Those who can spend tens of thousands on those massively inert cabinets, I say more power to them. I, however, don't have those resources. For my final loudspeakers in this life, I had enclosures made of two layers of MDF, 3/4" laminated to 1 1/8", for a net of 1 7/8", each enclosure weighs 192lbs; less drivers and crossovers.
My cost, including shipping from coast to coast, was less than $5000. Their performance is nearly on par with the best on offer anywhere, as far as I can tell (I haven't heard many of the high priced spread for a few years), but I'm fairly confident in my assertion.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
If I had money for that kind of measuring equipment, I'd just buy Rockports, Magicos, or the like. I use my own measuring tools, and that of friends that can afford those ultra-high-end speakers, our ears, who agree with me regarding the quality of music reproduction provided by my custom built speakers.
I am not criticizing owners of very high-end speaker brands, I'm happy for them, and I'd be tempted to purchase such quality transducers, were I able to do so. All I know for sure though, is I am able to listen for many hours daily with no listening fatigue, and nothing but enjoyment. That's all that matters.
ebm3,743 posts01-14-2017 5:37amTry Magico Q3,M3,S5 very inert plus they sound great not cheap though.+ 1. JA just reviewed the S5 Mk2's and had to place a stethoscope up to the cabinet to detect any cabinet 'excitement', and even then it was barely audible. The 1/2" thick curved aluminium cabinet and top plate are very effective at breaking up internal standing waves.
No cabinet is the best cabinet. But that's only one reason why I prefer planars---ESL's, magnetic-planars, ribbons. All but one pair of speaker "cabinets" I do have are actually open baffle frames; the fact that they aren't sealed and are heavily braced reduces the ability of the walls to resonate.
The one pair of sealed cabinets I do have contain subwoofer drivers. I made the enclosure as a box-within-a-box, with a 1/2 space between the two, the cavity filled with no.60 Silica sand. The interior box is cross-braced every 5", and that plus the damping sand results in very "quiet" enclosures.
I agree with bdp24 the best cabinet is none, others can include Bent and Formed Laminations, I have seen fabricated steel used, Celestion used Aerolam , an aluminium honeycombed laminated material. Cast concrete is fun and not to mention an easy favourite , Lead Lined . The sand filled cavity has been used in the UK for transmission line cabinets for years, I love this hobby, all roads can lead to Rome.
MDF is good and practical. Not sure that there is a best. Amusing to see proponents of inert cabinets also supportive of rigid metallic or ceramic drivers. Gee gosh golly - speaker cabinets need to be inert but I guess it is ok for the diaphragms on the drivers to ring like a bell? Slight disconnect or what...