View Full Version : Chinese 4343's

04-23-2005, 06:32 PM
Well, not really, but they are different. Am just about finished restoring a very badly cared for pair of 4343's. For anyone interested some pics of the project are posted at www.lubecentersys.com/4343s (http://www.lubecentersys.com/4343s) . Have not completed the grills yet and the second cabinet is being laquer finished and will be repopulated with components this coming week. My first thought when finding this pair was to ebay the internals and burn the cabinets. I really didn't need another project but couldn't bare the thought of trashing them, sooooo, on with an overhaul. Almost all corners and cabinet edges were gouged or smashed in. Every edge and corner was replaced with new wood - oak where it wouldn't show and particle board along the back edges to blend in with the 1" thick particle board cabinet material. A serious number of gouges in the surface of the veneer were filled and decked flat. New veneer and trim is white oak finished in golden oak with satin laquer. I do love the walnut that JBL used on their pro monitors, the quality of which is not available in today's market, but they sold us all short by not offering them in oak too and I figured I need a pair of something done in Oak. Since they had to be restored and will no longer be strictly original anyway, I felt no obligation to use walnut (would have if I could get my hands on a time machine to go back to JBL 25 years ago and con their cabinet makers out of some good veneer. Hope to get some grills on them soon but that's a totally different project to exactly duplicate the factory grills. Pics coming soon of my 4350 restoration efforts. Am near laying veneer (Honduran Rosewood) and thanx to a couple of forum members I have located the 3107's and 2202's needed to make them complete. Rick http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/smile.gif

04-23-2005, 06:50 PM
Bravo on the effort, and the result. Way to go.:applaud: :applaud: :applaud: :applaud: :applaud: :applaud:

04-23-2005, 06:51 PM
Absolutely beautiful! I love the oak!


04-23-2005, 08:10 PM
Yeah, nice recovery work. Congratulations! The JBL blue, THAT'S the essential thing.


04-23-2005, 08:41 PM
To answer the questions on the base that they are sitting on - Base is 1" x 3" particle board with rounded edges with 3/4" top. Base is not bolted or screwed on. Top of base is covered with a 1/4" felt pad to protect the cabinet bottom. How many pairs of monitors have you seen with the cabinet bottom destroyed? Who knows anything about original monitors with a base either factory or dealer installed? I owned a pair of 4343's with original wood base approx. 2" tall. Definately not home made. Also have seen 4315's with base and some of JBL's literature shows pro monitors sitting on a wood base, i.e. 4340/4341 brochure. I have not seen any reference in their literature or price sheets. The bases on my old 4343's were screwed in so that screwed up the cabinet bottom up - forever - with 4 holes. Wouldn't be my first choice. Rick http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/bouncy.gif

04-23-2005, 08:52 PM
Very nice indeed...a beautiful job!

:applaud: :applaud: :applaud:


Steve Gonzales
04-24-2005, 12:49 AM
Now that's what I'm talkin' bout! Well done Rick. I've looked at Rosewood verneer and man is it SPENDY!. I'd like to know the source. What does it cost to re-veneer a large pair of monitors like that? Keep up the good work. The "car guys" have a saying that I think is appropriate for us too; "Don't crush em, RESTORE em'! " COOL!

04-24-2005, 05:04 AM
G'Day Rick,
Very well done!

Regards Scott

04-24-2005, 07:17 AM
Steve: Thanx for the comment. Rosewood veneer isn't as expensive as you might think. To do the 4350's in Walnut would cost me near $200 for the veneer/trim. The rosewood veneer/trim cost me $290. Not enough difference to break the deal. Besides, when's the last time you saw a pair of Rosewood 4350's. I would like to keep them when complete but they will have to go to a new home. Already have a pair and am scratch building a custom pair. If the new ones turn out real nice I'll have a problem - sell them or my original pair????? The JBL trouble I get myself into never seems to end!! Rick http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/smile.gif http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/frown.gif http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/smile.gif

05-04-2005, 06:51 AM
Both cabinets now restored and re-populated with their components. Have a minor amount of detail work to do but they're up and running. Will now press on to fab the grills. I've posted a couple of new pics that show the pair. All new cabinet corners, front trim and veneer. It feels good to see them come back to life. The previous owner should be whipped for trashing them the way he did. Pics posted at www.lubecentersys.com/4343s (http://www.lubecentersys.com/4343s) On to the next project - Rick

05-04-2005, 07:22 AM
I've got to give you kudos on a job well done! The 4343's are beautiful! Obviously a labor of love. Pepe' le' Pew would've been proud (oh, my oak covered cheri', let my hands wander over your fine lines!). Thanks for not trashing them as there aren't many out there.

05-04-2005, 09:16 AM
Here you go Rick :)

05-04-2005, 09:17 AM
One more

05-04-2005, 09:19 AM

05-04-2005, 09:23 AM
Last set...

05-04-2005, 09:24 AM

Titanium Dome
05-04-2005, 09:38 AM
Making an old veteran into a fresh new face--well done.

05-04-2005, 10:02 AM
Awesome. How could someone do that kind of damage to a beautiful pair of speakers? I'd hate to see the house they came out of. No respect!

05-04-2005, 10:03 AM
I wouldn't look any further if I had a pair of those. The wife would be escorted out the door if she even suggested they wouldn't work out! I'm dead serious!

05-04-2005, 01:20 PM
That is really a superb piece of work.:applaud:

05-04-2005, 02:22 PM
I wouldn't look any further if I had a pair of those. The wife would be escorted out the door if she even suggested they wouldn't work out! I'm dead serious!

Ahhh!! Somebody who really has their priorities straight! Well said Audiobeer!

:applaud: :applaud:


05-05-2005, 06:52 AM
Thanks To All for the words of praise on my 4343 project. As most would agree, half the fun of owning this old JBL is listening to it and the other half is sharing it with others with the same illness. The JBL forum obviously supports both. This pair of 4343's was a true basket case but they came to me for $1500 and the decision was easy. Hell, the parts were worth that much. After maybe about 20-25 hours of labor and a couple hundred in material, they were back to living room friendly! I have restored many similar pairs over the years and will continue. Like a hound dog, I always have my nose to the ground for vintage JBL and you all know that the stuff is out there. Most guys pass on the less than perfect systems and that's where I come in. I enjoy the task of bringing them back to life; only wish I had a big enough house to keep them all. I've been a wood working fool most of my life and truely enjoy the effort it takes to do the restoration. Am sure that many of you guys out there have the necessary skills to do the same. More of you should jump on these old beater systems and give them a work over. I had a mint pair of 4343's but had to let them go when my 4350's came along - too bad - so I'll keep this pair for a while to make up for the heartbreak and to just admire the different look they now have. Am currently doing a similar restoration on a pair of 4350's (pics soon) and have a pair of 4341's waiting in the background. Hopefully before the last pair is done, another pair of deadbeats will come along to keep me going. Rick http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/smilies/smile.gif

Earl K
05-05-2005, 07:10 AM
Hi Rick

- Nice Work !

- I do love to see all these older beauties get a new day in the sun .