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Thread: Another sad day for JBL

  1. #31
    Senior Member Horn Fanatic's Avatar
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    This should come as no surprise. Sid Harman began pissing on the JBL legacy 25 years ago. The JBL we grew up with was abandoned long ago.
    Soon will come a time when JBL products will be fodder for land fills. Eventually the company will suffer the same fate as ALTEC Lansing,
    sold off to the highest bidder to people who have no interest in audio products other than market share and to make a quick buck off a legendary name.

    Perhaps if Harman had focused his attention on JBL, rather than buying up as many audio and musical instrument product manufacturers as he could,
    his company wouldn't be in shambles. I lay the blame for the demise of JBL at his door step.

  2. #32
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    maybe for you , but I will listen to them tomorrow and bet they sound same as today.

    maybe classic JBL was akin to Camelot ... a great period in time that has now disappeared. That may make the classics even MORE valuable to me.

    didn't you switch to other brands before the Harmin' legacy suicide ?
    I did try other brands for the home theater, (and sold them off).
    The TV room has UREI 809s as mains and side surrounds,
    (they were bought by JBL and have concentric JBL drivers) plus,
    I still have L20T in the office, and L19s by the treadmill downstairs ...

    Remember, even when I had other speakers,
    my pride and joy was the L200Bs upstairs - until this silliness started.
    I sold them for a fair price and we both were happy with that deal.

    But - this is not about my choices - its about Harmin' taking a dump on their legacy ...
    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
    7.1: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460

  3. #33
    Senior Member Doc Mark's Avatar
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    Good Morning, Greg, and All,

    Personally, I was already disgusted with the current crop of idiots that run JBL, so this news was expected, though still very sad. I agree with those to believe that owning Legacy systems is more important than ever, and I am exceedingly happy that I have the different systems, and components I own, all made during the Halcyon years at JBL!!! People who listen to our JBL's are awestruck, and can't believe what they are enjoying is coming from a set of speakers! So, we'll keep our quality JBL's until they can no longer be maintained, and will continue to enjoy them, every single time we listen to music played back through them!!! I always think of you, Greg, when even LOOKING at our L300's, L250's, and the other systems that are in the works!! I'm sure that others do that, too. So, though you and Jerry are no longer with JBL, and the eventual and total demise of that once great company is rushing headlong to it's sad conclusion, your "presence" will continue to live, through all the wonderful products and systems you designed!!!! Thank you, so very much, for your talents, skills, and love of what you do, and what you will do in the future!!! I'm PROUD to own, enjoy, and love some of the wonderful systems that you designed!! Best of luck, and God Bless you in what whatever you decide to do in the future! Take care, and again, God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
    The only thing that can never be taken away from you, is your honor. Cherish it, in yourself, and in others.

  4. #34
    Member Flaesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtimbers View Post
    .. products, not yet to market, are a pair of stunning in wall systems using a compression driver and horn. They still fit into a standard 4" wall. I worked with him on these products a bit before my demise. They are absolutely outstanding..
    Mr. Timbers, can you tell more about this systems?..
    el goregrind es cultura

  5. #35
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Smile

    What l find ethically wrong is that they are using the legacy as a cover story to drive the JBL consumer brand but the business now has nothing in common with the legacy now.

    The story is much about the work the Greg, Jerry and others did and the culture that evolved.

    I really don't see how you can run that story with the way the business operates now and without the key people who delivered the legacy. I recall a You tube video of the JBL hall of fame and a JBL engineer saying this is how we do stuff.

    That needs to be edited to the way we used to do stuff.

    The passion, the talent and the years of engagement form a big part of your life and when this happens its devestating.

    Meanwhile the CEO is having his self styled orgasm over how he turned the business into something bigger and better.

    The simple reality is that in the consumer markets the brand ended and it would have been better if it ceased but he needed the name to push the corporate growth.

    It's fine to be opportunistic but many would liken this change to stealing a brand?

  6. #36
    Member sebackman's Avatar
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    I am very sad to see this era of JBL excellence being dismantled bit by bit. Hearing about fantastic experience, creativity and knowledge just being wasted is indeed discouraging. It is especially disappointing to hear about the way this is being done and the apparent lack of insight in the JBL brand value & heritage at Harman Group. That is where it all started.

    It is brilliant that Mr Timbers does take the time to help us out here on the forum. Such help/ information is invaluable, especially for us that make our living in completely other areas and have started to understand that the more we learn the less we know. Hat’s off.

    I’m an investment banker by trade & profession and I took a look at the Harman Group’s numbers . The story becomes brutally clear when reading them. The other business areas are growing rapidly with increasing earnings while “Professional” is more or less at a standstill since several years. If this is due to that the group resources have been allocated to the other divisions or the fact that there are more car & mobile phone owners in the world than audiophiles is difficult to se. The acquisition in the group lately has also been targeted towards the other divisions. In 2015 the “Infotainment ” now “Connected Car” division grew beyond 3 times the size of “Professional” and with an nominal EBITDA growth of 33% while “Professional“ only had 8%. “Lifestyle”, where “Luxury Audio” is a piece alongside automotive and others, is about twice the size of “Professional” and when looking at the presentations there is no doubt that the “automotive” & “portable” part seems to be where the growth is . The writing has been on the wall for some time it appears.

    However, as sad it may be for us die hard JBL fan’s, it is crystal clear where Harman Group is moving and why. Shareholders in general and passive investors as funds in particular have no “feelings” and there is limited room for pricing historic achievements when driving share price. For the CEO’s of today, the quarterly earnings philosophy rules. It used to be “quality is everything” but now it is “growth is everything”. History will show us if that is the right formula, I personally have my doubts.

    How that will turn out in the long run is of course difficult to predict. Some companies have managed to re-invent themselves and keep the old customers and gain new ones. Others have slowly faded away as they lost their heritage.

    Nothing in the corporate story above does justify the way Mr Timers, and apparently others subsequently, were treated. On the contrary, employees that have brought so much value for so many years deserve to be treated with respect and gratitude, regardless if their position is changed or terminated. Good old decency seems to be a currency in decay, too bad.

    One can only hope that somewhere down the timeline there is a newfound understanding of the values that made the brand strong and where it all started. Maybe JBL/Harman eventually decides to follow the path of many other companies that live off of their historic achievements & brand recognition and start a separate “vintage” division/unit to care for and cherish the values that made them great.

    This has become common in auto industry and both Porsche, Mercedes and Ferrari have over the last few years started their own “in-house” service and restore business to service the customer who still live and breathe all the old values that made them great. It has become evident that products are in most cases rather short lived but the perceived brand value among customers can be very stable if well managed.

    Maybe the “rights” to the vintage JBL products could be bought or licensed from Harman and a JBL vintage company could be formed to serve all the “vintage” JBL products owners globally. There should be a large “installed base” with enough paying customers to run such small scale speciality operation. With brilliant resources as mentioned above (GT, JM and others) no longer restricted by NDA’s to Harman there is invaluable resources to consult for insights and experience. Crowd funding?

    These are of course just observations blended with plain dreams. However, with the alternative being a possible slow death of one of the great names in audiophile market such dreams where talented people, experience and knowledge can again be put to valuable use, to the delight of us JBL nut’s, are truly worth dreaming

    Kind regards and best of luck to the JBL icons mentioned above to find new prosperous hunting ground

    //RoB
    The solution to the problem changes the problem.
    -And always remember that all of your equipment was made by the lowest bidder

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    That needs to be edited to the way we used to do stuff.


    This guy "discovered a great company with the most iconic brands in audio and a very good reputation in the auto industry" and stole it.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    This guy "discovered a great company with the most iconic brands in audio and a very good reputation in the auto industry" and stole it.

    That about sums it up

  9. #39
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Makes you wonder if a crowd funding would be the way to bring the authentic JBL brand back to life?

    Something along the lines of Great Plains Audio.

    The other option might be for Greg and Jerry walk right up to TAD front door and finish what Bart started.

  10. #40
    Senior Member spkrman57's Avatar
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    Cool Jbl rip

    I'm glad I have older JBL drivers since there is no future hope JBL will be as great as the old days!

    Ron sends..

    I'm glad I was there for some if the glorydays!!!
    JBL Pro for home use!

  11. #41
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    Top Engineers purged

    The forced departure of Jerry, and that of Greg earlier constitute a great cultural (counter)
    revolution at Harman/JBL. We have seen foreshocks of this in the move to machilidora manufacturing. The product development at JBL has been brilliant, lead by these two genius engineers, and now even their recent efforts have become legacy. The new CEO level leadership did not steal the company, rather turned it into a capitalist dream of monetary return. The mba speak is honest, if deplorable, and contrary to my belief of the basis of value. It does not sound like music to me, rather like a burned voice coil.

  12. #42
    Senior Member NWCgrad's Avatar
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    Another body blow to a once great company. The MBA mentality is very shortsighted as it erodes the existing consumer support base for new consumers in higher growth areas. The problem is the high growth areas today are all about portability, convenience and style....three trends which are fluid and hard to maintain consumer loyalty.

    Globalization is not the future, it's the now and this is a small microcosm of the effect. Instead of maintaining current operations with expansion into new developing markets it is easier to move production from higher cost countries to countries with low cost. The CEO's closing of the LA facility to send a message is damning in my view.

    One supposedly unforeseeable aspect of this is an actual decrease in global wages as countries compete to win new facilities by reducing labor costs. Instead of being a force raising living wages often in countries like Cambodia the wages for people have not increased (but on the flip side there are a lot more jobs). I am not an economist, howevert lived for two years in Cambodia working in the US Embassy and it was an eye opening experience.

    Reading the link from the first page made me sick.

  13. #43
    Member gmarascortt's Avatar
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    I hate corporate America.....so very sad and disgusting. Thanks Greg and Jerry for all the great precision products you and others engineered!
    I will cherish all of my vintage JBL speakers for as long as I live! Thank you for the memories and future listening pleasures....
    250Ti, 18Ti, L77, L96, L112, L36, 4412, Control 29 AV, Altec: 1204B, 9849-8B, 511 Towers, 7 SeriesII

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlyons View Post
    The forced departure of Jerry, and that of Greg earlier constitute a great cultural (counter)
    revolution at Harman/JBL. We have seen foreshocks of this in the move to machilidora manufacturing. The product development at JBL has been brilliant, lead by these two genius engineers, and now even their recent efforts have become legacy. The new CEO level leadership did not steal the company, rather turned it into a capitalist dream of monetary return. The mba speak is honest, if deplorable, and contrary to my belief of the basis of value. It does not sound like music to me, rather like a burned voice coil.
    "maquiladora"

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmarascortt View Post
    I hate corporate America.....so very sad and disgusting.
    What a stupid remark..............if you need a target to "hate" on then try the sheeple with their voting and buying habits...........along with their THEIR "sad and disgusting" ignorance and gullibility

    No one (not many anyway) wants to think long term anymore and no one wants to pay the price of good stewardship, so there you have it

    A great deal of over analysis here and deep philosophical -this began long long ago, JBL simply was able to resist the inevitable longer than many

    It was and is the stupidity of the majority of Americans that is responsible for this decline in our manufacturing base-we have no else to blame but ourselves....................that and the "digital narcotic" that's rotting the brains of the current generation

    Thomas

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