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View Full Version : When JBL was JBL...Your first Encounter



Ian Mackenzie
06-28-2005, 10:26 PM
You know I can still remember opening the carton of our first ever JBL drivers..the 2231A.

That was way back in the late 1970's. The JBL 2231A was the latest soa woofer from JBL...medium efficiency extended bass driver. Aside from the sound quality and power, it was way above anything else at the time.

This all came about in the quest to find a speaker with the big sound that really went down low and loud. I had looked at everything incl Tannoys but they just did not cut it.

Does anyone know who designed the 2231A?

My interest in JBL soon evolved into the purchase of all the drivers for the 4343..The magic still lives.

I think it woud be fun to hear about other members first experience with JBL drivers?

Ian

Chas
06-29-2005, 06:28 AM
Great idea, Ian. Mine was about 1975 visiting a local studio in Montreal where the Engineer was demonstating mixing from either 16 or 24 tracks, I don't recall exactly which, it was Studer machine, though.

The monitors were original 4350's wall mounted, the amps were Crown DC-300 for the bottom and Quad 405 on the top, crossover was the Crown VFX.

When the Engineer started the demo with a multitrack rock recording, he first brought in the drums, then bass and electric guitar, etc at a fairly high volume. Unbelievable! It was was unlike anything my young ears had ever heard. Been hooked ever since.:p

Titanium Dome
06-29-2005, 10:02 AM
My first encounter with raw drivers was when I replaced the woofer in my pair of original L100 Centuries, around 1973 I guess. JBL was great about it, sending it to me free after I sent the other in for inspection. That's the first time I saw a quality driver in the rough, and I found the rear more interesting than the front. (Ahhh, like so many things in life... :eek: )

My first real experience with lots of JBL drivers came in the autosound arena, though, where the whole raw driver thing is so much more innovative and experimental.

http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=61348&postcount=31

tomt
06-29-2005, 11:10 AM
worked in a restaurant...what had a bar... and a disco!

dance floor was 12'x12', with 8 4311's, directly above

loud?

the walls in the back of the employees areas buzzed

like a massive herd of African Killer Bees.

Don Mascali
06-29-2005, 11:31 AM
I was doing a portable Disco DJ gig in the early eighties and went through some EV horns and drivers and built a pair of EV-15b folded horns and then a pair of 18" ported boxes for larger gigs. I heard some JBL and was off to the races. I built all of my stuff and still use it to this day in my HT and listening room.

I used 2426H/2344a as HF and 2 E-120s per side for the low mids. It worked for the DJ stuff, but talk about over kill for the house. As we all know "Too much is just right".:D

Opening the boxes when I purchased the various drivers from a local music store was almost a religious experiance. They even looked like they meant business.

pbda
06-30-2005, 02:04 AM
In the mid-seventies I worked at my high school's radio station. We had a pair of L-100s as our "studio monitors". The blue Quadrex foam grilles enchanted me as much as did the sound of the speakers.

We also used a pair of AR XA turntables...no tape, no CDs, nothing digital!

Ian Mackenzie
06-30-2005, 04:03 AM
I remember when I was still in High school looking at the Century and L36 at a local retailer called Instrol HiFi.

Those foam grills were so cool...the real deal in the 70's . They were the best bookshelf systems in the shop but worth more than an average hifi system at the time. I also recall hearing the L112...purr.

You could buy the Kits then , but they were even more expensive as I recall.

Ian

sonofagun
06-30-2005, 04:30 AM
My first experience was going to the local audio store "Audioland - Men of Music", Mt. Clemens, MI back around the mid -late 60"s. Had a JBL demo room set up - you could select various JBL systems on up to the Paragon driven by Marantz SOA components. I listened to them all - preferred the 001 system - D130 with the 175DLH I believe. Champagne tastes and soda pop budget at the time (still have a used Viking 88 tape deck I bought from one of the salesmen there. Also bought my first turntable there - a Garrard AT60 as I recall).

Later picked up a pair of 15" (D130 and a D140F) used somewheres - my brother built a pair of cabinets for them from JBL's plans and I used them for music and bass guitar. Of course, wish I still had them - anybody here seen them - they're black if that helps :blink: ?

Those were the days my friend... :applaud:

carolax
06-30-2005, 01:00 PM
In the mid-1960's when I was in high school, I worked at a music store after school. I remember uncrating a Twin Reverb and almost dislocating my shoulder when I tried to pick it up. Inside were two D120's that looked like they had been built by a Swiss watchmaker. Not everybody back then liked the clear-as-a-bell sound that JBL speakers brought to the party, but I fell in love with them.

I went on to work in the sound reinforcement business during the 1970's and early 80's, working almost exclusively with JBL gear. Although I left the sound business, I've almost always used JBL studio monitors in my home, including:
4310
4311
4330
4350 (almost cost me a marriage)
4315
4425
4410
LSR28P/LSR12P (current)

It's amazing that JBL has managed to maintain as much brand identity and loyalty as it has, despite Harman's attempts to water it down.

57BELAIRE
06-30-2005, 02:41 PM
In '62 I was starting to get steady gigs at my high school and needed
a "real amp".....then I saw it......Ace Music had a used '61 blonde Fender Showman 12 sitting right in the middle of the floor.

It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. And staring back was this silver disc that mesmerized me ....I was... "hipmo'tized!!

The poison was in the wound.

That little D131 F started a lifelong love affair with all things JBL.

That love has resulted in a personal collection that borders on lunacy.
From the Paragon right on down to the Minuet.

JBL may not be the best in the world,but it beats everything in second place!

porschedpm
06-30-2005, 02:48 PM
"Of all the stereo stores in all the world why'd I have to walk into this one...."
My high school buddy and I used to visit the showroom of this retail/mailorder stereo store about once a week back in the early '70's. Always playing with the equipment, and generally making pests of ourselves. Rarely buying anything. Most of it was all too expensive. That's when I fell in love with JBL's. Here's a couple of pages from their old mail order catalogs.

Tom Loizeaux
06-30-2005, 04:39 PM
My earliest exposure to JBL was playing through a Fender Showman with a JBL D140F in it. It was loud, clean, punchy and held up to heavy use. Then, years later I spent some time in broadcast and recording studios and heard lots of JBL 4311s. There was something about the punch and fidelity in those that made me really respect JBL's products.

Tom

scott fitlin
06-30-2005, 05:17 PM
My uncle got married, got a new apartment, and got a pair of JBL Century L-100,s with a Fisher reciever! All I knew was that I liked listening to music at his house, blew my moms AR3a,s away!

The orange grills!

johnaec
06-30-2005, 05:46 PM
My first real encounter was at a concert in the late 60's or early 70's. The bass player for the Steve Miller band had 4 Sunn dual 15" cabinets with D140's. Ever since I heard those lows and discovered what produced them it's been nothing but JBL for me...

John

yggdrasil
06-30-2005, 05:49 PM
My father bought a Paragon. I was only 7. I can not forget the feeling of playing on the floor in front of the Paragon, my chest vibrating from the bass.:D

vettedrummer
06-30-2005, 09:52 PM
My first encounter with JBL parts came about 1968. My uncle, who was a big JBL fan, had passed away and my aunt offered me a deal. Paint the house and She would give me a set of JBL C-38's with D130's and 075's with the 2400 crossover. These were all in the box new except the cabinets which were unpacked. In those days JBL would let you buy empty cabinets. I noticed that Sonofagun must of grown up in the same area I did. I hung out at Audioland and Pecars in the MtClemens and Detroit areas. I guess that's how I got hung up on the JBL sound. After I finished painting then I got to put together my payment. Quite a kick for a 17 year old kid. Even in latter life when I worked at Almas HiFi selling equipment. I still perfered JBL to their B&W speakers. No one could make me like that sound. I worked there for about 18 months before I got back to a real job. I'm at Childrens Hospital now working the ER. Oh well that's all for now

Tom Brennan
07-01-2005, 01:21 AM
Around 1970, my first hi-fi. D-130s in big homemade boxes with Radio Shack horn tweeters atop the boxes. PAT-4 preamp, a Fisher amp pulled from a console I bought at Musicraft in Oak Park and a BSR record player with a Shure.

Listened to lots of Mountain and Wishbone Ash on that thing.

Titanium Dome
07-01-2005, 03:18 PM
I hung out at Audioland and Pecars in the MtClemens and Detroit areas.


My buddy and I used to drive up to Pecars from the Toledo area when we got tired of the limited gear at Soundmasters. It was always a good road trip, and if we showed 'em our IDs, we didn't have to pay sales tax on purchases. :)

Ian Mackenzie
07-01-2005, 04:44 PM
Hey,

Does anyone remember the SoundCraft Ultralinear speakers.

The reps used to play them and the Bose 501's and other stuff off against the 166's etc in my favourite store. That was a regular thing after work on a Friday night.

The last good demo was a pair of BGW's strapped to a 4355...... I stopped listen to anything other than JBL at that point....game over man, game over.

Talk about an Up Sell......but I could not afford them...bummer...so I went and built my own!

Anyway time for some pics you guys. Here's the recent re incarnation of my 4343's circa 1980...my brother's Wife these days. There's the original rack we did all the sound jobs in the 80's with. The system was so heavy we took the mid/horn/slot out and put them on top of seperate bass bins for a while....and now they a re installed in the original cabinets. Its a beautiful system.

Steve Schell
07-02-2005, 08:22 PM
If I can stretch the thread a little to include "Jim Lansing involved"...

About 17 years ago I visited the home of a former Altec employee, who went on to a long engineering career in pro audio and studio equipment. He and his son set me down for a Laserdisc of Dave Grusin and Friends Live at the Record Plant. The TV was a Zenith front projector and a 10' diagonal screen. The speakers were Altec 820C with double 803A woofers and 802C on 811A horns, driven by gray face Altec 1520A amps. The demo was killer- I had no idea it could be this good! Looking back, this is what started the long adventure into high efficiency speakers. tubes, etc.

Another great experience was taking a first listen to a Lansing Mfg. Co. 500A Monitor system at a collector's home. With the small W bin the lows were not very extended, but the clarity, dynamics and overall lifelike quality of that system put to shame the Patrician, RCA two way monitor and yes, even an early Hartsfield we compared it to. Not bad for a 1936 speaker.

Ken Pachkowsky
07-02-2005, 09:19 PM
To the best of my recollection my first taste of JBL’s occurred at Western Sound on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg Canada back in 1975. I walked in off the street to view a Crown 800 Reel to Reel half track. Wow, what a beauty it was (and still is).

In looking at the Crown I became interested in a beautiful large walnut cabinet against one wall that was producing some pretty awesome sound. Of course this was the infamous Paragon.

I became friends with several of the guys who worked there and thus began my life long passion for JBL’s.

Other than the Paragon they only carried the small format bookshelf speakers. A fellow by the name of Terry McCain ordered a complete S8 system and Roger Bedard’s (Western Sounds Tech) father built cabinets for him.

The S8 system used the LE15A’s, 375’s and 075’s.

Bob Massey, the store manager arranged for me to hear them at Terry’s home. From that day forward I have been hooked on large format JBL’s. By the way, Terry and I met for the first time that day and have remained friends ever since.

Ken

Rusnzha
07-02-2005, 11:04 PM
The first I heard of JBL was in a 1958 Lafayette catalog. I was fascinated, but the prices were hell on my teenage budget. When I went to work at my first full time job, I would hang around Leonard Radio on 6th Avenue during my lunch hour. There, I finally heard the 88 Novas, and I knew they were the speakers that I really needed. When the 70s came around, I was finally making enough money to get what I wanted. I had a Citation 11 and 12 that I was using with some Altec A 7500-8s. I let a salesman convinced me to get them when I came in for a set of L100s, :biting: wrong move. I finally took those altecs and traded them and some bucks for a pair of 88 Plus. I hooked them up and they sounded good. I was breaking up with this :( woman so I traded the Citation stuff for a Fisher A202 receiver so I could listen to FM when I was by myself and they sounded a lot better than they did with the Citation. I moved into a strange, somewhat depressing kind of a situation and had to set them up off the floor in my little room. I hooked up the Fisher, put on some Return to Forever, lit one up and heard those suckers :) for the first time, damn they sounded good. They got me over all those blues in a hurry. A couple of months later I moved into a better situation. I kept them up off the floor and my whole life got better :p.

Mike Caldwell
07-03-2005, 08:21 AM
Hello
My first hands on JBL experience was in about 1977 when I bought four new 2402 bullets to add some top end to my sound system, as bad as the rest of the system really was I thought it was great (at that time anyway). I remeber building the high pass filters for them....6000hz if I remember correctly and hand winding the coils for the networks. I later went to JBL one inch drivers and put the 2402's aside for a several years and then built them into a pair of three way speakers each loaded with two JBL 2225's and phenolic mid range driver (non JBL) with a pair of the 2402's. I later sold them to a friend of mine who use them for about 10 years and he just recently sold them to a band that is using them for their PA speakers.

Mike Caldwell

spkrman57
07-03-2005, 11:32 AM
D130A's with 075's in a small JBL enclosure.

Actually, one system was D130A only full range, and the other w/crossover and 075 tweeter. I was not into audio like I am today and was totally blown away at the volume I could get with just 12 wpc SS receiver I had.

Ron

Ken Pachkowsky
07-03-2005, 02:56 PM
D130A's with 075's in a small JBL enclosure.

Actually, one system was D130A only full range, and the other w/crossover and 075 tweeter. I was not into audio like I am today and was totally blown away at the volume I could get with just 12 wpc SS receiver I had.

Ron

I think you are refering to the 030 system that crossed over to the 075 at 2.4k

D130/075

I had a pair for 1 year before getting my 4350's.

Ken

Charley Rummel
07-04-2005, 11:02 PM
We loaded a Dual Showman cab with 2 15 " JBL E130F drivers, when the prior speakers were some knock off crap, and the difference in sound was cleaner, louder and much more dynamic than anyone ever imagined would happen...It's still right here in my basement many years later...

Regards,
Charley

Baron030
07-06-2005, 08:23 PM
Back in 1973, I was in high school and I spent my entire life's saving on a pair of JBL 030 system kits - D130's and 075 bullets. And after several months in a high school wood shop class building a pair of C-38 enclosures. I felt that I was set for life. And, for the last 32 years I have lived in bliss, with a reverently held belief that the 030 system was all that I would ever need. There is something about D-130s that screams “Rock ‘N’ Roll!”



But, sadly my old D-130 speaker cones have finally worn out and I have been forced to make a change. But, fortunately, I found this web site and after reading, Drew Daniel's "The ancient audiophile's quest for the ultimate home system". I am now embarking on an all new speaker system building project. So, it looks like I will be spending my entire life's savings all over again.:hmm:

andresohc
07-06-2005, 08:51 PM
If I can bring in Altec to this thread also, my first Lansing products were Valencia 846 speakers I bought from my mentor and Jr high football coach. He entrusted them to me in 1982. I had a great time with them. My first decent JBL speakers were a new pair of SR4722As in 1992. Loved them also. I used them for my home speakers (and my home mosh pit parties) and yes I was old enough to know better, but I just had to have a reason to run out those 4722s:D

Roddyama
07-15-2005, 08:32 AM
Hi Ian,

Back in the mid-70's I would drive into the Grosse Pointe's (Home of the Fords, Chryslers,...) to Pointe Electronic which was an authorized JBL component dealer. They had a rental sound system set up in the store consisting of dual LE LE15's, 375/LE89 horn and dual 075's per side. These speakers were tri-amped with 3 Crown amps and a Crown X-Over. I was hooked from that day forward.

macaroonie
10-25-2006, 08:14 PM
JBL Rolex Ducati Aston Martin Revox etc The list is not endless because very few companies care to go the extra mile in favour of manufactured quality against commercial expediency.
1968 Supertramp live at glagow university Bass player had a dual showman Jbl rig wow. A few years later I was working in stereo and L16 26 36 etc were on the menu. Even those little 16's showed most of the competition the door. 26's were as I remember about £350 a pair though that would be about 6-7 weeks gross wages. Tannoy was the only company that had anything to compare........ Cheviot 12" concentric was xlnt Other than that not a lot shone. Then I heard L 300's and the rest is history. I'm building my own now:D

alexkerhead
10-25-2006, 09:31 PM
Dont know if my experience counts, but my first sight of JBLs were my Dad's L65s when I can first remember(around 4yo).
I got my first set when I was 12yo, a set of L16s powered by a sx-434.
My older brother sold me my first set of l100s.

Ducatista47
10-25-2006, 10:17 PM
In 1965 I went away to college and became perhaps the first roadie. The goal was to hang with the band and get out of hours (as in be back and inside by midnight) at the dorm by going on road gigs. A clueless suburban kid, I had a chance to broaden my horizons by about 1000%. I noticed right off that the tube amps with the shiny domes on the speakers kicked everything else's butts. I knew sound because my DIY Dad worked for Shure Bros. and had a great mono rig at home.

Cut to 1968-1969, back in Chicago for a year of Hippie lifestyle, Democratic Convention disorder, stereos everywhere and hearing hundreds of name bands live. I and my cohorts spent all our loot on upgrading our rigs. I built Dynaco pre and power amp kits, got Koss Pro 4A phones and built some speakers, augmented by using the cab from my Fender Bassman amp as a stone age subwoofer. I traded the amp head to a friend who had an early sound reinforcement concern. God, I think it was called Euphoria Blimpworks, but I might be confusing it with another Hippie business. He gave me a pair of 075's with networks in exchange, which I finally topped off my speakers with after handling, starring at and being mesmerized by their heft, looks, design and sheer build quality for I don't remember how long.

The last straw was several trips to Toad Hall on the north shore that our bunch, Clive, Kevin and I took to listen to gear we couldn't afford. We were building kits, after all. The Lansing and Mac powered demos of a Paragon and a pair of S8R kitted Factory cabs (Olympus or Sovereign, I don't remember) made us all lose interest in anything else available. That JBL room became a magical, life-transforming place for us, as surely as the acid trips were in those days. None of us would ever forget our visits there.

It was thirty-six years before I could afford any big JBL's, but they were "always on my mind." My Sister scored sooner, bagging a VOTT pair in the mid 1970's.

Clark In Peoria

SUPERBEE
10-25-2006, 10:22 PM
Can you name some of the bands you worked for from 65 to 68?




In 1965 I went away to college and became perhaps the first roadie. The goal was to hang with the band and get out of hours (as in be back and inside by midnight) at the dorm by going on road gigs. A clueless suburban kid, I had a chance to broaden my horizons by about 1000%. I noticed right off that the amps with the shiny domes on the speakers kicked everything else's butts. I knew sound because my DIY Dad worked for Shure Bros. and had a great mono rig at home.

Cut to 1968-1969, back in Chicago for a year of Hippie lifestyle, Democratic Convention disorder, stereos everywhere and hearing hundreds of name bands live. I and my cohorts spent all our loot on upgrading our rigs. I built Dynaco pre and power amp kits, got Koss Pro 4A phones and built some speakers, augmented by using the cab from my Fender Bassman amp as a stone age subwoofer. I traded the amp head to a friend who had an early sound reinforcement concern. He gave me a pair of 075's with networks in exchange, which I finally toped off my speakers with after handling, starring at and being mesmerized by their heft, looks, design and sheer build quality for I don't remember how long.

The last straw was several trips to Toad Hall on the north shore that our bunch took to listen to gear we couldn't afford. The Lansing and Mac powered demos of a Paragon and a pair of S8R kitted Factory cabs (Olympus or Sovereign, I don't remember) made us all lose interest in anything else available.

It was thirty-six years before I could afford any big JBL's, but they were "always on my mind."

Clark In Peoria

Ducatista47
10-25-2006, 10:58 PM
Can you name some of the bands you worked for from 65 to 68?
That's really funny! I carried the gear for a local Peoria band, The Vagrants, for free to tag along. I only did it for a year or two. There were no paid roadies that early that I knew of. I stayed in college for the next three years.

I did eventually get an offer, but I couldn't take it because of the draft. Nam and all that. I went to a Beach Boys concert at the Bradley Field House. While I was into the Beach Boys, I really went to see Ian & Sylvia, who I will always worship. Ian explained that he insisted on opening so he could get on the road sooner, and oh that reminded him, he was looking for someone to help with the gear on the road and he offered me the position as we hit it off pretty well. I got the idea it would have been the three of us in a van or something, basically the coolest time available on the planet. I had to pass as it would have meant almost immediate draft into the service. I had a very low number in the draft lottery and I wanted to finish college while I could maintain my scholarships and work odd jobs. You know, pay as you go. So I never had a real paying gig as a roadie.

No need to ask me if I regret not being able to go with Ian & Sylvia. I can't bear to think about it often. I managed to bury it for the last fifteen years or so until now. How much more alive I would have been, even if I hadn't survived long. The only thing that makes up for it is that the path I took led, many years later, to my Wife and children. :)

Clark

indycraft
10-25-2006, 11:46 PM
Welllll.......let me think. I was in a cover band with some high school buddies. At one point we did 10 or 12 tunes by Chicago from their first 3 albums. We also covered Sly and the Family Stone, Tower of Power, The Sons of Champlin, Ides of March, Santana and many others. The guitar players often talked about JBL speakers. Some where along the line we won an all day (15 hrs) battle of the bands at The Surf Ballroom. Every band but us played China Grove. The agent, Morris Drey from Omaha was promoting his bands. The prize for winning was 4-15" JBL speakers and 2 JBL horns loaded in Vox cabinets. I do not recall the models. Evidently they were used by The Rumbles (a popular band from the midwest) for their PA. The horns were fried but the speakers we used in our PA. I don't remember them being remarkable but then again I was behind them and I don't remember many of the things I should from that era. All I knew was we had some JBL speakers. During this time I bought some JBL 2 ways......again I don't remember...... but promptly traded them in for some L-100s. Like so many things I had during that time period I had to part with the stereo within a couple of years. It wasn't until last year when I started to repurchase my childhood that I once again enjoyed the JBL experience. I can't believe I waited so long. And now I am here but tomorrow I will not remember but the reason will be different.

Indy

JohanR
10-26-2006, 03:59 AM
In 1976 a "proper" HiFi shop was opened in my little hometown Västervik (of Abba Björn fame) in Sweden. They had a pair of L300's that we teenage boys drooled over...

The shop is long gone but I think the owner still has them.

JohanR

Ken Pachkowsky
10-26-2006, 08:03 AM
The only thing that makes up for it is that the path I took led, many years later, to my Wife and children. :)

Clark

The silver lining....:)

Your story speaks volumes.

Ken

Wornears
10-26-2006, 08:13 AM
I saved my money while working in college and bought my first real stereo system in an Anchorage, AK audio shop in 1974 during the pipeline-building boom days. Pipeline workers would come in and drop $5,000 cash and up for systems. Saw and heard my first Klipschhorns and tube Macs there. I had been raised on a Grundig console, so we had decent tube sound for all my mom's Johnny Cash records. My brother still has the console.

My first setup included a Marantz 2015, Pioneer PL-15 (?) TT and JBL L-26. All vinyl all the time. Blew out one of the woofers while getting stupid with the Marantz, and my local audio shop and authroized JBL dealer sent in to the factory. They replaced it no questions asked. Sold me.

Traded the whole group in at Jerry's Audio Exchange in Phoenix, AZ (still have the receipt) in 1977 for a Yamaha CA-600 and oak veneer L-36s (with flaming orange cloth grills). I had A-B'd the L-36 and L-100 and found the latter too bass heavy and not as balanced.

Still have them both and all their paperwork (finally threw out the boxes about 10 years ago...grrrr). Now my teenage son enjoys them both. He and his buds think the L-36 are IT! The orange grills knock them out -- nothing says '70s like those.

Storm
10-26-2006, 09:14 AM
Wow, I had no idea that Jerrys audio in Phoenix was that old!

They sell high end stuff now. I went there once, nice people - but kind of pushy.

I could not find a system there that could compete with mine - so I say vintage is better, always....

:)

Donald
10-26-2006, 09:38 PM
1965 or 66. I graduated HS in 1966. I attended a Dick Clark R&R concert at the Stock Yards in Chicago. The sound system was all JBL. It blew me away. I went home and sent a hand written letter to JBL in California asking if they knew what the system was. Someone was kind enough to actually answer me. I don't remember what is was now. But that put me on the JBL bandwagen. Shortly after that I bought a pair of C56 Dorian S12 at Olsen Electronics on south Western avenue. When looking through the JBL brochure I immediately lusted after the Paragon. I still do. I still have the Dorians. They are shown in my avatar. I have every pair of JBL I ever bought. I see a pair of Dorian like mine just sold on eBay for $685. Don't remember what I paid. :-)

My next pair were L222 Disco Towers around 1976. I thought those kicked butt until I got a user pair of L65 last year. The 077 tweeter can cut glass. And the woofer is no slouch, either.

takenodisk
10-27-2006, 04:38 AM
My brother who was a jock during the 70's in london told me it was the best system he ever heard and purchased ,so the brand was already familiar to me at the age of 10 and at that time heaven knows how much i was excited at the thought of listening at one of theese but still there was no such stuff around the place i was living, not till 1983 during a school gig,i was sitting in front of a 4560(yes i wanted to be close to them),and when they started playing music,god!!!!! i was receiving all this bass over my body,i was so shocked and pleased that i didn't make a move,get back home,plug my eminence driven cabs along with piezos,hoping they were jbls:o:

jbl_man_uk
10-29-2006, 01:29 AM
Mid 1970s,in a Hifi shop in West end London (REW Pro.audio) heard my first JBLs,L300`s driven from crown D150a amp.amazing.
Late 1970s, home made disco systems,i had a pair of plywood EV copy eliminator type folded horns,but the bass was weak,i bought a pair of K140s brand new (£95 each,a fortune in 1978)...oh wow,on opening the orange and brown cartons ,can still remember the smell of the fresh glue/varnish..and such lovely build quality,they made the british Celestion and Fane drivers look junk in comparison.
Been using JBL ever since.

Woofer
03-05-2008, 06:51 PM
I remember when I was still in High school looking at the Century and L36 at a local retailer called Instrol HiFi.
Ian

.... was that Instrol in Adelaide by any chance Ian? :hmm:

George.

Roddyama
03-05-2008, 07:27 PM
...I hung out at Audioland and Pecars in the MtClemens and Detroit areas.
Do you remember Tech HiFi on Kelly & 8mi? They had a pair of L300's in the store for the longest time. The salesman had to constantly wipe my drool from the glass tops.:p

subwoof
03-05-2008, 07:30 PM
In college a freind with $$ to burn bought (4) L100's and a mac amp and proceeded to play floyd, genesis, etc in a local college house-turned-bar. 25cent pitcher night was the place to be...

The stunning detail and bass was far and above the generic crap we heard at the local "clubs" that seemed to all have the same overdriven D150A and 2 Klipsch herseys or god-forbid the bass less bose 901's.

That summer break I happened upon a pair of 4560's with 2220's that a local band was selling cheap thru a high-end store. Bought them, promptly refinished them with dayglo paint, added the only horns I could afford ( radio shack ) and put them in my apartment.

Each had a MASSIVE HP quad input oscilloscope set to X-Y on top fed from the preamps tape out jacks. This was a HIT with the ladies and provided just enough spooky green illumination to further my endeavours..:)

My alarm clock was a timer that tuned on the AC power to the rig at 7AM sharp. JUST like the ( not yet on the airwaves "earrache my eye" ) song, it would turn on the 70w/ch Knight tube amp and drop the 45 onto the changer. hiss, hiss, crackle, LOUD.

I had about 20-30 seconds to get up, cross the room and turn it off before the opening guitar riff of "iron man" hit.

Dunh. Dunh. Dunh. Dunh.

One weekend I left to visit the parents and forgot to turn it off. I came back to a broken door and a tonearm in serious disrepair...

I retaliated by buying a phase linear 400 and a pair of JBL 2350 / 2440's.

And never looked back.

sub

vettedrummer
03-05-2008, 08:33 PM
I think it was about 1962 or 3 My uncle, who was a big HiFi fan, had just picked new set of JBL C-38's. I remember the blast of that 15" D130 woofer. The way it moved the grille cloth and how you could feel it moving the air. The JBL's were driven by Sherwood tube separates. Man that was it. Not to long after that my Dad got us a set of those C-38 JBL's and that's the sound I grew up with. If it didn't sound like that it wasn't any good. Our JBL's were driven by Fisher tube gear.

trwham
03-07-2008, 04:32 PM
Circa 1977, I bought my first pair of real loudspeakers at Audio Systems on Independence Boulevard in Charlotte , NC USA (see youtube for an Audio Systems commercial from those days). They were JBL L26s with orange grills. The other option was Large Advents, but I was running a poor little Pioneer integrated amp with 15W per side and felt I needed the higher efficiency of the ported JBLs. I had them about a year and traded for a pair of L40s and upgraded to a Kenwood amp and later a Harman-Kardon HK505. I kept the L40s and the HK until the early 90's when I bought Snell Cs and B&K separates and gave the retired gear to my brother.

Recently I bought a pair of L65 Jubals (a grand total of US$10 for the set), and rejoined the JBL family. Right now I'm listening to the JBLs and Wayne Shorter, Jaco, Zawinul, et al play with Weather Report on Heavy Weather. It's an LP I've owned since it was released and it feels pretty good to be back in the 70's.

loach71
03-08-2008, 08:03 PM
I still have an ORIGINAL set of 2231As that I purchased wayyy back in the early 1970s...still working well in 8 cu ft cabinets with PR15c passive radiators.

:applaud:

bigstereo
03-08-2008, 10:52 PM
Sometime around 1980/82. While serving in the US Marines, Malcolm R. Nelson, a fellow jarhead buddy of mine was putting together his dream stereo system. He knew what he wanted and every time we deployed to the far east over a period of three years he would by another piece or two. The components were all TOTL Japanese stuff. His final purchase was a brand new pair of L150's at the Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange for $425.00 each. I went with him the day he bought them. Those were the first consumer JBL's I ever heard. This system was set up in an open barracks. It was an awesome thing to hear. That's where my affection for JBL speakers started.

georgebrooke
03-18-2008, 05:15 AM
Hi,
I think it was a review of the L100 in HiFi News. The reviewer (Ralph West I think) was amazed at the power levels and efficiency of the speaker (but not the smoothness).
Later, living in Munich, I heard a demo in a VERY good studio of a pair of L300s. They were the reference that I used until, years later, I fetched a pair from France and rebuilt them. There is still the JBL punch that I find hard to explain. Later I rebuilt a pair of L110 (they are in France now), a pair of L70s (sold). In each case there was not only the familar sound and balance, but the JBL smell. In fact in my garage now are a pair of stripped 4343s and I can recognise them by the smell .. which I think is wood/glue/fibreglass.
As soon as Ian has finished the cross-overs for me I hope to get the 4343s back into bi-amped action.

George

3dbdown
04-30-2008, 12:50 AM
Hi...

It was January of 1972. I hired on with JBL in the QA dept. because there were no openings at the time for a design draftsman. They were still at 3249 Casitas Ave then.

I inspected tens of thousands of loudspeakers, pole pieces, alnico magnets and phasing plugs. It was all done by ear then, with a frequency generator, doing a DC to Light sweep, listening for voice coil rubs and "chips in the gap". I took in returns and made determinations as to repairs being done in or out of warranty. Back then, if a Jim Lansing "Signature" speaker came in not working, and had not been abused, we fixed it for free, sometimes even changing the pot/magnet structure since the then 20 to 30 year old parts were no longer available.

There is not a JBL speaker I see today that I don't look for my inspection stamp, number 12, somewhere on the frame !! Vintage, of course!

Later, I got into the engineering dept, first as a draftsman, doing cabinets, schematics, PC board layouts and such. Then, I moved into the lab as electronics technician.

My last position was as product safety coordinator, primarily getting our stuf through UL, CSA, VDE, OVE, SEMKO, NEMKO, DEMKO....and you get the picture!

I was a part of some great product lines, like the Decade series, the L100 Century, 6000 series electronics, including the 6233. Also the L300, L400(OOPPS!), L166, L212 and most of the 43xx studio monitor series.

I simply refuse to believe anybody did sound better than JBL!!

I was a plankowner at the Northridge facility after returning from active duty in the Navy

It was the time of my life for 8 years, and many of my colleagues, new to JBL then , have become the Gurus of professional audio today.

I am honored to have had the experience, and although new to the forum, very much like what I see!

Thanks,

Rick

4313B
04-30-2008, 04:33 AM
Nice!

Welcome Rick :)

edgewound
04-30-2008, 10:07 AM
That's a great intro, Rick.

You just know we want to hear....er, read...more.

L400? Hmmm...Sounds like a consumer 4345?

Do tell.....please?

3dbdown
04-30-2008, 01:13 PM
Hi, Edgewound.........

Well, almost. It was actually an attempt to consumerize the 4340. It was planned as a 4-way with a 15" woofer, a 10" mid bass, a driver/horn midrange, and a slot radiator tweeter. More importantly, it was going to look, architecturally like a thousand miles an hour, pretty typical of Doug Warner's and Arnold Wolf's designs of the day.

And, it did...But it was so expensive to produce, that it was just not feasible to think it would sell in large numbers to the home hi-fi market.

Coupled with the fact that the "Golden Ears" just never really cared for the sound of it. I seem to remember some problems getting a network to make it viable, but it just never worked out. And at that time, JBL was very much attempting to really nail the consumer market, and they moved on to other approaches, such as the Prima. Although a number of us viewed the Prima as the "poor man's" JBL...In all fairness, we got some good technology out of that program for later development. Just look at the LE-25 tweeters, and the manufacturing uses of synthetic materials, less expensive and better sounding transducer magnet assemblies/materials and so forth.

It's tough to depart from the norm, but you have to keep an open mind, and you have to build for your markets.

Rick

Andyoz
05-01-2008, 07:17 AM
Rick, any pictures of the L400 hidden away??? ;)

Woofer
05-01-2008, 07:25 AM
Rick, any pictures of the L400 hidden away??? ;)

.... or even a rough sketch'll do if you don't.
You've really aroused my curiosity, as I'm sure others also.

Cheers. :)

Andyoz
05-01-2008, 07:28 AM
The only reference to it on this site is here (in the sidebar on the RHS)

http://www.audioheritage.org/html/profiles/jbl/everest.htm

Woofer
05-01-2008, 07:58 AM
The only reference to it on this site is here (in the sidebar on the RHS)

http://www.audioheritage.org/html/profiles/jbl/everest.htm

Thanx for that...
Lucky I got a great sense of imagination! LoL :blink:

3dbdown
05-01-2008, 11:43 PM
Hi, Woofer and Andyoz....

Naw, no pix....but you can search the JBL history pages, and at the end of the Aquarious series diatribe, there's a shot of a cabinet, I think on a flatcar, covered with a tarp, that might be the prototype....remember, we were trying to consumerize a monitor, so the cabinet would just have been the run of the mill 43xx series box with a new baffle, perhaps Finland Birch, as we liked to do in those days. We could cut them, beat them, mold them, without them falling apart, and they would convey the sound we'd ultimately get with the particle board/veneer finish. (Both inside AND out, I might add.

But remember, we still believed, in those days, that form followed function, rather than the other way around. So, any pictorial representation of the cabinet would have existed as renderings only, and I never saw what you would consider a "prototype" of the final consumer ready cabinet. It just never got that far......But, remember, right after this interlude came the L300 3-way, and several 4-way monitor systems....So again, we learned from our mistakes!!

So, even if you never see it, you can bet your bottom dollar that you've heard the result, one way or another, in subsequent efforts by JBL!!

Rick

3dbdown
05-02-2008, 12:24 AM
Hi, everybody....

Rick here again. I just had a few thoughts to share with you as to why JBL made certain moves in the mid-70's that may seem a little strange to you out there.

First of all, and those of you under 50-60 years old may not remember or realize this, came the Fair Trade Laws. Basically, the government said that in order to insure fair competition, you need to sell your products within the following (arbitrary, by the way) guidelines. This basically equated to allowing foreign markets to compete with us in sales of consumer gear.

Many at JBL, myself included, felt that, if we make a product that the public clamors for, then who are you to tell us how much we are permitted to sell it for? Well, ultimately, that question fell on deaf ears, and JBL and Harman-Kardon were forced to "play ball". What else could they do ?? They were, after all, in the business to make money.....With all due respect.

The second thing that happened was that Jimmy Carter was elected and tapped Dr. Sydney Harman to be his under-secretary of state. What that meant was, that Syd hed to divest himself of his holdings while he served the Carter Administration.

So, we were acquired by Beatrice Foods. A top 10 Fortune 500 company, to be sure, but very LOW, LOW,LOW technology. They just never understood the realities of the Hi-Fi market.

The first thing they did was predict sales plateaus for the LE-8T and the L100, and the new 6233 Power Amp! And, accordingly, dictated a schedule by which we would stop making and selling them.

The LE-8T and L100 were our bread and butter products at the time.......JBL might still be making them for another 10 years if that had not happened!!

The 6233 was a dual channel, 300 watt per professional power amp, that could bridge to over 700 watts!! With a toroidal power supply, one of the first, that weighed less than 25 pounds!! And, we got it certified by every safety agency on the planet, and did so while producing it on a single chassis!!! It was a milestone, and would have marked JBL's re-emergance into the Pro electronics market.

Some good folks left after that, tired of seeing their designs shelved.

Anyway, I pontificate, and I apologize for that.....But you have no idea how good it makes me feel to see the hard-core JBL nuts out here, like myself, who know how to walk the walk......who are loyal because the product was and still is superior.....Technology may change, but attitude and approach....Well, may that never change.

Thanks for listening,

Rick

Woofer
05-02-2008, 04:23 AM
Well Rick, I find your input truly interesting, and I'm glad you found your way here.
'Tis true, a harder core of total JBL fanatics (or ALTEC for that matter), and the most helpful info they collectively offer would be difficult to find anywhere else. Especially as extensive as what you'd find here.

Welcome. :applaud:

4313B
05-02-2008, 04:38 AM
Thanks for listening,

RickWe are all ears. :yes: We've long hoped for more and more folks from Altec and JBL to participate in this forum. It's been a rough eight years now and we've lost a few really great guys from JBL due to the noise level but hopefully you will be able to ignore that. Thank you very much for posting.

Some good folks left after that, tired of seeing their designs shelved.Yep. I remember it well. My perception of the time was pretty dark.

oznob
05-02-2008, 06:45 AM
Rick,

You are a breath of fresh air and I thoroughly enjoy your insight and information. We have other former and current JBL employees who chime in from time to time including Greg Timbers and Harvey "Hi-Fi" Gerst to name just a couple. I am facinated to here from those who were actually there and know the real stories behind the designs and, for lack of a better term, politics of the company.

Great to have you here!

Mark

3dbdown
05-02-2008, 01:02 PM
Hi, everyone, and thanks....

4313b, roger the noise level.....It's what keeps me off other threads on the net. But I'll stay here, mainly because I see a lot of folks around here who actually DO know what they're talking about! And just because I worked there doesn't mean I know everything.....I will be taking plenty of opportunities to solicit all your opinions as the need arises!! For one thing, I'm fairly weak on the product lines between 1978 and the current stuff. I will be asking some questions on my newly acquired 4430"s, for instance.

I was trying to think if I knew Harvey Gerst, but I honestly don't remember, and am curious about when he worked there, and in which department or projects he was involved. I suspect I'll find out soon, through the posts.

Greg I know very well, and remember when he hired on. I have spoken to him on occasion through the years, since leaving JBL,and can tell you that after knowing him for 36 years, he is a wonderful human being as well as a terrific engineer. I have never known him not to drop whatever he was doing to answer a question for me, or to give his opinion when asked. And I mean honestly, with no frills or bull. Quality guidance all the way!! He was one of the ones I mentioned previously who really, today, is the Guru...IMHO

I still kick myself in the butt for not mortgaging my 3 kids when his 250Ti came out!!, Well maybe someday I'll find one!

I still get by JBL occasionally, as I am the Senior Electrical Inspector in Northridge. So, naturally, when JBL pulls permits for their work, I make sure to help them all I can. I always try to stop by and see the guys, their schedules permitting, and even though I haven't worked there for 30 years, It's still home to me, and they always make me feel welcome!! And, when I go there, I always wear my original ID badge from Casitas, and as far as I know, It's the oldest badge in the plant!! The security guards all get a kick out of it, and the looks on some of the employees faces when they see it is..................priceless!!

I'm really glad to be here, guys, (and guyettes)!!:bouncy:

Thanks so much,

Rick

Andyoz
05-02-2008, 01:09 PM
Great stuff. If anyone deserves a pair of 250Ti's, I think it's you :)

3dbdown
05-02-2008, 01:22 PM
Thanks, Andyoz..........Got a pair lying around!?!?!?!

Rick

Andyoz
05-02-2008, 01:28 PM
I've got a mint pair of L250's sitting dormant (they're waiting for a bigger house). I'm in Ireland so you can't exactly drive over and 'borrow' them. My 250Ti's are used every day.

p.s. any photo's from your JBL day's that you could scan and post here?

3dbdown
05-02-2008, 01:48 PM
Well, doubly unfortunate, since I can't drive over there and hear your 250Ti's, nor do I have any photos of back in the day....

I actually became a photographer while working at JBL, thanks in large part to Steve Lyle, who was one of our electronics engineers at the time.

Steve was the guy who got the 6000 series Pro power amps off the ground, 4301 series powered monitors, and the 6233 amp. He was a great friend, and I'm hoping to re-contact him soon, thanks to Drew Daniels giving me his E-mail address.

Rick

Harvey Gerst
05-03-2008, 10:58 AM
Hi, everyone, and thanks....

I was trying to think if I knew Harvey Gerst, but I honestly don't remember, and am curious about when he worked there, and in which department or projects he was involved. I suspect I'll find out soon, through the posts.

Rick

Hi Rick,

I left around 1967, maybe earlier - a few years before the L100's or the 4310's came out. My QC stamp was "8", I think. Were you in that little room near the loading dock? That was my domain till I went into customer service with George Augspurger. I started with JBL when they were still on Fletcher Drive. The JBL "bank plaque" on the front door at Casitas was my idea. After I designed the "F" series, I was in the little building to the left of the executive parking lot; that was customer service.

Ed May came to work at JBL shortly after we moved into Casitas. Before Ed, we had Bill Burton as Chief Engineer. He started the Transducers Inc. division in La Canada for high powered speaker stuff, primarily for the military.

And of course, Bart Locanthi. During the early Casitas days, Bart was still at JPL, working primarily as a consultant for JBL.

I don't know how many people from my day were still around when you were there. I would occasionally visit Bill Thomas and Margaret at their ranch near Santa Barbara, and I stayed in touch with Ed and Edna May, but that was about it.

3dbdown
05-03-2008, 11:21 PM
Hey, Harvey!!!

Pleased to meet you.....Yeah, you were gone before I got there....I responded to your PM, hope you got it!

Boy, if these walls could talk!!!!

We'll let the forum think about that one, eh??

Rick (#12) :bouncy:

3dbdown
05-03-2008, 11:24 PM
To the forum vintage owners........

If you have a driver out there with my stamp on it, it has not been abused in any way, and it doesn't work.......you let me know!!

Rick (#12)

Woofer
05-04-2008, 12:30 AM
Jeez, I love being a fly on the wall at this place!!!!
You guys with your reminiscing is priceless.
I'm an old sound guy from the early 70's 'till not too long ago, down on the underside of the planet, Australia. I've always been loyal to JBL.
The fact that I learnt the hard way how to fix a busted 2220 or 2225, K120, or whatever, with nothing but a well sharpened Swiss Army knife and a bit of contact glue out the middle of the bush "Back o' Bourke", and getting my fixed one's to outlast the tours etc gave me so much respect for the brand. Nothing could take the punishment like the JBL's did. Hell I could even realign magnets with a hammer and a block of wood and a credit card, if the case ever arose when the travel was over some pretty bumpy bulldust covered roads that used to knock the magnets off centre. I'm no Rocket Scientist, and never claimed to be, but there was never a problem I couldn't fix. Even open circuits, unravelled voicecoils. You name, I could fix it. Anywhere, anytime. ... and all because of the superb design and construction AND sound of the speakers of that era.
It just goes to show, that if you really respect your gear, you'll soon learn the mechanics of it, and the sooner you learn how to rely on no one but yourself to fix it. Afterall, who you gonna ask, when you're 500 miles away from anywhere surrounded by desert and you don't have a spare recone kit or four? (yes, we really did have gigs like that)
I'm so grateful to you guys, for what you did for us, the end users. Really and most sincerely, and I certainly hope you don't stop chit chatting amongst yourselves on this forum. I still got lots to learn.
My only regret is, that I really really wish I didn't spend so much time sniffing the glue.

Cheers all. :)

oznob
05-04-2008, 07:09 PM
To the forum vintage owners........

If you have a driver out there with my stamp on it, it has not been abused in any way, and it doesn't work.......you let me know!!

Rick (#12)

I'll have to pull the drivers out of my L100's and check em' out! They were first sold in Dec. 1972 in Minneapolis MN.

3dbdown
05-04-2008, 07:28 PM
Sounds like they're still giving great sevice!!

That's what we all like to hear!

Rick

jcrobso
11-20-2008, 10:08 AM
I think it was 1959 or 1960 when Fender started using JBL.

I got the Hi-Fi bug from my dad, at the time we had a big console that had 15" coaxial speaker in it.

1964 during Christmas holidays I went to An Allied Radio store in Oak Park, The sales person was busy so I just went into the Hi-Fi demo room and listened to ever speaker there. They had all the big brands of the day, after 3 hours of listening I was completely sold on JBL.

I play bass, my first JBL was a D140F that I put in an Ampeg bass cabinet. After I stopped playing in bands at my wife's request I sold the Ampeg amp, but kept the D140F. I bought another D140F added LE175 drivers, horns and lens. I got the prints for the JBL Harkness rear loading bass horn and built a pair of them and put my D140F speakers in. Over the years I have acquired many other JBL speakers, but I still have my first ones that are now 41 years old and still sound great!

I have done a lot of Pro Sound work over the years and installed a lot sound systems, I always use JBL when the client has the budget for them.
At the radio station the remote dept wanted get a bigger PA system and the remote guy wanted to use Bo$e speakers! I said NO WAY IN HELL! I got some JBL SRX115 not the best of the JBL pro line but I had a budget.
After the JBLs arrived I did shoot out Bo$e vs JBL. We have one pair of Bo$e 801s here so I used one of them and one JBL, I played the Bo$e first then the JBL. When I switch from the Bo$e to the JBL everyone's jaws dropped they were just blown away by the difference.
In the Pro sound community we have a saying "No highs, no lows, must be Bo$e" OK I know, I have strong dislike for Bo$e but I was able to get 4 JBL speakers for the price of two Bo$e.
Anyway the remote guy like the JBLs so much that we got two 18" JBL subs to complete the system. There is so much FUD out there about speakers over the years I have felt like a lone ranger fighting for the truth about JBL speakers
I'm so glad I found this forum! John:D

Doc Mark
11-21-2008, 06:46 AM
Morning, All,

I thought I'd already tossed in my two cents in this thread, but I guess not. Someplace here at LH, I have mentioned this before, but I'll have another go at it, just for grins! ;):)

First contact with JBL's came with our band, "Finger Lickin' Good", went on the road in 1969. We needed a better rig for our bass player, and so got hold of three brand new JBL 15" woofers (don't even know what they were.... maybe D130's, or D140's..), and built a box the size of Manhattan in which to house them!! We didn't know squat about either speaker building, or impedance matching to amps, and so couldn't understand why we kept blowing up the Fender Bassman head that our bass man used!! :blink::blink:

Later, I got to enjoy a custom built system that my girlfriend's Dad, who was a local surgeon, had installed in the walls of their home, and fell in love with it! I know it was either JBL, or Altec, but never found out more about it. Still later, that same fellow allowed me to enjoy his "new" JBL's when I delivered his Jag up to Palm Desert, CA. They were L300's, and Doc G. played some outstanding music for my enjoyment that day! We listened to Dave Grusin, Miles Davis, Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare For The Common Man", and many other great things, and I was hooked for life on JBL, and in particular, those wonderful L300's!!

Tried to build something like them, later, but they never sounded as good as the "real thing". Now, we finally own a fantastic pair of L300's, and are even more in love with them, than I was way back when I first heard a pair!! Yes, I know that other JBL systems have eclipsed them, in many ways, but to my ears, and also to Sweet Bride's, our L300's are still simply stunning, and we both dearly love them!! If you've already had to wade through similar BS from me on our fantastic L300's, I apologize! But, to us, they are still a wonderful set of speakers, and we enjoy them every single day! Is it possible that, someday, we might end up with something more new from JBL, like the 250Ti's? Sure. But, very probably not anytime soon! Until then, we'll happily "make do" with our beloved L300's!! Now, I have to remove the drivers to see if 3db down's #12 stamp is on any of them!! Cool!! :D:applaud::bouncy: Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

SEAWOLF97
05-15-2019, 10:03 AM
.
my formative years (hs & above) were in Santa Barbara, I remember it as an audio desert. Not an audio store to be had , that I ever found (1964-8).

Tho Dad was a respected doctor, he had a tube Sherwood receiver, dual TT , Uher R2R, and no name speakers. Not fine, but got me started.

When I first had real money (in the USN) , the exchange offered good deals on gear that was new to me. Bought a big Pioneer receiver, Pioneer CS-77a speakers, Teac R2R and a Garrard (:eek:) TT.

Kinda outgrew that system quickly, tho it stuck around for a while. After my time with The Canoe Club, family had moved to Oregon and I relocated here (as nowhere else to go) . Many more audio stores . Hawthorne Stereo was the biggie JBL retailer. So it would have been late '72 that I heard my first L100's. Dealer even gave me a free JBL record (Sessions) to reward my demo.

They were such a fuller sound than the Pioneers. WOW. I also had a demo at a different store for Ohm Walsh F's. Retraining and new job in the mids 70's put both those outstanding speakers out of reach.

Grabbed some used AR-3's and they sufficed for a while.

Finally, early 80's, scored my first JBL L100's :D , then later the F's.
Many JBL's later (20,30 ??), the Centurys are gone* , but replaced with a better 3 way-12 incher (IMHO) .. 120Ti's. I like the "Ti" series and also have 18's & 250's. Besides the sound, I admire the engineering and cabinetry. Pure class.

*L100's are in Chicago with my son and wowing his friends.

still have L15,L19, projects to work on.

martin_wu99
05-15-2019, 11:40 PM
.
my formative years (hs & above) were in Santa Barbara, I remember it as an audio desert. Not an audio store to be had , that I ever found (1964-8).

Tho Dad was a respected doctor, he had a tube Sherwood receiver, dual TT , Uher R2R, and no name speakers. Not fine, but got me started.

When I first had real money (in the USN) , the exchange offered good deals on gear that was new to me. Bought a big Pioneer receiver, Pioneer CS-77a speakers, Teac R2R and a Garrard (:eek:) TT.

Kinda outgrew that system quickly, tho it stuck around for a while. After my time with The Canoe Club, family had moved to Oregon and I relocated here (as nowhere else to go) . Many more audio stores . Hawthorne Stereo was the biggie JBL retailer. So it would have been late '72 that I heard my first L100's. Dealer even gave me a free JBL record (Sessions) to reward my demo.

They were such a fuller sound than the Pioneers. WOW. I also had a demo at a different store for Ohm Walsh F's. Retraining and new job in the mids 70's put both those outstanding speakers out of reach.

Grabbed some used AR-3's and they sufficed for a while.

Finally, early 80's, scored my first JBL L100's :D , then later the F's.
Many JBL's later (20,30 ??), the Centurys are gone* , but replaced with a better 3 way-12 incher (IMHO) .. 120Ti's. I like the "Ti" series and also have 18's & 250's. Besides the sound, I admire the engineering and cabinetry. Pure class.

*L100's are in Chicago with my son and wowing his friends.

still have L15,L19, projects to work on.
I like this old thread,I like all these first JBL stories,Mr.Bond:applaud:
I first knew JBL was early 80s,when i have read a audiophile magazine which have a top speaker list,JBL 4208 on it,it is called big belly, so i looked for 4208 in every audio shop all over the city,4208 sounded so bright when playing Kenny G saxophone,so i like it very much,my next JBL is L80(euro),very smooth and punchy:D

Pigboat
06-07-2019, 07:12 AM
.
my formative years (hs & above) were in Santa Barbara, I remember it as an audio desert. Not an audio store to be had , that I ever found (1964-8).

Tho Dad was a respected doctor, he had a tube Sherwood receiver, dual TT , Uher R2R, and no name speakers. Not fine, but got me started.

When I first had real money (in the USN) , the exchange offered good deals on gear that was new to me. Bought a big Pioneer receiver, Pioneer CS-77a speakers, Teac R2R and a Garrard (:eek:) TT.

Kinda outgrew that system quickly, tho it stuck around for a while. After my time with The Canoe Club, family had moved to Oregon and I relocated here (as nowhere else to go) . Many more audio stores . Hawthorne Stereo was the biggie JBL retailer. So it would have been late '72 that I heard my first L100's. Dealer even gave me a free JBL record (Sessions) to reward my demo.

They were such a fuller sound than the Pioneers. WOW. I also had a demo at a different store for Ohm Walsh F's. Retraining and new job in the mids 70's put both those outstanding speakers out of reach.

Grabbed some used AR-3's and they sufficed for a while.

Finally, early 80's, scored my first JBL L100's :D , then later the F's.
Many JBL's later (20,30 ??), the Centurys are gone* , but replaced with a better 3 way-12 incher (IMHO) .. 120Ti's. I like the "Ti" series and also have 18's & 250's. Besides the sound, I admire the engineering and cabinetry. Pure class.

*L100's are in Chicago with my son and wowing his friends.

still have L15,L19, projects to work on.

WOW, >>Santa Barbarian= Silver Spoon Surfer Dudes&HOT Chicks ...yes & yes2
Plus Doctor's Spoiled Brat. http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/icons/icon6.png

SEAWOLF97
06-07-2019, 07:30 AM
Plus Doctor's Spoiled Brat.

Spoiled ? NO - $200 car after HS, he ponied up half.
Brat ? NO
No help after 18.

It wern't no picnic.
Only real benny was living in a nice place.

Pigboat
06-07-2019, 09:11 AM
Spoiled ? NO - $200 car after HS, he ponied up half.
Brat ? NO
No help after 18.

It wern't no picnic.
Only real benny was living in a nice place.

Please don't misunderstand me.
Just fing with you.

We http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/images/icons/icon6.png ?

sguttag
06-07-2019, 10:00 AM
In the mid '70s till the early-mid '80s was my "stereo as a hobby" era. I Would listen to equipment in the stores (many stores) then buy something based on that and would live with it for a while until I found/heard something I liked better (or technology came out with some new shiny thing).

So I'm going to preface this with in the '70s you had some good funk and yes, even disco. I was very much into the bass sound. So while I listened to the JBL "L" series like the L100 and L60...at the time, the L100 was probably out of my price range, the speakers that I homed in on were Cerwin-Vega (remember too, we would be in the height of Sensurround at that time too so CV was getting a rep for delivering bass). CV's high HF was always a bit more strident than I liked but the bass did not disappoint. My second set of speakers from CV were the S-2 and they sounded pretty good (still have them, in fact). They were one of CV's better offerings, in my opinion. On the pro side, most everything was Altec. Cinemas were mostly Altec VOTT stuff and even PA systems I saw/hear a lot of A7s, 604s and such.

So moving into the early '80s...my fixation on bass subsided, my bank account grew and I started to audition speakers again. The ones I fell in love with were the JBL L250s, which I got in 1983, complete with the B460 subwoofer (so I still liked the bass!). I still love the L250 and still have them (and the B460). They were the standard by which I judged all other speakers...until last year.

The JBL M2. That is the first speaker that I've heard that really bested the L250, for me. In fact, the M2 might be too good. Despite being close to 40-years later in life, the M2s reveal so much more detail to my aged years than the L250s did back with my young ears. When listening to music on the M2s, you hear EVERYTHING (you can hear punch-ins/outs easily, every edit done to the recording is pretty well revealed). Whatever is on the recording, they are going to deliver, like it or not. I'm looking forward to plowing through my record and CD collection with them (and movies).

short_circutz2
06-08-2019, 05:12 AM
Dad was a JBL fanatic since the 60s. He used them exclusively for his MI cabs for both guitar and bass. First experience I had with JBL was when dad bought his first real home system JBL L65, powered by Sherwood S-9910.

Dad passed away last year after a 10 yr battle with Multiple Myeloma, but about 2 years before that, he passed his receiver and the JBLs on to me.

About 80% of the used pa speakers and components I have is JBL that I've acquired over the last 25 years from decommissioning various installs. I do some live audio engineering, and I think the best sounding guitar amp I had roll through the club I tech at was a vintage Fender loaded with two E120s.