Real wood veneer on Polk speakers? I don't think so

TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
edited February 2004 in Speakers
I posted this once before, but no real answer:

First off ... I really like both my RTi70s and RTi38s. Good build quality, and most importantly, great sound reproduction.

With that said, I am a little put-off with the cabinet finish material.

My Pioneer HPM 1500s, my JBL Moniters, and my Rava sub all are finished with real wood veneer. You don't have to be an expert in the field of cabinet manufacture to figure that out. It's hardwood veneer, and nothing else!

Now for the "Cherry" Polks ... These speakers just don't look like there is real wood veneer covering them. The Polk advertisment states that:

"Your choice of two real wood finishes: Cherry or Black Oak veneers".

"Given the choice between vinyl and real wood, which would you pick?"

I am not totally convinced that they are your standard vinyl either, but [I am totally convinced] that these Polk speakers [don't] have wood veneer anything like the hardwood wood veneer covering any of my other speakers.

Polk even says "DO NOT use furniture polish on these speaker cabinets ... Polish works great on my other speakers that have real wood veneer on them. Hell, why wouldn't it; There finished in hardwood veneer! That's a no-brainer.

Anyway, some folks here may say not to worry about it and be happy that the speakers perform so well for such a reasonable price. Thats just fine and dandy, but I am not the one advertising these speakers that are made with "Real Wood Veneer".

What's the real deal here?

Thanks,
Ron
2-Channel Audio
Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
Post edited by Turbota on
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Comments

  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited February 2004
    Yes it is real wood veneer. Perhaps F1Nut will chime in on this topic, he's our resident antiques restoration guru. I would excersize caution when using furniture polish and not saturate the cabinet, concern would be negatively affecting the adhiesive used to bond the veneer to the MDF.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • aba4430aba4430 Posts: 80
    edited February 2004
    Turbo,
    I do believe that the black RTi's are genuine wood veneer (skin over MDF) finished. Though the finish is alright, Polk could have done much, much more - it is not "furniture" grade finish, just my opinion. The new RTi's (4, 6 etc.), I believe are a step over the older ones in terms of finish and appearance. For the prices I paid for my RTi's, I am OK that I received exceptional value for money. I do not know what their reason for discouraging furniture polish is, but I can assume the following:
    1. The finish is sealed, so the polish is not necessary, but just wiping with damp cloth is OK??
    2. The polishes available have organic volatiles and perhaps are not good for the drivers over the long haul??
    Regards,
    aba
  • PolkWannabiePolkWannabie Posts: 2,763
    edited February 2004
    Polk's speaker coverings aside for the moment ...

    I wouldn't use ANY type of POLISH on ANY hardwood furniture. I have rooms full of mahogany and cherry SOLID wood furniture that have never seen a drop of furniture polish and never will as long as I own them.
  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    edited February 2004
    PolkWannabie ...

    Good point. I really didn't want to put polish on them anyway (I think there too shiney as it is).

    > > Just really was wondering if anyone else also thinks these speakers (at least the "Cherry" ones) are not covered with hardwood veneer.

    Hey, I don't expect them to be real cherry wood veneer. If they were covered with oak veneer and stained with a cherry colored stain, that would be fine with me. My problem is that there not covered with your regular hardwood veneer at all, but with a synthetic material .. That's all.

    Maybe I am making too big of a deal about all of this (I can't change anything anyway), but even the untrained eye can tell these speakers don't have a wood veneer covering like you see on any of the speakers, etc that do have actual wood veneer.

    Even the "wood" grain on these looks fake ... Kinda like what you would see on plastic covered furniture with a wood 'photo' finish imprinted in the plastic material.

    Of course with the black colored RTi series Polks, you won't see this fake wood grain appearance, like on these cherry finished ones.

    Hey, if i'm wrong, I will put this to rest. :)
    __________________________________________
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • PolkWannabiePolkWannabie Posts: 2,763
    edited February 2004
    Since I don't have the cherry ones I can't comment on what the grain appears to be or is supposed to be an emulation of, but it's pretty easy to tell the difference between oak and cherry grain simulated or otherwise.

    I have to admit that with the towers ( I have RTI12's in black ) I was a little surprised by the apparent lack of quality of materials in some of the parts not the least of which were the binding posts.

    On the other hand, I bought them for what they sounded like in relation to the price as opposed to their exact construction etc.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,703
    edited February 2004
    First, the polish. It's not needed, has no benefit at all, can not and will not moisturize a clear coat finish, can build up and become a tacky mess, does leave fingerprints/smudges, will waste your money. Products that contain silicone (Pledge) make it almost impossible to repair/touch up any scratches/rubs, etc. As aba4430 said, "The finish is sealed, so the polish is not necessary" and yes, dusting with a damp soft cotton cloth is all that is needed. On wood that has an "oil finish" you might be surprised to know that it's not just oil, but usually contains many other ingredients including polyurethane. A pure oil finish is a poor choice, but if you have a pure oil finish on something, you will have to re-oil it from time to time.

    The veneer, I have looked at Polk's "cherry" and it is real wood, just not real cherry. It's a odd looking wood and I'm not quite sure what kind of wood it is, but it is wood.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    edited February 2004
    Does anyone that actually works for Polk ever read any of these threads? :confused:

    I would guess they do. Hell, Polk own this message board.

    Maybe someone in management can comment on the finish materials they put on the RTi series speakers. Jeeze, they know whats done to these speakers ... they make um!
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,703
    edited February 2004
    The finish material is lacquer, main stay of the furniture industry.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    edited February 2004
    Originally posted by F1nut
    The finish material is lacquer, main stay of the furniture industry.

    Well, what I meant was what the "veneer" surface material is made from.

    I do understand there is either a polyurathane or laquer finish over the veneer. No doubt about that.

    Again, maybe someone that is in Polk management / production / engineering can answer this. Actually, it's a pretty simple question. Nobody is on trial here. Just wondering what kind of "Real Wood Veneer" these things are covered with.
    ________________________________________
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,703
    edited February 2004
    Ah, very good.

    I recall a conversation with Micah about what kind of veneer they use on the "cherry" versions. I believe he agreed that it wasn't real cherry, but had no idea what it was. I seem to recall seeing a wood from Mexico that was refered to as a type of cherry, but I can't remember it's name. Polk use to have it's plant in Mexico, 1+1=2.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,431
    edited February 2004
    The new RTi series uses real wood. I have seen them and are WAY above the older line.

    The older line is a *print*, it is MDF with a wood *skin* baked, printed to it. That is the best I can describe it. If you look under your speakers, you can see the MDF and where the wood skin begins. Just a thought for ya to look for!

    The new line uses real wood over MDF. Very nice stuff!
    - Not Tom

    Vr3Mods.com ///// Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited February 2004
    Sid,
    That's exactly what a veneer is.
    9/11 - WE WILL NEVER FORGET!! (<---<<click)
    2005-06 Club Polk Football Pool Champion!! :D
  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,476
    edited February 2004
    Originally posted by Turbota
    I posted this once before, but no real answer:

    Anyway, some folks here may say not to worry about it and be happy that the speakers perform so well for such a reasonable price. Thats just fine and dandy, but I am not the one advertising these speakers that are made with "Real Wood Veneer".

    What's the real deal here?

    Thanks,
    Ron

    The real deal is that Polk's speakers have used wood veneers since the RTXXi line. Compared to using a vinyl print veneer, it's a decision based on cosmetics rather than performance. Wood veneers are not necessarily expensive. A couple sheets of standard 4 foot by 8 foot good quality veneer to cover a pair of RTi70s can be obtained easily for $10 or less per square foot. Here's one company that sells veneers:

    Oakwood

    There are literally dozens of species of wood veneers available (see samples at above link), with varying manufacturing processes. Prices reflect both the finish quality and rarity of the source wood used to make the veneer. The appearance of speakers is up to the designer. Interestingly, if one is not happy with the veneer used on a set of speakers, it's not too difficult to purchase veneer and re-cover them. It's also not at all expensive to do.
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 Preamp; Classe Model 25 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Oppo 105D; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio Power Director; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Parasound JC2BP and A21; Sony 48" 4K TV; Wyred4Sound DAC 2; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
  • brettw22brettw22 Posts: 7,700
    edited February 2004
    Emlyn,

    Cool link for the Veneers, but I wish they had actual pictures of the different one's since there appear to be hundreds to choose from. Also, what a dumb way to list out their pricing.........Who wants to sit and calculate crap like that....bah (unless they sell it in smaller than 4x8 sheets)

    EDIT: I just checked out the SAMPLES section and saw the different looks.....cool cool.
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  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,703
    edited February 2004
    Brett,

    That pricing format is standard for the industry as is the pricing for lumber. It's priced by the board foot. Can't do it in your head, then use a calculator...easy! :D
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • brettw22brettw22 Posts: 7,700
    edited February 2004
    I didn't say i couldn't calculate it......I'm just saying that if they only sell it in 4x8 sheets, then price the entire sheets. What's the point of saying that a square foot is $5.87 if you have to buy 32 of them at a minimum?
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  • PolkThugPolkThug Posts: 7,532
    edited February 2004
    Brett,

    Its kind of like a "price per ounce". No matter how big the container is, you can compare any size across different products.

    Regards,
    PolkThug
  • brettw22brettw22 Posts: 7,700
    edited February 2004
    I do get it....just don't like it. I guess it's for those east coast UOM pu$$ies that need everything spelled out for them..... :D
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  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,703
    edited February 2004
    Strange statement coming from someone who has to spell it out on his windshield.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • brettw22brettw22 Posts: 7,700
    edited February 2004
    My windshield isn't spelling anything out for ME....it's for the schmucks in front that aren't aware of the procedure on the roads......;)
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  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,703
    edited February 2004
    Don't forget to look in your rearview.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • Airplay355Airplay355 Posts: 4,294
    edited February 2004
    **** stop complaining about the wood. it looks better then plastic even if it isnt the wood its said to be or even if its mdf. did you expect solid wood cabinets at circuit city, for $400 a speaker? (using rti70s) next we can all complain about how the black rti series looks purple under certain light. the bottom line is, do you want to see your speakers when you are trying to watch a movie? no, they should disappear.
  • brettw22brettw22 Posts: 7,700
    edited February 2004
    Air.....such angst ridden posts....you not gettin any? ;)
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  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    edited February 2004
    Quote: **** stop complaining about the wood. it looks better then plastic even if it isnt the wood its said to be
    ___________________________________________

    That's the point ... "even if it isn't the wood it's said to be"

    Or maybe you don't get the point! Polk's advertising clearly states that these speakers ARE finished in REAL wood veneer. All I am doing is calling a **** on that!
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • shackshack Posts: 11,284
    edited February 2004
    Originally posted by Turbota
    Quote: **** stop complaining about the wood. it looks better then plastic even if it isnt the wood its said to be
    ___________________________________________

    That's the point ... "even if it isn't the wood it's said to be"

    Or maybe you don't get the point! Polk's advertising clearly states that these speakers ARE finished in REAL wood veneer. All I am doing is calling a **** on that!

    You must not get the point. IT IS REAL WOOD VENEER!
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson
  • walkwalk Posts: 178
    edited February 2004
    "Your choice of two real wood finishes: Cherry or Black Oak veneers".

    Show me where in that sentence it claims to be Cherry wood. No, it says cherry (colored) or black (colored) *OAK*.

    YES OAK IS REAL WOOD.

    Ok, maybe it's not "Cherry" wood (of which there are many types btw) but it's definitely REAL WOOD (oak).
    - Sony 50"A3000 SXRD; Onkyo TX-SR 805
    - Polk RTi150 mains; CSi30 center; FXi3 surrounds, R15 backs
    - Velodyne CHT-12 subwoofer
  • TurbotaTurbota Posts: 255
    edited February 2004
    Listen, this is my last post on this ... I never said these speakers are covered in real cherry wood veneer. Nor, should they be. That don't bother me at all. Polk never said in any of there ads that they were covered in real cherry wood veneer.

    What I question Polks about is that they are not covered in [any] "real wood veneer" at all ... That's all I am saying. And the Polk ads state that they are in fact covered in "real wood veneer".

    I can't speak for the newer Polk speakers, I am commenting on strickly the Polk RTi70 and RTi38. The grain in the finish does NOT look to be real wood, but a non-wood grain applied finish of some kind. Hey, you don't need to be a professional finish carpenter to tell that.

    "walk" may believe they are covered in oak veneer, but I can tell ya ... That ain't no oak veneer ... period!

    Again, I am done with this thread.


    __________________________________________
    2-Channel Audio
    Onkyo ... A-9050 . . .Integrated Amp. (Power Amp Section not Used)
    Onkyo ... M-282 . ... Power Amps .(Pair)
    Onkyo ... C-7030 . _.CD Player
    Polk . . *. RTi A7 - ....Front Speakers
    Polk . . *. RTi A3 - ....Rear Speakers
  • pbc74pbc74 Posts: 63
    edited February 2004
    lol @ people getting emotional about wood veneer.
    Main system:

    Fronts: Infinity Alpha 50
    Center: Infinity Alpha 37c
    Surrounds: Infinity Alpha 20
    Receiver: Onkyo TS-XR607
    Subwoofer: Pioneer S-DW1-K
    Cable- Monster Cable XP

    Bedroom Setup:

    fronts- Polk R50
    surrounds- Polk R30
    center- CS1
    sub- Sony 50 watt
    AVR- Onkyo TSXR502
    Cable- Monster Cable XP
  • PhantomOGPhantomOG Posts: 2,422
    edited February 2004
    hey... not being able to "get wood" is a serious issue, you shouldn't be laughing

    :D
  • PolkWannabiePolkWannabie Posts: 2,763
    edited February 2004
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