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View Full Version : JBL LE14A and LE 175 Home made cabinets



jplatel5000
12-13-2010, 09:35 PM
i recently aquired (well, maybe a year ago) a pair of home made speakers. These speakers were built by a doctor in the early 70s who didnt want to pay full price for a pair of L-101 cabinets. The port is a square hole. and the cabinet is bulky, not the right size, and fairly ugly. I was curious if anyone had designs for a cabinet to fit just the Le14a as i want to have a horn on top speaker.. I know i read somewhere saying they needed about 3.2-3.4 cubic feet. I dont know much about tuning cabinets, so if anyone had designs for a cabinet that they have used, including port size, it would be greatly appreciated.

The woofers have already been refoamed within the last 6 months

Earl K
12-14-2010, 09:03 AM
Well ,,, I suspect those Apollo cabinets might be original . They look to be the variant shipped with the woven cloth grills . They do seem to have different detail in the top molding , from what I can gather .

LHF member "2string" has provided us with some pics of his restored C51 Apollos .

Check out the frontal detail on his C51(s) vs yours .

http://i50.tinypic.com/1z3qdlt.jpg



Here's a shot of one of his in the process of being refurbished .

http://i48.tinypic.com/2ugykjs.jpg

Now, with the top "finished" .

http://i45.tinypic.com/b989vr.jpg

Here's a look see, with his optional "modernized" grills . Very, very sharp ( IMHO ) with those grills .
- LHF member , "saman" sells authentic JBL grill cloth / I'm unsure what colors he is currently stocking ( send him a pm / though he may be on vacation ) .

http://i49.tinypic.com/att64x.jpg

Here's his pair using the more commonly seen, classically "fretted" grills ( after he picked up a second grill ) .

http://i45.tinypic.com/erbcaq.jpg

Here are 2 pics from LHF member , "JBL-Canuck" , which shows a grill type virtually identical to yours .

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=43705&stc=1&d=1263312376http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=43704&stc=1&d=1263312360

Here's yours,

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=48958&stc=1&d=1292304781

Maybe yours are homemade / & then again / maybe they're original Apollos .

No matter really, if those were mine ( & the veneer was restorable ) , I'd simply modernize the look to something more like this ( & maybe retune them ) ;

http://i49.tinypic.com/att64x.jpg

Do a site search for threads started by 2string . I think he's pretty happy that he kept his Apollos .

<> cheers

jplatel5000
12-14-2010, 10:00 AM
Thanks for the info!
looks like you learn something new every day

he told me he had bought "plans" to build the JBL speakers back sometime during the 70s, i just assumed he made this cabinet design up.

Either way, they look identical to all the photos of the JBL C51 that i have looked at
(ill admit i must not have done enough research in the past year if i havnt at least come across images of it before today)

I still think that they are not JBL built cabinets, and were built based on plans bought from JBL, or just copied from a friends cabinets. The build quality is fantastic, super solid cabinets. But that port does worry me. Is it supposed to be just a rectangular hole like that? or is there supposed to be some depth to the port.

What i will do, if anyone is interested, is get measurements, and more detailed photographs if anyone is interested in finding out if these are actually C51 cabinets, or a clone.


and once again, thanks for the info. Ill definately just refurb these. They basically were used as endtables for the past 30 years ( says the previous owner) and to play some high volume polka here and there( his music of choice)

miker
12-16-2010, 08:36 AM
Your ports look exactly like the ports shown in the first 2 pictures Earl posted. Take another look at them. Those cabinets look pretty good. They may only need mild restoration. Post more pictures as you go along. Nice find.

jplatel5000
12-16-2010, 12:33 PM
Heres a few more photos, the veneer looks to be walnut? and in pretty decent shape.

when refurbishing them, what would you all recommend doing

refinish the veneer? repaint the baffles? any and all help is more than appreciated.

the reason i came across these speakers in the first place was because of a doctor who was cleaning out his living room. he gave them to me along with a bunch of other older audio stuff, although nothing else to write home about.

SMKSoundPro
12-16-2010, 01:20 PM
Black wires, I believe and will check, go on pushbuttons 2&3. They are commonly tied internally.

SMKSoundPro
12-16-2010, 01:27 PM
49002

Found this on another thread. I don't see the option of the LE14 and potato masher horn.

Scotty.

jplatel5000
12-16-2010, 01:36 PM
so this is a home made apollo clone?

SMKSoundPro
12-16-2010, 01:38 PM
http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?4096-JBL-1980-Loudspeaker-Component-Series-Instruction-Manual&p=37573

http://lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/catalogs/1976-comp.htm

Your combo looks as if it is a LE14a and LE175 on a HL87(potato masher horn) which shows a LX-10 crossover in the charts, at 1500hz.

In the top link, use illustration D for the wiring.

Scotty.

SMKSoundPro
12-16-2010, 01:40 PM
I personally don't believe home-made from the pics, but reserve judgement until others with more experience jump in.

Scotty.

Great find!!!!

Please show pics of the insides. That will answer some questions.

keith141
12-16-2010, 01:46 PM
I, too, bought a plan for C51/Apollo from JBL and tried to construct the cabinets in the mid 70s.
I cut various size of plywood following the plan except the solid wood for top panel where it required making round edges. The plan required two different R for upper and lower portion and I did not have the tool to do it. Something like the first picture from EARL Ks posting above.
Also the plan showed the baffle cut out sizes for different drivers and horns.

I was planning to install either D130+075 or LE14A+LE175+1217-1290 horn but they were too expensive for my income then.

I put every thing in the corner of basement without baffle cut out.

My interest has shifted to JBL monitor speakers since. I constructed and completed a few but I still have those panels ready to assemble.

jplatel5000
12-16-2010, 01:46 PM
I personally don't believe home-made from the pics, but reserve judgement until others with more experience jump in.

Scotty.

Great find!!!!

Please show pics of the insides. That will answer some questions.


can do, will have some photos in a few minutes

SMKSoundPro
12-16-2010, 01:46 PM
From this corner picture of the detailed joinery, I would bet these are not a clone. That's a pro joint, unless... I could be wrong. Please post more pics of the insides.

louped garouv
12-16-2010, 01:47 PM
I personally don't believe home-made from the pics, but reserve judgement until others with more experience jump in.

Scotty.

Great find!!!!

Please show pics of the insides. That will answer some questions.

pretty advanced level of woodworking went into those joints, IMO at least...
if they are homebrew 'twas someone who knew his or her way around a workshop.....

SMKSoundPro
12-16-2010, 01:48 PM
Hello Mr. Keith!

SMKSoundPro
12-16-2010, 01:49 PM
Yes, and I have nine fingers to prove my way around my workshop!

keith141
12-16-2010, 01:55 PM
Hello Mr. Keith!

Hi Scott, Long time no see.


My DIY C51 has the same type of joints which I followed the plan.

subwoof
12-16-2010, 01:56 PM
Those are factory cabs - the joinery is identical to the larger, double 15 models I have in storage.

The crossover looks like the LX2 and I'll bet that cab had the LE20 originally and somewhere along the line the cutout was enlarged for the masher but the crossover was *not* replaced with the lower freq model LX8 because the level control is not a 3pos switch..:)

details details

BTW I have 9.5 fingers left.

SMKSoundPro
12-16-2010, 02:11 PM
You know Subwoof,
Frankly, I would sure like to see some of the things you have in storage!

just sayin'...

smk.

jplatel5000
12-16-2010, 02:14 PM
heres some more photos, camera died, they arent great, but it gives you some idea of the bracing inside the cabinets, and it seems to be an LX 10 crossover

jplatel5000
12-16-2010, 02:28 PM
one more, what is the deal with the mount for the horn, why does it come out? was it originally meant to fit a different horn?

keith141
12-16-2010, 03:08 PM
one more, what is the deal with the mount for the horn, why does it come out? was it originally meant to fit a different horn?

I think you have home made cabinets. They are very well made indeed, following the blue-print provided by JBL.

The baffle cutout is designed to mount any woofers/comp. drivers/horns available then.
The blue print showed woofer mounting cutout size for 15 inches. You make different adapter mounting plates for smaller sizes such as 14, 12 and 8 inches. Your cabinet cutout is for 14 inches. I guess the doctor decided to have 14 inches not 15.

Your horn/driver mounting plates is one of them.
You can mount 075 in place of LE175 by using different adapter plate.

jplatel5000
12-16-2010, 03:26 PM
How would you recommend i go about refurbishing these.

If there is anyone who has done restoration work on these before, or similar cabinets. that would be willing to give me advice, it would be appreciated.

keith141
12-16-2010, 04:34 PM
How would you recommend i go about refurbishing these.

If there is anyone who has done restoration work on these before, or similar cabinets. that would be willing to give me advice, it would be appreciated.

I have no experience restoring old cabinets but I have constructed several new cabinets from ground up.

If I was you, I would paint baffles and back panels flat black. Just like original Apollo.
Take a look pictures EARL K posted at the beginning of this thread.

From pictures you posted, it is hard to see but I guess top and side panels are not plywood. They look pretty good to me.

Inside of cabinet walls except baffle need to be covered with sound absorbing material.
I do not know which panel but your picture shows bare surface.

Others may give you better suggestions.

miker
12-17-2010, 04:27 AM
My recommendation for refinishing them is to use Howard's Restore a Finish followed by Howard's Feed n Wax. I apply the Restore Finish with super fine steel wool. This treatment is very easy to do and will produce amazing results. It won't remove deep scratches and/or stains but it will make that old veneer shine. I personnally like the look with a few old battle scars left in place. Sort of a vintage patina.

Try that and see how it looks.

keith141
12-19-2010, 02:57 PM
Almost 35 years ago I started this project but I could not finish.
This thread reminded me this project I almost forgot.
I think I know what to do next summer.

Thank you.

jplatel5000
12-19-2010, 10:11 PM
ive got one of the cabinets taped up and ready for paint. i dont know how long its going to be before i start, but rest assured i will post pictures of it along the way.

jplatel5000
12-23-2010, 10:45 PM
Ive already got the baffle and back painted on one of the cabinets, the other is being sanded and prepped for paint. I plan on picking up some howard restore a finish as soon as i can find a place that supplies it. the flat black looks great, and the veneer cleaned up alright with just a little TLC, but it could afford a little more work.


whats the general consensus on grille cloth here, im thinking that the walnut veneer and flat black baffles / backs would look great with the "monitor blue" cloth. i dont know if it was an option for the apollo speaker, but then again this isnt a jbl factory made cabinet. I just want the speaker to have a distinctive JBL look to it, and i think the blue grille would help that.

do you guys know what badge these speakers would have had on them from the factory, and if they were supplied with kits/plans purchased from JBL? if not, do you think it would be dishonest to put JBL badges on them?

i apologize for not posting pictures, but my digital camera crapped out on me.

as soon as i can source a new camera, ill be sure to post some

jplatel5000
12-24-2010, 12:49 PM
photos

SMKSoundPro
12-24-2010, 01:52 PM
I have my EN8 cabinets covered with a black stretchy spandex fabric that Lisa had when she was sewing for a living, and I think that the darker walnut of 30 years of medium watco oil applied is good, but I also see wear its not great. I now understand the dark chocolate brown colored grill cloth as it tends to blend in with the color of the veneer.

(I have personally always liked the blue. Never the tan, and frankly I have never really liked the orange.)

I have always liked some of the vintage 40-50's style of grill cloth that was used on larger radios. 49118

So Lisa made me some covers that cover the whole EN8 (similiar to a 434x or 4508) cabinet that we used for a New Years Eve gig for the Opera Society. The party planners company is ALL about how it looks rather than the obvious.

Bottom Line is, Have some fun and make them your own!
Scotty.