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BR finish on La Scalas


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I've just acquired a pair of 1986 La Scala speakers. Unfortunately, the cabinets have some damage (see photo) and will need to be repaired and refinished. I'm trying to decide if the cabinets can be repaired and refinished well enough to satisfy my wife's discerning eye, or if I should re-veneer them (likely with 1/4" panels). 

 

I'd like to maintain the "as new" look of the speakers. The label tells me that the cabinets were finished in Birch, Raw. There is currently some sort of clear finish (albeit yellowed by age) on the speakers, but I suspect it may have been applied by the previous owner (you can see some of the finish on the network, just to the left and underneath "klipsch").

 

Was any finish applied to the "Birch, Raw" cabinets by the factory? What was it? A clear lacquer?

 

I've searched the forums to see if this question has already been answered, but didn't find a specific answer. I did, however, spend several enjoyable hours going through old posts. 😄

 

Thank-you,

 

Dave MacKay

near Toronto, Canada

Damaged corner.JPG

Paper label.JPG

IMG_1814.JPG

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The attached cut-sheet provides some info.  It appears to me that the LS (at least that year) was available in unfinished, clear lacquer, or black lacquer.  I can only think that  Raw is unfinished rather than clear lacquer.

 

It is my understanding, and small experience that lacquer is used on furature because it can be sprayed and cures very quickly.  I think hair spray is lacquer.  Otherwise it is poor finish because it can be damaged by water.  White Rain can be washed out.

 

Clear lacquer causes very little change in the grain of birch.

 

I would try veneer first.   WMcD 

LaScala and Belle Cut Sheet (blue grid) (1).pdf

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Thank-you.

 

It seems to me that I won't be able to both repair the damage and retain the original finish. That being the case, I'll likely repair the damage and then either apply a veneer or paint the cabinets.

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WMcD is correct, although I'm not sure about the hairspray!  The intention of "raw" (BR) was to give the buyer the personal choice of finish, or none.  It was also less expensive.  Short of a Smithsonian-caliber restorationist, this hit will need wood filler and new veneer to look factory fresh.  

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23 hours ago, Dave MacKay said:

Thank-you.

 

It seems to me that I won't be able to both repair the damage and retain the original finish. That being the case, I'll likely repair the damage and then either apply a veneer or paint the cabinets.

1/4 inch or even  1/2 inch veneered panels would really make these speakers stand out , but they would also help in reducing the vibrations of the side walls  , finally  a  grille looks very good on the Lascala  for the top portion of the cab-

 

https://community.klipsch.com/uploads/monthly_2019_04/1378309338_oakLaScalawithgrill.jpg.4c5d781dab4de9743f04874871b1f388.jpg

 

 

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Mine didn't have that much damage, but there were some chunks missing out of the point of the dog house.  I paid a good antique restorer to repair them and stain them red mahogany with a satin polyurethane finish.  Whatever he did to the wood putty and wood (conditioner?) I can no longer find the repairs now that I have forgotten where they are.  My avatar pic, on my member page gives a pretty good view.  The edge plys are covered with a 3/4 x 3/4 cherry strip. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/14/2021 at 10:00 PM, RandyH said:

1/4 inch or even  1/2 inch veneered panels would really make these speakers stand out , but they would also help in reducing the vibrations of the side walls  , finally  a  grille looks very good on the Lascala  for the top portion of the cab-

 

https://community.klipsch.com/uploads/monthly_2019_04/1378309338_oakLaScalawithgrill.jpg.4c5d781dab4de9743f04874871b1f388.jpg

 

 

I built that one, too!...One of a totally book-matched pair...about 25 years after I worked at Klipsch....the pair was built using joinery differering from the factory build in 1977...IIRC, I built this pair in 1997-98 time-frame. .The only place you will notice any hint of fasteners is by looking at tte bottom of the speakers and the rear of tte speakers.  I have since made another re-design of assembly...which I will someday, sooner than later, give a try.  My most recent re-design will have the APPEARANCE of the current LaScala build, except that inside the bass bin, it will have a "shadow-box" look to it with ONLY the Doghouse assembly being in fine-veneer...with the rest of the inside of he bass bin being in flat black laminate.  Outta look VERY COOL!

😉

.

 

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1 hour ago, HDBRbuilder said:

I built that one, too!...One of a totally book-matched pair...about 25 years after I worked at Klipsch....the pair was built using joinery differering from the factory build in 1977...IIRC, I built this pair in 1997-98 time-frame. .

😉

 

Andy , all I can say , is  this pair of Lascala is flawless -

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On 8/12/2021 at 2:31 PM, RandyH said:

Andy , all I can say , is  this pair of Lascala is flawless -

So...it was YOU who ended up with these cabs from Daddy Dee?  Actually, I never did get to hear them, I'm sad to say....Dee got them as empty replacement cabs, pre-drilled for mounting everything into them, but I never actually HEARD them playing...when I visited him, they weren't hooked up to anything.  The next time I visited him, they were gone!  I was HOPING to hear them, because part of the reason I went to all the effort to change up the joinery was to provide for a stiffer bass bin build, without needing to resort to thicker side panels OR installation of bracing at the forward portion of the bass bin in order to eliminate the flexing of the side panels towards the front of the bass bin.  Everybody who ever heard them told me they really sounded great, but I never got to confirm whether or not what I tried to accomplish ever did actually work or not!  If it DID work, then there SHOULD BE a bit more noticeable bottom-end to them prior to roll-off than on a standard build, when listening to them at moderate-to-higher volumes!  PLUS, the clarity of what is coming outta the bass bin should be MUCH-imp[roved to some extent..when compared to the standard factory build.

 

Trust me, the next two pairs I build, I will DEFINITELY be able to "give 'em a listen"!!!  

 

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55 minutes ago, HDBRbuilder said:

So...it was YOU who ended up with these cabs from Daddy Dee? 

 

Andy   @Daddy Dee  passed these Lascala to a Family Member , and you know how Kind of a Person he was , so Family First - He , and  his Wife would have never sold these Special Speakers outside of the Family  -

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10 minutes ago, RandyH said:

Andy   @Daddy Dee  passed these Lascala to a Family Member , and you know how Kind of a Person he was , so Family First - He , and  his Wife would have never sold these Special Speakers outside of the Family  -

Yeah, I really liked Dee...one of the epitomes of "good people"!

 

The next ones I build I will have full photo documentation of how they go together, including the finer building details involved....likely a short video series on building them  NO MDF at all in them, either!  One pair will be my outside party ones, the other pair will be for inside the house use!

 

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