For a long, long time, probably forty years, I’ve owned a moderate size sound system that I occasionally used indoors and outdoors at various concerts and folk festivals. The low end is a pair of EAW “Forsythe” cabinets each containing a pair of JBL 2220 woofers, The midrange is a big muticellular horn with a JBL 2445 2 inch driver, the high end is an Altec Lansing 511-B horn with a JBL 2425 1 inch driver and an added JBL 2405 supertweeter. This was nice and efficient but it never did a good job on the lowest octave. I needed subwoofers.

More Bass!

In the year 2000 I managed to acquire four Electrovoice Manifold MTL-4 subwoofers that had been used on a Rolling Stones tour. Although they worked reasonably well, a close look showed that they had been badly overpowered. (What a surprise) It was probably a combination of just too much continuous power and a failure to limit the low frequency energy below 40 Hz. The result was somewhat burned voice coils and badly stretched spiders on the woofers resulting in an “oilcan” effect with its consequent distortion when the cones moved.

While at Brighton Sound I used to recone many JBL speakers and I’d done other brands including Electrovoice so I decided to take on the job of restoring the sixteen woofers in these cabinets. Electrovoice speakers aren’t the easiest thing to work with. Unlike the JBL’s the recone kits are packaged as individual parts. The voice coil, spider, and paper cone must be glued together during assembly. However, with some care, its not impossible. The result of this project was very gratifying; the speakers sound good as new and have been totally reliable. The subwoofers complete the system. I usually only use two of them at a time driven by an Ashly MFA-8000 amplifier. That’s 2400 Watts per cabinet and this produces more than enough low bass to match the rest of the system. Unlike the Rolling Stones I try not to drive them quite so hard!

Left side of system-------------------------------------inside 4 subwoofer cabinets
Left side of system—————————————–inside 4 subwoofer cabinets

Click Here for photos of the reconing process