d/k/e 120 pricing

d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby Smolder » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:48 am

I've been watching the prices of these for a while... Some of the trend defies logic.

Working D units with original cones are rare and go for big bucks... But not for as much as recone. A recent factory spec recone cost me nearly 400 including shipping both ways and re-charging magnet. I rarely see originals go for that... But they are close.

I've also paid $100 (admittidly a steal) recently for working original cone K's, which are effectively the same as a factory re-coned D.

Just yesterday an orange D that needed a re-cone went for nearly 175 bucks on eBay. I suppose it's a small enough market that I should read to much into the outliers, but it's pretty weird and unpredictable. Thoughts?
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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby mgbills » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:38 am

I think it's all about your level of patience. When I bought my first two K's, I scored them on Seattle Craigslist. As far as I can tell they're original cones. $300. Two weeks later I scored an E that I'd been watching on Ebay. Original Cone. Mint. $65.00. Nobody watching. A couple of months ago I scored another pair of original cone K's, at Trade Up music in Portland, Oregon. $125.00 ea. Minty. Original cones.

It can be done relatively inexpensively. There was a guy advertising D's on Seattle CL for a reasonable price recently. Maybe $150 if I remember. I wanted a pair of D's (not sure why...I think I'm becoming a JBL hoarder), with the hope of doing a fancified A/B.

My take...patience. It's really F'n hard though when you're trying to build that rig. You get that sickness...and then where the heck are you? :drink:

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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby Smolder » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:55 am

Totally agree on the patience...

Many here have heard my toils... I have a pair of D's in dry storage (for the last 20 years) that I can not access right now... Maybe this summer. I've bought 5 original cone in the last 4 months... Only one arrived intact and working. My drive has been to rediscover the D and to understand the variables. I plan on the next few weeks to do some controlled a/b sampling - and plan to share them so that others can avoid some of what I've been doing.

My unscientific preference at this point is a toss up between the original D I have here and a the recent re-coned D, essentially a K.

I'm kind of turning into a speaker hoarder as well. Some of these I intended to sell, but know Ike asking myself why... Might as well just keep them around for future projects. But that thinking has lead to a basement storing a couple of dozen amps. I'm probably close to being a candidates for that show.
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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby NSP » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:32 am

Smolder wrote:Totally agree on the patience...

Many here have heard my toils... I have a pair of D's in dry storage (for the last 20 years) that I can not access right now... Maybe this summer. I've bought 5 original cone in the last 4 months... Only one arrived intact and working. My drive has been to rediscover the D and to understand the variables. I plan on the next few weeks to do some controlled a/b sampling - and plan to share them so that others can avoid some of what I've been doing.

My unscientific preference at this point is a toss up between the original D I have here and a the recent re-coned D, essentially a K.

I'm kind of turning into a speaker hoarder as well. Some of these I intended to sell, but know Ike asking myself why... Might as well just keep them around for future projects. But that thinking has lead to a basement storing a couple of dozen amps. I'm probably close to being a candidates for that show.


I'm with you guys...in the last couple of weeks I've received one bad D120F, with terrible rub. ($200) Seller took it back. I've now scored two K120's both reconed with E kits ($165 and $179), that sound fantastic. My buddy also hooked me up with a pair of original E120's that he discovered were in some old monitors. One needs a recone that I'm gonna attempt to do myself. Yes, it's a bit of a sickness, but I also feel the need to have spares on hand.

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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby tjvhaiko » Wed May 09, 2012 1:48 pm

Smolder wrote:I've been watching the prices of these for a while... Some of the trend defies logic.

Working D units with original cones are rare and go for big bucks... But not for as much as recone. A recent factory spec recone cost me nearly 400 including shipping both ways and re-charging magnet. I rarely see originals go for that... But they are close.

I've also paid $100 (admittidly a steal) recently for working original cone K's, which are effectively the same as a factory re-coned D.

Just yesterday an orange D that needed a re-cone went for nearly 175 bucks on eBay. I suppose it's a small enough market that I should read to much into the outliers, but it's pretty weird and unpredictable. Thoughts?

Hello, over the years I have rotated through many pairs of both vintage, and modern JBL /Altec speakers, horns, and drivers and I can tell you JBL 120 prices, regardless of model D/E/K (alnico, or ferrite magnet) have consistently baffled (no pun intended) me on places such as EBay. One day their prices will be through the roof, the next day may be the bargain of the century. Now try to grasp what it is like to have an "Orange Frame" Fender/JBL "E"-120 I picked up for a little more than 100 bucks. You can find Orange "D"-120's on occasion, but "E's"... Not so much... Maddening. There seems to be no rhyme, or reason with regard to the EBay 120 market. Best advice is surf around while most are sleeping for the best finds. You said it best... Defies logic!
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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby bluemule » Thu May 10, 2012 12:28 am

To me it's just not worth it to buy an original cone. I'd much rather buy a fresh recone or a blown speaker and get it reconed. I mean how many pristine examples are left after 30+ years? According to the sellers on ebay every speaker works perfectly, was taken straight off the JBL production line and then was immediately stored in a NASA approved vacuum chamber. I've been down that road and you are trusting a strangers word that the speaker is worth $300+.
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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby NSP » Thu May 10, 2012 11:39 am

bluemule wrote:To me it's just not worth it to buy an original cone. I'd much rather buy a fresh recone or a blown speaker and get it reconed. I mean how many pristine examples are left after 30+ years? According to the sellers on ebay every speaker works perfectly, was taken straight off the JBL production line and then was immediately stored in a NASA approved vacuum chamber. I've been down that road and you are trusting a strangers word that the speaker is worth $300+.


With these speakers and ebay, yes it is all about chance and trust. Two of the last four I bought were unusable despite being listed as fully tested and working perfectly. Re-cones are as much of a gamble as originals as there are lots of folks out there with what seems like very little re-cone experience slapping in kits that aren't genuine JBL.
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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby bluemule » Thu May 10, 2012 11:44 pm

NSP that's a bummer. Awhile ago I bought a d120 and k120 off ebay with aftermarket recones when I didn't know the difference between factory kits and aftermarket. They ended up being $175 each which isn't too bad considering they don't sound too bad. They don't hold together under high gain like with a dumble style amp but sound great under clean and medium gain like a plexi. Kimock posted on TGP that a properly installed kit should hold up to high gain. Oh well live and learn.
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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby NSP » Fri May 11, 2012 7:58 am

bluemule wrote:NSP that's a bummer. Awhile ago I bought a d120 and k120 off ebay with aftermarket recones when I didn't know the difference between factory kits and aftermarket. They ended up being $175 each which isn't too bad considering they don't sound too bad. They don't hold together under high gain like with a dumble style amp but sound great under clean and medium gain like a plexi. Kimock posted on TGP that a properly installed kit should hold up to high gain. Oh well live and learn.


Fortunately, I was refunded for the two K's with the coil rub.
I'm currently running with an E and a K in my 12x2, both original cone, and loving it.
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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby Mosfed » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:43 pm

bluemule wrote:To me it's just not worth it to buy an original cone. I'd much rather buy a fresh recone or a blown speaker and get it reconed. I mean how many pristine examples are left after 30+ years? According to the sellers on ebay every speaker works perfectly, was taken straight off the JBL production line and then was immediately stored in a NASA approved vacuum chamber. I've been down that road and you are trusting a strangers word that the speaker is worth $300+.


I agree - you don't lose anything on a recone.

Also I much prefer the Alnico Ds...they are warmer, slightly less shrill to my ears compared to the Es. I know Jerry was later an E user primarily...
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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby Smolder » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:58 pm

not sure if I am recycling internet lore... but I've heard from a couple of sources that JBL is having quality control issues with the E kits. I had one re-coned that died after 8 hours... that one and another are now waiting to be re-coned as the kits are back ordered from JBL. I'd love to get these two done and then be through with the hunt.

At the $3-400 price tag these have been going for on ebay, I'd much rather have a factory re-cone, but it seems even that is becoming difficult to secure.
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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby mgbills » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:03 am

This might be repeat information, but I like to add that Craigslist has been good to me with regard to JBL's. They don't come up often, and usually when they do folks know what they have. But I've gotten really great K's, and about $300/pr. Also, in the Pacific NW we have lots of music shops that deal in used gear. I stop in when I'm around, but you can also call. I scored a pair recently in a music shop at a great price.

Just trying to give folks options. Having said that, I was in a rich vein of JBL's last year. Now...since I've spoken about it...it appears to have dried up.

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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby lunasparks » Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:24 am

Smolder wrote:not sure if I am recycling internet lore... but I've heard from a couple of sources that JBL is having quality control issues with the E kits. I had one re-coned that died after 8 hours... that one and another are now waiting to be re-coned as the kits are back ordered from JBL. I'd love to get these two done and then be through with the hunt.

At the $3-400 price tag these have been going for on ebay, I'd much rather have a factory re-cone, but it seems even that is becoming difficult to secure.


Yes, after two failed recones with the JBL kits, I've got a K120 sitting at the shop waiting for new/quality-controlled kits to arrive. I really hope JBL gets it together...and soon!
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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby Rick Turner » Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:45 pm

If you're storing JBLs for any length of time, flip them over every now and then so they don't take on a "set".
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Re: d/k/e 120 pricing

Postby NSP » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:42 am

Rick Turner wrote:If you're storing JBLs for any length of time, flip them over every now and then so they don't take on a "set".


Thanks Rick...yeah I've heard that said and I do have a couple in storage. What would be your recommendation for the length of time between flips; a month, six months?

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