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View Full Version : Hack a cabinet, or build a new one?



honkytonkwillie
08-17-2014, 04:14 AM
I've been spending lots of time with the L65 set lately listening, experimenting, and learning. They're proving very easy to enjoy once I got them about 16" off the floor.

More and more though, it disturbs me that JBL didn't build these as left and right speakers with mirrored layout of the drivers. Not having grills, I can't help but see the asymmetry. And since I see it, I start believing the image and directional cues are tilted to one side. It's probably just my imagination and a case of eyes fooling ears. But I've got a good imagination.

Considering solutions, I'm wondering how easy it would be to remove the baffle and flip it around, or more likely fab up a new reversed baffle. Are the cabs built in such a way to attempt that without damaging the rest of the speaker? The alternative would be to have a new cabinet built.

I'm not so much worried about resale, authenticity, or collectors' value. Has anyone performed cabinet mods like this?

tomee
08-18-2014, 07:42 AM
The cabinets don't lend themselves to easily flipping the front baffle around - the baffle is not bolted to the front but is inset into the walls. Build/buy some grills?

If it was me, I'd build a new cabinet, or re-purpose another cabinet (possibly from another make) to use and modify. Good original condition L65s seem to going up in demand, while seemingly getting harder to find...unless the cabinets are in very bad condition I'd tend to them as original as possible.


I've been spending lots of time with the L65 set lately listening, experimenting, and learning. They're proving very easy to enjoy once I got them about 16" off the floor.

More and more though, it disturbs me that JBL didn't build these as left and right speakers with mirrored layout of the drivers. Not having grills, I can't help but see the asymmetry. And since I see it, I start believing the image and directional cues are tilted to one side. It's probably just my imagination and a case of eyes fooling ears. But I've got a good imagination.

Considering solutions, I'm wondering how easy it would be to remove the baffle and flip it around, or more likely fab up a new reversed baffle. Are the cabs built in such a way to attempt that without damaging the rest of the speaker? The alternative would be to have a new cabinet built.

I'm not so much worried about resale, authenticity, or collectors' value. Has anyone performed cabinet mods like this?

speakerdave
08-18-2014, 08:09 AM
The L55 uses the same box, with a different baffle board. These are being trashed regularly for their drivers, so with a little searching and patience you should be able to find one. Use one of those for your experimental revision, and save your unused original for resale and posterity.

And, come to think of it, the L65, is trashed quite often as well, so there may be just as good a chance you can find an empty L65 cabinet. That would be even better because the crossover and input panel may still be in it,

And if you are indirectly asking us what we think of not considering "resale, authenticity, or collectors' value" . . . let's not go there.

And by the way, your basic idea is an interesting one. If you manage to pull it off let us know how it turns out.

honkytonkwillie
11-07-2014, 02:13 AM
I decided to go the safe route and found an L65 cabinet with no drivers, crossover, or binding posts. I expected a beat-up POS, but it's in really good shape. It was cheap, but shipping brought it close to $100. Not so cheap after all, but it buys the peace of mind which allows me to proceed. I meet with my cabinet guy soon to figure out the best approach to doing a reverse baffle. It might take me a year, but I'll be sure to post updates.

LowPhreak
11-07-2014, 10:29 AM
I thought I was the only one that was bothered by this asymmetry in speaker designs. I've had several from Infinity, a/d/s, etc. that annoyed me like that, and wondered if perhaps some designers didn't "get it" back then. It was probably just cheaper/easier to make all cabinets the same, instead of separate runs of L and R.

Good luck with your project!

audiomagnate
11-07-2014, 11:38 AM
I thought I was the only one that was bothered by this asymmetry in speaker designs. I've had several from Infinity, a/d/s, etc. that annoyed me like that, and wondered if perhaps some designers didn't "get it" back then. It was probably just cheaper/easier to make all cabinets the same, instead of separate runs of L and R.

Good luck with your project!

Or just vertically centering the drivers like on L200/300 and other vintage models, and almost all modern speakers. My Infinity RS 2.5's are mirrored BTW.