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Thread: L100T's Thanks to Heather (hjames)!

  1. #1
    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    L100T's Thanks to Heather (hjames)!

    You know, participating in a forum such as this is really cool because of all the technical information one can gleen and all the great ideas that are passed around. But what's really neat is how you can meet some really great people who can make your day.

    Case in point is Heather (Hjames). As you can see in another post, a group of us met in Tyson's Corner yesterday to check out the Harman traveling demo truck. I had been meaning to email the group over the past few weeks to let them know I'm in the market for a pair of L80T or L100T as a "fixer upper" project for me and my oldest son, Liam. When making the preparations to meet via email, Heather told me about a pair of L100T's she was thinking of getting. I told her that if she decided to not purchase them, or if she wanted to resell them later (at market value), I'd be happy to grab them.

    We discussed it a little more when we all met in Tyson's. Later in the afternoon, Heather called me and mulled it over and offered to let me buy them directly from the seller because she thought the father/son fixer upper idea was cool. Of course, I jumped at the chance.

    Oh yeah, I didn't tell you the price. Only $100!!!!!!!

    Well, the seller was only about 12 miles from my house. I just got back from picking them up and they are really nice and are going to be a great project pair of speakers. Here's the skinny:

    Woofers: Both are in fine mechanical shape, but need new foam and a little cleaning. No biggie, a Rick Cobb special will be ordered ASAP.

    Mids: Both are in very good shape; just need a little cleaning.

    Tweeters: One is working and is in good shape. One is not working, but I haven't had a chance to see if it's blown or if there's some other reason.

    Cabinets: They have some small chips on them and a couple scratches and water stains, but hey, these are project speakers! We might build new ones out of MDF with more bracing or we might re-veneer them. Liam would like them to be black ash. If anyone knows how to do a proper black finish to ash, please let me know.

    Grills: One grill has a few broken pegs. If we make new cabinets of different dimensions, this will be a moot point. But Liam had a great idea that we'll try if we just we reveneer the cabinets. Since the grills are just lightweight plastic, he suggested we cut off all the grill pegs and glue on magnets. Then we could put the opposite magnets under the new veneer! Cool idea!

    JBL Decals: I'll post pictures below, but you'll note that the JBL decals on the backs are different from each other. One is a darker black, is textured, and has the serial number printed on it. The other is smooth, lighter black, and has no serial number. There's a white paper sticker on the input terminal with what I think is the serial number for that speaker. So, they're either a miss-matched pair from different manufacturing runs, or maybe one is a Chinese knock-off?

    Crossovers: I'm thinking of upgrading them to T3 status. At a minimum, I'll replace all the caps with better quality ones. And, I'll improve the internal wiring just because it will be easy and inexpensive.

    If anybody has any cool ideas, please let them flow!

    And a GREAT BIG thanks to Heather from me and Liam.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    What a grin on Liam's face - great!
    That's the whole point - glad to see it works out so well ...

    Those cool Revel in-wall speakers we saw had Magnet grills - Liam's got a great idea!

    Any other ideas - yep!
    Move the ports to the front! Rear ports mean the have to stand proud of the wall - and take up more room than they need to!
    I haven't done that to my L100T/T3s yet, but it was a nice improvement to the L60Ts I had a couple years back! With them, I matched front port placement to my L20T speakers. If you use a drill saw, you can glue the plug you get from drilling the front to fill the old hole in the back!

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    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
    7.1: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460

  4. #4
    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Those cool Revel in-wall speakers we saw had Magnet grills - Liam's got a great idea!

    Any other ideas - yep!
    Move the ports to the front! Rear ports mean the have to stand proud of the wall - and take up more room than they need to!
    I haven't done that to my L100T/T3s yet, but it was a nice improvement to the L60Ts I had a couple years back! With them, I matched front port placement to my L20T speakers. If you use a drill saw, you can glue the plug you get from drilling the front to fill the old hole in the back!
    Yes, he said he got the idea from the Revel speakers yesterday.

    And I like the idea of moving the ports to the front as they will be in his bedroom replacing some Large Advents and the real estate is a little tight.

    They'll be powered by a vintage Pioneer SX-950 receiver. The system is pretty good right now, but with these L100T's, it's going to be awesome! Can you imagine having such a cool system when you were 13? My parents would have kicked me outta the house for cracking the drywall.

    Me: Dad: Mom:

  5. #5
    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svollmer View Post

    JBL Decals: I'll post pictures below, but you'll note that the JBL decals on the backs are different from each other. One is a darker black, is textured, and has the serial number printed on it. The other is smooth, lighter black, and has no serial number. There's a white paper sticker on the input terminal with what I think is the serial number for that speaker. So, they're either a miss-matched pair from different manufacturing runs, or maybe one is a Chinese knock-off?
    The drivers, grill guides, little plastic footers, and input terminals are removed. The 2214H woofers have what appear to be two different date stamps, so this might explain why the decals are different. The internal wires are also a little different; all of the negative wires have black stripes on them. I guess they are from different production runs. One woofer has " 090586 " and the other has " 060387 ".

    We checked the continuity of the non-working 035Ti and we got zippo. So, I guess I'll hunt down a diaphram or replacement tweeter. Other than that, all looks well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Uncle Paul's Avatar
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    Great father-son project! I like the idea about moving the port as well as the clever usage of the left over plug.
    "Zobel is as zobel does"

  7. #7
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Paul View Post
    I like the idea about moving the port as well as the clever usage of the left over plug.
    Just like our Heather; give, give, give!

    I'd repair the system as stock (with respect to the port position) and see what you think of it. The rear port on my L7s and L5s doesn't really pose a problem even when they're only inches from the rear wall, especially when angled. I somehow doubt the woofer in the L100T will be the least bit challenged in your son's bedroom! The rear port becomes an issue when you cram the bookshelf speakers into an actual bookshelf—probably why the L20T is front-ported—and on the L60T (like Heather's) simply because its woofer might need all the help it can get.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."óGreg Timbers

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    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    We're still mulling over how to finish them. We're now thinking that if he wants them black, we might just patch the dings in the existing walnut finish, sand them smooth and refinish black without re-veneering them first. If so, I'll probably leave the port in the back. If, however, we decided to re-veneer them, we're open to much more options and will look seriously at moving the port.

    Anyone have a suggestion on how to get a nice black finish? We're not shooting for mirror black gloss. Just a nice black, probably semi-gloss. And I don't think it would hurt if grain showed through either.

    BTW: Rick Cobb kits are on order!

    Also, I pulled the 035Ti apart and the VC is shorted. The foam behind the dome is gooky too as others have experienced. I'll search for a used 035Ti or a beat-up pair of monitors with donor 035Ti's.

  9. #9
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    A couple of the folks who have refinished speakers have used bondo-type automotive body filler to apply a smoothing coat over the wood veneer to get an auto-body type finish ... if you didn't go through all the finish layers to get the super-smooth coat,
    you would probably have some grain left ...

    Doesn't he want the shiney shiney revel-type speakers?

    Quote Originally Posted by svollmer View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    We're still mulling over how to finish them. We're now thinking that if he wants them black, we might just patch the dings in the existing walnut finish, sand them smooth and refinish black without re-veneering them first. If so, I'll probably leave the port in the back. If, however, we decided to re-veneer them, we're open to much more options and will look seriously at moving the port.

    Anyone have a suggestion on how to get a nice black finish? We're not shooting for mirror black gloss. Just a nice black, probably semi-gloss. And I don't think it would hurt if grain showed through either.

    BTW: Rick Cobb kits are on order!

    Also, I pulled the 035Ti apart and the VC is shorted. The foam behind the dome is gooky too as others have experienced. I'll search for a used 035Ti or a beat-up pair of monitors with donor 035Ti's.
    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
    7.1: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460

  10. #10
    Senior Member JuniorJBL's Avatar
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    I use a thinned down wood filler to fill wood grain. I use woodwise wood filler from my hardwood supplier.
    Always fun learning more.......

  11. #11
    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuniorJBL View Post
    I use a thinned down wood filler to fill wood grain. I use woodwise wood filler from my hardwood supplier.
    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    A couple of the folks who have refinished speakers have used bondo-type automotive body filler to apply a smoothing coat over the wood veneer to get an auto-body type finish ... if you didn't go through all the finish layers to get the super-smooth coat,
    you would probably have some grain left ...

    Doesn't he want the shiney shiney revel type speakers?
    Thanks guys; I like those ideas. I think filling in the grain would lead to a much better finish coat. Maybe we could then take them to an auto-body shop to have them shot in a nice finish. I don't think I could do a nice finish from cans.

    And yes Heather, I'm sure he'd LOVE the shiney Revel speakers. Maybe he'll let me trade his college savings and we could both enjoy them!

  12. #12
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svollmer View Post
    Thanks guys; I like those ideas. I think filling in the grain would lead to a much better finish coat. Maybe we could then take them to an auto-body shop to have them shot in a nice finish. I don't think I could do a nice finish from cans.
    I agree, but realize that automotive paint will magnify any surface imperfections and not hide them. If you don't want to pay the shop to prep the surface you will need to fill the grain with a suitable filler that won't shrink or react with the top coat and you will need to sand them smooth, smooth, smooth... a good project but expect to put some time into it.

    If I were doing the project I'd spray Evercoat Feather Fill... assuming you don't have a compressor and spray equipment you can spread this flowable "bondo" , Evercoat Glaze Coat. Both require careful sanding and some dedicated time put in, but you will end up with a surface that the body shop can then prime and spray without paying them to spend hours of prep.

    If you do use either product, buy a respirator... the fumes are rather strong and not at all healthy. I attribute all of my bouts of insanity to years of handling these and similar products improperly.


    Widget

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    Great father-son experience. Looking forward to the ongoing narrative.

    Are we going to get any quotes from Liam?
    Out.

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    Senior Member svollmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    Great father-son experience. Looking forward to the ongoing narrative.

    Are we going to get any quotes from Liam?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    I agree, but realize that automotive paint will magnify any surface imperfections and not hide them. If you don't want to pay the shop to prep the surface you will need to fill the grain with a suitable filler that won't shrink or react with the top coat and you will need to sand them smooth, smooth, smooth... a good project but expect to put some time into it.

    If I were doing the project I'd spray Evercoat Feather Fill... assuming you don't have a compressor and spray equipment you can spread this flowable "bondo" , Evercoat Glaze Coat. Both require careful sanding and some dedicated time put in, but you will end up with a surface that the body shop can then prime and spray without paying them to spend hours of prep.

    If you do use either product, buy a respirator... the fumes are rather strong and not at all healthy. I attribute all of my bouts of insanity to years of handling these and similar products improperly.


    Widget
    Thanks Widget! I hope I'm not getting in over my head on the refinishing . I'll talk tonight with him so we can decide exactly which route we (okay, mostly he) wants to take. I'm up for anything and thrilled that he's thrilled with the speakers and is excited about doing this project with his pop. I remember fondly going with my dad to Luskin's, George's, Dixie Hi-Fi, German Hi-Fi, and Myer-Emco to check out stereo equipment. I hope he'll remember this in the same way; I know I will.

    Dome - I'll be sure Liam posts a few comments himself too. And I'll be sure to post pictures of the process. I'll take some tonight of the disassembled tweeter and maybe the x-overs. I'm thinking of a suitable replacement for the melting foam in the 035Ti. I'm thinking maybe carving some felt in the shape might work.

    Thanks everyone!

  15. #15
    Senior Member louped garouv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svollmer View Post
    Thanks everyone!
    and thanks to you for keeping the legacy alive...

    although you'll be sorry when he starts putting down things like
    'bubble back 375s' and 'truextent diaphragms' on his christmas wish list!


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