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Thread: JBL D131 sound quality

  1. #1
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    JBL D131 sound quality

    I just picked up a single JBL C-38 cabinet with a D131 12" full range driver inside. It has the silver dust cap and untreated paper surround, 16 ohms. I hooked it up to my Marantz 2330B receiver set to mono and played a mono recording, Montserrat Caballe singing Bellini's "Casta Diva" with a Shure M44-1 (1 mil stylus). It sounded so-so. Weak in the low end and heavy mid range when compared to a Dynaco A25 10" 2-way speaker. The driver is extremely well made, cast frame, 4" voice coil, heavy magnet and the cabinet is over twice the size of the Dynaco enclosure. Why does the JBL sound so poor when compared to a speaker was only about $80.00 when it was being manufactured? Will it benefit from a crossover and tweeter? If so, which ones. Should the enclosure be modified? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bran kulez View Post
    I just picked up a single JBL C-38 cabinet with a D131 12" full range driver inside. It has the silver dust cap and untreated paper surround, 16 ohms. I hooked it up to my Marantz 2330B receiver set to mono and played a mono recording, Montserrat Caballe singing Bellini's "Casta Diva" with a Shure M44-1 (1 mil stylus). It sounded so-so. Weak in the low end and heavy mid range when compared to a Dynaco A25 10" 2-way speaker. The driver is extremely well made, cast frame, 4" voice coil, heavy magnet and the cabinet is over twice the size of the Dynaco enclosure. Why does the JBL sound so poor when compared to a speaker was only about $80.00 when it was being manufactured? Will it benefit from a crossover and tweeter? If so, which ones. Should the enclosure be modified? Thanks in advance.
    What you hear is what it is. As for your questions, if you want to know more about the driver and its applications, or how others have used it and thought of it, you have some reading to do--under the Library tab above and doing searches in these forums. This would be a good place to start (the 2130 is the pro model equivalent): http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/...-comp/2130.htm

    Personally I think the D131 represents something essential about the JBL history of speaker making. It is efficient, dynamic, beautifully made, technically SOA at its time--not specifically a hi fi speaker, but rather an extended range driver repurposed for hi fi, possibly intended by its original purchaser as a building block toward a more complex and complete speaker system. Because so many of them--as well as the D123 and D130--were bought and used in the same way, it is also typically one of the points at which people whose hi fi experience is like yours initially come into contact with JBL at a flea market or garage sale and discover those qualities which are left out of speakers like the A25--a very good speaker of its kind. For these reasons I chose an outline drawing of the D131 from the 1976 catalog as my avatar on these forums.

    But, if you listened to Montserrat Caballe for more than a minute over a D131 you're tougher than I am. I think a soprano requires good hi fi. But you must have been hearing something that made you persist. You may be at the beginning of a road that many of us have travelled in learning about and learning to admire, and buy and appreciate the products of one of the great audio companies.

  3. #3
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    Referance Speakers

    I use 2 d130's ..1 left 1 right ch for ref. sp.
    no xover ..no woofer.. no mid ..no tweet
    makes a perfect point source for L & R ch.
    and sound is unreal...............

  4. #4
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fort Knox View Post
    I use 2 d130's ..1 left 1 right ch for ref. sp.
    no xover ..no woofer.. no mid ..no tweet
    makes a perfect point source for L & R ch.
    and sound is unreal...............
    Great speakers. They need a tweeter though. And after they get a tweeter, you'll find they could use a good mid-range horn, too.
    But if you're only listening to cello or other strings, there's probably enough magic left in them to play single-driver fully-instrumented.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  5. #5
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    Jbl d130

    Quote Originally Posted by Fort Knox View Post
    I use 2 d130's ..1 left 1 right ch for ref. sp.
    no xover ..no woofer.. no mid ..no tweet
    makes a perfect point source for L & R ch.
    and sound is unreal...............
    Try using the d 130 full range and use a JBL 077 from 7 khz up , and equalize= GREAT SOUND- RUDY

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