Pine chest sub feasabilty?


Prominent Member
Oct 12, 2002
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Inspired by steveTHX and his furniture sub I was wondering if it would be possible to take a pine chest of roughly 18 x 18 x 36 inches, seal the lid shut and make a downward firing sub? Please note: if its possible, and I've no doubt it is, expect plenty of questions to follow :D
Steve THX's box looked like heavy hardwood and was basically cylindrical which helped it resist resonance enormously. A box like your chest is going to shake itself to bits without some help.

Pine is very light and resonant, poor at damping vibration, it actually promotes it, is almost impossible to seal, shrinks and expands with humidity etc. etc. Making it airtight is more difficult than making it watertight. So how watertight can you make it?

If I absolutely had to use the pine chest: I'd build a thick walled MDF sub box to go inside the chest with room to spare and 'float' this 'real' sub box in sound deadening material. Using thick car body felt or carpet underfelt as a spacer. With the bottom of the pine chest almost completely cut away.

I often feel that problems with the appearance of a sub or speakers are entirely down to how one feels about items in room.
Nobody questions conventional furniture in a room. (Like a pine chest?)

Putting a pot plant or table lamp on a box sub. Even throwing a cloth over it to make it look like a small table. Works wonders if WAF rears it's ugly head. You can always lift the object off temporarily when you use the sub at high level if the object rattles or tries to hurl itself off.
I threw a dark green velvet cloth over each of my ~20" (cube) subs. Then placed a large pot plant on top of each one. One sub was placed under each of the two windows in the room. This made it look like the subs were actually purpose built plinths lifting the plants into the light. I simply painted the MDF boxes matt black so any water damage from accidental spills wasn't a problem. Those with wood finishes wouldn't want to take the risk with plants. Find a suitably large table lamp to match the size of your own sub.

Think about your pine chest for a moment. What makes you think it is acceptable as a chest? But not as a similar sized subwoofer not pretending to be a chest? ;)

Remember light colours and light wood finishes make things appear much larger. Black is okay perhaps with a bit of camouflaging cloth. While white is always HUGE!

Thanks for that advice nimby. I have a Q150E at the moment which is hardly obtrusive but my wife has a point when she says 'whats that black box doing in here'. The sub is great but only when I position it between the TV and the left front speaker so basically in full view. I thought I could kill 2 birds and use a pine chest we were thinking of buying as the basis of a sub. Back to the drawing board I guess.

Some great stuff there btw :lesson: Is it really easier to make it watertight than airtight?
bones` asked:

"Is it really easier to make it watertight than airtight?"

Water molecules are much bigger than air molecules. I only used the example to emphasise the difficulties you would face trying to use a porous pine chest for a sub. It's easier to imagine water pouring out of the cracks than air puffing out all over the place.


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