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Thread: My upgrade project JBL L3

  1. #1
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    My upgrade project JBL L3

    Hello everyone.

    After being outbid on some 4301b on the bay, I ended up with some clean L3s. I've been wanting some more JBLs every since I sold my recapped L80T. Regret it all the time! I have been wanting a 2 way JBL bookshelf but because of a rambunctious Belgian Malinois dog I can't keep speakers on stands. She will knock them over. So the L3 fit the bill perfectly. Floor standing 2 way with great looks.

    I will be staring with the caps and resistors. I have decided on the Deulund silver graphite resistors. I still have yet to choose a cap. I'm am not very knowledgeable when it comes to inductors. I've read that it may not be as easy as just matching the mh value. Something about dcr???

    Any help or suggestions for the inductors would be great.

    I was also wondering if the 035tia is replaceable with another "better" JBL titanium dome like a 044 or 052? I had the 035ti in my L80T and L20t and I have always like the Ti JBL tweeters. I have hearing loss and the titanium seems to work well for me. I know they can be a bit bright but I like bright. If I keep the 035tia in there I will be looking at replacing the foam under the dome.

    Once I get started on the work I'll throw up some pics.

    Budget for the xover upgrade is about $300.00

    I really appreciate any help you all can provide.

  2. #2
    Senior Member HCSGuy's Avatar
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    Definitely replace the foam and see if it sounds to your liking. I do not know the specifics of your hearing loss, so I can’t say what tweeters you will like, but my absolute favorite direct radiating JBL tweeter is the 025Ti from the European Ti line, though it may be cheating as I think it’s actually made for JBL by Audax. Phenomenal detail. That and the Array horn tweeters are the best highs I’ve heard from JBL. Unfortunately, the 025Ti’s are not common, so your odds of finding them on the secondary market are slim, and I think they are about $190 each from JBL, which is steep for something you may not like, as they are probably not as bright as 035Ti’s, especially if your 035’s have ruined foam. However, if the foam in your 035’s has no damping, I don’t see any benefit to improving the crossover until that is fixed.
    That the internet contains a blog documenting your life does not constitute proof that your existence is valid. Sorry.

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    I'm not sure o follow. You said "I dont see any benefit to upgrading the crossover". I figured they are 25 year old caps and made by the lowest bidder. I was thinking a fresh set would be good for them.

    Could you elaborate a little please.

    Thanks!
    Chris

  4. #4
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    I figured they are 25 year old caps and made by the lowest bidder. I was thinking a fresh set would be good for them.
    Hello Chris

    If you are hell bent on messing with the crossovers leave the iron alone. Inductors are after all just a coil of wire not too much is going to go wrong and DCR values can be critical to a crossover design so best left alone. Also you don't need $20 resistors just get the mil versions at $3 a pop. I wouldn't bother with replacing them unless they show signs of being overheated.

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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    Thanks for the feedback. I will leave the coils alone. I have used Mills resistors before in my L80T. Maybe I'll go that route again. Now that it looks like the GOV might be down for awhile I may need to throttle back on costs. Got to love a furlough.



    Quote Originally Posted by Robh3606 View Post
    Hello Chris

    If you are hell bent on messing with the crossovers leave the iron alone. Inductors are after all just a coil of wire not too much is going to go wrong and DCR values can be critical to a crossover design so best left alone. Also you don't need $20 resistors just get the mil versions at $3 a pop. I wouldn't bother with replacing them unless they show signs of being overheated.

    Rob

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    Senior Member HCSGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CH46E View Post
    I'm not sure o follow. You said "I dont see any benefit to upgrading the crossover". I figured they are 25 year old caps and made by the lowest bidder. I was thinking a fresh set would be good for them.
    Sorry - had a typo in my last sentence; now corrected.
    That the internet contains a blog documenting your life does not constitute proof that your existence is valid. Sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCSGuy View Post
    Sorry - had a typo in my last sentence; now corrected.
    Oh ok, I got ya now. So yes, I'll work on making sure the tweeters are up to par first.
    Thanks again

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    Anyone have any suggestions for inside the cabinet? Is there anything you would do with them? Anything that could improve the overall quality of sound?


    I do plan on a new vaneer for the sides. I really like the way these look.
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    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    Anyone have any suggestions for inside the cabinet? Is there anything you would do with them? Anything that could improve the overall quality of sound?
    Not if they are in good shape. No water damage, splits at the seems or other obvious issues. I have seen vernier bubble, split, crack and lift. A potential source for the cabinet to buzz. Other than that I would leave them as the are. The ones posted with the added or sanded and re-stained vernier look quite nice!

    Rob
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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Chris Hagen, the product designer for the L3, L5, L7 speakers, said the only compromise he had to make due to budget constraints was in the cabinets. I believe he was specific in saying they could be reinforced better but then he may have been directing those comments at the L7 exclusively. I own the L1, L3, L5, and L7 and don't have a problem with any of them. The structure of the L3 seems particularly robust given its squatty profile, but then to me it's always been the least satisfying of the four. That's not bad, it's just that the L1 performs beyond expectations and the voicing and soundstage of the L5 and L7 are clearly remarkable. The L3 is fine the way it is. Nothing more drivers and a larger box couldn't fix, but then you'd have an L7!
    ". . . 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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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Chris Hagen, the product designer for the L3, L5, L7 speakers, said the only compromise he had to make due to budget constraints was in the cabinets. I believe he was specific in saying they could be reinforced better but then he may have been directing those comments at the L7 exclusively. I own the L1, L3, L5, and L7 and don't have a problem with any of them. The structure of the L3 seems particularly robust given its squatty profile, but then to me it's always been the least satisfying of the four. That's not bad, it's just that the L1 performs beyond expectations and the voicing and soundstage of the L5 and L7 are clearly remarkable. The L3 is fine the way it is. Nothing more drivers and a larger box couldn't fix, but then you'd have an L7!

    Well, I wanted L7s but the wife said I had to make room for them. I started selling some of my Polks. My RTA12B are my favorite and I'm keeping them. The SRS 2 and the SDA CRS are gone. I did not run that room like that. It was staged for a photo before I started selling them off.

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  12. #12
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    I agree. Poly's don't break down like electrolytics do. If there are electrolytic caps in there, do replace those. The polys are in round cardboard boxes filled with sand and have wires coming out one end. The sand pack was for compression to prevent expansion under use which increases distortion. Check the polys with a cap meter to check values and matching. I solved a lot of my stereo imaging problems with my 4312's by hand selecting and matching the caps. A mono source can reveal differences between speakers.
    QUOTE=Robh3606;419684]Hello Chris

    If you are hell bent on messing with the crossovers leave the iron alone. Inductors are after all just a coil of wire not too much is going to go wrong and DCR values can be critical to a crossover design so best left alone. Also you don't need $20 resistors just get the mil versions at $3 a pop. I wouldn't bother with replacing them unless they show signs of being overheated.

    Rob[/QUOTE]

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    After driving a few hours I have them home now. First impression is "meh". They are ok, so so. I do like the tweeters. Bass is ridiculous high. Had to EQ some of it out. They sure can boom. Vocals seem to be lacking a little for my taste. I did just mow and edge the lawn before listening to them, so my hearing is likely off a bit. They use a LOT OF POWER! Where my Polk RTA12B would be at an extreame volume the L3s are asking for more. I have them on my Parasound 2250 v2. 225 watts at 8 ohms. I dont think I'll even bother with the NAD 90 watt amp.

    To be honest I'm not sure I'm even going to mess with these. May just leave them alone. I will be using them as main while I finish the 12b refurb.

    Thanks everyone for the info!

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  14. #14
    Senior Member HCSGuy's Avatar
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    I used to sell these speakers at Circuit city, and I don't remember ever selling a pair of L3's - probably for the reasons you state. A/B'ing them with any other (louder) speaker made the other speaker seem better - L3's never really came alive. They were also, I think, $799/pr, and there were lots of other good speakers in that range. If you came into our store, you were far more likely to drive away with a pair of DCM TimeFrames - yeah, the drivers were shitty, but they sure sounded good.
    That the internet contains a blog documenting your life does not constitute proof that your existence is valid. Sorry.

  15. #15
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Pretty sure these were the L7s during an infamous listening test at "Fred Sanford's" place circa 2008 ...
    Think we also demoed some L20 speakers, L1s and a few others that weren't in the smaller range (some 4333s in evidence)

    Keep the L3s intact - hunt for others (L5s, L7s) in the series!

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    2ch: Oppo DV970, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, VonSchweikert VR4, Heath Valencias
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