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Thread: JBL 4411 Cabinet restoration.

  1. #1
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    JBL 4411 Cabinet restoration.

    Sorry if this question is in a sticky but do any of you have any experience with restoring the veneer on JBL 4411 cabinets? The pair that I'm working on have been badly treated in the past and I'd like to knock back the finish and reseal with Danish Oil. The end product won't be spectacular but it should be presentable.

    Is this recommended? Is it even real wood or a vinyl repro?

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Senior Member macaroonie's Avatar
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    Couple of pics would help......

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    Pics to follow

    Quote Originally Posted by macaroonie View Post
    Couple of pics would help......


    Yes, sorry about that! I'll get some pics up today.

    Matt

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    I have a pair and they were veneered. It looks like previous owner took off the top layers, so the walnut finish is gone. What was left was the rough core of the veneer. I ended up smothly sanding and oiling mine with Watco. They came out okay, just lighter a colour than original.

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    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    JBL's vintage black walnut veneer is the same shade all the way through. What gives them the darker hue is the linseed oil and turpentine, which darkens pretty quickly with age. But the deeper you sand the lighter the color as you remove the original finish. If you want to reproduce the original reddish hue, simply use the same oil and turpentine and wait for it.

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    Senior Member Audiobeer's Avatar
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    The 4411 veneers are very very thin, got to be carefoull. Pictures are a "Must" to guide you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Audiobeer View Post
    The 4411 veneers are very very thin, got to be carefoull. Pictures are a "Must" to guide you
    Wise words.

    I've had to take the veneer back quite a long way and the wood is noticeably lighter.

    So what do we think for the new finish? I'm not that worried about restoring the original hue but I would like it to look tidy.

    Do I go for the oil & turpentine and try for the original look to or go with what I know and use oil & wax?

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    4411 Crossover Lead Polarity

    I've been following Lansing Heritage for some time, but this is my first post. I recently restored a pair of 4411 cabinets that were empty except for the crossovers and level controls. I already had the correct drivers. A previous owner cut the polarized male and female connectors off the ends of the MR and HF leads from the crossovers. I know which pairs go to which drivers (LF: green + / green black -; MR: white + / white black -; HF: yellow + / yellow black -). Does anyone out there in JBL Land know which crimp-on connectors, male or female, go on the ends of the leads from the crossover? The mids sound harsh...brighter than the typical 'brightness' one expects from a JBL 3-way 12" monitor. I'm thinking I may have a polarity issue, or perhaps a cap problem in the crossovers. I'm hoping it's polarity.

    I have a bunch of vintage JBL speakers, drivers, and crossovers...my wife refers to them as my mid-life crisis...and will be asking more questions. This is a great resource!

  9. #9
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    4411 Cabinet Restoration

    Audioduck...my 4411 cabinets had some deep scratches and holes on the tops. I filled the holes with DAP walnut plastic wood and sanded the cabinets with 100 and 180 grit paper. What others who contribute to this thread wrote about the veneer being thin is true. I was very careful when sanding, especially near the edges. I cleaned the cabinets with denatured alcohol and applied and rubbed two coats of Watco Danish oil. I let the second coat of Danish oil dry for 24 hours, and then filled the scratches with Minwax medium and dark walnut grease pencils. I vigorously rubbed the pencils across the scratches and removed the excess with a clean cloth. Others have mentioned using Tung oil. My wife strips and refinishes furniture, and she uses Tung oil religiously. I tried it once on a pair of 4406s. The end result was too red for my tastes. It wasn't the Danish walnut finish I associate with JBL speakers. I guess that's what makes a horse race.

    A few corners were damaged, and I like the look of sharp corners on a JBL cabinet. I wrapped blue tape around the damaged areas on two sides, making sure to crease it where the corners should be, and filled the gaps between the tape and the baffles with walnut plastic wood. Next day I carefully remove the tape and lightly sanded the plastic wood on all three planes. It accepted the Watco oil nicely and the repaired corners look great. They are subject to damage...plastic wood has no structural integrity...but it will hold up well as long as one is very careful when moving the speakers.

    With a fresh coat of flat black, front and rear, before installing the crossovers and drivers, the finished products look good. Granted, one can see some of the repairs when looking closely. But 'they are part of the speakers' story'. Someone on this site once wrote, "A lot of audio of audio gear is good. More audio gear is better. Too much audio gear is just right." The process of getting there is part of the experience and is as rewarding as the end result. Enjoy!

  10. #10
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    4411 Cabinet Restoration

    Audioduck...my 4411 cabinets had some deep scratches and holes on the tops. I filled the holes with DAP walnut plastic wood and sanded the cabinets with 100 and 180 grit paper. What others who contribute to this thread wrote about the veneer being thin is true. I was very careful when sanding, especially near the edges. I cleaned the cabinets with denatured alcohol and applied and rubbed two coats of Watco Danish oil. I let the second coat of Danish oil dry for 24 hours, and then filled the scratches with Minwax medium and dark walnut grease pencils. I vigorously rubbed the pencils across the scratches and removed the excess with a clean cloth. Others have mentioned using Tung oil. My wife strips and refinishes furniture, and she uses Tung oil religiously. I tried it once on a pair of 4406s. The end result was too red for my tastes. It wasn't the Danish walnut finish I associate with JBL speakers. I guess that's what makes a horse race.

    A few corners were damaged, and I like the look of sharp corners on a JBL cabinet. I wrapped blue tape around the damaged areas on two sides, making sure to crease it where the corners should be, and filled the gaps between the tape and the baffles with walnut plastic wood. Next day I carefully remove the tape and lightly sanded the plastic wood on all three planes. It accepted the Watco oil nicely and the repaired corners look great. They are subject to damage...plastic wood has no structural integrity...but it will hold up well as long as one is very careful when moving the speakers.

    With a fresh coat of flat black, front and rear, before installing the crossovers and drivers, the finished products look good. Granted, one can see some of the repairs when looking closely. But 'they are part of the speakers' story'. Someone on this site once wrote, "A lot of audio of audio gear is good. More audio gear is better. Too much audio gear is just right." The process of getting there is part of the experience and is as rewarding as the end result. Enjoy!

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