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Thread: New Member Introduction

  1. #1
    Junior Member Bigsbyguy's Avatar
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    New Member Introduction

    Hello, I've looked at this forum before but just now got around to registering. I'd like to introduce myself. Mike is my name and of course I'm a JBL and Altec fan. I'm a tube instrument amp nut and play music for fun and sanity. My main instrument is non pedal steel guitar. My experience with JBL products is almost exclusively with the instrument speakers. I've owned some old D-130's going back to the Venice and Van Nuys Addresses and had one of the first guitar amps to offer JBL speakers stock, the Standel 25L15. I'm guessing the title denotes 25 watt, Lansing 15. There were less than 70 of these amps produced on a custom order basis and I owned #34 along with the original owners Bigsby steel, A great amp and probably the rarest piece of gear I ever owned. I sold it in 2003. I'll find and post a picture of it asap.

    My Hi-Fi experience is limited to a 50's JBL mono cab with a D-131 and University crossover. I push it with a mono 2- 6V6 Grommes "Little Jewel".
    I currently have D-130's, D-131's, a D-216 and a reconed for guitar LE-10A. Also a pair of Altec 425-8's.
    Here's some of what's kicking around.
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    The last picture of the 2 130F's is the reason I signed up. They need reconing. I recently had my knee replaced and started looking at a new line of work. I've been a luthier in the past, building, repairing etc but that field seems saturated. I thought if I could learn how to recone speakers properly that might be something I could turn into a biz. I have literally a closet full of blown speakers, mostly 10", my main steel loves 10's, and mostly Jensen's, with the D-130's, a very early gray LE10-A (in a separate post) and 1 of the Altecs needing repair too.
    I have a couple of NOS 130-202 cones I've had for 20 years but as far as that goes I'm looking for suppliers of the best parts. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I don't have a business license yet so I'm looking for a retail outlet.
    I figure I'll get a dozen Jensen's under my belt before i tackle a JBL but I'd appreciate any help I can get! And Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member srm51555's Avatar
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    Thanks for the introduction, Welcome to the forum.

  3. #3
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    Good luck with the new career, and welcome to the site!
    Out.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Welcome.

    I fondly remember the music store where I purchased my first solid-body guitar back in the late '60s, early '70s. They stocked Standel amps with hang-tags stipulating the optional JBL speakers and I had a D130 hi-fi system at home so I figured that was definitely the way to go . . . if I ever had the money! Alas, I didn't, and even bought my Hagstrom-III because it was less expensive than all the other Fenders and Gibsons. I ended up with Magnatone and Danelectro amps instead, too. I still notice photos of the Standel Imperials and think how cool that would have been!
    ". . . 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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    Senior Member gdmoore28's Avatar
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    Welcome, BigsbyGuy!

    And thanks for that very interesting story. Here in central Arkansas - in Hot Springs - we have Ronnie's Guitar Shop. Ronnie has been a steel guitar enthusiast for many, many years, and built a special performance area in his store where he used to do small band concerts, but his primary reason for building it was to store and display his collection of steel guitars and amplifiers. If I remember correctly, he also hosted some sort of regional steel guitar players meetings.

    Back in the late sixties our bass player wanted to buy a large bass amp and headed into Little Rock intending to buy a Fender or Ampeg, but came home with a dual-15 Standel amplifier. Unfortunately, it was not equipped with JBL speakers, and he ended up spending a good portion of his band pay having speakers reconed!

    You are absolutely correct about the market being flooded with luthiers. And with the growing availability of non-OEM recone kits, more and more speaker re-coners are showing up, as well. Whether that career will be profitable in your corner of the world will depend on your market, of course. But here in Arkansas I know of only ONE person who re-cones for a living.

    Do a search for "speaker recone kits" and you'll find numerous sources, such as http://reconekits.com/. I've done a few myself. It's not hard to do, and if you learn to do it the right way so that your recones last a long time, you should be able to establish a loyal clientele.

    Good luck, and keep us updated.

    GeeDeeEmm

  6. #6
    Senior Member Flodstroem's Avatar
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    Welcome to the LHForum Bigsbyguy
    Flodstroem

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    Senior Member Audiobeer's Avatar
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    Welcome Aboard!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member gdmoore28's Avatar
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    Where'd you go, Bigsbyguy? Was looking forward to more pics of the gear you've accumulated over the years.

    GeeDeeEmm

  9. #9
    Junior Member Bigsbyguy's Avatar
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    I checked back last week but had no time to reply. I've heard of that shop. Not too many guys specializing in steels.
    Took out some discs of old files and found a few new pictures. Here's the JBL mono cab I have.
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    I also loaded some pictures of the Standel amp. I'll post those in new thread.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Bigsbyguy's Avatar
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    Does anyone recognize the mono cab? It's loaded with a D-131, a University crossover and horn, if i recall correctly the horn is replaced and I've forgotten if it's a University part. I'm guessing it's from the mid-50's based on the grey crinkle paint 131. I can look around and see if I have a shot of the back and inside. It also has a dial on the back, I've forgotten what it's used for, I don't believe it's marked. Beautiful blonde ribbon mahogany veneer.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
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    You would want to compare the dimensions, but it looks like a C38.
    http://www.lansingheritage.org/image.../page20-21.jpg

  12. #12
    Junior Member Bigsbyguy's Avatar
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    Thanks Don. I'll be in the shop next week and I'll check the dimensions.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Bigsbyguy's Avatar
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    Just spent some time getting lost in the library. I think the C38 is it. It shows up in the '55 catalog. It's pad wrapped and covered in stretch but I'll open it up for a fresh look and some pictures.
    It was interesting to see the '48 and '49 catalogs.

  14. #14
    Senior Member honkytonkwillie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsbyguy View Post
    I've been a luthier in the past, building, repairing etc but that field seems saturated. I thought if I could learn how to recone speakers properly that might be something I could turn into a biz.
    Since a lot of replacement cones are no longer available, a real niche I see would be learning how to tweak aftermarket cones (and surrounds, spiders, voicecoils, etc.) to get the speakers to original specs.
    I control the treble.
    I control the bass.

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