JBL L25 Prima Restoration

Discussion in 'The Lansing Legacy' started by Zonker92, May 7, 2018.

  1. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    L25 Prima restoration done:

    Repaired and repainted cabinets
    Repaired and repainted baffles
    Replaced one damaged tweeter and one damaged woofer
    Repaired broken port tube
    Recapped, and bypass caps added
    L-pads cleaned
    Upgraded OEM binding posts
    New baffle screws
    Polished driver screws
    Correct foams for tweeters
    Correct woofer front gaskets
    New gaskets for baffles and backs of woofers
    Polished badges
    Gleaned and painted grille frame bars
    New grille cloth
    New cabinet damping fiberglass
    Cleaned foilcals

    My theory is, JBL put a lot of time and money into this model (the catalog claims they tried hundreds of different materials before settling on thermoplastic for its acoustics), but it didn't sell too well. I say that because I don't see them around very often.

    A former JBL employee tells me, "[T]hey introduced the Prima 25 and shortly thereafter the Decade 26 with the same drivers, and we had the Decades in our soundroom in 1974 ... They were a dud because it was part of a modular audio furniture system, at a time when no one was buying dedicated audio furniture. We used milk crates for records then. ... The fellow who got me hired at JBL, the late, great Irving Stern, was the former VP-marketing and involved with that project. He's also the guy who named the Century, Jubal and others. The Prima-25 was a good idea, you bought the speakers and then extra modular enclosures to stack them as audio furniture for your component and records. But it flopped in an era when college students were driving the business and spending zip on furniture (cinder blocks, milk crates, and boards were the mainstay). To salvage the project, shortly after that (1973?) the 10-inch woofer and LE-25 tweeter went into more conventional enclosures and became the Decades."

    This is the color combo I wanted:

    31968058_10216794043583875_1231400104817065984_n.jpg

    And the original eBay listing: Wrong woofer gaskets and tweeter foam rings; mismatched cabinets and incorrectly-attached grille cloth (the cloth was held on with wooden strips stapled to the backs of the grille frames):

    31939524_10216793706815456_682991866982957056_n.jpg

    31956665_10216793706935459_8869067901001269248_n.jpg

    Incorrect tweeter foams (and note the rough baffle surface):

    31947073_10216793707015461_2671446632792326144_n.jpg

    Sanded down:

    31948756_10216793706295443_7662750160379707392_n.jpg

    Primed:

    31948172_10216797066939457_5325267948162514944_n.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
    malden, powerman and nedseg like this.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    I bought some Valspar paint, and some cloth from Huntley Audio. Here's the first coat of paint (Graco airless paint sprayer):

    31946160_10216793706255442_1391786909637804032_n.jpg

    New sound damping:

    31950278_10216797066459445_5620225630374199296_n.jpg

    Drivers with new gaskets and correct foam rings:

    31959103_10216797066779453_1752049754268762112_n.jpg

    New damping:

    32116682_10216797066299441_625729430257401856_n.jpg

    New grille cloth:

    31950451_10216793706335444_6994896871999143936_n.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
    malden, cwh and EarlK like this.
  3. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    Painted:

    31947352_10216793705935434_7473871538949718016_n.jpg

    All done (for purposes of originality, I chose not to smooth out the baffles or mirror-image them):

    31947034_10216793705055412_3660491096124817408_n.jpg
    31948079_10216793704935409_411949292819841024_n.jpg
    31949745_10216793705095413_4358925402056425472_n.jpg
    31959023_10216793704895408_3265420281748914176_n.jpg
    31961267_10216794072904608_1485203745405927424_n.jpg
    31964300_10216794073184615_4185007242640097280_n.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  4. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    Now I just need to hook them up and see how they sound.

    32078500_10216794071264567_3516221010053431296_n.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
    malden likes this.
  5. donprice

    donprice Wound up workin' at a gas station.... Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,329
    Quite the rebuild. Very nicely done :thumbsup: as usual.
     
  6. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    Thanks, Don! :)
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. SPL db

    SPL db It's all about the music! Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,604
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Those came out great! Excellent work! :thumbsup:
     
  8. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    Thanks!!
     
  9. pahhhoul

    pahhhoul AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Oakland, CA
    Great resto job!
    Where did you get the sound dampening materials?
     
  10. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    Thanks!! Years ago I bought some "1" bulk yellow fiberglass" (catalog no. 16550 at https://wrap-on.com/product/bulk-roll-fiberglass/). Email them and they'll refer you to a seller. (Ace Hardware carries it too, I think.)

    It seems to be identical to the original JBL stuff. (I didn't need to replace it, but the original stuff had a lot of different-colored paint overspray.)
     
  11. cwh

    cwh AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    691
    Location:
    Oakland, Ca.
    Awesome project!
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. wu6fiend

    wu6fiend Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    506
    Location:
    Surrey, B.C. Canada
    What an interesting speaker, I confess I've never heard of them. Do you plan to set them up as JBL intended (atop the other cabinets, which were for storage of records)? You did a super job on the restoration!
     
  13. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    Thanks! I have to admit, they're going into my garage. I will be setting them very carefully onto some shelves hanging from the joists. (They deserve a better location, but for now this is the best spot for them in my collection.)
     
  14. nedseg

    nedseg AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    395
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    WOW!
    What a wonderful job you've done with them!
    I've always wanted a pair of those...and did put in a half-hearted bid on that eb sale (IRCC).
    Glad they went to you and you've brought them back so perfectly.
    I bought (my first JBLs) a pair of L26s, and really wanted the Primas, but couldn't afford them at the time (or the 'record cabinets'). I like the blue ones best:)
    VERY curious to hear what you think of them. I read somewhere they sounded a bit better than the L26?
    Thanks for sharing, and documenting their history - nice work!!
     
    Zonker92 likes this.
  15. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    Thanks! I'm still tinkering with them, but I should have them playing soon!

    I've been fascinated with them since I first discovered them maybe five years ago. Many people have never heard of them. They remind me a bit of classic sci-fi sets and robots from movies like Silent Running.
     
  16. tarior

    tarior Dirty pool, old man? Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,502
    Location:
    Kelso, Washington
    I have a pair of those, too. I have been using them in my garage for years now, where they displaced a pair of Bose 601s. I think they sound pretty darn good.
    Nice restoration!
     
    UncleBingo likes this.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    Thanks, tarior! What color(s) are your grilles and cabinets? Where did you get them?
     
  18. tarior

    tarior Dirty pool, old man? Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,502
    Location:
    Kelso, Washington
    Mine have dark blue cabinets with *edit-orange-*edit grilles. I got them at a swap meet of sorts for $50, about 8 or 9 years ago. From what I've seen, they are exceedingly rare.

    A mirror-imaged pair would be neat.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
    Zonker92 likes this.
  19. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    Cool; thanks!
     
  20. Zonker92

    Zonker92 All shiny and chrome Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,123
    Location:
    Central CA
    Now in situ:

    FD007320-115C-45BE-B7C8-0B0DDF6F279E.jpeg

    599DD9E1-CD8B-4558-85CC-F629A51285A6.jpeg
     
    malden, tarior and nedseg like this.

Share This Page