Can help with a little history, but may not help you, this is the focus of my hifi interest. I'll be brief. In the 1970s all hifi was silver: Japanese, British, American. So much for the aural hobby of the day. So it also was in the optical hobby of the day, cameras.
In the very late 1970s, the Japanese changed their cameras to black. It was a huge hit world-wide. Black was perceived as superior quality. They sold masses. The British and American camera manufacturers quickly followed suite.
The Japanese hifi companies saw this happen, saw the success, and within months they changes from silver to black face plates on existing products. By the early 1980s, black hifi was in.
And as a total aside, for the history students reading, in the mid 1980s the next change massive change happened in hifi. The old guard that were part of creating modern electronics that had survived the war were retiring, and accountants were replacing designers at the helm. Within one year, transport costs, and manufacturing costs were the grail, not quality sound. Out with heavy transformers, out with point to point soldering, anything that cost more than a postage stamp. And now in 2012 we have cardboard boxes that weigh more than the hifi component inside.
This is not a lament on my lot in life, not at all. My vinyl spinning exists within this exciting 1970 to 1980 change over. Am looking at my silver faceplates, and meters bouncing while listening to Blue Mitchell now.
My thanks to all the people who back then worked tirelessly on their passion and paved the way for our hobby.