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audiomaniac
07-27-2013, 11:30 PM
Hello All,

I happened upon a nice pair of L166 speakers today on Craigslist and I'm trying to find out what I can about them. I'm a former owner of L88 Nova speakers and my buddy has a pair of L100s. Anyway, these were from the original owner who was moving. I was wondering what are the drivers and will I need to refoam them? Do they have alnico magnets? Would the crossovers need to be redone? How are they generally rated among the classic JBLs? Unfortunately, I'm without an amp at the moment but the seller played them for me and they sounded pretty good. The drivers look perfect, as are the grills (no broken pegs). I'm embarrassed to say what I paid for them. Thanks in advance!

Here they are:

BMWCCA
07-28-2013, 08:08 AM
I'm embarrassed to say what I paid for them.

Nothing to be embarrassed about, we all know they were advertised at $100 on Craig's List . . .

audiomaniac
07-28-2013, 10:09 AM
Nothing to be embarrassed about, we all know they were advertised at $100 on Craig's List . . .

I prefer to think of it as $50 each........

4343
07-28-2013, 12:09 PM
... Anyway, these were from the original owner who was moving. I was wondering what are the drivers and will I need to refoam them? Do they have alnico magnets? Would the crossovers need to be redone? How are they generally rated among the classic JBLs? Unfortunately, I'm without an amp at the moment but the seller played them for me and they sounded pretty good. The drivers look perfect, as are the grills (no broken pegs). I'm embarrassed to say what I paid for them. Thanks in advance!

Here they are:

Whatever you paid, I paid less as I got mine from the original owner who was losing his hearing:crying: and gave them to me. So, no worries about the price... (Mine are a LOT more beat up than yours, except of course behind that tank of a grill, where they look the same.)

Woofers are either 122A (Alnico) or is the model plate has an "A" stamped into it, 128H. Both will need foam eventually. You can tell if it's good just by touching it, if it survives you keep going, if not you re-foam.

Mid is an LE5-XX, should not need any foam.

Tweeter is the 066. Keep the grills on and you won't need to have to cry over dimples!

Crossover in mine is fine, did not need any work at all. Some like to replace old electrolytic caps with new ones, there is a lot of debate over replacing them with film types for more $$, or just putting the same type back in. I just measured all of them and left them alone as it weren't broke.

The one thing to keep in mind is that the label has the name Horizon on it for a reason. Horizontal positioning will result in a cleaner sound, due to the positioning of the mid and tweet. Playing them the way you have them in your pics results in a very uneven horizontal dispersion pattern, but a very even vertical pattern. I keep mine on their sides for just that reason. You _can_ find a position that sounds good with them standing, but you will not have the same sound as you move around them.

Mr. Widget
07-28-2013, 12:17 PM
I prefer to think of it as $50 each........
That's a good price for the tweeters... he just threw in a few extra items to sweeten the deal!

Congratulations! Find a nice clean vintage Kenwood, Sansui, Marantz, Pioneer, etc. integrated amp or receiver and you are good to go. You can still find examples from the '70s that are functioning well and are real bargains... if you go this route servicing may be required, if you go for newer gear, a lot of it doesn't sound as good as discrete components were replaced by chips and adding remote control capability was often done at the expense of sonics.


Widget

audiomaniac
07-28-2013, 12:29 PM
Whatever you paid, I paid less as I got mine from the original owner who was losing his hearing:crying: and gave them to me. So, no worries about the price... (Mine are a LOT more beat up than yours, except of course behind that tank of a grill, where they look the same.)

Woofers are either 122A (Alnico) or is the model plate has an "A" stamped into it, 128H. Both will need foam eventually. You can tell if it's good just by touching it, if it survives you keep going, if not you re-foam.

Mid is an LE5-XX, should not need any foam.

Tweeter is the 066. Keep the grills on and you won't need to have to cry over dimples!

Crossover in mine is fine, did not need any work at all. Some like to replace old electrolytic caps with new ones, there is a lot of debate over replacing them with film types for more $$, or just putting the same type back in. I just measured all of them and left them alone as it weren't broke.

The one thing to keep in mind is that the label has the name Horizon on it for a reason. Horizontal positioning will result in a cleaner sound, due to the positioning of the mid and tweet. Playing them the way you have them in your pics results in a very uneven horizontal dispersion pattern, but a very even vertical pattern. I keep mine on their sides for just that reason. You _can_ find a position that sounds good with them standing, but you will not have the same sound as you move around them.

Hi and thanks for the info. It is interesting in how you describe positioning the speakers. Since I don't have any "bookshelves" that could accommodate these monsters, I am wondering what I could use for stands...do you have them up off the floor? Also, do you position yours woofer to woofer (inverting the tweeter) or position them the same way? I've usually always seen them standing up.

audiomaniac
07-28-2013, 12:33 PM
That's a good price for the tweeters... he just threw in a few extra items to sweeten the deal!

Congratulations! Find a nice clean vintage Kenwood, Sansui, Marantz, Pioneer, etc. integrated amp or receiver and you are good to go. You can still find examples from the '70s that are functioning well and are real bargains... if you go this route servicing may be required, if you go for newer gear, a lot of it doesn't sound as good as discrete components were replaced by chips and adding remote control capability was often done at the expense of sonics.


Widget

Thanks! That is exactly the plan. :D

Greg86z28
07-28-2013, 04:19 PM
You get them from a guy named Sonny, darker skinned maybe Indian in ethnicity? Nice guy, he comes to our local audio meets.

Speakers look good, congrats!

audiomaniac
07-28-2013, 07:47 PM
You get them from a guy named Sonny, darker skinned maybe Indian in ethnicity? Nice guy, he comes to our local audio meets.

Speakers look good, congrats!

Thanks, but no that's not the guy. Sonny must still have his.

Krunchy
07-28-2013, 09:23 PM
Those puppies look Mint. Give the vintage gear suggested a try & go from there (I play mine through an old beat up Pioneer & they sound great) , re-foam them if the surrounds seem a little parched & you're in business. Personally I liked them better than the 100s but thats just me. :D
The one thing to keep in mind is that the label has the name Horizon on it for a reason. Horizontal positioning will result in a cleaner sound, due to the positioning of the mid and tweet. Playing them the way you have them in your pics results in a very uneven horizontal dispersion pattern, but a very even vertical pattern. I keep mine on their sides for just that reason. You _can_ find a position that sounds good with them standing, but you will not have the same sound as you move around them. Im Intrigued! Cant wait to give that a try.

audiomaniac
07-28-2013, 09:35 PM
Those puppies look Mint. Give the vintage gear suggested a try & go from there (I play mine through an old beat up Pioneer & they sound great) , re-foam them if the surrounds seem a little parched & you're in business. Personally I liked them better than the 100s but thats just me. :D Im Intrigued! Cant wait to give that a try.

And the guy just threw the boxes out last year....:banghead:

Krunchy
07-28-2013, 09:55 PM
NICE!!! :D Mine came with one box :dont-know: YOu're in for some fine listening, they'e the Bomb :)

SEAWOLF97
07-29-2013, 01:25 PM
The one thing to keep in mind is that the label has the name Horizon on it for a reason. Horizontal positioning will result in a cleaner sound, due to the positioning of the mid and tweet. Playing them the way you have them in your pics results in a very uneven horizontal dispersion pattern, but a very even vertical pattern. I keep mine on their sides for just that reason. You _can_ find a position that sounds good with them standing, but you will not have the same sound as you move around them.

I don't really agree with the above , having owned 3 pairs of L166's. Maybe you are thinking of 4412's ?

Horizon was just a name and only used on the original version, dropped on later ones just as Century or Summit or Jubal was. I tried them in many configs and they are just fine in a vertical orientation. Did find them best on stands of about 6 inches.

OBTW: the grilles are an ABS type material. I found JBL's name for it in an old brochure, but forgot their propitiatory name .

audiomaniac
07-29-2013, 06:57 PM
I don't really agree with the above , having owned 3 pairs of L166's. Maybe you are thinking of 4412's ?

Horizon was just a name and only used on the original version, dropped on later ones just as Century or Summit or Jubal was. I tried them in many configs and they are just fine in a vertical orientation. Did find them best on stands of about 6 inches.

OBTW: the grilles are an ABS type material. I found JBL's name for it in an old brochure, but forgot their propitiatory name .

They call it APP but don't say what it stands for.

4343
07-29-2013, 08:52 PM
I don't really agree with the above , having owned 3 pairs of L166's. Maybe you are thinking of 4412's ?
... .

4412 is exactly the same layout with the addition of the mirror image pairs vs. the 166 all the same "side" of the pair.

YMMV, but for me all it took was one listen to my L166's with them in the vertical position to determine that something was off. If you look at the 4412 spec sheet, (http://www.jblpro.com/pub/obsolete/4412.pdf) you can see the graph titled "Beamwidth (-6dB) vs. Frequency". This shows a drastic narrowing of the beamwidth at 5KHz, from well over 100 degrees @ 2KHz, down to 25 degrees @ 5KHz, then back up to over 100 degrees @ 7KHz.
As long as you stay within the 25 degree _vertical_ beamwidth the 4412 will give you an even distribution the critical upper mids, with over 200 degrees in the _horizontal_..

This graph is a good approximation of the L166 beamwidth, you just have to swap the Horizontal and Vertical labels to see what happens with a mid and tweet sitting besides each other. So as long as you stay within the 25 degree _horizontal_ beamwidth, it is smooth, but outside of those angles it will have a huge suck-out at somewhere near 5KHz. (I say somewhere as there are no graphs like the above for the L166, so I don't have hard numbers, just the audible drop-off in the upper mids around 25 degrees in the _horizontal_.)

SEAWOLF97
07-29-2013, 11:09 PM
4412 is exactly the same layout with the addition of the mirror image pairs vs. the 166 all the same "side" of the pair.

I had 4412's ..they were better horizontal , but driver layout doesn't necessarily qualify if they are different drivers.

"Horizon" means horizontal placement ? kind of a stretch .. :o:

Please link to something from JBL that confirms your supposition.