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Thread: Who uses their vintage speakers as "daily drivers"?

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    Senior Member Mike F's Avatar
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    Who uses their vintage speakers as "daily drivers"?

    Having scanned these forums, I am in awe of the impressive, and enviable collection of vintage JBL loudspeakers.
    Given the relative scarcity of critical components namely drivers and such, I can`t help but wonder if these speakers are in daily use.
    I for one would not be able to resist the urge to use them on a daily basis however, given the age of some of these units, I`d be more than a little apprehensive to do so.
    I`m guessing most of these speakers are used in second systems with something more modern, but not necessarily better, serving as daily drivers.

    I`m considering assembleing a vintage system centered around a pair of 4312`s or perhaps 4411`s driven by some classic Marantz power but I dont think it would replace my current
    Rega/Magnum Dynalab/Krell/Opera system for daily use.
    I just cant see a system of that vintage being able to stand up to that kind of duty, especially when in the mood for elevated SPL`s but I could be wrong..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike F View Post
    I`m considering assembleing a vintage system centered around a pair of 4312`s or perhaps 4411`s driven by some classic Marantz power but I dont think it would replace my current
    Rega/Magnum Dynalab/Krell/Opera system for daily use.
    I just cant see a system of that vintage being able to stand up to that kind of duty, especially when in the mood for elevated SPL`s but I could be wrong..
    You are, sooooooooo wrong.

    Thomas

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    Senior Member MikeBrewster77's Avatar
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    I tend to be somewhat of an advocate for the "newer" stuff, but vintage JBL's still get played in my house on a near daily basis.

    Just bear in mind they require care and feeding, some of which can be expensive, some of which can require you to bide your time to find the right parts, etc. That said, if they're up to spec, there is absolutely no reason they shouldn't be able to handle the same power and produce the same SPL's as they could the day they were new.

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    All of my JBL's are 25 years plus. They get used daily in my main system. To be honest, the current range of speakers that everyone can afford just do not stack up.

    Allan.

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    Senior Member HCSGuy's Avatar
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    The older stuff is so much more efficient than most modern speakers, you can play them to uncomfortable levels with little strain on them. That said, my "Vintage" speakers are 70's and 80's monitors; I'm not cranking techno on a pair of Iconics. Parts are still available for most of these "Newer" speakers, though you have to keep an eye on the secondary market (EBay) sometimes for spares, just in case. I make sure not to abuse them or drive the amps into distortion, though this is never an issue; my ears give out way before the speakers or the 150w/ch Bryston I usually use do. I think JBL is a rare case in that their vintage home speakers often used the same drivers JBL sold for pro use and touring through the 60's and 70's. They were made to play loud and to be serviced. Try that with other companies vintage speakers and you'll be ordering aftermarket 4 1/2" recone kits by the 9 pack...

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    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    I'm more inclined to really push any of my 80's L-series models HARD than I would be most newer speakers. That said, I use my PS system and abuse it regularly the most.

    I've pushed up to 1000 WPC into L-series models and they didn't even bat an eye over it. 400 WPC is the daily dose of power. I wouldn't try that with the newest L-series, (L890, etc). All the older JBLs are designed to withstand extreme abuse. You're more likely to damage the crossover than anything else, and even those can be repaired with cheapish parts. As long as you're not under-powering them, let it rock.

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    Moderator / Treasurer/Marketplace Czar boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike F View Post
    I for one would not be able to resist the urge to use them on a daily basis however, given the age of some of these units, I`d be more than a little apprehensive to do so. I`m guessing most of these speakers are used in second systems with something more modern, but not necessarily better, serving as daily drivers.

    ...I just cant see a system of that vintage being able to stand up to that kind of duty, especially when in the mood for elevated SPL`s
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike F View Post
    ...but I could be wrong..
    Uh, pretty much.

    I have no idea what your application is, but regardless, all my vintage JBL's are in-use daily. Why else are all us here?

    That said, I am not a fan of high SPL for routine home listening - if you are, there we differ.
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

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    Senior Member DavidF's Avatar
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    The members in this forum come together to discuss the use of the JBL equipment by and large. No many would even think to try to disuade you from using JBL equipment on a daily basis. These things are made for use, not like some Ming vase to set on a shelf or a fondue set to bring out for 70's parties. You don't have to relegate them to particular vintage theme system. Give them a good source and amplifier, sit down and listen. Listen loud? Certainement!
    David F
    San Jose

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    Super Moderator yggdrasil's Avatar
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    My oldest JBL's - the Sovereign's are in daily use driven by the TV. The main system is almost in daily use.

    The Sovereign's are rarely stressed.

    Even though I tend to listen at lower SPL's these days, the main system do get to play quite loud. But then again, I probably can't stress them since there's only some 15-20W driving the Mid/HF section and 150-160W for the woofers.

    Am I afraid to kill them? - no.
    Johnny Haugen Sørgård

  10. #10
    Member locanti's Avatar
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    I use a pair of original DORIAN daily in my bedroom when listening radio broadcast or cool CD's, level is 85/90Db and I use my main system(compose of LE15A,D216,LE75/85 and fostex tweeters) more or less 105/110Db twice a week(to spare my ears,I'm 50).

    My daughter listeniing "modern loud music"(But no rap) on her pair of homebuild LE14C and said they're just great for the music she loved.

    I guess these kind of drivers were strongly build, as were CADILLACS in the 50's.Look how many of these cars are still running daily in CUBA and you'll know what I mean.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    The only "new" JBL in my house was the 030 my Dad bought when I was five-years-old. I kept that and played it daily up until two-years ago. My 030s played parties on the back porch through Crown amps when I was in college and enjoyed plenty of high SPL hours when no one was around to tell me to "turn it down".

    I only put these "out to pasture" after over 50-years of constant use, replacing them with 4345 clones built with refurbished/new drivers. The 4345s are in constant daily use in anything from movie soundtracks when my kids watch "Transformers" to low-listening-level classic jazz from Bill Evans.

    It never occurred to me to be concerned for the welfare of my speakers since the only failure in over 55-years of listening to JBLs was a blown 075 caused by an underpowered Kenwood receiver back in 1968, and JBL even repaired that under their "lifetime" warranty back then with an explanation of why I should replace that "defective" receiver.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    I much prefer the sound of high efficiency drivers, and it is a personal choice. So, why shouldn't I listen to that on a daily basis?

    BTW Most of my equipment is over 30 years vintage.

  13. #13
    Senior Member 57BELAIRE's Avatar
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    old folks

    My daily driver is a Caravan and my '57 Belair is for weekends and special events. But
    you can bet my '59 Paragon is my "daily driver". My 2505 Mac is all I need to fill
    the room with glorious sounds from that old hoss. Actually, nothing in my JBL collection is
    newer than 1980. I've got a Mac 2205 pushing the L300's but reflex designs aren't my
    thing....they're just not as dynamic (to my ears) as horn loaded systems.
    So in answer to your question......ya mon, there's still life left in those old JBL's

  14. #14
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    My vintage JBLs are used a minimum of 3-1/2 hours a day every day and more on weekends. Yeah they need new foams every 15-20 years, but would even if they weren't played.

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    Senior Member Mike F's Avatar
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    Oh my, these responses are encourageing. Seems my apprehensions are shifting more towards potential amplification rather than driver failures.
    Equally encourageing is how no one seems to think twice about how often or how hard they drive their loudspeakers.
    After all, it would be quite a shame to be in possesion of a pair(s) of classic, vintage JBL`s only to have them on static display.
    Not that I listen to excessive volumes, being 48 years old and living in a condo, most of my listening for the past 20 or so years has shifted to the Jazz genre but I do, on occasion pull out some Metallica or Boston and head for the volume-up button

    Perhaps a few more replies will be enough to push me over the edge!

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