Speaker finish protection

NINaudio

NINaudio

Senior Audioholic
As some of you may know, I'm looking at getting some new speakers. I'm also trying to figure out how to protect the finish from our cats. They love to sit on top of my current speakers and they are a little scratched up because of it. I was wondering if a protective film would work? Something like what you might put on your cars paint to protect from rock chips and scratches. Has anyone done this before? Or have any other ideas?
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
Thinking distraction is the best tactic. At least for my 2 cats.

I setup towels and blankets on subs and I also setup some couch pillows near the warm wood stove for my cats. They don’t go for the speakers as long as they have a hang out spot. Sometimes just moving a few pillows makes the spot new for them. :)

I also have corduroy couches with scotch guard. And I always have a scratch post available for them. (And an occasional short scratch session on the corduroy couches won’t be that noticeable anyhow ). :)
 
Alex2507

Alex2507

Audioholic Slumlord
A Super Soaker filled with a 10% lemon juice solution and some real good aim ... maybe aluminum cone speakers until you develop the aim.

If you don't want the cat on the speaker, unleash Holy Hell on it for being on the speaker.

Glad I could help.
 
WaynePflughaupt

WaynePflughaupt

Audioholic Field Marshall
I’ve heard that cats hate tin foil. Try putting some on your current speakers and see if it makes a difference. Or around the base of it (from where they presumably make the jump up). Might first try it in a few other places in the house to get them “acclimated” to it.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
If you want to protect the finish, Heli-tape is what you want. This is a colorless polymer film that was developed to protect helicopter blades, but it is very common to use it on mountain bike frames to protect from flying rocks and debris. This is likely stronger than the vinyl wraps used for cars.

To stop scratching, apply double-sided tape to the areas they want to scratch. Cats do not like that sticky surface on their paws and will move to something else.

The aluminum foil idea can work, they don't like the noise when they jump on it.

But, a better alternative is to get one of those office chair carpet mats that has all the little plastic spikes on the bottom, cut it to the size of the top of the speaker, and lay it up there with all those spikes pointing up. A cat will only jump up there once or twice, then realize all those little spikes mean that this is not a place for them to roost. After you get them trained that way, you can likely leave it there for maybe a month, then remove it, and problem solved.

The ideas for redirecting and giving more appealing areas are also good.

Just to be clear, I LOVE cats (and dogs and most pets). I have had my fair share of dealing with these little a$$holes and the items outlined above absolutely work!
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
As some of you may know, I'm looking at getting some new speakers. I'm also trying to figure out how to protect the finish from our cats. They love to sit on top of my current speakers and they are a little scratched up because of it. I was wondering if a protective film would work?
If you're still thinking of Salk speakers, be aware that Jim Salk's finishing process is time consuming and elaborate, involving numerous clear coatings with fine rubbing between coats. They result in a finish that is rare in the furniture world, much less in the loudspeaker world. To appreciate this, you have to see it in person. Photos on your computer screen don't do this justice. I think it would be a shame to apply a permanent film (if I read you correctly) on Salk's finish.

Maybe you should ask Jim Salk. He is an expert on wood finishes, and has had quite a bit of experience with custom finishes in his 17-year-old speaker business.

I like this idea better:
But, a better alternative is to get one of those office chair carpet mats that has all the little plastic spikes on the bottom, cut it to the size of the top of the speaker, and lay it up there with all those spikes pointing up.
 
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O

Out-Of-Phase

Audioholic Chief
Keep your cats out of your audio equipment room.
 
NINaudio

NINaudio

Senior Audioholic
A lot to go through here. Alex, thanks for nothing. :p
Spraying cats is never a good way to discipline them and can lead to other issues.

Thinking distraction is the best tactic. At least for my 2 cats.

I setup towels and blankets on subs and I also setup some couch pillows near the warm wood stove for my cats. They don’t go for the speakers as long as they have a hang out spot. Sometimes just moving a few pillows makes the spot new for them. :)
If you want to protect the finish, Heli-tape is what you want. This is a colorless polymer film that was developed to protect helicopter blades, but it is very common to use it on mountain bike frames to protect from flying rocks and debris. This is likely stronger than the vinyl wraps used for cars.

But, a better alternative is to get one of those office chair carpet mats that has all the little plastic spikes on the bottom, cut it to the size of the top of the speaker, and lay it up there with all those spikes pointing up. A cat will only jump up there once or twice, then realize all those little spikes mean that this is not a place for them to roost. After you get them trained that way, you can likely leave it there for maybe a month, then remove it, and problem solved.

The ideas for redirecting and giving more appealing areas are also good.

Just to be clear, I LOVE cats (and dogs and most pets). I have had my fair share of dealing with these little a$$holes and the items outlined above absolutely work!
Distraction is not really the issue as they aren't on top of them a lot and they have plenty of places and spaces to lounge elsewhere. Several trees throughout the area, a nice big windowsill, another window cat perch, lots of throw pillows, etc, etc. It's more just an issue of protecting the speakers on the occasions that they do jump on top of them.

They've never scratched my current speakers, which are cloth socked no less, or couch as we have plenty of scratching posts and trees for them to use. The Heli-tape is an interesting thought. They've also never shown any interest in the subwoofer driver, which has no grill on it.

If you're still thinking of Salk speakers, be aware that Jim Salk's finishing process is time consuming and elaborate, involving numerous clear coatings with fine rubbing between coats. They result in a finish that is rare in the furniture world, much less in the loudspeaker world. To appreciate this, you have to see it in person. Photos on your computer screen don't do this justice. I think it would be a shame to apply a permanent film (if I read you correctly) on Salk's finish.

Maybe you should ask Jim Salk. He is an expert on wood finishes, and has had quite a bit of experience with custom finishes in his 17-year-old speaker business.
Yes, still thinking Salks. I asked Jim about it and he said: "I just don’t know what impact a protective film would have on the speaker finish. It may not be a problem, but I can't guarantee it wouldn’t be. " I'd think a protective film would be less likely to mar the finish than a piece of hard rubber chair mat that could possibly slide around on it when the cats are up there. Jim suggested putting some rubber flooring underlayment on top of the speakers as a way to protect them. I suppose I can try out a few of these on the existing setup and see what works. Maybe underlayment first to protect it and then the office chair mat to prevent them from going up there.

Keep your cats out of your audio equipment room.
Not possible as it's the living room home theater in a house with open floor plan living space.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
I didn't think of floor underlayment, the stuff I have seen was pretty much a thin sheet of foam which doesn't seem very effective. That was about 20 years ago, so mybe there is a new underlayment that is either thicker or tougher!
My thinking is to find a local glass shop and have them cut pieces of glass to the size of the tops of your cabinets - this should not cost much and will absolutely ensure their claws can not get through to the cabinet (plexiglass or a piece of wood would also prevent penetration, but more quickly show more scratches). Depending on whether you want the cats on your speakers, you could glue sandpaper (or foil) atop the glass or a piece of leather or carpet. (I don't know for sure that sandpaper would bother a cat, but I would guess dragging claws across it would not be fun. Not sure it would be especially bothersome to foot pads)
A piece of shelf liner under the glass will prevent the glass from sliding around (but check with Jim. The finish may need to breathe for a couple of weeks to fully cure)..
 
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William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
Since you already have plenty of other things to keep them interested I won’t go there. BUT, you could possibly “decorate” the tops of them so they don’t think they can “fit” up there.

I’ve read about the other tricks listed like the tape and upside down plastic chair thing. These work too, but are kind of ugly, not that “decorating” can’t be too.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
Ya I do actually put candles on mine. That probably helps keep them from going on top. :)
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ya I do actually put candles on mine. That probably helps keep them from going on top. :)
I assume you don't light the candles?
I'd be afraid that the cat would get interested in the "dancing" flame and check it out, knocking the candle over. Meanwhile, in my effort to stop the cat I spill my "flammable" drink on the floor just where the lit candle lands and "poof"!

Alternately, you can let the tops of your speakers be "sacrificial" and after your cat dies, you can rub blood red colored epoxy into the scratches and refinish the top surface as a fond history/memory of the vermin you chose for several years of cohabitation!

Edit - I do actually love animals, but I am often reminded that in most cultures, over 200 years ago, we would be "setting out traps" for what are now our pets - especially if they were intruding into our home!
 
NINaudio

NINaudio

Senior Audioholic
KEW, I like your glass top idea the best out of all these so far. I'd think with a layer of some rubber material between they'd stay in place and give some protection. I didn't choose them, they were a package deal with the wife. :p

Pogre, maybe I should just go all mad max and epoxy some armor spikes to the top? Or those things they put on buildings to stop pigeons from roosting on them.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
I love these random pet v speaker conversations that recur somewhat frequently. :)

I like the idea of a small glass panel cut to size... you'll need some padding, though.

There is a risk with anything rubber/silicone of discoloring the finish. I think it is the "rubberizing' chemical (sorry, don't recall the specifics) but if you look at the Isolate-It website, they have their sorbothane bumpers, and a non-marking version that has a coating on them. I did talk to one of their guys and he said the non marking might not be as grippy because of the coating...
Anyway... For me, not a big deal because the sorbothane feet are in between the Bass and Upper cabinets... yes you can see marks if I separate the cabinets for moving or cleaning... but!
Just something to keep in mind. :)
I think a felt pad and some heavy tempered glass would be the safest. The cats may not like the glass surface at all, mind. IMO, even as a cat lover, that would be a win!
One of my cats randomly shows interest in my BMR closest to his hang-out... but seems turned off by the gloss/reflection.
 
KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
I like the idea of a small glass panel cut to size... you'll need some padding, though.

There is a risk with anything rubber/silicone of discoloring the finish. I think it is the "rubberizing' chemical (sorry, don't recall the specifics) but if you look at the Isolate-It website, they have their sorbothane bumpers, and a non-marking version that has a coating on them. I did talk to one of their guys and he said the non marking might not be as grippy because of the coating...
I agree that there may be issues with the rubber type of anti-slip material reacting with the finish. One thought is to use four of the foot pads like come for you to stick on the bottom of various devices. If you stuck these to the bottom of the glass, it would limit the contact area to four small places. If you just leave it as plain glass and the cats don't like it, you can then remove the pads and just leave the glass laying on top (since they are not jumping on it).
Of course it is instinctual for a cat to find the best vantage point from which to "survey the world", so if there is a good way to provide a better location that is comfortable and affords a visual command of the room, that is probably a good approach as well!
 

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