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Thread: JBL XPL160 Help

  1. #1
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    JBL XPL160 Help

    Hi everyone... looking for some advice. I have a set of JBL XPL160s that I've owned for >25 years. They have been in storage in dry Nw Mexico for the past 12 years. I recently got them from storage and hooked them up and noticed pretty quickly that the lows were was distorted. I removed the cloth covers from the front and discovered both of the speakers' woofers had experienced foam deterioration, so they need refoaming.

    I called one guy locally (Washington DC area) and was quoted about $120/speaker (this guy said he was a certified JBL technician and had done "hundreds" or refoamings). I called another guy who in the business for decades repairing speakers and was quoted ~$250-300/speaker. This second guy told me that JBLs are known to sometimes be difficult to work on, such as hard to remove speakers from cabinets, and thus the high price.

    Was wondering what is a reasonable price to look for to reform speakers? The price difference between the two quotes seems pretty wide...

    Also, I was wondering if it was possible for me to remove the speaker from the cabinet to allow easier transportation, etc. for repair? I noted 4 screws around each woofer, but when I removed them, the speaker still seemed pretty tight in the cabinet (didn't budge/look loose at all).

    Thanks in advance for the help!

    - Fudai

  2. #2
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fudai View Post

    Also, I was wondering if it was possible for me to remove the speaker from the cabinet to allow easier transportation, etc. for repair? I noted 4 screws around each woofer, but when I removed them, the speaker still seemed pretty tight in the cabinet (didn't budge/look loose at all).

    Thanks in advance for the help!

    - Fudai
    There are a number of posts here about favorite removal schemes.

    AFAIR, the most non-invasive is to remove all screws. Get a bath towel and roll it up. (do all this in an open carpeted area if possible) . Lay the speaker on it's face , calculate a spot to put the rolled towel (to avoid drivers) and pick up that end 12 inches and let the speaker drop, with the towel as the cushioning/blocking force. ie: speaker stops, driver keeps going (out).*

    I've done it many times , better than prying it out.

    * only works for front mounted

    OR

    If the foam is out (between cone and frame) , you can usually get a finger or 2 in that gap and try pulling.
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    There are a number of posts here about favorite removal schemes.

    AFAIR, the most non-invasive is to remove all screws. Get a bath towel and roll it up. (do all this in an open carpeted area if possible) . Lay the speaker on it's face , calculate a spot to put the rolled towel (to avoid drivers) and pick up that end 12-18-24 inches and let the speaker drop, with the towel as the cushioning/blocking force. ie: speaker stops, driver keeps going (out).*

    I've done it many times , better than prying it out.

    * only works for front mounted

    OR

    If the foam is out (between cone and frame) , you can usually get a finger or 2 in that gap and try pulling.

    Thank you for the advice. I have never worked on speakers and am weary of breaking something!

    - Fudai

  4. #4
    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
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    You may be able to see the back of the woofer through the port hole. If so, you can push it forward from there.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    All good advice . . . or sell them to me for pennies on the dollar and I'll put them in my JBLs-needing-resurround queue and have them ready to listen to shortly after my new house (and workspace) is finished!

    Prying carefully while protecting the baffle face might prove surprisingly easy once you break the seal. A very thin putty knife might be useful, too. Good luck.
    ". . . 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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    Talking Successful removal, now on to repair...!

    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    There are a number of posts here about favorite removal schemes.

    AFAIR, the most non-invasive is to remove all screws. Get a bath towel and roll it up. (do all this in an open carpeted area if possible) . Lay the speaker on it's face , calculate a spot to put the rolled towel (to avoid drivers) and pick up that end 12-18-24 inches and let the speaker drop, with the towel as the cushioning/blocking force. ie: speaker stops, driver keeps going (out).*

    I've done it many times , better than prying it out.

    * only works for front mounted

    OR

    If the foam is out (between cone and frame) , you can usually get a finger or 2 in that gap and try pulling.
    Seawolf, your "drop technique" worked great! Thanks very much for the help. Now, where to get them refoamed... like I said in original post, wide difference in pricing here locally ($120/speaker vs. $300/speaker). What sounds like a more reasonable/mainstream price? Or, maybe better yet, can anyone recommend a mail-in service? I see a few online, but am looking for some trustworthy advice. All you chaps seem trustworthy enough... JK/LOL!

    - Fudai

  7. #7
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    You might want to consider doing it your self. Those prices are nuts for a re-foam. Especially if you add in shipping costs.


    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fudai View Post
    Seawolf, your "drop technique" worked great! Thanks very much for the help. Now, where to get them refoamed... like I said in original post, wide difference in pricing here locally ($120/speaker vs. $300/speaker). What sounds like a more reasonable/mainstream price? Or, maybe better yet, can anyone recommend a mail-in service? I see a few online, but am looking for some trustworthy advice. All you chaps seem trustworthy enough... JK/LOL!

    - Fudai
    wow. our local shop is $30 per speaker , which I thot was outrageous and there after learned to
    DIY. Was doing so many that we went to SE Asia and bought a load of rings from the wholesaler.

    Most of my projects are done now and I sell the surplus online. I would guess that there are lots of
    competent jobbers in your near vicinity that are much more reasonably priced than your quotes. We have a number of fine repair craftsmen on this forum, but those choices would require shipping.

    It's not a hard job and as Rob mentioned, DIY could be an option, tho I'd learn on a cheaper brand
    of driver.
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post

    It's not a hard job and as Rob mentioned, DIY could be an option, tho I'd learn on a cheaper brand
    of driver.
    That's my conundrum... I don't want my first time doing a refoam job to be on this set of speakers. Guess I'll just bite the bullet and go for the less expensive of the two options...

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