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Thread: JBL 4350/4355 Project - Help Urgently Needed - Many questions

  1. #1
    Junior Member markustubesnow's Avatar
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    JBL 4350/4355 Project - Help Urgently Needed - Many questions

    Thanks, in advance, for any information, guidance or help anyone can provide here. I have the opportunity to take on a project to put together a pair of 4350s or 4355s, but need some information to make a final decision about whether or not to take it on.

    The seller has all the drivers out on a table, and cabinets in a warehouse. Haven't seen the cabinets yet. The drivers he has are 2220H (qty 2/side), 2202H, 2441 with horn and lens and 2405. He says the 2220Hs have been re-coned and are now equivalent to 2235. Is this a reasonable statement? I don't think he's trying to "pull a fast one" but don't have any experience and haven't been able to find a table that allows me to clearly understand what models of JBL drivers are equivalent.

    First, about the 4350/55 option - the seller has two pair of cabinets. Apparently a pair of 4350 and a pair of 4355. He says I can choose whichever ones I think are in better shape. It sounds like either one will need work. Here are my questions:

    1. Something I haven't been able to clearly understand is what were the original driver configurations of these two models. Were they the same?
    2. Between the two models, which is considered to be better?
    3. The seller appears to be very knowledgeable. The 15 inch woofers are 2220H, but he says they have been re-coned and are now equivalent to 2235. What should I watch out for? Is this a big deal?
    4. Here's a practical question - how the heck do you install these drivers in the cabinets? Are the holes in the baffle threaded? The drivers - especially the huge compression driver - are super heavy. I am not confident that I will be able to contort my body to be able to install the fasteners while holding the driver in place. What am I missing?
    5. My listening room is 16' by 24'. I currently have two systems - one centered around a pair of Quad 2805s and one centered around a pair of 4430s. I'm sure the wife will not support me having three pairs of speakers so eventually one or two pair will have to go. I do quite a bit of listening between 50 and 70-75dB and either pair of the speakers I have work well for that. Will the 4350/55s work for listening at low volume? I listen to a lot of funk, soul, jazz, soundtracks, library, some classical.
    6. Generally speaking, do you think my room is big enough that the 4450/55s will "work"? Will they "cohere" or is my space too small?

    I've really tried to track down answers to these questions on this wonderful site but haven't been able to find them all. Thanks, again, in advance for any help, direction or information you can provide.

    Best regards,
    Markus

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    Hello Markus;

    The 2220 has a 0.500 top plate / magnetic motor - voice coil gap height, the 2235s have a 0,375 top plate. These are not properly interchangeable. They will make sound of course but with the voice coil not being on axis centered in the gap they will have an unavoidable distortion component.

    I would pass on them unless they have to be part of the deal.

    The 4350s came with 2440s, the 4355 with 2441s. The big concern here will be if either of these boxes come with crossovers as they are different. Are there crossovers in them?

    The 4350s have three ports per side and the horn and drivers must go in separately and they are a pain but with the boxes on their backs its not terrible.

    The 4355s have a large single port per side and I honestly bet the change was to make assembly easier.

    The 4355s sound better to me due to the compression drivers extended reach in high frequency. This adds the their large format sound character and eases the requirements of the 2405. The 4355 crossover in the 4350 box with the 2441 gets you there if those are the boxes you get.

    Your space is plenty big enough.

    They sound great at low level. They dont image like your 4430s but out perform them in just about every other metric in my opinion.

    There is a lot to unpack in all your concerns. I have 4350s and 4430s, and lots of spare parts.

    I will help in any way possible.

    Also, if you buy the pick of the litter, what is left? Just a pair of empty cabinets or?

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

  3. #3
    Senior Member Eaulive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1audiohack View Post
    Hello Markus;

    The 2220 has a 0.500 top plate / magnetic motor - voice coil gap height, the 2235s have a 0,375 top plate. These are not properly interchangeable. They will make sound of course but with the voice coil not being on axis centered in the gap they will have an unavoidable distortion component.
    That's one statement I can back, it's a fact, the 2220 has a different motor and is NOT compatible with any cone of that series (2225/2235/E140)
    A 2220 can only be reconed as a 2220.
    My avatar: 4520 loaded with 2225H on E140 frames,
    1x 2202H on custom front loaded horn, 2x 2426 on 2370.

  4. #4
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    Barry,

    ( FWIW ), you mis-spoke, the 2220 has a .35" top plate while the 2225/35 has a .28" top plate.


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    Junior Member markustubesnow's Avatar
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    Project update - Still evaluating the lay of the land

    Thanks to all who have posted on this thread. It's helpful.

    I have learned that the cabinets still retain their correct crossovers. Don't know yet about the various bits of mounting hardware, whether they are still there. Will see the cabinets in a week or so.

    Searching around I have turned up a few 2225s which have been re-coned as 2235s, some with statements that the re-cone kits are "JBL approved". Can anyone advise whether there are/were "JBL approved" re-cone kits for JBL woofers, especially the 2225?

    Is the assertion that a 2225 re-coned as a 2235 is the same as a 2235 a correct one?

    Lastly, let's talk about the potential value of project like this, both as raw drivers/cabinet and as a finished project. Right now I don't see any 4350s for sale anywhere. There's a pair of 4355s, with new, "made to spec" cabinets for sale on Ebay for something like $16,000. But seems like I saw thread somewhere around here about two pair for sale in the Midwest last year in nice condition for $8000. Kinda seems like the 16K price is wishful thinking. Any thoughts about what a project like this is worth would be appreciated.

    I have seen the prices on the Kenrick site, but that's a very unique situation, seems like. Not really comparable to North America.

    Thanks again for any information you can share.

    Markus

  6. #6
    Senior Member Eaulive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markustubesnow View Post
    Is the assertion that a 2225 re-coned as a 2235 is the same as a 2235 a correct one?
    Correct, the 2225 and the 2235 share the exact same frame/magnet assembly.

    Quote Originally Posted by markustubesnow View Post
    Searching around I have turned up a few 2225s which have been re-coned as 2235s, some with statements that the re-cone kits are "JBL approved". Can anyone advise whether there are/were "JBL approved" re-cone kits for JBL woofers, especially the 2225?
    As far as I know there are no "JBL approved" or any recone kit endorsed by JBL, other than the original cones sold by JBL and installed in an authorized JBL reconer shop. (if they are still available of course)
    However Simplyspeakers.com seem to have a pretty good selection and they seem to be serious about their products. Their specs look quite accurate from what I can see.
    I never purchased anything from them however, maybe others have.
    The only thing that is tricky is that their kits are not assembled and as such they are not a drop-in replacement, you need to have the exact measurements from an old cone and build some kind of jig to assemble the cone before actually installing it in the frame, this needs precision and know how.
    I'm talking about the coil/spider/cone assembly.
    My avatar: 4520 loaded with 2225H on E140 frames,
    1x 2202H on custom front loaded horn, 2x 2426 on 2370.

  7. #7
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Yep. The "JBL-approved" kit is the JBL C8R2235 cone kit. Period. Anything else should be reviewed very carefully.
    Sounds like the proper JBL kits are still available now and then. The problem with aftermarket cone kits is the unknown... a buyer might wisely/conservatively consider the driver values as the frame and magnet only. When a particular recone kits becomes NLA, the alternative would be to seek a reputable/experienced reconer to approximate the JBL kit as closely as possible with available parts and measurements.

    No idea on value, but stock cabinet, crossover, and all proper JBL parts should help. System history might also help.
    2235H vs 2225 reconed with a C8R2235 kit at a JBL-approved shop with a good reputation (w/ documented kit and work) -should- only get a ding vs the most original of systems... i.e., a studio wouldn't care, a Texan with large bookshelves might not care , but a hard-core collector would when paying top dollar.

  8. #8
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    C8R2235 kits

    Checkout The Speaker Exchange.
    I managed to get 4 genuine C8R2235 kits from them early this year. The original JBL items are all pre made, and they come complete with the mass rings you will need to convert the 2225 to a 2235. They were a good price too - I was able to source 4 mint very close serial, grey basket 2225's and 4 genuine C8R2235 kits for the same price as 2 VERY used, battered and likely thrashed, black basket/plastic terminal 2235's with rotten foam surrounds. The only caveat is I think had the last 4 genuine kits they had in stock at the time - but ask them and see what they have.

    With regards to price, I've seen 4355's priced between 18 and 24k (why I started to collecting to build my own), but I'd imagine those prices are reserved for 100% genuine items in original boxes with paperwork in mint condition with their original components to a serious buyer. God knows what the final prices were on those...

    There's a very nice looking allbeit home made pair on 'a well known website' right now for $17k, but I certainly wouldn't buy them without knowing the vintage of the components, the serials, etc etc - which is likely why they've been there a while. As you know 2235's came in various configurations over the years, and mis-matched color/terminal drivers with serial numbers with a wide gap, reconed using aftermarket kits, while technically 'a 2235', doesn't constitute something a serious buyer would take a second look at. Not for that price.

    High prices can definitely be achieved with top end home built replicas, but they need to be absolutely on point in every aspect, with all original matching components of the same vintage, with pics to prove it. Certainly more detail than this ad I'm talking about above provides.

    Dave.

  9. #9
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    Same project!

    I have a similar project.

    4350 / 4355

    4x K140 to be reconed to 2235
    2202a
    2441 with Radian diaphragms
    2405

    2311 horns and 2308 lenses

    4355 badges, tone control knobs

    since I am using 12" from 4350a/4350b the dog house for the 12" will be based on the 4350b, I wanted all the drivers to have alnico recharged magnets, I will be using the port layout of the 4355 and labels for 4355..

    have the Ral 5007 paint..

    port tubes came from a hobby rocket supplier.. LOC 5.38 from Apogee rockets.

    All active setup, amps are all mos-fet..

    cases are walnut veneered baltic birch, not cheap to acquire but worth it.. all structure and interior bracing in baltic

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