Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby Yankee Tim » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:21 pm

Hey now.

Just scored a pre-'72 Fender Bandmaster 2x12 cabinet, with 2 grey basket D120Fs in it, and soda can dust covers. I suspect that at least one or maybe both speakers are not original. One has a silver/gold label with "Signature Design" and model D120F (So it was a Fender spec'd speaker) It has the paper cone fully out to the surround. The cone has "21032" stamps on it with white ink, and the "D120F" handwritten in white.

The other speaker has an orange/silver label and has the Fender logo to the left of the "Signature Design" with model D120F as well This has paper cone but what appears to be cloth as a surround. The cone has a stamp with the number 13 inside a circle, and "E-120-8" handwritten in white.

I have done enuff i-research to learn that JBL gave the F designation for Leo's stuff. Other makers started using these speakers in their amp cabs. Soon after, Leo asked for more unique designation, hence the Orange label. Not long after that, Leo wanted the entire basket to be orange. One website forum said this was to prevent people trying to warranty non-Fender JBLs by just swapping the labels over. Who knows.

So the question is, is the cloth surround usual for a D120F? Could this be a factory recone? Is it worth the $200 to send them both to Weber and recone them? The test spin at the music shop thru a Solandro amp sounded reall sweet, warm yet crystal clear-sharp (if that makes sense). I did notice that the older speaker (gold/silver label) was a tad sharper and louder. Of course, that was the top speaker. I did get on all fours to check, and I still have that opinion.

And the final question. I paid $275 out the door, and the cab itself is in very good condition, worth selling. Did I do good?

*picking up 2 sheets of 13-ply birch plywood next Tuesday* :smile:
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby Yankee Tim » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:54 pm

Okay, I kinda am answering part of the question. The second speaker appears to be definately reconed. Unless it was normal to slather the dust cap in some kinda black thick paint. Only on the cap and nothing anywhere else. The cone also has a wrinkle, like it was hit at one time. No tears. The mounting surround is made of cork.

The other speaker looks totally unmolested, but I don't know. Total paper. Even the mounting surround is paper (not cork). The weird thing is, there is a tar like material on the folds and its kinda tacky. Strange since its pusing a half century old. I thought these things dry out and crack? No cracks or tears here. And it did sound wonderful when I tried it out.

THoughts? Just send them to Weber and be done with it?
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby Smolder » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:31 am

If there is writing on the outside of the cone it is likely a re-cone.

Original cone jbl d120's go for 200-300 each in working condition, but are very rare. And... the paper is very old at this point... dry and fragile. It should have 21032 stamped in small white letters... but, an early factory kit re-cone would have that sam marking. Here is an interesting reference:

http://www.fretboard.com/jblspeakerclarity.html

You can have them re-coned much cheaper at vin-tone.com in jersey. You could also have a hemp cone done by the tone tubby folks. I'd look at having it re-coned by upland loudspeaker in california, but that will run you around 300. That would put an E kit into it and would render it essentially a K-120. That get's you very close to a D.

The tar like tacky stuff is to the paper surround stronger and is not unusual.
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby Yankee Tim » Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:47 am

Thanks! So it looks like one of these is original, based of the stamp. The other a recone. The original sounds great, so should I leave well enough alone?

Also, I have a good friend who has reckoned many speakers. If I go the DIY route, is there a good, pre-assembled kit out there anyone would recommend?

I'll check the place in NJ as well.
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby NSP » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:00 am

Yankee Tim wrote:Thanks! So it looks like one of these is original, based of the stamp. The other a recone. The original sounds great, so should I leave well enough alone?

Also, I have a good friend who has reckoned many speakers. If I go the DIY route, is there a good, pre-assembled kit out there anyone would recommend?

I'll check the place in NJ as well.


I just had an E120 reconed at Orange County in Cali. When I initially contacted them they told me it would be done with JBL parts. They called me and said their current stock of JBL kits didn't pass quality control (bad voice coils) and the wait for a new batch would be at least three months...and that wouldn't guarantee better results. Apparently they are now made in Mexico?

So, I opted to have them use an aftermarket kit which was about half the price but has the same specs and warranty. So far it sounds great, but I haven't gigged with it yet at higher volumes. I will be using it in my 1x12 for smaller stages as opposed to my 2x12 K120 cab. I suspect the kit they used is this one or something similar, which has had positive reviews in other threads -
http://www.soundspeakerrepair.com/mm5/m ... de=KIT-JBL
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby Yankee Tim » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:58 pm

Thanks. I checked out those recone kits, and those are the very ones I was thinking of buying and installing myself with help from my buddy. Seems affordable, and it can't be rocket science.

I also found out that vin-tone.com is in lower NY and near my father-in-laws. I'm going to send an email to them and see how this goes.

Even though the intact original one sounded beautiful. I'm still going to recone both and start fresh.

Does reconing a D120F with the cloth surround cone make it a K120?
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby Smolder » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:54 pm

the jbl factory re-cone kit is made of the same parts used both in the K and the E. The K has the same mag and spider as the D. S yes, re-coning the D with an E kit makes it essentially a K.
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby czyfingers » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:53 am

If the original sounds beautiful, I'd leave it alone. I have 3 original K's that also sound great and I've been pounding on them for a couple years now and they still sound great. On the other hand, I have 2 reconed E''s that don't sound as good and guess where they are? Sitting in boxes. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby Smolder » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:45 am

czyfingers wrote:If the original sounds beautiful, I'd leave it alone. I have 3 original K's that also sound great and I've been pounding on them for a couple years now and they still sound great. On the other hand, I have 2 reconed E''s that don't sound as good and guess where they are? Sitting in boxes. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just my 2 cents.


agreed... leave the original working one be.
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby NSP » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:04 am

Smolder wrote:
czyfingers wrote:If the original sounds beautiful, I'd leave it alone. I have 3 original K's that also sound great and I've been pounding on them for a couple years now and they still sound great. On the other hand, I have 2 reconed E''s that don't sound as good and guess where they are? Sitting in boxes. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just my 2 cents.


agreed... leave the original working one be.


Yep, while I totally understand that you want the peace of mind that having them reconed will essentially make them new, I'd agree with these guys and run them as is unless there is an obvious problem. My main rig is original K's and I hope they will remain that way for a long time. The E I reconed was given to me for free with a torn cone, so it had to be done.
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby Yankee Tim » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:30 pm

Okay, I'll leave the stocker alone. But the other one with the black goop on the dust cover and the wrinkle in the cone has to be done. It just didn't sound anywhere as good as the unmolested one. Now the question, aftermarket D or E/K kit? According to soundspeakerrepair.com. The E and K are not the same wire (one says aluminum and the other is copper, the D is copper).

Forgot to mention. What's the best way to ge smegma off the dust cover? Seems that at some point in time something got spilled on this and went thru the grille cloth (literally looks like puke :shock: ). Alchohol on a cotton swab? Plain wet cotton ball and a very light and steady hand? All the while making sure nothing gets on the paper. Damn, the speaker sounds great but the cover really looks like ass.

Starting to wonder if $275 was a good deal or wheither I should have waited for pristine ones. I Should off the bare cabinet so I feel better about it. :lol:
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby Yankee Tim » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:24 pm

UPDATE:

Upon closer examination of the reconed D, there is a white stamp with "21032" and "113" right under it. Stamp looks just like the one on the unmolested D. Would this most likely be a factory recone?

Still have no idea why they slathered the dust cover with this black stuff. Maybe to take some of the sharpness of the speaker out?

In any case, waiting to hear back from Dutch at Vin-Tone. It might be possible to just replace the dust cover if the rest of the speaker checks out.

In advance, thanks to all on this forum for help and guidance. If it wasn't for this place, I would not now a 1/4 of the things I do now. Peace, brothers (and sisters).
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby mijknahs » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:03 pm

Don't recone the speaker unless it's blown. Just replace the dust cap with a new aluminum cap for the one that's ugly. You should be able to have it professionally done for $15 to $20.

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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby Yankee Tim » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:07 pm

More things for me to contemplate. There isn't any black stuff on the cone. Rather a felt cover painted with clear stuff.

Thinking of just running them. Even as they sit, gotta be better than the Bugera paper plates I'm playng now. Lol
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Re: Q's on JBL D120Fs.

Postby Yankee Tim » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:14 pm

Thanks Jim. I'm thinking the same thing. But just spoke with Dutch @ Vin-Tone and he said its possible to damage the cone trying to replace the cover, especially considering the goop issue. He also said that JBL is now making the E kits in Mexico and the build quality is marginal at best. Well, that really sux. And the comment about a Weber recon'd D120 sounding just like a Weber didn't do.much more me either.

Now, he said a E-kit reconed D will never sound exactly like and original. But since Jerry went they different JBL incarnations, would the original D and E-kit D be a nice belnd together?
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