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Thread: Reconer of choice..?

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    Reconer of choice..?

    I have a graveyard of JBLs needing attention, but I fear my local JBL service man has retired, plus it appears that coil kits for my L100T 2214s are discontinued from JBL.

    The others needing service are the 15" drivers in a set of L300s and a pair a 2241H1s in an SR4719A cabinet. I believe the kits for the 15s and the 18s are still available from JBL?

    So... What are the options here? The L300s just have foam rot but ages ago the likely retired JBL man said something negative about re-foam work and convincing my father to go that route is going to be a hard sell. The others are mine, but I fried the coils so the cones are coming out regardless.

    On the L100Ts, I'm wondering if actually makes more sense to just replace the entire driver with something more current if I have to move away from original anyhow.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? References? I'm located in Northern Indiana. I know shipping this stuff is going to cost a small fortune, but I'd prefer better quality work to lower cost so it is what it is at some point. I'm also up for trying my own hand at it, but I can't buy actual JBL parts (easily).

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    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Seek out our fellow member edgewound. He runs Upland Loudspeaker Service in California. Yes, shipping is expensive, I'm in Michigan. I've shipped several JBL goodies to him for refurbishment. So far, he has been the only one to do my speakers justice and right. Never knew they could be so wrong.. Just don't expect next day/week service.

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    I too am north (northeast) Indiana, can understand the difficulty in getting proper recones and speaker service here, those who do it are not good IMO.

    As far as the L300s, are they L300 or L300A? The L300 has the 136A (AlNiCo) magnet woofer, the L300A has a ferrite magnet. For both, the only available JBL recone kit is the C8R2235H which although a perfect match dimensionally for the later 136H ferrite woofer, I've read here that the original coil in the earlier 136A woofer is different dimensionally, and it is much better to retain it if possible with a good refoam. I bought C8R2235H kits from JBL in March, believe them to still be available.

    There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with a proper refoam if done correctly and the rest of the speaker is in good condition.

    I have the later L300As, which were reconed with the C8R2235H kits by H.J.S. Sound Equipment (a JBL dealer in the Fort Wayne area where they were purchased new in December 1980, no longer in business/retired, and I definitely don't recommend speaker workshop in FW) and they sound fantastic, measure flat +/- 3dB down to 24Hz in my room before EQ and have no measured nor audible anomolies (REW & UMIK-1) so for the later/ferrite woofer I would go for the JBL cone kit.

    Bobby Getchell / Getchell Amplifier in Brownsburg, IN isn't a JBL dealer and I don't know if he has any factory training etc. for JBL work, but I have seen some of his re-foam jobs and he seems like a good local-ish source also. If you travel to the Indy area it might be worth stopping in and talking to him. I don't know if he is currently taking in new service work however.
    - Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Seek out our fellow member edgewound. He runs Upland Loudspeaker Service in California. Yes, shipping is expensive, I'm in Michigan. I've shipped several JBL goodies to him for refurbishment. So far, he has been the only one to do my speakers justice and right. Never knew they could be so wrong.. Just don't expect next day/week service.
    PM will be inbound to him. I've conversed with him in the past on here.

    and... I can't PM him because his mailbox is full. I'll try via his business contacts.

    Quote Originally Posted by SaturationPt View Post
    I too am north (northeast) Indiana, can understand the difficulty in getting proper recones and speaker service here, those who do it are not good IMO.

    As far as the L300s, are they L300 or L300A? The L300 has the 136A (AlNiCo) magnet woofer, the L300A has a ferrite magnet. For both, the only available JBL recone kit is the C8R2235H which although a perfect match dimensionally for the later 136H ferrite woofer, I've read here that the original coil in the earlier 136A woofer is different dimensionally, and it is much better to retain it if possible with a good refoam. I bought C8R2235H kits from JBL in March, believe them to still be available.

    There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with a proper refoam if done correctly and the rest of the speaker is in good condition.

    I have the later L300As, which were reconed with the C8R2235H kits by H.J.S. Sound Equipment (a JBL dealer in the Fort Wayne area where they were purchased new in December 1980, no longer in business/retired, and I definitely don't recommend speaker workshop in FW) and they sound fantastic, measure flat +/- 3dB down to 24Hz in my room before EQ and have no measured nor audible anomolies (REW & UMIK-1) so for the later/ferrite woofer I would go for the JBL cone kit.

    Bobby Getchell / Getchell Amplifier in Brownsburg, IN isn't a JBL dealer and I don't know if he has any factory training etc. for JBL work, but I have seen some of his re-foam jobs and he seems like a good local-ish source also. If you travel to the Indy area it might be worth stopping in and talking to him. I don't know if he is currently taking in new service work however.
    Dad's are L300s, also bought from HJS and Herman reconed them last time, probably around 1994-ish, so I assume they have the correct kits in them..? Herm also did my L100Ts (I bought them from him), my L80Ts, my 240TIs, and my 2241H-1s last time. He's also the guy that told Dad that refoaming was of the devil. He has his reasons, which are all fine in a world where correct JBL cone kits are still available. In a world gone mad, we do what we can. Truth be told, Herm was still doing work for me out of his house long after he sold his shop in New Haven and I'm just praying he gets back to me so I don't have to ship this stuff for fear of all the things that can happen during shipping. I think there's about a 1% chance I'll hear back from him via the modes I've attempted. If anything I'd like to hear from him just to see how he's doing.

    Can confirm about Speaker Workshop. I sent one down there that I didn't care too much about just to try them out and I'm not impressed with the result.

    If I can talk Dad into refoaming, I'll probably try my hand at it myself since I don't think there's much to lose. I have a few throw aways that need foam that I can practice on first. My stuff that need coils, especially the drivers for which no JBL kit exists, are the ones I'm more concerned about.

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    I don't think that Herman will get back to you unfortunately.

    I do know that everything from his house and the large shop area behind the house was sold at an estate sale last fall, he did his speaker work in the shop there but I didn't look into whether Herman is still among us, certainly not in a capacity to recone speakers. I didn't hear about the sale in time or I would have been there opening day and maybe would know more about it. I'm up in Angola, ... not a jump in the car during lunch trip.

    I also don't know when recones were discontinued for the 136A from JBL, and whether the cones in your father's L300s are the currently-available ones. At any rate, the current cone kits are made in Mexico, some on this board don't consider that to be good. For me, they're all that is available and I will keep some around for that "what if" in my simple brain. For your father's speakers, I would say that there is little risk to refoaming the existing cones, if they aren't satisfactory then recone next (the cone kits are IIRC around $150/ea. and the closest match foam I've found is Simply Speakers for around $20/ea. or $39/pair).

    Refoaming a pair of 15" JBLs is not the best place to practice, the large cone and back-glue makes it tougher than most IME. Maybe edgewound is your best bet on this, and if he's a JBL authorized shop he can also get new cone kits from JBL.

    Regarding the L300 / L300A change, I can likely tell you from serial number, or you can look at the woofer magnet to verify 136A. External cues are the crappy plastic twist-lock terminals on the later version, the A is only on some of the foilcals (my very late As do not have the A following the serial number) and the foilcal changed from SUMMIT to MODEL L300 before the change to the 136H, so not as simple as most JBLs to tell version.

    Best of luck, let me know if I can help, not sure how local to me you are.
    - Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaturationPt View Post
    I don't think that Herman will get back to you unfortunately.

    I do know that everything from his house and the large shop area behind the house was sold at an estate sale last fall, he did his speaker work in the shop there but I didn't look into whether Herman is still among us, certainly not in a capacity to recone speakers. I didn't hear about the sale in time or I would have been there opening day and maybe would know more about it. I'm up in Angola, ... not a jump in the car during lunch trip.

    I also don't know when recones were discontinued for the 136A from JBL, and whether the cones in your father's L300s are the currently-available ones. At any rate, the current cone kits are made in Mexico, some on this board don't consider that to be good. For me, they're all that is available and I will keep some around for that "what if" in my simple brain. For your father's speakers, I would say that there is little risk to refoaming the existing cones, if they aren't satisfactory then recone next (the cone kits are IIRC around $150/ea. and the closest match foam I've found is Simply Speakers for around $20/ea. or $39/pair).

    Refoaming a pair of 15" JBLs is not the best place to practice, the large cone and back-glue makes it tougher than most IME. Maybe edgewound is your best bet on this, and if he's a JBL authorized shop he can also get new cone kits from JBL.

    Regarding the L300 / L300A change, I can likely tell you from serial number, or you can look at the woofer magnet to verify 136A. External cues are the crappy plastic twist-lock terminals on the later version, the A is only on some of the foilcals (my very late As do not have the A following the serial number) and the foilcal changed from SUMMIT to MODEL L300 before the change to the 136H, so not as simple as most JBLs to tell version.

    Best of luck, let me know if I can help, not sure how local to me you are.
    That's sad to hear. He built that house himself. I haven't seen anything come through indicating that he isn't with us anymore, but that could just mean the family never published an obituary. I do know about 10 years ago he was getting a hand tremor that was making the work difficult for him some days. I'd be happy just to pick his brain if he was willing to let me. Anyhow, I hope he's doing well despite appearances.

    Dad's do have the crappy twist lock terminals! Sounds like they may be L300As? That would simplify at least some of the conversation I'm having with him.

    I'm in Elkhart Co, so not too terribly far from you.

    ETA: Can confirm what you said about the auction. Looks like the property itself sold this spring for a song of a deal to somebody. Hopefully he just moved to warmer weather...

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    Hopefully just to a condo or something easier to care for.

    Stick your arm in the bass port and take some woofer magnet photos, will make it easy to tell if they're 136A or 136H.
    - Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaturationPt View Post
    Hopefully just to a condo or something easier to care for.

    Stick your arm in the bass port and take some woofer magnet photos, will make it easy to tell if they're 136A or 136H.
    I already instructed my Dad to pull the driver and take pictures of it so we know what is going on for sure.I'll share them here once he does, just for funsies if anything.

    Ken and I have been exchanging emails and he'll need to know what's going on too since he offers magnet recharging services that it sounds like they may or may not need.

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    I'm willing to accept Greg Timbers' published opinion on AlNiCo magnets, he states that the don't lose gauss due to time, only if driven hard or impacted/shocked. If your father wasn't a loud listener with lots of power the magnets should be fine.

    The bass port is large enough that a normal adult male hand with a cellphone will fit far enough through for a photo.
    - Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaturationPt View Post
    I'm willing to accept Greg Timbers' published opinion on AlNiCo magnets, he states that the don't lose gauss due to time, only if driven hard or impacted/shocked. If your father wasn't a loud listener with lots of power the magnets should be fine.

    The bass port is large enough that a normal adult male hand with a cellphone will fit far enough through for a photo.
    They've been driven hard plenty over the years by both of us. I was once a teenager in the latchkey era. It's no accident I have 2 blown up 18s needing reconed too.

    As an academic point, yeah, maybe they're fine. But... If I ask Ken to do the work and he wants to do it his way, I'm not going to argue with him. The cost to have them recharged isn't a big deal, it's the ~3500 miles of shipping and several weeks in the wild that are the primary concerns.

    I accept what you're saying about the pictures is true. But, my Dad is nearly 80 and has never held a smart phone in his life and the speakers have to come out of the cabinets to be serviced anyhow. I'm lucky that he's confident that he can use my mom's 15 year old digital camera and email me the pictures from it. I'm about a 3.5 hour round trip away from them so it's not all that convenient for me to do it for him. What I'm hoping to do is get the game plan sorted out and then trek to their place in a week or two and come home with all of the dead JBLs (including mine that are stored there) and get the plan rolling.

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    Senior Member macaroonie's Avatar
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    If I can talk Dad into refoaming, I'll probably try my hand at it myself since I don't think there's much to lose. I have a few throw aways that need foam that I can practice on first. My stuff that need coils, especially the drivers for which no JBL kit exists, are the ones I'm more concerned about.[/QUOTE]

    Thats thats plan. It's not so hard really you just need to be need to be neat and tidy with each process to get a good result. The adhesive is very forgiving with regard to set up time whilst grab is fairly good from the get go.. You have time to adjust and clean up is available without rushing on the front face of the cone. A moist sponge does the trick , gently , don't scrub .
    15's are a breeze , loads of room to get fingers in and about. 8's are a different story.

    Here's a 2108 I did with a Rick Cobb surround , it's a narrow roll so not much finger room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by macaroonie View Post
    Thats thats plan. It's not so hard really you just need to be need to be neat and tidy with each process to get a good result. The adhesive is very forgiving with regard to set up time whilst grab is fairly good from the get go.. You have time to adjust and clean up is available without rushing on the front face of the cone. A moist sponge does the trick , gently , don't scrub .
    15's are a breeze , loads of room to get fingers in and about. 8's are a different story.

    Here's a 2108 I did with a Rick Cobb surround , it's a narrow roll so not much finger room.
    Looks like you did a nice job there. Truth be told, I'm not all that worried about learning the process, but since they're not my speakers I don't make the decisions. I'm just the project manager and blame taker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaturationPt View Post
    I'm willing to accept Greg Timbers' published opinion on AlNiCo magnets, he states that the don't lose gauss due to time, only if driven hard or impacted/shocked. If your father wasn't a loud listener with lots of power the magnets should be fine.

    The bass port is large enough that a normal adult male hand with a cellphone will fit far enough through for a photo.
    It's not easy to always tell the history of an AlNiCo motor...

    But...my gauss meter does tell me how much energy is in the gap. I have several pair of 136A drivers in the shop from L300s and the gap measures anywhere from ~9000 to ~10,500 gauss in the gap. Factory spec is 12,000 for this particular motor. My experience also tells me that nearly all the cast iron motor assemblies have some rust and debris that has collected over some 40-50-60 years. Lots of D/K series speakers are particularly dirty and discharged.

    I have a service that I call Full Service Teardown/Cleaning/Recharge of the JBL AlNiCo motors to make them like new. Clean and recharged. It's an additional $85.00, and for what I do for this service, it's actually underpriced. The difference in performance is not trivial, and there is peace of mind that it's clean and renewed.

    My mission is to do it right...or don't do it at all. YMMV. My track record is pretty good.
    Edgewound...JBL Pro Authorized...since 1988
    Upland Loudspeaker Service, Upland, CA

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    Quote Originally Posted by edgewound View Post
    It's not easy to always tell the history of an AlNiCo motor...

    But...my gauss meter does tell me how much energy is in the gap. I have several pair of 136A drivers in the shop from L300s and the gap measures anywhere from ~9000 to ~10,500 gauss in the gap. Factory spec is 12,000 for this particular motor. My experience also tells me that nearly all the cast iron motor assemblies have some rust and debris that has collected over some 40-50-60 years. Lots of D/K series speakers are particularly dirty and discharged.

    I have a service that I call Full Service Teardown/Cleaning/Recharge of the JBL AlNiCo motors to make them like new. Clean and recharged. It's an additional $85.00, and for what I do for this service, it's actually underpriced. The difference in performance is not trivial, and there is peace of mind that it's clean and renewed.

    My mission is to do it right...or don't do it at all. YMMV. My track record is pretty good.
    FWIW, if they're 136As and they end up in your shop, it seems like a no-brainer to take them as far as possible to being correctly restored. They've been in continuous service for over 40 years and for the last 10+ years they've been getting played for at least 8 hours every single day as my Dad has been semi-retired and the TV is playing through them alllll day (~30,000 hours playing in that period). Unless death or irreparable failure cheats me out of it, they're going to get another 30-40 years of use too, so hopefully at least another 100,000 hours playing.

    $85 is pretty trivial in the big picture.

    Like I said up stream, its the time and space that is scary for us (or at least me... my Dad is cheap no matter how you cut it ).

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    Distance and shipping worries me also, but for a pair of drivers I'm betting edgewound will steer you toward a reasonable and safe method of packing.
    - Jeff

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