View Full Version : JBL L100t3 Veneer question

01-01-2014, 03:48 PM
Playing a bit with a pair of L100t3 that I was gifted by a friend.

They are in mint condition, one owner (before me) that I know on a business associate level, so they have never been abused or in a smoker's home. They were in his living room for years and when the foams rotted he moved the speakers to a spare bedroom closet and there they sat until he gave them to me. I offered to re-foam and return but his wife declined!

The finish is immaculate but I have been wondering about the wood veneer type. It looks like a rosewood-stained (so mostly quite dark'ish but with a slight reddish hint to it) quartercut zebrawood. Now, I am no wood expert but the grain on the wood is the very narrow and vertical pattern that seems common to zebrawood. I have inserted some photos below. Whilst the photos with the flash accentuate every imperfection and give the impression that the wood looks poorly, such is not the case...but the photo certainly makes the wood look scuffed and dry so probably a rub-down with a restorative product would really make the wood pop. I am still thinking a real wood but perhaps an engineered or manufactured product??

Does anyone happen to know what the wood finish options were for the L100t3? This forum shows only Oak or Walnut. the fellow who gave them to me could/would have spent a pretty penny no doubt so if there were any exotic veneer options that would have been his choice. But perhaps other (cheaper) quartercut woods were used...??? I have had it suggested that maybe some other L-series speakers came in Black Ash, but somehow this does not look like ash to me.

01-01-2014, 05:46 PM
The speakers I have from that series are the Walnut and a pair of Oaks. Don't look anything like your pair. That sure does look like Zebra wood. My Array center has a Zebra wood finish and it's very similar.


01-01-2014, 06:28 PM
I agree, but it looks so uniform that I can't help but wonder if it was an engineered product....that said, I am not sure they had engineered veneers then (about '87 or '88) but the product looks good, not at all phony....but I just keep hoping someone who knows will chime in.

thanks for your input.

01-01-2014, 07:44 PM
There's another recent thread that goes through this... Seemed a switchover to engineered veneer may well have started with the Lxxx-t3 series.

01-02-2014, 03:58 AM
I recall previous discussions about this veneer before. The L100T3 came in a darker finish than the L100T and it was an engineered veneer. Some referred to it as "spaghetti wood", but I'm sure that's not what JBL called it. If I recall correctly, some others discussed these as being susceptible to "bikini tan" because the dark finish faded considerably if exposed to UV, while the area behind the grill remained dark.

I'd try searching on "L100T3" or "spaghetti".

01-02-2014, 04:07 AM
Here's a thread I did a couple years ago on refinishing a pair of L100Ts (not T3s). They do have a different finish, but a lot of members gave some really good advice on the process that is generic and might be helpful.

Let us know how the project goes. The T3 is a wonderful speaker.



01-02-2014, 04:09 AM
Sorry, one more chime in just for the record. The L100S is the same as the L100T3, but with a vinyl veneer box. These were sold (as far as I know) only through PX to military families. My Dad has a pristine pair.

Just added that in case anyone sees a pair for sale and is hesitant.

01-02-2014, 10:21 AM
Starting with the T3 series, JBL used a reconstituted wood veneer. It is real wood, chopped up and repressed into a consistent pattern. I don't remember any other JBL speakers of that vintage that used it, curiously, and the next generation L1, L3 etc had the pressed wood veneer look.

JBL literature lists the speakers as being available in "Oak" and "Walnut" only, which is a bit of a misnomer as they are neither wood, and the "Walnut" looks more like a typical Rosewood or Cherry stain. Black models do show up occasionally, though I don't think I've ever seen a pair of L100T3's in black. Yours are pretty rare.

As Grumpy mentioned, these are very susceptible to bikini tan, where the front panel fades much faster in the area that is not covered by the grill, so that when you pull off the grill, you quickly see how much they've faded - keep them out of direct sunlight or you will bear the consequences.

Enjoy them - they rock!

01-02-2014, 11:36 AM

So this is engineered wood??


01-03-2014, 03:15 AM
Well....that looks like real walnut grain with the T3 "rosewood" stain. Weird....And, it looks very different from the reconstituted veneer in the top pictures.

01-03-2014, 08:12 AM
Strange?? Maybe they changed at the end of the run?? Even the Oaks I have look like the real thing with none of that tight close uniform grain in the other pictures.


01-03-2014, 08:42 AM
Strange?? Maybe they changed at the end of the run?? Even the Oaks I have look like the real thing with none of that tight close uniform grain in the other pictures.


I think its an east coast/West coast thing ... we got the real wood veneer,
they got pressed'n'processed bamboo :banana: