JBL Releases Updated Iconic JBL L100 Speakers

Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
Nostalgia. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I couldn't afford them back in the day and it looks like at $4k a pair I will be passing on them once again. I applaud Harmon for bringing them out however. Just because I'm not in the market doesn't mean they aren't a great offering. I'm going to try and keep @Dennis Murphy in business with my next purchase in that price level.
 
mp54

mp54

Audiophyte
Nostalgia. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I couldn't afford them back in the day and it looks like at $4k a pair I will be passing on them once again. I applaud Harmon for bringing them out however. Just because I'm not in the market doesn't mean they aren't a great offering. I'm going to try and keep @Dennis Murphy in business with my next purchase in that price level.
I think I paid about $600.00 for my pair back in '75. I don't know for sure but that's probably pretty close. The CPI inflation calculator lists this as about 3K in today's dollars. I don't think they were discounted, but the dealer "threw in" an Ortofon MM cartridge to sweeten the deal for me, as I was a poor kid. I really didn't think the Ortofon was as good as the Stanton I was using. The current 4312SE (which is evidently the same thing as the new L100 without the nice finish and grill) runs about 2500 dollars/pair.

Back then my dealer carried Crown amps and preamps, and the Crown open reel. They had the big JBL L300 hooked up. I couldn't afford any of that, but was using a Pioneer SA-9500 integrated amp I'd bought from a mail order discounter. It might have been Sound Warehouse out of San Luis Obispo. I remember that a "high-end" shop down the street was selling the new Saul Marantz-John Dahlquist speaker, using Dunlap Clarke monster amps for power, and an Analog Engineering Associates preamp. The DQ-10 didn't sound right to me, although it was probably a "better" speaker than the L100, for the audiophile.

The JBL monitor sound is an old style sound that a lot of people today won't understand or care for. These days the thing is to reduce the effect of the baffle in order to create openness and precise imaging (tall skinny speakers with rounded cabinets, electrostats, tall Carver ribbons, or baffle-less speakers like Seigfried Linkwitz's designs). And room equalization. I guess. But to tell you the truth, I think a lot of what goes for "imaging" is simply a recorded artifact that doesn't mean much in the context of a live setting. I go to a show, a symphony or jazz club, and I don't hear any of what audiophiles call imaging.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
But to tell you the truth, I think a lot of what goes for "imaging" is simply a recorded artifact that doesn't mean much in the context of a live setting. I go to a show, a symphony or jazz club, and I don't hear any of what audiophiles call imaging.
mp54
now that you mention it, imaging does seem to be a recorded attribute and not one at a lot of concerts.
There are lots of folks here with recording experience that could speak to that better than I.
But, I think a lot of my concert experiences are just a "wall of sound" type thing. No particular placement of instruments on stage. Just that big ole wall of sound.

I'm sure there are exceptions and acts that spend the money and time for something more precise, but, I'm not sure I remember it. When Z Z Top plays, there aint no "imaging" on stage. They just stand up and blast it.
 
mp54

mp54

Audiophyte
mp54
now that you mention it, imaging does seem to be a recorded attribute and not one at a lot of concerts. Just that big ole wall of sound.
Back in the day, actually around the time of the L100, this was Amar Bose's "insight". He was correct--at least about the psychoacoustics of the concert hall. I really don't want to get into the controversy surrounding his speakers (I never owned a pair of 901s, but am embarrassed to admit that I owned a set of 301s which I got rid of as soon as I could afford something better), other than to mention that reflected speaker sound was not a thing invented by Bose. Speakers from the '50s and '60s (now long forgotten) used the reflected concept to a degree. Amar just took took it to another level, for better or worse. However that is, nowadays it is common to find "ambiance" speakers firing at the walls in order to add "spaciousness" to the sound. Bob Carver's latest line source is a good example of this. Another is Linkwitz's minimal baffle design that uses a dipole in the HF, for example, and so on.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Samurai
I think I paid about $600.00 for my pair back in '75. I don't know for sure but that's probably pretty close. The CPI inflation calculator lists this as about 3K in today's dollars. I don't think they were discounted, but the dealer "threw in" an Ortofon MM cartridge to sweeten the deal for me, as I was a poor kid. I really didn't think the Ortofon was as good as the Stanton I was using. The current 4312SE (which is evidently the same thing as the new L100 without the nice finish and grill) runs about 2500 dollars/pair.

Back then my dealer carried Crown amps and preamps, and the Crown open reel. They had the big JBL L300 hooked up. I couldn't afford any of that, but was using a Pioneer SA-9500 integrated amp I'd bought from a mail order discounter. It might have been Sound Warehouse out of San Luis Obispo. I remember that a "high-end" shop down the street was selling the new Saul Marantz-John Dahlquist speaker, using Dunlap Clarke monster amps for power, and an Analog Engineering Associates preamp. The DQ-10 didn't sound right to me, although it was probably a "better" speaker than the L100, for the audiophile.

The JBL monitor sound is an old style sound that a lot of people today won't understand or care for. These days the thing is to reduce the effect of the baffle in order to create openness and precise imaging (tall skinny speakers with rounded cabinets, electrostats, tall Carver ribbons, or baffle-less speakers like Seigfried Linkwitz's designs). And room equalization. I guess. But to tell you the truth, I think a lot of what goes for "imaging" is simply a recorded artifact that doesn't mean much in the context of a live setting. I go to a show, a symphony or jazz club, and I don't hear any of what audiophiles call imaging.
IMO, the question of imaging is more related to a smaller listening room. In a large hall, it's impossible to distinguish position of instruments, unless you sit in the first rows.
A similar comparison can be made if you move your listening position further away from the left and right speaker, as an example at double the sweet spot distance, the sound stage effect will be also diminished.
 
D

Dennis Murphy

Audioholic General
IMO, the question of imaging is more related to a smaller listening room. In a large hall, it's impossible to distinguish position of instruments, unless you sit in the first rows.
A similar comparison can be made if you move your listening position further away from the left and right speaker, as an example at double the sweet spot distance, the sound stage effect will be also diminished.
I think it might be due more, or at least in equal measure, to miking techniques on a lot of recordings. There are all kind of spot mics, and depending on the mixing that can translate into much more pinpoint imaging than you would hear live in the venue.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
A lot of the older speakers may not have imaged well for the room, in what many people these days try to design into their living spaces as convenient, audio ideals. Such as; 'I will put my listening seats just so, and the music/audio shall come to me in a most profound and perfect way right where I sit.' That's what most of this room correction-auto EQ ends up being about. What they ought to call it is, "seating correction."

But many of those old speakers did image well enough in stereo as a near field type arrangement. I remember sound panning side-to-side and up and down on more than one pair of large speakers I owned. Look at the album cover and see a picture of the lead guitarist standing to the right of the vocalist, same place too when they played live, and then hear his guitar solo come out of that right speaker and enough to make you look to the right as if at the show?

Drummer, who was often mostly centered, would have his beats pan from right to left and back again. At times, it was obvious that this was done with different mic channels on the recording, but it also went with the visual more often than not. This is where the live shows often did match what we were hearing on our recordings to help make this more believable.

I still take time to break down and listen to my speakers like this. More often lately because a lot of what I used to like about my audio gear tends to get lost in this sim'd up world we now live in. I can vouch for the better speakers we have access to now, still being awesome performers point blank like. I highly recommend more people try it, if they can manage to sit still outside of the 'regulated' areas for more than 5 minutes.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
A lot of the older speakers may not have imaged well for the room, in what many people these days try to design into their living spaces as convenient, audio ideals. Such as; 'I will put my listening seats just so, and the music/audio shall come to me in a most profound and perfect way right where I sit.'
.
MrBoat
I am guilty as charged. I read that opening paragraph and laughed out loud at myself. "The music shall come to me....."

I think I'm going in to my little music emporium and make the music come to me:)
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
I think that is generally correct. I remember going to hi-fi shops and comparing. The big thing then was the AR3 series of speakers (and Bose, of course). AR's claim to fame was bass, which hitherto required a large box or a horn, etc. The AR3 sounded, to me, completely lifeless. No detail or definition. I guess you could call it smooth, or refined, or balanced, or whatever. But it didn't sound like what I wanted to listen to. The L100 sort of "jumped out" out at you, and reminded me of something live. I don't think it was "accurate", but what was, back then? And what is, now?

In one of my systems I have a set of L100 (bought in 1975) that I use with hand built Dyna tube monoblocks, along with a more "modern" hand built tube preamplifier. Sure, It sounds like old school hi-fi. But I've given up on trying to get the "Absolute Sound" of live instruments in my home. And I've gone through them all, including electrostatics. Now I'm back to late '60s and early '70s. My listening is mostly classical and jazz. Not the heavy rock thing. Go figure. PS: if you like the classic JBL monitor sound, google Kenrick Sound. An outfit in Japan that rebuilds old JBL monitors. They have some interesting YT videos of their work.
I hear it as you do; and, BTW, I have yet to hear any speaker deliver more compelling Saxophone than my L100t3's. Listening to Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus is like I'm right there on stage with the artist.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
I hear it as you do; and, BTW, I have yet to hear any speaker deliver more compelling Saxophone than my L100t3's. Listening to Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus is like I'm right there on stage with the artist.
sterling
I guess I'm going to have to find a way to hear some L100's. My Salk's make Saxophones, or any horns, appear in the room with me on a regular basis. I never used to like jazz. Now, with the Salks, I've added more Jazz and horns to my music collection than anything else over the last year. Its awesome.
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
MrBoat
I am guilty as charged. I read that opening paragraph and laughed out loud at myself. "The music shall come to me....."

I think I'm going in to my little music emporium and make the music come to me:)
Mostly I am talking about HT layouts with the seats in a one spot fits all requirements. You have Salk speakers in a 10 x 10. That whole room is a sweet spot. :)
 
hk2000

hk2000

Junior Audioholic
JBL speakers were ugly then and they're still ugly now. And their new stuff is just as ugly- I wouldn't pay $500 for these, or any amout, for that Matter!
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
JBL speakers were ugly then and they're still ugly now. And their new stuff is just as ugly- I wouldn't pay $500 for these, or any amout, for that Matter!
I can honestly say, that I have never bought a pair of speakers based on appearance, or what my wife thought they should 'look' like.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Field Marshall
I can honestly say, that I have never bought a pair of speakers based on appearance, or what my wife thought they should 'look' like.
MrBoat,
I dunno. When I saw these particular speakers my wallet nearly jumped out of my pocket. They were so stinkin' cool looking I really wanted them bad. Then I learned they were "custom builds". My heart was broken.
Ghetto Speakers 1.JPG
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Samurai
MrBoat,
I dunno. When I saw these particular speakers my wallet nearly jumped out of my pocket. They were so stinkin' cool looking I really wanted them bad. Then I learned they were "custom builds". My heart was broken.
I built some kind of ugly speakers but it seems to match the performance somehow. I wasn't out to make them aesthetically pleasing beyond perhaps a hotrod sense of the term based on performance.

I built up a Kawasaki H2 triple and it was ugly for my living room but I parked it there anyway. That smell of burnt Bel-Ray, though. . .
:D
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
JBL speakers were ugly then and they're still ugly now. And their new stuff is just as ugly- I wouldn't pay $500 for these, or any amout, for that Matter!
If you hear a pair of JBL L300's and do not concluded that they sound better than anything you've ever heard it would be shocking. This 40 year old design is selling today for about $8,000 a pair, quite a bargain when it's replacement, the JBL 4367 sells for about $15,000 a pair.
 
<eargiant

<eargiant

Senior Audioholic
If you hear a pair of JBL L300's and do not concluded that they sound better than anything you've ever heard it would be shocking. This 40 year old design is selling today for about $8,000 a pair, quite a bargain when it's replacement, the JBL 4367 sells for about $15,000 a pair.
...and look at the beautiful JBL restoration work Kenrick Audio does in Japan. They are highly coveted and fetch top dollar.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kenrick+audio
 

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