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Do you like piano gloss or wood veneer finish on a subwoofer or speaker?

Poll Results: Which finish do you prefer on your speakers and/or subwoofers?

 
  • 26% (10)
    Piano Gloss
  • 73% (28)
    Wood Veneer
38 Total Votes  
post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
If you were going to buy a 'lifetime subwoofer' or 'lifetime speaker' would it be finished in piano gloss or wood veneer.

Discuss:
post #2 of 42
Thread Starter 
A couple of notes from my vantage:

Piano Gloss
1) piano gloss is reflective - may not work well with projector use.
2) piano gloss may scratch easier - since these are lifetime subs or speakers you probably want them to look nice in 20-30 years.
3) Piano Gloss shows dust, pet dander, fingerprints etc.

Wood Veneer
1) wood veneer may begin peeling with age - you probably want them to look nice in 20-30 years.
2) wood veneer sometimes looks like wood veneer and may not really represent real wood authentically - especially on larger pieces because the repeating patterns are noticeable.

I think 'piano gloss' may look better subjectively, but I think something like a black oak veneer is probably more durable for the average American household with kids/pets/life - happening around the audio system.
post #3 of 42

I've owned both and prefer wood veneer but could live with either if the speaker itself was worth keeping for life. Some folks say they don't like piano gloss when using a projector but it didn't bother me. Once I'm tuned into the screen I didn't notice the speakers. Wood veneer is easier to keep clean of course.

post #4 of 42
I am simply not careful enough to avoid scratching piano gloss, and on top of that I am too lazy to buff it every now and then. A piano gloss sub would end up covered in paw prints, I suspect. Therefore, wood veneer all the way.
post #5 of 42
Piano gloss for me.... all the way. So easy to just wipe off with a microfiber cloth, so I don't buy at all that is a hassle to keep clean, reflection is not a problem either. And as far as kids goes, set the rule from the get-go and follow through with it... no one goes near "daddy's toys" they're off-limits. My son learned that at 2 yrs old, my wife and I were on him until he never bother going near my audio equipment again... if I did it, other parents can to smile.gif

Pets.... cats in particular, that's a tricky one as they would scratch either surface. I didn't have that problem with our cats - they always went to their respective scratching posts so this was never an issue for me.
post #6 of 42
The original question isn't stated well since gloss levels and choices between wood and painted finishes are not mutually exclusive. Wood veneer subs are typically finished using a low to medium gloss varnish, I believe. A "piano gloss" is achieved with a clear polyurethane that's hand-rubbed between coats and a final cut polish after curing.

My ultimate sub would be covered in an exotic wood and it would also include a piano gloss finish. Here's an example of that type of finish on a Salk Sound speaker:
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by henrich3 View Post

The original question isn't stated well since gloss levels and choices between wood and painted finishes are not mutually exclusive. Wood veneer subs are typically finished using a low to medium gloss varnish, I believe. A "piano gloss" is achieved with a clear polyurethane that's hand-rubbed between coats and a final cut polish after curing.

My ultimate sub would be covered in an exotic wood and it would also include a piano gloss finish. Here's an example of that type of finish on a Salk Sound speaker:

That photo is a rather comical Photoshop hack job eek.gif. I know that has nothing to do with the speakers or the finish.
post #8 of 42
Photoshop hack job? Not sure why the thought of natural wood being finished in the same high gloss poly as a painted sub stretches your imagination past the breaking point. Check out the salksound website for more examples. The original question asked whether people prefer high gloss or wood veneer. Since those aren't mutually exclusive options I thought my comments & pic were relevant.
post #9 of 42
I'd take a good-quality wood veneer over a piano gloss finish.
post #10 of 42
That's like saying "I'll take a Corvette over a blue car". Corvettes can be blue. Wood veneer can include a piano gloss finish.

More appropriate questions would be preferences of:
- Wood veneer or painted?
- High, medium, or low gloss levels?
- Poly or varnish?
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by henrich3 View Post

Photoshop hack job? Not sure why the thought of natural wood being finished in the same high gloss poly as a painted sub stretches your imagination past the breaking point. Check out the salksound website for more examples. The original question asked whether people prefer high gloss or wood veneer. Since those aren't mutually exclusive options I thought my comments & pic were relevant.

Agree.... a finish like the one in that photo combines the best of both finishes, quite custom-looking.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by henrich3 View Post

Photoshop hack job? Not sure why the thought of natural wood being finished in the same high gloss poly as a painted sub stretches your imagination past the breaking point. Check out the salksound website for more examples. The original question asked whether people prefer high gloss or wood veneer. Since those aren't mutually exclusive options I thought my comments & pic were relevant.

I only meant that the speaker is clearly superimposed over a different background. I think those are studio lights reflecting off the veneer. I'm confident the speakers themselves are real, but whenever I see an image that is so easy to identify as a Photoshop composite it makes me wonder what else about the photo might be retouched.

I only noticed because I've been working with Photoshop for so long. I am not saying the finishes are artificial, just the backgrounds. The image is totally relevant to this thread as are your comments.
Edited by imagic - 1/1/14 at 1:47pm
post #13 of 42
I had the opportunity to meet Jim Salk and see/hear his speakers at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver a couple months ago. The veneers and piano gloss finishes on the speakers he brought to the show were absolutely magnificent - best of show IMO. While he apparently manipulates the pictures of his speakers to superimpose them on nicer backgrounds, the speaker finishes in his photos are representative of what I saw at the show. (They also sounded excellent from what I heard.)
post #14 of 42
Before I bought my Noesis, I was going to buy a pair of Salk HT3's and I had about 10 different veneers picked out and I wanted them with the hand rubbed gloss finish. I will eventually get them.

I remember sitting with my wife one night and we were drooling over all the pictures of the HT3's on the Salk site. Just beautiful works of art. I look forward to the day when I get mine.

I voted for the piano gloss, but defiantly not piano black.
post #15 of 42

My opinion is that I do not prefer wood veneer.  To me its like getting plastic floors(laminate), instead of hardwood.  Or putting a Mercedes emblem on a chevy......its just cheesy.  Your furniture/speakers etc are either made from real wood or they aren't.  Wood finishes are sometimes more difficult to blend with certain decors especially if you have any other "real" wood in the room.  So for me, black, whether it is flat or piano, is the preferred finish.  There is no right or wrong obviously, as everyone's preference is different, and correct.

post #16 of 42

I'd say wood veneer because the piano gloss would get scratched by my kids or the dust would be too visible or the kid's fingerprints would be too obvious… the list goes on. My home is too busy with pets and kids to have the piano gloss. 

post #17 of 42
I voted Piano Gloss but I strongly disagree with myself... tongue.gif

For me, it is dependent upon the speaker design and the room. Really an aesthetics question but I think I know why you asked.
post #18 of 42
My speakers are PB and they have to be dusted all the time if I could redo it I would've gone with the wood look, PB looks great but I'm no house wife and cleaning them all the time is something I'd rather not have to do.
post #19 of 42
Neither. I'd go with real wood or something with a matte finish.
post #20 of 42
Matte black, or subdued black. Love the look of my Bose Acoustimass 15 Speaker System. Black, black, and more black.
post #21 of 42
I prefer nice wood veneer for speakers. The problem is that usually equals expensive wood veneer.

The worst veneers are the ones that attempt to look like solid wood. There is much truly aweful and dreary veneering out there.

Veneers that take advantage of the material and use its strengths can create some gorgeous objet d'art. There are also some gorgeous woods that you can't build a speaker out of and are only available as veneer.

However, my stereo tube amp is brass and piano black and I think it is gorgeous (VAC PA45). So I guess there is a place for everything.
post #22 of 42
Piano Gloss
1) piano gloss is reflective - may not work well with projector use.
I don't have a projector. Probably very few do in their living room. I'm not really concerned what speakers look like in an "entertainment/HT" room.
2) piano gloss may scratch easier - since these are lifetime subs or speakers you probably want them to look nice in 20-30 years.
I take good care of my stuff and don't have kids.
3) Piano Gloss shows dust, pet dander, fingerprints etc.
Gotta dust anyway. It's an easy job with a Swiffer. My dog is a poodle mix and any future dog will be too, so no dander.

Wood Veneer
1) wood veneer may begin peeling with age - you probably want them to look nice in 20-30 years.
I'll probably be dead in 30 years. Even if I were younger I'm sure I'd have different speakers by then. And the 20-30 year old ones would probably be worth next to nothing anyway.
2) wood veneer sometimes looks like wood veneer and may not really represent real wood authentically - especially on larger pieces because the repeating patterns are noticeable.
Wood veneer only looks good if it fits in with your decor. Cherry speakers with walnut furniture just doesn't cut it. The color scheme of the room needs to complement. Black goes with more decor. Most of our TVs are black and they fit in.
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaFan63 View Post

Matte black, or subdued black. Love the look of my Bose Acoustimass 15 Speaker System. Black, black, and more black.

post #24 of 42
I would be bound to scratch a gloss finish, so a matte finish for me, regardless of duratex or veneer!
post #25 of 42
Oh yeah I'm serious. Just like my clothes. Black. I'm a guitarist, I wear a lot of black. Anyway, let's keep the thread rolling. Next...
Edited by MediaFan63 - 1/3/14 at 4:47am
post #26 of 42
I like the matte black and industrial look myself.
post #27 of 42

If you're looking for a "black finish" and like the idea of a wood veneer, there are two wood veneers that are black.  One is Blackened Ash and the other Black Obeche.  Gives your piece a beautiful black look, but with the wood grain.

 

post #28 of 42
I'm partial to black oak as my FV15HP matches the rest of my speakers quite nicely. I would think most folks prefer their speakers to all match or maybe that's just me. Maybe it doesn't matter if the room is dark or the sub is out of sight.
post #29 of 42
I haven't seen it in person yet, but I really like the look of the Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower and 2. The black stained bamboo cabinets look real nice. That would be my first choice.
I had speakers with piano gloss caps on top and bottom, and while they looked nice I would not get piano gloss again. I kept it clean and dusted a lot but they still seem to get very light swirls. They just always seemed dusty too. Too much maintenence for me.
post #30 of 42

I think I might be misunderstanding what wood veneer finish is on a subwoofer/speaker.  Can someone elaborate please?

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