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View Full Version : A simple question but is it a compex answer????



jarrods
03-09-2004, 01:52 AM
Hi.....

Well I've only been here for about a week, so I'm sorry if this has been discussed to death before.

In late 70's / early 80's I was spellbound by the sound of JBL home speakers; I owned some L50's and then L100T's (which I still own!) and also by Pro speakers in stage situations as I mixed a band.

When I sat the final pre-buy listen test for the L100Ts they also had a pair of dual 15" 'lots-a-other drivers' studio monitors (I have no idea of model so long ago) that BLEW_ME_AWAY but being a uni student at the time the L100T's suited the budget.

Now over the years I have listened to the various home range of speakers, planning an upgrade to my 100Ts, but NOTHING really notibably excited me. (Of course I am in Australia so we may not have had complete offerings.) In every other technological area over a period of some 20 years the improvements have been 10 fold / 100 fold. So why to my ears have home series gone backwards??????

Back then I had a home PC, home made Motorola 6809 CPU, 1k RAM, dual 700K floppies, and a 600 Baud tape. Now dual PIII 1.4G processor, 3x 15k RPM ultra 160 32G drives with hardware RAID controller, 1 G RAM. So why can't I just go buy a pair of JBL L10000000000000000t speakers that make my current ones sound like a pair of Bose 501's (with the internal light globes blown), submerged in a block of concrete????

Also the professional series could not have progressed any quantum leaps of magnitude of improvemnt as there would not be this following trying to capture that vintage sound.

:confused: Some questions that I ponder:

Is the older sound more 'real' or is it just something we heard in our youth and wish to keep?

Was their a real change in the philosophy/ideals of JBL to produce a 'different' sound. I question that it could be market driven; has the human ear evolved to seek a different sound in some 20 years?

If there exists a subculture who like this older sound but it is not so large as to warrent any manufacturer making systems to WOW us then are we just 'odd'.

Surely an aural presentation that we consider to be shear excellence must be that... we have heard 'real' sounds, real vocals, real orchestras, and a speaker system that can reproduce it to within a whisker of reality must be still be marketable???

:D << FLAME retardent suite on, expecting some polarised replies >>

cheers, Jarrod

boputnam
03-09-2004, 06:52 AM
Might be some stuff here - it was buried a bit...

http://audioheritage.csdco.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1362

Regis
03-09-2004, 07:13 AM
I'll step up, though I have about as much experience as you do in this field. I'm just an educated home listener as well. I think the home audio scene actually went into the collective background back in the early 80's. If you look at the various sites dedicated to collecting the pre-80's stereo gear, you'll get the consensus that after that, we got introduced to the "black plague" or black plastic ad nauseum. Consumers started wanting to have their TV's hooked up too and it's got to match as well, soon we had "Home Entertainment Centers" and the new ones won't even come close to fitting any good reciever or amp from the 70's.

The speakers followed as well. Instead of the home stereo and speaker being the center of any living area, they became hidden accessories. I walked into a big-box stereo store yesterday and looked at their speakers. Infinity, JBL, Bose and every one of them was a pencil speaker with a hat box for the sub. The WAF or Wife Acceptance Factor has got to be 100% on gear like this. "Why honey, I can hardly see the speakers!" "I can hardly hear them too!" "Go ahead and buy them!" "As long as it's not too loud..." Um, yeah, right.

Hang on to your JBL L100T's. The only thing I heard from the modern JBL that could be worthwile to really own (correct me if I'm wrong) is the LSR series from the Pro side. The big ones are about $2000 a pair and it looks like JBL put a lot of work into it, as someone here (one of the senior members) presented a "white paper" that JBL had worked up and I was impressed, just reading it, though I have never heard them. There's nothing wrong with the vintage JBL's as evidenced by their high resale value and the demand for them. Unless the price is unreasonable or the speakers are thrashed, older JBL's almost always sell.

It's my biased opinion that vintage JBL's in good condition have a magnificent sound. I believe your L100T's have the 2214H woofer and in this, you should count yourself lucky as these are some incredibly powerful woofers. I just stuck a pair in some L-150 cabs and I've been awestruck at the amount of bass they produce. If you find your speakers lacking, it might be the material you're running through them. If I put anything from the 70's (even on CD) through them, like Yes or Chicago, I'm disappointed in the compressed range that came off've 16 track mixers (anybody, please feel free to disagree!). I lean towards recent music that has been mixed on modern equipment and I find the range is very wide, with excellent separation. The reason I was at the big-box stereo store was because I was looking for a CD, that I heard a track from on the cable jazz channel. The artist is Praful and the album is "One Day Deep". The particular track is called "Sigh" (number 8).

When I got home, I powered up my big 70's reciever and popped in the CD. It might be jazz, but it not your grandpa's jazz. Smooth, mellow but yet more than a few of the tracks have the most incredible bass I've ever heard on any CD! Track #6, "Morphic Resonance" had me believing the couch I was sitting on, was moving around on the floor! "Sigh" had the walls of the house shaking and creaking! Don't run more than 30 watts to start or you just might damage any good speaker, that's how low, this CD goes! The saxophone sections are a tonal wonder. Experiment and you'll find new happiness in your speakers. Also look at what's driving it. While you mentioned all the PC equipment you own, you didn't say what was powering up your system. No need to search for new equipment, just enjoy what you have. The only thing that I did, that really, really sounded great, was to add a second set of smaller JBL's to the bigger set I was listening to. I've got a set of L-110's sitting on top of the L-150's and both of these speakers share the same LE5 midranges and 033 tweeters!
Off the floor, these speakers double the mids and highs and it's been a surprise to run all four together.

4313B
03-09-2004, 08:51 AM
"So why can't I just go buy a pair of JBL L10000000000000000t speakers that make my current ones sound like a pair of Bose 501's (with the internal light globes blown), submerged in a block of concrete????"

The Performer Series and the LSR Series are "light years" (JBL engineering term) ahead of an L100t. Be prepared to lay out the cash required to "stay in the game". 1985 was quite awhile ago...

Chas
03-09-2004, 08:54 AM
I think the answer to your question is maybe simpler than we think. It may be that:

1. North American audio companies don't generally invest huge dollar amounts into R&D anymore due to the competitive market pricing. i.e. the the return on investment is slim.

2. The JBL products of the 60's and 70's were engineered and manufactured using sound (no pun intended) and innovative engineering principles, tight Q.A. tolerences and state of the art industrial (maybe even mil-spec) manuafacturing processes. This would be impossible today due to the price point that stuff sells at.

My 2 cents.
Charles.

Regis
03-09-2004, 09:15 AM
...as Giskard so accurately pointed out. "Be prepared to lay out the cash required to "stay in the game".

I am absolutely sure the new LSR and Performer series are light years ahead of 1985, but one has to wonder when you draw the line on the insatiable pursuit of audio nirvana.

Yes, I'd love to have a pair of the 43xx series, especially the 4315's, but I simply can't afford it. I feel lucky to have what I have! Considering what the majority of the population is listening to, even a pair of L100T's blows away what 90% of what's in a typical home these days! The pursuit can be endless. Suddenly you're looking at incredibly expensive amplifiers, like the Conrad Johnson for $7,000, or the Halcro, a mere $19,000! or $6,000 Koetsu phono cartridges. It's an endless dream and if you've got the bucks, go for it! But the great thing is that an average joe-shmoe like myself can have a very good sounding system for under $2,000 or even $1,000, because that's what I put my system together for. Sansui G-9000, $600. L-110's $20, plus about $80 in parts. L-150's free! Add $100 for 033's and $175 for 2214H's. $975. The CD player is my DVD player that I already had. I'm plenty happy with the sound.

Mr. Widget
03-09-2004, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by jarrods


:confused: Some questions that I ponder:

Is the older sound more 'real' or is it just something we heard in our youth and wish to keep?

Was their a real change in the philosophy/ideals of JBL to produce a 'different' sound. I question that it could be market driven; has the human ear evolved to seek a different sound in some 20 years?

If there exists a subculture who like this older sound but it is not so large as to warrent any manufacturer making systems to WOW us then are we just 'odd'.

Surely an aural presentation that we consider to be shear excellence must be that... we have heard 'real' sounds, real vocals, real orchestras, and a speaker system that can reproduce it to within a whisker of reality must be still be marketable???

:D << FLAME retardent suite on, expecting some polarised replies >>

cheers, Jarrod

Ahh that classic JBL sound! There are some things about the JBLs of the 50's and 60's that were and are truly special. There are some things about the JBLs of the 70's that were and are truly special. There are some things about the JBLs of the 80's that were and are truly special. But then again there is also a hell of a lot of nostalgia too! Some people feel that only ____ decade was the true JBL. Since JBL was such a dominant force during the 70's it is no wonder that there are so many JBL fans of that era and of the 43XX monitors that dominated that era.

A real change in JBL? Maybe yes, maybe no. They see a real market for "true JBL" type speakers in the HT realm and have produced some incredible Synthesis systems. They have designed one "true JBL" Project series after another. Admittedly they have been half hearted in the domestic marketing of these systems. They have seen an opportunity in Cinema systems with the death of Altec and have made huge improvements in that area. They have continually improved concert sound systems. Today when you go to a live show the clarity and level of distortion are orders of magnitude better than during the early 70's.

Yes, we are just 'odd'. Most people could give a damn about this stuff. For us to spend inordinate amounts of time and resources toward this hobby proves how odd we are.

Real.... well I have never heard a stereo in a home that sounded like being in a symphony hall. I have heard some that I liked better while playing certain recordings, but I still wouldn't call it real. Really well recorded music played through a high quality system is dynamic, raise the hair on the back of your neck exciting, but it isn't "real".

Then there is the perception and preference of the listener. Some think a Lowther sounds the most real, others a field coil Jensen, or an Altec A7, or a Wilson Grand Slamm, or a JBL 4345! We are all turned on by different types of sounds. There are probably three or four distinct flavors among this tiny forum.... How do you design "The best speaker in the world" when you really can't get a consensus. I guess that is the beauty of DIY. With some knowledge and a bit of tinkering, you can build what YOU think the speaker should sound like.

Widget