View Full Version : New to the game.

Old Time Rocker
03-02-2005, 08:45 AM
I'm new to vintage JBL speakers. I've heard plenty in the past but I was usually too high to notice back then what equipment was being used.
Those days are long gone and I've been tryin' to put together a system now for about six months. I've looked at and heard about 100 speakers and all I can say is that today's stuff sucks! A great deal of the more expensive stuff sounds pretty but I usually get bored real quick. There just doesn't seem to be much life to the sound. I was relating this to a friend and he told me I should check out this site and that the old JBL stuff had the kind of sound I was looking for.
Well I need your advice. I found a pair of Lancer 77's on the web that are in very good mechanical order and pretty good cosmetically. I haven't heard them because they are about three hours away. What is your advice? Is this a model that will make my music sound alive? I'm also naturally concerned about the ability to get these serviced should they need it. I would imagine that getting them serviced these days is very hard. Can the drivers be replaced or repaired if need be? Any and all recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks

03-02-2005, 08:54 AM
I'm new to vintage JBL speakers. I've heard plenty in the past...snip....

Can you help us out with a little more info ?

What is your budget for speakers ?

What will they be hooked up to ?

What do you listen to, and how loud ?

How big is your listening area ?

Will you be listening to CD's or vinyl ?

There's a lot of experience and plenty of opinions here, but we need to get a little better picture of what you're after.

At the risk of offending an Lancer owners, I would say that there might be better choices out there for similar money...


03-02-2005, 08:57 AM
The Lancer 77 was my introduction to JBL.

As jblnut has pointed out, JBL has come a long way...

Still have a soft spot for the ol' 77's, though not soft enough to have kept my pair. Oh hell, I'll be blunt - I don't have enough room for all the soft spots I have for JBL gear! :rotfl:

03-02-2005, 09:17 AM

I love the L77 and have refurbished a few pair, but don't presently own any. They lack defined and deep bass you might want, too.

If I was to suggest a starter - egads, I cannot believe what I'm about to say :blink: - I'd get you strapped onto a pair of L100's in excellent condition. You will enjoy them, I'm sure. Upgrades from there are easy (there - redeemed myself) and would surely suggest the 4313B, although with Audiobeer's voracious appetite, there will be some competition!!

Smaller choices would of course include the 4301B.

Notice a common theme here? Anything 43xx (and 44xx too) would get good marks from me.

Old Time Rocker
03-02-2005, 09:19 AM
I have about a $500 budget. My room size is 17x12x8. My gear is an Adcom 5400 amp, Lazarus Cascade Basic pre-amp, and I'll be listening to both CD and LP's. I like to be able to listen loud if I want to. I don't normally listen all that loud but I do from time to time. A couple of guys on this site have also mentioned that they have XLP-140's for sale. I don't know much about them but they sure do look nice. I'm open to anything and all advice. Thanks

Don C
03-02-2005, 09:20 AM
I'd suggest a newer 12 inch three way system. 120Ti, L100T, something like that.

03-02-2005, 09:56 AM
I have about a $500 budget. My room size is 17x12x8. My gear is an Adcom 5400 amp, Lazarus Cascade Basic pre-amp, and I'll be listening to both CD and LP's. I like to be able to listen loud if I want to. I don't normally listen all that loud but I do from time to time. A couple of guys on this site have also mentioned that they have XLP-140's for sale. I don't know much about them but they sure do look nice. I'm open to anything and all advice. Thanks

OK - that helps a lot...

In that range, you have all sorts of mid-large 3-ways to consider, starting with the L100 and evolving into the L96/L112/4313 and the finally into the 4410/4412. On older speakers you have to watch out for woofers that may need new surrounds. The later Ti series also has a few in your price range - 120TI and the spectacular 240ti. They are rarer but worth waiting for. The even more recent XPL series are also in your range with the XPL140 (8") and XPL160 (10") showing up on ebay occasionally. These are newer designs and have that amazing titanuim midrange. They also have beautiful gloss-black cabinets and nice matching stands. They will have imaging and soundstage that surpasses the older speakers mentioned here. But at a cost - none will have the bass energy of the good 10" or 12" 3-ways. That's not necessarily a problem - you can always add a sub later.

Don't let the fact that I'm one of the guys trying to sell his XPL140's sway you :) . All are great choices and it's truly hard to recommend speakers to someone without being able to hear them.

If you want to discuss XPL's (or any of the others - I've either owned or heard many of them) - PM me and we can go from there.


Mr. Widget
03-02-2005, 10:04 AM
Sorry dude there is no easy way out... you are going to track some speakers down and give them a listen. Ideally in your room with your gear, but that is typically asking for too much. If you don't listen to a few pairs of speakers for yourself it really is impossible to recommend anything. Speakers are just so damned subjective. To one fellow the Altec A-7 may be the ultimate in audio nirvana and to someone else it is just plain loud and honky.

If you listen to a few speakers and let us know you love the 250Ti but it cost too much we can make a recommendation, similarly if you say I love the sound of the L65 Jubal but it is..., we can recommend something else.


BTW: Welcome aboard! For $500 you should be able to get some fun speakers and join this crazy band of misfits. :bouncy:

03-02-2005, 10:09 AM
I'd suggest a newer 12 inch three way system. 120Ti, L100T, something like that.

L100T's are outstanding speakers and can be obtained in the $300 range on Ebay. They will blow away (IMO) L100's and 4311's. The only negative about the speaker I can think of is a real crappy veneer was used and will tend to bubble or peel off over time. That's why you see the speaker parted out so often on Ebay.

Good Luck and welcome to the forum!

This message comes from JBL Dog :dj-party:

Old Time Rocker
03-02-2005, 10:12 AM
Yeah the ideal would be to be able to listen to a few but since most of the speakers we are talking about are 20+ years old that is next to impossible. Let's put it this way. I would love to be able to listen to The Dark Side of the Moon at loud levels if I want to. My favorite band of all time is the Rolling Stones. Maybe that will help give you some kind of idea of what I'm looking for.
As I've gotten older I have branched out to other types of music that I enjoy from time to time. But my LOVE is Rock and Roll. Thanks again.

03-02-2005, 10:32 AM
Yeah the ideal would be to be able to listen to a few but since most of the speakers we are talking about are 20+ years old that is next to impossible. .

Actually it's very easy as any of us will tell you...

Pick a model (or a couple) and start to watch them on ebay (or craiglist, or your local want ad). Wait for a good one, pick your price point and don't get caught up in a bidding war and pay too much. Listen to it for a while and if you don't like it - put it back on ebay and try something else. With a little bit of luck and ebay experience you can essentially listen for free as you trade/upgrade your way across the JBL landscape.

It's what I've been doing for the past 5 years or so and has turned into a very enjoyable hobby. Plus you get to mingle with all us crazies here and commiserate about the ups and downs of JBL collecting, upgrading, restoration, etc.

Come on in - the water's fine :cheers:


PS - if you're still into Floyd the (quasi-bootleg) Pulse and Delicate Sound of Thunder DVD's on ebay are a must:cool: .

Old Time Rocker
03-02-2005, 10:54 AM
I think I will love sharing stories of listening experiences with new and old music. You guys seem like a good bunch of guys. But I'm getting pretty burnt out trying out a bunch of different speakers. The E-Bay thing is too much like gambling for me. I've tried it a few times and I had one good experience and two bad. One psycho who flipped when I told him I wasn't going to pay three and a half times the shipping cost, especially since we had already agreed on a shipping cost BEFORE I EVEN BID. I had the e-mails to prove it and I sent them to E-Bay but they were worthless in trying to help resolve the situation. He proceeded to harass me with about 20 looney e-mails. This is for a 10 lb. item that cost $65. He lived in Michigan and I live in Pa. He wanted to charge me $38 to ship it! The actual shipping cost was $11. Another guy shipped me four pieces of audio gear from Cal. Two didn't work at all and were so bad they couldn't be repaired and one cost about twice what is was worth to repair it;so I didn't get the work done. So three of the pieces went into the trash. One worked for about one month and then developed some problems and I practically gave it away after selling it for next to nothing because I honestly sold it revealing the problem. $350 out the window. :banghead:
I'm sure you guys have some horror stories too. But I've only had 4 deals on E-Bay and two were nightmares. Maybe I just had some bad luck and you guys can turn me on to some good sellers. I guess I'm to the point where I just want to be one and done for awhile and just listen to music. Maybe the bug will bite and I will really get into it. Who knows.
Thanks for the Floyd tip. I'll definately check them out. Thanks

Ken Pachkowsky
03-02-2005, 12:45 PM
Sorry to hear about your probs with Ebay. I am lucky, over 100 transactions and only a couple of dissapointments and one major problem.

Good luck with your quest.


03-02-2005, 12:59 PM
eBay's a crapshoot. There's no dearth of idiots out there, and plenty of deceivers, as well.

I assume it's junk and bid accordingly, unless I really, REALLY want it. Sometimes I luck out, and it's good and actually gets to me safely.

I must say that items purchased from, or on the recommendation of, forum members have been very fine transactions.

It's hard to find good sellers of vintage stuff. Although there are a few in the "business," much of it comes from individuals clueless about how to sell or ship.

Mr. Widget
03-02-2005, 01:21 PM
My biggest eBay problem has been with those sellers that are as Zilch put it, "Clueless about how to pack it."

I also go the assume it is worse than it seems, as it often is. You will loose more auctions this way, but you will also loose less money.


03-02-2005, 01:33 PM
...and it's been mentioned in other places, but any progress on the idea to have a forum location to gather opinions/reactions/experiences with common sellers of vintage JBL gear? maybe even associated Amps that are often used by forum members? Deals are one thing, but having some idea of what to expect would benefit us all.

Maybe there is just not enough people out there "in the biz" of selling vintage parts. An internal rating system among members would eventually affect the wider audience out there trying to pass off crap and reward those who are honest. For those whose parts collections are vast the "assuming it's shot" theory works, but for those here whose entire parts collection fits in a shoebox, then there's merit. It's really an extension of what this site is about- and the more information here, the more transparent the process of finding parts we need.

In general, Audiogon listings tend to be more accurate at least, and people adept to proper shipping...

03-02-2005, 01:41 PM
BTW: I'm obviosuly new to the Lansing Heritage forum...but have been with the JBL Pro family for nearly 25 years. So... HELLO all!

To the core of this forum :applaud:

Titanium Dome
03-02-2005, 02:10 PM
Except for "project speakers," I tend only to bid and buy JBLs that I can see and pick up locally. This restricts my choices, but it also cuts my losses.

Old Time Rocker
03-03-2005, 05:52 AM
I thought it would be best to come here to look for good vintage gear. You guys know what is involved with vintage gear and what it takes to get it in top shape. I was also hoping to probably buy from you guys. That way I can be pretty sure that I'm getting something that will at least work the way it is supposed to. I may not like the sound of a particular speaker but at least I will know I'm getting a fair and honest representation of the way it is supposed to sound.
I'm just really grateful that there is a site like this with guys like you.:applaud: So I'm just gonna keep hangin' out and lookin' and tryin' to learn what's going on with JBL gear. It's a valuable resourse and I'm going to try and take full advantage of it.
If any of you have things to sell let me know. I've already talked with with one of you about his gear and I'm considering those speakers, but I'm new, so I'm going to look and learn before I jump. Thanks for your help so far. I have a good feeling I'm finally on the right track.

03-03-2005, 06:20 AM
Hi....having owned a pair of L77's and being an "old rocker" myself, I agree with the suggestion that any of the 4300 series and the ubiquitous L100 are a better choice. They're affordable, plentiful and LOUD!

The 77's 10 in woofer with it's passive radiator is fine for most listening but lack in that low end punch that the 43xx's excel in. Also the original Lans-a-Loy surrounds have probably stiffened with age which further reduces bass response.


03-03-2005, 09:14 AM
Old Time Rocker welcome aboard. Re Ebay there are no hard and fast rules but with some experience you can start to see the signs of when to walk away. Number one for me is checking feedback, it will tell you alot about the seller, the quality of the items and ability to ship them without being damaged. Also read the description carefully and ask questions. Compare photos of the item with material on this site to see if it matches (ie woofer cones) and do your homework/research. If the seller is evasive or does not reply to questions I'd walk away. I'd recommend this boards MARKETPLACE as an excellent location to find anything JBL. Another spot is AUDIOGON where you can find good items at a reasonable price.

03-03-2005, 01:31 PM
I would offer that you could build your own speakers for much less if you are so inclined. This site has dozens of experienced speaker builders that can tell you just how to do this and recommend differnt drivers as well. It depends on your skills, tools, and what your really after. I agree that most new speakers are indeed caca and that is why I am collecting drivers and plan to build my own.

At least with classis JBL drivers repair kits and services are available to revitalize the drivers, makes the investment worth it. I doubt many new speaker companies will offer replacement drivers for long, they would prefer you buy another pair of speakers