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Thread: The west coast sound vs the east coast sound.

  1. #1
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    The west coast sound vs the east coast sound.

    For many years there was a debate which is more accurate and which is more listenable the west coast sound or the east coast sound.

    The west coast sound was thought to have more presence, the east coast sound much less presence. Many articles were written supporting one vs the other.

    Living in the midwest in most cases the west coast sound was not popular. Bozak , AR , Jensen , EV were generally east coast. JBL and
    Altec west coast.

    In many cases horns vs. cone midrange speakers and tweeters.
    I am curious what the members of this forum thinks.
    I have big horns but I also have acoustic suspension speakers.
    I was very impressed with infinite baffle speakers.
    Again what are the thoughts of this forum on this subject ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member jcrobso's Avatar
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    Well this could go on and on.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfshead View Post
    For many years there was a debate which is more accurate and which is more listenable the west coast sound or the east coast sound.

    The west coast sound was thought to have more presence, the east coast sound much less presence. Many articles were written supporting one vs the other.

    Living in the midwest in most cases the west coast sound was not popular. Bozak , AR , Jensen , EV were generally east coast. JBL and
    Altec west coast.

    In many cases horns vs. cone mid range speakers and tweeters.
    I am curious what the members of this forum thinks.
    I have big horns but I also have acoustic suspension speakers.
    I was very impressed with infinite baffle speakers.
    Again what are the thoughts of this forum on this subject ?
    I think comes down to personal choice, I remember the AR speaker hay day back in the late 1905s & early 1960s.
    I did listen to them, but I all wise preferred the sound of JBL speakers. As an young man of 19 I could never understand way any one would like AR speakers. But I was hooked on JBL by that time after spending many hours listen to many brands of speakers. EV, Altec and JBL were very popular in Chicago, as were some other brands. Bozak speakers were hard to find.
    Only JBL and EV have survived mostly intact from that period of time, the names of the others maybe still around, but in name only. I'm sure we will hear from others.

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    I bought my brand new "West Coast Sound" JBL L100s in 1970 at Woodville Appliance in Oregon (Toledo), Ohio. After going to numerous hi-fi shops and hearing lots of brands, including the "new" Bose design, I had no other speaker in mind, especially not the sterile East Coast brands and not the weak Japanese imitation speakers of the day.

    Sure, times and tastes change, but I still have that original pair of L100s, plus a mint pair I bought a few years back, and I listen to them at least a couple times a month.
    In.

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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    not the weak Japanese imitation speakers of the day.
    Hey..my Yammys are great L1 clones. Actually very enjoyable ....Fake, but Fun..like the originals

    Hope this thread doesnt turn into a shoes, suits, Bozak, cars fest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    I bought my brand new "West Coast Sound" JBL L100s in 1970 at Woodville Appliance in Oregon (Toledo), Ohio.
    Toledo - Oregon or Ohio ?
    Idealism is what precedes experience, and cynicism is what follows


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    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    In another thread I spoke of my background ...
    when i went to college I had a pair of original Advent speakers. But when I started working at the Campus radio station and had started listening to Yes, and Blues and prog music through a a pair of JBL 4310 monitors, my ears changed

    After college I wound up buying Yamaha receiver and a pair of L-36 Decades -
    my then budget wouldn't let me go for the L-100s at the time.
    kept them for many years, until you lot got me interested in woofer/horn systems and I bought a pair of 4320s a couple years ago and heard the difference!
    Now I've got the L200s that I upgraded to 4333 "equivalent" specs - and those old blue-faced 4341s downstairs ...
    stinky old 1 inch CD & 15 inch woofie combos - with other stuff playin' round them ...

    But when friends come by and I put on the Les Paul & Mary Ford greatest hits, Sinatra or even something newer like Melody Gardot ... they are just amazed at the sound. Don't think the Advents ever generated that kind of excitement, even back in the day.
    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, KEF 105.4
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, 4b NRB, B&K 5ch amp, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    Hey..my Yammys are great L clones. Actually very enjoyable ....Fake, but Fun..like the originals

    Hope this thread doesnt turn into a shoes, suits, Bozak, cars fest.



    Toledo - Oregon or Ohio ?
    Did you know Toledo, Oregon and Toledo, Ohio are both on US 20? Since there are no JBL dealers in Toledo, OR, one could just get on US 20 and drive straight to Toledo, OH to pick up a pair of JBLs, without ever having to use another highway.

    I learned this geography in 1957 when my parents bought a brand new set of the World Book Encyclopedia. I didn't get the JBL connection until much later.
    In.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jcrobso's Avatar
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    US RT 20 gets very messsy in Chicgao

    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    Did you know Toledo, Oregon and Toledo, Ohio are both on US 20? Since there are no JBL dealers in Toledo, OR, one could just get on US 20 and drive straight to Toledo, OH to pick up a pair of JBLs, without ever having to use another highway.

    I learned this geography in 1957 when my parents bought a brand new set of the World Book Encyclopedia. I didn't get the JBL connection until much later.
    Interesting fact just the same.

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    Yeah

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfshead View Post
    For many years there was a debate which is more accurate and which is more listenable the west coast sound or the east coast sound.

    The west coast sound was thought to have more presence, the east coast sound much less presence. Many articles were written supporting one vs the other.

    Living in the midwest in most cases the west coast sound was not popular. Bozak , AR , Jensen , EV were generally east coast. JBL and
    Altec west coast.

    In many cases horns vs. cone midrange speakers and tweeters.
    I am curious what the members of this forum thinks.
    I have big horns but I also have acoustic suspension speakers.
    I was very impressed with infinite baffle speakers.
    Again what are the thoughts of this forum on this subject ?
    I agree.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    If you examine the response of the L100 / 4310 the midrange has presence and that is by design becuse they were originally setup to be used in place of the Altec Duplex 604s.

    This is not necessarily the case with every JBL loudspeaker particularly those used for mastering like the 4343 - 4345.

    By the same token it could be said that some of the east coast voiced systems lacked presence. But what they all lacked was the low power compression and low distorion of the JBLs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    If you examine the response of the L100 / 4310 the midrange has presence and that is by design becuse they were originally setup to be used in place of the Altec Duplex 604s.

    This is not necessarily the case with every JBL loudspeaker particularly those used for mastering like the 4343 - 4345.

    By the same token it could be said that some of the east coast voiced systems lacked presence. But what they all lacked was the low power compression and low distorion of the JBLs.
    What is your meaning of low power compression and low distoration ,
    do you have an example ? "JBL's were used by many recording studio's as monitor', mainly because of power-handling capabilities combined with high efficiency.Many rock music fans especially enjoyed JBL's for that reason.
    Most JBL models we've heard seem to exaggerate the upper midrange frequencies " A quote from Consumers Digest 1974. What do you think of that Quote ? The exaggeration of the upper midrange was very popular on the west coast. ie, the west coast sound.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Fred Sanford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfshead View Post
    What is your meaning of low power compression and low distoration ,
    do you have an example ? "JBL's were used by many recording studio's as monitor', mainly because of power-handling capabilities combined with high efficiency.Many rock music fans especially enjoyed JBL's for that reason.
    He's saying the same thing you are, you just don't seem to understand his phrase "low power compression". He means that many JBL speakers don't reduce the dynamic range of their output when played loudly. Some other speakers would hit their limit & get no louder (or, individual drivers would, throwing off the balance of frequencies), essentially wasting amplifier power and reducing the dynamics of the music they're reproducing.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfshead View Post
    Most JBL models we've heard seem to exaggerate the upper midrange frequencies " A quote from Consumers Digest 1974. What do you think of that Quote ? The exaggeration of the upper midrange was very popular on the west coast. ie, the west coast sound.
    Didn't JBL move away from that soon after 1974, concentrating instead on accurate reproduction? I don't know that saying "Most JBL models we've heard seem to exaggerate the upper midrange frequencies" has been an accurate statement for quite some time. There have been plenty of discussions on this topic here in the past, do some searches & you'll find lots of posts on the subject.

    je

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    I wouldnt quote Dishwasher testers (consumer report) as experts to evaluate audio speakers
    Vlad

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Sanford View Post
    He's saying the same thing you are, you just don't seem to understand his phrase "low power compression". He means that many JBL speakers don't reduce the dynamic range of their output when played loudly. Some other speakers would hit their limit & get no louder (or, individual drivers would, throwing off the balance of frequencies), essentially wasting amplifier power and reducing the dynamics of the music they're reproducing.



    Didn't JBL move away from that soon after 1974, concentrating instead on accurate reproduction? I don't know that saying "Most JBL models we've heard seem to exaggerate the upper midrange frequencies" has been an accurate statement for quite some time. There have been plenty of discussions on this topic here in the past, do some searches & you'll find lots of posts on the subject.

    je
    The problems that audio engineers was facing was the accurate reproduction of sound. Speaker manufactures faced a very difficult task , how to produce a speaker without adding color.
    All audio devices add someting to the original , audio speakers most of all.

    The perfect speaker would be one speaker covering the entire spectrun.
    That speaker does not exist. Engineers than added one more speakers hoping that two speakers would do a better job, but no two speakers were perfect copies. Also there had to be a crossover , again another addition.
    That didn't work out something was still missing so a third speaker was added and an additional crossover the third speaker added color the second crossover produced more problems. We now had two -way and three-way speaker systems. The more speakers added the more problems ,
    adding crossovers only increased the problems.


    When we attend a movie or classical concert the question is where one is
    seated. Some prefer the front , some the middle yet others the rear.
    speaker manufactures was forced to design a speaker or speakers that
    would please one but impossible to please all three.

    JBL's could produce dynamics using low power , but not perfectly , ie,
    presence or up front when one is seated. Great for rock . this became what is known as the west coast sound.

    additional amplifier power was overcome by other speaker manufactures by the use of bi-amp, tri-amp and most important the cheap transistor.
    We already know that horns add color , but so does bass reflex , acoustic
    suspension and a host of other attempts to extend bass or using horns and cones to control the high end.

    New technologies has helped but has yet been able to solve the never ending problems of live vs recorded sound. But most important the differences in musical taste and one's reference points when comparing live vs recorded sound.

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    My ears aren't perfect neither are my room acoustics. My stereo stuff is good but probably could be improved. I still get sound that I can enjoy, usually without being bothered by the possibility of lets say the 5000hz range being off a tenth percent. I live in New Orleans so I guess I got; Mardi Gras Mambo Crawfish Ettoufe Hurricane Superbowl Second Line Sound.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfshead View Post
    The problems that audio engineers was facing was the accurate reproduction of sound. Speaker manufactures faced a very difficult task , how to produce a speaker without adding color.
    All audio devices add someting to the original , audio speakers most of all.

    When we attend a movie or classical concert the question is where one is
    seated. Some prefer the front , some the middle yet others the rear.
    speaker manufactures was forced to design a speaker or speakers that
    would please one but impossible to please all three.

    additional amplifier power was overcome by other speaker manufactures by the use of bi-amp, tri-amp and most important the cheap transistor.
    We already know that horns add color , but so does bass reflex , acoustic
    suspension and a host of other attempts to extend bass or using horns and cones to control the high end.

    New technologies has helped but has yet been able to solve the never ending problems of live vs recorded sound. But most important the differences in musical taste and one's reference points when comparing live vs recorded sound.
    Well it is impossible to EQ the entire auditorium for flat frequency response.

    As for peaky frequency spectrum where some frequencies are going to colourize sound with excessive amounts while missing out on the rest of what has been recorded onto the soundtrack that is down to how (we address the issue at home) a room will always create issues no matter how perfect or expensive the loudspeaker is going to be.

    And as to film soundtracks its impossible to create real explosions impossible! One the shock to the system would kill the entire audience! Its so sudden of a sound! Even a simple firework let off in living room would most likely deafen a person, not that I advice anyone to try out an A and B test of recorded fireworks and the real thing!

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