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Thread: Just came upon a one owner pair of L200's value?

  1. #1
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    Just came upon a one owner pair of L200's value?

    Hey everyone,

    My friend know I am into JBL and he came across quite a find.

    These are really honest l200's with the attached envelope from JBL on the rear and the manual, warranty card and cabinet care instructions. It was owned by a couple without kids and looks like they were moved once in their lifetime. He replace the grills with fabric and a frame.

    What are your thoughts on Value. I would love to keep them, but they are too big for my space.

    I have not oiled them or attempted any fixes to the cabinets at this point, but they should clean up really nicely.

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  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    A lot less than you might think. It may be that no one has ever priced that speaker except people who find them at garage sales and want to sell them. Sometimes it's hard to know when to stop working on an audioproject/poem/novel/blogpost/hotrod/customcar/relationship/homeremodel and that speaker may be one that was worked on too much or too little. The goal may have been to meet a price point. In any case, JBL went well beyond that system, even in the same era. Super nice industrial design on the cabinet, though, and the cabinets look clean. It looks like you've handled then carefully. Don't really care for the aftermarket grill cloth. If you decide to eBay them, it might pay to replace it. Also, your camera angles are hiding the slant of the front baffle, one of the salient features of the cabinet, IMHO.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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    Dave,

    Sorry, I should have explained better. I definitely know what the speakers are and knew they are 48 years old. Do not want to swap my Sonus Fabers for them! But they do have a following and have seen a wide range of prices for them. I literally had them fall into my hands. I have no emotional or monetary attachment to them. My pictures sucked because I unloaded them in my workshop so I could test them to ensure they work well, and I didn't have the space to back up and take proper pictures.

    They have the original (?) screens for the foam grills and I could replace the grills. I could quickly and easily make the cabinets look even better (original oiled finish) but I am not sure what a collector would want.

    I am a huge JBL fan and have a set of XPL200A's, L20TBQ's and XPL140A's I just want these to not disappear... Like the original owner was going to do.


    Hope that makes better sense. If that was the troll response, its all good.

    PK

  5. #5
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Right. I've seen that range of prices too, but have no idea what money has changed hands in an actual deal. I first heard that speaker at San Francisco's Eber Electronics in the '70's, and even then I wondered about the thinking behind it. The salesman there (I forget his name). who was fond of saying, "That's good enough for anybody," about a piece of hi fi gear, only smiled when I turned to him with a puzzled expression. He's actually the one who said, "Sometimes it's difficult to know when to stop working a speaker."

    So, no trolling intended. Just trying to lift the curtain on your prize with some dimension and balance. There's a following? Cool. Couldn't be happier.
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

  6. #6
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coshesey View Post
    What are your thoughts on Value. I would love to keep them, but they are too big for my space.
    I have seen them go for $600 - $2500 a pair. Condition and location are the biggest variables... also there is the L200 which you have and the more desirable L200B with the 136A woofer and improved crossover.

    Unlike Speakerdave... I was always smitten by these speakers. Not by their sound, but I just liked the look of them. Others prefered the L300, which is arguably a much better speaker, but aesthetically, it never won me over.

    Good luck with your sale.


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  7. #7
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    You're in a large metro area which helps because no one likes to ship these.

    But you're in an area where vintage JBLs are ubiquitous, too.

    $1,200 is the number that came to my mind. But someone with a different concept of wealth might not balk at twice that.
    ". . . 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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    Thanks for the insight

    Should I solve issues with the cabinets (minor) and re-oil them? Should I invest in the foam replacement grills?

    I think they may look pretty new if I go that route. I hooked them up and played them last night. Depends largely on the type of music and recording, but I do see how some solves with the crossover or a bi-amp/DSP could really make them shine. Bass was very natural in a very lively workshop!

    I hope to find them a new home for another 48 years.

    PK

  9. #9
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    If you put a fresh coat of oil, you'll likely find it worthwhile in that they will show better... and it's only a small investment in time and materials. While I would go for the foam grilles myself, if you buy a pair, the next owner may prefer a different color. I don't think I'd make that investment.


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    L200s

    Speaking as another Original L200 owner, I suspect those may have more value as "MCM Style" items than as JBL vintage (but limited, in either event).

    (I had a local MCM/vintage shop owner over to look at some Herman Miller items I needed to let go, and he was drawn to my L200s like a bug to heat - I nearly had to swat him to keep on On Topic as he looked them over.)

    But, condition as MCM items will be Everything - those appear to have some scratches on the top and sides - if deep, they could be hard to remove.
    Knocks or gouges in the front nose trim, even worse (if present - can't tell from the pics).
    Are the particle board bases in good shape? If exposed to damp/wet they will disintegrate - not a good sign.

    The side vents need replacing, but those do come up for sale occasionally (I recently bought a pair for about $50?).

    Foam grills - might leave that to a future buyer to decide, but I really like the two sets of replacements I got from Sonofagun; they are indistinguishable from the originals. But, the sculpted look is a huge part of their MCM 'eye grab' appeal, however - they look pretty 'boring' with just fabric stretched over them.
    The screens are just that, and can be cheaply reproduced by any good window shop.

    As speakers - they aren't very impressive in original form; the crossover is probably junk now, and the original woofs, even in good shape, are pretty limited.

    So, you have some very nice, very well made, nice looking 'MCM' cabinets (I too prefer them over L300s style), with 2420 horns and lenses, which can be a great starting point for 3-way L300 clones (or better, with 2216ND woofs dropping right in) DIY projects.
    (Or stuff DIY M2 components in there??)

    Pretty impressive the original owners kept them in such good shape for so long (are we now a dying breed? I'm sure they were sad to let them go.
    They are heavy, so most likely local sales only?

    The cost to upgrade them to 'like mine' would be something like $1500 each, so not a cheap endeavor, but the end result would still be cheaper than used 4367s, etc or restored/like new L300s.

    So, having said all that - value?

    I think you'd be fortunate to get $500 ea for them - and that is mostly b/c the cabinets are devilishly tricky to replicate (I know, I built one as a 19" rack 'clone').
    Still, they are very nice examples, and for that price would work well as either a bit of MCM 'display' history or as starter cabs for a nice DIY project.
    Since you are closer to Charles Eames territory than I, you might even get lucky and find a more enthusiastic buyer!

    Very Nice find, and good luck!

  11. #11
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    Thanks Nedseg,

    I am a woodworker, and the cabinets will be a easy fix. Light scratches and not many dents. There are a few places missing a small piece of veneer - pencil eraser or less on edges. I could also make the black accent along the grill addition pop more. The screens are still there as are the original JBL logos. The bases are in great shape. I will do some light sanding with a 320+ grit and then re-oil.

    Surprisingly, the owner just didn't care. He told the Agent that they were his to take. They would not fit where he was moving to.

    Some funny things to me are the micro size speaker wire of the day and the size wire that the terminal can support. Efficiency didn't dictate anything larger at the time I suppose.

    I could re-work the crossovers if I was going to keep them, but not my plan. The bass was surprisingly good, not like my SVS SB16 ultra, but natural and not too boomy.


    Anyway, I will do some work this weekend and take some pics.

    What oil do you all use to re-oil the veneer on these?

    PK

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    Oil

    Interesting owner's take on them - I guess they can either be be like beloved pet turtles, or just a pain to deal with!
    Clean 'em up and move them on to someone who can make good use of them!

    I've been using the JBL linseed oil & turps mix, wet sanding with 400 grit and finer. Easy, cheap, and soft to the touch.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedseg View Post
    Speaking as another Original L200 owner, I suspect those may have more value as "MCM Style" items than as JBL vintage (but limited, in either event).
    I'm assuming you are referring to Mid-Century Modern (MCM) rather than what one gets when you Google the abbreviation!
    ". . . 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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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    I'm assuming you are referring to Mid-Century Modern (MCM) rather than what one gets when you Google the abbreviation!
    Oh . I saw it as 1900.
    It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
    She's gettin' us all, yeah, she's gettin' us all

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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    Oh . I saw it as 1900.
    Hah! (Also NOT what google might think it means)

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