Black Ash..... the speaker finish that never should have been allowed to escape the bowels of hell. It is the parkay floors of speaker finishes.

Black Ash is the universal declaration of "cheap-#ssed speakers" or, even worse, if chosen as the finish on even a relatively expensive or quality speaker, it’s the sign that the purchaser has lost his mind or was likely wearing cargo shorts, socks and sandals at the time of purchase.

Where do you stand on this?

You are either with me or against me.

Against. And look at some other colors, as an example, offered by Vivid with their Giya line. Speakers are generally large, and, pieces of furniture. Black has been offered for so many years now, and if not liked by someone, don't buy it. I appreciate an excellent finish, whatever color. But to have an attitude about it as strongly as you do, I do not agree, and feel it is as legitimate as any other color, or finish, offered. This will be my only post here, as I feel this thread is a bit ridiculous. Please, no offense meant. Enjoy ! MrD.
Black has some advantages: 1. They look smaller than white and may appease a doubting mate. 2. They disappear when lights are off -good for home theater. 3. Easy to repair if laminate starts to peel off (that's why pro equipment is always black). 4. You think that cheesy wood veneer over chip board is fooling anybody? The veneer on my former speakers was so thin it would separate due to temperature changes. I'm amazed they could apply it to the MDF!
Black Ash is ok.Black gloss is awful though.
On the enclosures I made myself (subs), I painted them Hot Rod Black, which is a very cool black with a sheen between matte and flat black, used by, as its' name suggests, 1950's Hot Rod customizers. John Deere, the maker of tractors, offers a real good version, believe it or not!
why do you think Kevin Deal can't sell these fantastic speakers at 56% off????

Ok, that's just criminal.

And yet a beautifully done burl is so much more attractive than black ash veneer.
I have a pair of Aerial Acoustics 7B towers in black ash. I did not choose the finish. And don't really care. But they are extremely well done. Looks and feels like fine furniture. Seams at corners and edges are imperceptible to touch or sight. Finish is not overly dull or shiny. 

I might not have chosen that finish if I'd been buying new........but it certainly does not seem like anything to get worked up about.

And in the wrong application some fancier finishes, even when done well, seem to shout "look at me"......which is not exactly what I'm looking for in a speaker.
My low end Polk Audio Monitor 70s at my cabin are in black ash........vinyl. That's a whole other story.
mine are black oak... slightly more rich texture but still black
Firmly Against, for practical reasons: changing out one black box for another (much more) expensive black box is 'stealth upgrading'. No-one in the family will have the faintest idea what just happened.
Haven't really given much thought. I guess I'm not too put off by black ash. 
The worst ever finish is the natural oak from the 70's and 80's . Give me black ash over that oak any day of the week
I don’t harbor any ill feelings toward black ash speakers...Walnut or oak now that is a different story.
 I like cargo shorts! Plenty of room for spare phono carts, interconnects and such!
Are we listening with our eyes or our ears dare I ask?
Cue... The Rolling Stones 'Paint it Black'  : )
I agree, but Parkay is a margarine, parquet is a floor. That said, some of my favorite speakers from the past have been black ash just by chance because I bought them used. Spendor SP 100 and Celestion sl6si come to mind.
I would say black matte looks worse than ash. Gloss black won’t work with every room.

if you want your speaker to be the main attraction in the room, then yeah go for a whirly burly curly Salk cabinet with a bright color. 
My speakers are Kowazinga....  paid extra but worth it.
Buy a high grade oil paint in your favorite color, then search out a quality
finish painter like Michelangelo and you'll have something you picked!
After 5-6 coats you may find the black wasn't so bad after all!

Black wood sucks. Where in nature do you find black wood ?
i had a used pair of Joseph audio speakers (RM25] once and the black rubbed of the edges where your palms would rub on the top corners when you would move your speakers around to position them, and it exposed the fiberboard underneath. They were really done bad. I Would never by black wood grained speakers again. 
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Walnut or rosewood for me. Although harbeth has a beautiful olive wood finish on some of their anniversary speakers...
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"Where in nature do you find black wood ?"   EBONY!
All I could do is laugh as I looked over my sea of black ash speakers, subwoofers, and about 3 dozen flat black record crates.  But hey, at least I've got wood paneling in my house, that must count for something on the classy scale.
For those inclined, you can use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Chalk Paint Wax Clear finish on cabinets that you may want to hold onto for awhile. I have some older Monitor audio RS6’s with yellow oak finish that I really don’t care for and really clashes with our beach gray decor. My amp stands came out beautifully. Merchants that sell Annie Sloan paints with brick and mortar stores many times are also local artists and can refinish the cabinets for you or and/or match perfectly your room decor. Antique it, beach it, almost any effect you want.  Also easy to diy and save a bunch. Just practice on some old furniture for the effect you desire. WAF goes up unbelievably. 
I like my black ash b&w 803D
For some reason, strange to me now black (vinyl or veneer) was the colour of my first 3 speakers. In fact most of my Hi-Fi was in black, apart from the NAD stuff I started with. It just never occurred to me that other options were viable.

Then one day about 15 years ago I underwent a radical change of heart. All of a sudden I wanted my environment to be more friendly with more reflected light. This shift in outlook was complete when I developed a yearning for a more organic look in loudspeakers. Wood grain was no longer ugly to my eyes.

Then all of a sudden cherry, light oak, mahogany, white ash etc all started to look good. Even walnut became preferable to black.

Electronics in chrome, silver, or best of all gold became infinitely preferable to the standard black. So much so that I now feel that the best way to listen might be to have the equipment disappear or fade into the background (white) as much as possible to reduce distracting effects.

I know you can do a similar thing by drawing the curtains and turning down the lights in the evening but that's a bit of a hindrance in the day.

All I could do is laugh as I looked over my sea of black ash speakers, subwoofers, and about 3 dozen flat black record crates.

We can't be friends.

But hey, at least I've got wood paneling in my house, that must count for something on the classy scale.


Black ash can look great. In fact, I'd choose it over most finishes.

^^^  Another traitor to taste.   Please stop encouraging manufacturers.;-)

Due to a host of mental conditions, many of them criminal, I can only live in a room with pressed wood paneling adorning the walls.

So, for me, black ash is perfect.
It's probably an easy way to finish a speaker for the DIY guys.
Wow this is so important its earth shattering.Who would buy that junk anyway???
For your consideration, one of the fanciest examples I know of, the B&W 801 in black ash:

And BTW, most DIY'ers I know of wouldn't be caught dead using that as a finish.
Some speakers are butt ugly no matter what you finish them in.
Did we slip through a worm hole and arrive back at April 1st?

" let's do the time warp again"



war crimes


stonewashed jeans

black ash finishes

Lines have to be drawn by decent, conscientious people, uberwaltz.Which side are you on? ;-)
@prof : mullets? You're taking things too far now.
I take no prisoners......

But in the scheme of things and all that is unholy , Black Ash looks kinda good next to my black carpet finish cabinets........

I resisted joining, but once mullets and stonewashed jeans got mentioned, it was time to get it straight.

Are you a man enough to wear a mullet and stonewashed jeans?

When it comes to speakers, I see no problem with black ash (co)existing. The problem is lack of other choices at most of the manufacturers. They should charge something extra and, after some wait, you should be able to get your speakers in different colors. The way some cars can be ordered.

If you ever see yellow Revel speakers, it may be due to a dealer promising me he would bring it up under "what customers are saying" at some meeting they had at headquarters in California.
It was good enough for Henry Ford.....
It's all about personal tastes. If the listening room is furnished such that the speaker finish is important then that's a factor. I have seen rooms that are so elegant with lush furnishings that the speaker finish can add or subtract from the overall appearance.
That said.....While speaker appearance is one that can be important, overall performance of the speaker is the primary goal. If given the choice to purchase speakers offered in multiple finishes then certainly go with your preference. Black ash is a common finish quite neutral as presented in any room.
Bottom line.....If the speaker of your choice is not offered in the finish you want then decide if you want the sound you want or just a piece of nice looking furniture.

"It was good enough for Henry Ford....."
Thanks. I just learned that Ford T was initially actually produced in different colors before turning black because of the quickest-drying paint.

Maybe speaker manufacturers have some practical secret why they like black ash.
Black ash is the dark hole spawn of Satan. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Black fabric grilles next.
The only positive I can see for black ash is that scratches are easily touched up with a black sharpie.  Other than that little tidbit, no thanks...its horrid !
Here's a hypothetical question for prof. (Remember,I'm speaking hypothetically)  Lets say a new pair of Perspectives comes up in Black Ash,with a $4k discount,what do you do?????