View Full Version : JBL "Sovereign" info wanted

Brad Anbro
04-08-2010, 09:03 PM
Hello all,

In addition to a pair of mid-1970s JBL L100s, I also own a pair of JBL "Sovereign" floor-standing speakers that I am guessing were made some
time during the 1970s. I acquired them in 1980 and at the same time,
also acquired the matching equipment cabinet.

My Sovereigns did not come with any of the usual JBL driver systems
installed, such as the "S7," the "S7R," the "S8" or the "S8R." I was told
that when the Sovereign systems were offered for sale by JBL, the buyer
could order the systems with various combinations of drivers and
crossover networks installed. Evidently, this was how my particular
systems were ordered.

Over the years, I have made a couple of repairs to the systems; I have
summarized below which components were in the speakers when I
bought them, and the replacements that I made.

LF Drivers: LE14A 2235H (Pro series)
Passive: PR15 PR15
MF Drivers: LE175 LE175
HF Drivers: 075 075
LF-MF X-Overs: LX10 3115A (Pro Series)
MF-HF X-Overs: N7000 3105 (Pro Series)

The mid-range drivers are now in need of either repair or replacement.
Many years ago, I wanted to acquire a pair of JBL 375s but never did;
mainly because of the cost and also because my drivers were working
just fine. Now that something needs to be done, I'm wondering what
my options are and what would be the best route to take.

From what I have seen in a couple of older JBL Professional catalogs,
the JBL Pro 2440 and 2441 were the Professional equivalent(s) of the
JBL Consumer 375 drivers. Is this a valid assumption? I have looked on
E-Bay for the 375 drivers, as well as the 2440 and 2441 drivers. I
found that the 375 drivers sell for astronomical prices and that the
2440 and 2441 drivers also sell for quite a lot.

I would be very apprehensive about purchasing any of these drivers on
E-Bay, as I would have no idea of what the actual condition would be
on them, and if they would need repairing.

If someone could offer me any suggestions as to what my best options
are, I would very much appreciate any information. By the way, I am
NOT a "JBL collector;" I am a 58 year old industrial electrician who
enjoys listening to music. My musical tastes range from older "Classical"
(hard) rock and Classical pipe organ music to the older country & western
music and "skating rink" music that was performed on Wurlitzer pipe

Thank you in advance.

Brad Anbro
Roscoe (Rockford), IL

Don McRitchie
04-09-2010, 10:04 AM
I''l be frank. The system that you have, as currently configured, is severely compromised because it is filled with mismatched components. It will cost you a fair bit to bring the system to point where it will perform as designed. However, I'll try and explain what you are up against, starting with your specific question on the 375.

The 2440 is an exact duplicate of the 375. The 2441 is a rarer duplicate of the rare 376. The main difference in the latter is the use of the diamond pattern surround on the diaphram which allows greater frequency extension. I have also been told that the 376 has a slightly wider voice coild gap that was meant to accommodate higher power handling since it could allow a degree of deforamtion of the voice coil former under high load without rubbing. Supposedly this is why the 376/2441 has a slightly lower flux density rating.

Any of these drivers would be a significant improvement to your system. They mate well with the 2235, one of my favourite woofers. However, the PR 15 is not meant to compliment that driver - nor the LE14. It was specifically designed for the LE15A. The closest match would be the PR15C which was designed for the 2231, which in turn, is a near accoustical equal to the 2235.

The 075's would not be my first choice in this system since I find them rather beamy compared to the 077's, but they will add needed extension to the 2440/41. I would look for the pro model number version of this driver since they seem to command less $ than the consumer 375/376 even though they are accoustically identical.

The LX10 cross-over that you have is not appropriate for your system. The 1500hz cross-over point is way too high for either the LE14 or 2235. Further, the sensitivity mismatch between the 2235 and 175 is greater than the LX10 is meant to address. The more appropriate cross-over is the LX50 which is pretty rare. Personally, I would consider an inexpensive electronic cross-over and biamping rather that trying to find an LX50, which I cannot recall ever seeing on ebay. However, this adds costs for another amp for the mid and tweet.