View Full Version : JBL C-34 or 250ti

05-25-2004, 10:51 AM

I am wondering whats the characteristic of these 2 speakers and how do they compare to modern speaker? Whats the going price for JBL C-34? Is the 250ti driver build by Alinco? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


Don McRitchie
05-25-2004, 11:18 AM
I don't think you would find two more disimilar speakers from JBL. The C34 is a vintage horn loaded design while the 250ti remains near state-of-the-art even 20 years after its introduction. The 250Ti uses ferrite magnets on all four drivers, however I do not see this as a disadvantage. The ferrite drivers are technically superior in measured attributes, and quite frankly, I think they just sound better than the vintage Alnico's.

There are different versions of the C34 since this model refers to the enclosure and it could take many different kits. The high end version consists of a 130A and 175DLH horn. This system is has restricted bandwidth with no deep bass and a significantly rolled off high end. Due to the folded horn and limitiations of the drivers of the day, the frequency response is anything but flat. On the plus side, full horn loading makes it one of the most dynamic sounding speakers made.

In contrast, the 250Ti has a near ruler flat frequency response that is solid down to 30hz and with a high end that extends beyond the limits of human hearing. The system is time and phase aligned so that it images better than virtually any other system made by JBL. It won't have the transient attack of C34, but with a large enough amp, it likely has a dynamic range that matches or exceeds the C34. This is because the C34 components have very limited power handling compared to the later JBL drivers and this likely erases its advantage in higher sensitivity.

In summary, if you want transient response above all else and are willing to live with deficiencies in accuracy, imaging, bass extension and HF extension, the C34 is the way to go. Otherwise, the L250ti is superior on every attribute you care to name.

05-25-2004, 11:29 AM
Thanks for the info :)

I only been in vintage hifi for a couple of months... Would a Mcintosh mc240 be a good choice for either speaker?

Is there different version of 250ti too? What should I keep in mind when buying these speakers?


Don McRitchie
05-25-2004, 01:31 PM
I'm not familiar with the MC240 so I can't offer a first hand opinion. The 250Ti is medium efficiency, but I would still want to power it with at least 100W. The more power the better. It is a widely held opinion on this forum that the vintage horns work better with tubes, but again, I can't share any direct experience.

There are numerous versions of the 250Ti, the last of which were made as recently as 2000. This last version was known as the "Jubilee" and used charged coupled capacitors in the cross-over. This is considered by its designer to be the best version. However, even the first 250Ti from 1984 is an excellent speaker that only marginally underperforms the Jubilee. There is a history of this system here:


and a number of spec sheets and catalog entries at the following links:




05-26-2004, 08:10 AM
How about Altec Model 19? How do 19 compare to these 2 speakers? Whats a reasonable price to pay for a good condition pair? Thanks!

Mr. Widget
05-26-2004, 10:04 AM
You are kind of asking a question like which is better, a Rolls Royce, a Ferrari, or a Hummer? It depends on the application, your expectations, and what is important to you.

You really need to find examples of these speakers and listen to them and decide what you need/want.

As for prices, that depends on location and how patient you are. If you wait long enough they are all available at quite reasonable prices... if you want one tomorrow you usually have to pay top dollar. Hong Kong.... I am not familiar with that market, I have sold items to people in Hong Kong a few times and the shipping is a factor, certainly for any of the three large systems you have mentioned.


Charley Rummel
05-29-2004, 04:47 PM
In regards to the McIntosh MC240 power amp, that would be a great match for the C34 scenario with the 001 system. The C34 with the 001 is a very efficient system and doesn't take much to get it going (I have a pair of 001 systems in our family room), and the dynamics are fantastic.

As for the high and low end response, I have the N1200 crossover controls up all the way (flat). The amps which feed that room (a pair of modified Bogen DB130's) have variable damping controls, which are set to a very low position; the horns provide all the damping needed on the LF cones, so I can get away with it. Also, I have the bass (50 Hz) and treble (15KHz) controls set at about +3 and +5 db, respectively. I arrived at these settings after a Saturday afternoon tweaking session, and the results are fantastic.

As for the 250Ti, which is a little less efficient and needs more wattage, I think a classic Marantz or McIntosh ss unit delivering at least 100 watts RMS would make an excellent compliment.

Kind regards,

Charley Rummel