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Thread: Thoughts on The Carmel by Altec??

  1. #16
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    Honestly? Too dark, and too inconsistent from too quick to jump to stain.
    Stain is a last resort for me, especially on quality species of wood.
    I understand you're trying to deal with a damaged surface, but there's better choices to try first.
    STAIN: I try to avoid it at all costs and after I've exhausted all other alternatives.
    If the damage is chemical in nature, maybe you made the only choice, but if it's just sun (and looks like moisture may have been at work as well) I always try to save the piece with tinted oils.
    Once the area of major trauma is close to matching, then maybe, just maybe, a judicious thin and quick wipe of species appropriate stain to help blend and tie things together.
    BUT, this process takes time and most folks want a quick fix (gratification).
    Doesn't work that way with restoration work.
    Not trying to be an ass, it's just that I learned this the hard way and have to be reminded of it every time I look at certain "projects" around the house. With deep regret.
    That's why I approach stain with such prejudice: it cannot be undone.
    Very nice speakers; may I ask what you paid for them?
    Enjoy,
    Thomas

  2. #17
    Senior Member Cooljjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goodwill_HiFi View Post
    Thanks..... I still am a bit unclear on it, but I'd probably have to see it done to fully understand. For instance if the toner is opaqe how would you use a stain on top of it...... or maybe stain is only used on top of non-opaque toners?
    I tell everyone that toner is like stain mixed with laqure, with stain once the wood soaks it up the excess just sits there until you wipe it off, the wood will only take so much stain, toner on the other had has the stain(tint) mixed in with the lacquer so when you spray it on it stays on and hardens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wagner View Post
    Honestly? Too dark, and too inconsistent from too quick to jump to stain.
    Stain is a last resort for me, especially on quality species of wood.
    I understand you're trying to deal with a damaged surface, but there's better choices to try first.
    STAIN: I try to avoid it at all costs and after I've exhausted all other alternatives.
    If the damage is chemical in nature, maybe you made the only choice, but if it's just sun (and looks like moisture may have been at work as well) I always try to save the piece with tinted oils.
    Once the area of major trauma is close then maybe, just maybe, a judicious thin and quick wipe of species appropriate stain to help blend and tie things together.
    BUT, this process takes time and most folks want a quick fix (gratification).
    Doesn't work that way with restoration work.
    Not trying to be an ass, it's just that I learned this the hard way and have to be reminded of it every time I look at certain "projects" around the house. With deep regret.
    That's why I approach stain with such prejudice: it cannot be undone.
    Very nice speakers; may I ask what you paid for them?
    Enjoy,
    Thomas
    The problem I was having was the wood wasn't taking the stain, it would stain some what by you would see the walnut areas then areas that looked like maple in between. I did try oil not tinted oil but just an oil and the wood looked hideous like a cheap birch wood. It was like the wood had no color left it in, here is an example of what walnut veneer looks like



    Look a few post back to the sanded area and you notice the difference, granted that the veneer about is black walnut and the cabinets appear to be walnut. The top was even worse in color. The only true way to restore these would be to re veneer them and all honesty they aren't worth that much trouble.

    I paid a 100$ for them, reason being is the horrible condition of the cabinets and I wasn't sure if the drivers would blow apart once sound hit them due to the heat. The original asking price was 200$ but once we got them down the damage was worse then suspect so price went down.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooljjay View Post
    I tell everyone that toner is like stain mixed with laqure, with stain once the wood soaks it up the excess just sits there until you wipe it off, the wood will only take so much stain, toner on the other had has the stain(tint) mixed in with the lacquer so when you spray it on it stays on and hardens.



    The problem I was having was the wood wasn't taking the stain, it would stain some what by you would see the walnut areas then areas that looked like maple in between. I did try oil not tinted oil but just an oil and the wood looked hideous like a cheap birch wood. It was like the wood had no color left it in, here is an example of what walnut veneer looks like



    Look a few post back to the sanded area and you notice the difference, granted that the veneer about is black walnut and the cabinets appear to be walnut. The top was even worse in color. The only true way to restore these would be to re veneer them and all honesty they aren't worth that much trouble.

    I paid a 100$ for them, reason being is the horrible condition of the cabinets and I wasn't sure if the drivers would blow apart once sound hit them due to the heat. The original asking price was 200$ but once we got them down the damage was worse then suspect so price went down.

    I wasn't just slamming your choices for kicks. It's just the time frame from when you said you got them to the photos of the finished product was a bit quicker than I would have given it.
    Then again, I am quite the master of lost causes.
    It's hard for me to give up on challenging cosmetic jobs; I'm addicted to restoration rather than replacement whenever possible.
    To me, stain's not much better than paint.
    I've managed to rescue a few wood pieces that looked as bad, or worse, than your photos.
    Enjoy!
    Thomas

  4. #19
    Senior Member Cooljjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wagner View Post
    I wasn't just slamming your choices for kicks. It's just the time frame from when you said you got them to the photos of the finished product was a bit quicker than I would have given it.
    Then again, I am quite the master of lost causes.
    It's hard for me to give up on challenging cosmetic jobs; I'm addicted to restoration rather than replacement whenever possible.
    To me, stain's not much better than paint.
    I've managed to rescue a few wood pieces that looked as bad, or worse, than your photos.
    Enjoy!
    Thomas
    If I don't jump into a project I will never get it done, I have tons of radio's around here that need refinishing but I just don't have the time. Trust me I thought through all my choices to be honest if I were to jump into anything I would have just parted them out, most of the time when people come across things in this sort of condition, they part them out and the cabs hit the trash. What I have done is completely reversible, when the time comes something bigger and better comes along the new owners can simply wipe the old finish off, its not like spray paint that is permanent. But looking at new electronics black is the new wood grain. Another problem that is faced with these cabinets is one is completely bleached while the other still retains some of its color, meaning one cabinet won't match the other, yes I could spend the next 6 months refinishing them but my point goes back to they simply aren't worth the effort. Not arguing with you just pointing out my side. Where are you at in California?

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooljjay View Post
    If I don't jump into a project I will never get it done, I have tons of radio's around here that need refinishing but I just don't have the time. Trust me I thought through all my choices to be honest if I were to jump into anything I would have just parted them out, most of the time when people come across things in this sort of condition, they part them out and the cabs hit the trash. What I have done is completely reversible, when the time comes something bigger and better comes along the new owners can simply wipe the old finish off, its not like spray paint that is permanent. But looking at new electronics black is the new wood grain. Another problem that is faced with these cabinets is one is completely bleached while the other still retains some of its color, meaning one cabinet won't match the other, yes I could spend the next 6 months refinishing them but my point goes back to they simply aren't worth the effort. Not arguing with you just pointing out my side. Where are you at in California?

    Right down the road from you; Clayton. Just noticed your location after you asked. Wife works in Fairfield.
    Thomas

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooljjay View Post
    If I don't jump into a project I will never get it done, I have tons of radio's around here that need refinishing but I just don't have the time. Trust me I thought through all my choices to be honest if I were to jump into anything I would have just parted them out, most of the time when people come across things in this sort of condition, they part them out and the cabs hit the trash. What I have done is completely reversible, when the time comes something bigger and better comes along the new owners can simply wipe the old finish off, its not like spray paint that is permanent. But looking at new electronics black is the new wood grain. Another problem that is faced with these cabinets is one is completely bleached while the other still retains some of its color, meaning one cabinet won't match the other, yes I could spend the next 6 months refinishing them but my point goes back to they simply aren't worth the effort. Not arguing with you just pointing out my side. Where are you at in California?

    And I wasn't trying to be a prick, just giving my honest opinion. I consider myself reasonably competent at cab rehab and sometime my insistence on preserving all things "original" becomes a bit obsessive.

    Thomas

  7. #22
    Senior Member Cooljjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wagner View Post
    Right down the road from you; Clayton. Just noticed your location after you asked. Wife works in Fairfield.
    Thomas
    Thats not far at all, shoud stop by and see them in person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wagner View Post
    And I wasn't trying to be a prick, just giving my honest opinion. I consider myself reasonably competent at cab rehab and sometime my insistence on preserving all things "original" becomes a bit obsessive.

    Thomas
    Ah, I try to preserve things all original too but after so many radios and stuff that I get with badly dry and flaking finishes you get to that point where you just want a finish on them.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wagner View Post
    ....... I always try to save the piece with tinted oils.....
    Could you explain this further? How is that different than a stain? Traditional stain(*) is pigment, oil, and thinner....... are you mixing colorant with straight linseed oil or something similar?

    *Yes, I know dye stains, and water based stains exist.

  9. #24
    Senior Member shaansloan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooljjay View Post
    Just pulled these down from the rafters at an estate sale and nope there wasn't stairs. I was curious on your thoughts about these? I like the sound and they sure do rattle the walls. Someone mention I should change out the crossover caps..good idea? I am currently figuring out how I want to go about refinishing the cabinets, the whole sun bleach effect doesn't do it for me. If anyone has an original article/catalog/flier on them it would be great to see. Heres some photos
    Hey Cooljay....nice score....man for $100 you brought home some Hi-Fi....I have a set of Carmels I got last year....I just love them....I love that warm vintage sound they have....I run them with a tube amp and I like to listen to old Nat King Cole and various Jazz, folk and classical on them....

    I have never even had the backs off of mine....I simply had my buddy make me a set of maple legs(one set was missing, mine have legs vs. yours that have stands), slapped some Howards feed and wax on them and its been cool listening ever since....

    One day I hope to have them completely restored to original, but I am gonna have a pro do it, I am just not that good at restoring veneer and mine needs a bit of work....I have not done anything with the crossovers or drivers, they run like a champ and are very satisfying to listen to....and very efficient I might add....they are 16 ohm...

    I say you have a set of grand old jewels there....worth any effort you put into them.....they have a very unique character of sound that I think is just fabulous! Hats off on a great find! Shaan

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