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Thread: JBL History Exhibit

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    Senior Member Steve Schell's Avatar
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    JBL History Exhibit

    Hi group,

    Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with Mr. John Eargle at JBL in Northridge. John had invited me up to tour the history exhibit which is currently on display there. Although not a public display, he thought I might like to take some pictures to share with the JBL enthusiasts here. You bet!

    I've been struggling to reduce the high res pictures I took with a friend's camera. I'll try posting the first group of 7 pictures and we'll see how it goes. There are 25 pictures in total, and I'll post them in groups and add descriptions.
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    Senior Member Steve Schell's Avatar
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    Okay, so far so good. The first picture is a Paragon which is on display in the main lobby. The second picture is a Metregon, also in the lobby. Next is a pair of K2-S9800 speakers- not really a part of the history display, but I thought they looked cool enough to include. We then went to the main part of the display, which is in an interior hallway. Next is a picture of John Eargle with a newer vintage Hartsfield; note the 075 peeking out. Last in this group is a mid 1950s Hartsfield.

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    Senior Member Steve Schell's Avatar
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    Continuing, we have a 537-500 big potato masher horn; an Ampex-produced mid 1950s D-130A driver. Ampex built these at their factory in North Hollywood and paid JBL a royalty. Then we have a really neat D-140F with fuzzy flocking treatment on the cone. John thought that these might have been produced on special order for a client years ago. Next we have cutaway trade show display pieces of a two way system and several drivers. Last in this group is an early 1950s C-51 two way home system. This speaker looks so much bigger in person than it does in the old literature. We were going to pull it out to look at the decal on the back, but we couldn't budge it.

    ***Correction*** Phil H was nice enough to write to me and gently suggest that the big corner horn is actually a C-31. He's right! It was made from 1951 to at least 1955; check it out at: http://www.lansingheritage.org/image...1955/page3.jpg
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    Senior Member Steve Schell's Avatar
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    First pic in this group is the sign placed on top of the C-51. Next is a group of three pro speakers... sorry for my poor documentation, but most of youse guys probably know exactly what these are. Next is another pro speaker. Then we have a half of a Minigon. The other half was there, at the other end of the table! Now we get to the stuff that really had me in orbit. This gorgeous, totally impressive and impossibly rare speaker is the early version of the Lansing Iconic in Salon dress. A slightly less fancy version of this cabinet type is shown in the LMCo. bulletin #4 of 1937. It is in our library, check here:

    http://www.lansingheritage.org/image...lletins/4d.jpg

    This speaker looked amazing in person. It appears to be all original, including the finish and grille cloth. JBL's finish person no doubt detailed it a bit for the exhibit as he did several others. Inside the box would be the same components as the regular utility Iconic, fine innards indeed.
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    Senior Member Steve Schell's Avatar
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    In this group we start with a shot of the top of the Lansing Salon. The bookmatched veneer is really beautiful. Makes you wonder where this speaker was first installed- Ingrid Bergman's home? Next we have another ultra rarity and major woodie for me, a Lansing Iconic from 1938 or so, in a variation I've never seen before. The bass cabinet is different than the normal 612 box, a little smaller in volume I think, and oriented horizontally. Might this have been an early soffit-mounted monitor? This piece is also really clean... the Iconics I have are really beat up. The other two pics show it from the rear, and looking inside the cabinet. Everything looks correct except for the "star" rear cover on the 801B high frequency driver, which dates from the 1943-1945 Altec period. Last we have a late 1948 or early 1949 Van Nuys era JBL D-1002 two way system. This one is equipped with the D-175 high frequency driver, H-1000 multicellular horn, N1000 1200Hz. dividing network network and D-130A woofer. Like the ones that Glen and I have been discussing on another thread, this cabinet was likely built by Jim Lansing.
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    Senior Member Steve Schell's Avatar
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    Okay, we're rounding the turn into the final stretch. First in this group is an LE-8TH speaker; never seen one of these before. Next is the monitor (consumer?) with the blue grille cloth. Sorry, I did not make note of the model. Then we have two shots from roughly midway in the exhibit, looking both ways down the hall. These shots show the relative locations of the exhibit pieces.

    Usually when I visit JBL, I bring along a rarity or two from my collection to share with the JBL folks. The last shot in this group is of a few pieces I took to show John. Included here is a Lansing Sound D-101 15" general purpose speaker, Lansing Mfg. Co. model 15XS woofer, serial #49. This one must have been part of the production run for the Shearer Horn demonstration systems. Next is a D-130 with San Marcos label, indicating that it was built by Jim Lansing at his ranch before he moved his operation to Venice. The small slant plate lens was Bart Locanthi's developmental prototype, currently owned by my friend Robert Grunberg. It is built from sheet aluminum, and is held together with machine hardware. Last is a prototype of the Cogent DS-1448 compression bass driver that my partner Rich and I are about to begin producing. I'll post one more set of pictures with some close-ups of some of these pieces.
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    Senior Member Steve Schell's Avatar
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    The San Marcos label D-130 is the first version of this driver. It would have been built by mid 1947. Note the pipe and plate construction of the magnet structure. We collector obsessives refer to these early ones as "flat backs". There is no vent hole in the back plate; this feature did not appear until the Venice era a year or so later. Hal Cox has mentioned that Jim Lansing told him that it came to him in a dream to vent the speaker out the back.

    Next the D-101. This is the earliest version of this driver, and JBL's very first product. It has the round paper label with the infamous "Iconic" across the center that upset Altec Lansing so much. It was made by Jim Lansing at his ranch in San Marcos in late 1946 or early 1947. This speaker looks very much like the Altec 515 that Lansing had designed in 1944. The basket casting is different though, so it wasn't built from Altec parts. The intended function was as a full range driver, as it was fitted with an edgewound aluminum voice coil (the 515 was copper) and used an aluminum dust dome to extend highs. I have two of these drivers, and both have been reconed with incorrect parts, darn it!

    Finally, a couple of pictures of the Bart Locanthi prototype slant plate lens. It is about the same size as the production lens, although it may have more plates. My friend Robert obtained it from Mr. Locanthi's estate along with some other pieces.

    John Eargle and I then went to lunch, and talked speaker stuff for a couple of hours. I feel very fortunate to know John, and have to pinch myself once in a while. His knowledge of how speakers work, and of course all things JBL, is almost unlimited. I sincerely thank John Eargle and JBL for the opportunity to see the history exhibit.
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    Some More Pictures From the History Exhibit

    I got my chance to snag some pics of the history exhibit before it was taken down. First, the 4350 with the grills off:
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    Next, the 4313 with the grill off:
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    The 4310 exposed:
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    The 4320:
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    The C50 Olympus with S8R kit:
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    Array series cut-away:
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    SR Series cut-away:
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    C48 Madison showing original LE8 with whizzer cone:
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