PDA

View Full Version : Tempted to go back from JBL L300 to La Scala - what you think?



Croc999
01-13-2011, 11:08 PM
Hi there,
As you see in the title I’m tempted to go back from JBL L300 to La Scala – and looking for a second opinion.
I’m listening mostly to 50s-60s jazz, some blues, rock and classics.
My full systems details: http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/4657.html (http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/4657.html)

So i used for ~4 years 1977's La Scalas and loved them very much.
the problem of weak ends was solved by pairing them to a good sub and JBL 2405 tweeters.
xover was moded to A-type and new capacitors from Bob were installed.

but for last 2 years i was with L300s powered by 300b push pull amp.
eventually i said that 2 years is enough to use La Scalas at the back of the room as a table/cupboard to put ton of small things on them and it's time for them to find a new owner.

but when i connected them i instantly remembered why i loved them so much:
1. explosive dynamics. L300 are good but can't much La Scalas especially not in the midrange - i guess that only hi efficiency speakers can do this
2. bass quality - La Scalas are super fast, not distorted, not colored and doesn’t sound "boxy"
3. Huge sound
4. Single ended amp is very easy to match, not too expensive and SET sound is very special indeed

where they lose to L300s:
1. Mid sound less detailed, “dark”, “dirty” and a bit distorted. Not a disaster – but this is where L300 excels
2. Even with JBL 2405 tweeter the treble is a bit on a hard side while L300’s treble is “gentle” (I’m not talking about roll off)
3. The cabinet vibrates – generally speaking I like coloration it ads – but in some cases it gets into resonance which is too much. Luckily it doesn’t happens very often. At least not on my kind of music.

If I could solve those problems I would let L300 in a heartbeat – and I see that La Scalas can be upgraded with a better horn, other mid drivers and possible further moded x-over.

I don’t know about B&C drivers – but I liked a timbre of those old school L300’s JBL drivers.
what other Altec/JBL mid drivers can work in La Scala?

absolutely critical for me that they remain able to work with 2 watt SET !!!!

unfortunately all those upgrades easily come up to 2,000$ which i can only fund by letting L300 go - which is not easy as it's good and rare and if eventually i will see that i need them back it's gona be costly :(

What do you think and what are my options here?

Many thanks, Gennady

martin_wu99
01-14-2011, 12:41 AM
Hi there,
As you see in the title I’m tempted to go back from JBL L300 to La Scala – and looking for a second opinion.
I’m listening mostly to 50s-60s jazz, some blues, rock and classics.
My full systems details: http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/4657.html (http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/4657.html)

So i used for ~4 years 1977's La Scalas and loved them very much.
the problem of weak ends was solved by pairing them to a good sub and JBL 2405 tweeters.
xover was moded to A-type and new capacitors from Bob were installed.

but for last 2 years i was with L300s powered by 300b push pull amp.
eventually i said that 2 years is enough to use La Scalas at the back of the room as a table/cupboard to put ton of small things on them and it's time for them to find a new owner.

but when i connected them i instantly remembered why i loved them so much:
1. explosive dynamics. L300 are good but can't much La Scalas especially not in the midrange - i guess that only hi efficiency speakers can do this
2. bass quality - La Scalas are super fast, not distorted, not colored and doesn’t sound "boxy"
3. Huge sound
4. Single ended amp is very easy to match, not too expensive and SET sound is very special indeed

where they lose to L300s:
1. Mid sound less detailed, “dark”, “dirty” and a bit distorted. Not a disaster – but this is where L300 excels
2. Even with JBL 2405 tweeter the treble is a bit on a hard side while L300’s treble is “gentle” (I’m not talking about roll off)
3. The cabinet vibrates – generally speaking I like coloration it ads – but in some cases it gets into resonance which is too much. Luckily it doesn’t happens very often. At least not on my kind of music.

If I could solve those problems I would let L300 in a heartbeat – and I see that La Scalas can be upgraded with a better horn, other mid drivers and possible further moded x-over.

I don’t know about B&C drivers – but I liked a timbre of those old school L300’s JBL drivers.
what other Altec/JBL mid drivers can work in La Scala?

absolutely critical for me that they remain able to work with 2 watt SET !!!!

unfortunately all those upgrades easily come up to 2,000$ which i can only fund by letting L300 go - which is not easy as it's good and rare and if eventually i will see that i need them back it's gona be costly :(

What do you think and what are my options here?

Many thanks, Gennady
I don't think it is a good idea. :confused:

Mr. Widget
01-14-2011, 01:45 AM
I have owned La Scalas and Klipschorns... I have owned a number of JBLs but not the L300s even though I have heard many of them. I don't agree with your subjective description in your comparisons and wonder if you might have experience with a vintage pair of L300s that are "not quite right"?

With any of these vintage systems, it is easy to find examples that are no longer working properly or are set up incorrectly.

Then again, there are many on the Klipsch Forum who love their Klipsch speakers and do not like the sound of JBLs, so perhaps you simply prefer the "brassy" sound of the Klipsch speakers.


Widget

yggdrasil
01-14-2011, 07:52 AM
Also - 2W for the L300's aren't much.

You could consider an active xo and perhaps a Push-pull tube amp or a SS amp for the woofers, keeping your small SET for the top's. You'll find updated xo schematics somewhere on this forum for the L300 bi-amp.

Hoerninger
01-14-2011, 08:47 AM
I’m listening mostly to 50s-60s jazz, some blues, rock and classics.


... t only hi efficiency speakers can do this
2. bass quality - La Scalas are super fast, not distorted, not colored and doesn’t sound "boxy"
3. Huge sound
I'm a (bass) horn lover and you name all of the advantages!
You do not have to upgrade in a heartbeat as you have fine speakers. Think of what you have already paid for your system, try to keep what you like.
____________
Peter

Croc999
01-14-2011, 09:57 AM
2w is definitely not for L300s.
i'm using 300b push pull amp with ~20 watts.
i also worked for a few months Citation 2 which handles very ddificult speakers.
i also tried it with Krell.
so power options were explored.

as to my L300 condition - they were reconed and mid/tweeters sound right.

i think that due to design (horn vs port loaded) the bass just can't sound the same.
also i'm suspecting that due to efficiency differences mid/treble dynamics can't be the same - correct me if i'm wrong.

what jbl/altec drivers and/or horns can be matched to La Scala keeping the whole system over 100db sensitive?

Mr. Widget
01-14-2011, 10:19 AM
i think that due to design (horn vs port loaded) the bass just can't sound the same.True... though having the bass roll off significantly below 60 Hz makes it hard for me to enjoy the bass of the La Scala, though I do appreciate what it can do.



what jbl/altec drivers and/or horns can be matched to La Scala keeping the whole system over 100db sensitive?Sensitivity isn't the issue... it is the low crossover point to the bass horn that poses the challenge. I would use a 2" exit JBL and a large horn that can comfortably go down to 500Hz... even though Klipsch claims theirs goes down to 400Hz, it doesn't really.

Look at the JBL 375/2440, the 376/2441, or the 2445 drivers... I would look at the large old radial horn from JBL, the 2350 or better yet the huge bi-radial 2360. Even if upgraded with a beryllium diaphragm any of these will need a tweeter too... the design of the crossover is critical to blend this system, but it certainly can be done and be outstanding.

I bet if you search around on the Klipsch forum you will find folks who have already explored this.

http://community.klipsch.com/forums/


Widget

Croc999
01-14-2011, 10:28 AM
i'm sure agree that complete lack f bass under 50 hz is a serious drawback. frankly speaking it can't be tolerated in a long run.
i solved it by pairing them with Rel Stadium sub nad htis worked very good.

i'm sure familiar with Klipsch comunity :) - but we all know that most people there are very klipsch addicted and i definitely wanted to get another view ;)

Croc999
01-15-2011, 10:14 AM
today i listened to La Scalas for few more hours:

http://sites.google.com/site/crocweb/Home/stereo/audio_pictures/Room.jpg

http://sites.google.com/site/crocweb/Home/stereo/audio_pictures/La_Scala_and_L300_1.jpg

http://sites.google.com/site/crocweb/Home/stereo/audio_pictures/La_Scala_and_L300_2.jpg

i'm think maybe just to upgrade them with 511 horn and 902 driver or do something like this and enjoy both of two worlds.

Altec Best
01-15-2011, 12:16 PM
http://sites.google.com/site/crocweb/Home/stereo/audio_pictures/Room.jpg

http://sites.google.com/site/crocweb/Home/stereo/audio_pictures/La_Scala_and_L300_1.jpg

http://sites.google.com/site/crocweb/Home/stereo/audio_pictures/La_Scala_and_L300_2.jpg



[QUOTE=Croc999;303309]today i listened to La Scala's for few more hours:

I'm think maybe just to upgrade them with 511 horn and 902 driver or do something like this and enjoy both of two worlds.



Now that sounds like a plan !!;) The 802-8G and the 902-8A,B's are perfect.I never could listen to the LaScala's for a long period of time without becoming fatigued.The LaScala's always sounded like they were built in a tin can to Me. No Bass.Since your running tubes Altec's excel being driven with tubes.:yes: If you upgrade with the 902/511 as you suggested you could do that for a few hundred and still keep the JBL L300's too ! :bouncy:

I own a pair of Cornwall II's the only Klipsch speakers that puts out enough Bass IMHO,but not as much as my 19's I'm not using a sub nor do I want to. No Need !;)

If you shop around you can find some nice deals, 511's $100-$150 a pair, 902-802's $150-$350 a pair.

Good Luck with your project ! Regards ~ AB

Maron Horonzakz
01-15-2011, 12:59 PM
Why do you have the 2404 tweets tilted down so much,,,They have a 100 by 100 degree polor pattern. ??

jpw
01-16-2011, 08:13 PM
Good sound is very subjective but accuracy to a large degree is measurable.
In my experience the more time one has measuring speakers and correlating the measurements with the sound, the better and more natural accuracy sounds. I've measured many pairs of stock LaScala's over the years in a lot of different rooms.
They have serious problems with stored energy which cause some major frequency response errors. They are no where near linear especially in the 100-150hz territory with a 6-10db or greater rise very common. Also very rough in the lower to mid treble region. They also can't get anywhere near 40hz flat unless you put a subwoofer with them. This is an important frequency to reproduce as it is low E on the Fender bass guitar, the most popular bass instrument of all time. I have not measured a JBL L-300 in some time but have measured enough JBL's with similar woofers, cabinet volumes and tunings to be confident that their frequency response is far smoother and more extended. The last LaScala's I heard were virtually unlistenable in regards to tonal balance with out serious EQ being applied. You may be confusing frequency response peaks with "better dynamics". I've EQ'd many systems flat, where upon hearing the result, people used to 10db peaks somewhere wondered "what had happened to all of the punch"! If you want more actual sense of dynamics,
biamp your L-300's with an electronic crossover and set the response with an RTA.

Croc999
01-17-2011, 09:30 PM
this is a good post - thx for it.

first of all - replies here keep talking about low bass.
this was mentioned and agreed - La Scalas don't have ANY bass below 50HZ. this how they're designed.
in my case it solved by adding good sub.

stored energy in mid bass?
first of all this region is very affected by the room acoustics.
but anyway their birch plywood enclosure resonates and it easily can be heard in midbass.
if i keep them i will brace the bin to reduce this as much as possible.

and dynamics i'm talking about is in the MID and TREBLE.
not in BASS.
in bass region - you're absolutely right - usually people thing that bass bloom and distorsion are punch and dynamics.

this is exactly where La Scala excels with their horn bass. L300 just can't match their speed and lack of boxiness.
maybe it's room acoustics - L300 are way way way more sensitive to that than La Scala.
but it looks to me that this is just inhereted part of design of ported enclosure vs. horn.

mikebake
01-18-2011, 06:02 AM
I think you have enough money in all the gear in that room to sell it off and buy something really good in the modern offerings. Seriously.
I appreciate the older stuff, but c'mon, chap, take the plunge and see what 50 years has done.

richluvsound
01-18-2011, 06:13 AM
I think you have enough money in all the gear in that room to sell it off and buy something really good in the modern offerings. Seriously.
I appreciate the older stuff, but c'mon, chap, take the plunge and see what 50 years has done.

You could try the DC biasing option on the 300 ... and bi-amp that wont cost you 2k . You are asking a lot from
a Valve amp to damp a 2235 at 30 hurtz .

IMHO , Rich

Croc999
01-18-2011, 07:25 AM
Mike,
i had modern expensive speakers in the past.
i heard a lot of others.
it's very very rare that i hear modern loudspeakers that can touch L300/La Scala - if this happens they usually costs crazy money (30K$, 40K$ and etc).
haven't heard modern top JBLs though as they are not at display here - and they're very expensive anyway and their design is not too far from old designs ;).

MikeBrewster77
01-18-2011, 07:43 AM
haven't heard modern top JBLs though ... and their design is not too far from old designs ;).

I think the engineers might disagree with you here.

Croc999
01-18-2011, 07:56 AM
i'm also an engineer and would like to learn what is so drastically different?

they way i see it they're still horn, hi sensitivity, 15" woofer, high qaulity drivers....

grumpy
01-18-2011, 08:39 AM
In many ways, a '59 Cadillac is of more interest to me than anything current.
One could say it is also not so drastically different from modern incarnations.

Mr. Widget
01-18-2011, 09:39 AM
i'm also an engineer and would like to learn what is so drastically different?

they way i see it they're still horn, hi sensitivity, 15" woofer, high qaulity drivers....JBL has always built superior drivers yet many found AR, Altec, Klipsch, (fill in the blank) better sounding. Part of this is personal preference and part is due to the fact that the vintage JBL crossover networks were pretty poor designs. Even the L300 could be drastically improved with a better network. I am not suggesting the run of the mill DIYer will make the L300 better by screwing around with capacitor and wire choices, though you read about that sort of thing frequently, but these speakers can be improved by the careful application of modern network design practices.

The modern JBLs like the 1400 Array, the K2-S9900, and the Everest II are all somewhat similar to vintage designs... the drivers are moderately to significantly better than their vintage cousins... but as systems these speakers are vast improvements.

I am certain as one who appreciates the sound of the La Scala, the sound of the K2-S9900 would satisfy you beyond belief... however it does cost $44,000 a pair. You might find the much more affordable 1400 Array enjoyable, but it is definitely not quite as dynamic and the bass is a bit heavy and the upper bass/lower mids are not quite as articulate... this is not to say that I find this speaker displeasing... I love it and enjoy the hell out of my pair, but being as objective as I can be, I can hear slight aberrations from some unattainable ideal. That said, I had the opportunity to acquire a pair of the K2s and chose the 1400 Arrays even though aesthetically I preferred the K2s and there were many subtle sonic improvements. Cost was a consideration as was the need of an external sub or two to make the K2 do exactly what I felt I needed. Basically what I am saying is that even at this level there are significant compromises that must be weighed and considered.


Widget

jpw
01-20-2011, 09:11 PM
My remarks, of course, were intended to describe the differences between stock LaScala's and L-300's rather than modified. Stock L-300's are far less colored in amplitude response and energy storage which makes them less boxy sounding to me. Although the definition of boxiness is somewhat subjective, speakers with lot of upper bass coloration often qualify for this adjective. The question is whether you want to trade a much greater freedom of coloration away for more bass speed by moving to the LaScala. Bass speed is to some degree a misnomer in my opinion. Many have heard the phrase, "if woofers were meant to be fast, they'd be tweeters". Subjectively you can "speed" the sound of the L-300 woofers with biamping and an electronic crossover and or EQ or HP filtering and adding a sub just like you plan to do with the LaScala. At the end of the day, I can't listen past the plus or minus 6db frequency response errors the LaScala has even in a good room.