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JBL L100 reissue Review

stevenswall

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I'd take a Devialet Phantom over this. Better dispersion, more bass extension. Not sure I agree with the value conclusions for $4000, but it's not quite as terrible as I expected. For the size, I'd be expecting more bass extension, and with JBL I'd except a waveguide, though I understand they are trying to make it like the old one.

For the aesthetic, great. This would pair well with vinyl. For a modern speaker, too many compromises with the driver slapped on boxes design, parallel cabinet walls, diffraction causing sharp edged, legacy crossover, no DSP driver correction, etc.
 
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Everett T

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Thread Starter #3
I'd take a Devialet Phantom over this. Better dispersion, more bass extension. Not sure I agree with the value conclusions for $4000, but it's not quite as terrible as I expected. For the size, I'd be expecting more bass extension, and with JBL I'd except a waveguide, though I understand they are trying to make it like the old one.

For the aesthetic, great. This would pair well with vinyl. For a modern speaker, too many compromises with the driver slapped on boxes design, parallel cabinet walls, diffraction causing sharp edged, legacy crossover, no DSP driver correction, etc.
I'd certainly not replace any of my speakers with them.

They definitely are much butter then the originals and that wasn't hard to achieve IMHO. These reissues are about emotion, as even with inflation adjusted prices, most are not a good value to performance.
 

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Never heard this reissue, but given the crossover layout and woofer choice they are probably much closer to a 4412/L112 than to a L100.
I have a pair of 4412 and I would never trade them for a pair of Devialet: they are not even close, and bass extension has nothing to do with it.
The 4412 is an effortless speaker, full of dynamic and easy to EQ (including DSP, mind you), whereas the Devialet is just a shoe box full of electronic (and air pressure).
 

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Everett T

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Never heard this reissue, but given the crossover layout and woofer choice they are probably much closer to a 4412/L112 than to a L100.
I have a pair of 4412 and I would never trade them for a pair of Devialet: they are not even close, and bass extension has nothing to do with it.
The 4412 is an effortless speaker, full of dynamic and easy to EQ (including DSP, mind you), whereas the Devialet is just a shoe box full of electronic (and air pressure).
I'm certainly not gonna compare it to a speaker I've never heard but as stated, I not a buyer at its MSRP or 25% off. As mentioned, this is more feel good then run out and buy.

The measurements are significantly better then the original and that's a good thing. Even reworking the original crossover leaves some subjective doubts that they are what they are.
 
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No doubt just smart marketing by Harmon. Perfect speaker for a hipster with a Marantz receiver and a turntable. I’m sure they actually sound very good, they’re well received by all the the reviews I’ve seen. The quality looks to be there. That woofer!
I actually have a pair of original 4311wx monitors at my cottage that probably measure horribly and are nowhere near these, but never fail to put a smile on my face when I fire them up.
 
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napilopez

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#8
I'd take a Devialet Phantom over this. Better dispersion, more bass extension. Not sure I agree with the value conclusions for $4000, but it's not quite as terrible as I expected. For the size, I'd be expecting more bass extension, and with JBL I'd except a waveguide, though I understand they are trying to make it like the old one.

For the aesthetic, great. This would pair well with vinyl. For a modern speaker, too many compromises with the driver slapped on boxes design, parallel cabinet walls, diffraction causing sharp edged, legacy crossover, no DSP driver correction, etc.
So, I really liked these speakers -- still one of the most enjoyable speakers I've reviewed for my tastes despite some obvious flaws. Like, maybe my favorite after the D&D 8C. That's just my personal tastes though.

That said, they do have a waveguide, but it's kept shallow for wide directivity, and I personally appreciate that variety within the brand. The directivity appears uneven in part because of the asymmetrical tweeter, but it evens out extremely smoothly, especially for the horizontals:

L100 Classic HERDI.png


(PIR is a very rough estimate as I didn't have full rear hemisphere data but this usually works out okay).

The JBL L82 which has the same tweeter and waveguide performs very similarly (full spin data in this case):
L82 HERDI.png


So I think directivity performance was obviously taken well into account.

By comparison, the HDI-1600 is actually a bit less even in this regard:
hdi-1600 herdi.png


Not really saying the L100 Classic is a great value or that anyone should buy it over something with more pristine measurements, just providing some measurement-based perspective on some things it actually does well.

Personally, I have so far definitely preferred the wide-directivity JBLs (L100, L82) to the Horn/big waveguide JBLs (HDI-1600/4349) I've heard so far, (that's arguably because they are bigger driver speakers, but I don't tend to listen very loud). But many of you know my preference for wider directivity.
 

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