Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

John Bowers Active One

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
April 27, 2009 5:43:54 AM

Each of my pair of JB Actives, now 25 years old, have a problem. The second undermentioned problem is not serious as thespeaker works just fine but I have to switch it on and off manually sometimes. The first problem is serious as I cannot use the speaker.

Recently the 5Amp fuse blew. I tried replacing it twice but each time I turned on the power it blew again.

I have the Service and Parts Manual but not the training or knowedge to find the fault and repair it.

Has anyone experienced a similar problem and if so what was the cause and how was it repaired?

Are there any known problems which occur causing this fuse to blow?

The second problem is that the speaker intermittently turns on and off although there is no audio signal at the time.

Any assitance will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Jonathan Asherson
Cape Town
South Africa
26 April 2009

More about : john bowers active

July 27, 2009 8:57:43 PM

Hello Mr. Asherson,
Congratulations to your speaker and that you kept it for such a long time, I'm sure you know why, Active ones are excellent Speakers.
Sometimes the electrolytic capacitors or final stage transistors blew up. I was talking to many guys about this, even with a important service master at B&W (I don't remember his Position). He knew the problems and told me there is no way to solve this and the speakers are lost forever. BUT I did not give up and was just asking an older and experienced electronic technician specialized in TV and Radio and he told me that it is NOT possible that it is impossible to repair a final stage! This was 4 weeks ago and till now one of two broken active 1 runs fine again :bounce:  , the second one still needs some parts which are in delivery. He has to do some modifications to the board to fit the new parts but then both will run as on their first day, he promised me.

So the only advice is go and find a good electronic technician and tell him, you have something really special and if he is honourable he won't miss this chance if he knows what he does, it's an easy job for him. Don't trust lazy guys which tell you that it's not worth and impossible to find parts. Of course it is not possible to find original parts, but when they use their brain and their profession they will find the way... But be aware, beside the hourly wage, the transistors are expensive, a repair will be something between 100USD - and 350USD!

Good Luck and let us know what happened to your old beauties. Don't give them up! If you will, please contact me on this thread...

Best Regards
Martin
Germany
August 19, 2009 8:32:58 PM

Finally after some more weeks, I received both units repaired and they are so wonderful. Don't be afraid, both units had to be repaired in different ways and I pleased the technician not to tell me, which of both has more original stuff left inside: After listening many, many hours now to high quality Music, from Hi-Q sources, I am not able to point any difference between the speakers, fantastic work - don't trust the hifi-voodoo! Trust the best technician you could find. Mine charged "only" 250U$D but the speaker is worth every penny.
The John Bowers Active 1 is so incredibly natural, I wish more people could experience them and compare them with their many k$ stuff advised from the so called "trade journals".
Thank you John Bowers, for this wonderful natural Speaker... And once again Mr. Asherson if you want to give up your Active 1, please let me know the price.
Related resources
October 14, 2009 10:32:08 AM

martinw said:
Hello Mr. Asherson,
He has to do some modifications to the board to fit the new parts but then both will run as on their first day, he promised me.

So the only advice is go and find a good electronic technician and tell him, you have something really special and if he is honourable he won't miss this chance if he knows what he does, it's an easy job for him. Don't trust lazy guys which tell you that it's not worth and impossible to find parts. Of course it is not possible to find original parts, but when they use their brain and their profession they will find the way... But be aware, beside the hourly wage, the transistors are expensive, a repair will be something between 100USD - and 350USD!

Good Luck and let us know what happened to your old beauties. Don't give them up! If you will, please contact me on this thread...

Best Regards
Martin
Germany


Hi Martin,

Could you tell me a bit more on the modification your technician did? Do you have the type/number of the FETs he used as a replacement? This could help me greatly in repairing a pair of these beauties.

Cheers,
Bart
November 10, 2009 8:10:20 AM

I don't know the details, the only thing I'm left with, is the "Circuit Diagram - Power Amplifier P.C.Board - Mid and Low Freq"
He marked the R339 with "not applicable" and the R340 "smaller Value 2541058 0 <----> S " he noted this for the case, he ever has to repair them again and he was sure he will forget these facts, but he did a lot of more stuff which I got sadly no clue about. He admitted that he had to dig out some literature from his college times, because it was so complicated and unusual. Be aware: in the Circuit Diagram is a misprint, which caused the first new set of Fets to blow up :sarcastic:  so be careful when switching them on for the first time, it's better to check everything careful before. But sorry, I got no further details about this too :(  . The only thing I know, is that I'm still in love with these rare gems.

Best Luck,
Martin
November 10, 2009 8:46:54 AM

Hi Martin,

Would it be possible to get a copy of the schematics of those boards? It would give some more insight on how to repair things and/or substitute parts for the power MOSFETs.
I'll PM you with my email details, hopefully this will get me any furher with the repairs.

Cheers,
Bart
November 10, 2009 8:48:31 AM

Hi Martin,

My email address is bart.hommels_AT_gmail.com. I would really appreciate it if you could share the circuit diagrams you might have.

Best regards
Bart
December 1, 2009 11:13:16 PM

Hello Martin.
I am helping a client of mine sell some of her husbands stereo gear here in Asheville, North Carolina in the USA. Included in this are a pair of B&W Active 1's. They are in good operating condition, but the cosmetics are probably an 8 out of 10 and they have no grills. Do you have any idea what they are worth?
Thanks for any information you can give to me in this regard.
Frank
January 5, 2010 10:19:07 AM

bommels said:
Hi Martin,

Could you tell me a bit more on the modification your technician did? Do you have the type/number of the FETs he used as a replacement? This could help me greatly in repairing a pair of these beauties.

Cheers,
Bart



Hi

I know its a little while ago that this was posted but was just looking around and i see that your after or was after some part numbers,i too have a pair of active ones,did have two pair but let a pair go,had to do some repairs and the fets that needed changing were 2sj99....and2sk343,once these were put in all was as good as it was 25years ago,had some other mods done too for driver protection,hope this can be of some help

darren
Anonymous
December 1, 2010 11:17:12 AM

Hello,

I have a pair of B & W Active 1.
Unfortunately during an international move they experienced some damages. As you told: They are repairable.
(The "Hocht├Âner" is buzzing)

As I may claim this damage at a insurance:
Do you have an idea what is the present value of the B & W Active 1?
!