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Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

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Excellent article on veneer care.

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  • Excellent article on veneer care.



    My speakers are an expensive addition to the decor and a little care goes a long way.

    Excellent article on veneer care. Wax your wood, don?t oil it.

    Veneer http://www.furniturefind.com/help/ba...5_wveneer.aspx

    Care http://www.furniturefind.com/help/care/4_10_wood.aspx

    I found home a home made bees wax polish worked best on my eucalyptus cabinets. A good carnuba paste wax or bees was should be fine. Test a small area and see if it is a look you like.
    http://www.codesmiths.com/shed/works.../waxpolish.htm

    The wax brings depth to the wood grain. You can polish to a soft luster or wax repeatedly to bring the veneer to a shiny glass like, lacquered look (if you like that look).

    This assumes you have the intelligence and self confidence to use something as challenging as ?wax? and your not going to do something stupid like wax a cone or the electronics etc.

    No posting would be complete if I left out a sworn testimonial that waxing the cabinet has improved the bass, sound stage, and imaging to a level I never believed possible. I am thinknig of marketing "Audio Wax" in two flavors. One for tube systems and one for solid state. Contact me for prices. Haw haw haw.


  • #2
    Re: Excellent article on veneer care.

    I’m not sure does applying wax change the appearance or not. My gut feel is it does, it may change the original matte finish to somewhat glossy. So, I suggest try on small area first.

    I personal prefer non-wax, non-silicon polish, such as Trade Secret furniture polish. It excellently preserved my previous speaker for over 5 years. Check http://www.tradesecret.ca

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Excellent article on veneer care.

      Wood is a living and breathing material. Alan must comment if anything -except manual's instructions of how to take care of the cabinets- should be used for this purpose, with advice accordingly. Perhaps wax and other woodcaring materials might have negative effects in cabin resonanses, life and behaviour. Lets get Alan's comments first.
      Cheers,
      Thanos

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Excellent article on veneer care.

        Originally posted by TNIC
        I found home a home made bees wax polish worked best on my eucalyptus cabinets. A good carnuba paste wax or bees was should be fine. Test a small area and see if it is a look you like.
        http://www.codesmiths.com/shed/works.../waxpolish.htm

        The wax brings depth to the wood grain. You can polish to a soft luster or wax repeatedly to bring the veneer to a shiny glass like, lacquered look (if you like that look).
        The Harbeth Users Guide says "waxy polishes should be avoided as they choke the pores in the grain".

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Excellent article on veneer care.

          I suggest you follow your owner’s manual instructions on cabinet care. One could ignore all wood care and do nothing without any ill effects other than a dry looking veneer.



          On sound reproduction -
          I am aware there are other views on wood preservation and this is only my view. Waxes are among the most ancient of coating materials, predating written history. Stradivarius violins and cellos and many other priceless wood instruments are waxed, to help preserve them (bees wax and carnauba) without clogged pores being a problem. This practice was started by the makers and has not been improved in 400 years. I am aware my Harbeths are not 400 year old Cremonese maple and spruce violins (I love them anyway). But preservation of the sound is the concern on those wonderful instruments (including these wonderful speakers).Wax is the preservative used to help preserve the surface of those instruments. Again a speaker cabinet is not a musical instrument and the demands are different but the similarity is they are wood and wood products.

          On wood care -
          Wax is used to seal wood (veneer included) so dirt will not enter the wood. A waxed surface allows you to remove filth (dust) before it penetrates the wood. Wax helps protect the surface from scratching caused by dust. You actually do want to seal the grain (or pores). The ability of the wood to breath is not impaired in any way.

          Oil (and other liquids that are absorbed by the wood) will soak into the wood and draw surface filth, pollution etc. into the wood with the oil. This will cause the wood to darken as the wood is impregnated dirt. Once dirt is drawn into the thirsty wood it can not be removed. Wax can be removed. There are finishes where oil is recommended such as where the wood has already been sealed by another method.

          For the sake of my own stubbornness, I will wager the price of a CD, that wax when applied correctly has no influence on the speaker cabinet sound, but adds to the veneer longevity and improves appearance (in my opinion). I value my investment in these speakers and the wonderfully reproduced music they produce, including some Stradivarius recordings. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=glance&n=5174

          If you do ignore your owners manual and wax your cabinets, but discover they sound like somone has stuffed a pillow into the speaker grill, or your veneer peeles off like an over ripe banana skin on a hot afternoon. Please send me an email and tell me what kind of dreadful formula you used, so I may refer to you as a warning for future generations…

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Excellent article on veneer care.

            There are bound to be people who can hear a difference between waxed and unwaxed speaker cabinets - the same ones who can hear the difference between new and "burned-in" speaker cables or between hifi racks of different types of wood.

            Comment


            • #7
              Waxing etc. - the long term effects ...

              I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about wax or other polishes. When they leave us the pores in the veneer of Harbeth cabinets are sealed. That implies that any subsequent treatment with oils, waxes or polishes will slowly build up a molecular film on the cabinet surface and seal-in the surface dust. Conversely, wiping with a clean, slightly damp cloth, will remove the dust film.

              I think that the comparison between these two alternative approaches becomes evident after a few years: the cabinet that has been routinely oiled/waxed/polished looks more lusterous, but more 'old fashioned' and not as clean and fresh as its original ex-Harbeth condition. As with everything, cosmetics are a matter of taste: there would be no difference in the acoustics.

              Incidentally, did you know that Harbeth veneered cabinets are veneered on both the oustide and on all the internal surfaces? Admittedly, the internal veneers are not as attractive but they are functionally critical. Just another one of those tricks that we have up our sleeves and take for granted here.
              Alan A. Shaw
              Designer, owner
              Harbeth Audio UK

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Excellent article on veneer care.

                To Damian L.:

                There are also bound to be people who feel the need to ridicule other people without having tried to hear the differences - or the absence of differences - between cables (burned-in or not), racks, stands, etc. etc.

                Over 25 years of first-hand experience has learned me, that there is a lot of nonsense and snake oil in the industry, the magazines, the internet and so on. Often, these so-called magic improvements are to good to be true and appear to be just hot air. Make fun about that, have a laugh and move on.

                However, this doesn't apply to serious manufacturers who try to improve the performance of audio sets and/or components by researching all the factors that can influence the sound quality.

                Blind-testing is in my opinion still the best procedure.
                If you don't hear any difference, you can keep your money in your pocket.
                If you hear an improvement, you possibly have found a new step on the way to perfection.
                Many steps on that "long and winding road" can look small, but together they can make a serious improvement.
                Of course, he "investments"have to be sensible in relation to the overall pricetag of one's audio equipment.

                Always keep an open mind. Beware of rigid dogmas and fundamentalism.
                There is more between recording and reproduction than meets the eye.

                Trial-and-error won't hurt anyone; ridiculing other people can.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Refinishing Harbeth!

                  I own a pair of Harbeth Compact Speakers that have some surface stains and are in need of a revarnish. My father refinishes antiques but will not touch them without sme direction. Thanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Refinishing Harbeth!

                    Your speakers are finished in cellulose lacquer onto the natural veneer. I am not sure what sort of match can be achieved using a substitute for cellulose.
                    Alan A. Shaw
                    Designer, owner
                    Harbeth Audio UK

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Waxing etc. - the long term effects ...

                      Originally posted by A.S.
                      I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about wax or other polishes. When they leave us the pores in the veneer of Harbeth cabinets are sealed. That implies that any subsequent treatment with oils, waxes or polishes will slowly build up a molecular film on the cabinet surface and seal-in the surface dust. Conversely, wiping with a clean, slightly damp cloth, will remove the dust film.
                      Hi Alan,

                      I live in the tropics & one side of my speaker is near a window with morning sun (the only position possible in my small apartment). I just took delicery of the C7ES3 in Nov and already noticed a very slight & faint "whitening" between the cherry wood grains.

                      My dealer recomended me to use Lemon Pledge. In your opinion, is this a good choice?

                      http://www.pledge.com/furniture-care/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Cherry veneer and how it ages

                        As any veneer expert will tell you, different veneers age at different rates. In the case of cherry veneer it ages quite fast. Eucalyptus ages very slowly. This ageing process is actually oxidisation of the material - exactly the same process by which silver spoons or trophies age. Silver can be polished to remove the oxide layer but there is nothing that can be done to reverse the ageing of veneer.

                        Please be aware that from the date of manufacture of the cherry cabinets that they are shrink-wrapped in black PVC and palletised. We store them in these sealed pallets as for as long as possible so that when we remove the wrapping we immediately start to assemble the final speaker. If we have to unpack a pallet (for space reasons) we will then cover the cherry cabinets with a heavy opaque twill cloth until we are ready to use them.

                        So, to keep your Harbeth speakers looking fresh for as long as possible ...

                        1. Do not put books, lamps or ornaments on top of the cabinets or you will have light patches under them where the sunlight did not oxidise the veneer which is a natural process.

                        2. Try to keep both speaker away from direct sunlight. Do not put them near a window. If one is nearer a window than the other then swap the left and right speakers every three months. It makes no difference at all which speaker you consider to be left and which one right: all Harbeths are made to be interchangeable. of course, the left signal must always be sent to the speaker that is on the left side of your listening space! Speakers in direct sunlight will age and the veneer can lift as you can so often see with antique furniture that has been in direct light.

                        3. If your room is strongly illuminated with natural light you could cover the speakers when they are not in use. See also 2. above.

                        If you know of other cherry speaker cabinets that do not age then they are probably covered in plastic veneer!
                        Alan A. Shaw
                        Designer, owner
                        Harbeth Audio UK

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Veneer damage

                          I have a damage in the veneer. I bought the speakers with this damage. Got a reasonable discount because of it. Most of the time I don't care but sometimes (like today) I want to do something against it.

                          The veneer is cherry. Somebody must have treated a defect with sandpaper. With a bit of water the spot is healed until the water dries. I probably only have to apply some liquid to it. But what kind of liquid should I take?

                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Veneer damage

                            I still have this damage. I did nothing so far.
                            The question is: What kind of lacquer do you use at Harbeth. Can you please tell me
                            the brand and product name and give me an idea where I can order it.
                            (M40 275 L/R , cherry)

                            Thanks!

                            [/QUOTE]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Veneer damage

                              Hi TW

                              My advice would be to have a professional refinisher come to your house and do the repair. They usually charge by time as the material costs are minimal. Looking at your picture it appears likely the damage is to the finish rather than the veneer. If this is the case it should be fairly easy for them to fix. In Canada I would expect the repair to be aroundd $60 which would be well worth it for the any Harbeth speaker let alone the Monitor 40's.

                              Don
                              West Coast Audio

                              Comment

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