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Thread: L300 Find. Rebuild Advice Please. (pics)

  1. #1
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    L300 Find. Rebuild Advice Please. (pics)

    Here are some pics of a set of L300's I got from an estate sale. I didn't know what they were at the time. :dont-know I offered to remove them from the house for free because of their weight. (125 Lbs each!) They were happy to get rid of them!
    Later when I brought them into the house I looked closer at them and thought Hmm these things look pretty cool!! Like 70's High End! It wasn't that hard to guess they were high end because of the Oracle TT that was with them.
    I looked up the ebay auctions for L300's and...... PARTY TIME!!!
    They are in great condition. A little dusty (no problem) and the foam surrounds on the 135A woofers have degraded.
    I tested the one with the best surround against my Paradigm Studio 100's and I have to say........

    I've never heard anything like THAT before


    They blew me away!! Actually the woofer damage was evident when I listened to them but the mids and tweeter were out of this world. The presence and diffusion throughout the room was infectious! The dispersion filters over the horns must do some magic because the mids were so smooth and present at the same time.
    I posted my opinions about how these would fair against my Paradigms in another thread a while ago but I hadn't tested my theory at that time. Even though I tested them out now I realize the test is not a fair one because of the woofer damage. I thought the 15" woofers would produce a less controlled sound compared to the multiple array woofers in the Paradigms. In reality right now, the 15" woofers didn't produce much bass at all. I know they'll be quite capable when they are redone. :thmbsp:

    What I did note was the mids and highs did one up my Paradigms though. The highs were comparable in frequency response but not in performance. The imaging on the JBL's was really quite special. I can't say what the heck it was, but they gave the music a fluidic third dimension I had never experienced with any other speaker I've ever heard. (I frequent high end audio shops too) I can't wait to hear what the whole package will produce with the woofers in tact.
    Here's what they look like now:




    I can't justify keeping them no matter how great they are. With what they are going for nowadays on the Bay, I need much more play money then I need these. Actually I don't need these at all. I wish I could use them in place of the Paradigms but my wife put the kibosh on that idea. She likes the light color of the Paradigms and completely detests the look of the L300's.

    I think they look awesome!!

    Now I'm not sure what to do for repair. I'm going to try to clean up the grills but I'm almost 100% sure I'll need to redo the material. Should I have the woofers reconed or simply refoamed? I also checked out the crossover and the Caps are accessible. Should I recap them? Remember, I am asking not for myself but rather for resale.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Don't touch them. I have a truck, I'm only several hundred miles away, I'm not afraid of snow, and I have two daughters in college in NY who would love to see me. Just say the magic word and the duck will drop down and give you a thousand dollars. Crack and all.

  3. #3
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    Go for it Mutha!!!

  4. #4
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Go for it , Phil!

    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Don't touch them. I have a truck, I'm only several hundred miles away, I'm not afraid of snow, and I have two daughters in college in NY who would love to see me. Just say the magic word and the duck will drop down and give you a thousand dollars. Crack and all.
    2ch: Oppo, Acurus RL-11, JBL 240ti, Heath AS101, Carver TFM-25,Von Schweikert VR4
    7: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460,

  5. #5
    Gary L
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    I agree! Leave them alone and flip them quick to someone who will give them the TLC they need and deserve.

    Clearly 50% of the labor involved in a restoration of these beauties is one of love and will only be appreciated by the one who willingly provides it for his own satisfaction.

    Very nice score and I would take the money and run if I had no intention of keeping them.

    Gary

  6. #6
    Member Heinz's Avatar
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    Keepers

    Now I'm not sure what to do for repair. I'm going to try to clean up the grills but I'm almost 100% sure I'll need to redo the material. Should I have the woofers reconed or simply refoamed? I also checked out the crossover and the Caps are accessible. Should I recap them? Remember, I am asking not for myself but rather for resale.[/quote]


    Heeeeeeyyyyy..... Dont sel.... Keep them.
    ________________________________________
    My Vintage JBL: L19x2,L26,L36 & L300, Control 5

  7. #7
    Gary L
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinz View Post
    Now I'm not sure what to do for repair. I'm going to try to clean up the grills but I'm almost 100% sure I'll need to redo the material. Should I have the woofers reconed or simply refoamed? I also checked out the crossover and the Caps are accessible. Should I recap them? Remember, I am asking not for myself but rather for resale.

    Heeeeeeyyyyy..... Dont sel.... Keep them. [/quote]

    Gee Heinz, I kind of think this says it all!

    He came here seeking opinions and info and was down right honest about it.

    "I can't justify keeping them no matter how great they are. With what they are going for nowadays on the Bay, I need much more play money then I need these. Actually I don't need these at all. I wish I could use them in place of the Paradigms but my wife put the kibosh on that idea. She likes the light color of the Paradigms and completely detests the look of the L300's".

    Gary

  8. #8
    Member Heinz's Avatar
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    Sorry Gary !!!

    I dident realised that i may not say what i think he should do with them !!!

    The in my text should say everything !!!

    Cheers / Heinz
    ________________________________________
    My Vintage JBL: L19x2,L26,L36 & L300, Control 5

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the comments guys. Actually, I love rebuilding vintage recievers and turntables so I'm looking foward to fixn' these bad boys up and hearing what they can really do!!!

    At the same time, I figured I would get a few extra bucks out of the deal. I am aware that for the value to go up they will have to be JBL authorized recone jobs...(no problem) The other stuff i.e. the grills, will not reduce the value of them if it is done well and looks good. Am I out to lunch on this???? I think a rebuilt pair of L300's will have a greater audience to cater to then a pair that needs plenty of work. The greater the audience the more potential for high bids... What do you guys think.

    I know I'm talking to the wrong crowd here. I can tell because from the data I picked up on this site....YOU GUYS LOVE THIS STUFF!!! Rebuilding and shopping for the deals. I think I want to find the guy that always wanted thoes L300's in his youth but couldn't afford them when he was young. Now, he's more established and $$ don't mean as much as having that oppertunity to own that High End Vintage System he longed for as a child.

    That is why the Bay is a good place to find your right buyer... Access to people all around the world who don't have time to rebuild or shop for L300's but have the money to buy them. I, on the other hand, simply enjoy the rebuilding process. Paticulary with electronics. I have a Pioneer SX-1980 I am currently rebuilding and a few McIntosh pieces along with a single Marantz. I'm looking forward to rebuilding these L300's, not for myself to keep but rather to gain knowledge of how to do a speaker rebuild. I have refoamed a few drivers on my own and 2 of wich were excellent jobs. Looked good and sounded good for years. It was quite rewarding. *Note: I DO NOT PLAN ON DOING THE RECONE MYSELF! JBL AUTHORIZED DEALER WILL DO IT.

    I still need help with the other stuff though. How would you guys clean the grills on these beauties?

  10. #10
    majick47
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    "Fixin L300"

    MothaFunk along with Zilch I chimed in on AK after you asked for advice. It's been a few years since I joined LH and back then I soon realized that I had a lot to learn and did my best to heed the advice of the most knowledgable people in the world re JBL speakers. It has taken me more than a couple of hours on a weekend to learn about the different JBL models/components/restoration issues that surface here and they are debated by many senior members who have a great number of years of experience with JBL speakers. You don't have to pay much attention to what I have to say but when Zilch SPEAKS here or anywhere else JBL people LISTEN. Zilch is telling you that if you don't intend to keep them for your personal use and plan to sell them DONT DO ANYTHING TO THE L300! I'm sure he has your best interests in mind and wants to see you receive their full monitary value. Anyone who can afford to purchase these speakers is well aware of what is needed to return them to top condition and is very particular as to how it is done and almost always prefer that they do it themselves or sub it out to a trusted JBL service center. Lastly I'm sure Zilch does not want to see a botched "restoration", ie washing the L300 grills in the shower, improper refoaming/reconeing and "modifing" crossovers which would destroy the integrity of your L300. In the end you will loose MONEY, many potential buyers will pass on buying your L300 and a pair of vintage JBL L300 that could of been restored to like new condition will become another pair of Ebay hit and run specials.

  11. #11
    Member bloatedpig's Avatar
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    You are practically drooling over the sound and the woofers aren't even up to par!....The moment I heard 300's I knew someday I would end up with a pair. The sound is indeed infectious. The sound totally envelopes the room, you gota hear them to believe it. Any one remotely interested in vintage JBL owes it to themselves to audition a pair. With the right source material these baby's sing. I am recently hooked on some remastered Roxy Music and The Beatles Abbey Road cd's and it is pure bliss. If you close your eyes you can hear George's fingers running over the strings plucking out "Here comes the Sun" on his acoustic guitar. You think: "This is what music was meant to sound like"...........these speakers are THAT GOOD.

    These look to be in pretty descent shape.......have the Woofs refoamed and see if Zilch can provide you with any left over correct Blue Grill cloth. At the very least they will be going up in value big time in the next 5-10 years. If I am correct, adjusted price in todays dollars for an almost $4,000.00 set of L300's in 1977 would be approx. $12,000.00 today!!!! They are built to last and with Ebay and the such spare parts will be plentifull in the upcoming years.

    Enjoy them!

    Best regards

  12. #12
    Gary L
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    NOT FAIR HEINZ! I just pointed out what he already made clear he could not do! Sure we all would say keep them and love them but my take was he needs to flip and it's never good for any of us to go against the grain when our wives detest such nice speakers and would relegate them to the garage.

    I would pull the trigger alot quicker on a completely untouched pair then I ever would with someone I don't know doing and claiming they were professionally restored. Sorry, True JBL fans would highly prefer to do it themselves and make a great project of it.

    I seriously doubt you will even get any real added value even if you get them reconed by a JBL authorized repair shop. You will have to spend some serious dollars there as well as lots of time and effort and by the time you add what you put in against what you get back you will probably find you wasted your time and effort.

    Do as you like as they sure are yours but more then a few here have already given excellent advice and answers to your questions.

    You state you got them for next to nothing and can flip them right here for a cool grand but thats not enough. Maybe others here will be willing to help you make more!

    Gary

  13. #13
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    My research revealed multiple pairs selling with the foam redone and cleaned up nicely for $2500 - $3500. Now recently ebay sold a pair in California with recones done and in mint condition (Looked great with the new cones) for over $5000 plus shipping / packing ect. I don't expect to see anything near that price but I do think these will fall in the $2000 + range.

    I can get the recone kits for $200 each or I've been told I could have them done labor "IN" at an authorized JBL dealer (recipt issued) for $300 each.

    I just want to hear these things before I part with them. I'm not really concerned about not getting my $600 back out of them.

    For example:

    Would any of you give me $1600 for L300's with brand new 135A's (recipt to prove they were done at a JBL dealer) PLUS, I'd include the old cones because all they really need is foam and perhaps a spyder after removal to be used again should you blow a voice coil? I think someone would...:dont-know

    I think they just need a gentle wipe with some pledge grab it dusters and they'll look good as new. The grills will need to be cleaned or re-upolstered. Anybody know where I might get new grill material that would look similar to the original in case I can't get them cleaned up good enough?

    Being an audio enthusist, I don't wish to entertain the idea of getting rid of them without hearing them so I'm in to the refoam or recone anyway. So flipping them as they are now is not an option. I would like some help with the cleanup and/or rebuild techniques. Any suggestions on the best safest way to clean the grills?

    I'm kinda hoping my wife will hear them and change her opinion because she too listens very close to the music. She noticed when I changed the cartridge on my TT!


    Thanks again for your time to comment on this thread. It's greatly appreciated.

    MF

  14. #14
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Pledge isn't gonna fix that crack. Of course neither will Howard's Feed-N-Wax.

    "Say the magic woid and the birdie will drop down...."

  15. #15
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Weren't 135A's white on the front? L300's took 136A's? Can only recone now with
    2235H kits anyway? Nice idea to include the old cone assemblies, if they are removed
    carefully.

    If selling, I'd also leave the grille cloth alone unless you are adept with your skills.
    Original with "patina" almost always wins over original and rigourously cleaned.

    As has been mentioned, Zilch has the proper replacement cloth (in blue), and there
    are a number of useful cloth replacement recommendations that have been the subject
    of threads here.

    From the manual:
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