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View Full Version : L300 Summit - what the heck is this?



Iguana
02-23-2006, 03:35 AM
Hi folks,
I need you advise on following issue.
I have various speakers new and old.
I spoke with my hi-fi dealer and he told me that one of his clients offer for sale "JBL L-300 Summit" and he recomends me to get those instead of my 27 years old Klipsch Lascala.

The seller is 4 hours drive away and he wants 2500$ and i really never heard about this speaker before and to be honest i'm not very familiar with old JBL and their sound. I don't like very much the new ones (i'm talking about reasonably priced ones :) ).

So before i drive over there i would like to hear your opinion regarding this speaker, the price, what sound differences should i expect between it and the Lascala, what are advantages and downsides - in short any info will be greatly appreciated.

i mostly listen to small classics and jazz (not big bands).
my amp is 70wats Audio Research and the pre is Cary.

Thanks,
Ian

jim campbell
02-23-2006, 06:42 AM
the L300 will knock your socks off.however for that price they should be in great shape mechanically and cosmetically.i had mine for 20 years and still regret having to sell them.if you dont maybe someone in this forum may be interested.it is possible that one of the guys is close to the seller and can check them out for you.normal scam radar should be operational as well.a good percentage of jbl's that come up for sale are unfortunately used as bait by con men.caveat emptor.what part of the planet are you on?

Iguana
02-23-2006, 07:42 AM
Jim,
speakers located in northern Denmark :-)

you say "knock your socks off".........
how they sound can be described?
seller says that bass was reconed few years ago - is this important? how this should influence their cost?

Don McRitchie
02-23-2006, 08:22 AM
In my opinion, compared to a La Scala, they have deeper bass, a smoother midrange and more extended highs. They don't have the mid-bass punch of the La Scala, but they also don't have the ragged upper midrange of the Klipsch that I find very fatiquing. The reconing is probably a good thing assuming it was done right. It just means that the moving parts of the bass driver were replaced with new parts so that they should be closer to original factory specs. $2500 is on the high end of what L300's seem to be going for in the US. However, prices in Europe are often double that of the US due to the greater rarity of JBL speakers on that continent. Therefore $2500 stikes me as a good deal in Denmark if the speakers are in very good shape.

BTW, you can find pictures and specs for the L300 here:

http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/specs/home-speakers/1975-l300.htm

Iguana
02-23-2006, 12:26 PM
Thanks Don,
what about the "size" of the soundstage?
and from reading of this forum i understand that L-300 and "summit" aren't the same thing.
which one is better?
how is it possible to confirm which exact version is it?

jim campbell
02-23-2006, 03:36 PM
the L300 will give you a big sound.the woofers will rattle the windows and attract the police.horns will leap out of the speaker into your listening area,kick drums will whack you in the chest.but what i liked best was that at high volumes they were clean and there was always lots of air between the notes.of course this depends on the other components being of good quality and powerful enough.the ecm stuff sounded great and they could rock too.as you probably have gathered they hold their value as well.i defer to fearless leader regarding the differences in model variations but there definitely was an l 300 summit.mine were built in custom cabs and i never owned the originals

Don McRitchie
02-23-2006, 08:53 PM
Thanks Don,
what about the "size" of the soundstage?
and from reading of this forum i understand that L-300 and "summit" aren't the same thing.
which one is better?
how is it possible to confirm which exact version is it?

Both the Klipsch and L300 have large soundstages, but I wouldn't say that either images that precisely. "Summit" was the name assigned to the L300 model number. Early L300's have no mention of the model name on the speaker while later versions had the foilcal labeled "L300 Summit". As best I can tell, there is no difference between these systems. There was an L300A introduced in 1979 that replaced the Alnico 136A bass driver with the ferrite 136H bass driver. Both drivers used identical moving parts and both magnets had identical energy so that there sould be very little sonic difference, if any. The only real way to tell which bass driver is in the system you are considering is to take it out of the cabinet. The 136A has a magnet that is fully enclosed in a deep, small diameter pot. The 136H has an exposed magnet that has a larger diameter and is shallower to look more like a pancake.

Iguana
02-23-2006, 11:07 PM
thanks a lot for your answers so far.
now to another one - what amp is required for L300?
is SET possible?
300B perhaps? or they need much more and push-pull is a must?

Ducatista47
02-24-2006, 08:25 AM
I am sure a discussion or a plethora of links to useful threads is about to follow, but let me say I did fine with a six watt SET. A larger unit would pump up the low bass more than a bit, if you play at loud settings. I don't.

I have found these speakers to be not the least bit picky about amps.

Most of all, BUY THEM before they are gone!

Clark in Peoria

Iguana
02-24-2006, 12:54 PM
Most of all, BUY THEM before they are gone!



are they that good?:blink:

clmrt
02-24-2006, 12:59 PM
I think they mean the opportunity is rare, and if you have the means to buy them, you should.

They can always be re-sold.

jim campbell
02-24-2006, 02:12 PM
your AR amp will probably be fine,but i personally would recommend 150 watts or more with lots of current.that is a big woof to push and the extra headroom is nice.i would guess that these do not appear too often in northern denmark and most of the guys here would probably recommend that you grab them while you can

Mr. Widget
02-24-2006, 11:00 PM
So before i drive over there i would like to hear your opinion regarding this speaker, the price, what sound differences should i expect between it and the Lascala, what are advantages and downsides - in short any info will be greatly appreciated.The first thing you will notice is that the JBLs are about 12dB less sensitive than the Klipsch La Scalas. This is not trivial. Beyond that I would completely agree with Don's description of the differences between them. The La Scalas have almost no bass below 50Hz relative to the midrange... if this hasn't bothered you, you may find the slightly jacked up 40Hz response of the L300 bothersome... or you may love it.

I really respect the older Klipsch speakers as I do many of the older JBLs. That said I think the L300s are superior to the La Scala in every way. Obviously there are those who would disagree. Go listen with an open mind. It should be a very interesting experience for you.

Widget

Ducatista47
02-25-2006, 12:07 AM
Most of all, BUY THEM before they are gone!
Clark in Peoria
Sorry, I did not mean to be forceful. I sometimes forget that not everyone shares my fondness of large JBL speakers of this era. I personally find them to offer an unmatched combination of powerfull dynamics, clarity, tone and above all balance. Other speakers seem, to me, to be missing something vital or even weak by comparison.

The Lansing Heritage site is quite a support group, and no one here seems to be looking for a twelve step program to lessen their affection for the brand.:)

Guess I lost perspective. Please listen to and buy what appeals to YOU, without being swayed by this old fool.

Clark in Peoria, Illinois, USA

majick47
02-25-2006, 07:12 AM
Ian make sure you drive a van or a wagon and bring some heavy blankets when you go to listen to the L300, I guarantee they will be going home with you.

sunnysal
02-25-2006, 07:26 AM
L300 are fine sounding speakers. I have both vintage klipsch and JBL and they have VERY different sounds, you will tend to like one or the other and it is hard to predict which.

I agree that the L300 will have fuller bass and smoother highs, to some "smoother" is not what they are looking for. The La Scala is not among my favorite Heritage Klipsch, I would rate the K-horn, Belle and Cornwall above it. In fact, I almost always roecmmend buying a powerful subwoofer (or two) to go along with the La Scalas, then one has something! However, the front horn loaded mids and highs in the Klipsch have a sound that is distinctly different than the JBL sound.

The ideal would be for you would be audition both, I know it is a long drive but IMHO worth it. Bring along some favorite music and check them both out. Speaker choices are too important to make based on recommendations, listening is the only way to really know.

regards,
Tony

Iguana
02-25-2006, 11:13 AM
Clark,
that's OK :).

it's interesting to see thought such a spread in amp recomendation - from 6 watt to 150 watt .................

Iguana
02-25-2006, 11:30 AM
Tony,
it's interesting to hear about your expirience.
I already have a grate velodyne 15" sub which completes lascala's bass (in my room lascala don't have bass atr all lower than 50hz).

I really don't like very much lascala's treble and its cabinet resonances.
but i do like its dynamics, huge sound, "in your face" midrange.
Having KHorn i guess you know exactly what i'm talking about.

how would you copmment those parameters in JBL?

Mr. Widget
02-25-2006, 01:31 PM
it's interesting to see thought such a spread in amp recomendation - from 6 watt to 150 watt .................A lot of that has to do with how we listen. There is no way in hell I could use a 6 watt amp with a speaker with only a 93dB sensitivity. I would and do use a 300 watt amp with my 93-94dB speakers. It really comes down to personal taste, preference, room size, budget...:blah:


Widget

sunnysal
02-25-2006, 05:04 PM
Iquana,
What I like about klipsch is the detail and jump. horns have a dynamic that cone speakers cannot match.

the JBL give me smooth, non fatiguing listening and a warmth the Klipschs sometimes lack.

in the end the k-horns are in my main system and the JBLs in a secondary system so it is easy to see where my taste lies. in the end it is a taste thing, ans klipsch floats my boat a bit more than JBL for serious listening.

the natue of the beast is such that each will have his favortie and IMHO all are "right".

audition and decide I say,

tony