Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #81679  by Jon S.
 Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:41 pm
After shipping me a JBL K120 speaker I won on eBay, the seller tells me the following. Have you ever encountered this? If it were you, would you return it? Thanks.

>> I have come up with a little secret over the years concerning preservation of older amps and speakers. Speaker cones, amp tolex and metal parts etc. die from a combination of exposure to dampness & drying if abuse or accident doesn't get them 1st. I have been using Armor All & stretch wrap on speakers & tolex, etc for many years. It keeps them from drying out due to exposure to heating systems, UV, changing environments of handling on the road and time itself. Most cones blow out because the material has lost its natural resilience from this weathering process. If I am taking a unit out of service for any period of time, I will give it a wipe down with amour all, then wrap it in packaging grade stretch film. I also use armor all on guitar cases and wrap the case prior to transport or storage. I know - the purest amp geeks will have a fit if you tell them that you used anything - but I have been doing so for a very very long time and have some very old equip that looks like new.
Last edited by Jon S. on Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 #81682  by paulinnc
 Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:11 pm
I just did a search and read some stuff about it. There were people who did it and people who didn't, but the general consensus was as long as it wasn't applied very frequently it should NOT be a problem. If the guy you bought the speaker from applied some to the speaker once before putting it in storage I don't think it will be a big deal. But I am just basing this on what I just read.
 #81686  by Jon S.
 Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:49 pm
From his description I don't see how it can be anything but the cone. Oh well, I guess it had to happen to me eventually and thankfully it's only a little over a C note of a hit. I've emailed the seller that I'm considering how to respond.
 #81689  by Chuckles
 Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:42 pm
Weirdest post I've read here in a while... but I guess I can see where someone would want to try to preserve the structural integrity (thanks you Mr. Scott) of the cone. I guess the material could grow brittle or whatever... but isn't that part of the natural aging process that gives vintage speakers their unique sound?

My guess is the K120 has its own unique character based on this. Plug it in and see how she sounds... that's really the only test that matters, right? If it's completely spanked, Ebay buyer protection should have you covered.
 #81691  by JonnyBoy
 Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:56 pm
Let me guess, this guy has the home makers book for cleaning anything with common house hold things. Pg 49 how to fix your JBL K120 cone to get a better jerry tone with some green kool aid and armor all. I bet it works fine though if he didn't go overboard with it.
 #81700  by tcsned
 Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:31 am
Jon S. wrote:Yikes - my speaker got a breast enlargement?! :drink:

I would think that if he was using it to preserve a speaker and didn't go overboard it probably didn't do a huge amount of damage. I would think that it would color the sound a bit if there is residue in the cone. If he had a dry-rotted speaker and was trying to mask it with Armor-All then that is sketchy. But if it sounds ok then I wouldn't worry too much. I have a 2x12 Boogie cab that I noticed at a gig that there was a hole in a cone, I plugged it with some silicon sealer and it carried on for another year or so till my amp fried (the speaker had nothing to do with the fried amp) - I didn't notice any change in tone.
 #81779  by ugly rumor
 Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:48 pm
I read once where Jerry brought up an interesting and valid point. He said that people change their strings all the time, but never think about their speakers. He said that use and the road and humidity, etc., take their toll on speakers. It makes sense. That being said, I recently sold my 1973 Bassman with original speakers, my 1976 Ampeg B-15 with original speaker, and still own a 1980 Labseries with original speakers. I am very attentive to my amps, and they still were in good shape; however I didn't tour like Jerry did, either. I personally appreciate newer speakers, although I have also gone for several years between string changes. If it sounds good, you are probably ok. As for age improving speaker sound, I can't believe that. Maybe with aluminum cones it won't hurt, but certainly won't improve the sound.
 #81782  by Chuckles
 Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:51 pm
Really? I read all the time - usually about combo amps - that it takes a while for the stuff to break in. Like, a new speaker has a "tightness" to it that needs to be played through... some folks say to just leave the amp on for a few days to let he white noise "loosen it up". These are all relative terms, of course ("tight" can describe Jerry's tone, for example, whereas "tight" might also mean a speaker that doesn't give a full frequency response or have a lot of resonance)... and it may all be a bunch of bullshit for all I know...
 #81783  by JonnyBoy
 Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:44 am
Yhea, and Jerry thought a super II," lost its Sparkle" after a tour. COME ON! I politely disagree with that, unless he bangs up the magnets for them to loose their molecular arrangements. It takes a MUCH longer time for a magnet to loose strength through natural age. Ive heard 40 year old pickups that sound killer. Being a touring musician like Jerry you can demand just about anything with your gear, I think it may have been Jerry's heart that wanted to keep his friends employed and busy, and a touch of, "there's nothing like the sound of some new pickups," kind of thing. As for his speakers, I am sure they sounded like huge farts after he was done touring with them for a year. He kept those speakers thumping pretty much year round back then to the brink of the Mac's clipping levels for HOURS a show. Not that they couldn't handle it, but I am sure they got hot and "wet" in the semi truck during transport, then put back into normal inside conditions for a few days, then again with the humid "outdoors", and so on. Anything that expands, contracts and then gets spanked well usually wears out over time, no matter what it is. I can tell my body has.... :lol: