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View Full Version : New respect for L150A's



evans224
07-15-2005, 03:31 PM
I don't care what anyone says, with the right amp/preamp they sound absolutely wonderful. I know they aren't the most exotic or sought after JBL's, but I just hooked them up to a recently aquired 12 year old Krell KST-100 amp and KSL preamp. They just blew me away with the tight, chest thumping bass and well balanced mids and highs-not too forward, just about right. I was almost ready to give up on them because they are so large. Not now. I may even attempt some of the "upgrades" tried here. Who says an amp is an amp?

speakerdave
07-15-2005, 03:53 PM
Who says an amp is an amp?

Julian Hirsch

Mr. Widget
07-15-2005, 05:20 PM
.

:rotfl:




Widget

johnaec
07-15-2005, 05:43 PM
I still have mixed feelings about having sold mine...I admit, I was really fond of the sound. The 4315's pretty much make up for it, but there was a certain "smoothness" about the L150...

John

evans224
07-15-2005, 06:00 PM
Julian Schmoolian, what the heck does he know anyhow?

Mr. Widget
07-15-2005, 06:11 PM
He knew plenty! I have a lot of respect for the man. I also disagreed with him about some of his comments.

I don't buy into the speaker wire craze... I certainly don't buy into the AC power cord craziness... but I have conducted many amplifier comparisons, blind, double blind, and others and yes, some amps sound different than others. To me there are maybe a half dozen amp flavors. To others there are nuanced differences in every amp. I guess I just don't have that discerning an ear. Thank God!

Widget

speakerdave
07-15-2005, 06:29 PM
Perhaps some explanation.

Julian Hirsch wrote the equipment reviews for the late not particularly lamented magazine High Fidelity for what seemed like decades although it may have been one afternoon. He is famous for at one point fessing up and allowing as how the solid state amplifiers he was reviewing all sounded basically the same. So in his honor there as been created the Annual Julian Hirsch Awkward Admission Award. (Edit: The acronym is in Spanglish.) We've had a winner around here recently.

David

Edit: To be fair to Mr. Hirsch: Alot of them probably did sound basically the same, and that not as good as a lot of people would have liked, only he didn't say that part.

Mr. Widget
07-15-2005, 07:17 PM
Mr. Hirsch did write for High Fidelity early in his career, but most of his reviews were for Stereo Review. I believe in the early days while at High Fidelity he never would have made that statement, because back then amps really did color the sound... some people prefer some of those colorations to this day.:D

Widget

DavidF
07-15-2005, 08:28 PM
Julian seemed to me more concerned with proving the performance aspect of the HiFi products against the marketing claims. As HiFi moved from what we more recently call Geek status to mainstream, the marketing of HiFi mirrored the auto industry (bigger fins means better performance). I sense that his interest was to boil down the advertised specs and relate to the reader how the actual specs related to product quality. More objective yes, but many, many awful products were entering the market. Perhaps this separation of seed from chaff became his standard of measurement which had much less to do with with the subjective quality. I do not think Julian ever intended or wished to cater to the discriminating elite of the market.


DavidF

tomt
07-15-2005, 09:00 PM
evans224 -Julian Schmoolian, what the heck does he know anyhow?
`````````````````````````````````````````````````` ```````
most likley not much,don't the bible say-the dead knowth not any thing?
`````````````````````````````````````````````````` ```````````````
in the jaes he selled/spelled out his mission to test stuff

same issue as the hafler/keros 'paper' on ultraliner

did i spell keros right?

evans224
07-15-2005, 09:40 PM
I've run several different amps and receivers recently, including Panasonic's all digital 100 WPC x 7 that people were raving about, Parasound HCA1205 high current monster with the digital 1500AV preamp, all the way down to a cheapo Harmon Kardon (blasphemy!) I bought for my son. To me, there is a HUGE difference with the Krell gear. I guess it's that low end that they are famous for. By the way, the same guy who sold me the Krell stuff wanted me to buy his pure silver speaker wires -for $1200! Really now. They can't be worth as much as I paid for the amp and preamp, can they?

Mr. Widget
07-15-2005, 09:53 PM
By the way, the same guy who sold me the Krell stuff wanted me to buy his pure silver speaker wires -for $1200! Really now. They can't be worth as much as I paid for the amp and preamp, can they?

Maybe he'd let you borrow them for a week to find out?

On the Krell subject... I compared a pair of their newer offerings with a pair of Cary 50 watt tubes on my own speakers and the Cary kicked ass! Not so in the bass.... but where most of the music is... another good reason to bi-amp.


Widget

JBLGUY
07-15-2005, 10:11 PM
Multi amping rules

Now your approching something special. IMHO it is the only way to really go " high-end "

GordonW
07-16-2005, 06:11 AM
Well, there's a simple reason L150s sound good... it's a d*** good woofer, in a d*** well-thought-out cabinet design (tuned/tunable to work in a wide variety of rooms, with just a simple weight-change on the passive radiator), mated with d*** good crossover design and mid/tweeter drivers.

Though, I'd like to hear one, with 044Ti or 035Tia tweeters and 104H-2 mids, with a slightly modified version of the 120Ti or L100T crossover (ie, one of the above crossovers, with L-pads for accurate mid-tweeter level matching). Basically, a modified 120Ti, with the paper-cone mid and a cabinet loaded-for-bear. Could be absolutely devastatingly good...

Regards,
Gordon.

Lancer
07-16-2005, 06:23 AM
Though, I'd like to hear one, with 044Ti or 035Tia tweeters and 104H-2 mids, with a slightly modified version of the 120Ti or L100T crossover (ie, one of the above crossovers, with L-pads for accurate mid-tweeter level matching). Basically, a modified 120Ti, with the paper-cone mid and a cabinet loaded-for-bear.Absolutely! :yes:

mike
07-16-2005, 08:12 AM
I'll never forget the first time I heard a pair of L150A's I was with my father at a friend's house and we were both blown away by them. We had never heard a JBL that sounded so smooth and had such deep powerful bass. I was eventually able to find a pair in mint condition which I stupidly traded towards a pair of L200B's. That was a mistake as the L150A's were better speakers. I was never able to find another nice pair.

Mike

Akira
07-16-2005, 10:27 AM
I don't buy into the speaker wire craze... I certainly don't buy into the AC power cord craziness... but I have conducted many amplifier comparisons, blind, double blind, and others and yes, some amps sound different than others. To me there are maybe a half dozen amp flavors. To others there are nuanced differences in every amp. I guess I just don't have that discerning an ear. Thank God!

Widget

i agree and i'm sure you will also agree that if you A/B different amps yes there might be some different nuances but they are ever so slight that in comparison to speakers, program and room acoustics, it becomes a ridiculous argument.
when i was studying sound engineering in college we had a maximum class size of 5 students in a control room with a real engineer. one of his favorite topics was phsyco acoustics and he loved to play tricks on us to show us we really didn't know what we were listening to. the purpose was to humble our egos and to start getting real. he could make us hear anything he wanted by manipulating the program in sequence, changing our aural perception step by step. years later after i established myself in the industry, i held listening sessions in state of the art recording studios with groups of other recording engineers where we compared different cabling. (all were of high quality) VERDICT: NO DIFFERENCE! yet, some guy in his home always hears a difference.

LE15-Thumper
07-16-2005, 08:59 PM
Julian Hirsch


I just spit up half of my bran muffin :applaud: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

pmakres1
07-16-2005, 09:04 PM
I just spit up half of my bran muffin :applaud: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

Yes I got a good laugh on that one too...:D

Love that Avatar LE!! :rotfl:

Peter

evans224
07-17-2005, 10:34 AM
Unfortunately I had to pass on the 044ti's our friend dblaxter was offering here, as that was what I was going to put in the L150A's. Maybe next time...

whitese
07-19-2005, 10:45 AM
Well, given that amplifiers react differently to a particular speaker, it wouldnt be surprising that they sounded different. But I wonder of there was a way to have some control where the amps saw an impedance curve that kept them working at the same level, but with the same speaker...maybe there wouldnt be such a difference...

wlk
07-22-2005, 08:17 PM
Though, I'd like to hear one, with 044Ti or 035Tia tweeters and 104H-2 mids, with a slightly modified version of the 120Ti or L100T crossover (ie, one of the above crossovers, with L-pads for accurate mid-tweeter level matching). Basically, a modified 120Ti, with the paper-cone mid and a cabinet loaded-for-bear. Could be absolutely devastatingly good...

Gordon, I thought you might be interested to learn that I am rebuilding a pair of L220s from parts using L220 cabinets, LE 14A woofers, 15 inch L220 passive radiators (forget the model number), 035TI tweeters, 104H-2 mids and modified 4410 or L100T networks. These speakers should be like a super sized version of the L150s.

If you are interested I will let you know how they sound when I am finished the rebuild.

The cabinets were in very poor condition so It will still take me two or three weeks before I have them finished.

If anybody has any ideas for modifying the networks I would appreciate the input.

Regards
WLK

John B
07-23-2005, 09:10 AM
Take a look at the 240Ti crossover. I would also add a zobel on the tweeter as used in the 250Ti.

GordonW
07-25-2005, 08:31 PM
Take a look at the 240Ti crossover. I would also add a zobel on the tweeter as used in the 250Ti.

I'd agree with that, at least in theory. The 240Ti had virtually that exact driver layout. LE14-1, 104H, 044Ti. Since you're using the paper-cone version instead of the poly cone, you might have to treat the midrange like it was treated in the L100T, but I'd bet a "hybrid" between a 240Ti and an L100T, or something similar, should work quite well...

My guess, is that the combo of the LE14 and the paper-cone 104H-2 should give the best of all worlds... a bit "faster" midbass and midrange due to the paper cone midrange, but with the LE14 "cleanliness" on bass. Best vintage-JBL woofer motor/cone assembly, and best (IMHO) LE5-variant, together in one speaker. Hard to go terribly wrong!

Regards,
Gordon.

wlk
07-25-2005, 11:19 PM
John B and GordonW thanks for all the suggestions on how to modify the JBL 4410 crossover to work in my modified L220s.

Regards
WLK

tmckien
07-30-2005, 10:14 AM
I put the 104H and 035ti drivers in my L150 and am very pleased with the performance improvement. The only crossover change I have made so far is the addition of the bypass capacitors. In order to balance the levels, I just have to set the level controls between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 . It was suggested that I use a 4412 (not 4412A) network, but I have not had time to build one yet. I know the crossover frequencies are different than the L150. Has anyone tried that combination? Any other comments or suggestions? I am driving my L150s with a Yamaha M60 (160 w/ch) amp and use a 2235 in a custom (6.4ft) cabinet driven by a Hafler Dh220 for my sub. Makes for a really nice sound.

Raffe
01-08-2006, 01:26 PM
I'd agree with that, at least in theory. The 240Ti had virtually that exact driver layout. LE14-1, 104H, 044Ti. Since you're using the paper-cone version instead of the poly cone, you might have to treat the midrange like it was treated in the L100T, but I'd bet a "hybrid" between a 240Ti and an L100T, or something similar, should work quite well...

My guess, is that the combo of the LE14 and the paper-cone 104H-2 should give the best of all worlds... a bit "faster" midbass and midrange due to the paper cone midrange, but with the LE14 "cleanliness" on bass. Best vintage-JBL woofer motor/cone assembly, and best (IMHO) LE5-variant, together in one speaker. Hard to go terribly wrong!

Regards,
Gordon.

Hi!

I own 240Ti, L100T, L150A and are about to sell the L150A pair and they are refoamed four weeks ago, perhaps I should think again!?

Anny ideas about the actual market value för L150A? They are in a pretty good shape..

pelly3s
01-08-2006, 07:16 PM
Recently I had a customer bring in a pair of L150's for repair, and at the same time another one brought a pair of L100t's and while both were great. I got a chance to do a shoot out between the two and I had a hard time letting the guy take his L150's :D I was interested in buying them but I couldnt afford it at the time being. Well maybe next time

jim3860
01-08-2006, 11:27 PM
I'll never forget the first time I heard a pair of L150A's I was with my father at a friend's house and we were both blown away by them. We had never heard a JBL that sounded so smooth and had such deep powerful bass. I was eventually able to find a pair in mint condition which I stupidly traded towards a pair of L200B's. That was a mistake as the L150A's were better speakers. I was never able to find another nice pair.

Mike There is a pair on audiogon right for $800.00 or best offer. You might want to ask about the black spots on one woofer next to the foam, it looks like glue marks, maybe refoamed on outside of woofer?

thoots
01-09-2006, 06:21 PM
Folks,

I might as well jump into this one. It's been a while since I discussed my L150A adventures. So, here we go! :blah:

Gosh, a number of years ago, a couple of forum versions ago, a member posted a small message saying he had a pair of L150A's for sale. He mentioned the company that had refoamed the woofers and the passives a couple of years previously, and I recognized that as a local shop. So, we exchanged e-mail messages, and within a few days I was headed on over in a pickup with a canopy....

Oh, my. :jawdrop:

http://home.comcast.net/~t.hoots/l150a_001.jpg

Not a single solitary scratch or blemish anywhere. Drivers in perfect condition. Grilles still holding strong, without the slightest imperfection -- no snags, no stains, no problems at all. And.... They had OAK cabinets, which happened to go along with all the rest of my living-room furniture. Talk about turning cartwheels down the street!!

Oh, and there was one more bonus: the original boxes and packaging! Here's the whole package I picked up for six hundred bucks:

http://home.comcast.net/~t.hoots/l150a_002.jpg

That would be, from left to right: grille, grille, L150A, L150A, grille box, grille box, L150A box, L150A box.

Again, the woofers and passives had been refoamed a couple of years previously -- it looked like a marvelous, professional job. And, the speakers sounded quite good -- you could truly hear that truly low bass. But.... Dang it, the bass was a little "shy" to my ears -- it wasn't matching up with the rest of the speaker. Finally, I decided to open 'em up and play with the passive radiator weights:

http://home.comcast.net/~t.hoots/l150a_003.jpg

I actually removed all of the weights -- the "bottom" one is actually glued to the passive cone, so that one stayed. And, by golly, that made a wonderful difference -- that made the bass both as full as I wanted it, plus it added a "dynamic" sense that it didn't quite have with the extra weight on the passives. I COULD NOT be happier with the bass I'm getting out of my L150A's!

Now then, the L150A's weren't the only "white woofer" speakers I had in the house:

http://home.comcast.net/~t.hoots/l150a_004.jpg

That would be a non-mirror-imaged pair of 4312A's, flanking a pair of L100A's, flanking the L150A's. Oh, boy, I sure liked the 4312A's, with those 104H-3 midranges. But, this was about one pair of speakers in the house too many, so I wound up selling the 4312A's, after stealing the 104H-3's out of them. And, eventually, I wound up trying the 104H-3's in the L150A's. Gosh, I tried that several times, and I just couldn't live with the 104H-3's -- I think there was something pretty nasty happening in the crossover between them and the 044 tweeters. And, I am not someone who should be let loose with a soldering gun around a vintage speaker crossover, which is probably what I would have needed to update in order to make the combination work.

So, the LE5-12's went back in, and, eventually, I came to comprehend that the original JBL design really did sound quite good -- very smooth and natural. Other than the extended bass, there just isn't too much you can put your finger on to describe the sound, which is a good thing. Oh, and that bass -- geez, it's like there's a whole octave filling up the room with every kind of music you might play. It is incredibly satisfying, and, with the lightened passives, the bass is as quick, dynamic, and powerful as any music I can throw at it -- stuff like Sheffield Labs' "Thelma Houston and Pressure Cooker" and so on.

Finally, the L150A's also had a sort of "intant karma" with my audio/video system -- they happened to virtually exactly match the height of my television set, sitting atop one of my 30-year-old home-made record cabinets. This picture is a little out-of-date, and I'm pretty sure those are the 104H-3's in there, but this is the general visual effect:

http://home.comcast.net/~t.hoots/l150a_005.jpg

I hope you enjoyed my little cruise down memory lane -- in the end, I've come to appreciate the L150A's even more, after comparing them to numerous other speakers I've played with thanks to eBay and other forum member friends. They're definitely worth a listen if you ever come across a pair!

jim3860
01-09-2006, 10:37 PM
that is without a doubt the nicet pair of L150s i have ever seen :applaud: looks like they reside in a loving home also:)

jay
01-10-2006, 08:07 PM
I've had the pleasure of hearing Thoots' L150A's and can attest to everything he says about them.

They're the finest pair of JBL's I've ever seen or heard, and in a sense I'm still pursuing 'that sound' for myself. Even my 4333's didn't cut it, although they too were very good, but in the end there's truly something satisfyingly 'right' about the L150A.

It's hard to believe they'd be any better, but someday I'd love to hear a pair of the rarer L150AB's as well. Has anyone ever run across a pair?

Cliff A.
09-19-2006, 03:51 AM
I've run several different amps and receivers recently, including Panasonic's all digital 100 WPC x 7 that people were raving about, Parasound HCA1205 high current monster with the digital 1500AV preamp, all the way down to a cheapo Harmon Kardon (blasphemy!) I bought for my son. To me, there is a HUGE difference with the Krell gear. I guess it's that low end that they are famous for. By the way, the same guy who sold me the Krell stuff wanted me to buy his pure silver speaker wires -for $1200! Really now. They can't be worth as much as I paid for the amp and preamp, can they?
Pure silver speaker wires sound harsh compared to good copper or silver plated copper. I don't think they are worth the money people pay for them.

Mr. Widget
09-19-2006, 10:38 AM
Pure silver speaker wires sound harsh compared to good copper or silver plated copper. I don't think they are worth the money people pay for them.Last week at CEDIA, while auditioning a pair of really nice high end loudspeakers I asked the representative from the speaker company how the massive speaker cable with a ten pound network as part of the cable affected the sound. He said that they had carefully measured the cable and the speaker's performance and found that it wasn't doing anything that a run of generic high quality copper wouldn't do so they used it. I then asked, if there is no benefit from using the $2K speaker wires why were they there... the answer was image. Not imaging, but perceived image.

I'll stick with good old copper myself.


Widget

Thom
09-19-2006, 12:08 PM
I'm not saying anything bad about anybody, but what do speaker wires have to deal with, or for that matter interconnects, that my tv cable or my scope lead or even my USB cable doesn't? The very best speaker wire can only attempt to duplicate being hooked up with no wire at all.If you are looking for your wire to add something, something is wrong. Silver wire of one guage should be equivilant to copper of another. The exeption being that silver oxide conducts better than silver, and copper oxide doesn,t conduct to well. A little Cramlin should take care of that and you can even make a ceremony out of it, Maybe even light candles (I might have gotten carried away) Even wire guage 18 ga ( I didn't refer to a chart so the distance may not be right but the principle is) for five feet is better than 10 ga for 50. And even that is only important in some (could be a lot ) cases. Not all fancy wire ideas have no foundation. Interconnects with two wires inside the shield and the shield only grounded on one end are used in industry regularly but just to keep noise out so if your interconnects are coax and you don't hear 60 cps (hz) I wouldn't worry about it. Those of you who make a living selling the fancy cables, your customer isn't isn't going to believe me or even if he does he'll want to show them off so I wouldn't frett.

Zilch
09-19-2006, 12:24 PM
A little Cramlin should take care of that and you can even make a ceremony out of it, Maybe even light candles....:rotfl:

scott fitlin
09-20-2006, 02:52 PM
Last week at CEDIA, while auditioning a pair of really nice high end loudspeakers I asked the representative from the speaker company how the massive speaker cable with a ten pound network as part of the cable affected the sound. He said that they had carefully measured the cable and the speaker's performance and found that it wasn't doing anything that a run of generic high quality copper wouldn't do so they used it. I then asked, if there is no benefit from using the $2K speaker wires why were they there... the answer was image. Not imaging, but perceived image.

I'll stick with good old copper myself.


WidgetFinally something that states the truth. And from an audio company no less!

Id even bet that the ten pund network imparts a slight loss transferring the signal. Some thing I would not accept. I say this, because back in my overzealous days of seeking some of the so called enchantments from the high end world of snake oils and wonder cremes, I bought some MIT interconnects with the little " Phase Correcting " networks built right into the cable itself. Small plastic boxes the cable ran through, and there is in fact a gain loss. Whatever, I used em, it didnt neccesarily make anything better, just a bit different, and eventually, I returned to plain old well made generic copper wire, with good switchcraft connectors, the kind everyone can buy, and you know, the music just sounded better!

Silver wire? I bought some of those too! Found them to be bright and slightly harsh sounding. Wouldnt do that again. Nope.

The best line these companies feed you when you bought their product, and tell them YOU DONT like it, is, " Well, thats because now you are hearing what your equipment really sounds like " :bs:

Thom
09-20-2006, 03:11 PM
I don't want to mess with someone who believes in magic wire. I usually don't discuss religion unless maybe if it's mith my boss and I'm on at least time and a half but how can someone who doesn't believe in magic wires, unless I misunderstood (because I'm not picking fights and no one owes me an explanation) say (silver wires sound to bright) is there something about them I don't know? (wouldn't be the first time) Now most scope leads if you want them to read very high reasonably flat you attenuate by 10 (or more) then you adjust a cap load till its accurate on a square wave but were talking way up there not 20 k 0r even 100k usually.