinet? I would like a black tone with the wood grain showing. I would like a matt finish if at all possible. When finished I test these against my B&W CM 600 S3's. The winners will be awarded as my primary TV speakers. It has been 35 years since my last speaker build and my cabinetry skills were never really good.
  2. Hi Maltux, I just finished one of my OS MTM's the other night; your really gonna like them. As for finish, since the box is MDF and you would like wood grain, it looks like you'll need to veneer them first. I'm not sure what type of grain pattern you would like to show, but most woods could be "toned" using an aniline dye. Love them myself. I'm working on a set of Hitmakers using fiddleback maple dyed blue (to look like a guitar). The aniline stains color the wood uniformly, but don't hide the grain in any way. They come in both water base, and alcohol base so you don't mix the same stain solvent with the finish solvent. Water base dye for things like shellac, lacquer or varnish, and alcohol based dye for water based finishes. The veneering isn't difficult and can be done using a carpet knife, sanding blocks, some bar clamps and nice flat sheet goods like the painted MDF shelves from the home improvement places. regular yellow glue works well on lighter woods. I would suggest just playing around with some scrap first to get a feel for it. This would create some nice little test blocks for trying out your finish too.
    hope this helps,
  3. Thanks nikkoluvr;

    I did not realize that the boxes were MDF for some reason I thought thy were made of something else. I am not going to veneer these. Do I need to treat the wood before adding any dye to the MDF? I am looking for a muted black tone with a matt finish. Good thing to know keeping alcohol and water based products in their own camp. Love to see pictures when and if you have the time.

    Thank you for your reply,

  4. MDF is very porous. You should give it plenty of primer, or better yet sanding sealer - or so I'm told. I used two coats of sanding sealer followed by cheap spray paint. The finish is still a little uneven - due to wood filler and uneven sanding sealer, in addition to the spray paint.

    I don't know how that would be different for a dye treatment as opposed to paint.
  5. Ugh!! sorry, I should have looked at those kits closer before I said anything. The TM version of the OS's is baltic birch, but the MTM version is MDF. If you are doing the TM's then you wouldn't have to veneer or paint, but you will see the end grain quite clearly if you just stain them. You could play around with some stain on the interior surfaces and see what you like before committing yourself.

    Like HopefulFred said, MDF is very porous and just drinks up sealer. I usually put a coat or 2 of Zinsser seal coat on my MDF boxes before I veneer them. Shellac is an excellent sealer for moisture. I've used both powder (J.E. moser from Woodworkers supply) as well as the liquid Transtint dyes, and they both work very well.
    good luck!
  6. Thank you both for wonderful ideas. :D
  7. #7 maltux, Oct 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2016
    Solder of Crossover is complete. I must thank Soundslike on Parts Express Tech Talk forum for the CAD drawings and connections. He even included the mirror image for wiring the back board. This made it easy. Hope I can show it.



    test fit the components. They fit!

  8. After sanding I painted with Rustolium Black Satin. I could not find another can of the grey primer I was using so I skipped a step.


    Time for a Top Gear (UK) and off to bed.
  9. Finally finished!

    Glued in port tubes on the back then finished off cabinet. Lots of glue everywhere.



    Put in the crossovers and my fiberglass insulation with gloves on.

    When wiring up the tweeter I needed to reverse the polarity as per the designers specs.
  10. SHOWDOWN!!!!!

    So how do they compare to my B&W DM 600 S3's? The B&W are of comparable size and have an MSRP of $350.


    Well........ummmm pretty much the same.

    I am driving my good stereo with Rotel power and preamp separates (@ 120 watts ) and a Rotel 1072 CD player.

    At low to moderate volume I really like them both.

    How do either compare to my Phase Tech 10.5 (MSRP $2,200)? - well they don't but it is a different speaker meant to be driven hard.


    Heres a look at the back panel.


    It is really hard to compare speakers and explain how they sound. To me either a speaker sounds good or it doesn't.

    Will I sell my B&W's?.... maybe

    Will I sell my Overnight Sensations - NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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