Volti Audio Finish
Volti Audio speakers are known for their beautiful veneers and unique finishing of the wood veneer, and I’d like to take this opportunity to explain a little bit more about our process.
Volti speakers typically have real wood veneers applied to the cabinets after the cabinets are built. We apply the veneer in large vacuum bags with a permanent two-part glue. The vacuum bags offer the most effective way to ‘clamp’ the veneer to the cabinets, resulting in a superior flat application. Yes, it’s hard to believe, but even our largest cabinets go completely into a sealed bag and nearly all the air is pumped out of the bag creating a strong negative pressure on all surfaces of the cabinet. It’s really quite a unique process.
After the veneer is applied, it goes through a series of sanding and detailing steps to prepare it for the clear lacquer finish that is applied in our spray booth. Unless otherwise specified, we use clear, satin, lacquer as our preferred finish. Satin gloss provides a nice shiny coat to the wood without being too shiny or glitzy. The clear finish brings out the rich natural color of the wood and really makes the grain ‘pop’.
I’m not a big fan of the smooth, heavy coats of gloss lacquer you see on some speakers. To me, those thick coats of lacquer hide some of the nicest characteristics of the real wood veneer. Those types of finishes often leave me wondering if I’m even looking at a real piece of wood. Instead, I prefer to use a lighter approach to the spray finish to highlight the interesting check marks, grain texture, and other naturally occurring anomalies that are part of the tree the wood was cut from. When you walk up to a Volti Audio speaker, you will always immediately know that you are looking at a real wood finish.
Some woods will show off interesting characteristics more than others and I’m always willing to help you decide which veneer to use on your speakers. Please feel free to bend my ear anytime.
I am very proud of the quality of work that I turn out of my shop. But I am careful to only do what I can do well. Black paint over my wood speaker cabinets is not something I’ve ever been able to do well – or to my satisfaction – so I’ve simply not offered it. However . . .
A week ago I completed a pair of Razz speakers in black with a gloss finish and I’m very pleased with the results. How did I do it? I used a dyed veneer, which is something that I only recently learned about. The veneer comes to me dyed black (although it looks gray before the finish is applied). It installs in the normal way over the plywood cabinet and I can sand it, detail it, and finish it with clear lacquer the way I do any of the veneers I use.
There are a couple things I really like about this system. The veneer has the texture of the real wood it is made from. Unlike ultra smooth finishes, where you are not sure what the cabinet is made of, my black speakers are immediately identifiable as wood speakers, which is a key feature of all of my wood finishes and something that I personally strive for. I appreciate the glossy, smooth wood dash in a Mercedes Benz, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who wonders if it is actually real wood, or a facsimile. It could be printed wood grain over plastic with a clear coat finish. Nobody would know the difference.
Another thing I really like about this new finishing system is that the outer finish is a durable clear lacquer. Same finish I put on natural wood veneer, and I know how well this finish holds up over time.
Check out the photos of the Black Razz on the Razz photopage. This veneer/finish can be applied to any Volti Audio speaker.
If you’ve got any questions for me regarding how I finish my speakers, please feel free to reach out anytime.