#131918  by bzbz
 Sat Aug 31, 2013 7:03 pm
I would love to find a pair of JBL K-120s - But lemme understand this - the idea is to go on Ebay, and just ....gamble? Just buy speakers that I have no idea what condition they are really in, how many hours of play they have already had, if they have already been altered, etc? That seems like an expensive gamble to me, I can't afford to play it like that - any advice?

I have a great guitar with splittable dual sounds pickups, a Fender super-6 head (essentially a twin reverb head), and a 2x12 Crate cabinet with crappy Celestions - which is, of course, my weakest link - the rig sounds remarkably good even with the cabinet, but I would love to get some K-120s, and then a new cabinet to put them in - advice?
 #131928  by Smolder
 Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:29 am
WHen you're looking at the old ones (the D series), you can look for the cone codes:

D-130 21057
D-123 123504
D-120 21032

It's stamped in white letters on the outside (back) of the paper cone. It doesn't always mean it's an original cone, as some factory re-cones also had the stamp, but that was early on. You can ask the seller if it has it and if they can post a pic. The downside of original cones is that they are paper, very old, fragile and can be subject to cone rub. The only way to really know is to play through it.

K-120's will still have the Alnico magnet, but will have the sturdier cone material. They sound very much like the D's, are newer, and a bit more rugged.

Watch for re-cones with a stamp that starts with a 'W'. those are not well thought of.

These days... buying a D or K speaker that's blown, should be fairly cheap... and having someone like vintone re-cone it is fordable. Then, you know exactly what you've got.
 #131947  by HeadSpace
 Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:05 pm
Yeah, agree its a crapshoot and you need your antenna up, but I scored 2 e120s (in separate transactions) on eBay with no problems. Also a k110. Trust your gut-- there are enough out there that if a seller or deal seems even slightly questionable, just wait. Patience will pay off.
 #131949  by ccw3432
 Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:32 pm
I've purchased 4 JBLs off Ebay. 2 worked fine. 1 had a bent frame and another just sounds muffled. A lot of people on ebay are clueless to what they are selling and even if you ask the right questions you may not get an accurate answer. Be patient and find someone who is a musician to buy your speakers from and that may help. I was assured that they all worked great when I asked questions about them.

I scored 2 K120s at a used music shop in Santa Cruz that sells all kinds of used amps and speakers and they were fully tested and in incredible condition. I wasn't shopping for speakers at the time, but I couldn't just leave them there. I paid a little more for them but there was no hassle or question as to condition and how well they worked. They had a couple E120s there as well when I picked up the k's about 6 months ago. You could try calling around to large used electric music stores but you'll likely have to invest some time.

If you can wait long enough they sometimes pop up on the garage sale here.
 #131960  by Smolder
 Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:06 am
horror stories...

bought a twin with 2 D120's... drove several hours away to get it. Got home and not only was the baffle cracked, but the jbl's had bee ripped and mended with black electrical tape around the edges. None of it was detectable until I got it home and took the speakers out. (the insueing conversation with the seller was not pleasant and I got no resolve).

Bought a beautiful d120 off TGP. The shipper wrapped it in a plastic bag, but it was too lose in the box. The dope on the surround melted in the summer heat, stuck to the bag and it pretty much shredded the paper cone. UPS paid for this one and I got a refund.

Found two nice orange D120's and bought them from a guy down south who promised he'd 'pack like a champ'. They were lose in two boxes taped together... just a bit of newspaper around them. One of them arrived with a cracked frame, the other was unscathed... shipper reimbursed me for the damaged speaker and I sent it back to him.

Now... when buying a speaker, I give specific instructions for shipping. If the shipper isn't interested, I pass on the deal. I have them wrap the speaker in plastic with a 12x12 piece of cardboard - or bolt it to a 12x12 piece of masonite... then put the (12") speaker in a USPS 6x12x12 box to hold it snug. Put that box inside of a 10x15x15 box with plenty of foam, packing peanuts or newspaper. There is still a chance it will get tossed of a truck or dock and jar the voice coil... but you can only do so much. Best of luck!

My best D120 is one I have in the seventies back in high school. It spent 25 plus years in storage at my Dad's house (he'd forgotten about it). I picked it up from him last summer... along with it's match that was apparently re-coned by Waldom (something to avoid). I plan to have that one re-coned at some point (likely with hemp).

It can be a lot of effort to find an original... but if you get a few years out of it that tone is unmistakable and well worth the effort.
 #132541  by Griffyote
 Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:32 pm
If your willing to be patient...
Most often when I hear someone playing a Twin I can tell when there are JBLs in it. I suppose this is where they get their well deserved reputation. I still find it hard to believe with technology today that none of the current manufacturers have been able to reproduce the tone, but I haven't been able to try them all.
 #132601  by bzbz
 Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:46 pm
OK, I picked up a pair of K-120s (with consecutive serial numbers too!) - I am going to take them to a local (and superb) electronics/audio repair center - and make sure they are in good working condition - then I will look to buy a cabinet (I'll have to start posting in the cabinet forum I guess) - but is there a benefit to having switches on the cabinet - so that I can use my fender head to plug into 4 ohm (both 8s in parallel), 8 ohm (a single speaker), and 16 ohm (both speakers in series) - so that I could always use different heads/amps? Or is this too complex?
 #132603  by bzbz
 Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:35 pm
LOL!!! After I check them out - and they are in good working condition - I promise to post what I paid

- if they are clunkers, I'll post that too - but first I gotta check 'em out.

I love this board! I studied it for a LONG TIME before having a guitar built, restoring my Fender head (though it is un-modded) - and now, I still got the bug - and I think the K-120s should really help - I love the 79-81 tone, that's why I have dual sounds in the axe - I don't want to mimic Garcia in my playing, but that tone is just so.... delicious.....
 #132633  by bzbz
 Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:54 pm
well, good news and bad news - the chassis are in mint shape, the shop guys drooled over them - but they need a re-cone - should I send them to JBL? Actually, I called JBL, spoke to a guy in an Indian accent, he gave me the phone number of an electronics store in Franklin Square, NY near me - (?) ... advice please -
 #132635  by bzbz
 Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:17 pm
well, I just re-read the last few "redone" threads, and am still kinda confused - I left messages at a bunch of companies, and will continue to investigate - but I would appreciate any constructive feedback I can get!