The Perfect Finish

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by Danny Kaey on February 10 '08

418FDBRQYCL._AA240_.jpgTraditionally, speakers have always been finished in some sort of wood veneer.  Historically, this dates back to the days when speakers were large, boxy and thus had to resemble some sort of furniture piece in order to fit into the decor of the home.  As the years went by however, loudspeaker manufacturers quickly realized that offering finishes other than veneer was becoming a viable option for more consumers.  

Let's get real, who wouldn't lust after a pair of speakers finished in a fancy automotive color?  The poster child for this sort of finish is of course none other than Wilson Audio.  Heck, "hey, these are finished like Wilson speakers" is a phrase you hear at least a dozen times during any given audio show.  Not to be outdone, the guys at Zu emulated that exact approach and added a full array of custom color options to the mix (my pair of Zu Definition MkII's are pictured here in Ferrari red).  Having seen firsthand Zu's latest round of custom automotive finishes, I believe them to be at least the equal of Wilson's latest and greatest.  Of course, Zu wouldn't be Zu and so
 several months ago Sean informed me of a really cool new finish that was to be announced shortly.  Guess what? It's here!  As of today, you can now add Zu Smooth Matte as a new finish option.  

Sean Casey of Zu explains that while their custom automotive gloss finish won't be going anywhere, more and more people were inquiring about a more resistant and durable finish.  You see, the problem with all these fancy mirror gloss colors is just that: they are perfect only once in their lifetime: when they arrive at your doorstep.  Cleaning them, heck, dusting them, over time leaves permanent swirl marks which some customers object to.  Hey, nothing wrong with keeping a pair of Zu Presence minty mint, right?  Zu Smooth Matte finally makes it possible for you to have a durable, everlasting and resistant finish that still looks like a million bucks.  

Whilst being swirl-gloss proof, the new finish also actually aides in the speakers sonics.  Believe it or not, the new matte finish damps cabinet resonances as well as provides for better distribution of acoustic energy.  The finish is also impervious to finger prints, smudges and other such nasties and nuisances.  Sounds like a winner to me!  Stay tuned for a full report on this new finish in the next month or two.  Below are some of the color options currently available and as with all things Zu, there's plenty more to follow!

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