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I have a couple of speaker questions I could use some help with. First, I have a set of JBL MRV-308 speakers I bought in the mid-1990's. So naturally, being 20 years old they need to be refoamed. The local speaker repair shop charges $75/speaker if they are brought in already removed from the cabinet. That would be $300 for both mids and both woofers. Though I could probably do it myself I've decided that I'm not, and would rather pay to have it done, provided it is worth it for these speakers.

Second question, which vintage audiophiles might enjoy: I have an old set of Bozak speakers, maybe 50-60 years old (images attached below). Years ago I had the magnets reset by the speaker repair company mentioned above. They are the #1 speaker repair company in town and have been around since at least the 1960's. I've searched the Internet for the cabinet model, but haven't seen these cabinets anywhere. I don't know for sure, but I think the speakers are B-199A 15" Woofers with the B-200X Dual Tweeters. Both speaker cabinets have the old fashioned connections for speaker wire, i.e. a flat plate with screws to hold the wire down. The back panel of the cabinets is a 5/8" piece of plywood with two small holes, one for each speaker wire to attach to the plate, which is just screwed into the plywood. I'd like to upgrade the speaker connection to a modern style that will accept either wire, pins, banana plugs, etc. The cabinets are also slightly scratched, scuffed and generally dull in finish so I'm also considering going over them with steel wool and applying a coat of stain and protective finish to them. Would I be doing speakers like this a disservice and/or destroying them, or is this something I wouldn't be run out of town over? I should add that I will not be removing the old connectors, just adding new ones above or below them and wiring them so either could be used.

Thanks.
 

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Interesting speaker. I doubt it sounds all that good, what with the paper-cone tweeters. But a coaxial system is never a bad idea.



Would I be doing speakers like this a disservice and/or destroying them, or is this something I wouldn't be run out of town over?
I’m not sure if you’re asking from a practical perspective or a “don’t want to anger the gods of vintage speakers” perspective, but I don’t see how sprucing up the appearance or adding new connection provisions would be a bad thing from either vantage point. I’d liken it to the vintage care restoration hobby, where owners often upgrade things like suspension or braking components while maintaining the original visual appearance of the car.

However, I would suggest poking around the internet and see if you can find a forum for people who specialize in furniture restoration before you take that steel wool to the cabinet.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Interesting speaker. I doubt it sounds all that good, what with the paper-cone tweeters. But a coaxial system is never a bad idea.

You'd be surprised. They actually sound great. Back in prehistoric times speaker manufacturers had secret, proprietary mixes of ingredients that went into their paper cones when they were pressed. It could be anything from dog hair to paper made from specific types of wood. Old Man Bozak wasn't any different, and his speakers were at, or near the pinnacle. Even back in the 1960's a pair of Bozak Concert Grands sold for $2K. They Symphonies were close to that. Both can sell for more than that today, especially the Concert Grands, which are very rare.
I’m not sure if you’re asking from a practical perspective or a “don’t want to anger the gods of vintage speakers” perspe
The latter. I don't want to mess with the nostalgic value if that will be a problem. I can always use plain Monster cable if nothing else, but it would be nice to be able to connect them with a variety of speaker cable styles. As for restoring the finish, fine steel wool is the recommended way to prep furniture to remove scuffs, stains and other defects. Before I got these speakers they must have been near where someone used a paint sprayer because there are tiny white dots of paint on the top surfaces. You can see them in the pictures. Steel wool will remove that, but the downside is that to restore their luster any new stain will have to be at least a shade darker. It would be great if a couple coats of Briwax and some serious buffing would get the job done, but I don't think that's possible.
 
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