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Thread: No high end JBL in audio stores here

  1. #1
    scarpi
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    No high end JBL in audio stores here

    I am a long time audiophile. I go back to direct to disc LPs and turntables. In the 80s I had a great pair of L150A speakers. As technology advanced I sold them in about 2003 after having them for about 22 years and since I could not find any "high end" new JBL speakers to replace them at the time I purchased a pair of Paradigm Studio 100 V2 speakers. They are terrific. But I thought I would now see if any new JBL models are in the audio stores. But nobody in my area (Phoenix) carries the K2 series or any JBL product that actually is as good as my Paradigms. The only stuff is the JBLs at Best Buy and they are not what I consider JBL speakers like the old ones (audiophile grade). The question is what the heck are they doing and it is too bad that JBL doesn't care to sell their high end speakers in the USA. It seems that I have fond memories of my beautiful L150A speakers and JBL sells nothing in the $2000 to $4000 per pair price in the USA that is excellent. This is my first post on this forum and I guess I'm just wondering why JBL cheapened its name in it's home country. When I bought my L150A speakers, the JBL name was considered high end and the audio store I bought them from was a high end shop. I want to see high end JBLs in the audio stores today!

  2. #2
    Senior Member jim campbell's Avatar
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    what the heck indeed.............it appears that for the time being that if you wist to recapture the jb sound that you remember you will have to go vintage or vintage diy.the parent company does not appear inclined to market what you and a lot of other folks here desire,at least not for less than a german luxury sedan would cost.and i found myself recently looking at thirty year old monitors that may or may not need expensive and hard to obtain parts and service trading for anywhere up to 6000 dollars us,plus the usual taxes,shipping etc.if you have the disposable income ,time and inclination to invest then vintage jb will appeal to you,but if you are not i would suggest other manufacturers.ask yourself if you can afford to wait months for spare parts,or if you have the space and time to keep extras on hand,or even a second system.its like my old harley,it was great fun and everyone admired it but i do remember spending more than a few weekends at home for want of a hard to find part while the guys with the new stuff pushed their electric starts and went.

  3. #3
    Senior Member brutal's Avatar
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    For high end JBL, you'll have to go to a specialty HT marketer.

    If you check JBL's website, they have listings for the dealers.

    That said, I think others have had difficulty getting said dealers to work with them on something as "insignificant' as a $10,000 speaker sale.


  4. #4
    Senior Member sourceoneaudio's Avatar
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    I have a list of a couple of dealers here in Phoenix that can get the Array gear. I found them after going through a contact on the website, they have none in stock, and non to listen too, but can order. Like that helps? Also There is a dealer in Sedona AZ. that has a pair of K2's up and running.


    Jeff
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    Jeff-S1A

  5. #5
    Senior Member Storm's Avatar
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    Welcome fellow Phoenician!

    Glad to know there is another Phoenician out there!

    Not many of us around...



    -Storm.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Valentin's Avatar
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    There is also a pair of JBL ti10K and Ti6K at Harman direct site for a very reasonable price and are better than the Paradigm acoustically and beautifully sculptured

    http://www.harmanaudio.com/search_br...10KBE-Z&status=

  7. #7
    scarpi
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    Thanks to all for the welcome. I loved my L150A speakers. I bought them in 1981 for about $1400/pair here in Phoenix at Jerry's Audio. Now you go to these stores and all you see is televisions connected to home theater systems. Don't get me wrong I love to watch movies too but it seems high end audio has taken a hit because of the popularity of home theater, ipods, and downloading. I may be older (60) but there was nothing like walking into a hifi dealer and hearing demos of great Audio systems and seeing large JBLs with beautiful cabinets pumping out the sound.

  8. #8
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarpi View Post
    I may be older (60) but there was nothing like walking into a hifi dealer and hearing demos of great Audio systems and seeing large JBLs with beautiful cabinets pumping out the sound.
    Well you are in good company here... but the fact is, if the remaining shops weren't selling plasmas, projectors, and large LCDs they wouldn't exist at all.

    I remember what a thrill it used to be to go to those high end audio shops to see and hear the latest gear... Unfortunately too few people really care much about it these days. Most of my friends would toss out any of these large speakers that we love in a heartbeat. They want invisible sound that is acceptable... remarkable sound just doesn't matter to them. It's no wonder that there are so few high quality hi-fi shops in general and along with that none carrying the larger JBls that we covet.


    Widget

  9. #9
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    I remember what a thrill it used to be to go to those high end audio shops to see and hear the latest gear... Unfortunately too few people really care much about it these days. Most of my friends would toss out any of these large speakers that we love in a heartbeat. They want invisible sound that is acceptable... remarkable sound just doesn't matter to them. It's no wonder that there are so few high quality hi-fi shops in general and along with that none carrying the larger JBls that we covet.

    Widget
    Of course, if it wasn't for the fact that so few cared for big speakers, if they were coveted like other vintage items, we couldn't afford them either.
    Their prices would have risen to match market values and ... you'd be having these discussions with other folks!
    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
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  10. #10
    Senior Member fotodan's Avatar
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    I always tell myself, if I ever win the lottery, I would buy all the vintage gear I could get my hands on, open a store the size of Walmarts, and let the public have at it. Of course I would not have much in sales, but, God I would love going to work everyday..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotodan View Post
    I always tell myself, if I ever win the lottery, I would buy all the vintage gear I could get my hands on, open a store the size of Walmarts, and let the public have at it. Of course I would not have much in sales, but, God I would love going to work everyday..
    Personally, I beg to differ. I think you will have problem of keeping the store stocked. Just how much vintage gear is out there?

    I think a some of the reasons for the demise of the large speaker systems is home theater(HT) system where you require 2+ speakers for proper sound rendition. Not many ordinary souls have the floor available space to dedicate to the bigger boxes.

    Another reason is the introduction of the Ipod, where the emphasizes is on the number of songs and not the quality. MP3 music at 192kbps is pretty darn good, but the little ear buds just can't do any justice to quality music.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKLee
    Personally, I beg to differ. I think you will have problem of keeping the store stocked. Just how much vintage gear is out there?
    You might be right, but maybe not. I've thought about doing this as a retirement gig. I've checked out a couple of store fronts, looked into insurance, employees, stock, services, etc. I might be able to break even or perhaps generate a slim profit. A couple of months of slow sales, or a rapid increase of prices on the used market, or a slowing or exhaustion of supply, and it's bankruptcy time. I could never devise a business plan that didn't require me to have to subsidize the effort over the short haul (to start up) and long haul (to keep it going).

    Quote Originally Posted by RKLee
    I think a some of the reasons for the demise of the large speaker systems is home theater(HT) system where you require 2+ speakers for proper sound rendition. Not many ordinary souls have the floor available space to dedicate to the bigger boxes.
    Well, I think we have to look at the evolution of audio (and audio/visual) usage in the home. That'll tell us a lot about why we're in the condition we're in today.

    The move from one big speaker in mono to two big speakers in stereo wasn't that hard to do, and the marketing played to that as a natural development.

    When surround sound came on the scene (omitting Quad FPS), the idea of adding more full sized speakers not only had the WAF against it, but there was an economic resistance as well. So it was marketed as an add-on where you could get a dinky pair of surrounds and a so-so center, and an inexpensive add-on decoder or bargain receiver and you were good to go.

    Bose jumped on this wagon and baled hay from dawn to dusk. Why your guests won't even see these dinky satellites but they'll sure be amazed at the sound! JBL and others followed suit, and to this day I'm sure their HTIB stuff sells remarkably well.

    One thing JBL did that others almost completely missed the boat on was development of the Synthesis line, where WAF, economic resistance, and add-on mentality were tossed out the window. You want an HT? I got your HT right here, and it won't fit in a box. We might be surprised at the number of Synthesis Systems out there, and we're not likely to see many of those folks here.

    Some of us have "near Synthesis" systems, and they do take up some space. Luckily for me, the Performance Series is not a space hog, as long as I've got some wall space available.


    Quote Originally Posted by RKLee
    Another reason is the introduction of the Ipod, where the emphasizes is on the number of songs and not the quality. MP3 music at 192kbps is pretty darn good, but the little ear buds just can't do any justice to quality music.
    As for the iPod and other digital players, I think it's a bit of a red herring in this kind of discussion. I've got three iPods and they've had no effect on my (still burgeoning) JBL collection. The iPod is the best device ever in my chain of portable music devices, starting with the the NEC 8 transistor radio I bought with lawn mowing money in the 1950s. It beats the pants off the portable radios, radio/cassettes, Panasonic auto-reverse EQ metal tape portable, portable CD, and portable Minidisc players of the past.

    Since I don't plan to replace any of my home systems with an iPod and earbuds, and I don't plan to replace my iPod and earbuds by carrying around a DVD player, receiver, and a pair of PT800s, it seems a non sequiter to me.

    Kids are listening to iPods rather than quality stereos at home. That's a legitimate point, but listening to music the way we did when growing up is largely gone. It's a different kind of social experience, and it mostly doesn't revolve around a gathering by the turntable. I say thank heaven that iPods have largely replaced boomboxes and ghetto-blasters as public music devices. In that regard, iPods have greatly improved the music listening experience for me--I don't have to listen to loud radios in the bus, train, at the mall, etc. Everyone's iPodding.

    Now, if we could just get the cars in the street under control... but that's not likely, as JBL and others are making a killing in the autosound market. It's like having a license to print money.

  13. #13
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    Vast political conspirators - right and left

    http://www.performanceaudio.com/cgi/...0&submit=Go%21


    http://www.performanceaudio.com/cgi/...0&submit=Go%21


    As your good Arizona neighbor, John McBush would say, "You are NOT out-of-luck yet, my friend..."

    ...After toying with a few Altec and JBL legacy systems from era's begone, with only moderate success, I decided to explore other alternatives that are both superior in terms of performance and price. These choices come in two basic alternatives (1) vast right-wing conspirators and (2) vast left-wing conspirators:

    1. Vast right-winged: Purchase new JBL Professional components (high frequency and low frequency drivers) and install them in (i) boxes built by your local cabinet-maker or from (ii) old empty speaker boxes that are sold on E-bay, for example.

    • Advantage - complete freedom to design and build what you want
    • Disadvantage - time consuming, also passive electronic crossovers need to be purchased and they must match the components.

    2. Vast left-winged: Buy completed new JBL cinema speakers with effective cabinets and crossovers that have been designed by the factory. The JBL Professional System 3678 is a very good choice.

    • Advantage - Let someone else do your work - quick and easy like taking big money from the government
    • Disadvantage - Somewhat ugly presentation (e.g., spouse un-freindly) One option here (System 3678) is to install the HF driver/horn inside the cabinent and cover the mortal sinns with a custom speaker grill, I suppose.

    SEE THE LINKS ABOVE FOR JBL PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS AND CINEMA SPEAKERS.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Akira's Avatar
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    Engineer's perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    Kids are listening to iPods rather than quality stereos at home. That's a legitimate point, but listening to music the way we did when growing up is largely gone. It's a different kind of social experience, and it mostly doesn't revolve around a gathering by the turntable.
    I think it is largely a matter of education combined with the 'hip' factor.

    When we were young we were indoctrinated (educated) in quality sound...engineering and production. We came to expect it, lusted after systems we could not afford and eventually begged, borrowed and worked our way up to the most high end system we could muster...hard to do at $3./ hour. I remember my friend being one of the first to buy one of those systems--Pioneer and AR. It took me 2 years longer but, when I got my first Citation 11/12, L100's I proudly blew him out of the water! (the 'hip' factor) In those days we used to go to each others houses and listen to vinyl albums.
    My love of JBL spawned a desire to become a sound engineer. I listened intently at every sound and recording technique, started buying gear, recording friend's bands and eventually went to engineering school. For 22 years I made my living doing it. I can't do that any longer. I can't support myself mixing albums and have had to diversify into sound for the moving picture--meaning mostly computer work.

    So what went wrong? A lot of things, but the record industry has to take a lot of the blame. They stopped investing and dug a big wall around themselves. They went into the pimp business and expected bands to come begging to them with a finished product expecting only themselves to make any money from it. Then the world exploded and there were so many more options. They were left in the dust...so they got into the suing business. Let me tell you, music is BIG today amongst young people. TV is madly racing towards higher and higher resolution. But, an entire generation has never heard the "truth." So they just don't care.

    Kids today were raised on ipods and Mp3 mentality. Yes 192K is reasonably good. But none of them have heard a Macintosh K2 system or even an L300. And it's not like they are not willing to spend the money on sound. I know a lot of kids who have spent upwards to $$6,000. on their car systems. Why? the cool factor

    p.s. what kills me is they don't even know the sound sucks. A fellow I know (24) proudly showed me his car system. Paid $4,400. for it. He desperately wanted my endorsement because he knew my background. I had to tell him the truth. "Sorry man, but this system sounds really bad."

  15. #15
    Senior Member jcrobso's Avatar
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    I know what you mean!

    Quote Originally Posted by scarpi View Post
    I am a long time audiophile. I go back to direct to disc LPs and turntables. In the 80s I had a great pair of L150A speakers. As technology advanced I sold them in about 2003 after having them for about 22 years and since I could not find any "high end" new JBL speakers to replace them at the time I purchased a pair of Paradigm Studio 100 V2 speakers. They are terrific. But I thought I would now see if any new JBL models are in the audio stores. But nobody in my area (Phoenix) carries the K2 series or any JBL product that actually is as good as my Paradigms. The only stuff is the JBLs at Best Buy and they are not what I consider JBL speakers like the old ones (audiophile grade). The question is what the heck are they doing and it is too bad that JBL doesn't care to sell their high end speakers in the USA. It seems that I have fond memories of my beautiful L150A speakers and JBL sells nothing in the $2000 to $4000 per pair price in the USA that is excellent. This is my first post on this forum and I guess I'm just wondering why JBL cheapened its name in it's home country. When I bought my L150A speakers, the JBL name was considered high end and the audio store I bought them from was a high end shop. I want to see high end JBLs in the audio stores today!
    At 63 years old I do remember that era! My introduction to JBL was via Fender guitar amps, they sounded so good. During the '65 during Christmas break I went into an Allied Radio store in Oak Park IL. the sales man was busy with other people, I went into the demo room and spent 3 hours listing to every speaker there. I walked out completely convinced that JBL are the best speakers, I still believe this! Over the years other companies have learned to make good speakers, many by copying JBL speakers. When I wanted to have 5.0 surround system I decided to keep my vintage JBL's and just add a JBL center. In today's world you would have to listen JBL Pro speakers to get the sound that you like.
    It is interesting that in Japan JBL speakers are considered to be the best speakers are sold in high end stores. Magazines like Consumers didn't like JBL because they are expensive and all wise gave lower costing speakers the higher rating. Most of the speakers that CU rated high have long since died and have been scrapped but my 41 year old JBL speakers still sound good as the day I bought them. John
    Last edited by jcrobso; 11-19-2008 at 08:52 AM. Reason: spelling

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