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After oppinions on how to finish a pair of speakers I eventually intend to sell.


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Hi guys and girls , some time ago I picked up a pair of Boston A400's that needed a fair bit of work done. As you can see from the pictures they are a very unusal box speaker being only a few inches deep but rather wide.

I have completely rebuilt all the crossovers with Mundorf axial e-caps and Jantzen resistors and the internal cabling is Jantzen solid core which I have found to work very well with older speakers.

The tweeters were tested for continuity and both work just fine so I ordered u[ the complete refoam kit for all the cone drivers. I finished electical and mechanical restoration the other day and now have a good few hours worth of listening time with them.

I like what I am hearing , warmish ,coherent and with great bass , they image surprisingly well given the wide cabinets.

So the question is how best to restore the appearance of the cabinets. While the structural integrity of the cabinets is uncomprimised there are multiple chips in the veneer some  a couple of inches long and this led me to thinking of filling  the chips with wood putty and then spraying the speakers in a matt or satin white finish. Given that the speakers go right up against the rear wall painting them white with white grille cloths would help to make them disappear and also help with WAF for what is other wise a largish speaker.

What do you think guys , will my plan make the speakers more saleable or should I just repair the veneer (not particularly skilled at wood work) and refinish the speaker with oil or varnish?

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Edited by Ozcall
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I think they look nice with the woodgrain, and it's in-keeping with the vintage of the speakers. 

The best solution would be to remove the original veneer, and replace with a similar. 

If you want to keep the original wood, I would give them a good sanding to remove the original finish and reduce any wear damage.  The next consideration is the damage, which I can't see in the pic's.  If the chips aren't noticeable, filling them with a suitable colour plastic wood might be passable (and possibly drawing some grain on it with a pencil to help it blend into the actual wood).  You might use the wood filler as a grain filler so it's colour is distributed over the entire veneer (there are youtube's on this).  I would then use a stain slightly darker than the original colour (to conceil any blemishes), and a finishing sealant.  Do colour tests before working on the actual speakers (esp. the colour of any wood filler and stain). 

 

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Hey Gordon.

 

Mate, I would 100% just restore and repair the original timber finish.

They look great as they are and with some TLC will come up a treat. You also mentioned the probability of re sale and I would think that the likely buyer of these may well have a strong preference for the speakers looking as original as is possible.

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1 minute ago, wolster said:

@Ozcall

And we want to see the finished product ;)

@wolster

 

You will probably be able to hear the finished product as well

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, wolster said:

@Ozcall

And we want to see the finished product ;)

Yup and you can hear them too :). Iam rather surprised just how good they are and that I hadn't heard of them until I did some research before buying them. If I didn't need the money to finish some upgrades in the main system I would probably keep them.👍

Edited by Ozcall
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  • 2 weeks later...

Popped the speakers in to the main system and am quite astonished by the results. These will no longer be going up for sale but there maybe a pair of Gale 401a's and a pair of AR91's being listed in the not to distant future.

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53 minutes ago, Ozcall said:

there maybe a pair of Gale 401a's and a pair of AR91's being listed in the not to distant future.

 

The 401s ...really?😱

 

Who would have thought?🙃

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23 hours ago, rantan said:

 

The 401s ...really?😱

 

Who would have thought?🙃

Chances are I will keep the Gales Lindsay but the AR's are almost fully restored and once done will be going up for sale.

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On 09/05/2021 at 3:56 PM, rantan said:

 

The 401s ...really?😱

 

Who would have thought?🙃

I wonder if you will like the AR91 more than the Bostons, they are quite like my AR90’s in sound quality apart from bass, we will see and obviously hear too 🙂

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It will be interesting to see how they sound after the full rennovation. I had already replaced all the series caps with clarity caps and the Gales sounded better however in this rennovation I rebuilt the crossovers from the ground up , with the inductors all at right angles to each other and replaced the internal cabling wit Jantzen solid core.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi guys, while I took on board all the comments with regard to finish, once I had decided to keep the speakers I had a think again about fnishing options. The original veneer was in a bad state with a lot of chips along the edges and while reveneering with a more attractive veneer was a posibility I whimped out and went with a ligihtly textured Duratex finish. I replaced the grile  with black grille cloth and the overall presentation is very pleasing to us. The speakers almost look like a black pair of ESL63's :)

20210612_141719.jpg

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It looks like you did a nice job on the speakers, from what I can see in your pic.  Well Done. 

I also think keeping it similar to the original (with the veneer in a similar colour to your cabinet) would have looked nice in your room. 

 

However they look, pleased to hear you're enjoying them.

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Thanks AF. The cabinet was a custom build for it's previous owner , it is very solid and weighs in at over 200kg. I wanted a cabinet that would be strong enough to handle a lot of heavy equipment and being on a tight budget this was the only item that came up on Gumtree that was close to what I needed. It does the job very well but I actually don't like the finish. I am not a fan of pale wood veneers however I agree that reveneeringthe speakers in a matching veneer would have looked good.

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Interesting speakers Gordon.I have heard some of the old Boston speakers and thought they sounded very good.Quite BBC sounding which surprised me for American speakers.

I am a fan of wide baffle speakers.As Troels Gravesen says-they bring their own room.Some certainly do not image well but some do.My Yamaha NS75Ts have fantastic imaging.As do the big Tannoys.And when you think about the Gales have a wide baffle when they are positioned on the horizontal and they sound best like that.

I was a bit late seeing this.Shallow boxes like that are ideal for reveneering in 2mm thick bandsaw  sawn veneer flitches because you can cut the veneer out of a full width board and not have to worry about joins.I could have sawn some for you.

Edited by THOMO
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Hi Jon , had never heard of these speakers although I am familiar with some of Boston's later products . The A400's cost me $80 and needed a complete refoam. I rebuilt the crossovers with Mundorf elco's as I was trying to keep the rebuild cost reasonable. Added new speaker terminals  , internal cabling and did away with the biwire option. I was stunned when I finally connected them to the main system.

Thanks for the offer of your work on the venner. While the Duratex finish is a bit industrial it looks fine in our room and covered up all the veneer chips and scuffs after I filled them with wood putty.

Just finished another restoration ,this time on a pair of AR 91'S and I will be listing them for sale soon

20210610_150621.jpg

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