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Thread: Vintage C45 S4 speakers

  1. #1
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    Vintage C45 S4 speakers

    Just purchased two C45 S4 JBL's. Absolutely great sounding speakers for $450.00. I've attempted to find information on them but cannot. For example, where do these fall in the line, what's their story, value? Can anyone help?

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    L45 (I see it listed as CL45 someplaces, loos the same as the C. Maybe somebody else will know)

    http://www.lansingheritage.org/image...ome/page06.jpg

    S4

    http://www.lansingheritage.org/image...ome/page20.jpg

    Catalogs to browse here:

    http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/jbl.htm

    I'd say they are worth $450, more or less. It kinda boils down to what the buyer and seller agree on.

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    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Personally, I think you got a nice deal. The Flair cabinet had so many different options...
    I also happen to like the look when the grilles are in good shape.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tlombardo View Post
    Just purchased two C45 S4 JBL's. Absolutely great sounding speakers for $450.00. I've attempted to find information on them but cannot. For example, where do these fall in the line, what's their story, value? Can anyone help?
    Only made that box for a couple or few years, as both a loaded system or an empty cabinet

    That's why you don't find a whole lot about them and the most common factory loads weren't all that inspiring, those sold as "L45"s rather "C45"s

    They are worth a hell of a lot more than $450 with the S4 load

    A clean pair of 130As will easily bring that, never mind the 175s

    After that has been said, take a look at what N1200s have been realizing on ePay lately, especially if you have them in pairs

    That's a $1000+ pair of speakers on the vintage market, easy, especially if the cabinets and grilles are in excellent condition

    All my comments are based on excellent condition of course

    Fantastic grille design, fairly rare box and definitely rare with that load, very rare

    90%+ of the L45s I have handled, seen or come across are more akin to just another variant of the L55 Lancer (LE14A and some version of the LE20-1) but with a 15" woofer instead

    Or, the most common was/is just a super L100, a 135A, a LE5-3 and a LE25-1

    Originally the "Flair" was just a box, the "C45" and occasionally you do see them with an S8 load!

    Very interesting speakers and very nice

    Good job

    Joe

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    Can I improve my C45s4 speakers by adding on to them?

    Is there anything I can do to improve these speakers and increase their value? In other words, can I purchase another componant such as a midrange and add it. It sounds like in the day you could buy the Flair cabinet and then build the speaker quality by adding the components such as S4 or S8 etc.

  6. #6
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    Make sure everything is in working order and see about some grilles
    (assuming they are toast... most are by now). Take pictures of the
    drivers (accurately document what you have) and cabinet details.

    Modifying them will likely not get a larger return on your investment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tlombardo View Post
    It sounds like in the day you could buy the Flair cabinet and then build the speaker quality by adding the components such as S4 or S8 etc.
    You said your pair already has the S4 load?
    That is a very good load to have, sound and value wise, nice 130As, which is what you should have with the S4, are becoming more and more scarce and their value is high
    S4, S8 etc are loads, meaning a group of components making up a system, not an individual component, although there are single loads consisting of a single driver such as the D130

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    Pictures nof my JBL C45 S4 Speakers

    Hi, Thanks for the input everyone, especially since it was all so positive. That said, I'm still searching for information. Some of you asked so below are some pictures of the speakers in my home. I'm still intrigued to know more because to date I've not seen these elsewhere on the internet. I found an identical pair on Ebay except they were one digit different in that they were C45 S8 vs C45 S4. I'm assuming slightly higher model quality. instead of 4. The price for the 8's were $4,500. While you can't believe everything you read, what I have read is that these were retail consumer versions of model made in response to one of the big name recording studios requesting that JBL create special monitors for their use. Some of you commented that the grills are typically toast however mine are like new as is the majority of the condition except for a water spot that warped the veneer in one small place. I bought these along with a McIntosh tuner and amp from an estate sale of a 90 something year old man who passed away. I was so excited I drove (verses ship) from Dayton Ohio to St Louis to pick them up. I didn't trust a shipping company with them. I was told by the auctioneer that the owners son and daughter said the 90 yr old man purchased them brand new in the early 70's and pretty much used them daily to the last days. In any case, these speakers are unusually efficient and the clearest, tightest and most balanced speakers I've ever heard and I've heard a lot. I was an audio store manager for ten years in the late 70's and through most of the 80's with a chain called Highland Appliance Co. And while we didn't carry the caliber of McIntosh, we did carry JBL, but nothing like these. In any case, considering the mystery around this model and that this forum is surrounded with JBL aficionados, I'm still interested in your feedback and information.

    Thanks,
    Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Smith Jr View Post
    You said your pair already has the S4 load?
    That is a very good load to have, sound and value wise, nice 130As, which is what you should have with the S4, are becoming more and more scarce and their value is high
    S4, S8 etc are loads, meaning a group of components making up a system, not an individual component, although there are single loads consisting of a single driver such as the D130

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