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Thread: Serial Number registry?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by glen
    currently up for auction on ebay:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ayphotohosting

    from auction description:
    2 x C50 Cabinets serial numbers: 46040, 46041
    2 x LE15A Woofers serial numbers: 4381, 4382
    2 x LE85 Midranges serial numbers: 2968, 2975
    2 x LX5 Crossovers serial numbers: 7312, 7313
    For what it's worth, I recognize my left-handed writing of the serial numbers on those, so it's either one I put together, or systems I tested.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Gonzales
    I can say from experience that lugging around a pair of 375's is no easy feat, so it makes sense that the transporting of them from place to place in the factory would almost ensure that they were two at a time, one after another in series, unlike the other parts. Just a thought. S.G.
    We used a roll-around cart to move stuff from the stock room to the system assembly area near the shipping doors. If the parts were put up on the stock room shelves in consecutive order, there was probably a 50-50 chance we'd grab consecutive numbers. It was never a priority to use consecutively numbered components. With a few exceptions, we didn't know what two cabinets (out of a run of cabinets) would be sold together as a stereo system.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by glen
    Two JBL factory C34 cabinets with th early "cut corner" decals
    currently up for auction on ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-JBL-C34-...QQcmdZViewItem


    001 systems in two JBL C34 cabinets

    from the redder cabinet
    130A Woofer serial number: 405169
    1217-1290 Horn serial number 404153
    N-1200 Crossover serial number: 404170


    from the blonder cabinet
    175-34 Driver serial number: 40374
    The C34 on the right is factory. The C34 on the left looks like a home-made cabinet.

  4. #64
    Senior Member glen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harvey Gerst
    The C34 on the right is factory. The C34 on the left looks like a home-made cabinet.
    Hi Harvey,

    Thanks a lot for for your responses here, and catching this mistake in particular.

    I called both cabinets factory because the auction included two pictures of the "JIM LANSING" decal on the front of the cabinet(s). Looking more closely I can see that there is two pictures of the same decal. One appearing "redder" than the other, I assumed they were two different decals. The left speaker's grille cloth didn't look right, but I thought it might have been replaced. But the wood grain around the decal is the same in both pictures, and the picture with the "less red" coloring shows the grill cloth of the right hand speaker, same decal in both.

    I've asked the seller if both cabinets have decals.
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    glen

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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by glen
    Hi Harvey,

    Thanks a lot for for your responses here, and catching this mistake in particular.

    I called both cabinets factory because the auction included two pictures of the "JIM LANSING" decal on the front of the cabinet(s). Looking more closely I can see that there is two pictures of the same decal. One appearing "redder" than the other, I assumed they were two different decals. The left speaker's grille cloth didn't look right, but I thought it might have been replaced. But the wood grain around the decal is the same in both pictures, and the picture with the "less red" coloring shows the grill cloth of the right hand speaker, same decal in both.

    I've asked the seller if both cabinets have decals.
    The stain on the back of the home built job is way too light.The other tipoffs were the wire coloring; factory wiring would have been black/green for the woofer, and black/red for the HF driver. We would never have used all black lamp cord to wire the HF driver.

    The grill spreader bar is also at the wrong point in the cabinet, and at a weird angle, indicating a home built job. We never used metal angle iron as grille speader bars. The spreader bar was wood, and looked like this from the side (kinda):

    |\
    |. \
    |__|

    Pictures 10, 12, and 22 also point out more differences; no T-nuts on the woofer in the home-built job, the 175 outside holes are not even, the N1200 network cutout was hand-cut, not jig-routed, and the wiring holes from the network are spaced wrong and not jig-drilled.

  6. #66
    Senior Member glen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harvey Gerst
    The stain on the back of the home built job is way too light.The other tipoffs were the wire coloring; factory wiring would have been black/green for the woofer, and black/red for the HF driver. We would never have used all black lamp cord to wire the HF driver.

    The grill spreader bar is also at the wrong point in the cabinet, and at a weird angle, indicating a home built job. We never used metal angle iron as grille speader bars. The spreader bar was wood, and looked like this from the side (kinda):

    |\
    |. \
    |__|

    Pictures 10, 12, and 22 also point out more differences; no T-nuts on the woofer in the home-built job, the 175 outside holes are not even, the N1200 network cutout was hand-cut, not jig-routed, and the wiring holes from the network are spaced wrong and not jig-drilled.
    Thanks again Harvey!

    The detail of your knowledge is great!

    I am always surprised by the quality of these homebuilt cabinets, they are often quite well made and match very closely the construction of the factory cabinets even to the internal bracing (I gues from following JBL plans).

    It's really nice that you can gives us a handle on the details that would distinguish a well built copy from a JBL original.

    Thanks for your invaluable input!
    glen

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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by glen
    Thanks again Harvey!

    The detail of your knowledge is great!
    Nah, it ain't knowledge; just a lotta years spent looking inside these damn things.

    Quote Originally Posted by glen
    I am always surprised by the quality of these homebuilt cabinets, they are often quite well made and match very closely the construction of the factory cabinets even to the internal bracing (I guess from following JBL plans).

    It's really nice that you can gives us a handle on the details that would distinguish a well built copy from a JBL original.

    Thanks for your invaluable input!
    The plans we sold to customers were quite accurate and would result in a perfect cabinet - if they used the lockmitered joints we used (most often they didn't - a dead giveaway at an exposed back edge). The dark mahogany stain would also be difficult to duplicate, as would the stain on the back panels and inside pieces.

  8. #68
    Senior Member glen's Avatar
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    Early "date-code" serial numbers on D130 drivers

    Quoting Steve Schell from a different thread:

    [quote Steve Schell]I have noticed the odd serial numbers on all of the early (pre late 1950s) JBL products. I asked John Edwards, who ran the office for Jim Lansing from the Venice days onward and typed most of the "cut corner" type labels, about this. He said that the "serial" number actually represented some sort of batch number and possibly dating scheme, though he couldn't remember the details.
    The serial numbers seem to make more sense after they began using the oval metal ID plates. Maybe they used a more normal scheme from that point on.[quote]

    And I think it was Steve Schell who guessed that the first three numbers represent the year and month of origin (shipping date) in the format:

    YMMxx (for 5 digit numbers)
    YMMxxx (for 6 digit numbers)

    Y being the last digit of the year as in "1" representing 1951
    MM being the two digit month as in 06 representing June.

    (I haven't yet found an early serial number starting with "2")

    This fits well with the range of the early component serial numbers I have been able to find in that the first digit has a range of 1-6 (1951 to 1956) and the second and third numbers range from 01-12 conforming to twelve months.
    And on the few original systems that I have found with components assembled at the same time and using these type of serial numbers the system components did have the same first three numbers.

    Some support for this date interpretation is also found in serial numbers for the D-130-E, one of the shortest production runs during the "date-code" era. The E designated a field coil driver that was produced in anticipation of a possible alnico shortage because of the Korean war.
    See an LH article on this driver here:
    http://audioheritage.org/html/readers-photos/d130e.htm

    As far as I can tell the D-130E was only ever listed for sale on JBL's August 1951 price list.
    The second and third labels pictured below are from D-130Es and the first three numbers "106" would be interpreted as a June, 1951 production date which would seem to corrrelate well with their August 1951 appearance on the price list. The pair of matching serial numbers point to a single production run.

    Other identical serial numbers have been found, a couple of N1200s I will post pictures of later, and some pairs of 130Bs removed from cabinets that were originally equipped with a pair of woofers which naturally enough would have been made and shipped at the same time.

    But I'm not so sure that the remaining digits following the first three represent a "production batch" because in some cases the "number suffix" doesn't change for units that were shipped over a span of a couple of years:
    175: N_30474, 40374, N-41074, N-41174, No50274
    (from April, 1953 to Feb, 1955)

    1217-1290: 404153, 410153, 502-153
    (from April, 1954 to Feb, 1955)

    N1200: 404170, 406170, 502170, 603170
    (from April, 1954 to March, 1956)

    130A & 130B: 405169, 412169, 505169, 601169
    (from May, 1954 to Jan, 1956)

    But in other cases the numbers increment up faster than might be expected for production runs:
    The D130 "suffix numbers" increased from 169 in July, 1954 (407169)
    to 511 by Oct, 1955 (510511) an increase of 342
    to 713 by Aug, 1956 (608713) an increase of 202

    150-4 "suffix numbers" increased from 342 and 347 in Nov, 1953 (311-342 & 311-347)
    to 711 in Nov. 1954 (411-711) an increase of 364
    to 825 in Feb, 1955 (502-825) an increase of 114

    This shows an almost daily incrementing up of the numbers on D130s and 150-4s while other components were not incrementing up at all, or only occasionally

    Anyway, here are some pics of these "early labels" that might help get this sorted out.
    Some early D130 serial numbers:
    D-130 serial number 5010 *
    D-130-E serial number 10613
    D-130-E serial number 10613
    D-130 serial number 10615
    D-130 serial number 407169
    D-130 serial number 510511
    D-130 serial number 608713

    *note that the 5010 label does not show JBL name or address, and is probably not part of the "date-code" nubering scheme, there was also an intermediate "cut-corners" label that displayed the "James B. Lansing Sound" name without the address.
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    glen

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  9. #69
    Senior Member glen's Avatar
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    Early serial numbers on N-1000 crossovers

    Actually most N-1000 crossovers that I'm aware of don't have serial numbers on them!

    The earliest had only a square "Lansing Signature" logo, not even a model number. Which was in a system that also had only a logo with no serial number.

    The next earliest N-1000 I have seen had a label with the "James B.Lansing Sound" tag, but the serial number space was left blank.
    This is the first picture shown below.

    In my own D-1002 speaker system with serial number 1049 the internal components have similar label that omit the serial number. So it may be that JBL didn't bother to assign serial numbers to components that were installed in one of their speaker units, at least at this time.

    The latest N-1000 crossover I've seen bears serial number 499, it's the second picture below. It matches the serial number of the D-175 driver (also shown) that it was paired with in the D-1004 system (serial number 1142) they came out of.
    It makes sense that the driver and crossover serial numbers would match at this early period. When these guys were built they were the only hi-frequency driver and crossover that JBL made.
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    glen

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  10. #70
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    Early "date-code" serial numbers on D175 drivers

    After the first couple of these the "number suffix" following the date-code stays at "74"

    Some early 175 serial numbers:
    D-175 serial number 499 (not date-code)
    D-175 serial number 10822
    175 serial number N 30474
    175-34* serial number 40374
    175 serial number N-41074
    175 serial number N-41174
    175 serial number No50274

    *This 175-34 model is the only one I've seen hyphenated in this way.
    Anyone know why it might have gotten the extra "-34"?
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    glen

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  11. #71
    Senior Member Steve Schell's Avatar
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    Hi Glen,

    You have done some great work here! Please keep it up.

    I don't think I can claim credit for decoding the nembering scheme, but your hypothesis makes sense to me. Of course there are always flies in the ointment, like that no-name, no-address label.

    I believe the cut corner labels began in Van Nuys, the earliest being the n-n,n-a. These were the company's first attempt to identify the components with model and serial numbers. As You'll recall, My Venice era D-1000 system has the same "A Jim Lansing Signature Speaker" paper label applied to all components, even the enclosure. Then came the one with the company name but no address. The drivers at this time also had a decal (probably the "racetrack") that showed the location as Van Nuys. After the move to Fletcher Drive, new cut corner labels that say Los Angeles were used. This may have coincided with the debut of Alvin Lustig's big L Jim Lansing decal, and the retirement of the racetrack and other location-identifying decals.

    I doubt if the labels can positively identify the location of manufacture in all cases. I have seen Fletcher Drive era systems with Van Nuys labels on some drivers, so either driver inventory was moved or they used existing labels until they ran out.

  12. #72
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    WOW

    Hi Glen, Hi Steve,

    that's is great post, thanks for this.
    will add this to the registry.

    hope that we also can find out where is the transition fron one to the other numbering system.

    BTW: who is owner of this systems ?

    hp
    Please help us save more info about the vintage systems. Let us register your speakers and drivers.

  13. #73
    Senior Member glen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hofmannhp
    BTW: who is owner of this systems ?
    hp
    I wasn't really keeping track of the owners.
    There's some from this website, some from ebay
    and some from Japanese websites.
    glen

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  14. #74
    Senior Member glen's Avatar
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    Early "date-code" serial numbers on 130A & 130B drivers

    Some 130A & 130B early serial numbers:
    Pictured below:
    D-130-A* serial number 1049 (April 1951 "number suffix" 9)??**
    130 A serial number 405169
    130A serial number 412169
    130A serial number 505169

    130B serial number 610169 (not pictured)
    as discussed in this thread:
    http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/s...ead.php?t=7253

    *not only does this early 130A have the "D" prefix, it is also a 32 ohm model, maybe predating the the "130B" designation for 32 ohm models
    **this and another D-130-A shared a D-1004 cabinet with the a D-175 and N-1000 that were both numbered 499. Could this "name only" tag be a very early 4-digit "date-code" number? Or is it a different, earlier scheme?
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    glen

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  15. #75
    Senior Member glen's Avatar
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    Early serial numbers on N-1200 crossovers

    Some early N-1200 crossover serial numbers:
    N-1200 serial number 10804 (Aug, 1951 "number suffix" of 08)??
    N-1200 serial number 32147*
    N-1200 serial number 311147
    N-1200 serial number 402147 (not pictured)
    N-1200 serial number 404170
    N-1200 serial number 404170
    N-1200 serial number 406170
    N-1200 serial number 411170
    N-1200 serial number 502170
    N-1200 serial number 608173 (not pictured)
    *I think that this is just a typo, meant to be 302147
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    glen

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