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View Full Version : C-50 Olympus, Doing some research



Twitch
01-07-2009, 05:14 PM
I have an old C-50 Olympus set, I think it was manufactured in '75 or so. I don't know much about speakers, and I was wondering if anyone could tell me about my set. I've included photos. What I'd like to know is:
-What kind of speakers are built into this thing? I keep hearing about S7R and S8R and I don't know what's going on.
-How much could I sell them for? Two of the woofer cones are busted but still sound good when played loud. Doesn't have grille or manual.

Sorry for the chicken wire in the pictures, needed something to keep the pets off.

Twitch
01-07-2009, 05:34 PM
I just found this neat graph thing, I think I have a S7 system.
The plug things on the back say LX5 and the woofers look like the LE15A. However, I don't know what the slanted grill thing is, and I cant find an "LE85", or anything that looks like it, anywhere

mech986
01-07-2009, 06:30 PM
Hi,

This link in our library should be useful. Also check in the JBL Catalogs under 1965-75 years for a catalog page:

http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/specs/home-speakers/1973-c50-c60.htm

The S7R (or system 7R) is the LE15 15 inch woofer with the yellow (was white) surround, a PR15 15 inch passive radiator (woofer without active driving voice coil, extends the bottom end bass, has pleated black surround), LE85 compression midrange/tweeter driver attached to a H91 aluminum horn (which is mounted inside the cabinet, attached to the front baffle, behind the "slant grill thng" :)).

The slant lens is a device that acoustically changes the dispersion from the horn from conical to a broad horizontal wavefront and helps it to sound "better". It is removable by unscrewing the mounting screws opn the two wood supports. However, do not unscrew the baffle screws that hold the horn - the LE85 driver at the other end weighs at least 15 pounds and will fall down without being supported from inside. The S7 also has the LX-5 as the electrical filter/crossover which routes the appropriate frequencies to the drivers that reproduce them.

If your speakers have tears or cuts in the surrounds, that can be repaired in most cases or replaced. If the cones themselves are torn or damaged (looks like the right cone on the right picture has a big hole in it?), then the driver will have to be replaced or reconed which can get expensive. Or just sell as-is.

If the speakers lack the original wood fretwork grilles, there will also be a hit in value. If the cabinets have suffered significant cosmetic damage, water stains or rings, that will also devalue them for many buyers.

Before you decide to sell them, you might consider, if possible, cleaning up the speakers by taking off any stuff piled on top, dust and wipe off with a clean cloth and maybe get some good clear photos showing the cabinet and the drivers' condition. That would aid in assessing what you have.

The speakers are pretty decent sounding assuming everything works, which is not always a good assumption for a speaker now 33 years old at least.

Hope that helps!

Welcome to LH!

Bart

mech986
01-07-2009, 06:33 PM
Oh, for the present, don't apply any cleaner, oil, or other liquid to the finish. These speakers have, IIRC, a lacquer finish and will stain if treated with the above.

Bart

May be oiled walnut but you might want to do a little searching here for finish care options.

Twitch
01-07-2009, 07:11 PM
Wow, that was a helpful and quick response. Thanks!

Twitch
01-07-2009, 07:15 PM
Assuming there are no cosmetic defects besides the missing grill, one LE15 has torn surrounds and one PR15 has holes in it, how much should I be asking for the set?

hjames
01-08-2009, 03:50 AM
Assuming there are no cosmetic defects besides the missing grill, one LE15 has torn surrounds and one PR15 has holes in it, how much should I be asking for the set?

Can't tell - need better pictures ...
But the chicken wire is kind of a deal breaker :)

Its like asking how much a Camaro will sell for - it really does depend on a lot of things, not the least of which is the market for that kind of thing, and the local buyers. Those things are way too big to really ship out of your area - so you are down to local buyers, or anyone who is willing to drive to your area ...

What kind of money did you think you might ask for them ...?

Twitch
01-08-2009, 05:12 PM
I am about to bring the two busted 15 inchers in to be repaired...

I dont know, I was thinking of asking for about $1500, I've seen them being sold in the 3000-4000 range

mech986
01-08-2009, 06:22 PM
You're Welcome!

If you are going to go to the trouble of getting the drivers looked at, and one of the LE15's surrounds is already torn, you may consider getting both LE15's resurrounded at the same time.

If you are going to sink some money in, changing both surrounds will make them equal and operational (assuming the coils are good). Some people would prefer the surrounds be the same even if one is damaged simply because they are original and it doesn't cost as much to buy. But if you can get the work done well with the appropriate modern polyether surrounds with the correct roll size for these drivers, operational may be very attractive to the next buyer.

As for repair or reconing the PR-15, they are less critical if you can match up the correct surrounds/cone/spiders but the cosmetics will be different and that may be an issue for some buyers, even though damaged. A decent patch might be the most cost effective alternative? Then you still have mostly the original cosmetics, and the new owner can deal with it ultimately.

As for price, you may be in the ball park but only if the cabinets truly are in good condition. The lack of the grilles for some will be a problem and could dock 25-30% of the value IMO.

Regards,

Bart

mech986
01-08-2009, 06:23 PM
BTW, how did you come to have these? C'mon, inquiring minds want to hear the whole story!

:applaud:

Bart

Twitch
01-08-2009, 06:39 PM
First, the good news: I found a place that will repair all the cone damages for 150 dollars! :D


As far as the history, my grandpa's friend's friend died, left them to my grandpa's friend's friend's wife, who gave them to my grandpa's friend, who sold them to my grandpa for $50, who gave them to me many years later.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a replacement set of comparable power for under $1500?

rgwalker
01-08-2009, 06:54 PM
[quote=mech986;234964]Hi,

This link in our library should be useful. Also check in the JBL Catalogs under 1965-75 years for a catalog page:

http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/specs/home-speakers/1973-c50-c60.htm

The S7R (or system 7R) is the LE15 15 inch woofer with the yellow (was white) surround, a PR15 15 inch passive radiator (woofer without active driving voice coil, extends the bottom end bass, has pleated black surround), LE85 compression midrange/tweeter driver attached to a H91 aluminum horn (which is mounted inside the cabinet, attached to the front baffle, behind the "slant grill thng" :)).

I have the same size Olympus cabinets with a single LE15A in the center with the LX5, LE85 and H91. I always referred to them as S7s but that is apparently not correct. What are they?

Bob Walker

mech986
01-08-2009, 06:56 PM
Congrats! Interesting yet familiar story for many of us who have found/stumbled/or cared for speakers like these. They always move from original owners to others who know, don't know or care too much, to others who learn.

In terms of finding something similar, well that's a different story. While the C50's are nice speakers, due to the way they are built, the sound is coupled a lot to the floor (called boundary reinforcement) so the bass is somewhat overblown. The LE85 being relatively low and then overhung by the cabinet lip, is limited in dispersion and overall top end treble response. If you had the S8R which had the 375 4" midrange compression driver and the 075 top end tweeter, it would be more extended but still sound "more vintage" than anything else.

Comparable speakers, if vintage JBL but better, would be the L300, 4331, 4333A/B, or the 4430/4435 type monitors. $1500 might get you into them if you can find them locally and they don't require a ton of work.

Check around local music studios to see if they're getting rid of these "Old school" monitors, you never know what you may find.

Do some research in the library for these numbers, consumer and pro, to get info on them.

Be sure the guys working on them will use the right surrounds, not just a generic 15". IIRC, these may use a narrow roll 15" surround, search for Looneytunes2001 here for Rick Cobb who could supply the correct surrounds for the LE15A.

Again, congrats, your grandpa had some discerning and nice friends, sorry for their loss but at least they ended up with you who seems to appreciate them.

Bart

mech986
01-08-2009, 07:14 PM
[quote=mech986;234964]Hi,

This link in our library should be useful. Also check in the JBL Catalogs under 1965-75 years for a catalog page:

http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/specs/home-speakers/1973-c50-c60.htm

The S7R (or system 7R) is the LE15 15 inch woofer with the yellow (was white) surround, a PR15 15 inch passive radiator (woofer without active driving voice coil, extends the bottom end bass, has pleated black surround), LE85 compression midrange/tweeter driver attached to a H91 aluminum horn (which is mounted inside the cabinet, attached to the front baffle, behind the "slant grill thng" :)).

I have the same size Olympus cabinets with a single LE15A in the center with the LX5, LE85 and H91. I always referred to them as S7s but that is apparently not correct. What are they?

Bob Walker

Hi Bob,

Welcome to Lansing Heritage! Actually, you are correct. The S7 is the load of a single LE15A/LX5/LE85 and H91 in the same cabinet. The S7R adds the PR-15 passive radiator, hence the "R" for radiator I believe. Of course the baffles are cut for both frames and the PR15 is tuned for the enclosure. I can't recall, does your baffle have a port in it?

http://www.lansingheritage.org/images/jbl/catalogs/1962/page24-25.jpg

http://www.lansingheritage.org/images/jbl/catalogs/1966/page05.jpg

Regards,

Bart

rgwalker
01-08-2009, 09:42 PM
[quote=mech986;235185][quote=rgwalker;235183]

Hi Bob,

Welcome to Lansing Heritage! Actually, you are correct. The S7 is the load of a single LE15A/LX5/LE85 and H91 in the same cabinet. The S7R adds the PR-15 passive radiator, hence the "R" for radiator I believe. Of course the baffles are cut for both frames and the PR15 is tuned for the enclosure. I can't recall, does your baffle have a port in it?

Thank you and no they don't have ports. If I've read right the LE15A is designed for a closed cabinet of 6 to 8 cu ft and with a smaller ported cabinet down to 3.5 cu ft. I have the LE85s but I am using a pair of 375s with them.

Bob W

Twitch
01-09-2009, 05:27 PM
Today, I sent two of the cones into a local place specializing in old stereo equipment; the almost-dead LE15 and the holepunched PR15. I still had the original cardboard from the PR15's holes, so it should be cosmetically new at least, besides some minor cracks, when it comes out. The one thing I'm worried about is that he said the surrounds on the PR15 would not be the same as the old ones, but would be the same as on the LE15. I think that that will affect performance, since the ones on the LE15s are stiffer.
However, I will afterward send the other two cones in to be serviced the same way, so they will at least all be identical. At this point I'm pessimisstic about finding a buyer, but these will serve me for years to come, with selling as a contingency.

My right hand cabiner has no woofers or PRs in it at this moment, and I have turned my balance meter all the way to the left in order to prevent me blowing the LE85. The left hand cabinet has the left hand PR15, which is still perfect, and the right hand LE15, which has minor cracks in the surrounds. It's not stereo, and it's quieter, but it's better than nothing.


BTW, if you are in the Tucson area, Metrognome on Speedway is an awesome music store :D

Doc Mark
01-09-2009, 09:50 PM
Hi, Twitch,

I'll be in Tucson next month, and would like to stop by and check out the shop that is going to repair your drivers. Could you give me the name and address of that place, please? Thanks! Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

Twitch
01-10-2009, 05:36 PM
Sure thing.

http://www.stereohospital.com/

4044 E. Speedway Tucson, AZ 85712
520 722-4610
inside the Metrognome Music Store

Doc Mark
01-10-2009, 05:45 PM
Hi, Twitch,

Thanks! Sounds like the place isn't too far from the Whataburger on Speedway! I'll check them out. Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

Twitch
01-10-2009, 07:41 PM
It's about a block away from Alvernon.

macaroonie
01-11-2009, 01:42 PM
Paste the addy into google maps and you get this Doc . Its like desktop satnav:p

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=4044+E.+Speedway+Tucson,+AZ+85712&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=19.280722,29.443359&ie=UTF8&z=17&g=4044+E.+Speedway+Tucson,+AZ+85712&iwloc=addr

Doc Mark
01-11-2009, 09:21 PM
Hey, Mac,

Thanks a bunch! I'll find the place for sure, now! We've been working in Tucson, once a year, for quite a long while, and once you understand the basic layout of the streets, it's pretty easy to find your way around. We love food, so over the years, we've looked in just about every Tucson nook and cranny for some really good restaurants. When I'm out and about, I'll use your neat map to check out the place that Twitch is using for speaker repair. I'd love to talk to the tech, and see what he/she knows about JBL goodies. I'll report back my impression of the place and it's tech(s). Of course, I'll be comparing them to our own Edgewound, so they are going to have to be pretty good, and extremely knowledgeable to cut the JBL mustard! ;) Thanks, again, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc (Meet us in Tucson, Mac, and we'll treat you to dinner! You name the place: Japanese, Mexican, steak, seafood, vegetarian, breakfast joint, or burgers - we know most of the good ones in Tucson!) :bouncy::D:applaud:

Twitch
01-12-2009, 06:05 PM
Know any good chinese places on the West side? I personally like New China buffet - chinese is always better with volume!

Doc Mark
01-13-2009, 08:13 AM
Hey, Twitch,

Nah, Chinese is not our bag, unfortunately. Too much MSG is used, in most of those restaurants. We much prefer Thai food, but have yet to find a really good Thai restaurant in Tucson. We're going to stay a little longer than usual this year, so maybe we can do some recon and turn up a good one. But, for the most part, unless we can find a top notch Chinese place, we've given up on that type of food. But, we're sure looking forward to hitting a few of our favorite spots when we get there! Our mouths are watering, already! Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

mech986
01-13-2009, 11:46 AM
Hi Doc and Twitch,

If you guys are going to meet up, there are also a couple of AK (AudioKarma.org) fellows you should probably meet in Tucson too. RichP and WildWest are out there and are really good folks.

Check this thread for some of their escapades courtesy of a find I had there. RichP has THE nicest stack of classic silver Pioneer gear I've personally ever seen. WW has great DIY racks to go with his custom sound system. You should also check out his lighting biz too.

BTW, some nice food recommendations in the thread too! Between the 4 of you, I think you'll be busy with tunes, gear, and food for at least a week!!

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=38910&highlight=tucson

Regards,

Bart

Doc Mark
01-13-2009, 02:52 PM
Hey, Mech986,

Thanks, very much, for the heads up on some fellow AKer's! I'd love to meet them, and also Twitch, but don't know if I'll have the time, or not. We're there to work, and our hours are long and full. So, dinners are really the only respite Sweet Bride and I will get, and we look forward to a little quiet time together. But, I'm certainly going to keep checking in here at LH, and if it looks like some time might present itself, I'll come a hollarin', and see if we can arrange a mass meeting! It would be fun, if it can be arranged! Take care, Bart, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

Twitch
01-13-2009, 07:09 PM
I don't think I could come. I work weekends, and I dont know enough about old speakers and stuff to hold up a conversation with you guys :o:

mech986
01-13-2009, 07:51 PM
Hey Twitch,

No Problem! However, don't sell yourself short. The only requirement for LH and Audiokarma is that you like music and happen to also like JBL speakers and/or stereo gear that happens to be vintage stuff (roughly 80's and before for most).

It's not necessarily what you know now, it's having fun, meeting other like minded fans and learning about stuff if you want to. Sometimes we just sit around eating and drinking and listening to tunes or talking about whatever.

If you get the chance though, your JBL Olympus speakers are pretty nice and could be the topic of conversation too. The other guys have interets along the same lines and other vintage gear, so if you're looking also for contacts for gear to drive your speakers, you could network with them.

Just some suggestions, have fun! :thmbsup:

Bart

Twitch
01-14-2009, 08:15 PM
I think I would be mauled by you fans when you heard what I did new years with my nice speakers and a Presets album :P

Edit: I should also mention that I am below the legal drinking age :\

Doc Mark
01-15-2009, 08:03 AM
Hey, Twitch,

Now you got my curiosity up! What did you do? ;):bouncy:

Not to worry about being below drinking age. I first got into JBL when I, too, was too young to do that kind of stuff. 'Course, I didn't have a clue as to what I was doing, and in our first attempts to make a huge JBL cabinet for our bass player, we put three JBL's (probably D140's) in a monster box, and hooked them all up in parallel! Couldn't understand why we kept blowing up the Fender Bassman head he was using!! "Impedance"? What's that????? :blink::banghead::confused::dont-know:hyp: Expensive lessons learned, to be sure!

If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by all this JBL stuff, and want to pass along those big cabinets to someone else, please keep me in mind. If you want to sell them, I would like to at least check them out when we're in Tucson, and if we did a deal, I'd just take them with me when we left. Something to consider....

Talk to you later, my young Friend, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

Twitch
01-16-2009, 09:33 PM
There is a song by the Presets called "My People," it's pretty intense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1ufW2INWmM&fmt=18


Also, I think my TEAC AG-V1020 has more output capacity than my S8R can handle :\

Either way, one night my speakers were fine, and the next night the woofers were flapping like crazy :P


Also, I just noticed the JBL Pro stamp on my presario 1800 :P I've never noticed that before

Doc Mark
01-17-2009, 08:10 AM
Hey, Twitch,

Of course, you can do whatever you want to do. BUT, if you want to keep those JBL's, then you shouldn't be using them AT ALL, until they have been properly repaired and checked out. Since your PR's have holes in them, your woofers are, effectively, unloaded, and not supported, nor tuned in the cabinets. Continuing use can, and will, damage them to the point of needing a major recone, which is not inexpensive. Again, they are your's and you may do with them as you see fit. But, those of us who love our old JBL's would NEVER abuse them that way. For that it's worth.... Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

mech986
01-17-2009, 12:10 PM
Hi Twitch,

Did you get your first set of drivers back yet? If so, you should try mounting the newly resurrounded pair (LE15 and PR15) into one cabinet and the other two back into the remaining cabinet. That will tell you a lot about how the speaker used to sound (pretty close) when it was new. The tuning will probably be a bit off due to the new surrounds but it will still be pretty close.

Even if you have foam surrounds on all the speakers or foam on the LE15's and pleated surrounds on the PR15's, It will be much more operational than trying to deal with the now stiffened Lansalloy white/orange surrounds.

Get us some pics when you reinstall the woofers and maybe a look at how the tops of the speakers look.

Should be interesting when you can get the other drivers worked on.

Bart

Twitch
01-18-2009, 04:26 PM
I havent gotten them back yet. When I do, I'll be sure to take photos, and if they did a good job, I'll send the other two in for the same treatment.

Twitch
01-23-2009, 05:27 PM
I just got my speakers back. Unfortunately, I didnt have picture-taking capabilities at the time, so I just installed them. They have nice new black surrounds and black centers. The one with holes in it has a whole brand new black cone, the other still has it's original cone.
At this point I've given up on trying to sell them, since they are now cosmetically screwed. I'll soon send in the last two for repair, and hopefully I'll get photos this time.

Twitch
01-23-2009, 09:16 PM
here's the best pics I can take right now

Doc Mark
02-04-2009, 08:00 AM
Greetings, All,

We're still here in Tucson, and just about finished with our work here and ready to head for home. But, I promised to drop in to "Metro Gnome", the music shop/reconing spot that Twitch mentioned, and report back as to my thoughts on the place, and so I am.

I stopped in there a few days ago, and spent about 30 minutes looking around and also talking to the Tech who does the reconing for them. He seemed a very nice fellow, and fairly knowledgeable about electronic repairs. Unfortunately, when discussing reconing with him, I found him to be more of a "shade-tree" practitioner, than an expert on the matter. :( He was totally unfamiliar with most of the JBL model transducers we all know and love, and told me, without question, that he uses aftermarket parts in his reconing. For instance, I asked about reconing a JBL 2245H, and he was unaware of that speaker..... ???? He then looked up the cost of reconing an 18" JBL, which, by the way, he was surprised to learn used a 4" voice coil. He told me it would be rather expensive, and that he'd have to charge me around $120 for such work!!! :blink: It was then that I asked him about using aftermarket recone kits, and he told that "Metro Gnome" did, in fact, use such kits, and always HAD done so.

For what it's worth, I would never recommend that any JBL fan take their transducers there for work, unless they could find no other option. While the Tech seemed a good man, and fairly well versed in repairing electronics, he was most certainly NOT a qualified JBL reconer, nor even knowledgeable enough about that task that I'd trust any reconing to his care.

For my money, and for the best care of my beloved JBL speakers, I'll continue to trust qualified and talented PROFESSIONAL JBL Authorized dealers, like our own Edgewound, and be quite happy in the knowledge that the work I receive will have been done by the best in the business, using the proper and correct parts, and that my JBL drivers will be up to JBL spec!! Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

Twitch
02-11-2009, 07:20 PM
well, to my untrained ears, they sound better now then when they had 30yr old yellow foam surrounds. Although I can't compare them to thier original quality, which i'm sure was superb, I am perfectly satisfied with the repair.

Doc Mark
02-12-2009, 06:07 PM
Hey, Twitch,

If you are happy, then that's all that matters. For most JBL owners, however, most of whom dearly love their JBL's, using parts other than OEM JBL stuff is akin to heresy! ;):D However, if you are happy with the recone you got, then that's great, and I'm happy for you. For JBL-istas, part of the fun of getting an older pair of JBL's, such as yours, is in returning them to exact JBL spec. Unfortunately, once a JBL is reconed with other than JBL parts, it's really not a JBL anymore, in truth. But, for your purposes, that wasn't important, nor did it need to be, for you. Have fun with them, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

P.S. As always, we had a fantastic time in Tucson, and already look forward to next year's trip to your fair city! Found a wonderful, if somewhat pricey, steak house on this trip, too! MAN was that good!! Yum Yum!! :D:bouncy: