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JBL L100 Reissue - $4000

Ron Texas

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At $4,000 there are a lot of really nice speakers out there to choose from. If that were my budget I would be looking at Revel F206 or F208 if I could get a deal.
 
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watchnerd

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watchnerd

watchnerd

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At $4,000 there are a lot of really nice speakers out there to choose from. If that were my budget I would be looking at Revel F206 or F208 if I could get a deal.

Or spend a bit more and get a JBL 4429 for $5k?

AJBL4429.jpg
 

Vintage57

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Vintage57

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anmpr1

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That's more like what I would have expected.

I wonder how that compares to a similarly priced, high sensitivity "retro" speaker like the Klipsch Cornwall III (102 dB, 34 Hz -4 dB, $4k-ish)?
Sensitivity of the original [L100], as measured by Julian Hirsch @ Stereo Review (June '74), was 96dB @ one meter/watt. Back then, JBL measured sensitivity at 15 feet, so it was listed as 78dB with one watt.
 
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watchnerd

watchnerd

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Sensitivity of the original, as measured by Julian Hirsch @ Stereo Review (June '74), was 96dB @ one meter/watt. Back then, JBL measured sensitivity at 15 feet, so it was listed as 78dB with one watt.

The original Cornwall was 96 dB or the L100? fixed above
 
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watchnerd

watchnerd

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"It's the aural equivalent of a bright, fresh autumn morning with an azure-blue sky and a chill in the air, through which the sunshine blazes a path."

I think this reads better as an Axe Body Spray or air freshener ad:

""It's the aural nasal equivalent of a bright, fresh autumn morning with an azure-blue sky and a chill in the air, through which the sunshine blazes a path."
 

Vintage57

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Ok one more JBL 4429 again by Hifi News7BED4ED1-BC19-47E7-A7D2-AB63771D42FC.png3EE3D4F6-9E1C-4FFE-A1E2-CAF221CA4E80.pngCD0CDF29-DB9A-473D-9B41-474AB7D35E08.png
 

anmpr1

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There were at least 3 or 4 production versions of the original L100. Some were cosmetic, some had updated driver versions, and I think the first had a different polarity. It is difficult to refurbish accurately since original drivers are no longer made. And haven't been for a while. Fortunately, the drivers are very well made, and second hand units are available. The most difficult to source is the LE-20 (25) HF driver. Usually second hand examples have a dented or punched out dust cap. JBL advised substituting an 035Ti tweeter, but I don't think that is being made anymore, either. In any case, the 035 tweeter changed the sonic signature of the speaker. You can buy facsimile copies of the HF unit, and they work as good as the originals, as far as I can tell. The foam grill was the first to go; after ten or fifteen years it disintegrated. There are foam facsimiles being made. However, I don't think the new L100 Classic grills are a match for the original speaker. And while I don't know about the L100 Classic, the original speaker sounds much better sans grill frame and/or foam-cloth.

The crossover network was very simple, with the woofer acting pretty much as a lower midrange unit. Some folks have gone to great lengths to mod the electronics, claiming the speaker is 'much better' for it. That may be true, and you may like the results, but then you don't have an L100. It's sort of like swapping out Gibson humbuckers for Seymour Duncans in your Les Paul. You may like the sound, but do you then have a LP?

The original was noted for bass 'boom'. But if you get it off the floor about 18 inches, and away from back of the wall, the boom goes away. As a monitor (4310 and 4311) the speaker was designed to be placed on the console, upside down (woofer on top, mid and high at ear level). That way you could adjust the controls which were on the bottom of the speaker. In any case there was no bass boom in that configuration. Of course the accuracy of the speaker as a monitor has to be judged in the context of the early 1970s. The Maxell thing was possible with the speaker on the floor against the wall or a corner.

The original is likely not the kind of loudspeaker folks would buy, today. Again, in the context of the early '70s, it was certainly a viable choice for a 'bookshelf' type of speaker. Definitely a change from the AR acoustic suspension sound, which was also popular back then, but would not be accepted very well either, today.

Factory specs for the original: Nominal impedance 8 ohms; Continuous power handling 50 watts; Crossover 2500 Hz. 7500 Hz; Sensitivity 78dB at 15 feet with one watt input; weight 54 pounds.
 
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watchnerd

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TOf course the accuracy of the speaker as a monitor has to be judged in the context of the early 1970s. The Maxell thing was possible with the speaker on the floor against the wall or a corner.

The original is likely not the kind of loudspeaker folks would buy, today.

From the 4429 review above:

"In 2017, one really doesn't come across speaker like this very often -- so JBL's 4429 reminds us that almost all new designs have most of the flaws ironed out of them, along with a good deal of the humour."

Interesting perspective...
 

digicidal

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I don't particularly find flawed speakers to be funny... maybe because the joke was usually on the consumer? Unless they're referring to "humor" in the Webster's 1st sense... in which case, I think speakers than cause release of bodily fluids to be overrated as well. :) (Although I suppose that depends on the specific fluid and circumstance however).
 

Soniclife

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I find it somewhat amusing that the British / Aussie press seem to review more JBL products at this price point than the American high end press.
Especially ironic given they are impossible to buy in the UK.
 

maty

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[Polish] https://audio.com.pl/testy/stereo/zespoly-glosnikowe/3105-jbl-l100-classic

to English:

* https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https://audio.com.pl/testy/stereo/zespoly-glosnikowe/3105-jbl-l100-classic

* https://www.translatetheweb.com/?re...reo/zespoly-glosnikowe/3105-jbl-l100-classic#

56381-jbl-l100-classic-audiocompl-lab1.jpg


56382-jbl-l100-classic-audiocompl-lab2.jpg


and three more graphs.

Crossover

dz0xMDg2Jmg9Nzgz_src_56376-jbl-l100-classic-audiocompl-fot10.jpg


* the same cheap Bennic caps and resistors like my KEF Q100 5.25" coaxial speakers *
index.php


By the way, my old choice to update the Bennic components.

audiohub-components-to-kef-q100-update.png


but my crossover mod was cheaper:

KEF-Q100-crossover-styroflex-bypass.jpg

And

* [Polish] https://audio.com.pl/testy/stereo/zespoly-glosnikowe/3104-jbl-4307

* [Polish] https://audio.com.pl/testy/stereo/zespoly-glosnikowe/3103-jbl-4306


It is better idea to buy others speakers.

Or to build something like my DIY choice to the my first audio system, Plutone.
 
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CRKebschull

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They actually look very ordinary IMO- cheap in fact.
[...]
This is interesting I think:
"Many audiophiles doubtlessly remember the unforgettable sound of the L100. And even for those that don't recall it, fans of classic advertising design will recognize the iconic Maxell ad, "The Blown-away Man," in which the listener sitting in his chair literally gets blown away by his speakers – L100s. JBL's L100s were chosen because listeners who cared about full-frequency response, tremendous dynamic swings, and studio accuracy were playing the day's best records on their own JBL speakers."
[...]
And this one:
[...]
The second ad uses a completely different speaker with a sculpted foam grille- very reminiscent of some Marantz models I remember, but certainly not a JBL-L100. The second speaker is much shallower too.

Is that Peter Murphy??!!
 

anmpr1

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I don't particularly find flawed speakers to be funny...
Once you find a speaker that has no flaws, let me know. Not being a crank. Just serious.

In any case, I'm thinking the reviewer was speaking loosely. I don't think he meant the speaker was literally 'funny', or a joke, but rather that it was fun to use, and that it made him smile to reflect historically on how things have changed. Perhaps he could have used a better word than 'humorous', but we shouldn't take it out of his context to make it mean something unintended.

I think that's one of the reasons toobs are popular. They are 'fun' to look at. It's the same with Binghamtom Blue watt meters. They really don't do anything special for the music, or anything at all, but are fun to watch. I remember an interview with Bob Carver. He said that if he's honest with himself he really can't tell the difference between his tube and SS designs, but in evening hours, with lights low, he'd much rather have the soft glow of electron flow under glass, in his living room. You could call that the 'fun' factor, and not be far off.
 

anmpr1

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Is that Peter Murphy??!!
In the second ad, evidently. On the other hand (and from some Internet slumming I found that ), Peter Levathes, from the agency Scali McCabe Sloves, one of the creators of the ad claimed it was, "...just some guy who worked in a hair salon..." That speaker is definitely not an L100.

The L100 ad is a little weird. It shows two speaker wires running up the back. One hooked to the center where the L100 terminals were, and one higher up. Who knows how it went down at the photo shoot? I doubt they even hooked the speaker up. Priobably just taped the second wire somewhere if the terminal was broken. The grill is definitely the waffle pattern from the L100. But it kind of looks like the frame is off. Hard to say from the low res scans I've seen. Whatever the case, it was certainly meant to be the L100.
 
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