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Vintage 15" JBL comparisons w/soundclips

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by johnk_10, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Here is one of a pair of NOS ( supposedly ) K140's that I bought a few years ago. The only numbers I see on the back of mine are 29675, in white, on both of them.

    Attached Files:

    • jblk.jpg
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  2. lfh


    Dec 18, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    It's hard for me to tell the versions apart in the pictures. Possibly there could also be more variations, e.g. cloth with three small rolls, cloth with two small rolls, and cloth with two larger rolls. (In addition most Hi-Fi-type drivers (2231, 2234, 2235 etc) of course used a single roll foam surround).

    Here's a good pic of what I call "triple-roll" (I don't know the official terminology, if any), since it to my eyes appears to be three peaks in the cloth cross section between the cone edge and the frame rim (most easily seen about 3 o'clock):


    I could be wrong, but the drivers in the nice Sunn cab look more like the E140-style (large) dual roll to me, whereas the K140 you show in the opening post looks more like the above. If you find some time to inspect the drivers more closely, possibly even shooting a couple of closeups, it'd be highly appreciated!

    Now when you got me all excited about K140:s, I'm going to pay uttermost attention to even the smallest details. :)
  3. lfh


    Dec 18, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Interesting! That looks close to the one John has and to the pic I posted above AFAICT.

    As a contrast, here's the (large) "dual-roll" E140 Google just found for me (guess where -- drumroll -- John's site!):

  4. lfh


    Dec 18, 2003
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Ok, I've checked this with an expert, and here's the scope:

    The first production years they used the triple pleated accordion style cloth surround in the K:s. However, in 1973 they gradually moved a number of drivers to the type we find in the E:s, the reason being "improved reliability in high power applications". Hence John's nice reference unit is an early sample of the K:s.

    Around the same time, they also raised fs for a number of drivers for the same reason. E.g. early 2205:s had fs = 25 Hz but later ones 30 Hz, early 2202:s had 40 Hz, but later 50 Hz. I have no info on the K140:s, but perhaps they were originally as low as 25 Hz, like the 2205:s? It's interesting to note that this trend continued. The successors had even higher fs (2225: 40 Hz, E140: 32 Hz). They traded low end for mid band SPL...
  5. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    that sounds about right. and just an FYI, the fs the spec on the original K140 was 30Hz.
  6. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    i have one in a sonic cab and it rocks the house down. lip is so big i had to remove the cloth and go with a metal cover....i have had it since early 80's a lower end of my GK 800 RB rig. still sounds great especially with my new svt7 so it may come out of retirement..after a good clean up. with that lip.... Wonder if it would fit in one of my 15s cabs with a blown cts.. right now i have a JBL 2225 in it

  7. Bassguy1


    Feb 10, 2006
    U.S. - Midwest
    If I remember correctly my old black tuck and roll Kustom 2-15 cabinet had JBLs in it. Don't recall the speaker model number but it kicked major butt. That cabinet used to fit in the trunk of my dad's '68 Impala with room left to spare. Ah...the good ole' days.
  8. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    You guys don't know how badly I want a 215 with two D140's in it. I loved my E140 TL606 cab but from John's samples, I think I'd prefer the D140 by a slim margin. The K is sweet, but not the tone I'm looking for in my head. I like mids. :smug:
  9. iammr2


    Jun 10, 2002
    Yup...back when bass cabs were bass cabs, cars were real cars and could haul them, men were men, and sheep were scared...
  10. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    IME, the D's and K's sound nearly identical but the K's have the advantage of handling more power.
  11. Here is one for you. When I first started gigging I was playing keys. I believe I could fit a Fender Rhodes AND a Peavey 215 cab in the trunk of my grandparents' 1965 (I think... the big square one) Buick Electra 225. Hilarious when you think about it.
  12. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    The K sounded a wee bit darker to my ear the other day I thought... oh well! I'll trust your ears and experience on your amp!
  13. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i didn't compare it with a D. the comparisons were K140's, E140's and E130's.
  14. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    Okay I must be losing my mind. I have no idea what I was thinking when I hopped in here today. Probably a memory fart. :rollno:
  15. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Wow, do you know your stuff, congrats Ed.
    Here's whats fascinating to me. Ampeg offered a D130F as a factory upgrade from their normal Jensen and later CTS 15" Speaker in the B-15N. As far as I know, they never moved to the D140's that were JBL's bass musical instrument speakers. I suppose it's possible that by the time D140's were readily available, Ampeg had moved to the Theil Box design with the new "helmet head logo. With that redesign of the speaker enclosure, Ampeg started using Altec 421 A's and then Altec 421 8H's for their factory upgrade. This would have been in early 1967 if I remember correctly. Any thoughts?

  16. tarafran


    Mar 22, 2010
    Key west
    Endorsing Artist: GHS strings
  17. There's some great milage in this thread, thanks for posting those clips! I just got a Mesa D-180 that would be great with that tone and it just so happens I've got a pair of E-140 in pro built PA cabs, from the 70's or early 80's I guess.

    BUT they sound nothing like your clips when I have tried bass through them, when used with subs they are great, but by themselves, no bass at all.

    I measured them up to compare with http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/support/getfile.aspx?docid=219&doctype=3 you posted, I picked number 6 for E140 general bass

    They are a bit over 4cuft, no surprise there. But compared with the recommended JBL stock cab they have a bottom shelf port 30.7 sq" instead of 25.1 and it's 7", not 6.5" long. The port is taller for most of its length until it meets the rat fur, about 2mm proud. I measured carpet surface to top to get the height.

    They are fully lined with dacron. JBL say the cab needs extra volume when using dacron instead of fibreglass. All the chat on the thread seems the volume isn't too critical and they are about 4.4 cuft anyway, less bracing and dacron can't be far shy of 4 cuft

    The only other thing about them is they are taller and shallower, 13" instead of 16.7" in the standard cab.

    Can anyone shed some light on why they have no bass, I mean NO BASS? Flap like flags in the wind with almost no volume on an open E bass.
  18. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I have a E140 for sale if anyone is interested
  19. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    that sounds very strange to me, since i've never had a JBL 15" that didn't didn't sound great on a low E, and that's including the higher voiced 130 series.
  20. I have been monkeying around with WinIsd. Interestingly WinISD does not agree with the JBL design. Not very close at all, predicting duct length 0.194m = 7.6" vs JBL design of 6.5" for two 4" round ducts in 4 ft3 for a 40Hz tuning.

    Changing the tuning freq (btw, not sure what that is exactly) changes the predicted port length markedly, but doesn't change the response very much.:confused:

    Looking at my shelf port, it's a little over in area and length. The tuning frequency would be between 38 and 39 hzHz if the volume is 112 litres (4cuft). Raising the volume lowers the tuning frequency, and response suffers a bit between 40 and 80 hz. This won't be rocket science to guys used to designing cabs huh!

    I wonder if my stuffing has less volume soaking efffect than JBL predicts for dacron. It could be something else, I'm not a stuffing expert. The internal volume is 4.5 ft3 less the driver incursion, port shelf, and a little bit of bracing.

    Either way I mess about with sizes the predicted response graph hardly moves. They all tail off from 40 hz, quite flat up to 80 hz around 5-6-7 dB down, then smooth rise reaching near 0dB at 450 hz.

    If I work on the thickness of the port shelf before it hits the carpet nothing much changes.

    Is there a tipping point to the response where you get farting trying to play E (with limited EQ available) ? It's a real joke at the moment. I'm wondering if piling in say half a ft3 of solid stuffing could make a significant difference.

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