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Natural Cherry Darkening


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Hi, I’m relatively new here and I’m sure this topic has been discussed many times on this forum. In late November of last year I received my Heresy IVs in natural cherry. When I unboxed them I was a bit surprised at how light in color they were. After just a few weeks or so I noticed that they seemed to be getting darker. My focus was on how fabulous they sounded as I was re-discovering my music collection but the finish on the cabinets has now become a thing. They keep getting darker, the grain is  becoming more prominent and the overall look of veneer is becoming more interesting. I see it as added bonus. Not only are they the best speakers I’ve ever owned but they are visually intriguing. I love them.

Here are two photos: the first one taken in late February and the second one taken in late November — three months time difference.

febH4.jpg

NovH4.jpg

Edited by Joe Carter
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This is normal.  Unless a UV inhibitor is applied, cherry will darken with exposure to sunlight.  Walnut fades and becomes a bit washed out.  The effect on walnut is less dramatic, thankfully.

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do love me that cherry patina:) Glad you like it too.  The darkening is a logarithmic function meaning it darkens a lot on first exposure to UV then slows down with time.

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My L.L. Bean cherry coffee table, and my cherry futon frame, did the same thing. Except with the futon frame, the wood covered by the futon pad has not darkened, so the difference is readily apparent.

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I noticed that with my PSB M2, they got darker over time.   Those are one speaker I regret selling.  Such a great speaker..... I hope to find another pair someday.....   I expect my Cherry Forte IV to get a little darker... hopefully not too much.   I have owned mostly dark wood speakers and these were a nice change of scenery.  They are really beautiful...  nice grain pattern.   They did a great job matching the veneer....  hard to tell the two speakers apart.  

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46 minutes ago, fmalloy said:

So now do the cabinets need 400-500 hours to break in? 😄

HeHe...natural cherry will do 90% of its darkening in 1 to 2 years. The last 10 % takes until we are all long gone.

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20 hours ago, jimjimbo said:

Put some Watco Natural oil on them, and they will look even better over time.

Curious about this Jimbo. I searched Klipsch. com, read through all the Heresy IV data/brochures  I could find...how are these finished from the factory? Could not find any info oil or lacquer. Are they all lacquered? Or can you get them oiled or lacquered?

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2 hours ago, babadono said:

Curious about this Jimbo. I searched Klipsch. com, read through all the Heresy IV data/brochures  I could find...how are these finished from the factory? Could not find any info oil or lacquer. Are they all lacquered? Or can you get them oiled or lacquered?

I own a pair of Walnut Heresy IVs   I believe they are lacquered. They look great but scratch very easily. Definitely not an oil finish. 

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I believe this is pretty normal.  Part is based on m,y building a piece from The Bartley Collenction,  Now out of business.  You also should hunt around the internet.

 

Cherry is like a lot of hardwood in that in a raw state as sawed, the wood is pretty much beigh (light tan).  As it is exposed to the atmosphere it changes toward a rust color over, say, three years, by oxidation.  Apparently this is not prevented by a "clear"cover of varnish or shellac.  Though these covers always incease contrast and darken the wood somewhat.

 

One problem for sellers of the solid wood or veneers is that buyers want that rust color in the wood as sold.  The solution is that they will force the process by applying a lye solution or by applying a dye or stain.

 

The bottom line to the analysis is that cherry will tend toward rust but what you buy is probly a somewhat dyed beigh cherry which changes toward rust even moreso.

WMcD

 

 

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Lacquer, shellac and polyurethane are film finishes.  They sit atop the wood.  Anything with "oil" in the name is a penetrating finish and is meant to soak into the wood.

There are oil based lacquers and water based lacquers.  Same with polyurethanes.  There is shellac and dewaxed shellac.  There are natural oils and oils with the polymer additives.

Applying one type of finish over a different type of finish will likely produce less than desirable results.

I have Fortes from 1989 in oiled walnut that have never been altered and they look brand new.

My recommendation would be to not place objects on them, occasionally dust them with a microfiber cloth and enjoy.  In 30 years, they will look magnificent.

 

 

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6 hours ago, jimjimbo said:

Why is Tung Oil different than Watco on lacquer?

 

4 hours ago, Cicerogue said:

Lacquer, shellac and polyurethane are film finishes.  They sit atop the wood.  Anything with "oil" in the name is a penetrating finish and is meant to soak into the wood.

There are oil based lacquers and water based lacquers.  Same with polyurethanes.  There is shellac and dewaxed shellac.  There are natural oils and oils with the polymer additives.

Applying one type of finish over a different type of finish will likely produce less than desirable results.

I have Fortes from 1989 in oiled walnut that have never been altered and they look brand new.

My recommendation would be to not place objects on them, occasionally dust them with a microfiber cloth and enjoy.  In 30 years, they will look magnificent.

 

 

Lacquer is a surface sealing(film) finish. Watco is penetrating oil finish. Just from my experience Tung oil touches up lacquer finishes better then a penetrating oil that is not easily going to penetrate the lacquer anyway.

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