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Non-wooden Soundboards

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The bottom octave of my 16ft Tromba is made out of MDF treated in resin its been fine for 29 years, if money was available I would have it replaced.


May I ask why? For aesthetic or practical reasons? If for practical reasons, please could you outline the shortcomings you observe?

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How does MDF or similar matierial fare with regard to the burnishing of the toe holes? Does it emit a foul odour/toxic fume?


- Nathan

Yes to both, that is why it is best done right besides an extractor fan that takes all the smoke outside. It saves having to climb up the ladder and reset the smoke alarms too!


As for water damage to soundboards, I would rather have a timber soundboard get wet than a chipboard one. With timber it drys out and sometimes cracks and can be reglued, whereas with a chipboard one it drys out and falls apart. We have a job on the floor at the moment that was a 3M Hill & Son, rebuilt in the 1970's with all the latest materials (read plastic flexi-trunking, vinyl, and chipboard) that had 30 000 Litres of water from fire sprinklers through it. The timber soundboards are still intact, the chipboard swellbox was crumbling as it was taken down.

The reservoirs ended up true to name in more ways than one with that job.

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