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Thread: JBL 4430's - Do they lack mid-bass???

  1. #16
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    It’s funny but my favorite 2235 variant is a 2234 kit in an E basket and motor assembly. Good for another near 3dB upward tilt. A little EQ boost on the bottom and Bob’s my uncle.

    My favorite old school 15 is still the 2220 and like you say, use a sub.

    Barry.
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

  2. #17
    Senior Member markd51's Avatar
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    Yeah, I went through a lot of Baloney with that Sunfire Sub, twice back at Sunfire, and I think once at Bob's and Ritas, only to get dicked around, and the repairs didn't last but a few months at most.

    Auto turn on was my recurring problem. Last man I sent it to was a tech for them, forget his name offhand, McCarthy, or some such irish sounding name. He must've tossed in 40 new Caps, Resistors, etc, and it has been good ever since. Told me I'd never have a problem with it again.

    But yeah, I know what you mean about not only vibrations, they'll shake themselves to death, but probably heat too.

    Damn shame that I had a good buddy, Andy Homeyer who lived in NM, and was a master machinist. He'd make a blanking plate for the Sunfire Sub lickety split, in an hour, with all holes drilled, sent it out and have it black anodized as well. He died about 5-6 years ago, age 74, lived like a monk, wasn't much he couldn't make.

    Andy made stuff commonly for the amateur astro community. Heck, I even seen once he made a mini Gattling Gun from scratch, used to sit in his machine shop, fired .22's. Was a work of art.

    http://www.intint.com/andy/index.html

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by markd51 View Post

    Auto turn on was my recurring problem.

    http://www.intint.com/andy/index.html
    This was why I sent it in the second time. The first time the woofer had delaminated from the surround and the original owner had cut the ground lug off of the wall plug. Sunfire replaced both the woofer and the amp for their fixed price $150 fee (IIRC) including return shipping. They even sent me the box, no charge, to send it in.

    Rita's fixed the turn on problem, and that's when I did the cabinet. At that time, I just sent in the amp to save shipping costs. I remember that they even sent an itemized parts list. I've not had a problem since.

  4. #19
    Senior Member markd51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddalin View Post
    This was why I sent it in the second time. The first time the woofer had delaminated from the surround and the original owner had cut the ground lug off of the wall plug. Sunfire replaced both the woofer and the amp for their fixed price $150 fee (IIRC) including return shipping. They even sent me the box, no charge, to send it in.

    Rita's fixed the turn on problem, and that's when I did the cabinet. At that time, I just sent in the amp to save shipping costs. I remember that they even sent an itemized parts list. I've not had a problem since.
    Sorry to veer off topic, but I really got tortured going through Sunfire for the repair.
    First time, it lasted 6 months, the second time, I had to ship it back, they changed two Pots as well with apparently wrong values.

    And those first three times going back to them, it was the entire Subwoofer, Sunfire would not let me just send them the Plate Amp.

    With the screw up with the two Pots, Volume and Phase, they said they tested it, and it was blowing them out of the office, yet when I got it, and with the Volume Pot turned up all the way, it was barely playing! They confused the hell out of me with what was actually wrong, I think they were actually full of it to tell the truth.

    Then it lasted about another year, and again, auto turn-on went to hell.

    The last time I sent it in to the last tech (Bill Flannery), it was just the Plate Amp (was sure happy about that!), and I took close-up pics of the Boards before shipping. When I got it back, it was quite apparent how much parts he swapped for brand new. Not had a problem with it since, this guy did know his stuff!

    BTW, the man who fixed my Plate Amp the right way the last time was Bill Flannery. He pulled out all stops and went to the nines, totally re-capped, something like 45 caps and such, I have the full list with the repair invoice, the repair and soldering was all first class

    Here's the link to his business which you might wish to save in case you or others ever have a problem with your Sunfire Subs, or Sunfire Gear. Again, sorry for veering off topic folks.

    http://www.flannerysvintageaudio.com/

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by markd51 View Post
    Here's the link to his business which you might wish to save in case you or others ever have a problem with your Sunfire Subs, or Sunfire Gear. Again, sorry for veering off topic folks.

    http://www.flannerysvintageaudio.com/

    Will definitely keep him in mind. Mine may go through auto turn on and shut down several times during the evening simply watching television. I figure that we don't listen loud enough for it to "retrigger" before it "times out" but have never noticed this when listening to music, albiet at a louder volume.

    Back to "slam" I was listening to Talking Heads Burning Down the House, where the slam is very notable. Makes no difference if you like Talking Heads, or not, to appreciate the recording techniques, especially the drums.

    The Ethyl Mermans really make the snare "kick" and it's just not there on the L300s. As I said, I think this is partly due to the fact that the 10" moves a lot of air, but now revise this theory to include a good transient response producing a "fast" speaker.

    Certainly the Heil AMT is a "fast" speaker by its very design. (By "fast" I means has good transient response.) The 2251J is also very fast because it has big voice coils with a differential drive and a very light cone on a pleated surround. Even the 2241H would be considered as a fast woofer when compared to one with a foam surround and mass ring (e.g., 2245).

  6. #21
    Senior Member markd51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddalin View Post
    Will definitely keep him in mind. Mine may go through auto turn on and shut down several times during the evening simply watching television. I figure that we don't listen loud enough for it to "retrigger" before it "times out" but have never noticed this when listening to music, albiet at a louder volume.

    Back to "slam" I was listening to Talking Heads Burning Down the House, where the slam is very notable. Makes no difference if you like Talking Heads, or not, to appreciate the recording techniques, especially the drums.

    The Ethyl Mermans really make the snare "kick" and it's just not there on the L300s. As I said, I think this is partly due to the fact that the 10" moves a lot of air, but now revise this theory to include a good transient response producing a "fast" speaker.

    Certainly the Heil AMT is a "fast" speaker by its very design. (By "fast" I means has good transient response.) The 2251J is also very fast because it has big voice coils with a differential drive and a very light cone on a pleated surround. Even the 2241H would be considered as a fast woofer when compared to one with a foam surround and mass ring (e.g., 2245).
    Ethyl Merman's, not sure what these are? Are they the 4345, or clones of such? (Got about $17K you can loan me for a pair of 4345's? LOL)

    And AMT's, that was a tough choice for me back in '74 at MusiCraft in Chicago, I almost bought two pair of AMT 1's, but chose 2 pair of JBL L-65 Jubals instead. Was running quad back then, first a Sansui QR-6500, then a Marantz 4400 which crapped out quickly in 6 month's time the CRT went out, then onto a pair of Mac 2015's with a Bose 4401 PreAmp.

    Back to the 4430's, I've been pretty happy for what they are, and for what I paid, which was $1600 (plus some minor shipping costs from a member who helped me here) for an essentially mint pair, only needing the grill covers replaced with the right stuff, and Zilch (RIP) helped me there, bought 2 yards of material from him and did get around to re-covering the Grils, and they look quite formidable in all stock trim. They had nice looking Grey-Silver Cloth on board when I got them, but of course not correct.

    I got those 4430's right here, a man, Tom Tatman from Catamount Studios in Cedar Falls Iowa advertised them here, and I quickly pounced on them. Said they had been never used in a Studio, were bought and used in some Company's Conference Room solely. The 2235H's were re-foamed by Orange County Speaker a month prior to buying them, Tom did provide the invoice, something like $235 for the re-foams I recall.

    They made the 1100 mile trip to southern NM via R&L Carriers and arrived just fine.

    In comparison to the Jubal, they had that very similar and familiar "JBL House Sound", so there wasn't much of a hearing transition for me to adjust to, to decide if I really liked them or not.

    Back in '99, or might've been 2000, I almost bought 4 brand new 4430 from a Guitar Center, at the time they contacted JBL, and they said there was only 5 left at the time, something like only 3 lefts, and two rights in their wharehouse and that was it, no more.

    List was $2100/ea, free shipping to store, and the salesman at GC quoted me actual sale price of $1600/ea. Yeah, I was going to buy 4, at $6400! Jeez! In retrospect, and now drving a pair with the Bryston 600 watt monoblocks, 2 are plenty as far as being sufficient to have the cops banging down your door in any normal home seting.

    As for the last little bit of HF without a whizzer-tweeter (like the 077/2405) I'm not missing that much with the 4430.

    But would like to one day entertain a nice solidly made pair of custom Speaker Stands. I think the 4430 could benefit by being raised up a bit. I think 8"-10" would be perhaps better.

    These are some gorgeous stands, fell in love with their looks. I did contact Kenrick about these, and they said they were a custom one-off for a customer, and they don't make them. :-(

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcKEpqvVDXM

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by markd51 View Post
    Ethyl Merman's, not sure what these are?
    My own creation: 2241H woofers in ~6 cu ft, 2251J 10" (actually ~9.75"), and Heil AMT with crossovers I designed and implemented. The crossovers have been reworked countless times and will probably be revised again. If I find that I can make even a 1 dB difference at any point in the spectrum as noted on the RTA, and not just my ears, I will spend hours trying various combinations of frequency contouring to make that change. And, I continually go back and undo/redo changes to see if subsequent changes changed them too. Even the Heils received "acoustic lenses" to smooth their responses.

    I call them the Ethyl Mermans because they do female voices so well, and can do it LOUD as was Ethyl's trademark. Of course, now they do everything well.


  8. #23
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    I too was pretty happy with what I paid for my 4430s.

    I got the pair, (one woofer was out but it was just a lead off on the crossover), a pair of 4330s, a pair of 4425s, and a Tascam 8 channel mixing board (just like the one we used back in the day) all for $1,100 and the gent helped me load them and came home with me to unload them (three trips). The woofers needed foams and eventually I sold the 4430s for $1,100 (after paying $100 for refoams when I got them).

    The 4330s had original 2420s with tangential diaphragms and replaced my LE175s in the L200 cabinets. These were the first 2420s that I had considered to replace the LE175s owing to their similar tangential diaphrams, that I prefer. I later found an original tangential diaphragm on ebay that had been mismarked as a 2425 diaphragm, and this replaced the diamond aluminum 2420 diaphragm in my center channnel.

    The three LE175s and their horns were traded straight across for the three 2405's, two of which have consecutive serial numbers. These replaced three 075s in the L200s/center, two of which were also sold. Everything else was sold off for profit.


  9. #24
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Nice pic Todd,

    Back to the first post questions .

    Dual woofers will demonstrate more authority than the same single woofer
    In the case of the 4350 the woofers bandwidth is also deliberately limited to the optimum range of the driver. The 12 inch light weight mid cone driver above 250 hertz further improves transient performance. It might pay to verify what woofers you have installed in the 4350's?

    The single 2235H driver is used in the stock JBL 4430 15 inch two way bi radial monitor. However that design calls for operation of the woofer up to the 1000 hertz crossover point with the 12 db per per octave crossover slope. The 4430 trades authority and other subjective characteristics which might be important to the Hifi listener in exchange for a more compact system with improved coherence and flat power response using driver technology available at the time in the early 1980's. Such a trade off is acceptable in commercial markets. These bi radial monitors were a significant commercial success compared to the larger more expensive 4350. The 4435 is a more efficient, larger and more powerful design than the 4430 compact sibling with refinement in some subjective characteristics.

    Unless you are highly skilled with suitable test equipment and have some good technical insights into these designs then attempting to modify the 4430 is not going to be easy. Getting it right is important if your interested in making comparisons otherwise its just different and not necessarily better. The end result may not justify the time, money and effort involved unless you are following a well trodden road of a proven design amendment. I recommend you audition the JBL 4367 consumer monitor AUD RRP $23000 which is one of JBLs better contemporary 15 inch two way designs. https://klappav.com.au/products/4367...nding-speakers

    Then judge for yourself what subjective qualities you prefer. My feeling is you might be wedded to the classic vintage JBL sound of your 4350's

    My suggestion is that you hang for the return of your 4350's and spend the extra cash on your signal path. The US-AUD exchange rate is currently 0.66 making a pair of 2216nd or the 2216nd-1 drivers a reasonably expensive diy change out If you are interested I have pair of 2216nd's and one day we could catch up and try them following some measurement and proper adjustment of the 4430 network as required. You can also look at some improvements to the original 4350 spec. Drop me pm.

    A lot of people I speak to prefer the older vintage JBL designs. Leave it to yourself to make your choices. Always trust your ears before accepting an opinion.

  10. #25
    Senior Member markd51's Avatar
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    Yes, the 4367 is a beautiful looking speaker. A modern day rendition of the 4430 it perhaps could be said.

    And price of admission in USA is $15,000 Yikes! A little bit too rich for my blood.

  11. #26
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Smile

    For some who own a collection of Jbl drivers past and present such as the 2216nd then they might play around with the idea just for grins. With a dsp based active crossover it might be possible to create your own incarnation of a Frankenstein 4430. There is nothing wrong with diy experimentation if you have the time, resources, skills and funding to pursue your own project and see it through.

    For example the original stock compression driver and bi radial horn in the Jbl 4430 is also worthy of potential upgrade to match the performance of the Jbl 2216nd woofers. LHS member Guido has trialled a Tad compression driver with excellent results. But again this was an expensive project. Some will consider a 1.5 inch Jbl compression driver and a more modern Jbl progressive waveguide. The modified design then becomes a totally new loudspeaker design. One thing leads to another and you are on your own. Getting hold of these components can be a lengthy wait.

    Why not clone a Jbl M2?. My preference is to follow as closely as possible an original Jbl design. Why? A lot more goes into a Jbl loudspeaker design than picking a couple of drivers and a horn. They are designed to deliver a set of performance criteria using considerable engineering capability and resources. Usually several prototypes are listened to and assessed. The design is empirically finalised by a Jbl panel of practitioners with decades experience. If you think you can cook up a loudspeaker that will match or exceed a Jbl designed system from a single attempt good luck with that 😉.

    It requires a lot of patience, time, a bunch of reliable test equipment and a range of skills and knowledge. That adds up to a lot of hours in the man cave and a very understanding wife.

    For example you might try new drivers or modified drivers using for example Beryllium diaphragms but be aware the results may not work out the way you expected. Some users have reported Truextent Beryllium diaphragms in some Jbl compression drivers do not subjectively extend the HF response sufficiently high enough despite measurements suggesting otherwise. They then have to look for a suitable uhf driver. EEK the cost without certainty of the outcome.

  12. #27
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    I've found it's usually the room, and placement, there's threads out there like the Sumiko speaker setup, etc., It takes time. And patience for sure. I don't do the microphone measuring game, that didn't work as well for me.

    I've had L150's, L300's, now S9900's, and even those can lack mid bass depending on where I place them. There's been folks complaining at shows about the S9900's being thin, or lacking mid bass. It's in the set up. The way I have them set up, in my room, they do not lack at all, punchy as hell if I need them to be.

    Room treatments also help after set up is complete.

    IME, YMMV, etc.,

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