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Thread: Harvey Gerst/ D130

  1. #1
    Senior Member 57BELAIRE's Avatar
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    Feb 2005

    Harvey Gerst/ D130

    I was intrigued by Don C's & Widget's resonse to my question concerning 130A's bass output so I Googled "JBL 130A" and found this interesting discussion with Harvey Gerst. ( He explains how, as and engineer at JBL in the sixties, his involvement with Fender Musical Instruments and the development of the D130F,D131,D110 etc. (and yes, the "F" stands for Fender) came to be. Good reading!

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    Senior Member 57BELAIRE's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
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    I'll take a crack at it...

    Early JBL history

    From Sat Sep 20 10:23:29 CDT 1997
    From: (Harvey Gerst)
    Subject: Re: FS: JBL D130F Signature Series Speakers
    Date: Sat, 20 Sep 1997 01:57:23 GMT
    X-Orig-Message-ID: <>
    NNTP-Posting-Time: Fri Sep 19 21:00:17 1997
    Mime-Version: 1.0
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    Xref: alt.guitar.amps:64360 wrote:

    >Harvey Gerst ( wrote:
    >[much snippage]
    >: I can't comment on this accurately, but I believe the D kit restores the speaker
    >: to a home version, while the E kit is the musical instrument cone assembly. I
    >: feel I must tell you there is slightly more relief on the D130F top plate to
    >: accomodate a wider variety of mounting techniques (i.e., idiots who use torque
    >: wrenches to flatten these frames onto a warped baffle board).
    >Harvey, you seem like the guy to ask about this. I'm curious for a
    >description of what *all* the JBL speaker numbers mean. For example,
    >what is the prefix letter? I've personally seen D, E, and K, and I'm
    >sure there are more; what does this represent? I've seen numbers like
    >120, 130, and 140; these must not be size-dependent, as both a K140 and
    >D130 are 15" speakers. Finally, what is the suffix letter? I've seen D,
    >E, and F.

    Well Hal, let me take you back to the late 50s, early 60s. JBL was a small
    company with their main offices above a candy store, and the manufacturing
    scattered in a number of buildings up and down the street, near Glendale, on
    Fletcher Drive.

    They made the following speakers;
    the D130 a full range 15",
    the D131 a full range 12",
    the 130A a 15" woofer,
    the 130B (same as the 130A, but 16 ohms),
    and the 150 - a 15" woofer with a heavier cone.

    The D stood for a metal dome and the A and B were for woofers of different
    impedances. I don't remember if we made a 131A. We also made a D123 (full range
    pancake 12" speaker) and the D208 and D216 (both 8" speakers but with 8 and 16
    ohm voice coils).

    Fender was buying D130s for use in their Dual Showman systems, but they were
    experiencing problems in surrounds drying out from outdoor use, and burnouts
    >from improper mounting techniques. I wrote a memo to the president of JBL,
    outlining a plan to let me design a series of speakers made specifically for
    musical use and he agreed. My plan called for modifications to the D130 and
    D131, plus an all new bass 15" speaker, and a new 10" speaker.

    Since Fender was our largest purchaser, I did not want the headache of trying to
    re-introduce a whole new series so I kept the D130 name for the 15" and simply
    added an F (yes, the "F" is for Fender - don't know why to this day I did that,
    but I did). Since I was making up new model numbers, I decided where possible to
    keep it simple, so the 12" (originally the D131) became the D120F, and the new
    10" became the D110F.

    That left the new bass speaker. I didn't want to leave it in the 13x range
    because it was different and the 150 was already being used by our theater
    woofer. The 140 was not being used, so I named the new bass speaker the D140F.

    After I left JBL, I understand they came out with the black crinkle finish and
    renamed them E series. The first major modifications were made in the K series,
    as I understand it.

    >And one other question. Can a similarly-sized frame/magnet assembly be
    >reconed with a different kit? Can I take a K140D frame and have it
    >reconed with a D130 kit?

    I really don't know what changes were made in the K series, so I can't answer
    that, but I'll bet the owner of Orange County Speaker Repair can.

    >If you could answer these questions, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's
    >interested. Even if you can't, any information would be interesting.

    Well, Hal, I hope it was interesting.

    Harvey Gerst
    Indian Trail Recording Studio

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    Senior Member 57BELAIRE's Avatar
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    Thanks guys....well, I was always sceptical of that notion that the suffix "F"on a D130 meant it was for Fender...I knew an "F" meant musical instrument speaker, but thought the "F" was I hear it from the man himself.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Sanger, Texas
    I shoulda called them all "G"s (for "Guitar", or "Gerst").

  7. #7
    Senior Member trueview's Avatar
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    San Clemente, CA
    giskard...i see the emails refer to you as Hal...

    as in Hal Cox?

    if so...we had some communication some 15 years ago in my search for some L300's...

    If not...what ever happend to Mr. Cox?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
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    Santa Rosa CA
    If you take a look at the heading of the message quoted in Giskard's post, you will see that it is a usenet post, not an email. Such messages can be read by anyone with an internet connection, so there is no indication that Giskard and anyone named Hal are the same person. Try it for yourself on Google's usenet archive:

  9. #9
    Senior Member Steve Schell's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Long Beach, CA
    Trueview, Hal Cox is doing well. He is 80 this year, and still involved in selling JBL speakers. Mostly he brokers deals between buyers and sellers of Hartsfields, Paragons, Olympus and the like.

    Hal visited me at my home in Long Beach a week ago. He is still very sharp, and full of stories from his 58 years (so far!) in the audio business.

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