View Full Version : L100 v L100T

Kim L
08-27-2004, 06:20 PM
I acquired a pair of L100T's to compliment my L100 Centurys to set up a multichannel system (sva center, L20t3's, haven't decided on a multichannel amp or sub yet so I don't know how these will sound together).

And I was doing some AB comparisons and I liked the Century's better immediately. Is my brain wired to the Centurys that I have had since 1975, or are there technical reasons why the Century's sound better? Please explain to a lowly biologist.

08-27-2004, 09:15 PM
Having extensively listened to both, it's really apples and oranges. While I will say that the L100T is a little flatter and linear in response than the Century, the Century is probably a little "faster" and more dynamic sounding, as well as a bit more efficient.

I think what's going on here, is that the L100T has so much bass output, that the excellent mids and treble from the 104H2 and 035Ti are in a sense, a bit "swamped", unless they're carefully placed WELl AWAY from boundaries (to avoid excessive bass reinforcement)... and hence, the speaker seems a bit "laid back" from a dynamic standpoint compared to the L100 Century, which is actually a bit "lean" and "midrangy" by comparison... which makes it SEEM very fast.

Also, they like VERY different amps... which makes direct comparison hard. IME, the Centurys like a "warm", more laid-back amp (tubes tend to work pretty well, as long as they can handle the 6 ohm effective impedence), while the L100Ts like a big moose brawny solid state amp, to get the 'attention' of that big 2214 woofer. Also, most SS amps are a little bit more high-end prominent (brighter, more forward)... which seems to help the balance of the L100T. So, just disconnecting one of the models and plugging in the other is a bit futile, because it's a near guarantee any one amp WILL be sub-optimal to at least ONE of them.

Personally, I like both... but can listen to a wider variety of music on the L100Ts for longer without fatigue. FWIW, my personal favorite JBLs are a "compromise" between the sound of the Century and the L100T... the L112, 120Ti and L80T. All of these models seem to have much of the low bass authority of the L100T, while still having the speed in the mids of the Century, but with smoother response than either of the '100 models, IMHO...


08-27-2004, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by Kim L
IAnd I was doing some AB comparisons and I liked the Century's better immediately. Is my brain wired to the Centurys that I have had since 1975, or are there technical reasons why the Century's sound better? Please explain to a lowly biologist.

I often ask if by saying they sound better, do you really mean better or just different? To tell which is better you have to have a reference, a known quantity you know well and appreciate. Yes, 30-years is a long time to become accustomed to a “style” of sound and this has become your reference by default (making an assumption that you have not needed a reason to compare speakers over those years).

The “style” of the L100’s commercial cousin was to approximate the sound of the studio standard monitor systems. One aspect of the style is a rising response in the mid range and on into the treble. The result was termed, among others, a forward presence and bright high-end. The pronounced presence range tends to lift voices over the mix of the music content and many of the initial transient bits of sounds may seem to be clearer and more distinct. The sound seems to project out in front of the speakers as a result. But this effect is mostly on the forward axis of the speakers. In order to control the off-axis response with common speaker designs, the on-axis response had to “suffer” (a flat on axis response often compromises a smooth off-axis response and when all the reflected sound comes together, these off-axis irregularities can color the sound significantly).

Bottom line is do you actually prefer the style of the L100s? If so, the style of the “t”, being balanced more to a flat response, will seem to lack the in-the-room sound the L100 tends to deliver. But so will so many other speaker designs.

To see if you are wired to the L100s, pull them out cold turkey and listen only to the L100ts for at least 90 days. Then switch back and see if a little time away from the usual makes you think differently or confirms your preference for the L100s.

David F

Kim L
08-28-2004, 06:19 AM
L100's sound more dynamic and present. The L100T's seem to have more imagery (is that the off-axis response?), but they seemed muddled in the low end. But Gordon predicted the fact that they are next to walls, and they are in an 11x20ft room where I am setting up a home theatre.

So I have learned that I will need some bass mgmt, or maybe not use the L100T's at all. (Still on the hunt for a sub) I wanted 3-way surrounds to listen to dvd-a as well, but I think I should use the Centurys as mains and move the L100T's to a larger room. Maybe use the L20t3's for surrounds and come up with similar for rears, although I heard the L20t3's demonstrated as rears and they were excellent. So another pair of L100's!! Where can I buy those raffle tickets?!

Thanks again,