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Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 12:45 AM
One of the reasons that I am drawn to JBL is the incredible quality that has gone into the products. Except for their inexpensive lines in recent years, the quality of manufacture, the precision, the attention to detail, and even the industrial design have all been really far beyond what most of their competitors have been producing.

Here is a comparison between two products that I would assume were meant to compete head to head... look at the quality differences between the drivers, the connectors, and the design... the JBL is so elegant and the drivers are built and finished like precision instruments while the Altecs look more like something you would find as part of a Navy vessel.

I really doubt that either of these designs were sonically all that much better than the average table radio of the day, but the care that went into producing the JBL, makes it a true stand out and worthy of admiration.


Widget

Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 12:47 AM
Driver details:

Rolf
02-10-2007, 04:35 AM
Driver details:

Yes Widget. I remember the first time I saw a JBL driver, witch was the woofer in the L100. At that time I had the B&O 5700 speakers.

I rushed home and removed the 10" woofer, bringing it back to the shop and compared.

WOW!! What a difference. On the bench the result was ... Yes you probably know. Need I say more?

Tom Brennan
02-10-2007, 06:32 AM
No doubt the JBL looks cooler. But the Altec looks pretty cool too just in an entirely different way.

It's as though the Altec were styled by one of the engineers in his spare time and the JBL by a HGTV kinda guy.

I've wondered why the old JBL and Altec stuff had those fancy finishes, it doesn't seem to have any function and usually isn't even visible. I wonder if it's because of the roots in the movie industry and wanting to have a finish similar to those on cameras and projectors; something that said serious gear to people in that business. Just wondering.

SEAWOLF97
02-10-2007, 07:47 AM
... the JBL is so elegant and the drivers are built and finished like precision instruments while the Altecs look more like something you would find as part of a Navy vessel.Widget

The JBL epitomizes function with style and the Altec, merely function. Would be interesting to also compare the original prices on those.

Earl K
02-10-2007, 08:27 AM
I've wondered why the old JBL and Altec stuff had those fancy finishes, it doesn't seem to have any function and usually isn't even visible. I wonder if it's because of the roots in the movie industry and wanting to have a finish similar to those on cameras and projectors; something that said serious gear to people in that business. Just wondering.

- Tom, I believe that about nails it for the reasoning employed by both companies .

- Here are some pics of earlier Altec "table" cabinets that predate the one that Mr. Widget chose to show .
- Earlier Altecs' fit & finish rivals that of "same period" JBLs ( with some help from W.E. ) .

- Altec did cheapen the finish of components that were never meant to be seen or fondled by the end user. BTW ; JBL themselves, is now quite far down this path .
- Shall I create & display a photo montage that walks us through ( the F&F ) for the 2425H thru to the 2415H and onto the present day 2431H, to illustrate my point ?


:)

BMWCCA
02-10-2007, 08:42 AM
Textured spray paint still won't hide crude castings and sloppy welds. The better point was made and left unanswered: What was the price differential between those two units when they were new? If the JBL cost twice the Altec, the argument might make less sense.

And what's up with that plugged "duct" on the Altec?

kingjames
02-10-2007, 08:54 AM
Mr.Widget, I wish I had a set of those on my desk,what a beautiful speaker.I take it that those are from an era when JBL didn't skimp on the recipe?:p

Tom Brennan
02-10-2007, 09:21 AM
"Textured spray paint still won't hide crude castings and sloppy welds."

Well I'm no foundryman but I was one of the best welders in the world and the welds I've seen on Altec magnet structures such as 406s, 416Zs and such look fine to me.

Welds that are polished or ground down are the ones that look bad to real welders, they set off a flag---must have looked pretty bad if he had to grind and polish it.

Sometimes high-pressure code welds are polished to make dye-checking, magnafluxing and X-raying easier but I don't think anybody was NDEing welds on loudspeakers. :-)

Rolf
02-10-2007, 09:24 AM
As far as I can remember ... Those who are older than me .... please forgive me, but Altec ALWAYS was a bit cheaper in the 70's. Remember comparing (must have been A7) to L300. A7: woofer hidden, Mid horn: As large as the whole cabinet, Tweeter: ? The L300 always won.

Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 10:19 AM
It's as though the Altec were styled by one of the engineers in his spare time...Exactly my point... as in, "What the hell... if I can't see it I don't care, and so what if the little lady doesn't like to look at it... it cranks."

I suppose that is fine for a boiler in the basement, but I certainly don't want clumsy junk in my living room... by the way, I wasn't placing Altec in the cross hairs... it was just convenient because these two systems were at once so similar and yet so dissimilar. If we found pictures of products from the other players of that era, the Altec would look pretty polished.

As for the price comparison... that's not the point. We aren't comparing economy cars here... these were deluxe luxury items. JBL still makes them occasionally, but they make a lot of Chevy Vegas these days... and hence the crappy unfinished drivers inside with plastic binding posts and cheap networks. They don't even use real wood veneer until you get into their rather pricy systems. :(


Widget

BMWCCA
02-10-2007, 10:41 AM
"Textured spray paint still won't hide crude castings and sloppy welds."

Well I'm no foundryman but I was one of the best welders in the world and the welds I've seen on Altec magnet structures such as 406s, 416Zs and such look fine to me. :-)Point taken. I guess I meant, "Textured spray paint still won't hide the poor aesthetic of exposed welding not visible in superior products like the JBL." ;)

I can appreciate the welding on my BMW motorcycle frames and Canondale (USA) bicycle frames. Just looks a bit crude here though I've no doubt it's structurally effective.

Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 10:53 AM
- Earlier Altecs' fit & finish rivals that of "same period" JBLs ( with some help from W.E. ) .

The fit and finish of the JBL far out classes even this older "finer" looking Altec... As I have posted before, the first time I pulled a JBL driver out of an early '70s era JBL cabinet and saw the beautifully finished drivers inside... areas that most of the customers would never see, I was in awe... sure you can say it was a waste of money... but as a craftsman, I respect those who take that much pride in their work.

Let's look at the engineering too... JBL has a vented pole piece and far less frame obstructions... both of these are fairly standard today.


Widget

SEAWOLF97
02-10-2007, 11:00 AM
I've not seen one, so plse excuse my question, but , is that rust on the rear of the Altec ?

spkrman57
02-10-2007, 11:04 AM
I had a pair of AR-1's back some time ago and the 755 driver looked the same.

Ron

Titanium Dome
02-10-2007, 11:11 AM
Post moved to new thread here:

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=149375#post149375

Robh3606
02-10-2007, 11:15 AM
I think one of the main reasons JBL did finish their drivers as well as they did was becasue they were available as seperate components. This lasted into the 80's. If you compare a 2231A with a 136A the 2231 has a much more industrial finish more in line with the Altec drivers where the 136A is cosmetically much nicer looking. Asside from the different magnetic pot casting used they are otherwise identical performance wise.

Rob:)

Zilch
02-10-2007, 11:19 AM
Still in evidence today.

"PL" you don't get the tire or foilcal, and save ~30 bucks.... :thmbsup:

Thom
02-10-2007, 11:25 AM
The finish on the inside of the JBL, unless you're referring to paint, wasn't for looks it was for function. The parts were carefully machined to work their best and to leave the small surfaces that didn't effect function probably wouldn't have saved them nearly as much as it might have cost them in image. Even in the pro stuff the Altec woofers had roughly welded magnet assemblies and pretty covers over them. I remember comparing the magnetic draw of a wrench to the pot on an Altec which while small stood out compared to none on the JBL. I have no idea if that mattered at all but you sure could show it to a customer when you were explaining that all of that magnet was focused right where it would do something. I think the A7 to the L300 was more like the best home speakers (ball park) you could buy compared to industrial speakers dressed up pretty. I know that JBL called the 300 a monitor but a very few years earlier the components had all been designed for the living room of the elite or very patient (one piece at a time) and had just recently become pro because they were of such high quality that they had been discovered. (They sounded extremely good when sampling Owsly Stanley's wares). Just my two cents.

Robh3606
02-10-2007, 11:27 AM
Here's an LE-14H-3 finish looks real nice to me.

Rob:)

Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 11:44 AM
If you want real wood now you've got to spend real money.

Yeah, there are a few speaker companies still using "real" wood in their lower lines, but generally it's wood that's being taken from third world countries...Sorry for my counter rant... and it too isn't aimed at Dome, but rather the misconception of who the real villains are..

There is far more "rain forest" lumber used in the inexpensive (cheap crap) furniture found at Target and Walmart etc. than there is in the production of veneers for loudspeakers... besides, Ash, Cherry, Maple, Oak, and Walnut all come from northern climes and are not harvested by enslaved children... today's broom handles and other genero wood products are another story.

I think you missed it on this one Dome... JBL and many others are fighting their way to the bottom to save a buck to look good look good on paper to their shareholders.


Widget

Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 11:49 AM
Here's an LE-14H-3 finish looks real nice to me.
Me too... not quite as sexy as the machined face from the previous era, but still no slouch.

...not to mention it is a real performer.:D


Widget

Tim Rinkerman
02-10-2007, 11:58 AM
I suppose it should be a different thread, but how many companies or corporations do you really believe put what the customer is looking for above what the bottom line says? I believe it works quite the opposite...this is what we can produce for this amount, now spend 10 times the amount of money that should have been spent making the proper product, to advertise and con you into believing the product is what you want. The craftsman and quality control people have been replaced by market studiers and target group advertising sharks. (did I just hear a Bose wave radio??....)

Shane Shuster
02-10-2007, 12:47 PM
I think you missed it on this one Dome... JBL and many others are fighting their way to the bottom to save a buck to look good look good on paper to their shareholders.
Widget


Its mass production and streamlining that kills attention to detail and "craftsmanship". You don't have guys with 20 years of experience as much in manufacturing anymore because you can set up a machining center and have someone off the street hit cycle start to make a part. It also seems that as time goes on and things are easier to make they are also easier to throw away because you don't have much time invested in making them. I think its everyones "fault" not just bean counters or shareholders. There are so many cool things nowadays that consumers won't pay extra for quality because they need the money for things that did not exist back then.

I marvel at those 1930's Zenith console radios. So much craftsmanship for what they had available at the time. They are the only speakers I would call truly beautiful.

SEAWOLF97
02-10-2007, 01:08 PM
I had a pair of JBL Radiances....what an embarrassment. vinyl wood print crappy cabinets. stamped steel woofer basket...etc , but they did have LE25-4 (? best of my memory) for HF.

And I've had J325's....another embarrassment. plastic frames on the generic HF's.

JBL did not do their image any good with those 2 products.

JUST 20 minutes ago sold my JBL P10's. those were pretty nice little USA made nearfields. Pretty , too.

Tom Brennan
02-10-2007, 01:11 PM
Craftsmanship is often an overrated notion. A device needs enough quality to function properly and no more. Now I'm talking machines here not furniture, jewelry, paintjobs and other things with a legitimate aesthetic purpose.

I fit and welded to one standard on pressure vessels, boiler tubes and nuclear work and to another standard on tanks, blast furnaces and smokestacks. Both standards were good work and proper to the intended function. On the other hand rigging, which can get you killed if done poorly, was always done to the highest standard.

Now I don't mind that Altec greenies and JBL Alnicos look pretty but it's not why I value them.

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 01:24 PM
Yeah we get it, JBL is better than Altec... :bs:

Comparing these two early examples can hardly be indicative of the build quality and functionality of these two fine companies.

Shane Shuster
02-10-2007, 01:27 PM
Craftsmanship is often an overrated notion. A device needs enough quality to function properly and no more. Now I'm talking machines here not furniture, jewelry, paintjobs and other things with a legitimate aesthetic purpose.




I agree Tom, over engineering is wasteful. And from a 2007 toolmaking standpoint, the drivers used in speakers past and present aren't a machining marvel. Speakers are simple machines with wide tolerances when you get down to it.

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 02:15 PM
As this thread would indicate, its about time this forum has a separate Altec section...

We spend too much time debating which is better and why, I think its about time they be separated...

Its obvious that they are uniquely different companies with different objectives and goals in mind, and just because Altec no longer exists, (well the name still does, but not the same quality product), doesn't mean that there aren't people out there who take the gear that they did produce seriously, I for one, think this is very egotistical to say, especially based on a single observation of two 40+ year old speakers.

The constant Altec bashing by the people with an affinity towards flat response contemporary JBL offerings has got to stop. This bashing has gone as far as bashing early JBL itself.

We get it, JBL is the BEST, nothing out there is better, and a NEW JBL is FAR SUPERIOR to anything EVER MADE... Around and around this same merry-go-round goes with no end in sight...

The more and more I observe these forums and the comments made about how great NEWER JBL speakers like the 240Ti are and how BAD OLDER speakers like the L300 are, the more I think its meant as a means of pumping more value into a brand than it really deserves (not that there is any need for it, other than to pump up prices of JBL speakers). And might I add a very clever marketing tactic on JBL's behalf if this is indeed the case. When transducers like the 044Ti are selling for MORE than a 077, it makes me really wonder whats going on... But the old saying goes, "Perception is Reality", and it makes me wonder if the perception of these tweeters as being the "best" is why they are bringing so much..

While there can be some debate as to which is better and why.. These two speakers could not be MORE different from one another. And anyone who enjoys listening to a L300 has no right to be tricked into thinking that a speaker like the 240Ti will sound "better" just because its a JBL.

I was once naiive enough to think so, but the 240Ti is not the JBL of the 70's and should not be confused as being "better than" an offering like the L300. It should be referred to as sounding "much different" and unlike any "west-coast monitor" JBL that you're used to. That I would be totally okay with a comment like this..

Trying to force people into believing that "if your listening to old JBL/Altec speakers, then you have no clue about audio" is not right. Like it or not, people are entitled to their own ignorance and no one, not the God of Audio himself has the right to tell someone this.

kingjames
02-10-2007, 02:53 PM
remember the ole saying "they don't make stuff like they used to", how true it is for everything including, JBL:p

Zilch
02-10-2007, 03:31 PM
Oh, BOY, a friggin' LECTURE on forum protocol, decorum, and correctness from Nightbrace! :bouncy:
The constant Altec bashing by the people with an affinity towards flat response contemporary JBL offerings has got to stop. This bashing has gone as far as bashing early JBL itself.I'm not aware of any Altec bashing going on in these forums; neither do we spend a lot of time debating which is better, JBL or Altec, or why. Generally speaking, adulterated audio and those who prefer it are well tolerated here.... ;)


I was once naiive enough to think so, but the 240Ti is not the JBL of the 70's and should not be confused as being "better than" an offering like the L300. It should be referred to as sounding "much different" and unlike any "west-coast monitor" JBL that you're used to. That I would be totally okay with a comment like this.Well, L300 isn't a "West-coast Monitor," of course, and nobody here gives a whit what would be OK with Nightbrace, so far as I can tell....

Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 03:37 PM
Craftsmanship is often an overrated notion.Unfortunately your opinion isn't unique here in the good 'ol USA, but the alternative to fine craftsmanship and exceptional engineering is the low cost "just good enough" mentality... and there is no way we can compete with that type of mindset in this global economy.


A device needs enough quality to function properly and no more....and this is why Ford and GM are getting their asses kicked by Toyota and the others... dinosaurs will die. The market place has been educated and now demands more than basic quality.


Now I'm talking machines here not furniture, jewelry, paintjobs and other things with a legitimate aesthetic purpose....but loudspeaker systems for domestic use are furniture and share qualities with jewelry and other things with a legitimate aesthetic purpose. If you are talking about the drivers... I can see your point, but back in the days of JBL's wrinkle finish and fine machined castings JBL was setting the standard. They raised the bar and here we are celebrating that legacy.


Yeah we get it, JBL is better than Altec... :bs:
As I said early on in this thread this isn't about JBL vs. Altec.

Altec is Altec, there is an entire site dedicated to that subject. I think they are neat, just as I think Klipsch is neat. I have owned products from both Altec and Klipsch as well as JBL. ...but neither of those brands ever made a product of higher quality than JBL. They may have made products you liked better. They may have produced some that were better bargains, but neither of them ever produced anything like the LE15A or the 375... and Klipsch today isn't even remotely close to producing drivers like the 1500AL or the 475Be or systems like the K2-S9800 or the Everest DD66000.

I started this thread to point out why I think JBL is special... and they still are at their high end. I am not sure why people can't just appreciate them without getting bent about the cost of the current top of the line gear... I'll never be able to buy it, but I can appreciate it... and I am very happy that it exists and that they are still doing it.


Widget

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 03:58 PM
Oh, boy, a friggin' LECTURE on forum protocol, decorum, and correctness from Nightbrace! :bouncy: I'm not aware of any Altec bashing going on in these forums, but we can start, if you like.... ;)

Well, L300 isn't a "West-coast Monitor," of course, and nobody here gives a whit what would be OK with Nightbrace, so far as I can tell....


Go to the top of this thread.,. Its sole purpose is to BASH Altec, "Here is a comparison between two products that I would assume were meant to compete head to head... look at the quality differences between the drivers, the connectors, and the design... the JBL is so elegant and the drivers are built and finished like precision instruments while the Altecs look more like something you would find as part of a Navy vessel."

I was referring to the type of sound people associate with JBL, West coast vs. East coast. I guess to you the L300 is not typical of West Coast sound.... Well it is to me. And the 4333 was referred to as a monitor was it not??

I agree that the craftmanship of JBL is something to be respected and admired as too few companies today take any pride in their work, but to make such a blatant comparison to Altec as being inferior was not necessasry to make your point. Thats all I was trying to say. There are far worse speaker companies out there than Altec... and maybe could have had more fun beating up on them...

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 04:06 PM
Give it a rest!

Your preaching to the choir.

Use whatever you like best, its always been this way. FYI, wayyy back in the 70,s there were always the great great JBL -vs - Altec, and everything else out there debates, the Crown -vs- Mc, and BGW debates, tube -vs- SS, as well as Chevy -vs- Ford debates!

The only one you have to pleaze is yourself, but, proving your point as the end all to be all of opinions is pretty impossible.

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 04:07 PM
As I said early on in this thread this isn't about JBL vs. Altec.

Altec is Altec, there is an entire site dedicated to that subject.
I started this thread to point out why I think JBL is special...... and I am very happy that it exists and that they are still doing it.


Widget

I think its obvious that there is no place for Altec on these forums, and whether intended or not, I urge you to go and re-read your comments about Altec and its comparison to JBL. The very purpose of this thread was to compare Altec and JBL... Unless I totally missed the point.

There are better ways to go about talking about the fine craftmanship of JBL products than to bash another company... Especially one so close to many of our hearts.

I too think JBL is special, and I agree with everything you have said in thread otherwise.

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 04:07 PM
:snore: :snore: :snore: :snore:

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 04:08 PM
Give it a rest!

Your preaching to the choir.

Use whatever you like best, its always been this way. FYI, wayyy back in the 70,s there were always the great great JBL -vs - Altec, and everything else out there debates, the Crown -vs- Mc, and BGW debates, tube -vs- SS, as well as Chevy -vs- Ford debates!

The only one you have to pleaze is yourself, but, proving your point as the end all to be all of opinions is pretty impossible.

I agree, but there are better ways to prove your point about the quality of JBL than to bash another company.

Zilch
02-10-2007, 04:12 PM
I was referring to the type of sound people associate with JBL, West coast vs. East coast. I guess to you the L300 is not typical of West Coast sound.... Well it is to me. And the 4333 was referred to as a monitor was it not?West Coast sound is well defined by its response characteristic. You need to know what that is before spewing about it here.

L300/4333 represented a significant departure, and JBL hasn't looked back since....

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 04:21 PM
I think its obvious that there is no place for Altec on these forums, and whether intended or not, I urge you to go and re-read your comments about Altec and its comparison to JBL. The very purpose of this thread was to compare Altec and JBL... Unless I totally missed the point.



I too think JBL is special, and I agree with everything you have said in thread otherwise.Not exactly. You see, IF Altec were still in buisiness making products today then there would be more Altec talk.

The real problem is that Altec is no longer in buisiness, only Great Plains Audio exists making clones of Altec products. GPA,s stuff is in fact good, but, there arent really any new offerings from them. And then there is ebay offerings of used Altec, sometimes you get good, and sometimes you get garbage, ebay is a crapshoot.

JBL IS still around, and making new products today. So, if one wanted to build a brand new system, using the latest engineering developments, you kind of couldnt look to Altec, but you could look to JBL.

IF Altec were in buisiness today, would they be making new designs, with advanced drivers? Or just the same things they made 25 years ago?

I love Altec, I also love JBL. This particular forum is preferenced towards JBL. Altec fans have a dedicated forum, Klipsch fans have one too. Go on either of them, and JBL gets booed!

In the end, you like what you like so use it and enjoy.

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 04:22 PM
Zilch, I meant in general that they can be considered West Coast. I love how you take my comments totally out of context and try to spin them your own way to make me look like a moron... I really hope that it makes you feel better about yourself.

The point I was trying to make before you spun my comments into your own little web, was that its wrong to tell people that the 240Ti is a "better" speaker, and that "different" is a better way to describe it versus the L300. Thats all. Nothing more.. To say that the 240Ti is Leaps and bounds ahead of, or far superior to, is just not correct.. Whats implied is that the 240Ti still sounds like an earlier JBL like the L300, when it in fact does not sound anything like a L300, nor should anyone expect it to.

I just got a little upset when I saw this thread and the comments made towards Altecs and felt like ranting a little..

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 04:26 PM
I just got a little upset and felt like ranting a little..We know!

Nothing too new about this either. :D

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 04:27 PM
In the end, you like what you like so use it and enjoy.

Amen to that.. No one seems to care at all about Altec, if you go to the Altec forums there's like 2 new postings a day... Just because JBL has been around longer doesn't mean that Altec should be totally forgotten or thought of as an inferior product. And when threads like this are presented on a forum dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of both JBL and Altec, it hurts a little..

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 04:30 PM
No one seems to care much about Studebakers or Desoto`s these days either!

Decent cars they were in their time, but, those companies are long gone, matter of fact, so are alot of people who drove them!

:dont-know

Titanium Dome
02-10-2007, 04:38 PM
My impression is that there's been more Altec activity here in the past month or two. That's proportional to the number of Altec owners and those familiar with the brand who post here.

I read a lot of what's posted about them here, but I've never owned one and rarely heard one, so what am I going to say? In this case, nothing. It does make me think about trying a pair, though.

I have fifty or so JBLs to write about and no Altecs, so it's logical that there will be many JBL posts from me and few if any Altec ones.

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 04:43 PM
Tis true and its a shame. Too few Altec systems are being salvaged because of the lack of appreciation but also because of a lack of awareness. And this thread does little to help matters.. And unfortunately many people feel the same way towards Altec as many of you do..

A lot of people think "who cares?", "there's better stuff, so why bother with something thats over 30 years old?" Well honestly, because in that 30 years not much has been made available to the consumer thats been any better. Not even JBL, with only a few exceptions..

Unfortunately I can envision a day when Altec will be nothing but a footnote as a company afiliated with JBL, when in fact it was its own unique company with some mighty fine products. Just because its gone, doesn't mean that it should be forgotten, and its our duty to try and preserve the heritage of Altec Lansing instead of dragging an already "dead" company more through the mud.

Titanium Dome
02-10-2007, 04:43 PM
JBL driver technology continues to advance. The 908Ti, 906Ti, and 904Ti are good examples, as are the 475Be and 045Be. We've seen the LE14H-3 and the 1500AL, and so on. And let's not forget the W**GTi Series with its amazing build quality and output. Even the 12" Aluminum driver in the HTPS400 is very impressive.

Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 04:43 PM
There are better ways to go about talking about the fine craftmanship of JBL products than to bash another company...

My focus was not on bashing... Other than comparison, I really don't know how to make the point of just how superior JBL has been to the competition... all of the competition. FWIW: I suggested that Altec would waste most of the other competition in design and engineering... I'd suggest you are just a little sensitive.

When I say the Altec looks like part of a battleship compared to the JBL, I am referring to those cheap zinc plated screws sticking out of the back of the woofer and that galvanized block of a tweeter, and what about that elegant terminal strip on the Altec... JBL simply out classed Altec in the design and manufacture of its products. Altec was trying to appeal to people who "don't want to pay for too much engineering"... that's fine. They had their market and JBL had theirs. My focus was on just how wonderful the JBLs were and to some extent still are.


I really doubt that either of these designs were sonically all that much better than the average table radio of the day, but the care that went into producing the JBL, makes it a true stand out and worthy of admiration.Sonically I am not making any claims of JBL's superiority... I am not saying that JBLs sound better than Altecs or vice versa... that's a very subjective and personal thing... not to mention that within each line there are some speakers that turned out much better than others.

So if I post photos of two similar systems and the JBL looks very cool and the competitor looks rather cobbled together with grandma's aesthetics... I am making my point.

I'd suggest the Model 19 out classes the L200 in terms of engineering and concept, but wasn't quite the L300... aesthetically both of the JBLs edge out the Model 19 in my opinion, but I would respect others who prefer the 19...I think it is by far the best thing Altec ever did for the domestic market... individually however once again, the Altec drivers were not quite the JBLs.


Widget

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 04:48 PM
Thom<<< This is the first freakin' time I EVER suggested that a separate Altec section be placed on these forums. So to be sick of one post requesting this, proves all the more reason why Altec needs to be removed from JBL discussion... I am not trying to say that one is better than the other, its just too few people ever think much of Altec as a great speaker company, when in fact it was..

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 04:52 PM
Mr. Widget<< I was merely saying that there are other ways to praise JBL without being disloyal to Altec.. And some people, myself included, might take offense to your comments towards Altec. I guess there may not be a more eloquent way to make your point, but just thought you should be aware, that while I appreciate you comments about JBL, I cannot accept them at the behest of the comments you made towards Altec.

Zilch
02-10-2007, 04:52 PM
The point I was trying to make before you spun my comments into your own little web, was that its wrong to tell people that the 240Ti is a "better" speaker, and that "different" is a better way to describe it versus the L300. Thats all. Nothing more.. To say that the 240Ti is Leaps and bounds ahead of, or far superior to, is just not correct.. Whats implied is that the 240Ti still sounds like an earlier JBL like the L300, when it in fact does not sound anything like a L300, nor should anyone expect it to.You already played your 240ti song for us, and I don't recall that being an element.

Thom's observation is spot on - you're in a pissing war with yourself here; it's not particularly entertaining and certainly not amusing.

I'm with Scotty, too: :snore: :snore: :snore: :snore:

You occupy much more space than you rent....

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 04:59 PM
Mr. Widget<< I was merely saying that there are other ways to praise JBL without being disloyal to Altec..I speak with Widget from time to time. I love Altec 15,s, and have told Widget this on many occasions, Widget will respond he prefers this or that, but, hey, its his choice.

I love my JBL 2441 comp drivers. Widget loves his TAD,s! I also own TAD comp drivers. I own the TAD,s but dont particularly care for them, but Widget and I dont get into arguments over this, and we are still friends!

In the meantime, I do what I do, and what I dont do is TELL other people what it is they should do because they should love what I do!

Its a big world, and everyone does what it is they want to!

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 04:59 PM
Tell Thom to re-post his "spot on" observations... seems as if he erased it..

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:01 PM
Scott, your great, you understand what it means to be happy with what you have and being happy for others to when they are happy with something... There's no need for arguing, and thats all I was trying to say.. You guys need to lighten up... And again, I'm sorry for causing yet another mess. :banghead:

Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 05:04 PM
Mr. Widget<< I was merely saying that there are other ways to praise JBL without being disloyal to Altec.. The thoughts that lead me to create this thread, arose when someone posted the eBay links to that little Altec last month... I immediately flashed on it's similarities with the Bel-Aire and just how different the two systems were. Knowing the passion that some have for Altec, it took me this long to post... sure, describing the little Altec as something off a Naval vessel is derogatory... but the little guy is so pathetic in comparison. I had trouble finding words.


I suppose the old axiom a picture is worth a thousand words is true and I should have simply posted the photos... they do tell the whole story.


Widget

Tom Brennan
02-10-2007, 05:06 PM
"Unfortunately your opinion isn't unique here in the good 'ol USA, but the alternative to fine craftsmanship and exceptional engineering is the low cost "just good enough" mentality"

Good enough is just that, good enough. Once you know what job you need done good enough is....good. Good engineering is not over engineering and talented engineers get things done not only right but cheaply too.


"and there is no way we can compete with that type of mindset in this global economy."


So we're gonna compete by making boutique products that cost more than they need to to do a given job? Maybe.


"...and this is why Ford and GM are getting their asses kicked by Toyota and the others... dinosaurs will die. The market place has been educated and now demands more than basic quality."

I think it was basic quality that Ford and GM lacked. Now that they've achieved that the market for foreign cars is driven by matters of social class and a trend towards stay at home expatriatism---a wanting to feel removed and above the day to day concerns of one's countrymen. When a country has a prosperous working class (UAW workers say) some think they rise above it by downgrading it's efforts and products.

But yeah, that little JBL is very pretty, a gorgeous little bit of furniture. And like you said, a legit arena for aesthetics.

Kind Regards Widget, I respect your views but don't quite agree with all of them.

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:08 PM
As I said earlier, "Comparing these two early examples can hardly be indicative of the build quality and functionality of these two fine companies."

While I agree that the Altec speaker you mentioned was pretty pathetic in comparison, JBL too had some pretty pathetic offerings in their history.. both sonically and aesthetically. And it wouldn't be fair of me to compare one of these speakers to an Altec and make similiar comments claiming that the individual speaker was indicitive of "everything" made by that company.

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 05:10 PM
I had trouble finding words.
I have a whole dictionary full of words I have never even used yet!

I can loan you as many as you want. You can even use them in any manner you see fit. :D

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:15 PM
Why not just say everything you said about JBL without including the derogatory comments about Altec? The same point could have been made, and a great discussion would have developed.. not that it can't start back up again... This is a great topic, worthy of discussion..

Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 05:15 PM
"and there is no way we can compete with that type of mindset in this global economy."

So we're gonna compete by making boutique products that cost more than they need to to do a given job?Got a better idea?

I do agree that the best answer from an engineering standpoint is the simplest most elegant solution... however, if we don't raise the bar someone else will as they have with the automotive industry...

...but once again we have drifted far afield. My point was simply that I personally appreciate the fine design that JBL has produced. I suspect others do to and this is why there are more JBL fans than Bozak and others.


Widget

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:18 PM
The thoughts that lead me to create this thread, arose when someone posted the eBay links to that little Altec last month... I immediately flashed on it's similarities with the Bel-Aire and just how different the two systems were. Knowing the passion that some have for Altec, it took me this long to post... s
Widget

It seems I'm the victim of my own creation, I posted that Ebay link of the Altec, mentioning that it could only have a value as a collectible... I'll dig up the thread...

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 05:18 PM
Why not just say everything you said about JBL without including the derogatory comments about Altec? The same point could have been made, and a great discussion would have developed.. not that it can't start back up again... This is a great topic, worthy of discussion..What if you were a Gauss freak?

Where would you go then?

BIG problem, even more so than the Altec problem!

:banghead:

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:22 PM
http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=14201

If you notice I felt the same about this speaker... I just thought it was neat and that someone would want it as a collectible..

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:23 PM
What if you were a Gauss freak?

Where would you go then?

BIG problem, even more so than the Altec problem!

:banghead:

What you mean?

Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 05:23 PM
What if you were a Gauss freak?
:rotfl:

...and what about Stephens Trusonic?:applaud:


Widget

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 05:27 PM
:rotfl:

...and what about Stephens?:applaud:


WidgetPlenty of Stephens in my world!

Stephen Spielberg, Stephen King, etc!

Thanks for asking, I enjoy their talents many evenings.

:D

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:29 PM
I hope your talking about Stephen's Trusonic :).

Mr. Widget
02-10-2007, 05:29 PM
Plenty of Stephens in my world!

Stephen Spielberg, Stephen King, etc!

Thanks for asking, I enjoy their talents many evenings.

:D...before your time I guess.


Widget

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 05:30 PM
:rotfl:

...and what about Stephens Trusonic?:applaud:


Widgetbefore my time. Seems to have gone the way of the Desoto.

Sorry I couldnt be of more help.

:banghead:

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:33 PM
"Remember the Alamo"

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 05:34 PM
"Remember the Alamo"Didnt they have " Voice Of The Theater " at that place?

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:36 PM
LOL, yeah they're in the basement :)..

Along with a "stolen" bicylce.

Tom Brennan
02-10-2007, 05:36 PM
I see Stephens stuff on ebay quite often. Anybody using it? It looks like it should sound good if you know what I mean.

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:38 PM
If you are referring to Stephen's Trusonic, it does..

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 05:39 PM
So do I. Stephens was supposed to sound very good. But, If I bought some, and broke it, who could fix it?

At least with Altec, Bill can fix them!

Thats why I dont spend money on items that havent been around for 40 years or more!

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:41 PM
Yeah Scott,, and Altec is starting to fit into that "unrepairable" category.. I think its more in the "its not worth it anymore" category.

Tom Brennan
02-10-2007, 05:42 PM
I see those 8" fullranges all the time. I figure they gotta sound better than the weiner Fostexes and Skilsaw Lowthers, make nice surround speakers if nothing else.

Tom Brennan
02-10-2007, 05:45 PM
"and Altec is starting to fit into that "unrepairable" category.."

Don't worry, there's always Radian.

scott fitlin
02-10-2007, 05:45 PM
Yeah Scott,, and Altec is starting to fit into that "unrepairable" category.. I think its more in the "its not worth it anymore" category.OK, now your getting the point!

Altecs exposure in the " real " world is minimal, and many have abandoned the Altec speakers, in favor of newer, lighter, smaller, and REPAIRABLE products!

This isnt meant to suggest that Altec speakers werent as good sonically in their time and even today, just that Altec ( other than Bill at GPA ) does not exist anymore, and JBL does!

Were making real progress here, I think you`ll be OK in time, with proper care and treatment!

:thmbsup:

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 05:53 PM
If you've heard Lowthers, you'll be disappointed by the 8" Stephen's full ranges. As Lowther's are appreciably better. I'd recommend, as I recommend to everybody for rears or a center or for 5-7 sattelites to go with Audio Nirvanas. They are cheap, sound amazing, and can be put into almost any size enclosure. And will sound better than any Fostex.. and def. better than Stephen's.. And about 1/5th the cost of a Lowther.

Of couse if your not good with cabinets, its hard to beat some L36's for rears or a center.. I used 5 of them for a 5.1 and was very happy, but I preferred the Nirvanas once I got the time to build the cabs.

Tom Brennan
02-10-2007, 06:04 PM
I'm sorry NB but I won't buy anything from that guy no matter how good it may be.

I'm using KRK ST-6s as surrounds now, they do a good job. I think the ST-6s are the best bargain in audio.

JBLRaiser
02-10-2007, 06:55 PM
Got a better idea?

I do agree that the best answer from an engineering standpoint is the simplest most elegant solution... however, if we don't raise the bar someone else will as they have with the automotive industry...

...but once again we have drifted far afield. My point was simply that I personally appreciate the fine design that JBL has produced. I suspect others do to and this is why there are more JBL fans than Bozak and others.


Widget

http://cgi.ebay.com/JBL-BEL-AIRE-D42020-2-Way-Bookshelf-Speaker-PAIR-SUPERB_W0QQitemZ180081378305QQihZ008QQcategoryZ505 97QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Thom
02-10-2007, 07:01 PM
I've never listened to the speakers you speak of and I know the prices of Lowthers so this may be a joke but it really wasn't supposed to be. For a full range speaker I've always liked that LE8T. I have no idea if the "silver ring" is just a marketing gimmick or if it is real and explains something but for a full range no coax speaker I always thought it was rather remarkable but I think it cost about $78.00 in 1973. That's a long time ago so I may be way wrong but I just thought it deserved at least honorable mention.

Nightbrace
02-10-2007, 07:16 PM
I've heard the LE8T, its a decent speaker, but as you said its not a coaxial.. Similiar to the other speakers I mentioned.

jim3860
02-10-2007, 09:46 PM
As far as I can remember ... Those who are older than me .... please forgive me, but Altec ALWAYS was a bit cheaper in the 70's. Remember comparing (must have been A7) to L300. A7: woofer hidden, Mid horn: As large as the whole cabinet, Tweeter: ? The L300 always won. agreed the jbls were almost always a step higher in price and quality. REGARDS JIM

Nightbrace
02-11-2007, 10:10 AM
While I don't agree entirely with what Tom B. is saying.. There are certain necessary trade-offs in order to compete. The hard part is making sure no one knows about it. Is it necessary for JBL to finish the back sides of their drivers? Probably not, but when sold as separates it sure makes them look better. But as a part of a system, there's no need as you'll never see it unless something is wrong.. Like put raised white letters on the inside of a tire. It doesn't matter..

When form meets function and the designers and engineers see eye to eye, thats when really special things happen, unfortunately, this costs money, and in order to compete trade-offs are ALWAYS made. Even in the case of JBL. Or any company... Only the highest priced speakers have none of these trade-offs, and to me I'd rather have a crappy looking Altec than something like a Dynaudio with all of the frills with none of the thrills..

I think we can all agree that in many cases JBL went above and beyond what was really necessary,. and unfortunately too few people really respect such attention to detail and craftsmanship. Thats why those who appreciate JBL are referred to as connoisseurs. As this type of quality can only be truly appreciated by a small group.

I cannot imagine a more elegant speaker than the 250Ti... Which is why I'm building a "clone" as we speak... I wasn't too crazy with the sound, but the ones I am building will have none of the trade-offs.

Zilch
02-11-2007, 10:26 AM
I cannot imagine a more elegant speaker than the 250Ti... Which is why I'm building a "clone" as we speak... I wasn't too crazy with the sound, but the ones I am building will have none of the trade-offs.Ahhh, yes, this IS all about Nightbrace, after all, the legendary "No Trade-offs" loudspeaker designer/cloner.

[Who can't seem to load his EN3s, even.... :p ]

Nightbrace
02-11-2007, 10:51 AM
They're loaded! Properly.. And with the correct networks with "decent" components.. Granted they are not identical to the S21 system, but they are as close as is humanly possible without spending a lifetime locating the correct components. I must say they are pretty good, but not as spectacular as I was hoping, but thanks for yelling at me for being so worried about getting them "perfect" and following them to fruition. I do like them better than my 4313B's with Giskard's charge coupled network design (which were built for me by a LH member) which is MORE than I could hope for. The bass is superb, and the highs are just what I was expecting, and really darned close to the Jubals I had and rightfully so... Wish I had a pair of them now to compare... Maybe someone close will let me compare the two, as I think these EN3's are a bit better overall. but there's no way to tell without hearing them side by side.

I am listening to the EN3's now, and yes its pretty pathetic that it took me so long to get them going, and a damn shame what I had in them prior to locating the proper components. This was my first attempt at building such complex and sophisticated networks from scratch... Luckily I know how to solder and read schematics, but thats about as far as my expertise in networks goes. And I have tons of learning to do, but how else am I supposed to learm? I wasn't born knowing all there is to know about network design theory...

Which is why I am building "110Tis" to experiment with builidng networks more suited to my tastes. Is there anything wrong with that? Am using 035Ti(A) tweeters ($80), LE5-6 mids ($60), and LE10H woofers ($120). And have the plans done and the wood already cut.. $35 for a sheet of Baltic Birch. The biggest trade-off I decided to make was not to use wood veneer but to stain the baltic birch instead. Am using sonotubes for the LE5 mid enclosures, I hope that it works out ok. But am not "worried" about screwing up as its not a big investment.

These speakers when complete, depending on the cost of the networks will cost about $300 to be reproduced and I cannot imagine finding a better bang for the buck for me for a set of "extra" speakers for the bedroom. The Altec's I've been considering are a bit too expensive for a bedroom, and the L100's I REALLY want are much too expensive and ultimately I KNOW that I'll be wanting something different, which is why I sold the 4311's and L100a's I've owned before. In many ways I preferred the L36's I have over them, as the bass was was too boomy, and the mids were a little too much for even me. If the L36's didn't have such poor upper bass, I'd probably be using them in my bedroom, but even as much as I like them, why buy another set? Am currently using HH Scott S-15's in the bedroom with my old Marantz 2226. And its a decent set-up, but of course, I want something better, and why not try something a little different?

Hopefully once I'm done someone else will consider such a project.. as I'll be posting my plans on a thread when I'm confident that it will work.. I have come up with 2 different designs, one with the standard porting and another smaller design with Acoustic Suspension. And whats good about these 110Ti's is that 044Ti tweeters can be swapped in or 104H's and for those into "newer" JBL, 120Ti networks can be tweaked for a more balanced speaker... I'm just not into that type of sound... But for those who are with a little intuition I am sure that the networks shouldn't be too difficult. And of course instead of baltic birch, MDF with wood veneer can be used to make something real similiar to something from the Ti line-up. And with the prices these speakers are bringing and the lack of JBL having a LE10H variant in any of the Ti offerings, someone other than me might want to try building something like this.

Zilch
02-11-2007, 11:12 AM
They're loaded! Properly... Am building "110Tis" and networks more suited to my tastes. Is there anything wrong with that?Both you and the forums would be better served by less posturing and pontification and more PRODUCTION on your part:

http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=146871#post146871

Let's see something besides fantasy and "air" here for a change.

Otherwise, it'd be good if you wanked in private, thank you.... :thmbsup:

Thom
02-11-2007, 11:30 AM
I can't coun't how many replys I've started and then deleted here. Descretion and all that. It just seems like some sort of short bus comment belongs here somewhere but I wouldn't know how to put it right. I've probably already said too much although I don't feel like I've said near enough.

Thom
02-11-2007, 11:42 AM
While I don't agree entirely with what Tom B. is saying.. There are certain necessary trade-offs in order to compete. The hard part is making sure no one knows about it. Is it necessary for JBL to finish the back sides of their drivers? Probably not, but when sold as separates it sure makes them look better. But as a part of a system, there's no need as you'll never see it unless something is wrong.. Like put raised white letters on the inside of a tire. It doesn't matter..

When form meets function and the designers and engineers see eye to eye, thats when really special things happen, unfortunately, this costs money, and in order to compete trade-offs are ALWAYS made. Even in the case of JBL. Or any company... Only the highest priced speakers have none of these trade-offs, and to me I'd rather have a crappy looking Altec than something like a Dynaudio with all of the frills with none of the thrills..

I think we can all agree that in many cases JBL went above and beyond what was really necessary,. and unfortunately too few people really respect such attention to detail and craftsmanship. Thats why those who appreciate JBL are referred to as connoisseurs. As this type of quality can only be truly appreciated by a small group.

I cannot imagine a more elegant speaker than the 250Ti... Which is why I'm building a "clone" as we speak... I wasn't too crazy with the sound, but the ones I am building will have none of the trade-offs.


I don't know why I bothered with the quote or what my point is exactly but 30 or so years ago an Electrovoice bought as a separate (not xxxxby Electrovoice) was at least as pretty as a JBL. I don't want to argue about performance quality etc I'm just talking about energy expended that could never be heard and would not extend the life. You could spend as much money on Electrovoice if you wanted to also. But you could also spend much less. I attempted to put together some Electrovoice stuff as a lower cost option to Lansing mostly because we had it in basically dead inventory but it just didn't sound like JBL. In all fairness our cabinets were JBL knockoffs and changing the port was the only adjusting we could do. Still

Mr. Widget
02-11-2007, 11:45 AM
I am not sure why people get so caught up in beating each other up... or getting defensive when say, you love the L100 or the A-7 and someone else disagrees with you... but I started this thread to showcase what JBL means to me, why I am drawn to this brand, why I am here.

It is summed up rather nicely in this ad copy from the 1974 catalog... sure this is advertising copy, but it is also quite true. JBL stood for excellence of design, engineering, and manufacturing back then and sometimes it still does today.


Widget

Nightbrace
02-11-2007, 11:54 AM
Let's see something besides fantasy and "air" here for a change.

I'm working on it.

Nightbrace
02-11-2007, 12:08 PM
That is an amazingly well-worded article, and for once is actually pretty accurate, unlike many of the the so-called best speakers which spend more money trying to prove to people that their speakers are great rather than actually spending the money needed to actually come up with something as good as their claims.

A great product should not need to be proven by means of mass marketing and advertising, if its really that great, the product will sell itself... However the unfortunate reality, for the most part, is that in order to stay alive into today's global economy trade-offs need to be made in order to compete, and not to mention the fact that most people are no longer able to or willing to spend the extra money for a great product when its really not needed. Does someone making $50k a year with a house payment, car payment, 3 kids, etc. really feel the need to spend the extra money needed to get something a little bit better when its really not necessary? Well unfortunately if a person like this has to choose between paying their bills or buying a great product when its not a necessity that most people decide to pay their bills. The ones who know whats good for them at least. And great speakers are no different... Most people simply can't afford them... And many are to ignorant to believe that a 30 year old speaker can actually sound pretty darned good on a budget..

I will say that amoungst people who know better, JBL has, and continues to sell even though the market has shifted so radically over the years. And for what its worth JBL is still loved and appreciated by those who know music and know what to listen for and these people are still willing to pay for the better quality..

Thom
02-11-2007, 04:02 PM
That picture isn't of any '74 product that I'm aware of. On the other issue maybe we could just tell someone they are right, we've been wrong Altecs rule (what does that mean anyway) he's the winner and get on to other stuff. If I'm too late and he's switched loyalty just change the words a little bit. What's important is We're wrong you win and if it comes up again just a quick reminder it's settled. He already won.

glen
02-12-2007, 01:09 PM
I've wondered why the old JBL and Altec stuff had those fancy finishes, it doesn't seem to have any function and usually isn't even visible.

The hammertone and wrinkle paint finishes weren't really "fancy". I had a wrinkle finish on my $2 desk lamp when I was a kid. If anything, they denoted a workman-like functional aesthetic . I remember these paints being applied to many cast metal objects. I presume this was to cover up the flow-lines in the metal castings and provide a finish that wiould help hide fingerprints, dirt and dents (sort of like the textured epoxy paints used today).
The quality of the machining inside these drivers would have certainly been more remarkable than their finish.

badman
04-21-2009, 01:02 PM
Just a couple comments on JBL and quality.

I believe quality to be an audible property, as far as transducers are concerned. Part of this is due to psychology, the "clean car drives better" effect. But also, with products made to the level that JBL pursued in its classic products, there tend to be less spurious rattles, less misbehavior when pushed to their limits, less long-term degradation of the various moving parts.

They cared to make a quality product, as they should. The machining tolerances were tight, the voicecoils edgewound, the polepiece T-shaped (for all that I've seen cutaway views for, and naturally, it's a little different than in a ceramic motor, but the effect is the same)), shorting rings, even made of silver in some instances (LE8T), and attention payed to the sonic character of a transducer as well as the technical design. This level of attention makes a difference, in durability and performance.

We have people who believe newer is better, but most speakers are largely the same. If you want the performance features of an older JBL you still have to pay for them at a higher cost than bulk cheap drivers. Sure, you get some advancement with modeling techniques and motor refinements, but in pure performance, many of the old JBL drivers are right up there today. The AlNiCo doesn't hurt, given its advantages over ceramic in low noise, heat immune performance, not to mention the higher conductivity of both electricity and heat helping keep Le in check and act as a heatsink. Shorting rings are to dupilicate these effects and can go beyond them, but what happens when you add a silver shorting ring to an undercut polepiece, underhung alnico motor? You get a driver that's sought out 45 years after it was made. :applaud:

I seek out classic JBL drivers, in no small part because they represent a bargain, when you're careful shopping and know what to look for. I'm a speaker builder, not a fanboy, I got into vintage JBL for the pure performance. The (to stick with my prior example) LE8T doesn't have a single design decision I'd change, from what information I've been able to gather. Might have added venting below the spider or made the frame more open.... but it's an underhung driver with a silver shorting ring, there's not a lot of "up" from there in motor design, really, and a quality cone with the center radiator rather than a whizzer is the 'right' way to extend bandwidth to my way of thinking. I have supertweeters if need be.

Anyway, there's more to quality than good looks, and I defy anyone to find me a new $100 woofer that outperforms a 35 year old (not destroyed) 123A for woofer (not subwoofer) usage. Heck, go to $200-250 per and you're in the right ballpark, though there are precious few drivers with the gentle rolloff (Altecs and Lambdas are both above this pricepoint).

robertbartsch
04-21-2009, 02:14 PM
For all practical purposes, this cite is a JBL forum and not an Altec Lansing forum. I see lots of Altec bashing here but I just ignor it.

Anyway, I've owned an Altec VOTT system for +30 years and more recently several JBL studio monitors, JBL vintage home systems and current JBL professional series systems.

Frankly, I like them all and each is different and each has certain unique qualities that are worthy of great systems.

Two unique qualities of the Altec VOTT system include its very high sensativity and extreme dynamic range which none of my JBL systems can come close to match. I always considered them very acurate and you could bring the house down with a 75WPC amp which is not possible with any JBL system I have owned.

I'n not an engineer but I beleive a couple of charateristics such as edge wound voice coils and powerful magnets distinguish JBL and Altec drivers from all others. So, in fact the typical "guts" of the two systems are in fact very similar. One company made some "mis-steps" along the way and is no longer here. The demise of Altec has allowed JBL to flurish snice the early 1990s.

Unfortunately, the new JBL/Harmon management is making many "mis-steps" currently and it will probably crash and burn soon.

Doc Mark
04-23-2009, 08:34 PM
Hey, Gang,

WOW, what an interesting thread! I'd not seen it before, so when it was resurrected, I just read the entire thing. Seems some folks have a pack full of dull axes...... Still, some of our regular JBL Brethren made some excellent points, and I agree with much of what they said. I also agree that, basically, "it's whatever floats your boat", go "whichever way your stick floats", or enjoy whatever speaker "blows up your skirt"!! 'Nuff said, right? I also think that almost everyone on this forum seems to believe that, so I don't see one single problem, other than one person seemed to take things to the extreme in this thread. I've never met the man, nor have I seen him around since I've been a member. So, I guess all's well that ends well, eh? This is a great forum! Take care, and God Bless JBL, and those of us who enjoy offerings from that company! ;):applaud::bouncy:

Every Good Wish,
Doc

Mr. Widget
04-23-2009, 11:13 PM
For all practical purposes, this cite is a JBL forum and not an Altec Lansing forum. I see lots of Altec bashing here but I just ignor it.


... by the way, I wasn't placing Altec in the cross hairs... it was just convenient because these two systems were at once so similar and yet so dissimilar. If we found pictures of products from the other players of that era, the Altec would look pretty polished.I had to go back to the beginning of this thread to discover that I started it... I had completely forgotten about it. Now after glancing over parts of it, I see that a number of people saw my praise of JBL as a condemnation of Altec... as I posted then and quoted now, I wasn't Altec bashing... my original post was simply gushing at the beauty of a JBL design... there are so many JBLs that were so damned beautiful... not all of them sounded particularly great... that gorgeous Bel-Aire was not even close to the sound quality of many lesser systems, but the design and engineering of the drivers was outstanding and the industrial design of the system was simply gorgeous... too bad the results were not up to the sum of the parts. I chose the Altec model as it seemed a perfect counterpart to the JBL.

Still, back then, JBL was a company that made exquisite drivers and some brilliantly designed systems. Today, JBL occasionally still does.



Widget

Doc Mark
04-24-2009, 07:31 AM
Hi, Widget,

It's interesting, because when I began to read this thread, your intended point came across to me, perfectly, and I detected no Altec bashing, in any way. My very first PA system consisted of cut-down A7 boxes, each of which had been made into a sort of 816 box. These had JBL D130's in them, and green Altec horns and drivers on the top. I loved it, and wish I had never sold that system. But, over the years, I came to notice the exact same thing that was your original point: JBL stuff was exquisite in design and execution, and Altec stuff seemed extremely industrial and almost devoid of any "class" at all. I still loved both companies, and still do. But, JBL has always had it all over Altec, almost 100%, when it came to lovely design and execution, as far as I'm concerned. I still have some old Altec stuff, and may well use it again, one of these days. But, JBL is far more pleasing to my eye, and in this one category there is simply no getting around that fact. Great points, Widget, and sorry that some folks seemed to take humbrage to them. Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

Mike Ronesia
04-29-2009, 06:18 AM
WOW! I learned some interesting stuff with this one. When I read the OP I thought it was just cool that you had two similar vintage speakers to compare build quality on, but I guess it was the start of a Jehad. Though I'm old enough to have heard some Altecs to my knowledge I have not, so I will still enjoy my JBL's.:applaud:

midlife
06-03-2009, 08:29 PM
I think JBLs are made good and I think they sound good.

Titanium Dome
06-03-2009, 11:05 PM
Just as a side bar that can be read more fully in the Synthesis® threads, the drivers used in the SAM2LF and S1S-EX sub are astounding quality. The cabinets may look plain licorice, but the build quality and design elements are among the best I've seen. JBL still does it in my book.