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Thread: LE14C's

  1. #1
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    LE14C's

    Good evening!

    I'm a brand new member. I've been a regular on AudioKarma and Audio Asylum for a couple of years or so, and recently heard about this site. I think it's terrific that there's a group of people dedicated to keeping the early history of a famous brand alive.

    I recently acquired a pair of LE14C's from the family of the original owner. They were purchased with a Fisher 500C around 1962. (Yep, got that, too!) The cabinets didn't survive a coast to coast move, but everything else did. Both drivers are absolutely perfect in every way. I also have the crossovers, L-pads, and all the original wiring. All that remained of the original cabinets was the back panel, so I have the height and width, at least.

    I've listened to them, and I'm amazed at how nice they sound. And that's just laying on the floor! Obviously in free air there's no bass to speak of, but what I'm hearing really intrigues me. And that leads to a few questions...

    The information I found on the Lansing Heritage site says that these are 8 ohm drivers, but mine are clearly labeled 16 ohms. Are there two different models/impedances?

    What's the general opinion of these, as far as sound goes? As much as I love vintage stuff, I understand that there has been a bit of improvement in driver performance in the last 40 years! Are these worth building a cabinet for? Any idea on current value, even though I have no intention of selling.

    I did some research, and found a range of recommended cabinet sizes, i.e. 1.5 - 6 cubic feet, and some port diameters/depths for the different cabinet sizes. Any personal opinions/suggestions for cabinet size? Anybody have an original cabinet that had LE14C's that can give measurements?

    Mine have the creamy yellow surrounds. They are in perfect shape, so they certainly don't need to be replaced, but for future reference, is anything available?

    Thanks in advance, guys. I'm not new to either vintage audio or web sites, and I know it's not the best manners for a new member to start out with a bunch of questions. I hope you'll forgive me! I love these drivers, and I hope to be a member who contributes more than he takes, as soon as I learn a little bit more!

    Thanks,
    Clay

  2. #2
    Senior Moment Member Oldmics's Avatar
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    Welcome To the Forum !!!!!!

    Looks like a nice JBL score for a starter system.

    You are asking,

    "The information I found on the Lansing Heritage site says that these are 8 ohm drivers, but mine are clearly labeled 16 ohms. Are there two different models/impedances?"

    The units that you have may be very early items which are labled as 16 ohm.The ones that I have are labeled 8 ohms and yours are the first that I have encountered as 16 ohm units.I suggest checking with an ohmmeter to ascertain the DC resistance.My 8 ohm units read 5.5 on both the woofer section and 5.5 for the tweeter section.

    It would not be unusual for your 16 ohm units to have a similar DC resistance.Some of the earlier stuff was labled for 16 ohm applications and has DC resistance reading closer to 8 ohm items.

    You ask
    "What's the general opinion of these, as far as sound goes?"
    They are mostly curiosity items and not very well regarded for there reproduction of sound.

    You ask
    "Are these worth building a cabinet for?"
    Absolutly,After all isn"t that part of the journey?

    You ask
    " Any idea on current value, even though I have no intention of selling."
    About $350.00 for the pair of speakers.More with crossovers.

    You ask
    "Any personal opinions/suggestions for cabinet size? Anybody have an original cabinet that had LE14C's that can give measurements?"
    Reflex enclosures were the boxs for these speakers.Suggested size from the JBL enclosure Construction Folder CF-702 is between 6-12 cubic ft.(quite a spread in my opinion)

    I have a pair of original enclosures that the LE14C speakers came in. (Harlan cabinets) The Harlan cabinets are just a bit over 8 cubic ft.

    You ask
    "Mine have the creamy yellow surrounds. They are in perfect shape, so they certainly don't need to be replaced, but for future reference, is anything available?"
    Resurrounding using a generic foam is availiable from many sources (preform a search function for surrounds).If your units are in good shape exibiting no cracks but seem to be a bit stiff,also preform a search on Lans-a-loy and also brake fluid to learn about the revitalising effects that brake fluid has on this type of surround material.

    Again,welcome to the forum.

    Oldmics

  3. #3
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Welcome to Lansing!!

    Oldmics was nice and thorough, but I'll add.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisherdude
    Mine have the creamy yellow surrounds. They are in perfect shape, so they certainly don't need to be replaced, but for future reference, is anything available?
    You are right, but with stiff surrounds you can crack them if driven hard and they will have very poor bass response.

    I am fairly certain that there are no recone kits still available through JBL. You can replace the surrounds with foam surrounds meant for LE14As or as Oldmics suggests carefully apply the brake fluid treatment. You need to get the Fs to ~28Hz.

    Widget

  4. #4
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    I am surprised at the cabinet volumes cited here. Sept. 1, 1968 brochure says LE14-C is "For enclosures of 1.6 cu.ft. minimum."

    Recommended enclosure there are: C36, C38, C53, and C56. C53 Libra is "Especially popular with LE14C" at 23-1/2" X 14" X 11-3/4" deep, i.e., less than 2 cu.ft.

    I've seen them in C56 Dorian, as well, at approximately 3 cu.ft.

    C36 and C38 are more like 4 cu.ft.

    I'd be starting with a Citation 7.4 sized box, (use "Search,") and I would have the surrounds replaced to restore original bass performance. Ask your local JBL factory service center if they can measure the Fs to satisfy yourself that they need it.

  5. #5
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    NOS LE14C Fs

    Here's a New Old Stock LE14C still on its original plywood packing board in its original box. Creamy white Lansaloy surrounds are intact.

    As you can see, with an Fs of 96.3 Hz, it ain't gonna woof worth a whit in ANY size box until the surround is replaced.

    I doubt there are ANY original Lansaloy surrounds out there that can perform to original spec, as time alone takes its toll. In my view, the brake fluid fix is a temporary one at best, and also potentially destructive if it migrates to the cone.

    How SHOULD it be? See http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/s...ead.php?t=5777.
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  6. #6
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zilch
    I doubt there are ANY original Lansaloy surrounds out there that can perform to original spec, as time alone takes its toll. In my view, the brake fluid fix is a temporary one at best, and also potentially destructive if it migrates to the cone.
    I have been able to restore them to within a few percent of the original specs with no migration... California's Governator is anti-migration so we must keep all migration to a minimum.

    Brake fluid is temporary... it will eventually evaporate and require repeated applications, but for a collectable, I'd prefer the original Lans-a-loy.

    Widget

  7. #7
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    Zilch

    FWIW ;
    - referring to that pic of the le14c that you've posted;
    - I'm particularly fond of that generation of Lans-a-loy.
    - The "creamy" white-yellow type is nicer than the orangey-yellow stuff.
    - I believe it's a later vintage ( meaning a transducer with that creamy surround ) is most likely a recone - especially if someone knows their le14c is a 60s vintage.
    - That's the type of Lans-a-loy that I would certainly keep around .

    Like I said <. FWIW

  8. #8
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    Yup, Widget & Earl, these are "Collectibles," all original, and, indeed, very beautiful to see.

    I ain't doin' nothin' with them but lookin'. They'll never play in anything as long as *I* have them....


  9. #9
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    Back from work...

    Thanks for all the input!

    Regarding the cabinet dimensions; the info I found said approx 1.5-6.0 cu. ft. as far as I recall.

    Based on all your feedback, it seems that the brake fluid might be worth a try, at least to buy me some time until replacing the surrounds is no longer avoidable. This may be a silly question, but there's different types of brake fluid these days. Any one seem to get the best results?

    If the surrounds for an LE14A will work, are these available, such as from JBL, Parts Express or another typical source? I may stash away a set for the future!

    Oldmics, you wouldn't by chance be willing to part with those cabinets, would you?

    I'll try to get some pictures to post.

    Thanks again!
    Clay

  10. #10
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    This may be a silly question, but there's different types of brake fluid these days. Any one seem to get the best results?
    DOT 3 , only ! (any brand )
    DOT 5 , doesn't work ( due to a different chemical composition ) .



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  12. #12
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    Boy those are gorgeous cabinets! I'll see if the seller will measure them for me.

    Thanks for the link,
    Clay

    Edit: Btw, how do you like that Woofer Tester? I just looked for it on PartsExpress. $160. Yikes. Worth it? Anything else similar out there?

    Tia

  13. #13
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    Dimensions for the C53 Libra may be found in the Library here.

    The LE14-type drivers were designed to play decently in smaller-sized cabinets like that one, and the very popular S99 series. However, they play even better in larger boxes.

    If you have room for them, I'm again recommending that you build Citation 7.4 equivalents (see below, about 3.5 cu.ft., I think). General specifications can be found using "Search" on the forum. 24.125" H X 19.875" W X 16.750" D. 4" X 8.5" (est.) port.

    It's a subwoofer, here shown sitting on its side (that's the "foot" on the left, there,) but the box itself is suitable for general use as well. You'll want to reconfigure the baffle to center your driver vertically, with the port (or two smaller ports) under it so that the axis of the LE14C is up off the floor, closer to ear level. Tune higher for "tighter" bass, if you like.

    For the price, WT2 is a hella fun deal, especially if you're into speaker building. Not only can you measure the drivers, you can measure the boxes, crossovers, wires, etc. Great stuff....
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