Lacquer finished speakers = inevitably get scratched?

Hey all,
I noticed here that many of you on the forum have lacquered speakers as I do, but i’m very curious to know how do you guys take care of yours and dust them off without scratching the finish.
I have 4 B&W PM1s at home and I absolutely fell in love with both the sound and their look with this beautiful gloss mocha finish. I also have veneered speakers which seems way less fragile and much easier to clean.

I’m really a cleanlyness freak and I find it really difficult (not to say impossible) to dust the PM1s without getting hairlines/swirls on the gloss flanks of the speakers. In an effort to touch the speakers as less as possible, I ended up buying an little electric air-blower (as I noticed that the Swifer wipe was making more harm than good) which really seems quite effective actually. However, that did not prevent me from actually taking a very thin microfiber cloth to take the dust off the speakers where the air-blower could not work effectively.

Despite all my efforts to keep them pristine, while looking at a certain angle, I noticed yesterday that one the speakers had very thin hairlines, at least on one the glossed flanks.

So I’ve always wondered how others here owning speakers with lacquered cabinets keep them from scracthes, swirls or all those little but very annoying things who do not affect sound performance but ultimately prevent you from really enjoying the experience.
I know well I exagerate a bit saying that but to me it’s psychological and I just can’t stand it when my my hard-earned investment get even a little bit diffrent from its original state.

Do you guys know any mean to prevent these swirl from happening ? and in the event it happens is there any way to get this removed or the speakers to get re-furbished to its new state again ?

I have no idea whether B&W offers some service to get the gloss finish new again by polishing it or something else. I just called the French Distribution branch and the technicians on the phone just puzzled me saying he’s not sure about that and won’t know. (I’m rather thinking that he did not want to bother even trying to get the information)

Any ideas?

Not sure if you’ve used a feather duster, but the quills cause scratches on everything.

Microfibre cloths are good for cleaning, but again will cause scratches on delicate surfaces. The short fibres can be quite abrasive and also leave little margin for trapped dust to scratch. A very fluffy soft cloth is needed with minimal pressure. Also, best to dust often, so no effort is required to remove it.

Scratches are voids and can easily be filled in. I would try Renaissance wax and not the usual beeswax, etc.

Hey Count, many thanks for your comments.
Not sure that I could find the Renaissance wax I’m based in France, maybe on Amazon.
BTW these are lacquered so is it secure to apply wax on it?

The use of microfibre on gloss surfaces is probably the fastest method to create the swirls that you mention.

Sorry I can’t really help, but I have found that keeping expensive hifi equipment, especially speakers, away from cats is fairly essential.

I have Focal Sopra 2 in Black with a piano finish. They continue to look like new with only a light dust with a microfibre cloth.


there’s no cat in here (can’t stand them)
regarding the microfiber cloth, i use these ones which are really the least abrasive I could find.

The Renaissance wax is acid free and used by museums to protect wood, metal, leather, etc, so won’t damage surfaces. I’ve use it on lots of things over the years (incl Linn LP12 clear lid). If you’ve scratched something, they won’t go away with filling the void in and if it bothered me, this wax would be my first attempt.

Regarding your Amazon cloths; it’s irrelevant how soft they feel or how they’re the least abrasive you found, they scratched your finish.


Microfiber Fluffy Duster


I use something like the above picture and then from time to time i use Astonish glass cleaner that @richarddane mentioned is used at the factory. It was only a £1 at a pound shop…works well.

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this looks as sweet and soft as the but* of a baby.

Should have read “they won’t go away without filling the void in”

Think I might try polishing the micro scratches out of my piano black speakers with a perspex polish I have
That is unbelievably fine
Will report back when I have tried it

It maybe worth looking at some of the Autoglym products that are used in the auto industry. Expensive but certainly worth a look. Or even some of the boat products for buffing up gel coats on a fibreglass hull etc… Best to obviously search for some professional advice first though, even contact the speaker manufacturer?

The mid range head unit on my B & W 802’s is pretty resistant to any sign of micro scratches. In fact B & W supply their own micro fibre cloth to remove dust from the entire speaker. I am told the most popular finish is piano black in the UK and this is the most difficult to keep smear free as a demo L/S. Its also the longest in cabinet manufacture over the wood veneer.
My wife is traditional in liking a veneer finish so this is what we have.
B & W now do a lacquer finish on their current 802 rosenut with a £3k approx premium.
I think we are back to the paint finish on cars. I would not take my vehicle to your average car wash with Karcher type lances as this will cause swirls in the paint finish in the “wrong” sunshine. Not easy to remove either.
There used to be a US cleaning cloth called a Swiffer complete with a wand attachment and very handy to get into difficult places. Also washable.
In a previous life as a rep, one guy never washed his company car and when it was replaced on the three year cycle gave it a good wash and polish. Immaculate!
If you think Autoglym products are expensive take a look at McGuire car cleaning products.
Penalty of being a perfectionist perhaps.

This is what I use to dust my speakers and system…

Norpro 24-Inch Pure Lambs Wool Duster with Wood Handle

Most lacquer finishes these days seem to be done with modern polymers rather than the older methods. Perspex polishes work very well for polishing out the micro-scratches from wiping, and also for more difficult marks to bring up the original looking gloss finish.

Car headlamp polish is generally a cheap and widely available version for $10-20 and worked a treat with my piano-gloss speakers.

Ditto. I use a microfibre - Pledge Dust it Fluffy Dusters. These come with a plastic wand and are also great on the racks and Naim boxes. Not a scratch on my Sopra 2s but as an early post said these do have a glass top plate and plinth. No problems with static either.

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Your either abrading the scratches out or filling them in. If your eye picks out fine blemishes and you’re using something to abrade them out, you’re asking for trouble on a fine finish. The original finish would never have been polished, just applied. Best to just fill the scratches in with an inert product that you know won’t have any adverse affect over the years imo.

I think that’s exactly what’s happened with the speakers. There is no deep scratches per say, just a few hairlines here and there on one of the speakers as far as I could spot them, not really easily seen depending on the light.
So I wouldn’t want to apply anything that could worsen things.
I’ll try the perpex polish some are using then

I think you’ve misunderstood what I was saying. I wouldn’t use any ‘polish’ or anything abrasive, I would use the wax I stated.