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Eaulive
07-29-2010, 10:13 AM
Since the thread this was posted in got moved to a far away off-topic forum, I will repost here.
When I think about it, maybe I was off topic in the first place :p

My experience with cones made in Mexico
I have to recone a batch of 1400PRO woofers and I had to wait a few months for the cone kits, as they were out of stock.
There was one left apparently that I received two months ago, and yesterday I received three more.
Now those 3 are made in Mexico and to the best of my knowledge I see no difference.
They look the same, cone, coil, former, replacement connectors, DCR, everything.
Only the box, packaging and thinks like stickers and markings are slightly different.

Oh, yes, one major difference was in the building process. The US cone I received had the cat's wiskers attached to the connector and I had to solder them on the cone, while the Mexican cone had the wiskers attached to the cone already.
The latter I prefer, however for this particular frame the connector is hard to reach when mounted and it gets tricky to solder. The US unit was easier to build, but I had to apply glue on the cone connections, wich didn't look as good as when they are done at the factory.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/eaulive...7624477511093/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/eaulive/sets/72157624477511093/)

I suspect these cones will sound the same and last as long as the US made cones, I don't see why not.

The customer will tell me.

robertbartsch
07-30-2010, 07:25 AM
...as long as it is a JBL kit it should be OK.

Valentin
07-30-2010, 08:46 AM
Well, it really isn't a JBL kit, it's a recone kit made in Mexico to JBL specs, but even that isn't enough sometimes.


The plant is owned by JBL/Harman so it is JBL :)

It like saying Eversts are not JBL because the cabinet is made in Denmark the terminals in some other country etc etc etc.

moparfan
07-30-2010, 09:11 AM
They could just pocket a great deal of the differential because isn't the whole point to make more money?

Eaulive
07-30-2010, 09:47 AM
Well, it really isn't a JBL kit, it's a recone kit made in Mexico to JBL specs, but even that isn't enough sometimes.

I don't know what could possibly go wrong, I mean, the coils are machine wound, the cones are machine pressed, the only thing that is made by hand _I think_ is the assembly of the cone/spider/coil, even the outer compliance is glued in place by machine, yes? correct me if I'm wrong.

Now the cone/spider/coil assembly is made on a jig, where the operator has only to appy the glue, he doesn't have to have any engineering skills to do that I guess.

The only thing that has to remain is the QC, this has to be as thorough, and more that at Northridge, but I suspect the cost of maintaining that department is small compared to all other production lines and shipping handling employees.

When Motorola started manufacturing their commercial radios in Mexico and Malaysia years ago, everybody announced the doom, today Motorola is still one of the top in this market.

It's sad for the employees, surely terrible for some, but I don't think (moving to Mexico) will have a negative effect on the product quality, many other things could, but not this.

louped garouv
07-30-2010, 10:09 AM
That's an outstanding argument to buy aftermarket recone kits at a fraction of the cost. How could anyone screw them up? Since we're no longer supporting a vast U.S. based infrastructure within JBL why on earth would we still pay their premium prices for a mere recone kit?

a good point...

assuming the performance is there, i suspect that will be the trend...
especially given how difficult it is for a layman to obtain a genuine kit directly from JBL.

i am sure that is of little consideration to the folks involved.

Eaulive
07-30-2010, 10:20 AM
That's an outstanding argument to buy aftermarket recone kits at a fraction of the cost. How could anyone screw them up? Since we're no longer supporting a vast U.S. based infrastructure within JBL why on earth would we still pay their premium prices for a mere recone kit?

I don't agree, like I said, the quality control makes a difference, I don't really care if the cone was made in the US by Bill or in Mexico by Pedro, what I need is to know that JBL quality control approved the kit and guarantees the specs for it.

When I buy a 50 bucks aftermarket recone, it maybe the same, but it maybe not...

robertbartsch
07-30-2010, 10:38 AM
Aftermarket kits are not made on OEM factory jigs and do not use OEM factory materials in the cones, formers, coils, spiders, surrounds, etc.; right? They are not assembled by OEM trained technitions and the QC is not factory JBL.

Altec went banckrupt and completely liquidated teh company in the 1990s but Great Plains Audio purchased the original Altec tooling and today they make kits and diaphragms, etc. using factory specs and materials. For all practical purposes, I consider these parts factory OEM but some purists do not. I've used these for years and they are solid performers.

What are the annual unit volumes on the Everest?

louped garouv
07-30-2010, 11:10 AM
For all practical purposes, I consider these parts factory OEM but some purists do not. I've used these for years and they are solid performers.



IMO, the point being made here by the folks around 'back when' is that the offerings have been greatly reduced...

from my understanding, Altec, in it's heydays, had several cones/diaphragms/etc for each of their somewhat specialized market segments...

and when GPA took control of the tooling, they worked on engineering a more basic/utilitarian set of replacement offerings...

i do agree that they are solid performers.

scott fitlin
07-30-2010, 11:27 AM
The plant is owned by JBL/Harman so it is JBL :)

It like saying Eversts are not JBL because the cabinet is made in Denmark the terminals in some other country etc etc etc.THIS is a good point!

:applaud:

scott fitlin
07-30-2010, 11:33 AM
But, seriously, IF the Mexican made JBL parts are good, and I don't know or say which way this is going to go, but as long as the Mexican made JBL parts SOUND and HOLD UP like the JBL we became used to, I think people WILL use them, even those who bitch the hardest.



:D

JeffW
07-30-2010, 12:10 PM
In one of the threads, maybe the "end of an era" sticky, Don McRitchie says that the 2245 was produced in Mexico towards the end of its run. Lots of guys still like those drivers.

OK, found it


The Mexico plant that is being used to outsource the manufacturing is a Harman owned facility that has been producing JBL products for around 30 years. This plant most recently has been producing the lower end professional product line, but has also had experience in producing high end product. For example, the 2245 was produced at this plant in the latter part of that productís life cycle.

I don't know if my 2245s were built in Mexico or the US.

4313B
07-30-2010, 12:13 PM
Post withdrawn.

Eaulive
07-30-2010, 12:15 PM
I don't know if my 2245s were built in Mexico or the US.

There has to be some way to find out, some kind of test involving guacamole.... or a donkey :D

robertbartsch
07-30-2010, 04:41 PM
First, it does not matter much that OEM kits will be made by JBL factories in Mexico and not Northridge if you need a vintage kit for an L100 woofer or an aluminuim diagragm for an old compression driver if these will no longer be made - PERIOD.

My understanding is that JBL OEM kits, diaphragms and other repacement parts will only be made for CURRENT production drivers or drivers that have been discontinued for less than 5 years.

The term "outsourced" has a specific meaning. For example, if JBLcontracted with an independent third party to supply voice coils, this would be an example of outsourcing. Moving JBL production of the 2245 from a JBL plant in Northrige to a JBL plant in Mexico is not outsourcing.

edgewound
07-30-2010, 05:26 PM
As long as JBL mfg'd parts are still produced to JBL standards and the profits are taxed into the US Treasury it's still a good argument to use the available OEM parts.

I have a 2008 Mercury Milan that was built in Hermosillo, Mexico in a Ford Motor Company plant. It's a nicely built car, and very reliable. If you want to really be pissed at someone for stealing American Jobs, point your guns at the gov'ts that pay the employees a fraction of what Harman pays for the labor. I don't think labor cost savings are as dramatic as everyone is led to believe, but the costs of doing business in the State of California is astronomical...and it's rising as companies are leaving. It's plain stupid economics Harman pays the gov't a set wage...the gov't then takes upwards of 75% for itself. It's like crack for a multinational corporation. On the bright side for Harman, Mexico is close so "outsourcing" to a place like China...where Harman's lower end consumer stuff is made in huge quantites... doesn't have the planning/logistics/communication problems that relatively low volume production products take for design changes.

It all sucks eggs. Harman is going to miss manufacturing in the good'ol USA in the not so distant future with the way world politics is going. Re-shoring is the new thing in some industries because the real smart guys that actually care what their business produces actually discover that it costs less to make domestically when the whole macro view....BIG PICTURE...is scrutinized.....Duh!!!

robertbartsch
07-31-2010, 03:40 AM
As long as JBL mfg'd parts are still produced to JBL standards and the profits are taxed into the US Treasury it's still a good argument to use the available OEM parts.

As a CPA in practice for 30 years, IMO, it is very doubtful profits from the Mexican JBL factory will ever be taxed by the US Treasury. That is one of the most compelling reasons for Harman to move JBL/Crown manufacturing out of the US.

So, lets all continue to buy OEM JBL parts from Mexico.

Oh, Sh*t, I forgot, all my JBLs were made in the USA more than 5 years ago and that JBL will not make any OEM parts for these vintage drivers.

Oh well, I guess I'll just buy a pair of JBL Everest speakers made outside the USA for $40,000. At least if the US-based seller's profit is $3,000, that profit will be taxed by the US Treasury.

Mr. Widget
07-31-2010, 07:28 AM
If you have money to spend check out Tannoy's new "$60k pair" of statement loudspeakers. :DSure not as cool looking as the Everests. :D


Widget

Rolf
07-31-2010, 07:41 AM
What is the big deal about this? I really like that everything in a JBL product is produced in the US, as it up to now always have been. BUT ... as we know this is not happening anymore. SO ... I must accept that they now are making them elsewhere in the world. I don't care, as long as I can get the replacement needed for my speakers. Don't you people think that quality can be made almost anywhere in the world? You are now probably looking at this on a computer made in the far east, at least the components inside. China now makes some of the best speaker components I have ever heard. Take a look at you clothes. Most of them, no matter the label is made in the far east. Here in Norway most are made in Bangladesh.

I don't think we have to worry. If something is demanded, they will be produced ... somewhere.

Mr. Widget
07-31-2010, 08:19 AM
I don't think we have to worry. If something is demanded, they will be produced ... somewhere.I think you are being optimistic... sure JBL will continue making some product in Mexico, but the fear is that with this move it shows the current Harman's overall lack of interest in JBL's heritage and I will be surprised if the JBL quality and innovation that we see today will exist in a few years... TiDome and I were discussing this last night. Look what Harman has done with Infinity. They took a serious loudspeaker company and marginalized it to the point that no one seriously interested in audio even thinks of that brand any more. I expect these financial wizards will ultimately make JBL just as relevant.

You are right that someone will produce repair kits for all of these vintage JBLs... those kits might be made in USA or Bangladesh... it won't matter because they will not be QC'd by the folks that have designed and made them for the past several decades. I don't think it will be an immediate problem for current product, but as we go a few years out expect JBL to be more like Infinity than not.


Widget

pos
07-31-2010, 09:57 AM
You are right that someone will produce repair kits for all of these vintage JBLs... those kits might be made in USA or Bangladesh... it won't matter because they will not be QC'd by the folks that have designed and made them for the past several decades.Except if they actually ARE former JBL employees from the US factory plant! That would be an interesting venture. I hope someone will organize something like this before the knowledge and competence gets scattered.
Am I dreaming?...

edgewound
07-31-2010, 11:10 AM
As long as JBL mfg'd parts are still produced to JBL standards and the profits are taxed into the US Treasury it's still a good argument to use the available OEM parts.

As a CPA in practice for 30 years, IMO, it is very doubtful profits from the Mexican JBL factory will ever be taxed by the US Treasury. That is one of the most compelling reasons for Harman to move JBL/Crown manufacturing out of the US.

So, lets all continue to buy OEM JBL parts from Mexico.

Oh, Sh*t, I forgot, all my JBLs were made in the USA more than 5 years ago and that JBL will not make any OEM parts for these vintage drivers.

Oh well, I guess I'll just buy a pair of JBL Everest speakers made outside the USA for $40,000. At least if the US-based seller's profit is $3,000, that profit will be taxed by the US Treasury.

As far as I know, Harman is still a USA-based company paying taxes to the USA IRS...provided they are profitable. Until their home base changes....which could happen any time if the US rules for companies keep getting more punitive...the taxes come here.

edgewound
07-31-2010, 11:13 AM
Sure not as cool looking as the Everests. :D


Widget

But the TAD Reference One's are.

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4313B
08-01-2010, 02:49 AM
What is the big deal about this?It's about the lost jobs and the end of the Heritage... I'm sick and tired of trying to get those points across. I don't care where, outside the U.S.A., Harman decides to move JBL's customer support, manufacturing, engineering, sales, marketing, etc. Anywhere else is simply unacceptable. Period. No offense to the rest of the planet.

The current problems with the Mexico plant are going to happen anywhere when a learning curve is introduced. You don't just pick up a set of drawings and then immediately turn out a world class driver...

scott fitlin
08-01-2010, 04:31 AM
What is the big deal about this? I really like that everything in a JBL product is produced in the US, as it up to now always have been. BUT ... as we know this is not happening anymore. SO ... I must accept that they now are making them elsewhere in the world. I don't care, as long as I can get the replacement needed for my speakers. Don't you people think that quality can be made almost anywhere in the world? You are now probably looking at this on a computer made in the far east, at least the components inside. China now makes some of the best speaker components I have ever heard. Take a look at you clothes. Most of them, no matter the label is made in the far east. Here in Norway most are made in Bangladesh.

I don't think we have to worry. If something is demanded, they will be produced ... somewhere.How do you just ask so simply, "WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL ABOUT THIS"?

Rolf, what industries do you have in Norway that is also part of Norwegian HERITAGE? And if they were to be MOVED out of Norway, besides your fellow countrymen being out out of jobs, how would you feel about products that are supposed to be YOUR HERITAGE being made elsewhere? And the money that used to support your countryman's families, now supporting a family in a country far away from your homeland?

What does an entire nation do, lets say 20 years down the road, when WE don't have anymore manufacturing, and entire local and national economies go kaput, because there just aren't any jobs to have?

Not to mention that we had a huge sense of pride in companies like JBL, and Crown, and they were made here in the UNITED STATES and were the BEST of the BEST! And now, how many products made in other countries by these so called legendary companies, by labor that really doesn't as of yet, know what they are really doing, and the products purchased fall so far short of what is promised or are so troublesome, and hard to get fixed? IF AT ALL!

About your last statement, I don't think we have to worry. If something is demanded, they will be produced... somewhere! NOT NECESSARILY so! Rolf REMEMBER when JBL discontinued production of their tweeters? The 2402, the 2404, and the 2405? MANY applications still use and want tweeters! All kinds of applications too, Nightclubs systems, consumer systems, and when JBL stopped making their tweeters, sure other companies stepped up production of their ring radiator units, like BEYMA, but you have to WANT to use the BEYMA tweeters, and decide that they sound as you want them too. BUT if one wants JBL tweeters, well, there are really no new JBL tweeters to buy! The funny thing about tweeters is there are many other companies making tweeters today, just not JBL, so IF NEW JBL tweeters are what YOUR demanding, NO they will NOT be produced!

robertbartsch
08-02-2010, 08:43 AM
As far as I am concerned, the legacy of JBL was destroyed when the decision was made to no longer manufacter vintage kits. I assume this strategic decision was based on the view that (i) the availiblity of OEM repair kits discourages folks from buying NEW JBL speakers/drivers, and (ii) Harman decided it cannot not compete with aftermarket kits which some people beleive are an exceptable repair option.

If Mexician JBL made kits are sold to a US-based Harman company, taxable income for that entity in the US is based on the difference between the sales price and the US company's cost. This difference will be minimal, by management design. Although, US corporations are taxed on worldwide income, no US tax is imposed on the Mexican subsidiary, for example, unless dividends from the Mexican company are paid to Harman's US entities - an unlikely event IMO. Even if a dividend were to ocurr, the US company would likely receive a US foreign tax credit equal to the Mexican tax paid on the earlier generated profits.

Basically, moving manufacturing off shore is very profitable for US companies and US income tax policy is only one reason.

Based on a guess about the unit sales of high fidelity home loudspeakers, I assume JBL gave up on this market long ago. I assume they continue to be dominant in pro movie applications, but I suspect they are fast loosing the sound reinforcement business to others.

They need to develop new products that people want to buy. You can manufacter in Mexico all day long, but unless you make products people want to buy - you will go broke fast.

SEAWOLF97
08-03-2010, 03:35 PM
How do you just ask so simply, "WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL ABOUT THIS"?

Rolf, what industries do you have in Norway that is also part of Norwegian HERITAGE? And if they were to be MOVED out of Norway, besides your fellow countrymen being out out of jobs, how would you feel about products that are supposed to be YOUR HERITAGE being made elsewhere? And the money that used to support your countryman's families, now supporting a family in a country far away from your homeland?

OKay, its Sweeden , not Norway ....but todays news.....

"On Monday, Ford completed the sale of Volvo to Chinese automaker Geely and received a debt upgrade by ratings agency Standard & Poor's. "

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/03/markets/thebuzz/?postversion=2010080312

ASSUME that production will move soon, if not already.

jaybird
08-03-2010, 05:54 PM
Why doesn't somebody take a meeting with Harmon, voice concerns to them about the replacement parts and what the companies long term objectives are for JBL?

robertbartsch
08-04-2010, 04:16 AM
Why doesn't somebody take a meeting with Harmon, voice concerns to them about the replacement parts and what the companies long term objectives are for JBL?

Doesn't Harman consider the mundain task of producing parts merely a necessary evil to provide warranties to customers of NEW Harman equipment? If they are only going to produce OEM kits for drivers that are out of production for 5 years or less, this is effectively a decision to no longer support JBL products for the long haul. New JBL Corporate moto: "If it is broken, please buy a new JBL driver!"

The HT consumer market was given up >15 years or so ago and they are probably being pounded in the sound reinforcement sector; aren't these two sectors about 10% or less of Harman revenues?

Harman needs to re-invent itself and develop new products that people want and need to buy. Speakers, amps and sound is probably not the future of Harman.

GM sold more cars in communist China than in the US this year. Yeh, Harman can continue to make car speakers and sound systems and the volumes are rising as a result of China growing and the US shrinking but that will only last so long.

SEAWOLF97
08-04-2010, 08:47 AM
If they are only going to produce OEM kits for drivers that are out of production for 5 years or less, this is effectively a decision to no longer support JBL products for the long haul. New JBL Corporate moto: "If it is broken, please buy a new JBL driver!"

At my last job we had NEC laptops, laptops have a life expectancy of mebbe 2 years and we had piles of older ones in storage. I was the liaison with NEC..talked to a manager there and it turns out that by law a US company must be able to supply parts for their product for 7 years after the initial product offering.

Traded back a pallet of $50k worth of boat anchors for gear we needed.

Rolf
08-07-2010, 07:12 AM
Well Scotty, a lot of the "Norwegian heritage" is gone, and many are now produced in other countries. Why? ... because the cost of producing them is to high in Norway. I do not want to go into the political aspect of this, but the problem lies there. Soon the only thing that will be produced in Norway is oil, electric power and salmon fish. When the oil run out ... well ... ?

I do not know if this is the reason for Harman/JBL to shut down production in the US is the same as here, but I bet it is some of the reason.


How do you just ask so simply, "WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL ABOUT THIS"?

Rolf, what industries do you have in Norway that is also part of Norwegian HERITAGE? And if they were to be MOVED out of Norway, besides your fellow countrymen being out out of jobs, how would you feel about products that are supposed to be YOUR HERITAGE being made elsewhere? And the money that used to support your countryman's families, now supporting a family in a country far away from your homeland?

What does an entire nation do, lets say 20 years down the road, when WE don't have anymore manufacturing, and entire local and national economies go kaput, because there just aren't any jobs to have?

Not to mention that we had a huge sense of pride in companies like JBL, and Crown, and they were made here in the UNITED STATES and were the BEST of the BEST! And now, how many products made in other countries by these so called legendary companies, by labor that really doesn't as of yet, know what they are really doing, and the products purchased fall so far short of what is promised or are so troublesome, and hard to get fixed? IF AT ALL!

About your last statement, I don't think we have to worry. If something is demanded, they will be produced... somewhere! NOT NECESSARILY so! Rolf REMEMBER when JBL discontinued production of their tweeters? The 2402, the 2404, and the 2405? MANY applications still use and want tweeters! All kinds of applications too, Nightclubs systems, consumer systems, and when JBL stopped making their tweeters, sure other companies stepped up production of their ring radiator units, like BEYMA, but you have to WANT to use the BEYMA tweeters, and decide that they sound as you want them too. BUT if one wants JBL tweeters, well, there are really no new JBL tweeters to buy! The funny thing about tweeters is there are many other companies making tweeters today, just not JBL, so IF NEW JBL tweeters are what YOUR demanding, NO they will NOT be produced!

robertbartsch
08-08-2010, 08:43 PM
I thought that Norway's oil harvest in the North Sea has caused the coffers of the government to swell to amounts equal to $60 million USD for each and every Norway citizen? The consequence of this is that if Norway no longer manufactures much, it citizens will not likely suffer. Good for Norway.

Unfortunatly for the USA, our government and elected officials have sqaundered our wealth, and wealth creation and capatilism is taking a back seat to reackless spending and taxation, and sever deficits that will impact us for many decades. Our middle class have no manfacturing base here in the US as it has moved off-shore.

The USA is in sever decline now and it will not recover in my lifetime. Given our history, that is very tragic.

4313B
08-08-2010, 09:24 PM
The USA is in sever decline now and it will not recover in my lifetime. Given our history, that is very tragic.Dude... I really don't think anyone cares...

BMWCCA
08-08-2010, 10:19 PM
Unfortunatly for the USA, our government and elected officials have sqaundered our wealth, and wealth creation and capatilism is taking a back seat to reackless spending and taxation, and sever deficits that will impact us for many decades.

The USA is in sever decline now and it will not recover in my lifetime. Given our history, that is very tragic.

"Pat, I'd like to buy a vowel, please. Actually . . . several."

louped garouv
08-09-2010, 08:10 AM
"Pat, I'd like to buy a vowel, please. Actually . . . several."

:banghead:

ah, most folks just fill them in 'automatically' anyway....

why not save the capital?

;)

Eaulive
08-12-2010, 12:33 PM
The 7 cones from Mexico and the cone from the US compares very well, I ran a basic sweep on my desk to compare them and they are identical, however I had one woofer with an original cone that I measure also, I kept the best of the 8 so I can compare.

The woofers were not burned or damaged other than the dust caps that were completely desintegrated due to a long storage in a humid place. My customer wanted new kits complete, not just the dust caps.

Here's a sweep between old (red) and new (blue):
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4138/4886173176_a23d067052_o.gif
Don't mind the dips and peaks, this was on my work bench with the Earthworks mic hanging 8" above the woofer facing up, with a spacer under it to clear the vents.
Not at all a reference, but the two readings were taken a few seconds apart in exactly the same conditions so I trust it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/eaulive/sets/72157624477511093/

This is the 7 fresh recones overlapped:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4073/4886412612_7f77b0d291_b.jpg

Those are the seven recones overlapped.
They are exactly the same, save for the response above around 1.8kHz where the environment of the bench can cause all sorts of strange reflections if the driver is not exactly at the same exact place than the precedent.
I don't really care because the 4894 is crossed over at 1kHz anyways.

Eaulive
01-09-2014, 07:32 AM
New link for the pictures: http://www.ipernity.com/doc/eaulive/album/595571