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Thread: Any one interested in L300/4333 clone builds?

  1. #1
    Member JBLPRO's Avatar
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    Any one interested in L300/4333 clone builds?

    Hello All,
    I am almost at the end of perfecting a L300 and 4333 build. I have invested over 200 hours into research, measuring, making jigs, templates and all the parts/tools to assist in making EXACT copies of these classic JBL monitors. I have enough raw material to make an additional 6 pairs. No short cuts here all the PIA angles, 1 " radius rounded edges, smoked glass top, walnut trim, duplicated grill frames with your choice of grill cloth color, and all the other little details that make the L300 a L300. I can just provide the finished empty cabinets if you want to do a restoration using your original drivers or a TOTALLY finished product that will be plug and play. I will not cut corners in the builds and all dimensions/specs will be exact! I am not new to working with JBL products and have been building speakers using their components since the late 70's. A few years back i made a beautiful set of 4355's and they put a smile on my face every day I listen to them. As a serious cabinet maker/serious music listener that pays attention to every detail I feel the end result product will be 99.99% as they were sold new. This does not mean that all raw materials will be the same as they were made at the factory. I will improve upon some processes where I can as these will be hand made with the utmost care. I do however will only use the appropriate drivers that were supplied with each model. I am having much difficulty finding 2405's/077's for the builds so I have been looking into other options, but none to me are close enough to a classic 2405. I am making 2 different crossovers- one will be the Nelson Pass improved design and the other the well know CC type. I love working with wood so you probably guessed I am not a big fan of MDF so I use 1" and 3/4 Baltic birch. I always make sure that all steps are done as per JBL spec. I was in the pro audio biz for many years and now want to somewhat retire to my shop making speakers that is fulfilling to me and at the same time challenging. Its so cool when tooling up to make a new(clone) model But what REALLY makes me happy in the end is enabling other fellow hifi enthusiasts to be able to enjoy and relive that classic JBL sound!
    Let me know what you think and let me know if there is any interest....

    Sincerely,

    mike kehr

  2. #2
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Cool idea. Thanks for sharing.

    Looking forward to seeing photos of your work.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  3. #3
    Senior Member ivica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBLPRO View Post
    Hello All,
    I am almost at the end of perfecting a L300 and 4333 build. I have invested over 200 hours into research, measuring, making jigs, templates and all the parts/tools to assist in making EXACT copies of these classic JBL monitors. I have enough raw material to make an additional 6 pairs. No short cuts here all the PIA angles, 1 " radius rounded edges, smoked glass top, walnut trim, duplicated grill frames with your choice of grill cloth color, and all the other little details that make the L300 a L300. I can just provide the finished empty cabinets if you want to do a restoration using your original drivers or a TOTALLY finished product that will be plug and play. I will not cut corners in the builds and all dimensions/specs will be exact! I am not new to working with JBL products and have been building speakers using their components since the late 70's. A few years back i made a beautiful set of 4355's and they put a smile on my face every day I listen to them. As a serious cabinet maker/serious music listener that pays attention to every detail I feel the end result product will be 99.99% as they were sold new. This does not mean that all raw materials will be the same as they were made at the factory. I will improve upon some processes where I can as these will be hand made with the utmost care. I do however will only use the appropriate drivers that were supplied with each model. I am having much difficulty finding 2405's/077's for the builds so I have been looking into other options, but none to me are close enough to a classic 2405. I am making 2 different crossovers- one will be the Nelson Pass improved design and the other the well know CC type.............

    Sincerely,

    mike kehr
    Hi JBLPRO,

    From my personal experience I would suggest You to use 2441/45/46/50 driver with 2311 horn&2308 lenses (as used in 4355 box), instead of 2420/21 with 2312 &2308 lenses as VHF driver&horn combo, as horn "honk" is much, much less pronounced. May be something lowering of the driver level ( -1dB to -2dB ) has to be applied too. Front baffle mounting holes are the same.

    Regards
    Ivica

  4. #4
    Member JBLPRO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Cool idea. Thanks for sharing.

    Looking forward to seeing photos of your work.

    Here are a few.... I have dozens and dozens of build photos. Need to organize in a logical order...


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  5. #5
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    Very nice work Mike! If I lived in your area I would give you a shout. It does look like the 2405s are moving to the world of the unobtainium. The diaphragms are no longer sold by JBL, and the Chicom copies are likely crap. I have tried the 2420 Chicom diaphragms. They are junk.

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    Interested!

    Mike, let me know what would be the best way to contact you directly. I would love to get more details on your current builds.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jblwolf's Avatar
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    Greeting Mike very nice craftsmanship.
    do you have price points of let say full loaded complete speakers to just empty cabinets or kit form the hobbyist may indulge in?

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    Pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by jblwolf View Post
    Greeting Mike very nice craftsmanship.
    do you have price points of let say full loaded complete speakers to just empty cabinets or kit form the hobbyist may indulge in?
    Ditto - some pricing would go a long way when gauging interest.

  9. #9
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    More on the JBL L300 Clone builds..... pricing and details

    Quote Originally Posted by New2JBL View Post
    Mike, let me know what would be the best way to contact you directly. I would love to get more details on your current builds.

    Thanks.

    THANKS for all your interest and considering me to make clone L300 cabinets for true JBL enthusiasts. It a true passion for me- Audio meets fine cabinet making! I have always really enjoyed the dynamics and sound of the vintage JBL speaker designs.
    Price depends on how detailed you would like the build to be as a fully 100% authentic L300 cabs are more costly...
    Prices ranges from $2500.00 per pair unloaded cabs to around $5000.00 for fully loaded plug and play speakers depending of driver availability and current used market pricing. Please email me directly for more info and a more accurate price quote. mike@vinageaudiolabs.com 609.432.6881
    I can make empty cabinets or load them up as per your requirements. I also make a few custom versions of crossovers using really nice parts including a CC design improved on by fellow members. I also have tried the Nelson pass design and that is nice as well, though not much different from original.

    Here is what I do to ensure that The L300's I make sound amazing and have the original JBL aesthetic. This is one special speaker design and is not at all just a square box!
    I use all high quality materials and NO corners are cut during the entire build process. All cabinet specs are identical to the original. I am a detail guy and any sight difference would really make me loose sleep. The front baffle will be on a 97 degree angle. Its much more complicated and time consuming to build but it what make the L300 the L300!
    I do not use MDF.
    I like working with wood and I feel high quality cabinet grade plywood is stronger and a nicer material to work with. The side panels are 1" 19 ply Baltic birch and the top/bottom, back and baffle panels are 3/4" 13 ply Baltic birch. Rabbet/dado joints are utilized throughout, waterproof glue in all seams and screwed for strength and added integrity. Box is dryfit prior to gluing and fits together perfectly. Veneer is applied with contact cement or iron on glue method. Veneer with run horizontal as per original. Front baffle with be satin black and, top, bottom(base) and back will be flat black. I do not use latex paint. The base will be standard as per spec with an additional brace added to center to deaden bottom panel. I also include the removable rear compression driver support assemble panel- made to spec. Veneer will be finished with linseed oil combination for that original JBL oil rubbed finish. Driver mounting hardware is included.

    Here are a few questions for you to answer that will help me provide an accurate quote.
    Will you be wanting the original spec attenuator LPADS? If so foilcals, LPADS, knobs and mounting assembly are required.
    Do you want the smoked glass top or will you be getting that part from your local supplier?
    What type of speaker terminal would you like?
    Finish in Walnut veneer? or another species?
    Do you want the grills and if so what color grill cloth?
    What type on internal damping, 1.5" fiberglass is what I normally use.
    What mounting do you like for the 15" ? I can do the original 8 machine screws with"T" nuts OR the JBL MA-15 mounting kit.
    I have been doing 1" Baltic birch for sides with the 1" round over on the side panel top and bottom thus eliminating the 4 walnut edge pieces. I then veneer over the round edge butting the 1/2" X 1" top trim piece that is flush with the top glass. This was a BIG decision but i feel using the birch eliminates the need for the hardwood edges. One of the reasons JBL did the hardwood was because they were using particle board at the time.
    Thanks for your interest,

    Please feel free to call or email me should you have any questions.

    Sincerely,

    mike kehr
    609.432.6881
    mike@vintageaudiolabs.com
    USA

  10. #10
    Senior Member tjm001's Avatar
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    Why eliminate the 4 walnut edge pieces on L300s?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBLPRO View Post
    I have been doing 1" Baltic birch for sides with the 1" round over on the side panel top and bottom thus eliminating the 4 walnut edge pieces. I then veneer over the round edge butting the 1/2" X 1" top trim piece that is flush with the top glass. This was a BIG decision but i feel using the birch eliminates the need for the hardwood edges...
    I absolutely agree with you on the use of Baltic birch, but I respectfully disagree with you on eliminating the 4 walnut 1 inch rounded edges. Other than a few extra bucks for a piece of 5/4 walnut it's easier or as easy to build. I think it gives a more elegant appearance and more adheres to classical furniture design and looks like "the real thing".

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjm001 View Post
    I absolutely agree with you on the use of Baltic birch, but I respectfully disagree with you on eliminating the 4 walnut 1 inch rounded edges. Other than a few extra bucks for a piece of 5/4 walnut it's easier or as easy to build. I think it gives a more elegant appearance and more adheres to classical furniture design and looks like "the real thing".
    +1

    Just adding this as an additional data point. Also, I think your work looks top drawer.

    I too, much prefer working with Baltic birch. I would consider adding an internal coating of a sound deadening compound like aquaplas, or other material. Brich plywood is very strong and much more rigid than particle board or MDF, but since it is not as lossy as these composition boards it can have a slight ring depending upon panel size and construction. That said, when used appropriately it is superior to the composition materials.



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    Let me provide a -1 perspective.

    A well executed round, clean, continuous veneer overlay will be a more elegant, clean, and aesthetic look than the old Walnut stick.
    Out.

  13. #13
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    Let me provide a -1 perspective.

    A well executed round, clean, continuous veneer overlay will be a more elegant, clean, and aesthetic look than the old Walnut stick.
    I understand this viewpoint and agree that it gives a cleaner look, but to me it looks more IKEA than fine furniture.

    Dome's post shows us that there is no one "right" answer. Hopefully each style can be accommodated per client preference.


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    L300 Walnut trim edges- do or don't I.... I do

    Quote Originally Posted by tjm001 View Post
    I absolutely agree with you on the use of Baltic birch, but I respectfully disagree with you on eliminating the 4 walnut 1 inch rounded edges. Other than a few extra bucks for a piece of 5/4 walnut it's easier or as easy to build. I think it gives a more elegant appearance and more adheres to classical furniture design and looks like "the real thing".
    I have to agree with you as well. The next set that I start next week WILL use the hardwood edges. As I mentioned I was losing sleep on this decision I have a plan now to execute the "real thing". I HATE "cutting corners" and this is one I feel now is important keeping them as close to factory as possible. I will be using dowels to join the walnut edge trim to the 1" ply side panel top/bottom and will offset the walnut trim just the right amount to meet the veneer flush.
    And now I will even be more stressed when doing the 1" rounds... Hey its not that bad, I just clamp on start and end blocks to avoid damage starting and finishing the pass. And 4-6 passes taking off a bit of material at a time. Also made a custom router base that creates more real estate on the top/bottom speaker surface.

  15. #15
    Senior Member tjm001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBLPRO View Post
    I have to agree with you as well. The next set that I start next week WILL use the hardwood edges. As I mentioned I was losing sleep on this decision I have a plan now to execute the "real thing". I HATE "cutting corners" and this is one I feel now is important keeping them as close to factory as possible. I will be using dowels to join the walnut edge trim to the 1" ply side panel top/bottom and will offset the walnut trim just the right amount to meet the veneer flush.
    And now I will even be more stressed when doing the 1" rounds... Hey its not that bad, I just clamp on start and end blocks to avoid damage starting and finishing the pass. And 4-6 passes taking off a bit of material at a time. Also made a custom router base that creates more real estate on the top/bottom speaker surface.
    I understand your frustration Mike. I too had struggled for some time as to how I was going to do it. For me the easy way was to do the 1 inch round-over of the walnut pieces against a fence on a router table. It's not only easier, but a lot safer too! Then I cut a relief groove on the underside of them just like on a piece of hardwood flooring. This ensures a tight fit against the edge of the veneer. I then glued and screwed them from the inside of the box AFTER the veneer was applied. I let them overlap the veneer face by just a hair. Just so you can barely feel it with your fingertips. Then carefully use a cabinet scraper to blend the solid edge pieces flush with the face of the veneer. Piece of cake!

    If you want a router table cheap I'm only a couple of hours southwest of you in northern Virginia. PM me if you want any more info. Be happy to help in any way.
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