Yamaha really made this statement:

Glossy black piano finish provides improved signal-to-noise performance



I thought I would seek opportunity to hear these speakers, but now I do not think so






regardless of whether or not the finish on the front of speakers can affect the reflected sound, the advertisers have probably never met the engineers, so I say go ahead and listen...
If we start culling out gear because it might be over hyped, what's left? Enjoy the music
Unless they can certify the plywood from the island of Hokkaido was trees planted by Hattori Hanzo I would pass.
The whole list of features is overdone hype especially

  • Carefully crafted laminated plywood enclosure made of Japanese white birch from the island of Hokkaido.

but I love how they finish the list with a simple  and very understated "frequency dividing network"
marketing mixed with emotion and uniqueness.
Lacquer alone on the front baffle has an effect on sound, less deflections? But is black better? Had to be translated to an acoustic benefit apart from visual. I believe they sound good though.
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@MC- I’m fairly certain, there was never any plywood, in any of Oni no Hanzō’s swords or spears.            Did they even have plywood, in Sixteenth Century Japan?
Perhaps they use a different material to apply the "Black Piano Gloss" finish on than they use for the other finishes?

And you all call yourselves audiophiles?

Piano black speakers sound the best!

Hokkaido wood seems to be valued. It also depends what time of the year it was harvested.

"The wood for the baffle board comes from Japan’s island of Hokkaido. Winters are extremely cold, a condition reflected in the tight grain, hardness and rigidity of the indigenous maple. With the assistance of local wood specialists, Sony hand-selected raw maple logs from Hokkaido’s forests. The trees are felled in November, when their growth slows and the grain is at its tightest."

(from http://sonypremiumhome.com/pdfs/AR-1_Brochure.pdf)

By the way, these SONY speakers are serious business. Check them out, if you get a chance.

Moving the two foam pads on RAAL ribbon tweeters one notch, i.e. 1/8" causes treble, mid and bass relationship to be rearranged fundamentally,  far more than would be believed.  

Sony is more hard core regarding sound than most companies imo. One of the few that are not stupid to make such a statement.  Likely if we heard identical speakers with different finishes, we might agree. Also, testing was likely in SOTA sound room, and then I wouldn't doubt it. 

Forget about the whole speaker paint...

"Luxman even hand selects the color paint used on the resistors to identify value and tolerance based on extensive listening tests."

Looks like the NS1000 from the 70”s...First use of Beryllium in speakers...I was at a Yamaha dealer meeting in Indianapolis when they unveiled them.  
A little more from Hokkaido...

"The ear pieces are made from strikingly beautiful traditional Japanese Echizen lacquer-finshed Hokkaido Asada cherry heartwood."

Check the video...

The whole thing looks like a very poorly translated thing, I doubt Yamaha actually meant to say that in Japanese.  Something got clipped.
C’mon everybody knows that that statement came from Eric at Tekton and it’s covered by patent # BR549
This is the big one! A hifi claim that nobody believes or defends. 

“Of course you can’t know if it works or not if you haven’t actually tried it. “

So there.....

Dare I mention Ted Denney invented some UEF sound control paint? Rather than being made by Synergistic the technology is to be sold under license. Just sayin'....
I have listened to the NS-5000 speakers via the Mx-5200 series amps and the GT-5000 tt. The sound is impressive.
I haven’t listened to the Sony AR series yet but I will listen to any speaker/ system to expand my experience and knowledge.
I read little into the brochure fluff and with great scepticism the specifications. 🇦🇺
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The NS 5000 are some of the best speakers I have heard up to $60K. The speakers that were even more expensive just played better in really large rooms. The NS 5000 is well worth a listen. If you are in the USA you can get a 2 month home trial from the online vendors who sell at MSRP.

Yamaha has left Beryllium behind (from the 1970’S NS 1000) for their drivers and are now onto some new material. Sounds better than Be drivers to me.

There is also a new NS 3000 monitor and the much bigger NS 5000 "bookshelf" for shelves made of steel. I expect a NS 4000 to be introduced soon.
Interesting marketing claim. 
Yamaha is an exceptional engineering and manufacturing organization with a long history related to musical instruments and audio equipment. 
It may be worth a listen....
No more outlandish than the claims made by the purveyors of "audiophile" wire and fuses!
Hmmmm, just thinking.  While researching Etsuro Urushi cartridges, I learned that as China has excellent porcelain, Japan has excellent lacquer products.  Japanese lacquer was strong enough to be used in Japanese armor.  It's not hard to believe that a thick coat of lacquer can change the vibration pattern of the speaker.

Can a vibration pattern affect the s/n of components, aka can the signal be increased (doubtful) or the noise reduced?  I do know that electrical components can react to vibrations, that's why we have vibration mitigating platforms and racks.  

That's all I got because s/n calculations are for now beyond my feeble mind.
Ah but the failing is that with piano music, the piano must be a Yamaha, preferably the same color. If not, the sound will be colored. (BTW, I do remember the NS-1000's. Wow. I was hooked.)
"Silly audiophillys!  EVERYONE Gnos that sound slides off slick finish betta than ripply wood vinyls!  And pseudo-would no have grainy gaps that trap tonals!


(Sucka born every minute....)
Some years ago I read a number of articles that different varnishes can affect sound, so maybe not too far fetched
it is still refreshing though that still the big ones can create some ripples.
I had the chance to listen to the SSAR1 a couple of times. It is an amazing and demanding speaker, and less forgiving than its little brother the SSAR2. Japaneese always had the tendency to promote, in MHO rightly so, natural materials origined from their country. 
"Genuine Naugahyde" is a fine example of a U.S. marketing ploy used years ago.
In the 80's I owned a couple of Yamaha Natural Sound components which were quite good. This is a corporation that is fanatical about musical instruments as well, so you think they may know something about sound, eh? Would anyone put their money on a small shop to test such things - and likely have some data to back it up? It's entirely possible that it's a marketing line, but often big, focused companies that want a reputation as pushing the limit on performance are not going to invite ridicule by putting fluff in with their performance criteria. 

Obviously not an effect of color, but finish. Again, in a state of the art sound room for testing, I would not be surprised if there were differences heard based on the finish. It is incredible how fine the resolution and tonality can change based upon seemingly insignificant changes. The owner would not be expected to hear such things, imo. That in no way means it cannot be an influence in a testing facility. Until you have done the testing, you are in no position to say they are wrong. You may disbelieve, but that says as much about you as the company.  

My guess is that the finish as heard in the sound room would influence the reflected signals (reflected off the cabinet? perhaps), allowing slightly more decay than a flat finish, and would be understood as allowing more of the signal to be heard. You would have to be in a proper sound testing facility to have a chance to hear such a thing. 

I do not mind taking the minority position on many matters in audio. As in life/science, I find that the popular opinion is often wrong. It's very easy to mock, but it's not such a laughing matter when it can be backed up. Can Yamaha's assertion be backed up? Maybe, maybe not. It certainly won't be resolved by you - unless you have your own testing facility with state of the art room and equipment. 

We all have our skepticism triggered at different levels. I find it absurd that HiFi enthusiasts who claim they want superior sound would not understand/at least try aftermarket cabling. When "good enough", lowest common denominator, i.e. all caps sound the same, audio is used to assess an assault on SOTA, you do not understand the things that are done to achieve it, and the outcome. Notice the alternative was not discussed, that is, the alternative speaker finish/coating/material. A speaker like a Vandersteen - would anyone doubt that an identical speaker covered in a fabric would sound different under testing than one with a glossy finish? I certainly would not mock that possibility. 

The range of products certainly does run the gamut, from Tekton, which puts a dozen drivers for midrange into an MDF cabinet, to Yamaha, which fiercely limits the drivers, particular cabinet material, and even finish! Something for everyone! 
All six external surfaces of the enclosure have a glossy black piano finish created using the same dedicated paint, primer, and polishing processes used for Yamaha’s renowned grand pianos. The uniform and hard membrane further increases the overall rigidity of the enclosure, and at the same time it suppresses fine vibrations, contributing to the bright sound and significantly enhanced signal-to-noise performance.
Yamaha has the same piano black finish on the sides their integrated amps---does that do anything to improve the sound?
The wood for the baffle board comes from Japan’s island of Hokkaido. Winters are extremely cold, a condition reflected in the tight grain, hardness and rigidity of the indigenous maple. With the assistance of local wood specialists, Sony hand-selected raw maple logs from Hokkaido’s forests. The trees are felled in November, when their growth slows and the grain is at its tightest."
No wonder Klipsch stopped using Baltic Birch!
Say, isn’t Hokkaido where the epicenter for coronavirus was? Ah so desu ka! The Baltic is most likely at higher latitudes than Hokkaido, anyways.
So, with a nod to Kenjit, the ultimate speaker cabinet material should be dwarf star alloy?  Density beyond your wildest schemes...
Good luck keeping them in your listening space....;)

"Dear?  How come there's 2 holes in the floor....?"
I bet they sound really good.  Yamaha is usually a pretty safe bet to spend your money on.  
This is a mystery. As we know, Hattori Hanzo lives on Okinawa, so it is unlikely that he planted trees on Hokkaido. Then again, the making of a katana involves the lamination of different forms of steel, soft, medium and hard steel. The types of lamination and the number of layers varies between sword makers. So it is possible that Yamaha could have convinced Hattori to come out of retirement to consult on wood lamination design for these speakers. Knowing Hattori, he probably made Yamaha sign a NDA. If Yamaha violates the NDA, their corporate leadership would be deemed “Rats”, and we know how that would end. Yes, it’s a mystery. 

"No wonder Klipsch stopped using Baltic Birch!"

The story of SONY speaker has the second part, too.

"However, building the entire enclosure from a single type of wood can result in an excessively rigid and hard sound. For this reason, we selected another, somewhat softer cold-climate wood, Scandinavian birch, for the speaker’s side and rear panels. The birch is laminated and compressed to a thickness of 32 mm for the AR1, 24 mm for the AR2. The panels are then curved to a sculptural shape.

This unique choice of woods insures exceptional freedom from unwanted vibrations, as well as a natural, balanced, musically expressive tone.

You’ll remember the density of these woods every time you move the loudspeakers. Although these are not giants, the SS-AR1 weighs 126 pounds while the SS-AR2 weighs an impressive 84 pounds."

"Their motorcycles are excellent! 🤗"

They are not Yamaha.

"Then again, the making of a katana involves the lamination of different forms of steel, soft, medium and hard steel."



Those Sony's look like dream loudspeakers. One version of the SOTA.

Yes, I'd say cabinet wood matters.

It shouldn't do, but it always will, as long as cabinet resonances remain audible.
The sound of those resonances will be affected to some extent by the type of wood used in the construction. 

Despite the designers best efforts to silence it, every material has its own signature, especially those used in the cone and cabinet. 

Once you become familiar with it, you might like it or you might not. Thus many high end designs feature exotic materials to not only silence this resonance, but attempt to render pleasant what's left.

Sometimes, rather paradoxically, a quieter cabinet can make the sound worse by highlighting other resonances which may have previously remained buried in the noise floor. 

A bit like that Volkswagen TV ad where  the car noise was so quiet your attention is drawn to an annoying intermittent squeak inside the cabin which is finally revealed to be caused by the swing of a hanging toy ornament.

Unfortunately the day of a boxless point source full range loudspeaker still seems quite a long way off - unless AI/quantum computing could get involved.

Maybe we should all lobby Elon Musk to forget this space thing and turn his engineering attention to where it matters most? 
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