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Thread: The seeming demise of JBL OEM parts... and the subsequent devaluation of a brand?

  1. #1
    Senior Member GordonW's Avatar
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    The seeming demise of JBL OEM parts... and the subsequent devaluation of a brand?

    I've been thinking about this one for a while...

    Recently, I was brought a pretty ubiquitous repair to do... a pair of L100 Centurys needing tweeter kits. I contacted the local JBL service center guy to place an order, and while talking to him, we got into the whole issue of JBL, seemingly NOT wanting to deal with much of ANY of their vintage products anymore. Things like the now-common 6-9 month wait for recone kits to go thru production, complete discontinuation of entire bunches of kits, and the like. In the service guy's words, he was warning me that the situation was getting WORSE, not better. As in, we may need to start stocking up now, 'cuz if the fat lady ain't singing, she's at least doing her pre-concert gargling with salts and such...

    What we were musing on, was the consequence of said ditching of old stuff, on the PERCIEVED VALUE of JBL as a brand in general. IMHO and IME, a LOT of the value seen in buying JBL, has been their SERVICABILITY, and the EXPECTATION that when you bought one, you were getting it for the LONG HAUL. Sure, a number of recent products have been kinda "disposable"... you blow a driver, you can only get a whole replacement driver for them, and such. But, there's still the AIR of COMPANY BACKING... and I'll suffice to say, that once this is gone, we're gonna see the bottom fall out of a LOT of used (AND new) JBL product percieved value, and therefore, the price that can be charged and willingly paid.

    In short, I'd really hate to see JBL pull an Altec Professional Products... the main reason, IMHO, that JBL completely cleaned Altec's clock in the '80s, was exactly this- SERVICE...

    (Whoo boy... I guess I'd better batten down the hatches with this one. If this doesn't generate a firestorm of words, then what will?? )

    Regards,
    Gordon.

    ps: anyone got any LE25 kits they can spare, or plan to order any soon? JBL says they have like 15 orders in the queue, of like probably 50 or more needed for them to run off a batch...

  2. #2
    "new and improved" JBL Dog's Avatar
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    I hear ya GordonW!!

    I've been waiting since January for some LE14a recone kits to go back into production.

    I was told they would be shipped in May!

    Isn't it July already??


    I've being buying some parts on Ebay (for cheap) just to have for use or resale in the future.

    Anyone need a pair of NOS D8R475ND diaphram kits? I don't even own the driver it goes to. But, they're already obsolete. Blow one up and you're pretty much SOL.

    This message comes from JBL Dog

  3. #3
    Obsolete
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    Thumbs up

    I've been waiting for these kits since December.

    http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...=&threadid=481

    The LE14A kits were just run off and you should be getting them soon.

    *****

    I'd like to add that we are all living in the past and apparently Harman really couldn't care. Their response would be "buy a K2-S9800"

    I talk to Parts people who have been with JBL for 15 years and they've never seen, heard, nor care about a Lancer 77.

    *****

    D8RLE25 kits are on BO
    D8RLE252 kits are in stock
    D8RLE254 kits are on BO
    Last edited by 4313B; 07-16-2003 at 07:08 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Seņor boputnam's Avatar
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    I talk to Parts people who have been with JBL for 15 years and they've never seen, heard, nor care about a Lancer 77.


    I've got a pair of refurbished L77's that turned-out wonderful, and need only some help finding original grill cloth - the bane of my refurbish! Maybe instead of the eBay route, I should donate them to the JBL Pro shop for their daily listening enjoyment...
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  5. #5
    Senior Member GordonW's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Giskard
    I've been waiting for these kits since December.

    http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...=&threadid=481

    I'd like to add that we are all living in the past and apparently Harman really couldn't care. Their response would be "buy a K2-S9800"

    See, that's the point tho- to a HUGE number of people in their "install base", ie, the part of the public actually WILLING to pony up to the cost of JBL products- the HISTORY IS the reason for the precieved increase in value. It's precisely BECAUSE of their support for products like this, that studios, musicians and the like, tend to gravitate toward JBL products.

    Otherwise, hell, I might as well just buy an Eminence product... IME, I can make most of the modern Eminence stuff SOUND pretty much just as good as the modern JBL stuff (at least in the budget price realm, excluding monsters like the 2242 and such... and even there, others are rapidly catching up), for far less money. If I can't bank on replacement parts being there, why pony up for the good stuff???

    Regards,
    Gordon.

  6. #6
    Senior Member GordonW's Avatar
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    BTW, Giskard... is it possible, and how much damage/change to the sound will I do, if I reconed a LE25 with an LE25-2 kit? And didn't JBL themselves, use the LE25-2 in some later model L100s anyway?

    Regards,
    Gordon.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GordonW's Avatar
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    I think I answered my own question...

    Looking at the PDF files, the 4311B used the LE25-2, with basically the same other driver complement as the L100, with the EXACT SAME crossover as the L100A (which is what I have here).

    I see no reason why the LE25-2 kit shouldn't work? Anyone wanna stop me from making a titanic mistake here?

    Regards,
    Gordon.

  8. #8
    Obsolete
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    I don't know if you can put an LE25-2 kit into an LE25. All the LE25 gaps are the same. The LE25-2 had a DCR of 3.6 to 4.4 ohms whereas the LE25/LE25-1/LE25-3/LE25-4/LE25-5 had a DCR of 3.7 to 4.2 ohms.

    The LE25-2 was used in:
    L16
    L26 - supplanted by the LE25-4 in the L26A
    L36 - supplanted by the LE25-4 in the L36A
    R82
    R103
    R123
    R133
    4301 - supplanted by the LE26 in the 4301B
    The LE25-2 supplanted the LE25 (4311/4311A) in the 4311B
    4312

    The LE25/LE25-1 use the 50402 foam ring
    The LE25-2/LE25-3 use the 53363 foam ring
    The LE25-4/LE25-5 use the 54279 foam ring

  9. #9
    Obsolete
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    Ok, my reply timed out as usual and I see your new post.

    ***

    The L100 used the LE20-1 and the L100A used the LE25-2.
    Regardless, all those systems had minimal, nearly identical filters. In fact, I don't think the HF filter ever changed, I think it was just the MF filter that changed from 8 to 13 uF or vise versa or whatever. If you need me to nail down the different schematics I will but otherwise I'll just leave it at that
    Last edited by 4313B; 07-16-2003 at 09:56 AM.

  10. #10
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    Hello Gordon

    "a LOT of the value seen in buying JBL, has been their SERVICABILITY"

    I couldn't agree more. If you look at almost any other manufacturer of say 60's to 80's speakers I think they are it as far as recone kits are concerned. You could always just pay the money to get the stuff fixed in the rare instance you would damage a driver. With that gone the only option is the off shore recone kits, if available, or Ebay a new driver. I think it could temporarilly make the ebay prices go up as the diehards battle over recone kits or original drivers. Then the bottom will fall out and it will all be worthless. Imagine those heavy frames and monster motors reduced to paper weights and door stops for lack of cone kits!!

    Rob

  11. #11
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Harman International

    Harmans way of doing buisiness is getting you to buy the new stuff. They really arent interested in servicing what they consider to be obsolete products they no longer manufacture.

    Harman bought Crown, and Crown no longer has parts for their vintage amps. And BEFORE Harman took over Crown, Crown ALWAYS would service their legacy products!

    C-Audio. Harman purchased this English amplifier company. Prior to the harman purchase people were saying C-Audio sounded better then Crown. Harman buys C-Audio and now C-Audio no longer manufactures amps. When you go to C-Audios website it tells you that IF you are interested in purchasing amps to visit their SISTER companys website, Crown Audio!!!!!!

    Draw your own conclusions. :readme:

  12. #12
    Senior Moment Member Oldmics's Avatar
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    Time to throw my hat into the ring.I think unfortunatly we have to expand our outlook larger than the Harman group killing off the service aspect to manufactors that is owned by Harman.Lets view the bigger picture of the economy and how electronics have changed throughout the years.Heres a question-When is the last time you had a television set repaired?In my experience its cheaper and faster to purchase a new unit and throw the old one out.I think that this type of mentality has overtaken the world of which we live in.Its faster and cheaper for an electronics manufacturor to produce and sell a unit as opposed to maintaining a network of service personal,parts,warranty administrators and everything required for a LONG term lifespan of the item.Long term products that last are not good for sales.Service makes little money in comparision to sales.All of the greedy manufactors want a fatter bottom line.This is driven by the companys who are public holdings.The CEOs of these publicly held companys have to answer to the stockholders(us).And when the stockholders are loosing there investment moneys,they move there investments to yet another stock.The world in which the demographics of the contributors of this site grew up in has changed.When we grew up a product was built to last with pride in the realm of manufactoring.This quality also included service for the public.Now a days its build it cheap and support it until the next version comes out then sell em a new one.Why sell them (the public) a new one?Because its a fatter bottom line and makes it look more enticing to investors.Make NO bones about it the handfull of people who manipulate this are going from company to company and taking NO prisoners and we the public are left to suffer.When the company goes belly up,then sell the name and start over again.Its a racket!I would say lets look towards the people in charge for some help and guidance,but now we are talking about the goverment so don"t get me started on that.I know that this thread is going to go way off topic.But as I see it there soon will be NO brand loyality because nobody will be here tomorrow to give a damn.Just like this post-another lost voice in the wind.Hey,lets talk about something more cheerful.Best regards,Oldmics (Who lives in the past)

  13. #13
    Dave G
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    Go get em oldmics!

    All this complaining. You should try going to order parts in UK.

    You order the part......

    thats it.

    I'm doing my best to stockpile tasty items!

    C audio,not sure what happened there.

    A & H bought themselves out of harman conections if my info is correct. Perhaps to stop getting swallowed up in the mixer market.

  14. #14
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Re: Go get em oldmics!

    Originally posted by Dave G
    All this complaining. You should try going to order parts in UK.

    You order the part......

    thats it.

    I'm doing my best to stockpile tasty items!

    C audio,not sure what happened there.

    A & H bought themselves out of harman conections if my info is correct. Perhaps to stop getting swallowed up in the mixer market.
    A & H bought themselves out of Harman because they didnt like where they ( as a brand ) were going with Harman. Harman has bought up many once famous brands and did away with all the once famous components. Harman owns so many brands and every brand they own has changed dramatically. Some have even dissapeared, like Urei!

    Sometimes it seems like Harman is trying to do away with traditional audio, and force the marketplace to buy what they say audio is! I cant say I always agree with what the Harman group is promoting.

    JBL. JBL has almost no products left from what made them so famous! 2405 and 2402 tweeters are about it, and JBL claims these are obsolete as well! I like my audio, and I like the ability to choose what I like. I dont want to be told YOU MUST use this or that.

    I have listened to so many new technology components and speakers, and somehow my ears seem to prefer traditional sounding, well made components!

    Every once famous brand Harman bought up, no longer is anything like the brands they originally were, except for the logos!

  15. #15
    Tom Loizeaux
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    I don't plan to change the world, I just make it my job to support what I believe, understand and like. That means that I lavish my attention, time and money on things that I think deserve my approval. Vintage JBL happens to be one of those things. Sure, there is a certain amount of nostalgia and a cetain amount of phychological appeal in these classic units, but I also believe that JBL engineers put an amazing amount of work, care and materials in these vintage units - and the results were nothing short of amazing! Because of the quality of these units, most of them are still performing well today and surpass most of the new, modern stuff that's out there. I walk right past the isles of all this new stuff and spend my energies on tweaking and enjoying these vintage masterpieces!

    As I've said before, I think JBL would be wise to recognize and support the efforts to keep these vintage products in top shape. JBL's reputation comes not from their current home speakers or car audio products, but from decades of top quality professional speaker products that set new standards in the audio industry.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Loizeaux; 07-16-2003 at 08:21 PM.

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