BOLIVAR SPEAKER WORKS info

JEFA

Member
2001-08-31 10:49 am
France
Hello,
I'm French.
Last week, somebody gave me a pair of MODEL 64 from BOLIVAR SPEAKER WORKS.
The top suspension of the bass drivers are off.
I'd like to get some informations about those loudspeakers:
 History
 quality ? good or bad ?
 drivers specifications: vas, qts, fe, spl, …

Kind regards
 
:D bon jour, bolivar speaker works was a jbl subsidary it was an attempt by jbl to make their products more competetive on foreign markets [ie] europe and so as far as i am aware and if memory serves correctly were assembled / made in denmark and is no longer in existance:cannotbe: so getting t/s parameters for their drivers from factory records would be nigh on impossible:xeye:
cheers TC:D
 

kelticwizard

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2001-09-18 2:33 am
Connecticut, The Nutmeg State
Sreten is correct.

The surround of the speaker normally does not affect the Thiele-Small parameters. The spider, (inner suspension) normally provides the suspension stiffness. Replacing the spider will cause the Thiele-Small parameters to change-not the outer surround.

So get yourself a nice surround replacement kit, and you're all set. :)
 

Jross

Member
2007-02-16 3:23 am
Belfast
Bolivar 64

Hi peeps,
I have a pair of Bolivar 64s as well. I've had them about 20yrs but one of the woofers has started to buzz, sounds like the coil varnish has swollen due to overload. I love these spkrs and would appreciate if anyone knows where to get a replacement or how to fix the faulty one.
Thanks friends.
 

pingy

Member
2007-03-24 11:50 am
Buzzing Bolivar

Hi OldRocker,

I have a set of Bolivars, I don't know which type, for at least 25 years now. They allso started buzzing some 5 years ago but it was the rim of the woofer that was falling appart. It's a sort of ruberish material which is degrading. I love these speakers so much that I tried to fix them and with success. I "glued" the rim with Silicon kit ( the stuff you use to seal of kitchen sinks etc.).
It's not very professional but it lasted the past 5 years without any noticably sound degradation. I must admit that at this moment one of the speakers starts buzzing again that's why I went searching on the internet to find a replacement and came across your post. First I will ad some more silicon :)

Some ten years ago I allso bought a pair of real JBL's, smaller in size to use in my home studio. They stink compared to the Bolivars so the JBL's are in the living room and the Bolivars in the studio.

If I stumble on more info I'll post it here.

Good luck,
Pingy
 

Stereo Guy

Member
2012-07-07 3:40 am
Bolivar Speakers

I think somone hit it, when they said that the Bolivar speakers were made in Bolivar Tennessee & were a subsidiary of J.B. L. I have a pair somewhere in my hugh supply of gear, i know they are 3 way speakers with a 12 inch woofer! Anyway first time to post....might hear from me once or twice a month. Good day Gang!
 
Hi,

I recall the Models tested by Hi-Choice basically measured very flat
and they were described as more hifi and restrained than you might
expect.

Slapping on some Copydex rubber type adhesive might refurbish
some surrounds, it hard to say, just make sure it doesn't make
fitting some proper new surrounds any more difficult.

[IMGDEAD]http://www.ryman.co.uk/Catalogue/Ryman/medium/global/images/alt/06/0625102293_2.jpg[/IMGDEAD]

I really can't see silicon sealant being any good, unless expertly
applied in a thin layer, the nature of the stuff makes that difficult.

rgds, sreten.

images


Bolivar 18 (other models have the same mid and treble)
 
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Green to

Member
2012-10-29 10:05 pm
John Potts

Ran across this, thought I would clear things up. Bolivar Speaker Works was started by Sidney Harmon and James Barthell of JBL, Jim Barthell was CEO and Bolivar TN was picked for several reasons, mainly because Harmon had an automotive plant there for rear view mirrors. Jim Barthell hired me out of college as the first design engineer and I was sent to JBL in Northridge to work along side of Ed May who designed the transducers along with me, then I took the design and went to Japan to find someone to make them, I would select Tonagen Electric but they would only assemble we sent JBL cones and spiders, they did the frames and mags. Larry Smith hired from Cerwin Vega as VP marketing would do the enclosure. That was the 64 & 18, I would do the rest at the factory near the Bolivar airport at a research lab I built with help from Ed May, my mentor at that time. We would stuff the channel but would never start HVM due to politics. Sidney Harman wanted to work with Jimmy Carter and sold to Beatrice Foods, Beatrice would give the BSW plant to Harman automotive 1 week after the close, and then we were history. I went to Japan, some went to JBL, Carl Davis, my best friend would go to Plainview NY at HK headquarters, Jim Barthel would go back to CA. and that is the history of Bolivar Speaker Works, very short life of about 2 years with no start to HVM.
 

Green to

Member
2012-10-29 10:05 pm
When I was working on the Bolivar transducer design we were trying to achieve a flat response +-2db, and we got real close, problem was this is what audiophiles want and they did not by $100 speakers back then or today. Our price competitors had very hot top ends, +6-9db and huge bottoms, we would have been successful as we had the fix in design but, hey, now I am retired from Intel so all worked out for me any way
 

Green to

Member
2012-10-29 10:05 pm
Here is the worst part of the Bolivar story, Harman automotive was given out plant 1 week before we were to start high volume manufacturing, they would then retool for a new electric rear mirror for a VW plant in Puerto Rico, but they would screw it up loose the business and the plant would never produce anything! I went back 10 years later and it still sat there empty with my speaker test plain outside with a tree growing out of it. Go figure
 

Green to

Member
2012-10-29 10:05 pm
Dates

Ok it was a while, I joined before the factory was built, we shared an office downtown Bolivar TN, late 1975 and we were shut down 1978 right after he was picked as under securtary of commerce for Carter administration. No body seems to know that the names of our products, 64, 18, and 125 were the numbers of the major highways that pass through Bolivar. The CES shows were only in Chicago in July at McCormick hotel, the whole thing, the conference centers had not been built yet. In 1977 I flew from Memphis to Chigago Midway 3 times in 24 hours to get parts needed, we did a wall of sound with 64s 16 each side, each powered by a Citation (HK) 16 in bridge mode, then Gary Milkey of Supertramp did a demo on the Oberhiem synthizer, someone knocked the reverb over and it blew out every fuse on every channel, did not harm one speaker but it did knock every leaf off of 4 ficus trees in the room. The Testing 1.2..3 album was done at Electra Asylum studios over 2 weeks, all 4 band members were Bolivar employees, Larry Smith, Lewis Davis, John Jawarowitz, and the marketing manager who I forgt his name. I did get to be in studio with James Taylor and Carley Simon, still have 4 lacquer disks they cut and did not like, one of a kind! Back then direct to lathe was the standard.
 
Greetings to all!
Just the other day I picked up a pair of bolivar 64's for $5!! Got them refomed and am currently listening to pink floyd the wall. Might I say these speakers Are amazing!!! What amazes me most is the fact I found these at a shop in a small town in Australia! They sure did travel far for a small company! Has anyone refomed the surrounds on the tweeters? And if so what material did you use? Also I want to add banana plug binding posts to these any suggestions?
 
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I bought a pair of Model 64's in 78 or 79, in Denver CO and still have them! In 80, my receiver (Technics I think) and cassette tape player were stolen out of my college dorm room. I still have the Technics SL-1950 direct drive turntable from my original setup (in original box).

I'm looking for a 4 ohm vintage receiver to drive these speakers. I got a box of old albums I'm itching to play (House of the Holy). Need recommendation on 4 ohm vintage receiver to get off ebay. I'm going to get the whole setup working again like it was 1978! LOL. (btw, the wife has been bitchin at me to get ride of these 64's for at least 10 years, but now is time to get system running again) Probably need the foam kit too. Where do you get that? Thanks in advance. Ya, this is my 1st post.