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Thread: Should I buy a pair of JBL 4343?

  1. #1
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    Smile Should I buy a pair of JBL 4343?

    New to this forum and new to this subject ...

    It must be close to 40 years ago that I listened to a pair of JBL studio monitors, very large ones with two 15' woofers - which effortless and powerful sound left an impression lasting till today. Now I'm in the position to obtain a pair of studio monitors, I've been offered a pair of JBL 4343B at what seems to me a reasonable price (€2000).

    Since I never heard these speakers, my first question is concerning the sound. Currently I own a pair of Tannoy D700, so I'm used to horn driven speakers - do I have to expect colorations to some extent? For professional reasons I have to listen to classical music from time to time.
    The seller is quite far away from me, I'm in Germany, he in Spain, so I can't have a listen myself.

    This leads to the second point, which questions should I ask the seller? He claims, that the speakers are fully original, the surroundings of the bass and midrange drivers are undamaged and that he is the first, original owner. What else is important, what are the general weak points of JBL 4343?

    The seller claims that all speakers are AlNiCo-drivers. The serial-no. is 001423 (and 001424, I assume) - were all drivers still AlNiCo then? In this context, I have read somewhere on the net these drivers should / could be re-magnetized - is this true?

    A lot of questions, so I save the other ones for a later post ...

    Thanks in advance for your help in advance,
    Kai
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  2. #2
    Senior Member martin_wu99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    New to this forum and new to this subject ...

    It must be close to 40 years ago that I listened to a pair of JBL studio monitors, very large ones with two 15' woofers - which effortless and powerful sound left an impression lasting till today. Now I'm in the position to obtain a pair of studio monitors, I've been offered a pair of JBL 4343B at what seems to me a reasonable price (€2000).

    Since I never heard these speakers, my first question is concerning the sound. Currently I own a pair of Tannoy D700, so I'm used to horn driven speakers - do I have to expect colorations to some extent? For professional reasons I have to listen to classical music from time to time.
    The seller is quite far away from me, I'm in Germany, he in Spain, so I can't have a listen myself.

    This leads to the second point, which questions should I ask the seller? He claims, that the speakers are fully original, the surroundings of the bass and midrange drivers are undamaged and that he is the first, original owner. What else is important, what are the general weak points of JBL 4343?

    The seller claims that all speakers are AlNiCo-drivers. The serial-no. is 001423 (and 001424, I assume) - were all drivers still AlNiCo then? In this context, I have read somewhere on the net these drivers should / could be re-magnetized - is this true?

    A lot of questions, so I save the other ones for a later post ...

    Thanks in advance for your help in advance,
    Kai
    1.get it for this price
    2.4343b is much better than your Tannoy D700 in every aspect
    3.ask the seller if the surrond is originl,after so many years the surronds must be broken,what surronds he has replaced?
    4.4343b has 2231H and 2121H which are not AlNiCo-drivers,2420 and 2405 are AlNiCo-drivers, re-magnetized need specific equipment and is not necessary
    46 lover

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin_wu99 View Post
    1.get it for this price
    2.4343b is much better than your Tannoy D700 in every aspect
    3.ask the seller if the surrond is originl,after so many years the surronds must be broken,what surronds he has replaced?
    4.4343b has 2231H and 2121H which are not AlNiCo-drivers,2420 and 2405 are AlNiCo-drivers, re-magnetized need specific equipment and is not necessary
    Thanks so much for your response. The current owner swears that nothing has been replaced. May be you can confirm / deny this on the pictures?
    If the surroundings are original and might be replaced soon: can this be done in original quality? What amount do I have to expect?

    Did 4343B never ever had AlNiCo low- and midrange drivers? Possibly this was just a misunderstanding in the way that all what was ever available in AlNiCo is there.

    Thanks again.
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    Kai, I have the 4333B. They have the ferrite 2235, Alnico 2420, and 2405. Should not need a remag. as Martin said. The woofer is what takes a beating from the thump of a solid state amp. That is apparently what demags. the Alnico magnets of the low frequency drivers. From what I have read it only affects the direct DC connected driver.

  5. #5
    Senior Member martin_wu99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Thanks so much for your response. The current owner swears that nothing has been replaced. May be you can confirm / deny this on the pictures?
    If the surroundings are original and might be replaced soon: can this be done in original quality? What amount do I have to expect?

    Did 4343B never ever had AlNiCo low- and midrange drivers? Possibly this was just a misunderstanding in the way that all what was ever available in AlNiCo is there.

    Thanks again.
    You are wellcome.
    Apparently the seller is no so honest,the cones and surrondings are too new to be true and someone who replaced it with no skills
    Tthere are original JBL kits for cones and surroundings and many other good qulity surroudings for 2231 and 2235.
    Yes,4343B never ever had AlNiCo low- and midrange drivers but 4343 had,that is the main distinction between 4343 and 4343B
    Pay special attention!
    46 lover

  6. #6
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    I'm not so sure there is a "skills" problem with those woofer cones. Whether original 2231h or 2235 replacement kits, it could be the shadow and highlights in those low res photos making the surrounds and the glue lines on the domes look shaky. Either way, as long as those 10" midbasses are original or authentic recones, for me the deal would be a go at that price. Any problems with the woofers can be remedied.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

  7. #7
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Hi Kai,

    I tend to agree with some of Martin's comments.

    Looking carefully at the 10" driver picture shows somethings are wrong. See the space on the right side of driver between foam and cone? This CANNOT be original. Also look at the glue line around the dust cap, certainly not factory made... this appears like a refoam job badly done.

    As for the woofers, something doesn't seem right also, but difficult to confirm without a large picture. Get one. The simple passage of time would indicate or guarantee the driver foams had to be replaced.

    Glue lines and spaces are often what betrays refoam jobs done. Always check those closely all around.

    BTW as far as I know JBL doesn't sell refoam kits, only original recone kits. So not all original drivers here.

    In this case the seller insists everything is original, which doesn't appear to be true. What else has he hidden from you or not said the thruth about? That is the issue.

    Would I buy these? NO, not at all because the seller isn't straightforward or telling everything and you don't know what other things you'll find later in your living room about these speakers when its too late...

    If you still decide to buy, buy cheap because you don't really know the state of what you're purchasing.

    Richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Hi Kai,

    I tend to agree with some of Martin's comments.

    Looking carefully at the 10" driver picture shows somethings are wrong. See the space on the right side of driver between foam and cone? This CANNOT be original. Also look at the glue line around the dust cap, certainly not factory made... this appears like a refoam job badly done.

    As for the woofers, something doesn't seem right also, but difficult to confirm without a large picture. Get one. The simple passage of time would indicate or guarantee the driver foams had to be replaced.

    Glue lines and spaces are often what betrays refoam jobs done. Always check those closely all around.

    BTW as far as I know JBL doesn't sell refoam kits, only original recone kits. So not all original drivers here.

    In this case the seller insists everything is original, which doesn't appear to be true. What else has he hidden from you or not said the thruth about? That is the issue.

    Would I buy these? NO, not at all because the seller isn't straightforward or telling everything and you don't know what other things you'll find later in your living room about these speakers when its too late...

    If you still decide to buy, buy cheap because you don't really know the state of what you're purchasing.

    Richard
    Thanks you all for your comments - this is very helpful. I contacted the seller again regarding this issue.
    If I'd have to recone the midrange speakers and / or the woofers: I wouldn't do this myself, what kind of investment do I have to calculate to have this made?
    Also, what about the other components? I've read in the forum that I should get rid of the active/ passive switch - but should I replace the capacitors in the crossover as well?

    Thanks again,
    Kai

  9. #9
    Senior Member Odd's Avatar
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    You are in Germany and should try to contact "Guido" a member here.
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    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    HI Kai,

    You contacted the seller again but what does he say now?

    Assuming original recone kits are still available, which may not necessarily be the case, from the top of my head, not knowing Germany prices, I would think in parts and labour you're in for a good 1K+ Euros for the four cone drivers reconing.

    And I haven't touched the other issues you mentioned about crossovers.

    Personnaly, I wouldn't pay more than 1K Euros, if they work, for the pair of speakers considering the money you may well have to spend to bring them on par all around, and my previous post. Plus you may find other issues later... Regards,

    Richard

  11. #11
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    You need to actually see these speakers in person and audition them. Look for warn/damaged screws on all drivers. You can tell if they have been molested. Look for water damage to the cabinets rusted screws around the crossover panel might not meen anything but definately make sure the cabinets are in good condition.The foamed drivers have had their foam replaced. As long as it was only a refoam and the cones are original it might be just fine. Whoever did them was sloppy. Could just be cosmetic. Recones for 2231's do not exist you would end up with 2235's The 2121's are rare and no recone kits exist unless you get very lucky. With their age and depending upon use you may be looking at changing the 2420 and 2405 diaphrams if they already have not been. If they have been changed you want original JBL parts not aftermarket! Good luck!

    Rob
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    New to this forum and new to this subject ...

    It must be close to 40 years ago that I listened to a pair of JBL studio monitors, very large ones with two 15' woofers - which effortless and powerful sound left an impression lasting till today. Now I'm in the position to obtain a pair of studio monitors, I've been offered a pair of JBL 4343B at what seems to me a reasonable price (€2000).

    Since I never heard these speakers, my first question is concerning the sound. Currently I own a pair of Tannoy D700, so I'm used to horn driven speakers - do I have to expect colorations to some extent? For professional reasons I have to listen to classical music from time to time.
    The seller is quite far away from me, I'm in Germany, he in Spain, so I can't have a listen myself.

    This leads to the second point, which questions should I ask the seller? He claims, that the speakers are fully original, the surroundings of the bass and midrange drivers are undamaged and that he is the first, original owner. What else is important, what are the general weak points of JBL 4343?

    The seller claims that all speakers are AlNiCo-drivers. The serial-no. is 001423 (and 001424, I assume) - were all drivers still AlNiCo then? In this context, I have read somewhere on the net these drivers should / could be re-magnetized - is this true?

    A lot of questions, so I save the other ones for a later post ...

    Thanks in advance for your help in advance,
    Kai
    The Tannoys you have are a nice hifi loudspeaker

    The differences are the Jbl 4343 is a monitor meaning you will hear recordings warts and all because they are more analytical.

    The jbls won’t imagine like the Tannoys but on the plus side they project a reality like few other systems of the era.

    Regards classical music �� they are a bit live sounding with the original D16R2420 aluminium diaphragm. Great in jazz.
    (The stock 4435 is better on classical music)

    With some carefully executed modifications and setting up which you can implement over a period of time they will thrill you on classic music particularly piano.

    Treat them as a long term investment.

    As to the question of proceeding there are always risks. But with risk there is opportunity.

    I would ask for a pic of all drivers front and rear that way you will know if they are the original drivers (Alnico or SFG Ferrite)with the stock factory design or swapped out by a trader on Ebay.

    I have 35 year old JBL 2231 Alnico drivers and they are fine. The problem is big turn on thumps.

    I would budget for a compression driver and 2405 service (€150 see what diaphragm is installed) and take it from there. The woofers provided they don’t rub are what they are as are the 2121’s. The Lpads might be scratchy but that can be remedied.

    Generally speaking a prior owner may not be aware of a compression driver requiring a new diaphragm or cleaning of the voice coil gap because they are used to listening to them over a period of time.

    Ask why he is selling them? If the reason sounds legitimate fine.
    BTW No original driver has not been reformed or reconed due to age.
    Ask him to send a pic with a recent newspaper in the image (fraud)

    Options:
    You could build pair of 4343 diy clones with later iteration drivers like the 2235H, 2123H, 2425 , 2405H and an improved network for the same or less outlay. But it won’t be the 4343 “look” and the building takes time and is challenging.

    Either way you will need to put some work in but the result is worthwhile.

  13. #13
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    The 2231 have also been refoamed by an amateur.
    as Ian is writing there are also nice clones with checked and renewed components. I know two sources in EU, Behringer Electric already mentionned but also Restaur'Audio located in France but shipping in EU. For this latest I've seen with my eyes and listen to some of these clones, as beautiful as new from the box, at the quality of the ones made by KRS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    HI Kai,

    You contacted the seller again but what does he say now?

    Assuming original recone kits are still available, which may not necessarily be the case, from the top of my head, not knowing Germany prices, I would think in parts and labour you're in for a good 1K+ Euros for the four cone drivers reconing.

    And I haven't touched the other issues you mentioned about crossovers.

    Personnaly, I wouldn't pay more than 1K Euros, if they work, for the pair of speakers considering the money you may well have to spend to bring them on par all around, and my previous post. Plus you may find other issues later... Regards,

    Richard
    Thank you all for your comments - very helpful indeed. What Richard suggests is exactly what we now agreed on: I pay €1000 upfront and the second €1000 when the speakers have arrived here and everything is as the seller claims. I guess I have to change the drivers all over anyway. Either they are indeed original, then due to age, and if they are not original, then anyway. As suggested I contacted Behringer for pricing. Upon arrival I dismantle the speakers to check the drivers - is this possible from the front or do I have to unscrew the baffle?
    In any case, this looks like a nice project for the awful winter time in our area!

  15. #15
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    ... me again ...

    As suggested, I contacted Guido from Behringer Electric, and it does not look good. He says that he only could recone the bass drivers with original parts, all other drivers not with original parts, the midrange not all. Is this common sense? And is this the end of the story or has somebody expierence with 3rd party replacements which work equally well?

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