JBL Releases Updated Iconic JBL L100 Speakers

D

Dennis Murphy

Audioholic General
I'd listened to the L100s at the store as well as a few friends' houses and always enjoyed them but we never thought to try and bring mine over for a comparison. I was considering ARs (fuzzy on model number but believe they were slightly more expensive) as well as the Advents and was able to compare those and preferred the Advents. I was 16 at the time and did what magazine and sales floor research I could before I just had to buy something, too :) My car at the time was my biggest expense and where most of my hard-earned money went....for what the JBLs were over the Advents I believe was a set of nice tires....
The Advents were a far more accurate and wider range speaker than the JBL's. The Advents certainly weren't perfect, but at least they didn't have a hyped up bass, Rocky Mountain-Rough mids, and a screaming peak at 6500 Hz. You can see the response cure of the original L100 here:
https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/the-vintage-jbl-west-coast-sound-becomes-the….25014/

Ooops I guess I can't give you a link that just shows the measured response. It's toward the bottom of page 2 of Richard's post.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
The Advents were a far more accurate and wider range speaker than the JBL's. The Advents certainly weren't perfect, but at least they didn't have a hyped up bass, Rocky Mountain-Rough mids, and a screaming peak at 6500 Hz. You can see the response cure of the original L100 here:
https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/the-vintage-jbl-west-coast-sound-becomes-the….25014/

Ooops I guess I can't give you a link that just shows the measured response. It's toward the bottom of page 2 of Richard's post.
LOL I still thought the L100s sounded great at the time. Loved the Advents, too.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Those JBL L100 speakers seemed to be everywhere in my early years in North America. Their owners seemed enthused with them. I thought they were perfectly dreadful speakers. To me they illustrated the yawning chasm between UK and US speakers at the time.

I agree with Dennis that the Advents were a much better proposition.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
A friend reading my post sent me an email, and he says he would definitely buy a "new" classic Marantz receiver. Similar brushed golden aluminum, blue lights, weighted horizontal tuning knob - though he wants one with a scope too. Update the amp section for more power. Make the wooden case an every unit item. I asked if he'd pay $4K for that and he didn't say "no".

(If you're reading this, Sam, I think you have more money than sense, but who am I to talk?)
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
So Sam wants one of these.



The receivers with the scopes were quadraphonic, so the scope had a purpose if you knew what you were doing.

In stereo there were 125 watts per channel both channels driven.

What Sam wants to do to one is vandalism. By all means restore it to original specs, but don't add bigger amps which will mean a new power supply. This is akin to the vandalism perpetrated by far too many Americans to vintage autos. They change the suspension, wheels and put in souped up V8 engines with modified headers and Edelbrock carbs.

In the UK vintage cars are restored as far as is possible and kept as close to historical records as possible. Many are raced and rallied hard.

There are serious collectors and restorers and then there are vandals. Tell Sam not to be vandal or keep his hands to himself.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
So Sam wants one of these.



The receivers with the scopes were quadraphonic, so the scope had a purpose if you knew what you were doing.

In stereo there were 125 watts per channel both channels driven.

What Sam wants to do to one is vandalism. By all means restore it to original specs, but don't add bigger amps which will mean a new power supply. This is akin to the vandalism perpetrated by far too many Americans to vintage autos. They change the suspension, wheels and put in souped up V8 engines with modified headers and Edelbrock carbs.

In the UK vintage cars are restored as far as is possible and kept as close to historical records as possible. Many are raced and rallied hard.

There are serious collectors and restorers and then there are vandals. Tell Sam not to be vandal or keep his hands to himself.
I think you misunderstood, Mark. Sam wants the Marantz equivalent of the JBL speakers that Gene posted about in this thread. Sam doesn't want an old Marantz receiver, he wants a *new* Marantz receiver that just looks and feels like an old one!
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I think you misunderstood, Mark. Sam wants the Marantz equivalent of the JBL speakers that Gene posted about in this thread. Sam doesn't want an old Marantz receiver, he wants a *new* Marantz receiver that just looks and feels like an old one!
I got the speaker part, but I thought he wanted to soup up a vintage item.

I still don't see the point of either bogus old speakers or receiver. Both will lack the venerability of age and I don't see the pleasure or point of it. Much better to look for, and restore the genuine article. That is the real pleasure.

Bogus vintage has never held any attraction for me in any guise.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
I got the speaker part, but I thought he wanted to soup up a vintage item.

I still don't see the point of either bogus old speakers or receiver. Both will lack the venerability of age and I don't see the pleasure or point of it. Much better to look for, and restore the genuine article. That is the real pleasure.

Bogus vintage has never held any attraction for me in any guise.
You and I are dinosaurs, Mark, if we want nostalgia we want authenticity. A lot of folks these days just want the look and feel, but new technology under the surface. I understand it. I don't want it myself, but I understand it.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
...I believe the retail price at the time was $400. With inflation, does $400 in 1973 become $4000 in 2018? ...
My lump sum compound interest table shows that for 44 yrs, $400 would need to earn 5.5% each year to arrive at $4000 today.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
JBL's timing for that speaker was perfect. And the music that fit them got better yet for them well into the 80's.
 
<eargiant

<eargiant

Senior Audioholic
My son told me about the New L100 a few days ago.

When he was getting into audio a few years ago I offered to get him speakers for his birthday. I was recommending modern stand-mounts but he had fallen in love with the vintage JBLs. We found a pair of L100A locally that needed a little sprucing up, all drivers were in perfect shape so I bought them.

His birthday gift turned into a great father/son project. He still has them and they look like museum pieces. Here are a few pictures of the restoration.


BEFORE:






DURING:















AFTER:







 
<eargiant

<eargiant

Senior Audioholic
The JBL L100 actually had three versions in their production run, Early, Mid & Late. Visually identifiable by in-line drivers in the early version, black JBL logo in the mid version and orange JBL logo in the late version. There were driver changes along the way also.

My son's pictured above are the Mid version. I used to own a pair of the less common Early in-line version from ~1970.




 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
A superb restoration! However not a speaker I would want to listen to.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
So I'm still cornfused. What's the difference between the Century and the plain old L100?
During the 1970s, JBL had four different models that use the same or similar drivers and cabinet. From left to right in the photo (in reverse order of their introduction) are the 4311, L100A Century, L100 Century, and 4310.


The oldest design is on the right, and each newer version appears to it's left. The 4310 and 4311 were the pro studio monitors, and the L100 Century and L100A Century were the commercially sold versions. They all shared the same or similar versions of 123A woofers and LE5-2 mid-range drivers, but had different tweeters, the LE20 in the 4310 and L100 Century, and the LE25 in the L100A Century and 4311.

The L100 Century had the vertical alignment of drivers, and had a crossover network of sorts:
upload_2018-1-12_23-49-19.png


My speakers that Dennis used to design his new crossovers were the L100A Century. They had a much simpler network:
upload_2018-1-12_23-50-18.png


There was a 3rd version, also called L100A Century, later during the 70s. Apparently it's drivers were somewhat different than the earlier L100A, but the driver layout and crossover were the same. (I forgot that until I read eargiant's post showing his very nicely restored cabinets.)

I hope I got all this right and explained it clearly.

And finally, Dennis's new crossover for my L100A speakers is fully described here https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/the-vintage-jbl-west-coast-sound-becomes-the….25014/.
 
Last edited:
D

Dennis Murphy

Audioholic General
During the 1970s, JBL had four different models that use the same or similar drivers and cabinet. From left to right in the photo (in reverse order of their introduction) are the 4311, L100A Century, L100 Century, and 4310.


The oldest design is on the right, and each newer version appears to it's left. The 4310 and 4311 were the pro studio monitors, and the L100 Century and L100A Century were the commercially sold versions. They all shared the same or similar versions of 123A woofers and LE5-2 mid-range drivers, but had different tweeters, the LE20 in the 4310 and L100 Century, and the LE25 in the L100A Century and 4311.

The L100 Century had the vertical alignment of drivers, and had a crossover network of sorts:
View attachment 23326

My speakers that Dennis used to design his new crossovers were the L100A Century. They had a much simpler network:
View attachment 23327

There was a 3rd version, also called L100A Century, later during the 70s. Apparently it's drivers were somewhat different than the earlier L100A, but the driver layout and crossover were the same. (I forgot that until I read eargiant's post showing his very nicely restored cabinets.)

I hope I got all this right and explained it clearly.

And finally, Dennis's new crossover for my L100A speakers is fully described here https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/the-vintage-jbl-west-coast-sound-becomes-the….25014/.
Thanks Swerd. That clears it up. It's strange that they would have abandoned the in-line driver configuration for the more helter skelter arrangement that introduced all kinds of interference effects between the drivers, which was exacerbated by the fairly shallow crossover slopes. The professional studio monitor looks even worse. Kind of scary that they were so popular in recording studios.
 

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