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Thread: D130's- What should I do with them?

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    D130's- What should I do with them?

    Hi-My father-in-law passed away. In his basement were some D130's in their cabinets which have a few chips but still look good. My wife's guess is that they were purchased in the late 50s early 60s. I didn't know what to write down off the back and so all I got was JBL D130 Signature speakers 16 Ohm serial number 17427. A quick look on the Internet suggested it is virtually impossible to date to speakers due to the loss of information from a 1999 earthquake. Can anybody tell me anything about them? I am not audiophile and have a perfectly satisfactory system at home and thus don't really need them and probably wouldn't appreciate them. Again, a quick look on the Internet suggests that lots of people seem to like them quite a bit so anyway, what are some of the things to consider. Thanks Bill

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    Senior Member Horn Fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
    Hi-My father-in-law passed away. In his basement were some D130's in their cabinets which have a few chips but still look good. My wife's guess is that they were purchased in the late 50s early 60s. I didn't know what to write down off the back and so all I got was JBL D130 Signature speakers 16 Ohm serial number 17427. A quick look on the Internet suggested it is virtually impossible to date to speakers due to the loss of information from a 1999 earthquake. Can anybody tell me anything about them? I am not audiophile and have a perfectly satisfactory system at home and thus don't really need them and probably wouldn't appreciate them. Again, a quick look on the Internet suggests that lots of people seem to like them quite a bit so anyway, what are some of the things to consider. Thanks Bill
    Welcome to the forum, Bill -

    I would suggest installing them in a tuned bass reflex enclosure with a net volume between 5 and 7 cubic feet. The high frequency is up to you, but IMO pairing a D130 with an ALTEC 811 or 511 horn and the GPA 902 or 902 compression driver would be a good match. A custom designed dividing network for the two transducers would definitely be in order. If a bass horn is more to your liking, which would be my preference, I would load the D130 into a JBL C34 enclosure. Again, the high frequency is your choice.

    Good luck

    H.F.

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    Senior Member audiomagnate's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like your best bet would be to sell them on eBay, or if you don't have an account, on Craigs.

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    Sorry for your loss. There's more than a few of us who will have a similar problem of family not knowing what we have stored in basements and garages.

    I'd suggest getting the speakers out in the daylight where you can get some good quality photos of the cabinets. Then get some photos of what's inside. Sounds like you already have the backs off them. There may be other drivers/components inside besides the D-130. Post your pictures in the JBL marketplace forum here along with your zip code in NY. Someone here may be interested.

    Otherwise, it's Ebay/Craigslist as mentioned above. You can get an idea of the value of the "parts" on Ebay by searching "completed" listings under the advanced search feature. Look for items that have actually sold recently. Then take into account having to ship, Ebay/Paypal fees etc. Good luck.

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    The D130 is a grand old speaker with a rather unique sound. It was intended to be a full-range speaker (needing no additional tweeters, etc) but this was in the '50s so the source material wasn't as demanding as in later decades. Later systems used the 075 tweeter as an add-on enhancement with the N2400 crossover network. The D130 alone was often billed as a JBL "starter" system suggesting adding the tweeter as your finances allowed. You can read about the design here:
    http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/...p/extended.htm

    They benefit from a large enclosure but even then won't produce the deep bass many crave today. The lighter aluminum voice coil can make them sound divine, especially (to my ears) on strings like classical guitar or cello, but they don't really have the oomph to render a double-bass in your living room the way it should sound. And their high-range is definitely very limited. Laid-back would be one description. Some call them effortless. I've been listening to them nearly all my life since the age of five-years but they're no longer my primary system even with the 075 tweeters and appropriate networks.

    As a vintage icon, they're fun to play with and experience. As a garage-find, they're interesting but not particularly valuable on their own. Extra value depends on whether the cabinets are original JBL or the ubiquitous home-built creations of that time. As a full-range guitar speaker in an appropriate amp-enclosure they might intrigue a guitar player of a certain age. In other words, if your interest is in selling them, look at recent ebay actual sales to see what some are paying, understanding that packaging them properly for shipping is a real pain in the ass since they are rather ungainly and quite heavy. Any damage to the aluminum dome greatly impacts their value. If your cone edges aren't "doped" then they are fairly early in production and may have some terminal brittleness that leaves them without much value at all and, at the best case, makes them very fragile to abusive handling. If you decide to give them away, I have two daughters in NY and would love an excuse to visit and add yours to my D130 collection which includes the original my Dad bought back in 1957.

    All the best.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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    HI
    I know how to date them if I see a picture of the backs, bottom, grille.
    If they are pre 1960-1962 ish or so, the grille cloth is stapled to the baffle board.
    If after that time, they slide out of a slot, at the speaker bottom.
    Please post height x width x depth of the cabinets as well.

    Don direct e-m is ssguy66 -at-y-a-h-o-o-d-o-t-com

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donsof View Post
    HI
    I know how to date them if I see a picture of the backs, bottom, grille.
    If they are pre 1960-1962 ish or so, the grille cloth is stapled to the baffle board.
    If after that time, they slide out of a slot, at the speaker bottom.
    Please post height x width x depth of the cabinets as well.
    That's assuming they're in authentic JBL cabinets.
    Photos would tell us more than the measurements alone.

    Then we may be dealing with a one-post drive-by here. Any reply from the original poster would be appreciated.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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    JBL called the D130 an Extended Range speaker meant for public address and musical instrument use. It could be used for music reproduction as long as you could do with little bass, no highs, and a sharply rising midrange response. In the fifties credit card use was limited to Diner's Club and later American Express. They were meant for entertainment and travel and were technically charge cards--you were expected to pay your balance each month. The general use, carry-a-balance credit card arrived in 1966. In general, people were more careful with debt than most are today, so among its other marketing stratagems JBL promoted a Building Block method of assembling a high quality speaker system. Buy an extended range speaker first, build or buy a cabinet, and then next year an HF driver and crossover. Some people started on this path and never went any further.

    Most of the usefulness of the D130 today is in musical instrument sound, especially guitar. D130's of the vintage of yours are less desirable than later MI drivers, even later D130's, because they do not have the power handling that came with newer adhesives and cooling design. Some users might feel the old ones have a sound they prefer, so there is a market for old JBL, though D130's will likely not give you an Antiques Road Show feel good moment.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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    D130's What to do with them

    Hi-OP here. I'll take the backs off and photograph-probably next weekend. From what I remember- there was a tweeter that looked like a bicycle horn - I'll get some data on that too. Father in law liked good stuff so my guess is he spent a bit at the time. Rest of the stereo is way newer. Thanks for the info. To be continued!
    Bill

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill M View Post
    Hi-OP here. I'll take the backs off and photograph-probably next weekend. From what I remember- there was a tweeter that looked like a bicycle horn - I'll get some data on that too. Father in law liked good stuff so my guess is he spent a bit at the time. Rest of the stereo is way newer. Thanks for the info. To be continued!
    Bill
    I'll vote for the 075. But if it a real JBL cabinet and has more than one speaker in it, it would have to have a crossover network installed in the back panel which should have some identification on it without needing any disassembly.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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    D 130 the Sequel

    OK- OP here.Took a bunch of lousy pics and failed to take a picture of the cones. Tweeter is a Utah with no model # I can find. There is a 075 midrange I guess and some other JBL thing that I guess is the crossover. Grille clothe is stapled in. I have a pic of the front.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

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    D130 part 2

    More pics
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    Hi,
    What you have are likely 1950s homemade speakers, with home-brew, HIFI hobbyist attempts to be good. Its not worth more than the individual components.
    Are there 2 speaker boxes here or one?
    How many D130's are there?
    How many 075 horns? (the smaller black speaker)
    I think what I can see of the box or boxes, they are homemade kits?
    If they are factory made, they might be Electro Voice styled or E-V plans.

    There are people getting real factory JBL cabinets, gutting them out, selling the parts, and tossing the cabinets away. You might get 10-20 for the boxes on your local Craigslist, and 120-200 per D130 and per 075 bullet tweeter?
    You have some good components, if you know how to test and market them. If you like the sound of them, then keep it. Its likely worth less than 500 for both speakers. The crossover looks like a N2400.

    Look up JBL C36 and C38 speakers, and see what stylish cabinets they are.
    Get into the library of old catalogs, before 1970 and see what the cool old stuff looked like.

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    I recently got a pair of C36 cabinets that I'm trying to restore. They had most of their components parted out just before I got them and I want to put them back together. If you decide to part them out, I'm looking for 075s and crossovers like you have, thanks!

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