When you’re looking for a new modular synth cabinet for your studio, there are many things to consider. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is about the materials used to build your case. In particular, you’ll need to choose between solid wood and plywood. There are many benefits to using the real thing that simply can’t be matched by a composite. In particular, it’s important to consider factors such as durability, upkeep, and sustainability. Here are the reasons why there’s one clear winner in the debate between solid wood and plywood for your modular synth cabinet.

Unlike sheet goods (plywood, particle board, mdf, melamine), wood furniture is extremely durable, and if your solid wood eurorack cabinet does become scratched, it’s very simple to perform repairs. If you properly maintain your wood modular synth cabinet, it should last for decades without issue. If a cabinet made from sheet goods is damaged, repairs are nearly impossible, and leave behind an unsightly gouge, revealing the layers of glue and inexpensive veneer, or sawdust.

Easy to upkeep
Solid wood modular synth/eurorack cabinets are surprisingly easy to maintain. To cleaning/polish your wood eurorack cabinet simply wipe it down with a soft cloth to remove any dust buildup. If you want to give it a sleek shine you can use a wax designed for wood, as it's how we do final finishing before we ship to you. It is not recommended to use a general house cleaner as there are typically harsh chemicals in these that can damage wood and even peel off its finish. Cleaning a wood eurorack cabinet differs slightly depending on if the piece is finished or unfinished, but overall it is always very simple. Any scratches or dents in your wood modular synth cabinet can be easily sanded out.

One of a kind
No two pieces of wood are the same, and each offers a unique grain pattern and color. We use a stain in the final wax we apply to balance the coloring, but the grain patterns can be wild or straight (quiet), depending on from which part of a board we cut to make the panel used on your cabinet. Most eurorack cabinets are mass-produced now, making them all look exactly the same. With a solid wood modular synth cabinet , you can be assured there is no piece is exactly like it in the world. Even wood cabinets that is produced on a larger scale is unique and one of a kind. Solid wood modular synth cabinets add character and unique style to every studio they're placed in.

While it may sound surprising, wood modular synth cabinets are more sustainable than plastic, metal or pieces made from sheet goods. Manmade materials such as plastic or sheet goods are not renewable. Newer plastic and composite furniture are also typically produced on a very large scale. Fast- and mass-produced cabinets are an unsustainable process and leads to cheaper pieces treated as disposable objects. Wooden furniture is kept for generations and is typically a one-time purchase. For example, if you invest in a solid wood dining table, you most likely will never have to buy a new one, unless upgrading to a larger rig. You can even ensure your wood furniture was made with wood that was ethically sourced from the mills we use to harvest and cut felled trees into boards, meaning the wood taken is replaced by planting supplemental trees.

Contact Needham Woodworks today to learn more about why there’s one clear choice between solid wood and plywood.