View Full Version : L300???

jim campbell
01-05-2006, 05:31 PM
I used to have a JBL system that I acquired piecemeal and built custom cabinets for.It started its life as an (030)-3 3 way in mdf boxes with 136 A woofers,le 5a mids, and 077 tweeters which sounded better than the 030 2 ways with the 075 ring radiator.Later I found some le 87 hl 91's and had custom cabinets made up with 10 cubic foot ported woofer cabs and separate smaller cabs to individually mount the others ala the old Fulton J that i had seen.This system proved to be a great system for some twenty years although costly to maintain especially with the cost of the horn diaphrams that would blow from time to time.I am interested in corresponding with anyone who can give me any info about these components and possibly assist in the design of another system like it.Though I no longer own the components I miss the way these beasts sounded and i have yet to hear anything out there that I like as much.Most of the stuff out there is of the 2 way wife friendly background music kind of thing.Any input would be appreciated.thank you...Jim Campbell :banghead:

01-05-2006, 05:46 PM
Welcome! Interesting set-up you had. Maybe you could clarify the "le 87 hl 91's ". I imagine this is in reality, the LE-85 compression driver with the H-91 horn? Also, did you use this to replace the LE5 midrange? You were probably blowing diaphragms because the crossover wasn't set up correctly to accomodate a compression driver vs. a direct radiator (cone type) speaker. The compression drivers are very, very efficient and don't require a lot of power to make em' loud. Too much power and you kill the very expensive diaphragms.

If you were to do it over again, wouldn't it be easier just to buy a vintage JBL speaker system that's all together ready to go? The L-300's can be had for about $1,500, more or less depending on condition. Or your can peice one together, but it'd be just as expensive if not more. There's a lot of specialized knowledge in putting together speaker systems, including enclosures, component selection and crossover design. With the problems you had with the last speaker system, can you say it worked out as well as if you either purchased a finished system?

Consider other JBL speakers, besides the L-300 if price is a problem as many perform quite well. I haven't met a pair of vintage JBL speakers that I haven't had some kind of liking for yet. L-65's, L-150's, L100T, 4310's, etc, etc.

It'd be helpful to know where you're located as well.

01-05-2006, 06:18 PM
. . . . of another system like it. . . .
Welcome to the forum! Your question will remind many of us where we stood on this whole project not so long ago.

There are many possible systems "like it" if I know what you mean. I suggest you begin by using the library link above and reading up on home speakers and pro speakers until you identify some models you would be interested in buying or copying. Then use the search function above to find threads where these speakers have been discussed. Then you may be prepared to tell us more specifically what you want to do and also ask some specific questions. You should also have an idea by then how much money you want to spend on this project and how much of the work you are prepared to do yourself.


01-05-2006, 08:25 PM
Two-ways don't HAVE to be either wife friendly OR background music kinds of things.... :p

O.K., O.K., you want L300's.

Never mind....

jim campbell
01-06-2006, 05:56 PM
Yes I have considered a factory system,but I must confess the cabinets that I had built sounded awesome ( someone else built them ).The woofers in Zilch's picture with the big lens look like mine.Are they L136a's?I live in Winnipeg, Siberia and i never did hear what the stock L300 sounded like.Most of the information that I got back when I made them was unclear and if you asked 10 people you got ten different answers.As to the specifics;
1.Are L136a' s the way to go or were they replaced by something better by JBL?Mine would be at least 30 years old.
2.After some time the vocals seemed to be a bit harsh,but since the x over point from L136a to Le85/hl91 is 500 hz could an aging woofer have been the problem?
3.Is 18 db per octave slope ok as I think factory was 12?
4.With the 077 the x over freq was 7500 hz and I wonder if this rendered them redundant (or partially so)?
5.What would be a better alternative to the Le85/HL91 set up in a similar price range.
6.Are these components the actual L300 stuff or are one or more from another system?
7.If one were willing to spend about 5 k US or so on components and size /weight wasnt a huge issue what would you choose?
8.Is it blasphemous to consider altec horns?
I have heard a few Paragons now and again but I believe that all things being equal I preferred mine.I still have my L220's but I miss the old ones.Since I dont have any buddies who can service this stuff, maintenance is costly. I lean towards newer technology,for this reason as well as parts availability. I dont believe whats on the market today will yield the same kind of sound that the JB's didat any price.Sorry about the wife friendly crack but I think you understand .Audio Research tube pre amps ,monster macintosh amps and 15 inch Jb's do it for me and Ill stand on any single ended triode in my cowboy boots and say that.With apologies to Steve Earle thank for your input...jc

01-06-2006, 06:55 PM
Woofs in my pic are 2235H, the recommended replacement for 136A.

A major problem in your earlier design was running LE85's on the short H91 horn crossed at 500 Hz. Look to L300 for guidance....

Mr. Widget
01-06-2006, 07:34 PM
A major problem in your earlier design was running LE85's on the short H91 horn crossed at 500 Hz. Look to L300 for guidance....Or look to the 4343 for an upgrade. Or get a much bigger horn and a 2" driver for a nice three-way. Or...

There are so many options, opinions, decisions, etc. etc. I agree with Zilch that I would not ask the LE85 to play down to 500Hz and I certainly wouldn't ask it to with the 1200Hz HL91.

To paraphrase what JBL used to say... our hearing is most acute in the midrange, so put your money there.


jim campbell
01-07-2006, 09:00 AM
Back in the day not too much info was available to me and the x over freq's came from a costly series of calls to JBL Los Angeles and Montreal.I can see already that this forum will make life easier.I had no idea that Le 85 drivers could be used with other horns. The Le 85
hl91 replaced the le5.The cabinets were designed haphazardly but assembled very well.I always believed that the large cabs were a plus and I think something based on the 15 in.2235h or 136a would be best.I agree that the mids are the most important and that was where i had the most trouble with that nasal quality that infected some vocals.And the o77 x ing at 7500 seemed to me that they really didnt do as much as they might have.Also these will play in a regular house so do bigger horns work?I hope that by describing what I had will give you an idea what kind of sound I want less the honkiness and reliability problems of the past.As to the 4343 and other pro options i would like to check them out but where to actually hear any of them is a tough one.

01-07-2006, 09:22 AM
The L300 crosses the 136A over at 800 to the LE85driver/2312 11.5"long horn/2308 lens and at 8500 to the 077. I am going to try the 2235H as a substitute for my reconed 136A's and a 2245 as a subwoofer. BTW, I can't see how you were blowing LE85's unless you slammed your tonearm across the record at max vol - I did that once!

Box size - the 136A and the 2235 are designed for a much smaller ported box - was yours ported or infinite baffle?

Speaker complement - go to www.goldsound.net (http://www.goldsound.net/) onthe web and look at their Kit#11 ($2k 15" JBL 3-way) or Kit#14 ($3.5k JBL 18" 4-way). They do the xover and supply the plans and you build it. Awesome looking.

Reference/advice - I think (one of) the originators of this website also lives in Winnipeg, Siberia. Don McRitchie? Talk.
- Roy

jim campbell
01-07-2006, 10:35 AM
The cabs were 10 cu ft ported.the woofs were in there own enclosures lined with a reasonable facimilie of egg crate shaped foam not accoustic foamas is sold in hi fi stores.I chose this instead of fiberglass.they were aprox 4 ft high 18 in deep and maybe 30 in wide. 2 men could sit in there.the driver and port pointed forward with the driver centered at head level when seated.the port was oblong about 6x4 in and 4 inches below the woofer and extended 3 inches into the box the drivers were surface mounted and held in place with JBL clamps(6).The audio arts electronic x over sat in the rack.the woofers were driven by a bryston 4b,an audio research sp 6a pre amp, dbx 3bx and an eq unit usually set fairly flat. the le 85 horns were driven fr0m 500hz to 7500 hz by a bryston 3 b.the 077s were powered by a sae 2200.If yoiu have seen the way Fulton J is set up you get the idea of where the design came from.:banghead:

jim campbell
01-08-2006, 08:29 PM
If the 136a's xover to le 85's at 800hz does that not give a 15 inch driver some fairly high freqs to deal with.I tried some tones on the piano in the 500hz range and it seems to me that they are very high for a driver that has to come up with some very low notes?Is that why the four ways were for?As well i did the same with the 7500 hz freqs with a tone generator and it seemed that very little was actually going to the 077's.The guy with the tone generator showed me how fast audible sounds roll off after about 12khz.

jim campbell
01-08-2006, 08:35 PM
If one was inclined to upgrade to a 4343 what kind of price range would that be.Is the factory cabinet the best way to go or are customs designs worth the extra time and expense.

01-09-2006, 01:55 AM
Here are a few tips for reading.

4343/4344: http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=8355


4345/4344: http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=1812&highlight=4345

01-09-2006, 10:14 AM
From what I've been told the 4-ways offer that lower xover from the woofer you are concerned about. Look at the GoldSound kits or the JBL 4-ways, I think they try to restrict the 15" or 18" to 250Hz or so. I've never heard one but those that know say there is an audible as well as power-handling advantage. As for the high xover at 8500 - there is alot of sound/harmonics pouring out of my 2405's above that frequency.
I've heard 2 ways of improving the L300/4333 that appear good to me
- go 4way with an 8", 10" or 12" midrange taking the 200-1000Hz signal
- replace the 1" LE85/2312/2308 with a 2" 375/2311/2308 setup
the first requres cabinet and xover work; the second apparently does not require either but the 375 is more sensitive so would require attenuation - maybe just the existing L-Pads are enough.
You can talk to the folk at Goldsound or your Winnipeg forum members - maybe they have something you can hear too!
- Roy

jim campbell
01-13-2006, 11:04 PM
Cant say that I ever met many of the Winnipeg guys.I got my electronic x over from Henry at Banquox,but that was so long ago.I still have three of those old Banquox 15 in bass cabs and i want one more just to amuse my neighbor and his drum playing brat at 3 am.Regis is sayin' that I may be able to replace my L 300's for about $1500 US and if indeed thats true I will definitely check into that.I cant remember how far back it was that the local outlets got out of big JB's but I got my L136A Le5 077 setup in mdf boxes about 4 cu ft at Western Sound in wpg.At the time they had them beside a 030 2 way in slightly bigger cabs but I liked the sound of the 3 ways better.The three ways were as I recall designated as 030-3's but I believe that this setup was put together with components from other systems.I dont remember the original X overs but I used to fry pots regularly.I picked up the Le85's at Advance tv radio around 1980 and built the big cabinets that I used for the next fifteen years or so.The best info I could get at the time said that they were L300's.I have pix scanned into my computer but I havnt figured out how to upload them yet.The le 5's were lost in a flood.I used a combo of lx 5 /7000 x overs and later an audio arts 18 db per octave electronic.During a weekend away my x wifes kids got curious and set off a chain of events that destroyed not only a lot of gear but my will to go on and in a moment of despair I sold them.If I had access to a site like this then things might have been different but ...........

01-14-2006, 12:54 PM
Hey where was Henry located when you were dealing with him? :hmm:

As far as JBL dealers go in Winnipeg there is none that I could recommend,and forget about service as well.:banghead:

jim campbell
01-14-2006, 01:34 PM
Dufferin ave near Powers but there was another place earlier closer to downtown,maybe Main St?Tell me about it.If you asked ten guys the same question you got eleven different answers.Some showed a little interest if they smelled some cash though.Building a custom system with no real reference support was a nightmare and long distance wasnt cheap like now.And who can say what the guy on the other end knew or didnt know?If memory serves and it usually dont Banquox spent some time on Main between William and Bannatyne where the road curves.There used to be an all nite pool room there that burned.But I could be wrong .....

01-14-2006, 08:47 PM
Hi Jim they were on the west side of main just north of the royal bank which is a parking lot right now. It was Athlete's wear before they relocated behind the concert hall. That was mid 70's and by the 80,s he was on Dufferen till mid 90's

jim campbell
01-15-2006, 09:36 AM
Hey remusr; I liked some of your ideas particularly the 375 horn replacing the le 85 in a 4343 set up in a custom cab with a 3 way electronic x over and a passive for the tweeter.Another idea was a similar thing with something like a 4350 but how many of those exist I have no idea.How practical is this in terms of availability,spare parts, price etc?Cab volume, weight is not a big issue and Im thinkin of a vertical array some 20" wide x 28"-30"deepx 4' -5 ' with the horn and tweeter on top in some kind of mount.As long as they can be dollied and get thru a regular door its all good.The shopping list would be something like 2 or 4 2235h 2 375's 2 077's and the mids.Whatta ya think or am I dreaming?

01-16-2006, 02:51 PM
I know nothing about xovers so I would have to go with an existing complement of speakers and from what I hear the 4345 setup (18" 2245H bass) sounds pretty ultimate if you can get the components. Otherwise I'd go for the Goldsound kits - they supply NEW drivers & xovers and you build the cabs per their specs. Or develop xover skill or a support group! What about the later 2344/2404 biradials for mid/highs rather than the 2420/375 mid that you can't get the original aluminum diaphragms for? I know...the 375 is one impressive piece cw the buttcheek look.

An 18" bass would be awesome - I heard LedZeppelin in Edmonchuk back in 1967 or so and they had Marshall 18" bass units that I still remember - always wanted to recreate that grumbling background bass guitar sound in Whole Lotta Love!
FWIW - I've heard secondhand opinions that 4350 or 4425-type multiple woofers sound muddy. As well as requiring huge and wide cabs.