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View Full Version : Best 12" or 15" JBL for hi-fi



xanax
03-20-2009, 10:31 AM
What would be the best 12" or 15" JBL speaker choices for the low end of a "hi-fi" system meant only for listening to music (no theater duty)? It will be playing a wide variety of music, including hard rock and electronic. I'd consider both vintage and modern options.

speakerdave
03-20-2009, 10:39 AM
Best=?

For 15" my opinion is that for very good performance, ready availability, reasonable cost, and working well in a reasonable size cabinet, the choice would be the JBL 2235. No longer available new, frames (2235 or 2225--they are the same ) are easily obtained on the used market and recones are available at JBL reconers.

xanax
03-20-2009, 11:18 AM
Thanks for the input. I see a lot of threads on here discussing the 2225, 2235, and 2226 but typically the application is a sub in a home theater. Since these speakers won't be doing home theater duty I wasn't sure how the speakers like 2226 that seem to be targeted to SR and theater use would stand up to drivers that come from what I would call a system dedicated to just listening to music like the 2214H-1 or the LE120H-1. If you wouldn't be able to hear a difference then that is an acceptable answer too, I just wasn't sure of the pros and cons of using the professional series SR and theater speakers in a system that will only be used for listening to music.

Allanvh5150
03-20-2009, 12:06 PM
The 2235 is not really a sub woofer although it will do a very comendable job. Like the 128H 12" it will go well down into sub territory. With a 2425/2344 you could build a very nice 2 way system but there are many combinations. By using a 2225 or 2226 if you decide it doesnt have enough bottom end you will have to do a redesign. IMO the 2235 is the best all round 15" driver that JBL used to make. Get some decent 2225 frames and get them reconed as a 2235 and you will be very happy. The 128 is still available from JBL new and it is also a superb driver that has been in production for 30+ years. I run 4 x 128's and 4 x 2235 in my setup which is used for theatre and music. mm mm mm :)

Allan.

LE15-Thumper
03-20-2009, 12:32 PM
LE14H-3 is a Killer woofer that can be used up to 800hz easily.

124A or 2203A or the "H" versions were probably the sickest 12" home woofer ever made, but good luck finding a set or anyone willing to part with them.

The 2235 still probably gives best bang for the buck.

The newer 1400AL and 1500AL are supposed to be quite good as well but I suspect are very expensive.

The 2226 will not give the low extension like the aforementioned drivers, but they do handle gobs of power

timc
03-20-2009, 12:38 PM
I'm in the same situation as the thread starter. I have decided to stick to 12".

How does the 1200Fe compare to the 128H-1?


-Tim

robertbartsch
03-20-2009, 12:53 PM
12" - 2206h is a good choice.

4313B
03-20-2009, 01:02 PM
How does the 1200Fe compare to the 128H-1?Being a much more powerful driver it doesn't have the bottom end that the 128H-1 has, but what it does have is superlative.

timc
03-20-2009, 01:03 PM
Thanks for the confirmation :)


-Tim

xanax
03-20-2009, 08:57 PM
Ok, based on the recommendations from this thread and what parts I'm most likely to find my short list is now:

2235H
128H-1 or LE120H-1
2214H-1

or possibly 2225H

I know a guy who is parting out some L7s so the LE120H-1 would be the easiest to get but how much would I give up using that driver instead of the 15" 2235H? Any opinions?

Mr. Widget
03-20-2009, 10:02 PM
Ok, based on the recommendations from this thread and what parts I'm most likely to find my short list is now...
Well... what speaker systems do you like?

If you think the Rogers LS3/5A was the best sounding thing ever I'd suggest one route and if you are more of an Altec A7-500 fan I'd go a different direction. There is no clear best woofer.

That said, the 2235H is about as good a compromise as any. Would you use cone and domes above it or go with compression drivers and horns?


Widget

xanax
03-20-2009, 10:10 PM
Well... what speaker systems do you like?

If you think the Rogers LS3/5A was the best sounding thing ever I'd suggest one route and if you are more of an Altec A7-500 fan I'd go a different direction. There is no clear best woofer.

That said, the 2235H is about as good a compromise as any. Would you use cone and domes above it or go with compression drivers and horns?


Widget

Cone and domes, I'm actually considering purchasing the rest of the drivers from the L7s to use for this build. The cabinets for the L7s are badly damaged unfortunately. I've got a pair of 104H-2 midrange sitting around and I'm not sure what is better that or the 704G that comes with the L7s. The 2235s would probably cost me more than I can get the 704Gs, 708Gs, and LE120H-1s for.

Mr. Widget
03-20-2009, 10:30 PM
Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel and end up with a sonic mess, why not just build new cabs for the L7s?


Widget

xanax
03-20-2009, 10:36 PM
That is the direction I'm leaning in right now. I think I probably want to have the LE120H-1s face forward instead of side firing though. The crossovers from the L7s are gone already so I need to build those too.

Mr. Widget
03-20-2009, 10:50 PM
The crossovers from the L7s are gone already so I need to build those too.Get the schematics and copy them... are they a charge-coupled design? I know almost nothing about this L series. If they are not charge-coupled you should consider making that change.

I doubt the original network is so sophisticated that rotating the woofer 90 will be a problem... it may even sound better this way.


Widget

xanax
03-20-2009, 11:26 PM
I'm not sure I haven't really looked at the design of the original crossovers yet. This is kind of an impulse project because of the availability of these drivers but before I went for it I wanted to hear about some other options. In one of the L7 threads on here there was discussion on the importance of room placement with the side firing woofers, giving them 3ft of space from the corner and 3ft away from the wall. The 3ft away from the corner is no problem, but the 3ft away from the wall would cause more arguments with my wife than it is worth.

BMWCCA
03-21-2009, 03:29 AM
I'm not sure I haven't really looked at the design of the original crossovers yet. This is kind of an impulse project because of the availability of these drivers but before I went for it I wanted to hear about some other options. In one of the L7 threads on here there was discussion on the importance of room placement with the side firing woofers, giving them 3ft of space from the corner and 3ft away from the wall. The 3ft away from the corner is no problem, but the 3ft away from the wall would cause more arguments with my wife than it is worth.
That's because they are rear-ported and side-firing. If you're just using the LE120H-1 as a raw driver, you write the rules. As I recall, JBL and at least one other manufacturer incorporated the LE120H-1 in a powered subwoofer design. In the L7, it's crossed at 150Hz. They are not CC. You asked in another thread what they were worth; in about the last year I've bought two pairs of L7s for $200 each pair in excellent condition. I've also seen a pair of just the LE120H-1's sell on Ebay for over $500 in the same period. :dont-know

xanax
03-21-2009, 07:40 AM
Thanks for the info. Would you leave the crossover frequencies as is if you made the LE120H-1s front firing?

Also, to anyone who has heard some or all of the following - how do the L7s sound compared to a setup like L100T3 or 120Ti?

Earl K
03-21-2009, 10:29 AM
Hi

- Here's what John W did when he "repurposed" a pair of beatup L7s .

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=26015&stc=1&d=1182727417

- Much nicer than the original look ( IMO ) .

- Find the thread that these pics are linked into ( & you win a prize :bouncy:,:bs: ) .
- Then you can ask John himself, what he did ( between the 12" bottom & the upper satellite box ) for crossover points .

>< cheers

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=26017&stc=1&d=1182727437

Doc Mark
03-21-2009, 10:38 AM
Hey, Earl,

DANG!! That's just flat-out BEAUTIFUL!! John does outstanding work, that's for sure!! I would love to hear those sweet-looking speaks, one of these days, and bet they sound as good as they look! Thanks for sharing that photo with some of us who have never seen it! Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

Mr. Widget
03-21-2009, 10:43 AM
- Much nicer than the original look ( IMO ) ....and that would be difficult? ;)

Those are nice... I guess I missed that thread too... the LE14H-3(?) is an improvement too no doubt.


Widget

Earl K
03-21-2009, 10:48 AM
Thanks for sharing that photo with some of us who have never seen it! Take care, and God Bless!

You're welcome !

- Those of us who've been around for quite a while, know that there's excellent reading within the archives ( just waiting to be discovered ).
- As a for instance / search out the threads started by John W .

>< cheers

ps ( O.K., now the secret is out )

Earl K
03-21-2009, 11:00 AM
Those are nice... I guess I missed that thread too... the LE14H-3(?) is an improvement too no doubt.

- Unless I'm mistaken, I think John used the le120H woofers in that bottom box .
- Visually, the le120H looks like a "bantam" version of the le14h-3 .

>< cheers

Doc Mark
03-21-2009, 11:11 AM
Hey, Earl, and All,

Found it!! The thread was began by John W. on 04-17-07 at 09:21 AM, and was entitled: "L7 Breakup"!!! Yippee!! It was a fine thread, and I really enjoyed reading it! I have never tried my hand a veneering a cabinet, so my hat is really tipped to John, and others like him, who so such magnificent work with veneers!!

One of my "on the back-burner" projects, is to cobble up a four way system, using compression drivers on the top, and 15's on the bottom, and designed the way John did in his stellar design. I have all the components on hand, just no time to get started. Maybe someday, I'll get brave, and try my hand a some veneering. John's outstanding work is truly a huge inspiration to me, that's for sure! Thanks, again, Earl, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

P.S. I wonder if John is still enjoying that lovely set of repurposed L7's? I surely hope so.

P.P.S. I just remembered, I have some cone stuff that can be used for such a project, too. Got that single 4312A, from which I can take the tweet and mid, and a pair of 8" woofers from a 4408A, plus a tweeter from the 4408A, too. All I'd need would be another matching mid, and a pair of good 12's. Or, I could use a pair of 2235H's on the bottom, which I already own! Hummmm.... too darned many project, too darned little time!!

Mr. Widget
03-21-2009, 01:54 PM
- Visually, the le120H looks like a "bantam" version of the le14h-3 .I guess that dust cap does look a bit over sized... nice looking speakers regardless. The originals were certainly an acquired taste.


Widget

Dag Johansen
03-22-2009, 04:57 AM
Hello fellow JBL fans, my name is Dag Johansen and i live in Norway, this is my first post!:)
I tought i should chime in on the similarieties and diferences on LE14H-3 and LE120H-1 as i own both and have done som meassurements on them.
My first impression is that they are very much alike, but there are som big differences:
The diference in Sd is "only" about 20%, but the moving mass is over twice as much on LE14H-3. (70g vs. 150g)
For a nearly flat response they could use the same enclousure, about 3,5cuft., but the LE120H-1 would have 2,5dB higher sensitivity.
The LE14H-3 will of course play louder when maxed out.
In my opinion the LE120H-1 is of the finest bass loudspeaker thats ever made, it sounds very good with plenty of transient-rich deep bass.
Le120H-1 does not require big amplifiers to do so.
LE14H-3 is in my opinion even better, but at another pricetag and in need for a whole lot of power.
After all; i think the whole idea of the LE14H-3 was that it was supposed to play deep in a normal sized enclousure.

I apologize for my not so good english, hope you understand.:p

Dag

Doc Mark
03-22-2009, 08:15 AM
Good Morning, Dag,

Welcome to LH! We have several fine members from Norway, so you are in good company here. Also, I collect backpacking stoves, and have a very good friend in Norway who does that, and his name is "Dag", too. The world is definitely getting smaller! ;):D

Your explanations are outstanding, and your English is also very good. Not to worry there. Again, welcome to the site, and we hope to hear more from you. What JBL system(s) to you enjoy in your home, if I may ask? Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc