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JBL 15" fanatics needed! (or fender nuts)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by top028, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    I am a fan of the fender sound. I just picked up an 80's fender 2x15 cab. "It has two ampeg 15s, for better sound" says the sales man at the store. I heard rumor that the old JBL speakers are still in production by some company in japan. Does any one know what legendary JBL speaker I am looking for? I saw the D130F on some pages. Could I be looking for a D150 though? I love lows and low mid growl. I like the cab as is, but I am looking for LOVE, and higher effiency speakers. If there are any 15" speakers I can load in this cab and get a usable 30 hz I would be oh so happy (I understand due to the laws of physics I am almost screwed with this dream of mine). Any help is appreciated.
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Well, efficiency goes out the window as you start to get lower frequency response. You may do a bit of research in some vintage circles to see what they're using. Maybe someone here on TB knows what kind of speakers they were using...
  3. The speakers that came in Dual Showman cabinets were D 130F or D 140F,the F was meant it was made for Fender.The 130s were more efficient and had a higher freq.response for guitar and the 140 was for bass.The later models were the K140 and E 140.This is the speaker you are looking for.
  4. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
  5. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    The D140F is a great bass speaker used in a lot of vintage Sunn, Kustom, and Fender gear.

    Also the K140 is just the successor of the D140F. This would probably work really well also. You should check the wattage rating between the D140 and the K140. If the K140 is substantially higher, you might be better off with K140's. I'm not sure. Are the D140F's only 50watts per speaker???

    The E140, from what I'm told, won't do for getting down low. I'm told it's response doesn't go so low--though it is crazy efficient.

    If you look on ebay, these speakers come through from time to time. Some go cheap ($60-70 ea), some go really expensive ($200+ ea). Also watch so that you get your speakers with original cones; or if they have had a re-cone, that the re-cone has been done with real JBL parts by a authorized JBL repair center. The original's will have silver aluminum dust caps.

    !!! Ohh yeah, and whatever that was mentioned of Japanese making knock-off JBL's of the D and K styles; I'm interested finding out more. Muaahahahahahahahah. Really though. I think JBL would do well to re-issue some of those discontined vintage speakers. There is definately a market for them.
  6. Thunderfunk


    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL

    The 140 has a thicker corrugated cone which reduces it's high end response. The 130's have a smooth cone. The 4" voice coil of a JBL provides better stability and heat dissipation than a 2-3/4" voice coil, but it also has more inductance which causes a loss of high end response which is why they have aluminum dust caps to brighten them up. I wouldn't worry about getting original cones. Plan on having anything you buy reconed anyway. You're talking about a speaker that's 30-40 years old. The K's came out around 1974 and have a different magnet material. Then the E's came out. I had heard at the time the K's came out that it was to get around Nixon's price controls. New speaker, new price. This is probably not true, but interesting to remember the early days of paper money inflation and weird "price control" law mentality.

    JBL's sound great and are my favorite speaker.
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    D140F = 150W RMS

    Seems like music power (IHF or Peak? -- probably Peak) handling was either 400W or 450W.
  8. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    My stance on that is this. Yeah the speaker may be that old but ohh well. I still use mine that have the original cones. No problems. It's inherent with any speaker that it could blow at any minute if you abuse it. All I'm saying is, that if I got a speaker that was reconed, I'd have it done right with the right parts. Half of the reconed JBLs I see on ebay obviously don't put the speaker back to JBL specks. They'll use paper dust caps, non-corrugated cones.....etc. If was was going to drop the green on JBL's, I'd just like to know some hill jack hasn't skewered them all up with a half-assed recone job.
  9. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    I cant believe the response on this thread. Thankyou all! I will try to find some D140F or at least do some more research to see if the K or E series have the lowest response. Since at this point I only have 135W rms I am not worried about blowing most speakers, but some day i will get a solidstate poweramp and reduce the farting. :D
  10. Thunderfunk


    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    Hey, don't get offended. I'm not telling you to recone your speaker. I still have mine with an original cone. What I'm saying is they're old speakers and don't expect to buy on off eBay with an original cone in good shape. If it was, why is it for sale?

    That's my point. If you're buying a speaker off eBay I'd just expect it to be blown, and you know the seller will swear it's not.
  11. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    Yeah, I figured it would come across like I was. That's the problem with text only. No auditory inflection. Makes it possible for people to sound pissy when they really aren't trying to be.
  12. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Yep, I played through my cousin's Dual Showman with D-140s back in the day, I also owned a Kustom 200 with 2 D140s in the mid '70s. These speakers had a warm, clean, round bottom. The silver dustcap indeed gave them a decent high end response. This might be what you're looking for.
  13. Corwin81


    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    anyone ever try an E-140 in a sealed cab?
  14. I started using "F" model JBL in 1963. I very much doubt the urban myth of the "F suffix being for Fender. JBL has historically used letter suffixes for impedance and other model differentiations since the 1950s.

    The D-xxx-F model drivers were available to the generial public at retail. I think the Fender models were painted a different color than the standard drag gray.

    As of inductance, JBL is the king of the 4-inch, edge wound voice coil. Check out my spread sheet, and you will see the inductance of these 40 year old drivers is still lower than most premium drivers made today. If you want to see response calculations for the various JBL drivers, they are all in my spread sheet.

    Factory recone kits are still in production for the E-series drivers. Do not... repeat, do not use an after market kit to recone your JBL. There is a huge difference, and the much higher price of the factory kit is entirely woth the cost.

    JBL D,K,E,M series are not designed to go down low. Period. They are highly efficient, punchy, etc, but at a cost of low frequency extension. I suspect the scooped response pattern of the Fender Showman electronics was a direct response to the upside down smiley face response of the JBLs used in that cabinet. It's been a whole of years, but I think the Dual Showman was a sealed box.

    All the JBL info you can ever want is on my web site under the JBL directory.
  15. When I did a search on the D140F some years ago, I found these words from Harvey Gerst:

    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

    So he says the F was indeed for Fender. :confused:
  16. I also found another more technical note:

    It's true that
    the JBL F series was partly about improving the current 2 models being used by
    Fender and others, namely the D130 and D131. It was my proposal to expand the
    line of speakers and at the same time, make some refinements to those speakers
    to make them more suitable to the guitar market. Here's what I did and why:

    Opened the voice coil gap slightly on the D130F to allow more tolerance in
    mounting. Most people didn't realize that even though 8 mounting holes were
    available, only using four is the recomended mounting. And you don't screw them
    down tight to the board - that warps the frame. You use two fingers to do the
    final tightening - the casket will them complete the seal. When you warp the
    frame by overtightening, the voice coil can go out of round and eventually drag
    and short out. I opened the gap slightly to allow for this problem with just a
    very slight loss in efficiency - less than 1 dB.

    Did the same thing on the D131 (and renamed as the D120F).

    Using parts from the D130A and D150 woofers, I created a new woofer desinged for
    bass guitar applications called the D140F. This had a copper voice coil and an
    aluminum dome.

    Using the magnet assembly from the D123 and the basket from an LE-10, I added
    the D110F to complete the line of musical instrument speakers.

    The surrounds were NOT "rubberized". JBL had developed a high viscosity coating
    to add to the existing hifi line of speakers that reduced ringing. I used it for
    a different reason. The hifi speaker surrounds dried out when exposed to
    excessive sunlight and heat, and I reasoned the viscose coating (we called it
    "goop" back then) would help prevent that.

    > The other reference to Fender going to JBL was in conjunction with the
    > development of the 1959 Vibrasonic. In Morrish's Fender amp book - Bill
    > Carson recalls testing a protype JBL with a copper instead of aluminum
    > voice coil & a thin paper cone? Can you shed some light on this obscure
    > piece of JBL history?

    Bill's probably refering to the D130A which was simply a standard JBL woofer at
    the time - all the woofers had copper voice coils. The 130A was basically a D130
    with a copper voice coil and a paper dome and was used in the 001 system
    primarily (D130A, N1200 xover, and 175DLH driver/horm assembly). I felt the cone
    was too light for bass guitar and we wound up using the cone from the 150 woofer
    - a heavier unit. The duraluminum dome was added to the D140F, instead of the
    paper dome for cosmetic reasons at first, but later proved useful in adding a
    little more top end to the bass (not much though).

    > For the original poster - regarding power ratings, I checked my
    > official(3/70) JBL spec sheet for the F models and the 110F, 120F, & 130F
    > are all rated at 100W continuous, the 140F @ 150W continuous. JBL defines
    > 'continuous power' in my 4311B spec sheet as 3dB greater than RMS which
    > would put the RMS rating of a D130F at 50W. On the other hand, D120Fs &
    > D130Fs ran reliably in Showman 12s, Showman 15s, and early Boogies at
    > considerably more power, so Mr. Gerst's & JBL's ratings are not marketing
    > hype! It also appears that the 120F & 130F use identical magnet structures
    > @ 11 pounds, 12,000 gaus flux density, and 275,000 maxwells total flux.

    The D120F and the D130F, like their close cousins, the D130 and D131, all shared
    the same voice coil, dome, spider, and magnet assembies, except for the
    slightly wider gap on the top plate. I think the flux density was really around
    11,700 gauss or so on the 120F & 130F because of the slightly enlarged gap,
    mentioned earlier.

    Power handling was always a touchy subject and I just basically guessed at what
    I thought it could handle, based on normal playing. It was a little tricky since
    we were dealing with rock, country, jazz, and blues players and the power
    handling figures were just suggestions, regardless of how official the spec
    sheet looked.

    We now return you to your regularly sheduled programing.

    Harvey Gerst

    Indian Trail Recording Studio
    Indian Trail Records
  17. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Cool info.

    A vice-president of JBL back in the '60s was one of my parents' best friends when we lived in Glendale and their son was one of my best friends.

    We moved to TX in 1957, but went back on fairly regular vacations.
    In '68 I got a pair of D140F's through him for 1/2 price of retail along with some front mount kits.
    A guitarist I was in a garage band with was taking shop and built a 2x15 cab for me.
    I later bought a pair of large JBL studio monitor cabs. I believe they were 5.5 cuft cabs. I plugged all the front baffle holes (one was for a HF driver and two were BR ports).
    The D140F's really rocked in them.

    I had them for a pretty good while. I wish I had not sold them.
  18. Thunderfunk


    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL

    The Fender JBL's were painted Orange.

    The Showman was originally a single 12" speaker in a ring port, the 12" version of the Tremolux's 10" ring port. The Showman then went to a single ring ported 15" speaker and the Dual Showman was a 2x15 sealed box. The ring port is a metal dish that the speaker bolts into, and it ports the back of the cone behind a seond front baffle, where the sound travels to the ends od the box, and enters between the double baffles, and exits the box after hitting the ring again and coming out surrounding the speaker. I saw a 12" blonde Showman at a long time pro's house in Nashville, and all these years he thought it was a 15" speaker because the 10" port is 12", the 12" port is 15", and the 15" port is 18".
  19. I'm one of Harvey's clients and I know he spent time at JBL.

    Evidently the "F" series was initially conceived for Fender's needs, but the F is not a Fender-only driver. It is an entire product line. As you point out above, drivers OEM'd directly to Fender were painted orange.

    Thanks for the info.
  20. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    Are you really sure about the orange frame deal? I've seen them around, but has it just been coincidence that 99% of the fender cabs I've seen all had grey frame JBL's (D130's and D140's) in them?

    Maybe I've had the luck of only seeing cabs with replaced drivers, but somehow I don't think that's all of the case. I really am not under the impression that all F drivers that actually went to fender were orange.

    Good lord. Look at what I just made an argument about (albeit friendly). Am I that much of a geek? :help: