View Full Version : Radiance R133 - not worth the space they take up?

01-21-2008, 08:19 PM
I just picked up a pair of R133 for cheap. Big honking speakers. I figured that JBL's from the mid 80's that originally sold for $650 couldn't be horrible. After taking a look at their components and construction, I'm rethinking that. Clearly they're not in the same league as the L series - not even close. The only thing in common between these and my L56 is the name JBL.
So has anybody heard these? Are they worth the space that they take up (maybe a basement system for the kids, or a theater sound?) I haven't powered these up, since the woofers are in need of foam.
I'm can refoam the woofers myself, so I'd only be looking at the cost of the kits. But I'm wondering if it's even worth the effort. In doing a search for the woofers (310G-1) not much comes up, so it's likely that they aren't anything special. The mids, likewise. The tweeters, LE25-2 seem to be used in more applications.
I only have $15 in these, so I'm not feeling too bad.
Should I mess with these, or pull the tweeters and donate the boxes to a pet cemetery?

01-22-2008, 02:33 PM

I have a pair of Radiance R123

found it years ago for the same price...20 EUR ( 30 $)...


it's a good price for the LE25-2 pair ! :applaud:

mine are with the same mid 305 G-1

but only a 12' LF , the 312 G-1...

you have two 10' , I believe

the 310 G-1 + the passive radiator PR 310-1

I think the R133 would be better than mine ....

Even if this is not the best JBL serie:rolleyes: , they can rock

the garage... Yes, this is perfect stuff for the kids... I think you can spend

some money for the surrounds...

I did it...

First I also wanted to collect only the tweeters... or upgrade the cabs

with better Midrange and Bass...

finally, I use it with my boys when playing music in summer ...
they do the job :banana:

The cabinets are strong... but awfull... no veneer... just vinyle...

the mid and bass frame and magnet quality :spchless:

the x-overs looks not bad at all...

You're right... those are E.T.

for JBL lovers...

but let's E.T. coming home ... kids will love them and have fun !


01-31-2008, 02:44 PM
I'm answering my question:

Even if this is not the best JBL serie:rolleyes: , they can rock
the garage.
I think you can spend some money for the surrounds...
The cabinets are strong... but awfull... no veneer... just vinyle...

Since I'd cut my teeth on refoaming the woofers on my L56 with very satisfactory results, I figured what the hell and refoamed these as well (thanks again Rick Cobb!).
I fired these up, and rutabaga, you're right. They can rock. They can really rock. The sound is tight and very acceptable, I must say, with no vibration whatsoever.
For $15 speakers and $50 in surround kits, I ended up with some very good sounding speakers...for the price.
Albeit not JBL purist speakers, never to be classics, but decent speakers.
Now that I had a pair of big honkin' speakers that sound as good as the day they were new, I still had a big problem.
I had to look at them.
That fake woodgrain vinyl has to be the ugliest finish on a speaker - bar none.
So I veneered them in cherry.
Nowhere near the unbelievable job that Audiobeer did in his 4430 restoration (http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=873&highlight=audiobeer), but these are no 4430's.
Anyway, the results were stunning. These speakers look like nice furniture now.
My brother (who knows his wood) suggested a chemical (titanium dioxide?) to instantly age the ashen natural cherry color. Since I couldn't readily get my hands on that, he suggested a water/lye solution.
I used the diluted lye solution and it immediately 'aged' the wood. It looks great, but I wish I'd gone a little lighter on the lye (too dark - too red for my liking. I was looking for a lighter orange cherry tone).
I finished them with a few coats of Watco Danish Oil finish.
The grain glows now.




01-31-2008, 03:05 PM
Well looky there.

JPTL has proven something here.

You can polish a turd.

Those turned out very nice, JPTL. Your efforts went along way.

The only thing really JBL about the "Radiance Series" is the LE25 tweeter...and well...the label.

01-31-2008, 03:15 PM
You can polish a turd. :p It's a good thing I wasn't drinking coffee right now...

They do look great!


louped garouv
01-31-2008, 03:27 PM
in a few years they may be considered "rare limited editions"

auction text will be like, "neveer seen an R133 with nice veneer before or since"


01-31-2008, 04:54 PM
You can polish a turd.

First you have to veneer it...then you can polish it.

As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, "One man's turd, is another man's treasure."