Shiny Black SBL/DBL - still available?

Posted by: Andrew Randle on 17 August 2000

Does anyone remember attending the Yorkshire Hi-Fi show in 1994 and seeing DBLs and SBLs with a shiny black lacquer finish?

They were cool, but are they still available?

Andrew


Andrew Randle
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Posted on: 17 August 2000 by Willem van Gemert
Hi Andrew,

I had a quick look at the Naim website (with the Forum, you sometimes forget Naim have a normal website as well! ) and found the following in the specifications of the SBL and DBL loudspeakers:

Finish options include: Black Ash, Cherry, Walnut, Beech, Rosewood and Piano Black.

Ask your dealer for information on pricing and availability: exotic veneers are more expensive than standard finishes and may need to be ordered specially.

Ciao!

Willem

P.S. When I ordered my SBLs I didn't know there was a possibility to order them in Piano Black. I might have considered it. I ordered them in Black Ash. Looks very cool as well!

Posted on: 17 August 2000 by mr saucisson
I notice that there is a pair of "piano-black" SBLs on Loot at the moment. 1700 and they're yours. Does the market command a premium for these? I thought they sound quite tasty! Anyone got a pair? However, I suspect that they would act as depressingly efficient barometers of how effective one is at room cleaning, dusting, coffee stain removal etc...

Ben

Posted on: 17 August 2000 by Andy S
Piano black is a real b*gger of a finish to get right. Many, many coats of varnish etc. to get that real deep shine so they command a premium when new at least.

Someone (who should know, but not from Naim) told me recently that piano black speakers were for people who were more interested in looks rather than sound as the coating doesn't make the panels as rigid as when they have been veneered.

Andy

Posted on: 17 August 2000 by Paul B
quote:
Someone (who should know, but not from Naim) told me recently that piano black speakers were for people who were more interested in looks rather than sound as the coating doesn't make the panels as rigid as when they have been veneered.


I have never seen the piano black SBLs and only DBLs in pictures finished this way (I thought they looked pretty impressive).

Anyone on the forum actually compared finishes to see if they make a difference? Who bought those piano black SBls/DBLs just for the look? Come on - confess now!

Paul

Posted on: 17 August 2000 by Andrew Randle
I recall that someone told me that the kind of wood finish on the LP12 affected the sound...

Andrew


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Posted on: 17 August 2000 by Ron Toolsie
quote:
I recall that someone told me that the kind of wood finish on the LP12 affected the sound...

Hah.....EVERYTHING affects the sound of an LP12, and almost all of them to its detriment. This is probably the most metastable piece of audio equipment I have ever owned (and I am my third one). There is only one way to get it right, but seemingly infinite number of ways to get it wrong. Oh yes... the black plinth was supposed to be the better sounding one. I went from the afromasia plinth to a black plinthed one back in the mid 80s- the latter had the glued chassis and corner braces to its advantage, and it was much better indeed. Mostly because the first LP12 I had was a rogue and NEVER sounded right. After of year or two of trying to make it sound even decent (and that was with 42/snaps/250)I sold it to a 'friend.

Ron
Dum spiro audio
Dum audio vivo

http://homepages.go.com/~rontoolsie/index1.html

Posted on: 17 August 2000 by Erik
My friend did have a pair of piano black SBLs before he bought his piano black DBLs and they looked/looks absolutely fantastic.
/Erik
Posted on: 18 August 2000 by Andrew Randle
Ron,

I'm glad to hear that you concur with my findings. I've heared various LP12s and the black ash finish has invariably been in the best sounding set ups.

However, I heard that the walnut ones with rebates have a bit of an elitist following.

Andrew

Andrew Randle
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Posted on: 18 August 2000 by Andrew Randle
Mark,

Thanks for the clarification! I was wondering if you did that. No corner cutting here!

Are the NBLs in gloss black? If so I will have the difficult decision on whether to get gloss black or beech....

Such a decision may mean a trip to the factory, but don't worry that is likely to be 5 years away.

Andrew
Future NBL customer

Andrew Randle
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Posted on: 18 August 2000 by Andrew Randle
Cough! Beech it is!

Andrew


Andrew Randle
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Posted on: 18 August 2000 by David Hobbs-Mallyon
Mark,

Out of interest, how much does a pair of piano black SBLs cost?

David

Posted on: 18 August 2000 by bob atherton
" I recall that someone told me that the kind of wood finish on the LP12 affected the sound..."

I used to sell them back in '85. We found that they all sounded quite similar _except_ for the rosewood ones, which sounded worse.

Bob

Posted on: 18 August 2000 by Ron Toolsie
quote:
It fascinates me that Wilson Benesch, who are famous for making things out of carbon fibre, say that the cherry version of their turntable is slightly better because cherry is harder than the other woods they use.

I'm not sure if its the 'hardness' of the material used-maybethe ridgity to density ratio. Many successful tonearms are made of alumin(i)um which is not particularly 'hard', but it is ridgid, especially for the mass. An arm fabricated of cast-iron would be rather harder I would imagine, but would probably be an anathema to the music.

BUT....Maybe there is some method to the madness in the concept of sympathetic vibrations. Wood after all influences/causes the tones of violins/guitars/drums/reeds/pianos and so on. Not too many carbon fiber violins (nor should I point out aluminum ones). Back in the days when vinyl really did rule the earth Koetsu offered essentially the same cartrige mechanism within different bodies... zinc, rosewood. The metal-based ones were universally regarded as being substantially inferior to the wooden-clad ones.

Maybe the chaps at W-B should get another government grant to start an 'all-wood' series of components. Who knows, maybe the inevitable '600' series will have the graphic designers at naim working on walnut panels for chasses, turned ebony knobs and an optional piano black finish.

Ron
Dum spiro audio
Dum audio vivo

http://homepages.go.com/~rontoolsie/index1.html

Posted on: 18 August 2000 by Andrew Randle
......and a couple of valves poking out of the top?

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Andrew


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Posted on: 18 August 2000 by Andy S
quote:
..unless you put the piano finish over the top of the veneer, as we do!

Bzzzztttt.... don't believe everything you hear! Apologies for spreading untruths.

Good on you for doing it right....

Andy (with Walnut DBLs...)