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Thread: What to do with my 4699b

  1. #1
    Senior Member Val's Avatar
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    What to do with my 4699b

    I happily now own a pair of 4699b Cabaret Series speakers. They are in good shape. Now I'm trying to figure out what to do with them. I don't really have much opportunity for the "sound production" that these are designed for. I then begin to think about what it would take to convert these to decent home system. The only thing I come up with seems very expensive. I post my idea here as I'd love some feedback.

    The problem is that the E155's and E110's are designed for sound production and not reproduction. So they are non-linear and add color by design. Great JBL Tech note explains this well:
    http://www.cieri.net/Documenti/JBL/T...ol.1, No.3.pdf

    But the E155's and E110's can be reconed (or traded I suppose).

    So here's the design goal: make a relatively small foot print DIY project for home listening

    Convert/trade the E155's for 2245H's
    Convert/trade the E110's for 2122's
    Sell/trade the 2370 horn for 2344 butt cheek
    Keep the 2426 (yep, it's the only component that would remain as-is)

    Then build a small-as-possible cabinet:
    2426+2344 on the top
    2122 crossover at 1300Hz @ 12db/octave
    2245H crossover at 290Hz @ 12db/octave

    Sort of a cross between 4345 and 4430 monitor.

    Thoughts?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Thoughts?

    Small as possible and 2245 seem to be at odds (8-9ft3 ?)
    Seems a shame to pillage working drivers (can you even get 2245/2212 cone kits these days?)

    Does seem like a workable group of drivers, once traded/converted... but no clear
    template to follow (active bass/mid xover from 4345... mid/high xover from? ... ideas
    could come from 4430/5, but an optimal integration would be completely DIY vs. a known
    working example). How dirty do you want to get your hands?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    Keep those drivers. Calculate a box as big as possible for the bass driver. Make a smaller box for the mid and high drivers. Purchase a 3-way digital crossover and shape the sound to your liking.

    The e155 as an Fs of 30Hz. Not bad. And it is a fast woofer with a low Qts of .20

    At least that is what I would do. 10cft bass enclosure and a satellite on top.

    You need one sheet of 4'x8' to build a 10cft cab. Plus some spares for bracings.

    BTW Trading your e155 for some 2245 would be very positive thinking. Those are not in the same price range. I wouldn't pay more than $100 for an e155 while a 2245 commands $200.00 to $350.00 depending of shape.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Val's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    Small as possible and 2245 seem to be at odds (8-9ft3 ?)
    You are right, even a "small" cabinet would probably end up being about 9 cu ft.

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    Seems a shame to pillage working drivers (can you even get 2245/2212 cone kits these days?)
    I know, right? These have not seen heavy use and are in great shape and it would be a shame.

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    mid/high xover from?
    1300 Hz is also from the 4345

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    How dirty do you want to get your hands?
    Fairly dirty

  5. #5
    Senior Member Val's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee in Montreal View Post
    Keep those drivers. Calculate a box as big as possible for the bass driver. Make a smaller box for the mid and high drivers. Purchase a 3-way digital crossover and shape the sound to your liking.

    The e155 as an Fs of 30Hz. Not bad. And it is a fast woofer with a low Qts of .20

    At least that is what I would do. 10cft bass enclosure and a satellite on top.

    You need one sheet of 4'x8' to build a 10cft cab. Plus some spares for bracings.

    BTW Trading your e155 for some 2245 would be very positive thinking. Those are not in the same price range. I wouldn't pay more than $100 for an e155 while a 2245 commands $200.00 to $350.00 depending of shape.
    I like the digital crossover idea, that would allow for experimenting.

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    Keep those drivers. Calculate a box as big as possible for the bass driver. Make a smaller box for the mid and high drivers. Purchase a 3-way digital crossover and shape the sound to your liking.
    Good thinking. I am very happy with my miniDSP 4x10 HD

  7. #7
    Senior Member Val's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee in Montreal View Post
    Keep those drivers.
    I would like to except for these two things. These speakers, in their current factory condition, do not sound good with recorded music (they do fine with live voice and band). And, after reading the JBL tech note in the first post above, I think I see why, they are not linear by design. I think some eq and different crossover freq might help, but the non-linearity is not addressed by either of those. I'm certainly open to more input on this but I remain unconvinced that the E series would ever be satisfactory home speakers. Anybody running E155/E110 in a home environment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee in Montreal View Post
    BTW Trading your e155 for some 2245 would be very positive thinking. Those are not in the same price range. I wouldn't pay more than $100 for an e155 while a 2245 commands $200.00 to $350.00 depending of shape.
    I was afraid of that

  8. #8
    Senior Member Val's Avatar
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    So it's been over 4 years since I updated this post...and the 4699B's are still looming in my garage. Lately I've started obsessing about what is the very smallest form factor cabinet I can build for these drivers. I also had the opportunity to hear some of Siegfried Linkwitz speakers which opened my eyes to dipole speakers.

    I'm accepting the fact that E155/E110/2425 drivers are not designed for in home fidelity...but I own them and I'm getting the DIY bug!

    I've put together a design concept (attached). Feel free to comment.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Member turnitdown's Avatar
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    JBL specs the E155 in a 6 cu. ft. box tuned to 40Hz. That should give you great bass in room. Build a small box for the mid and set the horn on top. Use the factory crossover, then tune to taste. Those should sound just fine for hi-fi. They come with the promise of compromise, just like any other speaker OR add a sub and leave as is. The components are decent, the box is too small.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    Perhaps you can be inspired by Kef's famous 105 serie

    Large bass bin and small "satellites" on top. Large box could do 30-80Hz. If you have a WAF factor to respect, then a cab is as big as what can be seen from the front. Therefore, if you make your narrow - let's say 21" wide and 24" deep by 36" tall - then you can end up with some serious volume. Yup. That's almost 10cft internal volume... ;-) But make it "only" 24 inch tall and it's a tad above 6cft. ;-)


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    Member turnitdown's Avatar
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    Purty, and the best use of real estate AND social acceptance factor.

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    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    Hi Val;

    While it’s true that producers are usually not linear like reproducers attempt to be, the E110 is quite linear save for it’s rising response and this is easily leveled with a single pole low pass filter.

    While high efficiency drivers can be eq’d level, high efficiency cannot be eq’d into low efficiency drivers.

    Thinking about Lee’s suggestion, a 2342 biradial horn is the same size as the E110 and they look great stacked together and are naturally very nearly time aligned.

    That stackup E155, E110, 2426/2342 utilizing dsp like a dbx 260 or 360 with proper crossover, alignment and eq, the sound quality would surprize a lot of people. With some sub it would floor them.

    The picture you posted could be great for reproducing percussion! I have thought about that style for an ambitious 24 track reproduction system,,, someday.
    Barry.
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

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    The E155 & E110 can't be considered as serious music reproducers primarily because of the metal dustcaps and the lighter cones ( the light cone manifesting it's presence in too low an MMS figure for low bass > for the BL figure ).

    Both of the above factors are addressable to a great degree.

    Dust-caps can be changed out for whatever JBL type goes along with the ( 2123 or 2122 ) & ( 2240 / 2245 ) > or slathered in revoable window caulking goop .

    Cone weight can be added in the form of aquaplas ( or even some Hill-Billy Aquaplas by using something likeDuratex cabinet paint as a substitute ) .

    Since your in California, I think it'd just be easier to give all 4 drivers to Ken ( Edgewound > since he has the aquaplas on-hand ) and ask him to make them as HiFi ready as possible .

    I don't consider Xmax ( limitations ) as a deal killer here as long as the volume knob is kept in check ( & maybe using a higher overall box tuning on the 18" ) .

    Just Saying my 2cents.


  14. #14
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    JBL used the E110’s in the 4680? Line array used as speech reinforcement systems.

    It’s funny that about half the audio club meeting I have attended the hosts avoid speech only like crazy. Funny.

    I have never asked an audio club host to do this but a very interesting and revealing test of any speaker is an open quality vocal mic and your own voice. I do this as one of many tests with most all of my speaker creations nowdays.

    If you band limit E110’s with a bit of signal shaping they are pretty amazing.

    I am not saying the E series is intended for hifi but if ya gottem, rockem.

    I have a bunch of E110’s. Also some E130’s with felt caps, pretty close to 2220’s.

    Anyway I hope you have fun with that stuff.

    Barry
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

  15. #15
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Hi Val,

    I wouldn't start with the idea of getting rid of everything (except 2426 as you mentioned) and build from scratch, but rather try to SAVE the present boxes with some improvements, considering things are in good condition. Yours must be a more recent edition of 4699B with a 2426, since the initial ones came with a 2425 compression driver (See Cabaret Series brochure 12/86). The more recent 4699B Technical Manual, 09/03, Rev. F I have mentions the 2426.

    In practice, your "worst" sound reproduction offender may be the E-110 with its rising response and covering 500-2k hz (the boxe's two x-over freq.). It could be easier and cheaper to just replace the E-110 with another more suitable driver for mid reproduction, not necessarily from JBL because of availability/price. For thinner wallets, you may want to look at some Eminence or Peavey (USA) or Fane (UK) drivers for example. For thicker wallets, you can add B & C, RCF, 18 Sound, Faital Pro, etc.

    Try to find a suitable and better behaved 10" first. This may do the trick with less work, hassle and money... Pack the E-110 and keep them for future use or in case you ever sell the boxes.

    Don't be fooled by the 4699B's stated 103 db sensitivity rating in the Cabaret Series 12/86 brochure: JBL used the 4 ohms version of the E-155 to raise the sensitivity rating. Watts = voltage squared divided by resistance, or stated differently: W = V^2 / R or impedance. Therefore, the standard 2.83 volts used for sensitivity ratings will produce 2 watts in a 4 ohms load instead of 1 watt in the usual 8 ohms load... Double the power leads to 3 db more sensitivity! The 8 ohms version of the E-155 is rated at 100 db sensitivity according to E-Series Woofers brochure.

    Moreover, the sensitivity ratings of JBL's E Series drivers is measured, as mentioned in the above brochure, between 500-2500 hz (leading to higher numbers with rising response), instead of the usual 100- 500 hz they normally use for low frequency drivers (e.g. 2225, 2235 spec sheets). When you cut through the impedance trick and the marketing, in real life you'll probably have an actual woofer sensitivity more around 95-97 db for the real low end below about 250 hz. That gives some hint for the type of sensitivity to look for in a replacement 10" driver. There's already an L-Pad on the compression driver according to the schematic of the x-over in the 4699B (See Technical Manual, 09/03, Rev. F).

    This is interesting with regards to the choice of 10" drivers you may find, it opens up more doors to you. "Extreme" driver sensitivity ratings are often the attribute of non-linear or not as well behaved drivers... John Eargle of JBL called that "mid-band sensitivity" ratings in his Loudspeaker Handbook, as well as in his Handbook of Sound System Design. I fully agree with his expression. I'm more interested in real low end.

    BTW I tried some quick modeling in Winspeakers software of the E-110 and E-155 to get some indication of the rising response Barry mentioned here for E-110, and have seen about + 2+ db > 200 hz for the E-110 and + 1 db > 250 hz for the E-155. The latter's doesn't appear to be the major concern to me, considering the following.

    In my view, the E-155 crossed-over around 250 hz to a suitable more fidelity 10" driver should cure a good part of your reproduction issue and defeats most of the little rising response. Naturally, you'll need to consider baffle hole diameter, sensitivity, frequency response uniformity, acceptable range, power capacity, etc. "It goes without saying, but it goes better by saying it" as sage man Talleyrand said!

    If money permits, you may even go the tri-amp way (Cabaret brochure says these are tri-amp ready), with EQ if need be, as other members have mentioned here, since that gives you more flexibility to match driver sensitivities and to decide on x-over frequencies you want/drivers can handle. Depending on the age of your 4699B cabinets, you may have to up-date some on-board x-over components anyway in the future...

    Richard

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