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Thread: Veneers, wood and the variations we expect

  1. #1
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    Default Veneers, wood and the variations we expect

    It is only to be expected that when working with wood, there are variations in pattern, grain, colour, shading, porosity and style. We do our best to match cabinets so that features in the grain in one speaker of a pair are, if possible, reflected in the grain of its mate.

    You will see attached a picture of a cherry cabinet which shows a feature of the tree which runs along the grain. We have matched it with an almost identical feature on the other cabinet, the veneer for which is taken from the next leaf down in the veneer 'bundle'. This particular feature from the tree - it looks to me it is of a small shoot growing outwards from the trunk - will run through perhaps ten veneer 'leaves' enough to make 5 pairs of cabinets. Obviously as a natural feature we would accept this in incoming inspection from our cabinet maker as perfectly normal and well within 'spec' for a wood material.

    Such veneer features could occur on any part of the cabinet - it just depends how the tree log was cut, and where any particular feature lies relative to the cabinets front/back/side/top panels.

    >
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  2. #2
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    Default The shocking cost of wood ....

    Today we bought 2.5m of soft timber to put up some shelves in our office. Even at trade discount I was astonished that this humble product cost us USD18 (UKPOUNDS 9). No wonder our cabinet prices have increased so much if simple timber costs this much.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  3. #3
    digiphobe Guest

    Default Re: The shocking cost of wood ....

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    Today we bought 2.5m of soft timber to put up some shelves in our office. Even at trade discount I was astonished that this humble product cost us USD18 (UKPOUNDS 9). No wonder our cabinet prices have increased so much if simple timber costs this much.
    There's only one solution Alan: move production to Canada. We can't seem to give our soft wood away lately!

  4. #4
    digiphobe Guest

    Default Re: The shocking cost of wood ....

    I purchase a 2" * 6" by 12 foot length, of standard grade fur, for my deck the other day. Seven Canuck-bucks, taxes inc.

  5. #5
    shseto Guest

    Default Re: The shocking cost of wood ....

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    Today we bought 2.5m of soft timber to put up some shelves in our office. Even at trade discount I was astonished that this humble product cost us USD18 (UKPOUNDS 9). No wonder our cabinet prices have increased so much if simple timber costs this much.
    Ikea might be a solution for cheaper shelves perhaps ?..................... but not for speakers definately..........

    Great bargain for obtaining lowerest cost of production is over here, the People's Republic of China perhaps ? ................ but not for my speakers , please. no....

    :-)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Veneers, wood and the variations we expect

    Hello, Alan

    I spotted an ad for an absolutely beautiful pair of HL5's in Cherry here in the US-I would have to think that the veneer on these might be unique. I'm not savvy enough to load the ad onto this post, but I did forward a couple pictures to the Harbeth e-mail address (sound@harbeth...). Perhaps you could swing those pictures onto a reply so that other folks here could see this veneer-and I'd love to hear the story behind it.

    Regards and thanks!

    Bob LaBarca
    State College, PA
    USA

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Veneers, wood and the variations we expect

    We've had a look at the picture you mention. Frankly, we don't know the story behind these cabinets. They must be a few years old. We agree that they do look very interesting but we believe that most consumers would not be willing to accept such a contrast between the lighter an darker parts of the panels.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Veneers, wood and the variations we expect

    Glad you got to see them. I'm sure it's a matter of taste, but if I had the money, I would have bought them just for the wood! Regardless of the different colors (which I find cool), the figuring is spectacular on all sides!

    Thanks!

    Bob

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Veneers, wood and the variations we expect

    We're always on the lookout for new veneer possibilities. The problem is consistency; it's easy to make one or two spectacular finishes, have them photographed and featured in brochures etc.. The problems start when the cabinet makers can't consistently make spectacular cabinets. Then the customer feels cheated when he receives his new speakers and finds them to be far less exciting. We aim for a good quality normal veneer then everyone is happy.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Veneers, wood and the variations we expect

    Hey!

    Based on what you're saying here, it sounds as though you'd have been better off not making that pair-someone probably did it just because they could! This is why I'd like to know about who made them, etc.

    I got an e-mail from Andy today and told him who to contact about the serial numbers. I suspect the owner will send them and Andy will get into the logbook and get the story. I think he's as into this as much as I am, waste of time though it may be! If possible, could you roll those photos onto this thread, so that other members could see these speakers?

    Thanks again!

    Bob LaBarca
    State College, PA
    USA

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Veneers, wood and the variations we expect

    Are the veneers on the SHL5 attatched in two long pieces going up the sides of the speakers? mine have a tight snake like line going up one side and across the top and down the other side. its much lighter than the rest of the grain. Its on both speakers. its not the woods grain. It does not look very good. I bought them brand new in the box from a dealer. Any ideas?
    I have not used any kind of cleaner, oils, or polishes on the speakers and there are not any windows in the room.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Veneers, wood and the variations we expect

    Yes, the veneered sides of many of the larger speakers are indeed covered with two pieces of veneer mirrored along the mid line.

    I think I can understand your comments and this sounds like an issue in the veneer or the manufacturing of the cabinet itself. I am guessing that your SHL5 are cherry. Cherry veneer oxidises with time (a characteristic of the tree itself) and it could be that as time has passed this latent issue has revealed itself. May I suggest this course of action; take some in-focus (important) digital pictures please and pass them with a note to your retailer asking him to forward to the importer. Please also send a copy to the Harbeth UK office, for the attention of Andy.

    When we have the official feedback from the importer we will raise the necessary case paperwork and proceed to resolve this issue. With apologies for the inconvenience.
    Harbeth PR,
    Harbeth UK

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Veneers, wood and the variations we expect

    Thank you for the quick responce!
    I will get in touch with Acoustic Sounds and send a picture to both of you.

    Edit: I may be wrong but to me it looks like a glue line?? serial #s shl5 9509 L&R

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    It is only to be expected that when working with wood, there are variations in pattern, grain, colour, shading, porosity and style. We do our best to match cabinets so that features in the grain in one speaker of a pair are, if possible, reflected in the grain of its mate.

    You will see attached a picture of a cherry cabinet which shows a feature of the tree which runs along the grain. We have matched it with an almost identical feature on the other cabinet, the veneer for which is taken from the next leaf down in the veneer 'bundle'. This particular feature from the tree - it looks to me it is of a small shoot growing outwards from the trunk - will run through perhaps ten veneer 'leaves' enough to make 5 pairs of cabinets. Obviously as a natural feature we would accept this in incoming inspection from our cabinet maker as perfectly normal and well within 'spec' for a wood material.

    Such veneer features could occur on any part of the cabinet - it just depends how the tree log was cut, and where any particular feature lies relative to the cabinets front/back/side/top panels.

    >
    Hi,

    Mr. Shaw, i have one pair of SHL5, with somes small holes, like the picture that you shown higher.

    Sincerely i think, that the cabinet with this variations, they can´t use, they are very unsightly; at least in 3.000 euros speakers.

    Also can be woodworm holes?.

    Ah, the sound is fantastic.

    Thanks and regards.

    {Moderator comment: Have you discussed this with the dealer who supplied you? Woodworm is impossible}

  15. #15
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    Default

    No, because as far as i can see, this is a common practice in Harbeth, but i´m not in accordance with this practice.

    Alls cabinets shouldn´t have this finish,(i refer to black small holes, like the higher photo), so the speakers they look so uglys.

    Regards.

    {Moderator comment. The correct action is that you must contact your dealer to discuss this and show them. Then they will contact us. It is not possible to say what is or is not typical by examining one pair}

  16. #16
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    Default

    The black features are completely natural. They are where small branches, 'shoots' grow sideways out of the tree. We consider them to be normal since trees are natural and each one is different.

    As stated above, please discuss this with your dealer.

  17. #17
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    Default

    Hi A.S.
    I recently bought a second hand pair of Monitor 30 in Cherry, and feel concerned about the numbers they bear : just one figure different, 2165L and 2166R. Is the mismatch affecting soundwide ? or only veneer sensitive? I wonder what happened to the remaining pair of separated twins.

    {Moderator's response: There should be no detectable difference between adjacent serial numbers. Which country are these speakers in now?}

  18. #18
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    In France, Paris to be exact; they were bought in 2005 at David Manley's shop by the previous owner. They're in really nice shape.

    {Moderator's response: That agrees with our records. Made about four years ago}

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