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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I haven't even received my new Rocket ELTse set, and am considering options on refinishing.


I got a great deal because AV123 is out of various components for each of the three available finishes (black, chocolate rosewood and regular (reddish) rosewood). So I ended up with the center in rosewood and everything else in chocolate.


I don't think the mix will look bad - may even look kinda cool since they are similar tones and the same wood grain.


The real problem is that neither matches the room. Here's a picture of the current setup:

http://thebettertons.com/_images/misc/cabinetold.jpg


I hope I'm wrong, but if they really clash, I'm trying to get some options on refinishing them.


What I'm considering is as follows:


(1) Deglosser to remove the sealant (the stuff you put on stained kitchen cabinets so that paint will stick).


(2) High concentration chlorine bleach to remove/dull the actual stain.


(3) Whitish stain or pickled finish paint.


So thoughts?


And any suggestions on removing the drivers or protecting them during the process?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereodude
Why didn't you just wait a little and buy them in matching finishes?


Partly impatience - just got a new receiver to replace an old unit that blew up and the new receiver highlights the sh!ttiness of the old speakers.


Partly because the "mismatched" set was a good bit cheaper than the already on-sale price. And I'm pretty sure by the time the new shipments arrive at AV123 the price is going to jump back up.


And besides, none of the finishes really match the room - even if I had gotten a set that matched each other. And I've yet to see many speakers out there that would match the room.


So a little DIY may be in order.


Anyone with help on that front?
 

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FWIW.... I would NEVER attempt anything like this as a DIY project. For me, I don't have the right equipment, space or expertise to do something like this. Neither do most average folks.


What I would suggest is this:


1. Remove all the drivers, crossovers and binding posts.


2. If you want them painted, take the boxes to a high end automotive restoration body/paint shop. They will have the proper equipment and techniques to get a pristine painted finish. And, automotive and industrial paints are the best available anywhere.


3. If you want them "refinished" in a different stain type finish.... I would take the boxes to an antique restoration company. Once again, the proper chemicals, techniques and finishes, not to mention the experience of doing this every day.


You will pay a bit more, but you will have a finished product that you will be proud of instead of a nightmare gone wrong and something that might look like what it is, a hodge podge DIY attempt at changing the original finish.


I'm not saying that YOU couldn't do a decent job.... but one of the above will give you an EXCELLENT result without all of the work and the chance that it might not turn out right.
 

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What I see when looking at your speakers is mostly the black speaker cloth.


I think I'd be more inclined to try to find some speaker cloth that is a mid gray for the center and front LRs, then see how it looks.


If you do go the route of refinishing the speakers, I would avoid trying to make them match the TV stand and walls. The room is already a little too monochromatic already. I did the same and am now trying to add some color without the accents looking too contrasty.
 

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JimP makes a great idea. Go get some lighter even white if needbe speaker grill cloth and redo those and see what happens. Won't do much good on the sides but from the front it would look great. Also much less hassle and cheaper.


If your going to paint them, I am for going to the car paint place. If you took everything apart to where they could just paint them I doubt if it would cost you that much. Plus you know that way nothing would be bleeding through.... Good luck the ELT's are great speakers....!!! Would like to see a picture if you change them...
 

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I've done a LOT of staining and finishing unfinished pieces in our home. I have all of the right tools, techniques and even some hints from an old time cabinet maker. I've done an OAK claw foot dining room table, chairs and most recently, all of the oak baseboard, chair rail, crown, wainscoat and vanity for the master bath.


I can make the staining process look absolutely GREAT. Where a DIY project falls short though is in the drying process. No matter how careful I am, there is always airborne dust and other "stuff" floating in the air that finds itself falling and clinging to the final finish coat before it has a chance to dry. You can sand and buff to your hearts content, but you never get it all. Even on my oak dining room table where the last two coats of poly I thinned down by at LEAST half with colorless, oderless mineral spirits (to speed up the drying time), there are still little tiny flecks of hair and whatever in the final finish.


Most professional places have a "spray booth" with exotic air filtration to eliminate the ariborne particulate as well as a drying booth or oven, to cure the finish. In the end, you just get a better job that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRL
Would like to see a picture if you change them...
I'll post pictures of the umodified look once I get them. They are due to be delivered next Thursday - and I'm still considering placement/mounting options.


I know the current set up isn't very good (left and right too close together on top of the tv). So I'm considering wall mounting them but need to give some thought to where and how the speaker wire can be run.
 

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Hey Quad... I have one of those oak clawed eating tables that I need to refinish on the top... You mind sending me a PM or sharing how you did yours from start to finish if it wouldn't take you too long.. I would very much appreciate it... I've done some wood working but finishing is not my forte....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRL
Hey Quad... I have one of those oak clawed eating tables that I need to refinish on the top... You mind sending me a PM or sharing how you did yours from start to finish if it wouldn't take you too long.. I would very much appreciate it... I've done some wood working but finishing is not my forte....


Sure.... consider it done.
 

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because of the center location of your center, it will be harder to notice the color of the wood veneer. On my systems I can only see the front grill on my centers.
 

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I have some experience with the Rocket finishes, and I can tell you that it is Not nitrocellulose lacquer. It is a catalyzed finish, and as such would be a tough one to chemically strip [even with KS3, metheylene chloride stripper]. Otherwise, I would recommend stripping and re-finishing.


Your option #1 & #2 would not do you any good.


Physically sanding the surface finish would be about your only choice, and comes with a great risk of going thru the veneer if not carefull. Not to mention getting the surface down to a uniform color. Whitewash normally works best on open grained raw woods such as oak, where there are large grain pores for the pigment to get lodged into. Applying to the Rockets would just sit on the surface, or be easily wiped away. More than likely an enamel type opaque coating that requires a mechanical bond [pre-sanded surface] instead of a burn-in coating [nitrocellulose lacquer melts previous coats for a chemical bond] would be required. I would not attempt without spray equipment.


An alternative [DIY] process [that is reversible] may be to consider applying a PSA surface vinyl [pressure sensitive adhesive] such as a higher grade shelf paper. At least with that you could always remove the film [may require flooding the underneath sticky with VM&P Naptha to loosen or disolve the adhesive]. Naptha will not harm the finish. Other sources for vinyl may include sign shops, that use the material for stick on letter on business doors or windows. Youll probably want a fairly thin & flexible material to wrap all the way around, with the seam being in the rear. [If the rear corners a sharp and square, I forget] then you could trim it there and have the rear panel and top as separate applications.


An alternative to vinyl, you could use fabric [perhaps something like grill cloth] with some spray adhesive [either 3M 77 or 3M 90]. The same comments of reversibility apply, even more so, since naptha could penetrate the fabric to dissolve the adhesive. Although edges and seams may prove trickier to hide with a fabric.


Note: Warning about woofer mounting holes! The woofer flange has a lip that seats into a groove. This leaves a narrow veneered ring that is hidden under the flange. The veneer on this inner ring can be fragile. If you were to laminate over this, and then later try to peel away the laminate, you could very well end up pulling some of the veneer off with it. This area would not really have to be removed, since it remains hidden. It would be easier to apply the laminate over the front baffle, and then cut away for the woofer hole & the groove. See attached.


Good luck,


Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bruce,


Thanks very much for the information. The vinyl idea is interesting - not sure how it would look (probably depend a lot on the type/pattern), but something to consider.


Anyway, the nature of the factory finish makes my ideas pointless. Almost sounds like it would be easier to redo the room rather than the speakers. :eek:


Worse comes to worse, I'll use this as an excuse to finally start on a true basement home theater. That area is just plain white walls, so the speaker finish would be fine. And then I can buy a whole new set of speakers for the family room. :)
 

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Brucer is the man when it comes to wood work! Need a specialty job done give him an email.... Or go look at some of his work over at ********** it's unbelievable what he can do.

Mike L
 

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I'm hoping this thread is a joke.


First dbett buys mismatched speakers that don't match his home decor because he got a great buy on them.


He's willing to invest a ton of time and effort to refinish them, or even move them to a basement area and buy another set of speakers for the original application.


Does this make any sense??


I own a set of the Rosewood Rockets and the finish on them is absolutely beautiful. No way could I sand those things down!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRL
Brucer is the man
So I see - considering he has his own sub-forum over there.


I was originally planning on posting this over there but they were having some server issues and my user registration didn't go through.

Well that and I was worried some of the enthusiasts might take offense. ;)


But since I've now heard from the master... :)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu
I'm hoping this thread is a joke.


First dbett buys mismatched speakers that don't match his home decor because he got a great buy on them.


He's willing to invest a ton of time and effort to refinish them, or even move them to a basement area and buy another set of speakers for the original application.


Does this make any sense??


...snip...!!


Sure it does. Since when does much of this dealing with home theater make any sense. :D :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu
I'm hoping this thread is a joke.


First dbett buys mismatched speakers that don't match his home decor because he got a great buy on them.


He's willing to invest a ton of time and effort to refinish them, or even move them to a basement area and buy another set of speakers for the original application.


Does this make any sense??


I own a set of the Rosewood Rockets and the finish on them is absolutely beautiful. No way could I sand those things down!!!
No sanding was ever contemplated (beyond maybe a bit of very light prep sanding between coats if I ended up going the painting route). No way I'd risk sanding off a finish on a veneer which (like every modern veneer) is almost certainly paper thin.


But anyway, as I said, the main reason I bought the set was because I'm anxious to replace my current speaker setup to go along with the new receiver. And from the research I've done, the Rocket ELTs are an incredible set of 5.1 speakers - made irresistable by the current sale price (not to mention the additional "mismatched" discount on top of the sale price).


I fully expect that by the time the new stock arrives, the price will go back up closer to the original list - $1,000 or so.


So, nope - no joke. I bought the speakers hoping they will fit the room (and be acceptable to the wife). If they don't/aren't then I want to explore some options.


After all, as nice as I've heard these speakers look, they aren't unique works of art. They are manufactured pieces of equipment - and if I can make them look better in my home - without effecting their practical purpose - I'm going to do so.

Btw, this is the kinda response I presume would have been much more common over at AV123. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Btw, based on Brucer's suggestions, I think that going with a self adhesive veneer could be an option. Veneers now come with adhesives already applied (basically contact paper) and are very flexible. So I could just wrap the speakers and then use a router to cut out the holes.


Pricing it out I can probably get all the veneer I'd need for maybe $100.


That could be an interesting and fun project - especially if I practice up on the subwoofer first (since it will be pretty hidden). ;) And I wouldn't have to worry about trying to strip off the old finish first.


Here's a custom veneer that someone posted over at AV123 of an Ascend speaker:

http://72.3.177.109/photopost/data/3...BM170d-med.JPG


You can see a bit of roughness around the driver holes, but I would be reattaching the grilles, so any similar issues would be covered up.
 
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