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Thread: Found me some 4311's

  1. #1
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    Cool Found me some 4311's

    Hello everybody. My first post here but I found some JBL 4311 WX-A that need a bunch of help to get back to running order. The previous owner had screwed hangers in the top of them to hang them in his shop where they evidently were subject to some moisture. The cabinets have some separation in the corners from the moisture but nothing too severe

    I have been reading various threads here to gain an understanding of restoring these. My plans for the cabinet is to fill the holes with wood putty and to bondo in the separation of the corners before I reveneer over the top. I wish I could save the original veneer but they are too far gone.

    I have pulled all of the drivers and the woofers and mids all are showing continuity but the tweeters are shot. I have a pair of LE-26 tweeters that are laying around that I plan on using. The problem with the mids is there is a water line on the cone and was wondering what is the best way to try and remove the line? I have read that an eraser may work but I have yet to make it to the store to buy an eraser.

    I need to replace the L-Pads and was wondering if the 15w versions from parts express will work fine or if I need to buy a larger watt rated L-Pad?

    I know these are not the best JBL has to offer but I just can't stand to see a good vintage speaker just sitting and rotting away from neglect.

    Other speakers that I have saved from junk shops or thrift shops are: Electrovoice Aristocrats, AR3a, AR2a, and Frazier MkIV

    I will be posting pictures later on in the week as I am at work and am going to be out of town for a couple of days.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbasse View Post
    Hello everybody. My first post here but I found some JBL 4311 WX-A that need a bunch of help to get back to running order. The previous owner had screwed hangers in the top of them to hang them in his shop where they evidently were subject to some moisture. The cabinets have some separation in the corners from the moisture but nothing too severe

    I have been reading various threads here to gain an understanding of restoring these. My plans for the cabinet is to fill the holes with wood putty and to bondo in the separation of the corners before I reveneer over the top. I wish I could save the original veneer but they are too far gone.

    I have pulled all of the drivers and the woofers and mids all are showing continuity but the tweeters are shot. I have a pair of LE-26 tweeters that are laying around that I plan on using. The problem with the mids is there is a water line on the cone and was wondering what is the best way to try and remove the line? I have read that an eraser may work but I have yet to make it to the store to buy an eraser.

    I need to replace the L-Pads and was wondering if the 15w versions from parts express will work fine or if I need to buy a larger watt rated L-Pad?

    I know these are not the best JBL has to offer but I just can't stand to see a good vintage speaker just sitting and rotting away from neglect.

    Other speakers that I have saved from junk shops or thrift shops are: Electrovoice Aristocrats, AR3a, AR2a, and Frazier MkIV

    I will be posting pictures later on in the week as I am at work and am going to be out of town for a couple of days.
    The tweeters may be reparable depending on the how and why the VC windings have opened, it is very common for the lead wires out to the connecting lugs to be broken, if not, the LE-26s will be just fine for replacements
    The water stain on the mids? Do NOT rub the cone with an eraser, post a photo of the stain and I may be able to help you with a remedy. In the meantime, leave it alone
    As for the L-pads, why do you want to replace them? If they are not damaged or burned I would advise that you thoroughly service them and reuse the originals. Alps or COSMOS made those and you are not going to find anything that fits exactly as it should AND is of comparable quality. They are high quality Japanese made wire wound controls and the stuff they sell today, although it certainly will work, is junk by comparison and just as suspect to noise from oxidation as the 40 year old originals.
    It is a labor of love and will take some time though to restore them properly but it is not difficult
    While you have your controls out, it would be to your benefit to replace the caps while you have it all apart, use the Daytons from Parts Express and add a film and foil by-pass cap of .01uF while you're at it
    The caps are your choice, I just think it'd be a good idea based on my own past experience

    They may not be the "best" JBL has to offer, but they certainly were at the top of their class in their day and are a very competent design still, by any standard
    They were fine loudspeakers then and they're fine loudspeakers today

    You will be very happy with them I am sure
    Best of luck with your new project
    Joe

  3. #3
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    I should have stated that one of the l-pads is destroyed and half of it is missing. I was going to replace all 4 but I may not now knowing they are of lesser quality. I already have Audyn Q4 caps in a shopping cart on Parts Express waiting for me to get paid on Friday.

    And ok on the eraser trick. I will not try that. Thank you


    I actually had a pair of 4311b's that I ended up trading in a deal for a Dynaco ST70. I did like the way they sounded and I knew this guy had the pair I am working on when I traded them away.

    Where would the film and foil by-pass cap be added and what is its purpose? It has been about 5 years since I last recapped a pair of speakers (AR3a).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbasse View Post
    I should have stated that one of the l-pads is destroyed and half of it is missing. I was going to replace all 4 but I may not now knowing they are of lesser quality. I already have Audyn Q4 caps in a shopping cart on Parts Express waiting for me to get paid on Friday.

    And ok on the eraser trick. I will not try that. Thank you


    I actually had a pair of 4311b's that I ended up trading in a deal for a Dynaco ST70. I did like the way they sounded and I knew this guy had the pair I am working on when I traded them away.

    Where would the film and foil by-pass cap be added and what is its purpose? It has been about 5 years since I last recapped a pair of speakers (AR3a).
    The by-pass is optional and installed in parallel with the primary value cap
    In brief, without getting into the facts and the theory behind it, it will improve the sound of the system, especially on the top end
    There are many threads here on the subject, just do a search
    JBL adopted it as standard practice with all of their networks sometime in the '80s or thereabouts
    These will work well:
    http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...citor--027-450

    As for your L-pads, if one is busted up then obviously you don't have much choice, at least for that one. If you can afford it go for all 4.

    You don't have to buy the most expensive ones they have to choose from (price is usually in line with wattage ratings) When I have to replace, I also get the ones with vented housings so I can more easily spritz them with contact cleaner and lube when new and if and when it's needed later on
    The original JBL part # was 10285, an 8 ohm, 50dB pot rated at 15 watts. One like this would be suitable and affordable
    http://www.parts-express.com/speaker...8-ohm--260-250

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbasse View Post
    ...where they evidently were subject to some moisture. The cabinets have some separation in the corners from the moisture but nothing too severe...My plans for the cabinet is to fill the holes with wood putty and to bondo in the separation of the corners before I reveneer over the top...
    Instead of filling the gap with Bondo I would recommend squirting some wood glue in there and then clamping the panels back together with pipe clamps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by audiomagnate View Post
    Instead of filling the gap with Bondo I would recommend squirting some wood glue in there and then clamping the panels back together with pipe clamps.
    Noted. Thank you. I will try that first.


    Here are the photos of the midranges with the water marks. Also I was wondering if the binging posts on the midranges were available anywhere as both of them are busted on one midrange.

    Also I noticed there was a little ding on one of my LE26 tweeters.......Is that enough to worry about.Name:  WP_20160615_001.jpg
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbasse View Post
    Noted. Thank you. I will try that first.


    Here are the photos of the midranges with the water marks. Also I was wondering if the binging posts on the midranges were available anywhere as both of them are busted on one midrange.

    Also I noticed there was a little ding on one of my LE26 tweeters.......Is that enough to worry about.
    Those mids are really rough
    I was under the impression that you only had a stain
    First, clean the frames well, start easy and work up, try something like Nevr-Dull first and if that doesn't get it you can try a mildly abrasive polish like Flitz or Maas
    Hard to tell how much of the crud is something you can wash or polish off off or if it's corrosion and how deep down in the aluminum's grain it is
    If cleaning with soap and water and or the polish won't clean them up decently you can get a couple of sheets of wet dry sandpaper, put it face up on a hard flat table and rub the drivers across it in a straight line, back and forth to remove the corrosion and brighten things up. You might even want to just do that first and be done with it, hard to say from just the photos.
    If the corrosion is too deep you may just have to do the best you can do and live with it, OR, paint your frames flat black, your call
    As for the cones? Go to an art store and buy a small bottle of genuine India ink. Real India ink has no heavy binders so it won't add any measurable mass to the cones once dry. Use a sponge brush, lightly dampened with the ink and simply paint them. It may take more than one pass and if it does be sure to let the cones dry thoroughly between coats
    Go slow, don't scrub them with the brush and let the pigment in the ink do the work
    DON'T GET THEM SOPPING WET, just a light pass
    You can speed things along with a hair dryer on WARM but don't overdo that either, the heat can compromise the drivers' adhesives
    They'll be much darker than factory fresh was but will look a hell of a lot better than they do now
    I'd also make sure they work well first, before I did anything as there's no need to waste any time or money

    Is the dent in the tweeter a puncture that's all the way through or just a dent? If it's not a puncture you can use distilled water and isopropyl alcohol to shrink out that dent
    If it's a puncture then we'll need to try another approach

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by audiomagnate View Post
    Instead of filling the gap with Bondo I would recommend squirting some wood glue in there and then clamping the panels back together with pipe clamps.
    Good approach, but success is dependent on how severely the joints have opened and how much the cabinet panels have swollen from being wet
    Once it gets to a certain point you can clamp all day long and it isn't going to go back into place or to it's original thickness
    I have successfully repaired a couple of cabs by re-wetting the joint and then clamping as you suggest, but I only went through that nightmare as I had veneer worth saving and my water damage wasn't too too bad
    He says he's going to re-veneer these

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    The tweeter is a slight puncture. I am not too concerned with the aesthetics of the drivers as much as I will be making grill cloths for these. I just want these to function great. I will post photos of the cabinets either Friday evening or Saturday evening.


    Thanks for all of the help. I have bought India Ink Sepia and painted the cones on the mids with one coat and I was worried it was too dark but as it is dryinf it is looking great. I would have never known about India Ink without this site.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbasse View Post
    The tweeter is a slight puncture. I am not too concerned with the aesthetics of the drivers as much as I will be making grill cloths for these. I just want these to function great. I will post photos of the cabinets either Friday evening or Saturday evening.


    Thanks for all of the help. I have bought India Ink Sepia and painted the cones on the mids with one coat and I was worried it was too dark but as it is dryinf it is looking great. I would have never known about India Ink without this site.
    That's great to hear, I am glad the ink worked out
    Grilles or no grilles it is nice if they look decent
    Sepia is awfully brown though, I wouldn't have thought of that color myself, I was thinking black, but if it looks good to you that's all that matters
    It's the water in the ink that makes things look so dark when you first put it on, that's why I was emphatic when I suggested that you allow each light coat to dry before deciding whether or not to apply more as the pigment will have a cumulative effect and you can't really see how much until the vehicle (water) has evaporated

    As for your punctured tweeter, take a piece of blue painter's tape, make a little wedge by folding it and see if you can pull the pushed in area back up any with it by gently pressing that spot with the tape and pulling up

    Don't over do it, just give it a try and use a LIGHT touch. If you are gentle you can try it with regular masking tape as it is much stickier

    Then, mix some isopropyl alcohol, the purer the better, 90% is fine for this, 50-50 with some distilled water and using an eye dropper or similar just drop one big drop on that spot
    Let it soak in and dry
    Repeat several or more times
    After a while most of it will be gone, repeat until you can see that it has really changed things for the better
    It may never take it out 100% but it will improve it
    Then, take a small soft paint brush, small like for painting models, and give the whole cone a light wash with that same 50-50 solution
    Get it wet but not dripping
    Alow it to dry thoroughly
    Most of the wound will hopefully be much less evident
    If you're lucky it may disappear all together
    Take a tooth pick and dip it in some Elmer's Glue that been thinned 50-50 with water and JUST TOUCH the actually puncture hole with the smallest amount you can and sort of work it into the tear
    Let that dry
    Then do the glue thing again
    You're done and you can take it to the next level and treat your tweeters' cones with your ink the same as you did the mids

  11. #11
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    Please post a photograph of your mids after the ink treatment

    Did you try to improve things at all with the mounting flanges ?

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    Sorry I haven't been online in a couple of days but here are the shots of the cabinets and the mids after dying them. I trided to sand the mids frames a bit but it was not coming off very well. I am going to be slowly working on these over the next month or so. I have ordered the caps and l-pads.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

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