View Full Version : JBL L222 Disco's + L220 Oracle's

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 01:16 AM
Here are my newly restored pairs of L222's& L220's. I have done something special to these speakers; I replaced the LE5-9's with the Summit's LE85/H92 combination. As you might be able to see on the Disco's rear section, there is a black box sticking out of the back that allows the X-over to retain a somewhat normal position as it resides on that panel. I also have replaced the LE14-H with the LE14-H1 for now. I still have the original LE14-H's. The improvement is DRAMATIC!. It is amazing just how easy this modification is. I do not claim it is perfect but it is worth the compromise. For the L220's I did the same thing but used an obsolutely beautiful 2420/2312 16ohm combo and that leads me to my question. How do I adjust the crossover component values to compensate for the 16 ohm driver? If anyone would like to see a sort of pictorial "how to", please email me at twomeeps@aol.com. Thank you. And I want to personally thank Zilch for helping me get the site's controls figured out, Thank you Sir!

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 03:52 AM
here is the horn installed in the original sub-baffle board

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 03:55 AM
her is a shot of the new "spacer"

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 04:01 AM
Here is what you see from the front. The added height puts the horn right were I like it.

10-12-2004, 04:42 AM

BTW, JBL is running a new batch of LE14H-1 recone kits so you could get your LE14H's reconed as LE14H-1's :)

"How do I adjust the crossover component values to compensate for the 16 ohm driver?"

The easiest thing to do is put a 16, 18, or 20 ohm resistor in parallel with the driver. All you're really doing is providing the correct load for the L-Pad. How did you compensate for the 14 dB increase in efficiency? It looks like you have an L-Pad nearly shut off in the picture. You might want to help it out and put in a resistor pad in front of it.

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 04:44 AM
thank you, I see in another thread that the H-1's response starts to go south @ 650hz. I will say that the H-1's low end is better to my ear than the H and the 220's LE14A's have a great midbass punch over the other two drivers so I play both pairs at the same time always- ha-ha. Now if I could just get that crossover thing figured out.....

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 04:49 AM
so if I put a 10watt 16ohm in parallel with the driver that would do it or do I need a higher wattage? As for the L-pad, do you mean like a 100watt L pad? what is a resistor pad? BTW that picture was taken right after I re-installed everything and I had not set the levels but you ARE right I have to keep it set at the #2 position.

10-12-2004, 05:44 AM
Here's what you probably want to do to the network. X marks stuff to be removed. I would probably start with R1 being two 8 ohm 10W resistors in parallel and R2 being 8 ohm 10 W. You will have to see if they get too hot with your listening levels. In fact, you might want to just buy all 16 ohm resistors and go with four paralleled 16 ohm for R1, two parallel 16 ohm for R2 and the 16 ohm across the LE85/2420. That should give you ~ 9 dB of attenuation.

All I have with me right now is Adobe Photoshop :barf: to edit documents with so please pardon the hack job.

Yeah, and the 58450 from JBL is the ticket for the L-Pad.

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 06:07 AM
Thank you! I will get together with a C.E.T. that I know and apply this info. I will let you know how it turns out. I have one more pair of L220's that I want to try 2435HPL's and N333 crossovers in and since my trade is finish work, I want to do them in black laquer. A buddy of mine in N.Y. mated the 2435HPL's to some custom Westlake/ JBL type "Smith horns" and WOW!!!, My next project is building some B380 sized enclosures for the two 2235H's that are collecting dust. Thank you again for your help Sir.

10-12-2004, 07:10 AM
Very nice idea!! I use the H94 and like it. What did you do build a box to add volume using the access panel??


Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 08:12 AM
The L222 &L220 have a completely seperate 'chamber' for the mid and tweet so the extention is there to clear that long H92 horn and le85 and allow me to mount that back plate which has the 12"x12" crossover attached to it. When I thought of doing this modification, one of the good things was that separation in the enclosure. Pretty simple to make the spacer. I cannot stress how much better this speaker sounds with that horn!, and yes, I just copied the access panel to make it. I love the metal L94 lens too, it's like a baby 2310 and is made for the conical horns to boot.The L250 is another speaker with the same seperate 'chamber' too. Thank you for your interest.

10-12-2004, 10:23 AM
Now THERE's a wall of sound! :D

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 10:36 AM
I should say the BEST thing about all this is that both pairs were going to the dump after being gutted for the 076's and looked like hell. I was lucky enough to SAVE them and with alot of hard work get them back to very good condition. I just cannot imagine abusing speakers like these and what kind of mindset it must take. As I said earlier, I have one HORRIBLE pair waiting for some MEGA TLC and I don't mind one damn bit!

10-12-2004, 11:23 AM
Hey, Steve...

What exactly is going on, here... :confused:

Earl K
10-12-2004, 11:27 AM
Steve - Great Project !

<. EarlK

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 11:54 AM

10-12-2004, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by Steve Gonzales
I should say the BEST thing about all this is that both pairs were going to the dump....Same here. Mine were smoked, thrashed, and nasty throughout, but still had the 076's. That was about 10 years ago, before folks got "hip" to 076.

My first discovery after refoaming and reconing was that the lower half makes one helluva nice sub. This forum made me do it! Somebody here, I forget who, uses them for that.

That encouraged me to resurrect the top, as well. A dead LE5, smoked L-pads and one inductor. What a pleasant surprise. They DO rock!

Still gotta redo the the cabinets, tho.... ;)

10-12-2004, 12:20 PM
Maybe a finisher guy would have some suggestions how to deal with their fragmented bases:

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 01:46 PM
I fixed my 220's with a wood based laquer putty that is made from walnut dust being careful sand first with 220 sandpaper and then taking an exacto knife to 'clean' the edges of the veneer to make sure of a steep transition between the partical board and veneer edge and poking small irregular divits in the partical board edge with the sharp point to give th surface some 'tooth'. Laquer putty dries extremely fast so I use my fingers in a 'pinching' position and quickly build up and fill those areas. In about 15 minutes test the cure by lightly power sanding with 320 or 220 grit. touch it to the spot and see if the paper clogs and if it doesn't clog I continue with super light pressure being careful to orbit around a wide area until you shape it and get it flush. It sounds funny but I actually several colored felt pens to fake the grain if there is too big of a blank spot and it takes practice! touch and gently blot and wipe as needed. then I use WATCO danish oil to finish and seal. Where are you located? I would love to help you. Here is a picture of my L220 cab after finishing and it had the same problem

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 02:08 PM
To tell you the truth, I would do a complete refinish. It is so hard to match the stain and get a good result. I do a three step process that renews without giving up that 3D glow and depth that age brings to good veneer. First careful patch and sanding then WATCO a full 2 coats then wait overnight after wiping off the final coat then the real secret is to use MINWAX Finishing wax, apply a liberal amount being careful to 'push it into the wood in ALL directions then let it set for 2hrs before buffing it off completely so the only wax left is virtually 'IN THE WOOD'. Once that is done I apply 3 good coats of satin laquer and let the cure overnight. I then take a very fine scotch brite pad and dampen it. I burnish the finish with the grain with ultra light pressure keeping the pad tapped out for residue build-up as well as slightly damp for lubrication. The results speak for themselves. Look at the glow of a finish that is within 1 hr after completion. It really has depth and glows doesn't it.

10-12-2004, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by Steve Gonzales
Where are you located? I'm in Berkeley. As you know, they are beasts to haul around. Have some other cabs to rehab, as well, so I gotta find a good local cabinet guy. Now I have a method to suggest, thank you....

I found this from a former incarnation of the forum, 8/31/00. I ain't sayin' who said it, tho.... :p

"Seriously, I can hardly think of a less desireable JBL than the L220. They used a cone midrange and were inefficient and tubby sounding. They do have salvage value for the tweeters, the lens over the mid, mabye the LE-14s and maybe the box, but that's about it, IMO."

[Lessee. That leaves the LE5's. Looks like you solved THAT little problem, heh, heh....]

And then, our moderator:

"Regarding the L220. I have not personally auditioned a pair. However, I do have a bit more development information. As a word of warning, it may not be what you want to hear.

The L220 was designed for a specific sonic character that was inherently inaccurate. The model name was the "Disco," which is a none-too-subtle clue.

During this time, product development was largely driven by market concerns which overuled technical issues. One JBL engineer from the period described the L220 as 'dreadful.'"

Well, O.K., then. I just got bad taste, is all. :D

:rockon1: :bouncy:

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 02:18 PM
funny how a slight cosmetic change, an LE14H instead an A and a funky 'Disco' name instead of the cool Oracle one and it's a mush box all of the sudden. Oh well, to each his own. thanks for that Zilch, it is very interesting. I was just up your way picking up those 220's and some Altec 15's. If you don't find a cabinet guy in the next month or two maybe I could stop by and do the hard part and show you how to finish the cabs? Let me know and we can figure it out.

10-12-2004, 03:52 PM
Since you have both the L220 and L222 why don't you post to the forum how many discs are on each passive radiator? I've long since forgotten.

Steve Gonzales
10-12-2004, 11:05 PM
there are two metal disc's on both the L222's amd L220's. I have a old PR15 from an Olympus and it has wood fiber disc's. If anyone needs the weight of the metal disc's i could weigh one and find out. I also have a JBL technial paper on the use and tuning an enclosure for the PR8, PR10 and 15. It preceeded the PR12 so no luck there.

10-13-2004, 05:33 AM
Hmmm, it appears someone changed your PR15C's at some point then. The L220 and L222 had different tunings.

The fiber discs for the PR15C are ~20 grams and the metal discs for the PR15C are ~100 grams. Two metal discs is quite a lot of mass...

Here's an old post - http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&postid=5463&highlight=pr15c#post5463

Earl K
03-18-2005, 08:09 AM
Hi Steve,

- I went looking for this thread because of some info I'm lacking.
- I still didn't find it .

- So,,,

Just what is the inside dimension ( front to back ) between the L94s' backside and the originals' back-panel ?


Steve Gonzales
03-18-2005, 09:43 AM
Hi Earl,

My 2395/375's are perched on top of my pairs so not much of a chance to quickly get that info but not to worry, I contacted member F350SD and asked him to get that distance for you, should be later today or tomorrow. I had him to measure from the back of the little baffle board to the inside edge of the fir strips that the backplate mounts to. Remember, the crossover components also take up some room there too, as those big caps are tall. Now that I think about it, it was you that suggested the Selenium horn, right?. Oh, now I understand...;)

BTW: when I sent the L220's to England, I left the crossover off and the H92 attached without the LE85. The H92 took every little bit of room, i.e., it is the distance that you are looking for except that the crossover was not taken into account so if you look at the picture in this thread of the H92, you can see that it would be the distance from the counterbore/flange, to the mounting flange for the driver.

03-18-2005, 10:07 AM
Hey Steve,
I read with interest this thread and the posts dealing with the damaged bases..I too have had this problem with my left L220 speaker. It happened over 20 years ago, in the apartment I was living in at the time the speaker was sitting just outside of a bar that separated the kitchen from the living room; what happened was the dishwasher leaked water under the bar and onto the carpet where the L220 was sitting. We all know what happens when particle board gets wet-it swells! Needless to say, I was not a happy camper! I think there may be too much swelling for a sanding/refinishing approach. What do you think? There is about 1/8" swelling in the right corner, a bit less in the left corner. And of course, you can see some swell cracks all along the top surface of the front piece, which I did my best to fill in with black coloring to make it less noticeable. There is a tiny bit of swelling on the side panels as well, but mainly the damage is confined to that front piece. I'd be happy if I could at least fix that piece. Over the years I have toyed with ideas on how to repair it. Do you think a cabinetmaker could make me a new piece to match the cabinet? By the way, that cabinet that you posted a photo of after refinishing looks SUPERB! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this..this is really the only major defect in my otherwise pristine pair of L220's (aside from perhpas a grille fabric replacement at some point).

Best regards,


Steve Gonzales
03-18-2005, 10:16 AM
I am very picky and if something drove me crazy, I'd fix it. that doesn't look bad at all for all the trouble you would go through. It is very difficult to get a dead-on match to an old, well maintained finish (tone-depth of color). Personally, I wouldn't mess with it unless it drove me crazy..

03-18-2005, 10:25 AM
I know what you mean, I've lived with it for 20 years..just every now and then I'll look at it it and say Hmmmm....but you're right, it would probably be a lot of trouble and may not be worth it.

By the way, I meant to ask you, have you ever seen any of those L220 grilles turn up that have the cutout for the lens? They used to be available, and I always thought they were pretty cool. I've yet to see one turn up on eBay, but that doesn't mean they never do.

Thanks for your quick replies!

Best regards,


Earl K
03-18-2005, 10:39 AM
Hi Steve

- Yes, I brought up the Selenium horn ( HL-14 ) suggestion previously - though it's not going to fit any better than a 2307/8 combo.

- Speaking of which, this morning I obtained an answer to a question that I had let plague me for too long a time.

- The question : Does the 2308 lens-plate provide any loading for the lower mid frequencies.

- The answer is yes it does. It does provide some lower frequency loading. The H94 should provide a tad more lower extension.

- Installing the lens and then remeasuring with pink noise, showed that 800hz "popped up" about 2.5 db ( while 630 hz also rose a bit ) . 800 hz ended up about 3 db down from 1000 hz.

- The point ? The shorter 2307/08 combo will work quite well for an 800 hz projected crossover point.

- A 2307 with a 2425/6 mounted to it needs @ 12" ( & a hair ) of depth to fit ( that's to front of horn flange but not including the remaining 3/4" of horn ) .

- I realize that even with this reduced depth - the crossover would still require relocation away from that backplate.


Steve Gonzales
03-18-2005, 12:35 PM
That grill was a special option that apparently didn't catch on very well because I've never seen even one pair in person, only in the literature. BTW: I've recovered my grills, L220's-Black L222's JBL like Blue, I like them a lot better than the original. If you want to have me do them for you, let me know. Maybe you have someone already, but I would be willing to do it right, as if they were mine. There is a thread called "updated look for L222 and L220 grills". Do a search and check it out. I've got to say it again, I'm loving this L220 pow-wow, I have the impression that it is not a highly regarded JBL model to most and that is not a slam to our fellow members, to each his own, for sure, but it is a rare occurrence that I find someone who appreciates these models like you do. Anything I can do to help, don't hesitate to ask-ever-. I would love to do your grills too. Best Regards, Steve G.

Steve Gonzales
03-18-2005, 12:49 PM
Earl, good work Sir!. Let me propose this..., I believe this 2307/2425 combo is an excellent idea!. Look, a person could do one of a couple of things. they could use the LE5-9 baffle as a template and make that piece out of 1/4" plywood, that would save a fraction, and then simply do the same thing to the back plate and use fir strips to surround the perimeter of the back plate and save an inch all together, BINGO! Or, they could just live with a 2" spacer and be done, a person with little skill could just fir- out the pack plate. Thank you so much for your time and effort, I really have enjoyed all your responses and always ask myself, regardless of the subject/thread, "I wonder what Earl thinks about this?"
Hey, didn't the L200B model use the LE85/H91/L91 , X'ed @ 800hz?. Thank you my Friend, Steve G.

Earl K
03-18-2005, 01:25 PM
Hey, didn't the L200B model use the LE85/H91/L91 , X'ed @ 800hz?. Thank you my Friend, Steve G.

Likely, I'd have to check. I believe the 4331/4333 is in the same camp , while the L300 went & used the longer horn. All with the same apparent crossover point. :blink:


Steve Gonzales
03-18-2005, 01:45 PM
I purchased the 2312/2420 set-up from my bud in New York, they are a MINT pair out of some 4333's so at least one model used them. They currently reside in my L220's. Hey Partner, we'll get this figured out! :D . Thank you, Steve G

03-18-2005, 04:50 PM
I had a feeling that grille option was pretty rare, because like you I had never seen one "in the flesh"-only in the literature. That's why I wondered whether you had ever seen one turn up. I did look at your thread on the L222 and L220 grilles-and the grille restorations (as well as the overall restorations) look great! I will keep your offer in mind, but as I am currently unemployed money is pretty tight for my audio projects. :( :( My grilles are in fairly good shape, considering their age. One thing I get is "separating" of the fabric threads at the top, as a consequence of handling (taking on and off) the grilles. I am assuming from your discussions that you have not found a suitable brown colored cloth. Black would be okay in my room, but then I would be inclined to redo my B460 grille to match. I have a pair of 4313B's in my Florida room system that have the JBL Blue. I also have a pair of 4401's in my office system that have the Blue grilles. In both cases, it's a very dark blue that is so dark you really think it's black unless it has bright daylight on it. I like your closeup photo of the blue grille-is the black fabric the same type of texture?
I love to pow-wow on the L220's too...I don't know why they wouldn't be one of the more respected models in JBL history-I think they are some of the best speakers ever made! I have heard so much hype on the L300 Summit-I have no doubt it is an excellent system..it would of course have to have great midrange and I have no doubt it was an excellent system overall. But what about some of the attributes that the L220 possesses that the L300 did not? For example, there is the tower design of the L220-which places that famous 076 tweeter at a nearly ideal listening height. Then there is the passive radiator-which not only extends the LE14's response, but contributes to the cabinet height as well. Then there is the shape of the cabinet with its non-parallel sides, which is a plus for eliminating standing waves. And the overall soundstage of the L220 is great due to its tower design, and the overall dispersion characteristics of the midrange lens and the 076 Ring radiator! In fairness, I have to say I am not in a position to really compare the L220 to the L300, since I have never actually heard the L300's. (I have heard the L200B's many years ago). But I do know I would not replace my L220's with L300's just on the cabinet/tweeter height issue alone. (I may now never be able to get that horn modification off my mind though...L220 imaging with L300 midrange!)
Finally, speaking of tall speakers, I would be curious as to your opinion of the L250 (later to be known as the 250ti) as compared to the L220. The L250 was introduced not long after I bought my L220's, and they did sound quite decent, though I really didn't listen at length. But they were certainly a unique looking speaker, and to this day I dream about them a bit..though I really only like the "wood" cabinet version. Definitely a "different" looking speaker.
In closing may I just say... Long live the L220!

Best regards,

Peter M.

P.S. I believe we do have JoAnne's fabric stores in this area, but I don't know how confident I would be to do the job myself..

Steve Gonzales
03-19-2005, 12:48 AM
Peter, My Brah-tha!!,

THAT'S what I'm talkin' bout!!!! Every strong point that you mentioned PLUS that L300 midrange! CORRECT you are Sir. Damn, I've finally found someone who COMPLETELY understands what I'm saying about the blending of the best of both. I will say that the 136a in the L300 is probably a stronger LF driver but I have said it before and I'll say it again: I don't feel like I'm missing much, if ANYTHING at ALL. With one pair playing, I can shake the room with clean, tight bass, with both pairs, I can shake THE HOUSE with clean powerful pressure waves of coherent low frequency output. All the attributes you mention are true, the trapizoidal enclosure, the placement of the midrange and tweeter. Dude, get your butt back to work and get yourself these horns!!!. What a killer low -end you must have with that B460 and the WONDERFUL woofer control that the Mac's deliver-WOW!. My bro has 2 SUMO B380 knock-offs and the delilah cross over and some L250's. Sweet mother of BASS!. The L250 has a different tonal character, it takes some real tweaking with it's unusual buss bar style crossover adjustments to get it right. But once you're there, oh man, are you there. In our quest for the right set up, we found that they are not a speaker that is a plug and play. They also need a lot of CLEAN power (250wpc-cont.,500wpc-dynamic.) from an amp with a high dampening factor to as I say "Come alive". He uses a Yamaha MX1000u and that seems to fulfill the L250's needs. He really doesn't even need the B380's, the LE14H-1's are friggin' KILLER LF transducers! I am the "poster child" for the "To each his own" camp and I'll say that while the L250's impress me, give me some L222/L220's ANY day!. I am also a relative newcomer to the compression horn school, but from the first time I really LISTENED to some, really LISTENED, it was, point,game, set, MATCH BABY, it was OVER!. Let me take a moment to say NO OFFENCE INTENDED, MEANT,INFERRED OR REMOTELY IMPLIED to ANYONE who likes, loves or otherwise, anything that is not exactly what I have. This post is an expression of my PERSONAL opinion and I in NO WAY mean it to express that all other speakers, drivers, models,colors or otherwise are not GREAT, COOL, GOOD, and EXCELLENT in their own right (unless their not a LANSING derived product, then they're :barf: . Okay Peter, as I was saying, the L250 is a capable speaker, in the hands of a patient, capable person(s). As for the grills, the blue fabric that you saw from JoAnn's was scrapped long ago for some honest to goodness purpose made grill cloth. It is a blue that although looks fairly good, isin't that JBL blue that I just LOVE. Something BIG is about to happen, it is about 99.7% a done deal to get the ACTUAL Monitor Blue JBL fabric that is from the very source JBL uses. About a couple of i's to dot and a couple of t's to cross and I'll have some for us all, spoke to the person Tuesday and am waiting for the swatch just to make sure. I don't know why, it's is the very same, identical cloth from the same people who make it but they offered and I accepted. Have you considered the light brown color that JBL calls "Camel"?. I could get you some of that fairly cheap. Member (Mr.) Earl K has been a great help in researching just what driver/horn can be used in place of the long H92's so that the spacer isin't an issue, so keep watching for updates concerning this info. He's really great about that, hell, all these guys here are really fantastic about freely sharing whatever they might know and have been my personal model in regards to doing all I can to share what
I've learned and helping, great group of people here on the LHS. Look at you, see what you've done?, I guess it's not hard to see that these L220's inspire me ;) . I can't stop thinking about the B460 now, I know that the SUB1500 is the "end-all" now but I've got to say, I really dig that big wonderful object and it puts out BASS and lots of it, great combination. I'll close now, until next time, Good sound to you, Steve G

03-19-2005, 05:02 AM
I can't stop thinking about the B460 now, I know that the SUB1500 is the "end-all" now but I've got to say, I really dig that big wonderful object and it puts out BASS and lots of it, great combination.The SUB1500 WAS the "end-all" :p JBL has moved on now. We kind of expect a transducer the caliber of the SUB1500 to be what it is and more. The cool thing is that 25 year old product like the B460 can sound so damn excellent.

As for the substitution of an LE14 in place of a 136, that was available in the golden age of the JBL Loudspeaker Component Series. I realize that the L220 network isn't optimized for the HL92/LE85 but if you like it who's to argue. Anyone is free to do the same thing JBL would have done and tweek a crossover component here or there if desired.

I'm waiting for someone to try the L220 with the L300 network, HL92/LE85 and 077.

I'm also waiting for someone to charge-couple some of these legacy networks and see what they think.

Steve Gonzales
03-19-2005, 10:19 AM
Giskard, you nailed it there Sir, I am going to get some L300's this summer from good friend and I will do just that!. He even left out the screw that is behind the tags so I don't have to worry about messin' them up. I just bought another pair of 076's and I will put them in the L300's likewise just to check it out; it ought to LOOK cool too, right? Never underestimate the value of good looks!:p

03-19-2005, 11:31 AM
Steve my friend!

This discussion is getting really fun...I could talk about the L220's all day and all night! I'll TRY to keep this discussion on that track, but we'll have to include the B460 in it too...! The L220 was such a good design I just can't say it enough. I do find the horn idea very intriguing, and as I said before, I have wondered about such a mod for a time. I've been trying to brainstorm along with you guys on the Horn length issue. It looks like the H91 horn is a bit shorter but not short enough. I'd like you to take a look at this eBay listing:


(Pardon me for not putting this in the marketplace area)

The seller has been kind enough to put a tape measure alongside the horn and driver. Looks like only a tad over 9-1/2" deep. I realize the 2441 is a
HF driver, but what about this horn? It seems that we need a horn about this short to do the job and still be able to (maybe) close up the back of the L220
with its network plate. Of course, I am sure the much shorter horn would impact the sound (image depth) to a degree, but should still yield a substantial improvement over the L220's stock LE5-9 midrange speaker, and still be able to close up the cabinet (hopefully). Of course the horn also needs to have a hole pattern compatible with the midrange drivers (hopefully the LE85). Take a look and tell me what you think!

Now on to L220/B460 talk. You are right, the low end from this combo is so good I just can't put it into print. Between the L220's LE14H, the passive radiator, and the B460's 2245H driver and 8 cubic foot enclosure, It's unbeatable! Of course, if the recording has a muddy bass line, you can't expect good tonal character (of course you will still have the impact!). But with a good recording with good low end tonal character, it's unbelievable! One of the first impressions you will have (and I still get every time I listen to a good recording) is you can't believe that a speaker can give you this kind of deep, clean output and be able to handle it so effortlessly! And the lower midrange is superb as well, since the B460 improves the L220's already good IM characteristics. (the LE14H and passive radiator's cone movements are minimal even at high volume, and yet the L220's do not end up sounding "thin" at all, as I had feared before I made the change). The sound is so full and deep, it's just great!

Next, as to the speaker/amplifier interface: you are correct, the McIntosh/JBL combination is tough to beat. Whether it is the Autoformer output, or the excellent circuit design or both, the MAC amps do a wonderful job controlling the speakers, and have a wonderfully warm, enthusiastic sound. I am also a longtime Mac fan...not surprisingly I guess, I grew up in the Binghamton, NY area (graduated from nearby Vestal High School in 1977, and moved to Florida in 1979). I toured the McIntosh plant in Binghamton in 2003, and again last year. (I still have family in the area). My MC300 amp (300 watts/channel) does a great job with the L220's, and my MC252 does a superb job driving the B460 in its 500 watt bridged mode. To tip my hand just a bit, my next major electronics upgrade would be to drive the L220's with a pair of the highly acclaimed MC501 Monoblock amps. I've designed a method to physically integrate the 501's into my equipment stacks, all I need is the money! And to REALLY put the icing on the cake, a 501 to drive the B460 would be great too..it wouldn't really offer a higher power advantage, but does have a higher damping rating than the 252. I almost opted for the 501 to drive the B460, but the 252 was slightly less money, and offered the flexibility to convert back to a stereo amp, perhaps one day moving it to one of my other systems. I realize that I would be exceeding the L220's maximum recommended amplifier rating just a bit, but as they say, more damage is done by underpowering a speaker, and I think the L220's would handle it just fine.

Now on to the LE14H vs. the LE14H-1 drivers: just what is the difference between the two, besides the LE14H-1 having a black cone? Would reconing an LE14H withan LE14H-1 cone kit do the same thing, or are the magnetic structures different? As I mentioned, I just reconed my LE14H drivers in 2002.

And finally, on to the grille cloths. I had not really considered the "Camel" color, and that is an interesting thought. But, the chocolate brown, or black would probably go better with my brown acoustic foam. As to the
rare L220 grilles with the cutout for the lens-it seems to me that it shouldn't be alll that difficult a task to convert the stock grille to one with a lens cutout by adding a center section to the grille with a cutout (precisely placed and sized, of course!) for the midrange lens. Then restreching a grille fabric over the assembly and "folding" the grille (with some slit reliefs) through the opening and securing it to the back. What do you think?

I'll say it again: In the 23 years I have owned my L220's, I have yet to see a system that so well addresses as many design criteria as the L220. Like you I will stress that there are many,many excellent systems out there, and there is absolutely no slight intended to any other audiophiles...this is just "IMHO". Every time I look at another speaker, I inevitably compare it to the L220. ("where is the lens? where is the passive radiator? what about the depth of image that the L220 gives by recessing the midrange and tweeter from the baffle? And so it goes....) Then there is the issue of finding a speaker that can produce the same kind of impact and soundstage, within practical limitations (not being too large!).

I eagerly look forward to your opinions on these topics Steve, and of course your very capable colleagues on the site!

Best regards to all,

Peter M. ;) ;) :)

03-19-2005, 12:23 PM
Now on to the LE14H vs. the LE14H-1 drivers: just what is the difference between the two, besides the LE14H-1 having a black cone? Would reconing an LE14H withan LE14H-1 cone kit do the same thing, or are the magnetic structures different?An LE14H with an LE14H-1 cone is an LE14H-1. The LE14H-1 has been changed to mimic the original LE14H response. Up to ~ 1 kHz the LE14H, LE14H-1, and LE14H-3 are basically interchangeable.

03-19-2005, 12:26 PM
Short horn was used with 2" exit 375 drivers in early S8 systems:


It MAY be possible to mate it with a 1" to 2" throat adapter to use with LE85 instead:


I'm not finding that part listed anywhere. Maybe somebody here knows what it is.

2441 is a 2" mid/HF driver what plays lower than LE85, actually.

I gotta go look this stuff up to be sure I'm not way off base here.

Off to the Heritage Libriary, then....

Note: I sent Techbot the Tech Note on L220 I bought for the forum. It clearly shows the influence of the lens in frequency response curves, with and without.

There may be other options for compression driver replacement of LE5 that might fit, as well. 2427 @ 8.25" plus that short horn gonna be shorter than the LE85 solution by about 1.5", looks like....

Steve Gonzales
03-19-2005, 01:17 PM
100% Heterosexual and happily married!!! Quote by you:
" But with a good recording with good low end tonal character, it's unbelievable! One of the first impressions you will have (and I still get every time I listen to a good recording) is you can't believe that a speaker can give you this kind of deep, clean output and be able to handle it so effortlessly!"

MIND READER? PSYCHIC? Where did you come from? I just posted a thread about what a GOOD RECORDING can do for for finding and evaluating your system strengths, i.e.: , if all you have is a pile of 3rd generation tapes and are throwing $$ at your rig because it doesn't sound right, it is a GENERALLY good idea to find reference material to get a baseline and just plain FUN to listen to it "running on all cylinders!". I got such a frustrating bunch responses taking the simple meaning off on completely ridiculous tangents, that I deleted it! :( . Damn Peter, you just say exactly what I've thought, professed and practiced all along, AMAZING!. I say this not just for the sake of me trying to be right, just to be right,no, it IS the way I feel and it is , again, so good to have a person that I can relate to completely. COOOOL. I want to speak about the horn swap for a minute; I want to say that first off, I own some 375's (same size as the 2441's) and have ventured to see if I could indeed install them in the L220's. You cannot do this without major modification to the divider between the top and bottom sections, as the driver diameter is such that it will not clear that divider. Second, of all the conical horns, the H92/2312 is IMHO, the best sounding of the bunch. It is VERY well suited for the 800HZ crossover point and smooth as hell. I'm afraid that if too many compromises are made to accommodate the combo within the stock dimentions, the whole, dramatic improvement will be lost. I actually run the 375/2395 slant plates directly off the L222 Disco crossovers. I had a lot of varied responses to this and all I can say is WOW!, These old drivers are, to me, AMAZING. they can idle along at low volume or make you want to back up with their output capability. Some of my reference recordings from Acoustic Alchemy and others are a STUNNING display of the absolute GENIUS of the founding Fathers of JBL- they're FIFTY YEARS OLD!!!!!!! Damn, those men are/were visionaries. Project May is the ultimate expression of what being GRATEFUL is and HONORING them is as well, what a CLASS ACT!!!. I hope you check it out. Now, the B460 , what can I say, it's my personal favorite. Always has been. I just like looking at it, so beautiful. The 2245H, what a fantastic transducer!. The enclosure has the CLASSIC JBL look and quality. The performance with your L220's MUST be nothing short of AMAZING!. I will try to find some suitable grill cloth. I will make you this offer Peter, you pay for the cloth and postage and I'll recover them GRATIS, just to see them in that gorgeous listening area you've so thoughtfully created for yourself, what do you think?, NO SWEAT! ;) . oh, as far as using a compression driver that is like a 2441 or others (for a midrange) is not a problem at all,in fact, they are used commonly for this in everything from the Paragon to big 43xx Studio Monitors. Now for another coincidence; my best Friend on the planet and fellow JBL nut is Mr. David Brink from Binghamton, N.Y.!. He is probably the very reason I've come to love the compression driver. He has consulted with me and is just a good person-period. Might you know him?. Well Peter, it's been a continuing pleasure to chat with you Sir, let me know when you want those grills done and I'll take it from there, Best Regards, Steve G

thank you Zilch!!!!

Earl K
03-19-2005, 01:56 PM
Zilch, et al,

- Criteria for just the horn length supporting 800hz is @ 8.5" .
- Mouth area is another factor that must be accounted for. ( at the moment I forget that formula )

The 2311 ( short horn seen with that 2441 driver ) when mated to a 2427 driver = either a 2425/6 with the 2307 on it . Same length of horn & throat .

- The 1" to 2" adapter is the 2327.
When it is mated to the 2311 - this combo once again, is just another ad hoc 2307 .

- A lonely 2311 on a 2441 really doesn't "like" 800 hz. Even factoring in the length of the throat inside the 2441 & adding it to the 2311 / one comes up a tad short for the criteria of a 1/2 wave support . I guess I should pink noise a combo horn/lens, to take a look . Of course the big drivers 'diaphragm has an area that is at least 4 times that of the smaller format driver. That of course means a 2441 in a home HiFi setting can literally do what it wants at 800hz. Hell , it can go direct radiator if it likes at typical home levels

(i) The 2307 on it's own is @ 9." ( without drivers throat depth added )
(ii) The 2311 on a 2441 is @ 7.25"

- Again , the L94 will add a spot of loading to whatever is behind it .

- Personally, I'd try to fit in an old Altec 288C/B/A ( older magnet type ) with a new 8 ohm diaphragm. A 2311 with a 2330 adapter ( or Selenium equivalent ) coupled to the 288s throat depth will load and definately sound nice. Not sure yet about the fit. Sometimes these older 288(s) get neglected in the eBay madness . These old models would, of course, need rehabbing at Great Plains , .


03-19-2005, 02:20 PM
So, 2330 is a 1" to 2" adapter, then? Looks kinda short in the pics, and there's no taper like 2327.

[I was guessin' from the bolt patterns. :p ]

2311 (H93?) was used in S8(R), and 2307 (H91?) in S7(R) down to 500 Hz. No wonder they sounded awful....

Earl K
03-19-2005, 03:06 PM
So, 2330 is a 1" to 2" adapter, then?

- No, Zilch, the 2330 is an extremely scarce 1.4" to 2" adapter.

- It is(was) useful to get an Altec 288 driver onto a 2" entry JBL horn .

- The 2330s' hole pattern on the Altec side is only useful for the Altec specific bolt pattern, ie, it's mostly useless for any of the newer europeon 1.4/5" exit drivers or even JBLs' newer 1.5" exit drivers. So that makes the 2330 an oddball / anachorism. Still it's nice to know that Selenium, in their own way, support the rapproachment between the two Lansings. ;)


Steve Gonzales
03-19-2005, 03:32 PM
The distance from the back of the 5-9's baffle to the inside edge of the back plat's fir strips is 10.5". the thickness of the 5-9's baffle board is 5/8" and the backplate is 3/4" thick. If one was to duplicate these two pieces in 1/4" material, that would be 11 and 3/8" of space. As I look at the crossovers, it appears that they stand off the inside into the cab about a good 1.5 inches. So, if one was to fir-out the backplate just an inch and a half, you would keep that 11-3/8" to play with. sounds like a good compromise, right?. I also just remembered seeing some SUPER RARE "offset" 2" H93 looking horns. that offset might be enough to get the Large Format drivers to work without any other mods to the cabs. Does anyone know what these offset horns are called?. They are a slight "S" curved thing. Thank you all for your continued help and suggestions, Steve G

03-19-2005, 03:35 PM
Steve, Peter,

This thread has been great reading for me, as I am also a proud owner of the L-220ís. Purchased mine in 1980 to replace my L-100ís and have been enjoying them ever since. I had the LE14aís reconed about 6 years ago also had the passive radiators refoamed at that time. My set is in almost mint condition; the midrange control on one of them has a dead spot and needs replacement. The dead spot is up around the 8 position, much higher than I ever run them so itís not an urgent problem.

Peter you setup is awesome, especially with the B460 sub woofer. Also like you listening room, looks great. I see you are using Mcintosh amps, great choice in my opinion. Iím using a MC2300 that I purchased about the time I bought the L220ís. Presently Iím looking for a MC2600 or MC602. Question, what brand of reel to reel is that, Iím guessing a Crown or Otari.

Steve, enjoy seeing you restoration work on the L220ís. Thank God someone is keeping these classics alive. Enjoyed your ďwall of soundĒ picture with the three sets lined up, I canít imagine what they would sound like if you had all three sets wired up to amps playing at the same time.

Iím also interested in your midrange upgrade using the compression driver, seems to me that the midrange driver on the L220 is the week link. At higher volume levels the midrange seems to strain just a bit. The L220 has great imaging, somewhat do I guess to the time alignment of the drivers. Iím wondering if the imaging suffers using the compression driver upgrade. Obviously the upgrade moves the position of the driver further back in the cabinet.

Thank you both for all the great info and enjoyable reading.



Steve Gonzales
03-19-2005, 04:05 PM

Welcome to the LHS!. Isin't Peter's whole room just flat AWESOME? Yes, the L220/222's are time aligned and that is changed by the addition of the horn but, not to sound like a broken record:p : it just WORKS GOOD. Once you've heard the difference, you will loose your hair wondering WHY they didn't just do that to begin with?!. I hooked all the L220/222's up while they were lined up and @##$^%^^&&*!!!. I could tell at ONCE that my windows NEED some new glazing. Beautiful, clean waves of sound, quite heavenly if I must say so myself. I really want to try some Mac's now. So many things to try, so little time. I run my pairs with vintage class A Yamaha M80's, 52lbs, 250wpc and almost 3db of dynamic headroom. They're well suited with the JBL's. Welcome to the L220/L222 "club". There are so many groups of fans of other models that we gotta stick together;) . thanks for sharing and I would love some pictures, Steve G

03-19-2005, 04:37 PM
Hello to all who are now involved in this discussion!

This has really turned into a great discussion. There are some really good points and counterpoints made here. I'm getting a bit lost in the horn discussion, (I'll have to go back and re-read it a few times) so I'll just jump in again here somewhere: Let's discuss the concept first, without getting into all of the mounting, crossover and loading issues. Steve made a point and what I see as a possible counterpoint was made by Heath. Steve's concern is that by changing his mod too much (shortening the horn throat) then the dramatic effect of the mod could be diminished. Heath made the comment "I'm wondering if the imaging suffers using the compression driver upgrade. Obviously the upgrade moves the position of the driver further back in the cabinet." Indeed, the old literature by JBL states that the "Drivers are in precise vertical alignment. They are in precise acoustical alignment too". We all wonder here at some point or another as to why they used a speaker instead of a horn loaded compression driver.

I was about to ask Steve what he has to say about this, but while I was typing this I refreshed the thread on my laptop and I see his response that just came in!! I had a feeling this is what you were going to say Steve!

So, I will move on just briefly to the horn/driver mounting. Zilch said the short horn I asked about was used with the 375 driver. Isn't the LE85 smaller than the 375? Would the LE85 fit this short horn? Maybe I'll just sit on the sidelines and read while you guys hash out this horn thing....

I'll try to answer some questions that were asked here of me..Steve, I don't believe I know Mr. Brink. I will definitely consider your offer on the grilles...it would be tough to live without them for a time though!! (I do confess however that I have them off most of the time...I really only have them on the speakers when I'm at work or sleeping at night). You didn't tell me what you thought of my idea for converting the grille frames into grilles with lens cutouts?

Back to you Heath...You are looking for some big McIntosh Amps! The MC2600 and the MC602's are MONSTERS! Of course there is always the MC1201's!! (hahahaha!) I really like my MC252 bridged and driving the B460.
And, with the latest generation Mac Amps, you need not worry about changing lamps anymore, with the new fiber optic lighting. That is presently only used in the MC252, the MC402, and the MC501 monoblock amps. I believe it is also in their latest home theater amp as well. To answer your question on my Reel to Reel, it is a Crown Model SX724. I also purchased my L220's as an upgrade from the L100's! Like you, my L220's have some scratchy/dead areas in the pots. Not a serious issue though.

Well, I will close for the moment and head off for dinner, I will be watching this and the other related threads...and I'll be jumping in from time to time! Many thanks again for the nice complements on my system...at some point I'll post some photos of my smaller systems.

Best regards to all and happy listening!

Peter M. :) :)

Earl K
03-19-2005, 05:04 PM

- The Altec 288 (a-d) with the Selenium adapter attached to a JBL 2311 horn needs 10.75" for clearance. Again, any of these drivers should get new 16 or 8 ohm diaphragms from Great Plains . Oh , an older 288 is 6.5" diameter .

- Be aware that the 2311 has another 3/4" of horn mouth that keeps protruding after the mounting flange is seated . ( That 5/8" front plate is a little bit shy so really all these 2307, 2312, 2311 horns don't really fit snug when you exclude the "noodle gasket".

- Steve , the larger "bent plate" lense that you are referring to is the 2390 (2309/2310 combo in JBL Pro talk ). Right now I forget the Consumer # ( - HL89 ??? ) .


Steve Gonzales
03-19-2005, 05:12 PM
I am familiar with the 2309/2310 combo, like the hartsfield set-up. The bent horn I described was on ebay some time back and it is/looks like a bent, slightly longer 2311. It was made with the potato masher lens, not the HL88 but the smaller version like the C56 Dorian uses. A short, "S" curved horn listed as "rare" and I see why now if it doesn't ring a bell to someone with your product knowledge. Maybe, Don Mc Ritchie knows what it is, Giskard ?.

BTW, I wanted to try an Altec 802-8G too.

I don't know if you caught this reply, seems with some doing, you could achieve at least 11" of free space
The distance from the back of the 5-9's baffle to the inside edge of the back plat's fir strips is 10.5". the thickness of the 5-9's baffle board is 5/8" and the backplate is 3/4" thick. If one was to duplicate these two pieces in 1/4" material, that would be 11 and 3/8" of space. As I look at the crossovers, it appears that they stand off the inside into the cab about a good 1.5 inches. So, if one was to fir-out the backplate just an inch and a half, you would keep that 11-3/8" to play with. sounds like a good compromise, right?. I also just remembered seeing some SUPER RARE "offset" 2" H93 looking horns. that offset might be enough to get the Large Format drivers to work without any other mods to the cabs. Does anyone know what these offset horns are called?. They are a slight "S" curved thing. Thank you all for your continued help and suggestions, Steve G

03-19-2005, 05:27 PM
"JBL 1237-1290 Circular cast aluminum exponential horn and lens. Similar to 1217-1290 but for use with the 375 driver where space does not permit use of larger horn-lens assembles. 90į high-frequency dispersion in circular symmetry. 5-1/4" dia., 6-1/4" depth."

Potato masher lens, 9/1/68 catalog.

Earl K
03-19-2005, 05:28 PM
Oh yeh, now I know what you're talking about . The 2", "small" potato masher that has a bit of a dog-leg in it.

Yeh , that's super-rare. Don't know the number . :blink:

Edit : Zilch has got it :applaud:

12-07-2008, 06:49 AM
I can't see any picture on page 1 of this thread ?

Did they were removed ?


Earl K
12-07-2008, 07:05 AM
I can't see any picture on page 1 of this thread ?

Did they were removed ?

- Yes, the pictures are all gone ( as are all of Steves' pics within other threads ) .

- Once he was banned from the site , it appears he deleted all his attachments .

- This was possible because at the time, the original poster maintained "ownership" of all their attachments ( I think this was subsequently changed after Steves' departure ) .

<> cheers

12-07-2008, 07:54 AM
So , No way to get those pics ?


Mr. Widget
12-07-2008, 09:50 AM
- Once he was banned from the site , it appears he deleted all his attachments

- This was possible because at the time, the original poster maintained "ownership" of all their attachments ( I think this was subsequently changed after Steves' departure ) .I guess so... I don't remember.

So , No way to get those pics ?

GerardNope... that was before forum member John Nebel graciously agreed to host the site so we have no way of getting the lost images. Actually back then, Don used to back up the site on his own computer, so he may have them stored somewhere, but that was so long ago I doubt he has kept the files.

Steve may still have them... if you do a thorough search on the web for rude remarks about this site and forum you'll likely find Steve.


Titanium Dome
12-07-2008, 11:19 AM
Steve may still have them... if you do a thorough search on the web for rude remarks about this site and forum you'll likely find Steve.


That could describe a lot of people, including current members. :argue::duel:

En tous cas, gerard, regardez ceci:


12-07-2008, 11:41 AM

Merci encore :)