How To Clean Piano Black Speaker Finish?


What do you use to clean your speakers Piano black finish?  I am using a slightly damp microfiber cloth.  So far, in 2 years, no scratches.  Is there an easier way to keep them clean?  I have used a very clean wool duster a couple of times but it doesn't help fingerprints like when I move them.  Anyone?
83d96326 9a8a 4eca b738 6dc28f39ebbcstereo5
You can purchase piano cleaner fluid, and use a microfiber cloth or similar (e.g. piano cleaning cloths).
They're speakers but its really automotive paint so clean the same way you would a car you wanted to concours. Only difference is the car would be a lot bigger, and dirtier. But same technique.

Fold your soft microfiber cloth. Clean in straight lines. Do not go in circles. This way, if you do make a scratch, it will be visible from one angle only. Circles you can see from everywhere. Which I'm sure you have. The halo of swirls that moves around as you go. So don't be That Guy.

You can spray detailer like Griot's Speed Shine on the speaker or on the cloth. Or just dampen with water. Speakers aren't dirty so you'll be fine.

Whatever you do, fold that cloth, and use very little pressure, and clean with a rolling motion that keeps lifting the leading edge of the cloth pulling the dust and dirt up and away from the surface. Make your first pass like this. Then once you have removed all the dust like this if there are finger prints or whatever you can go back and use a little more detailer to get those. When cleaning those you can go back and forth if you are careful but never anything but straight lines until you are sure the surface is clean.

Now if you do get a scratch, well if its not too deep you can remove it. First use Griot's Paint Cleaning Clay. (Which you can do anyway, and will be floored how good your speakers will gleam if you do.) Then use Machine 4 Polish, a very fine polish. Finally, not necessary because indoors but Best of Show Wax will bring out depth you never knew was there.

Overkill, especially in a dark listening room. Then again it is piano black. Do all this and your speakers won't just disappear in the sense of throwing a sound stage. They will disappear because they have such a mirror finish you won't even see the speakers but only the reflection in them.


Miller gave good advice. I just use a premium detailer spray like Meguiars or Mothers and I get a very satisfying shine on my piano black von Schweikerts
+1 Millercarbon.  Griots speed shine is awesome stuff!  I use that on my car, after 3 days of wet sanding, buffing, and waxing of course ;) Primo stuff.

But yeah, treat it like a cars finish.  Pretty much exactly as Millercarbon describes.  Once you have the finish dialed in Speed Shine is all you need.  I would recommend spraying it on your microfiber towel, not directly on the speakers as to not get overspray on the drivers.  I’ll only use damp microfibers on the fronts next to the drivers.  I’ll also use a soft paintbrush to dust the my mid bass drivers (particularly on the surrounds).


I sprayed mine with furniture Pledge and fingerprints show much less.  I suspect anything containing light wax can do the same.
Millercarbo I will certainly not let you near any of my Porsches. Stereo 5 you are going a fabulous job if you have not got swirl marks so far.
Instead of using water you could use an instant detailer like Meguires 34
which has a little wax in it and will remove finger prints. If you polish the surface do not wipe in straight lines! Polish in brisk circles never staying in any one place. Here is the reason. If you wipe in straight lines the swirl marks you generate will all be visible from one angle and from that angle the finish will look like absolute crap with hundreds of straight line marks. If you wipe briskly in circles constantly moving, the marks you create depending on the light will only have very short segments visible at any one angle in a very random pattern which is not near as noticeable as all the marks going one way. If you do develop swirl marks Menzerna 3800
will take them out safely with a clean microfiber cloth and polish the surface at the same time. Autogeeks carries Menzerna which is the German version of Meguires. The difference between a scratch and a swirl mark is the swirl mark you can not feel but the scratch will catch the edge of your finger nail. If you were to get a scratch, leave it alone. The paint on this stuff is very thin and it would be easy to rub right through it then you have a real mess. It would have to be filled first then flatten out which is a whole other process
Millercarbon, Paint cleaning clay is only for use on the most contaminated surfaces before rubbing the car out. I never use it on my cars because they never get that contaminated because nothing ever sticks to them 
(CQ UK 3.0) Clay is a swirl mark generator. Mequires #4 will take the paint right off his speaker. He would use Meguire's 205 (they changed their numbering system just to confuse everyone.)
mijostyn, in another train wreck of a post:
Millercarbo I will certainly not let you near any of my Porsches.


This is for everyone else since mijostyn as he is about to discover has crashed and burned and lies smoldering. I have the first place concours trophy from Whistler Weekend, a multi-region Porsche Club of America event where 120+ Porsches compete, to serve as my bona-fides. 

Concours as mijostyn is only now learning is a competition where cars are judged on perfection, particularly as regards paint and finish. In plain English its a car show, albeit one judged to incredibly high standards. I never in my life saw a car at a car show come anywhere near even the average car at a PCA multi-region concours.

No worries mijostyn, I wouldn't come within a mile of your Porsche. Even if you had one.
I've always had great results by first removing the dust with a Swiffer Duster, then using a microfiber cloth and Mothers quick detail spray. I would spray a little on the speaker, then some on the cloth. Then, gently wipe the speaker to remove any finger prints, turning the cloth over to the dry side for a final buff. I have yet to have any issues using this method on any of my speakers or subs. 
Millercarbon,
+2 for that dis

I’m sure he’ll come back and still say you’re wrong, lol

I love seeing people who think they are the smartest / most informed on this site get slammed...

”I have the first place concours trophy from Whistler Weekend, a multi-region Porsche Club of America event where 120+ Porsches compete, to serve as my bona-fides.”  

That was so great!  You’re a Boss
I use a spray solution of water and murphy's oil soap, ~ 1/8 cup in a 32oz spray bottle, wiping with a soft plain kitchen sink towel.  works great and is very economical.  
Actually Millercarbon I have two, a 2006 Speed Yellow C4S my daughter named Smiley and Rudy a 2014 Guards Red Turbo S. Rudy won last years Make a Wish contest!  Give me a site and I would be happy to send you pictures.
b_limo you take a polisher and go at your car with #4 and see what happens. Please show us the pictures when you get finished.
I feel that when someone gives advice on how to destroy a subwoofer it is my duty to bud in and correct things before the inevitable happens.
Fortunately Stereo5 seems to be doing just fine without our help. Stereo5 just stick to the Mcguire's 34 detailer. It will remove the finger prints and leave a nice shine it also makes a great furniture polish. 
Oh and b-limo take out the Bo and add an A. Thanx,

Mike
The official word from Golden Ear regarding my Triton References speakers finish:  mist very slightly with water and wipe with microfiber cloth.  Follow up with another dry microfiber cloth to polish.  Do not use any wax or automotive products on the finish.  
Mike, 
Maybe theres some confusion.  Millercarbon suggested using Griots #4 “ultra fine polish”.  I don’t believe that an ultra fine polish designed to remove fine swirl marks is going to Cut through the paint unless you’re really going at it.

I’ve updated my systems page and uploaded numerous pictures of my last 2 projects.  One project was to repair and repaint a pair of Kef XQ5 speakers.  I spent 2 weeks on it but ended up with a mirror finish with zero orange peel or swirls.  I wet sanded with 1500, 2000, 3000 before going through 5 different polishes.  My next project was wet sanding and polishing my Mini (can’t afford a Porsche, although I agree they are the best cars out there).  I had horrible flames and pin stripes on the Mini that were professionally painted on the car.  I followed a similar regimen in order to remove the flames and stripes off the paint.  I attached those pictures for you to check out as well :-)

And LoL at change out the Bo for an A.  Took me a minute to get it but that was funny.  Still though, I doubt that you or I are going to teach anyone who has won a concours how to detail a car.

If you haven’t seen Ammo TV yet, you can look him up and see really how deep the detailing rabbit hole can get.

-Bruce
A friend who is a guitar repair genius recommended Novus...a  plastic polish supposedly, but he saw it at the Collings guitar shop  and he was sold...so am I...I use the lightest version of the 3 available (#1) on everything from my motorcycle helmet face shield to my nitro finished acoustic guitars...amazing stuff.
I too use Novus, to polish the plastic wrap, and even lacquered finish, on the vintage drums I restore. The Pro's choice!
I recommend Gerlitz Smudge Off which was personally endorsed for polishing high gloss finishes by an ultra high end dealer. A quick spray onto a MF or other soft scratch free polishing cloth and a gentle wipe cleans exceptionally well while leaving no residue or streaks. It's commonly used on high gloss guitars, and also works well on any gear that's metal, glass, chrome, etc. https://smile.amazon.com/Gerlitz-SMUDGEOFF-Smudge-Spray-Cleaner/dp/B000WIFUDW
Not sure if you saw my pics but Novus is what I finalized my KEF’s with.  I actually have a bottle of Novus on top of one of the speakers in one of the pictures :-)
Gerlitz looks like good stuff as well 👍
b_limo, you are absolutely correct taken in context so I owe Millercarbon an apology. No I have never won a concours, just a Make a Wish contest.
I am sure the mini was a PIA. Who the f--- would do that to a Mini. The Cooper S is a really fun car. I think it may be the best handling FWD out there. It certainly is the best I have ever driven. Porsches are great if you work on them yourself. If not they can be a money pit. I have plenty of scraped knuckles to show for it. Audi just announced they are finally going to bring the RS 6 Avant to the US. Boy am I going to have a hard time passing that one by. The ultimate stealth mobile:)
Anyway, what kind of finish did you use on the Kefs, precat lacquer? Gutsy thing to do.
I have watched several episodes of AMMO. Very informative. I think he is in NYC where there are plenty of megabuck cars for him to work on. He drives a 911 on track. Smiley has the cup car nose and wing. I have had him on track several times. Rudy is too scary for that. He goes beyond my capability real fast. 
Stereo5 they are always going to say that for liability reasons lest you use something like brake fluid on em melting the finish off. Trust me on this one, an instant detailer like Meguires 34 which is mostly distilled water will do an excellent job, not harm the lacquer at all and leave you with a nice shine. I use it on my subs all the time. 
 
Jeez.....it's not rocket science folks.  The speakers are not outside,  they will not have any bonded contaminants.  So DON"T use clay.  Use some Mequiars Ultimate Quick Wax and a quality microfiber.  That's it. Polish in the same direction....back and forth, not circular.  You won't see swirl marks unless the sun is reflecting off them through a window.  It's paint and basic paint care is pretty simple on a new finish.  
Some piano black finishes have a very thin UV cured clear coat like Taylor uses on
their guitars.  They have a polish specifically for this type of finish.
You can purchase it on line at music stores and Taylor guitars.

I've owned a few Taylors and still own a couple of 'em, and Novus works on the poly finishes as well.
wolf_garcia
... Novus works on the poly finishes as well.
Novus also works really well on turntable dustcovers.

Only arguments about audio cables and motor oil elicit such vitriol and heated debate as do auto-care products. SwissVax, Zymöl, P21S… name your poison. Every owner of a concours winner has a favorite. I actually use a different product or system based on the specific paint finish of the car. Show cars, especially old ones with six-figure restorations, rarely need anything but the finest polish because they rarely, if ever, get driven. Yes, we’re nuts.

Cars that do get driven need a helping hand with more thorough stages of detailing. And brand-new cars with fresh paint can benefit from recently developed plastic wrap like Xpel film that protects paint from elements and even self-heals minor scratches. Think grandma’s precious white sofas, swaddled in those nasty clear plastic covers. It’s frustrating to pay for Porsche PTS and wrap a perfect paint job in plastic, but rock chips, bird droppings and acid rain are worse than a little plastic orange peel on the surface.

What I marvel at is the deplorable way some audio enthusiasts treat their gear. I have seen so many expensive speakers and electronics abused with scratches, dents and all manner of careless damage, as if all that matters is whether or not they are operational. Hey, we have to look at this stuff!

Maybe it’s time to coat all those auto paint-finished speakers with plastic and call it a day.

 

 


'speaker wraps'.....oh, the horror!  Great points you make.....
Griots speed shine for the black Wilsons. Per mill's advice, I waxed them the other night. They look great. 
Any of the reputable products for car finishes should be fine, I mean these aren’t outside, exposed to elements etc... I suppose though if they’re by a window getting direct sunlight one should take the proper actions/maintenance.

If your finish is in good shape (no swirls, deep scratches), really not that difficult.  Dust and use a good quick detailer for fingerprints/gen cleaning and then use a good wax or sealant and that will make all subsequent cleanings (e.g dusting) a piece of cake.

Mequiars Ultimate Quick detailer is a great and readily available product along with their waxes.

One key component regardless of what product is used, MAKE sure microfiber cloth is clean and free of any contaminates. Use one for cleaning and one for polishing 


Best way to keep piano finishes looking great is to not contaminate them with fingerprints or other contaminants in the first place. Your speaker finish will never need more than a dusting if you are careful. Whenever I have to move my speakers (which is hardly ever), I put on the white gloves that came with my Prima Luna preamp. This avoids getting fingerprints on the finish. You can use something similar. After that, only a light pass with a feather duster keeps my Tritons looking brand new.

J.Chip
I agree with J. Chip. My Zu Def 4s in piano black are 8+ years old. Rare gentle dusting. White gloves or a cloth when moving - again rare. Avoid fingerprints. Don't touch the bare surface. Etc. They still look new.
I’ve used Windex and paper towels on my NHT
VT 2’s for 18 years. No scratches  at all