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Waveguide Finish Question: Matte or Gloss

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
The SEOS™ waveguide designed right here on the AVS forum is nearing completion. There's an option to get it in matte finish or gloss "mirror" finish, but I'm having a hard time deciding. It seems like many people thought matte was the way to go.

The samples I have right now are gloss. When they were first delivered they did have a slight haze to the finish and not quite as shiny as the 18-Sound XT-120 that many are familiar with. Today I sprayed a little cleaner on the SEOS-12 and it turned out pretty darn good.

Forum member BWaslo has seen these in person. His thought was that any type of bump or scuff before the end user gets them will show up and that maybe the matte is the best way to go. Basically keeping people from getting one with a slight scuff mark and asking for another one before they try to polish it. After working with them today, I think scuffs could be buffed out either way, but he does make a valid point.

A smooth matte finish requires paint. BUT, it's a very thin and very good coat. So good that BWaslo and I could not tell if some of the companies other products even had the paint or not. We scratched and scrapped them, still couldn't tell. Any today I found out that a lot of waveguides and horns get the special paint if you want a very smooth surface but a matte finish. Cost does not really change because they charged extra to make the mirror finish on the mold, so it's basically covered or included.

I don't have a matte finish SEOS, so I used a horn that does, and took photos of both on different speaker surfaces. It's the best I could do.


I'd like to know if you think these should be gloss, matte, or maybe get 50% of each type.



On mirror black cabinet:




On cherry:






On birch or maple:





Slight angle to see reflections (camera happened to focus on matte horn):





Close Up:


post #2 of 18
i see the dilemma. the polished turned out so well, it is tough to "matte" them down, but in a theater application, matte is probably the better performer for minimizing projector reflections. the polished sure look nice against both the high gloss black and the various woods though. i'd probably split it around 75%/25% matte/polished, but that is just a guess based on what will probably average across all the sites and interest, not just here.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
The gloss finish does look good against certain colors. I like it better on the lighter wood, but on the cherry finish, the matte looks pretty nice to me. Different cherry wood might make me change my mind though.

If it was just a quickly painted DIY speaker, then the matte would probably match it better.


Keep in mind that there's still a slight "haze" to the gloss model, but you can't see it from a couple feet away. Not sure what else to call it. When you look close, there are swirl marks, which I assume are from when they polished the aluminum mold. That's where the slight haze is coming from. Getting those out would likely be really expensive, at least that's what I was told by the first company I talked to in Wayne Indiana. Of course, their mold price was either $42k or $48k, can't recall. I actually laughed when they told me the price because I had no idea....kinda felt bad for doing that! I think it was $48 for the 10" and $52 for the 15", the 12 hadn't be decided on yet. I should find that quote, scan it in, and post it. Maybe they priced it high just to see what I'd do? I never called them back......
post #4 of 18
Im with LTD on the matte for a theater type install, but hey, PI and some others with excellent woodworking skills that they actually want to show off their work (def not me ). I voted for matte, but a good 75/25 matte to glossy would probably be a good idea, heck if my woodworking skills actually improve, id prefer the gloss on an install that would show them off. I plan on holding out for these to install on my old advent cabinets at the moment. I would just need a passive xo design...
post #5 of 18
id say matte as well since i have a projector
post #6 of 18
Where I get where projector guys come from, the gloss finish looks quite a bit better in person than in those photos.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

id say matte as well since i have a projector

Same. I use an AT screen and the gloss could shine through. Although the gloss does look nice.
post #8 of 18
I voted for the gloss. If its noticed behind my AT screen it can be covered with a speaker grill or speaker grill cloth if laziness takes over. Some people don't care so 50/50.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioJosh View Post

Where I get where projector guys come from, the gloss finish looks quite a bit better in person than in those photos.

Josh, you have the fiberglass ones from Autotech. These are the 8mm plastic models. So there is a difference.


Scott, I never really thought about the shine coming through the AT screen, good point.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

Josh, you have the fiberglass ones from Autotech. These are the 8mm plastic models. So there is a difference.


Scott, I never really thought about the shine coming through the AT screen, good point.

That was the point I was making as well. Even the textured finish on my center channel (triple8) shines through on a few really bright scenes. For L/R duty it wont be so bad and really the only issue you would have is if you are looking dead on, but it still would be an issue nontheless. Either way, more that I think about it, the gloss finish wouldnt be so bad with the concave nature of a horn. An easy fix as has been stated is a grill, a quick duster or two of flat black paint, or even rough up the finish a bit with some sandpaper. If it is behind a screen, who would care anyways? dont kill me for that!! I think these would look beautiful glossed if they are out in the open, not behind an AT screen
post #11 of 18
Obviously I'd choose the mirror black if the tower was also mirror black but if it is any of the wood finishes I definitely think matte looks much more balanced.
post #12 of 18
I voted for Matte. For home theater installs and a projector, reflections off of the gloss horn will be unwanted. Put me down for a pair of the matte SEOS-12 waveguides, Erich. Big thanks for all of your hard work
post #13 of 18
Although the gloss looks really, really nice the matte is a bit more universal. My cabinets will be black satin, so I'm thinking the matte would be a better combination. Erich, will the initial order of 200 be both matte and gloss or are you saying we'd have to paint them to achieve that matte finish?

-Nate
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotbunny View Post

Although the gloss looks really, really nice the matte is a bit more universal. My cabinets will be black satin, so I'm thinking the matte would be a better combination. Erich, will the initial order of 200 be both matte and gloss or are you saying we'd have to paint them to achieve that matte finish?

-Nate

The plastic company would apply the matte finish, not us.

But I think you misunderstood sir.....this is injection molding.....200 won't be the order. 1000+ is what the order must be. You're thinking of the compression drivers. But I don't know how many of the 1000+ will be here on the first round.

The mold is very expensive because it's carved from 2 big chunks of aluminum, but everyone figured 1000 parts might get sold. After initial estimates, the parts would end up being under $30 each and still cover everything. So I'm rolling the dice. Well, I already rolled the dice because you see the molded part. There's really no turning back at this point.

I just want to make sure that everyone likes the way the final product looks before sending them the go ahead.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post


The plastic company would apply the matte finish, not us.

But I think you misunderstood sir.....this is injection molding.....200 won't be the order. 1000+ is what the order must be. You're thinking of the compression drivers. But I don't know how many of the 1000+ will be here on the first round.

The mold is very expensive because it's carved from 2 big chunks of aluminum, but everyone figured 1000 parts might get sold. After initial estimates, the parts would end up being under $30 each and still cover everything. So I'm rolling the dice. Well, I already rolled the dice because you see the molded part. There's really no turning back at this point.

I just want to make sure that everyone likes the way the final product looks before sending them the go ahead.

Ah yes, of course, in fact I was thinking of the cd order amount, thanks. I'm assuming the plastics company will palletize the guides similar to Autotech, how many can fit shipping this way?

I'm going to recess the wg 8mm into the baffle, and use body filler around the seams and mounting holes to reduce any possible diffraction, plus it will look good. Now I'm stuck as to which finish to order. When I paint the baffle, how will I blend from the satin finish I'm using to the wg? Should I just order the gloss unpainted and paint everything as one piece? Suggestions?

The waveguide looks amazing and owning a set knowing the dedication and history behind their inception makes them a real centerpiece to many long hours of listening and discussion.

-Nate
post #16 of 18
Gloss for me as they'd be used in surrounds so out of the projector light field. Matte would do if I had no choice.
post #17 of 18
Matte because of a combination of projector issues, less possibilities of defects/scratches and the fact that most people don't finish their cabs in a high gloss or piano black finish. For me a gloss finish has to be damn near perfect or it won't look good, especially in black. We also don't know how well the plastic will polish up. The woofers they will mate with will also likely be matte.
post #18 of 18
I voted for gloss. I can always matte them out with paint. I'll probably apply paint to make them blend into the room better.
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