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Thread: Aquarius IV Rescue Mission

  1. #1
    Member droh's Avatar
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    Rescue Mission

    Like a lot of folks here my love of JBL is genetic - my Dad had them in the early 60's and I've loved the sound for decades. But I've also been very intrigued by the LOOK of JBL. There are some outstanding designs in the stable - The Paragon of course, the infamous L100 and the daring Aquarius series.

    I'm finishing up the restoration of a pair of L100 - watching the progress of the raffle pair inspired me to get going. And I am just now embarking on a project to restore a pair of Aquarius IVs recently acquired on ebay. I'm attaching a "before" pic here, you'll see they are in very sad shape. If there is any interest I'd be happy to add more pics to this thread as I proceed.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Audiobeer's Avatar
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    Absolutely! I"d love seeing these restored!

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    Member droh's Avatar
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    Sum of the parts...

    Okay I've started working on this renovation. Everything is disassembled and I've collected some additional parts. The photo on the left shows the drivers that came with this pair. Tweeters are in okay shape just have some smashed domes. One woofer is missing and the other is severly damaged, it's completely dead. I won some other ebay auctions and scored some additional drivers, the whole collection is shown on the right. The additional LE20 which I don't think I'll actually need and a single LE8T-2 which was intended to replace the missing driver. I then found another auction for a pair of LE8T-2s, this pair in the center of the pic is what I think I'll end up using.
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    Member droh's Avatar
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    And some interesting passive parts too...

    Maybe the most intriguing parts of the Aquarius speakers are the various pieces that serve to create the dispersed sound. Pictured on the left is the piece that sits above the LE8T-2 (it's upside down in this pic) On the right is the piece that disperses the sound from the tweeter. This is mounted in front of the tweeter and at a 90 degree angle to the woofer.
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  5. #5
    Figge
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    bring out the brake-fluid and get started!

    i think those could be really nice speakers when your done!

  6. #6
    Figge
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    Re: Rescue Mission

    Originally posted by droh
    If there is any interest I'd be happy to add more pics to this thread as I proceed.

    ofcourse were all intrested. after all were jbl nuts!

    id love to see those bangedup jbls get back in shape.

  7. #7
    Member droh's Avatar
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    Maybe too far gone

    I think the new pair of LE8T-2s are beyond the brake fluid fix. One cone was "repaired" in many places with some kind of glue, but now thw whole mess is hard as a rock from glue and stiff lansaloy. The other hasn't had any "repairs" but has a number of cracks and even some missing pieces. So I bought some new surrounds from Rick and that's another phase for this project.

    On the other hand, the single LE8T-2 that I got is in amazing shape. The lansaloy is actually pretty pliable and still perfectly shaped. It's not quite as soft as a new surround but darn close. It shows only a little cracking at the point it attaches to the frame. That one I think can still be saved. I have no idea how it has survived all this time. It actually sounds pretty darn good.

    Here's a closeup of the pair of drivers that shows the shape the lansaloys are in.
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  8. #8
    Member droh's Avatar
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    Progress report - from the bottom up

    It's been a while but I am making some steady progress on the restoration effort. I started at the bottom - where the most damage could be found. The bottom of these towers have just some cheap glides to protect the particle board. I've seen and heard a lot about these bases taking a beating. My pair sure did. One of the speakers has some significant water damage causing not only crumbling of the base but also some swelling of the sides and some corner separation. There isn't really a base per se, it's really just the sides of the cabinet coming down with a little routed out reveal at the bottom. So the solution was to do a pretty massive routing out of the whole base area and them gluing in a new base. Here's a before, during and after shot of how that went. As you can see I've also repaired the damage to the sides and the next step will be applying new veneer.
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  9. #9
    Figge
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    Thumbs up

    I just LOVE to see such pictures! long live !JBL:s!

  10. #10
    Member droh's Avatar
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    Meanwhile up at the top...

    The Aquarius IV is actually made up of two pieces, the top section contains the tweeter and the dispersion horn for the low frequency driver. This top piece is seperated from the lower section by a square frame made of masonite. There are actually some spacers that hold most of the weight, but if those happen to be gone, as in my units then the masonite was taking the weight and the result is the crumble of broken stuff on the left here. The one spare top that I bought came with an intact frame. On the left are the two new frames that I made up working of the model of the one good one. I've got some pieces left over if anyone out there is in need of a replacement. I'm also shopping for some black grill cloth to go on these things. It's not the black stretch stuff, it's more like a burlap kind of thing. Anyone know of some sources?
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  11. #11
    Senior Seņor boputnam's Avatar
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    Hey, Don...

    Can you retitle this Thread: "Rescue Mission Aquarius IV" - it's gonna be a keeper, and it would be nice if Search results would show a meaningful Title.
    Last edited by boputnam; 09-20-2004 at 03:02 PM.
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  12. #12
    Senior Member Audiobeer's Avatar
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    Keep the photo's coming! I'd love to see a pair of these done in the "Giskard" Piano Black!

  13. #13
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Audiobeer
    I'd love to see a pair of these done in the "Giskard" Piano Black!
    Ick! Beautiful wood anyday.


    Widget

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Mr. Widget
    Beautiful wood anyday.
    Been there, done that, bored as hell.

  15. #15
    Member droh's Avatar
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    Wood for this pair

    I'm in the process of reveneering this pair right now. I scored some large pieces of American Walnut on ebay so each side will actually be a single piece. It would have been nice to just restore the old veneer but with water damage and gouges that wasn't possible. And I do kind of like the idea of these single pieces.

    There is a pair of white AQIVs that have been listed on ebay several times now but not made the reserve, probabaly because they are missing the LE8T-2s, it might be fun to get hold of those and make them piano black. But I've got enough projects going. I still have three pair of 4301s and a pair of 4411s to finish. Oh and a pair of L100s too.

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