The New Blacks
The New Blacks were the second of two sets that were our first two production builds. Up to that point, we had experimented with a number of different looks and finishes on our prototypes, but kept things fairly low key and “traditional” looking as they would be our first sets worthy to show. These sets could easily represent our “signature” look of a wood exterior on the cabinet wrapped around a gloss black and wood front interior.
With that said, it was quite a departure for us to go all black on the front interior. Our first practical concern is that doing the front slanted panel in black was bound to be a dust magnet that would require meticulous housekeeping. Aside from that, we felt it should be a great look, and we weren’t disappointed. It has a rather low key appearance, and although it doesn’t photograph particularly well, it is very cool in person.
The color rendition of the veneer matched up quite nicely with a set of English walnut horns carved from of batch of raw wood initially harvested to become rifle stocks. This particular set of horns is remarkable for the strategic display of the “graft” common with walnut trees. The English walnut commonly grown in western states are typically grafted to the roots of the native California black walnut. This imbues disease resistance to the trees and makes them better adapted to native soils.
About the time this set was being completed, we had done work with an interior designer that took a keen interest in our speakers. He had recently opened an applied arts gallery and design center in San Francisco featuring budding entrepreneurs and makers. He took us in and featured us at numerous events which at least meant the DJ used them. Not necessarily the best venue for high end loudspeakers, it garnered us some exposure with the art community, and led to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Without giving away the name of the gallery, which has since closed up shop, the set of New Black speakers shares something in common with the gallery and the proprietor, our dear friend Steven. We miss you Steve!