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View Full Version : JBL S3100 MKII vs JBL L300



otenmsa
02-27-2014, 06:30 AM
Hello, I have the opportunity to choose between these 2 speakers for my main set, which one should I choose?

In what areas are one better than the other?

I listen to classic rock mostly.

To be used with a McIntosh C2300 pre and MC402 amp.

bill8888
02-27-2014, 10:50 AM
You should get the L300. The S3100 may be the better sounding speaker...I don't know because I've never heard one. But 20 years from now the L300 will remain a JBL icon, while the S3100 will be a forgotten footnote in JBL history.

My home audio formula: L300 + 200 watts = 90% of As Good As It Gets

You can spend thousands more $$$ to achieve 91% of AGAIG

Bobecca
02-27-2014, 11:07 AM
I would defenetly go for the S3100. Not that there is something wrong with L300 but the other one is a big horn speaker:)

If it is a icon you need then buy both of them;)

I myself run my C2300 with MC252 and sometime change to two MC275 in mono to power my cinema screen arrays. Subs powered by Crowns MAi:applaud:

otenmsa
02-27-2014, 11:16 AM
Here is a picture of the L300. It looks in good shape, but I noticed the dust cap seem bigger than stock? Would this impact in sound?

https://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/778x1044q90/20/i0xm.jpg

SEAWOLF97
02-27-2014, 11:45 AM
Having never heard either, I would offer...

the L300 will hold value better over the long run
L300 will require more maintenance , just because of age

you state that you listen to classic rock

I've always felt that "gear of an era" (plus music) sound best together.

If you'd stated "new. digital , high rez " music ..maybe the S3100 :dont-know:

tom1040
02-27-2014, 12:02 PM
I had the little brother, S2600 (of the S3100 model-not Mk. II), with the McIntosh MC402. It rocked the house and I loved it. Personally, I would get the S3100 in a heartbeat as I would take sound over LT value in this case.

audiomagnate
02-27-2014, 05:00 PM
Buy the L300s. If you don't like then they are easy to sell, that other model will be hard to sell. L300s and a swarm of killer subs equals audio pure nirvana IMO.

bill8888
02-27-2014, 09:46 PM
On any given day there's probably 1,000 people on this planet looking to buy a good set of L300s. I doubt if there's 10 people going out of their way to look for s3100s. There's nothing wrong with the S3100, but I can't see it on top of anyone's list of "must have". Anyone passing on the L300 to buy S3100 must already own 4343s or 4350s.

ivica
02-28-2014, 01:30 AM
Here is a picture of the L300. It looks in good shape, but I noticed the dust cap seem bigger than stock? Would this impact in sound?


Hi,
I can say that ("for sure") that the dust cap is not original, and may be the suspension either, so it is expectable that the sound character of 2231A driver has not been preserved.
My experience with 2231A driver, even re-coned with C8R2235 (JBL original recone kit) would change the sound character, but on the other side, if only the dust cap has been changed, I would expect that 2231A would remain its sound character.
If it is possible to separately measure EACH of the drivers, do that before buying.

regards
Ivica

Jan Daugaard
02-28-2014, 02:24 AM
I bought a pair of S3100 in 2000 and was so pleased with them that I bought one more pair in 2004. I'm as happy with this 4.0 surround sound system today as I was 10 years ago.

otenmsa
03-10-2014, 07:34 PM
Hi,
I can say that ("for sure") that the dust cap is not original, and may be the suspension either, so it is expectable that the sound character of 2231A driver has not been preserved.
My experience with 2231A driver, even re-coned with C8R2235 (JBL original recone kit) would change the sound character, but on the other side, if only the dust cap has been changed, I would expect that 2231A would remain its sound character.
If it is possible to separately measure EACH of the drivers, do that before buying.

regards
Ivica

Couldn't it have been reconed with the 2235H recone kit? I've read that the 2231A recone kit is not sold anymore. The new 2235H recone kit seem to have a larger dust cap.

HCSGuy
03-10-2014, 10:30 PM
This is what a 2235 looks like - this is a NOS C8R2235 I have had sitting around from the last of the U.S. made batches that I finally got around to putting in. Notice the VC leads sticking out under the dustcap. The L300 in your picture probably had the dustcap knocked in and replaced by someone who didn't have the right size. I have also seen a few techs who don't use the 40hz sine wave to center the cone when re-foaming woofers, and instead cut out the dustcap, insert a shim, glue down the foam, then install a new dustcap. Since these L300's would have to have been re-foamed, probably twice since new, this could be the reason. You would have to pull the woofer and check the back of the cone to see what cone is actually installed. If the cone is correct, you then have to decide if you can live with the big dustcap, which does affect value a little.

61626

I do not have L300's, but I do have S3100's, 4343's, and 4430's. Of the three, the 4343's would sell first - I love the look, but they just don't image like the others. I love the S3100's sound, but the cheap vinyl wrap enclosure is a turn off - they just look cheap. However, I've got some TAD drivers coming to play with on the top end of the S3100's and the 4430's - I am hoping this is the missing ingredient to make me fall in love with them again. The S3100's image much more like a high end home speaker, and they have lasted in my living room longer than any of the other vintage stuff.

audiomagnate
03-13-2014, 05:19 AM
Having never heard either, I would offer...

the L300 will hold value better over the long run
L300 will require more maintenance , just because of age...

The L300s need to have their woofers refoamed every twenty or thirty years and that's about it. The tweeter L-Pads had seen better days in mine so I replaced them as well, but the other drivers and the crossovers are amazingly well made and hold up fine and should last longer than any of us. I would have to call that a very low maintenance speaker. If you ever do need to do anything, their modular construction and top notch build quality makes them an absolute joy to work on.

JuniorJBL
03-22-2014, 08:34 AM
I have heard both side by side and it was the S3100 that sounded best to me. More accurate HF response IMO. Both had good LF.

martin_wu99
03-23-2014, 10:02 AM
Hello, I have the opportunity to choose between these 2 speakers for my main set, which one should I choose?

In what areas are one better than the other?

I listen to classic rock mostly.

To be used with a McIntosh C2300 pre and MC402 amp.
In one word:
L300 is more classic,S3100MKII has better sound image and is more modern.
There is another option,4430 is just between them.
I don't under why not JBL add UHF on S3100MKII and 4430 but the oldest L300 has UHF on it?:blink:

Tweak48
03-23-2014, 12:58 PM
I've owned both the L300 and S3100 (not the MkII version), and the S3100 is BY FAR the best sounding speaker of the two. Better bass extension, imaging, and HF smoothness. I can only imagine what the improved crossover and driver in the MkII would do for the sound.

That said, the L300 is more valuable and collectible. I sold my L300's in 2009 for $3800 and paid $2100 for the S3100's.

Actually martin_wu99's tip on the 4430 is a good one. I might have gone for a pair for my living room but already had a pair of 4425's in the family room. Too many butt cheeks for one house hahahaha!

martin_wu99
03-24-2014, 01:46 AM
I've owned both the L300 and S3100 (not the MkII version), and the S3100 is BY FAR the best sounding speaker of the two. Better bass extension, imaging, and HF smoothness. I can only imagine what the improved crossover and driver in the MkII would do for the sound.

That said, the L300 is more valuable and collectible. I sold my L300's in 2009 for $3800 and paid $2100 for the S3100's.

Actually martin_wu99's tip on the 4430 is a good one. I might have gone for a pair for my living room but already had a pair of 4425's in the family room. Too many butt cheeks for one house hahahaha!
Don't forget those old school man who like old school JBL sound,such as L300.
They love JBL alnico drivers so much that they only collect JBL old alnico speakers just like one of my friends:D

audiomagnate
04-25-2014, 12:28 PM
Don't forget those old school man who like old school JBL sound,such as L300.
They love JBL alnico drivers so much that they only collect JBL old alnico speakers just like one of my friends:D

Just FYI Martin, some of us like L300's because of the way they sound (and look). I really couldn't care less what material the magnets were made from.

martin_wu99
05-04-2014, 06:02 AM
Just FYI Martin, some of us like L300's because of the way they sound (and look). I really couldn't care less what material the magnets were made from.
Just because of L300 magnet being made from Alnico makes it sound special:D

hjames
05-04-2014, 07:26 AM
Just because of L300 magnet being made from Alnico makes it sound special:D
No, it's just a bloody magnet, made from what ever cheap (cost-effective) material was in use at the time.

each has a gain ...

AlNiCo makes it more vulnerable to demagnetizing over time and from being overdriven.
The older a vintage JBL speaker is, the more like it has been abused at some point ...
And the newer Neodium magnets are strong and small ...

SEAWOLF97
05-04-2014, 08:13 AM
Just because of L300 magnet being made from Alnico makes it sound special:D

If you can hear the difference Martin , then I think you should be looking for higher end speakers than JBL ..some that are in all those wacky pix that you like to post. :crying:


The L300s need to have their woofers refoamed every twenty or thirty years and that's about it.

how do you get that much time ? everybody else figures on 12-15.

audiomagnate
05-04-2014, 09:57 AM
If you can hear the difference Martin , then I think you should be looking for higher end speakers than JBL ..some that are in all those wacky pix that you like to post. :crying:



how do you get that much time ? everybody else figures on 12-15.

I'm starting to think it might be ozone or humidity related. Surrounds seem to last a LONG time around
here.

martin_wu99
05-05-2014, 01:42 AM
No, it's just a bloody magnet, made from what ever cheap (cost-effective) material was in use at the time.

each has a gain ...

AlNiCo makes it more vulnerable to demagnetizing over time and from being overdriven.
The older a vintage JBL speaker is, the more like it has been abused at some point ...
And the newer Neodium magnets are strong and small ...
Hi,Heather, so nice to see you again.
I will not agree with you at this point.i admited that AlNiCo was cheap and cost-effective at that time,but why JBL again apply today's very expensive AlNiCo into his hi-end speaker DD66000 and not strong and small Neodium magnets ?:D

martin_wu99
05-05-2014, 01:50 AM
If you can hear the difference Martin , then I think you should be looking for higher end speakers than JBL ..some that are in all those wacky pix that you like to post. :crying:



how do you get that much time ? everybody else figures on 12-15.
If you can not hear the difference between AlNiCo\Neodium\ Ferrite speaker,pls stop play JBL speaker any longer:D

SEAWOLF97
05-05-2014, 10:14 AM
If you can not hear the difference between AlNiCo\Neodium\ Ferrite speaker,pls stop play JBL speaker any longer:D

Really appreciate your comic relief effort Martin Wu , you are superb at it. :D

You post pix of lots of expensive show flotsam , pics of your friends systems , but I can't recall any pix of your own system :dont-know:

martin_wu99
05-06-2014, 01:27 AM
Really appreciate your comic relief effort Martin Wu , you are superb at it. :DYou post pix of lots of expensive show flotsam , pics of your friends systems , but I can't recall any pix of your own system :dont-know:Thanks for your good memory of my post,my own system's pix is just below in my signature,you can see it, but it is too small:crying::4628B+4698B+DIY tube pro +SAE P500+TASCAM 401MKII,but they all sold out:banana:I am planing to set up new JBL system,maybe Array1400 or S4700,any advice?Thank you

Mctwins
05-06-2014, 01:38 AM
Thanks for your good memory of my post,my own system's pix is just below in my signature,you can see it, but it is too small:crying::4628B+4698B+DIY tube pro +SAE P500+TASCAM 401MKII,but they all sold out:banana:I am planing to set up new JBL system,maybe Array1400 or S4700,any advice?Thank you

Yeah, when are you gonna show some picture of your system.

My advice....Go with M2 and Crown amp, then you are done.:D

Allanvh5150
05-06-2014, 01:51 AM
Actually there is a tonal difference between AlNiCo and Ferrite. Just ask any guitar player and they will tell you the same. Scientists are at a loss to explain the fact but different magnet materials produce a different sound.

Allan.

audiomagnate
05-06-2014, 02:47 AM
Actually there is a tonal difference between AlNiCo and Ferrite. Just ask any guitar player and they will tell you the same. Scientists are at a loss to explain the fact but different magnet materials produce a different sound.

Allan.

Scientists are always at a loss to explain differences that don't exist.

ivica
05-06-2014, 06:41 AM
Scientists are always at a loss to explain differences that don't exist.

Hi audiomagnate,

Hmmmm::confused:

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?35682-Jbl-4430&p=361756&viewfull=1#post361756

regards
ivica

Mr. Widget
05-06-2014, 12:00 PM
http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?4031-The-Great-Alnico-Ferrite-Debate


Widget

Allanvh5150
05-06-2014, 01:10 PM
Scientists are always at a loss to explain differences that don't exist.

Probably then you could explain why ferrite or ceramic or AlNiCo magnets when used in exactly the same guitar pickup, sound hugely different to each other?
This is certainly not imagined and is noticeable.

Allan.

Mr. Widget
05-06-2014, 01:20 PM
Probably then you could explain why ferrite or ceramic or AlNiCo magnets when used in exactly the same guitar pickup, sound hugely different to each other?
This is certainly not imagined and is noticeable.Are you certain they all have the same flux density?

Read the link I posted... Alnico does perform slightly differently than ferrite.


Widget

Allanvh5150
05-06-2014, 01:36 PM
Hi Widget,

Yes, certainly. Too much magnetism in a guitar pickup ruins the top end because it pulls on the strings too hard. Maybe it has more to do with the type of sound that the strings generate. There is also a range of AlNiCo magnets from AlNiCo 2 to AlNiCo 9. 2's with have more mids and less bass than a 5 or 6, the higher the number. the more influence on the bass and mids. Obviously, Ceramic magnets can have a lot more "power" and will tend to have more bottom end and sound quite a lot warmer than AlNiCo.
Guitar speakers also use AlNiCo or ferrite and in general, the AlNiCo will always sound warmer than its ferrite counterparts.

Obviously the sound from a guitar is hugely different to music, maybe this has something to do with it.

Allan.

Robh3606
05-06-2014, 04:00 PM
With quitar pick-ups are they designed to be linear?? Sounds more like a MI speaker application and there are significant differences between magnetic vs VC differences in say an E-130 and a 2235 as an example.

Rob:)

Allanvh5150
05-06-2014, 10:09 PM
Hi Rob,

Indeed. But I was pointing out that in this application there are very noticeable differences. Speakers and pickups. To me, there should be not difference in sound simply because the magnetic field has no physical interaction. There must be something else going on.

Allan.

cooky1257
05-07-2014, 12:32 AM
The ME150hs bass driver as used in the S3100 is a significantly better driver than the 2235/2231a in my opinion.
It won't go as low but is very accurate, neutral and articulate, much in the vein of the 1500al.

Earl K
05-07-2014, 07:24 AM
The ME150hs bass driver as used in the S3100 is a significantly better driver than the 2235/2231a in my opinion.
It won't go as low but is very accurate, neutral and articulate, much in the vein of the 1500al.

I use ME150H woofers and concur with your observations .

Of some interest ( at least to me ) is how this woofer is system-aligned within the S3100 ( this should be of interest to the DIY crowd ).

The last ( best ) guess at internal volume ( of the box size ) was made by Bernard & would seem to indicate a system alignment ( tuning ) outside the markers of the usual recommended box size ( ie; historically known as Critically Damped with a .5 Qtc // this was generally the largest box size recommended for the older short gap, legacy woofers > the 2231/4/5 legacy woofers pretty much adhered to this "rule" ) .

AFAIR, the S3100 alignment ( with the large box size of the S3100 ) comes in at around a Qtc of .4 .
- I'm guessing this "works" ( & doesn't sound mushy ), because these modern JBL drivers are very much ( electrically ) over-damped ( compared to their predecessors ).
- The 2242H can be aligned similarly ( ie; used in an over-sized box with added EQ to boost the "droop" ) .

:)

martin_wu99
05-07-2014, 09:21 AM
Yeah, when are you gonna show some picture of your system.

My advice....Go with M2 and Crown amp, then you are done.:D
I haven't seen M2 in local market yet and it is too expensive for me.
If i have chance,i will try Crown studio reference in my JBL system:D