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ChopsMX5
08-22-2007, 08:29 PM
After being on here for a little bit and looking around on eBay and other sites, I see that a lot of these vintage speakers go for a pretty penny.

Such speakers I am referring to are the 4341's, 4350's, 4333's, 4344's, etc, etc, etc... These loudspeakers have the MF and HF drivers scattered around on the baffle in no particular order.

Now please keep in mind, I am not suggesting anything negative about them at all. In fact, I would love finding myself a mint pair of any of those mentioned above at a great price.

But considering modern loudspeaker design these days, there's a "normal" order of placement of the drivers on a baffle. IOW, all of the drivers are typically inline with eachother going up the baffle. Also, with modern designs, everyone strives to have a narrow baffle as well to help with defraction, imaging and soundstaging. Hence why small bookshelf speakers tend to image much better than larger tower speakers.

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So to my questions are:

How do these vintage JBL speakers stack up as far as imaging and soundstaging are concerned?

What is the driving force behind these speakers for demanding such a high $$$ resale value?

Are they more for "audiophile" grade listening, all out blasting dB's for miles :D, or more of a collector's items?
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I used to think that it was crazy for some to spend $2000-3000 on an old pair of Klipschorns, but some of these JBL's, especially the larger ones blow any of the Klipsch's out of the water in the resale market by 2-3 times as much easily. There's got to be some good reasons why these JBL's go for so much.

Anyway, like I said, I'm not bashing anything or doubting anything, just curious about the special magic of the vintage JBL's. Maybe, hopefully one day, I'll get to find myself a pair, or at least be able to hear a pair in person to see what all the hub-bub is all about! ;)

Charles

Robh3606
08-22-2007, 10:42 PM
How do these vintage JBL speakers stack up as far as imaging and soundstaging are concerned?

Hello Charles

It depends on what exactly you are comparing them too. I have 4344 clones that image quite well but don't have as much depth as some would like. This whole imaging thing I find to be a really personal issue IMHO. Some people have it as a paramount requirement where us JBL folk seem to place more emphasis on you are their immediacy and effortless dynamics. The more modern speakers that are known to image really well obviously will do a better job but you always need to get back to what these JBL systems were designed to do.

These speakers were designed as studio work horses. They were made to work hard every day without damage or breakdowns. They were designed to be professionally installed in an era when that set-up included an RTA and 1/3 octave EQ's in a proper acoustic space. Getting a pair to really work up to it's full potential in a home enviornment is not a trivial exercise. These large systems are not plug and play and if you think you can just drop them in your livingroom and that's it you will never be happy with them. You need to set them up like they were intended using the same type of equipment.

It wasn't until you get into the later 70's that they had provisions to rotate a baffle like the 4343 or they were mirror imaged on an offset baffle layout like the 4344. In the earlier designs that just was not a concern. The 4350 you could mirror image but the driver layout is set-up for sofit mounting. You needed at least 8' minimum listening distance using that driver array.


What is the driving force behind these speakers for demanding such a high $$$ resale value?

They are classics that have a very strong following in Asia/Japan. This helps keep the value up here in the US. Asian collectors will pay top dollar for a clean pair. This combined with collectors here in the US keeps the prices up. You also have flippers that will try to demand high prices or purposely try to inflate prices to make a quick buck.


Are they more for "audiophile" grade listening, all out blasting dB's for miles :D, or more of a collector's items?

You need to hear a pair and decide for yourself on that one.

Rob:)

Andyoz
08-23-2007, 02:18 PM
I personally think that "imaging" is way down the list of requirements for rock'n'roll. Classical is a different matter of course.

The problem I feel with most modern designs is that in order to keep a slim, low profile baffle, the woofers have been reduced to wee little things. They just can't do bass like a big woofer.

ChopsMX5
08-26-2007, 03:28 PM
That brings up another question... Why are these JBL's so demanding in the Asian market? And why do they get the better models?! :blink:

DavidF
08-27-2007, 03:32 PM
"...After being on here for a little bit and looking around on eBay and other sites, I see that a lot of these vintage speakers go for a pretty penny.

Such speakers I am referring to are the 4341's, 4350's, 4333's, 4344's, etc, etc, etc... These loudspeakers have the MF and HF drivers scattered around on the baffle in no particular order...But considering modern loudspeaker design these days, there's a "normal" order of placement of the drivers on a baffle. IOW, all of the drivers are typically inline with eachother going up the baffle. Also, with modern designs, everyone strives to have a narrow baffle as well to help with defraction, imaging and soundstaging. Hence why small bookshelf speakers tend to image much better than larger tower speakers.

------------------------------
So to my questions are:

How do these vintage JBL speakers stack up as far as imaging and soundstaging are concerned?

What is the driving force behind these speakers for demanding such a high $$$ resale value?

Are they more for "audiophile" grade listening, all out blasting dB's for miles :D, or more of a collector's items?
..."Charles

Vertical alignment in the drivers is a typical format. It places lobing effects from driver interaction in the vertical plane rather than the horizontal. Since the listenerís position is usually vertically limited but horizontally much more varied, this makes sense from a design standpoint. You will notice, though, that the JBL large format drivers are vertically aligned, save for the ultra-high frequency driver. In some prior post here designer Greg Timbers mentioned that due to the higher frequency of transition used on the ultra high driver the position on the baffle is not critical. It is placed to the side of the high-frequency horn in the four way systems and some of the three way systems. Some of the four-ways allow the mid-high-ultra high section of the baffle to be rotated. This is to allow installation flexibility at the risk of some lobing effects with the woofer off on the flanks of the other drivers.

I can not answer why some folks are willing to spend big bucks on some brand vs. another. All about brand image, particularly in the Asian markets for JBL and others (Altec, Tannoy, just about anything well made, highly efficient and hard to find). I like Klipsch products but more for an appreciation and affinity of the man himself rather than any specific quality of his products. No doubt why the Heritage products continue to sell after 60 years. Thing about JBL products and systems is that they were so well made to begin with, set high production and performance standards, and were well supported for many years after production. This is why so many older pieces are around today for people to get crazy with on price.

Are the old models listenable? Of course. Are they "audiophile"? No, thank goodness. Anyone with $4,000 to spend on cables could drive up the market prices and ruin it for many of the rest of us.

DavidF

Andyoz
08-27-2007, 04:00 PM
Are the old models listenable? Of course. Are they "audiophile"? No, thank goodness.

Classic, so true!!

Audiobeer
08-27-2007, 06:22 PM
I sold a Mcintosh 6900 a few years back on Audiogon. After the gentleman bought it he purchased a power cord for it that almost cost $1000. After it was burnt in at about 40 hours he purchased a $200 silver jumper. Both changes in his opinion made a dramatic change in the sound. Sorry to get off topic but I wish I had the money to throw away! :(

ChopsMX5
08-27-2007, 06:32 PM
Vertical alignment in the drivers is a typical format. It places lobing effects from driver interaction in the vertical plane rather than the horizontal. Since the listenerís position is usually vertically limited but horizontally much more varied, this makes sense from a design standpoint. You will notice, though, that the JBL large format drivers are vertically aligned, save for the ultra-high frequency driver. In some prior post here designer Greg Timbers mentioned that due to the higher frequency of transition used on the ultra high driver the position on the baffle is not critical. It is placed to the side of the high-frequency horn in the four way systems and some of the three way systems. Some of the four-ways allow the mid-high-ultra high section of the baffle to be rotated. This is to allow installation flexibility at the risk of some lobing effects with the woofer off on the flanks of the other drivers.

I can not answer why some folks are willing to spend big bucks on some brand vs. another. All about brand image, particularly in the Asian markets for JBL and others (Altec, Tannoy, just about anything well made, highly efficient and hard to find). I like Klipsch products but more for an appreciation and affinity of the man himself rather than any specific quality of his products. No doubt why the Heritage products continue to sell after 60 years. Thing about JBL products and systems is that they were so well made to begin with, set high production and performance standards, and were well supported for many years after production. This is why so many older pieces are around today for people to get crazy with on price.

Are the old models listenable? Of course. Are they "audiophile"? No, thank goodness. Anyone with $4,000 to spend on cables could drive up the market prices and ruin it for many of the rest of us.

DavidF


Thanks DavidF, that's was a well-put answer to say the least. It all makes good sense also.

And as for the "audiophile" term, I use it as saying someone who knows what they want, knows how to use what they have, and simply enjoys listening to the music that flows from the system.

The "audiophile" in today's terms is just someone that has no clue as to what they are purchasing except that it is grossly overpriced just so they can use it as a status symbol more than anything else.

ChopsMX5
08-27-2007, 06:44 PM
I sold a Mcintosh 6900 a few years back on Audiogon. After the gentleman bought it he purchased a power cord for it that almost cost $1000. After it was burnt in at about 40 hours he purchased a $200 silver jumper. Both changes in his opinion made a dramatic change in the sound. Sorry to get off topic but I wish I had the money to throw away! :(


Again, this falls under the "audiophile" term of today's mantality where people have more money than they know what to do with, so go buying stuff that they don't anything about.

I'm sorry, but to me, a $1000 power cord isn't going to do anything for improving the sound of something. Even if you run a dedicated line straight from the breaker box to your system, the power line coming into you house from the power company is still crappy old regular solid conductor copper wire which isn't oxygen free among other things.

Now I can see spending a good few hundred bucks on a quality line conditioner and spending some time on proper power cord placement and IC placement. You know, stuff that doesn't cost a lot but does the trick to get the job done right.

And that guy claiming the "dramatic change in the sound", that's most likely just him trying to justify the purchase of those two items that didn't do anything for the system but look pretty. :blah:

LOL!

RKLee
08-27-2007, 08:50 PM
Hello Charles
They are classics that have a very strong following in Asia/Japan. This helps keep the value up here in the US. Asian collectors will pay top dollar for a clean pair.
.
.That is very true. When I was in collage 30 years ago, one of my Japanese friends worked for a Japanese export company, and all they do is export used US built sound equipment such as JBL speakers, Mac amps to Japan. They export nothing else.