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Advice Restoring these poor La Scalas?


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A family member had these speakers which were stained, and stapled all along the edge to hold a fabric to the face. It’s very sad to see, and I think I need to restore them. Any advice on next steps? Also, my brother is curious what these would be worth without restoring - in their current sad state.

 

BTW they sound amazing as expected.

 

 

https://imgur.com/a/YN0WorT

 

Edited by Animal-cannibal
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Welcome to the Forum!

 

Nice LaScalas and no hopeless case, I think. First, it would be useful to have pictures taken of those paper-labels on the back of the cabinets. This makes identifying age and type of wood easier, even more so if we´re talking value. (Keep them!).

 

 Restoring You have several paths open to You:

 

  • Leave as is and sell. (Meh)
  • Just sand down and oil and wax or re-stain. This is especially easy if these are un-veneered birch cabinets.
  • Sand and apply a veneer of Your choosing.

 

How much work You want to invest is up to You, Can´t say much about value ( I´m from Europe, Heritage stuff is crazy expensive, even run-down stuff...), others will chime in with more knowledge for US values.

 

My two cents and good luck!

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Those are worth fixing up. I would sand then use bondo on dents,,,square corners....fill stapel holes and such. Then veneer with some good wood of choice. Then probably make sure all drivers working. Rebuild the crossovers. Then sit back in enjoy. May want to get a 70s receiver I recomend HK 630 or 630 or a Pioneer.

 

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Almost forgot.....If you veneer even if you don't I recomend countersinking some screws into side bass bin panels at upper and lower joints. I did mine when I veneered the outside and now you cant even move the panels with my knee and both hands. Before you could see flex just by grabbing the panels by hand. I wished I had made video of it no one believes me but its true.  I'm sure the veneer helps some also.

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The cabinets actually look in good shape. The inside of the front are very clean looking.

 

Those look like the stock birch plywood (label say LS BR - La Scala Birch Raw) so you would want to be very careful sanding as the outer layer is very thin.

 

I would try a fish stripper on the outside of the cabinets, using some Scotch-Brite pads. They come with various abrasive values, try one not too coarse first. If they need more coarse you can always do that. Once you take off too much, your only recourse is to veneer or paint with a heavier finish.

 

You can probaby fill the staple holes, and restain the outside to cover. A more indutstrial look would be to paint with Duratex, giving them a pro look with texture.

 

The letter in the sn on the labels indicates the year they were built.

The second post under 2-Channel has all the codes and info about most everything on the Heritage mddels.

 

You say the sound good, so enjoy them.

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There's no way you're going to remove whatever was dripping down the sides of the cabinets.

You can try, to see what the results are, but I think even after A LOT of work it will as a minimum leave "ghost" images

of whatever that was.

 

You should perform tests with whatever stripping method you use, on the back of the cabinet as that is less visible by the user.

 

I wouldn't try heavy sanding as it's possible to sand through the birch ply. Scotchbrite pads would be better.

 

I vote for prep work and duratex if you're going to keep them.

 

What are they worth? I wouldn't try to finish them, then sell them. Some buyers want original finishes so they can decide how to finish them. They

may not like your choice of finish, and that will reduce the price. Leave 'em as-is if you choose to sell them. Peruse eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist nationwide to get an idea of what they're worth.

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12 minutes ago, ricktate said:

IMAG0326.thumb.jpg.378b4f01182745aa65692cb92cab1556.jpg

@ricktate What veneer is shown in the photo? Also, what finish? It looks good.

 

I plan to do something similar to my La Scalas. They are Raw Birch and had been coated with polyurtehane. To repair some damage (and address resonance) I stripped the finish and laminated 3/8" Baltic Birch panels to the top, bottom and sides. It turned out nicely, but they aren't cosmetically as appealing as I'd like.

 

I haven't been able to find anyone to veneer the speakers, so that I'll do the veneering and finishing myself. However, I'm concerned that my skills aren't up to the challenge of veneering the bass bin. For that reason, I was thinking about just applying a fresh birch veneer so that I could leave the bass bin as it is and have a reasonable match. 

 

I like the look of what's in the photo. Did you veneer the bass bin along with the rest of the speaker?

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There's no way you're going to remove whatever was dripping down the sides of the cabinets.
You can try, to see what the results are, but I think even after A LOT of work it will as a minimum leave "ghost" images
of whatever that was.
 
You should perform tests with whatever stripping method you use, on the back of the cabinet as that is less visible by the user.
 
I wouldn't try heavy sanding as it's possible to sand through the birch ply. Scotchbrite pads would be better.
 
I vote for prep work and duratex if you're going to keep them.
 
What are they worth? I wouldn't try to finish them, then sell them. Some buyers want original finishes so they can decide how to finish them. They
may not like your choice of finish, and that will reduce the price. Leave 'em as-is if you choose to sell them. Peruse eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist nationwide to get an idea of what they're worth.

That’s too bad the birch is so thin. I was hoping I could sand and start fresh. And the ghosting of drips across the front would drive me crazy. Veneering would probably be very expensive here. I’m guessing $1k.

I’ve seen a lot of speakers in the $1200-1500 range. Really nice ones $2000-$2500.

But I haven’t seen any near this rough. Maybe $800? Not sure what would be fair.


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Someone on here recently had a pair of La Scalas they refinished in piano black lacquer.

 

Very inspirational.

 

As for a value, if everything works parts alone, K-33s, K-55s, K-400s, K-77s, AA crossovers, you are easily over a grand. And then you would get few hundred more for the empty cabinets. Make it a package deal, all in for $1500.

 

On the plus side, the stapled on cloth probably kept all the dust, spiders and mice out of YOUR La Scalas though.

 

 

 

 

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How do the sides look? I wouldn't give up so easily. I would give is a go with some solvent/stripper and less abrasive Scotch-Brite pads. They won't take off the wood as much.

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No I did not veneer the inside of dog house. Just sanded and stained cherry like the veneer I put on out side. Here is pick with the grilIMAG0518.thumb.jpg.e6d66ffe0cd80e11741a2e7c4450ea27.jpgls I made I put magnets under veneer to hold the trim on. 

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