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Thread: Recommend some vintage JBL Speakers for a Japanese style audio system

  1. #1
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    Recommend some vintage JBL Speakers for a Japanese style audio system

    Currently have a modern set up with a Rotel 1052 integrated amp and some Swan Diva 4.2 tower speakers (basically Chinese B&W copies). Been wanting a fuller, warmer and more colored sound (don't care about accuracy). This crystallized for me after a trip to Japan and hearing lots of jazz played over vintage systems in record bars.

    So I'm thinking about some of the older, larger, more high efficiency JBLs that I could (at least eventually) power with a tube amp. I think the 4343's are probably the ultimate version of this, but are difficult to find and pretty expensive. What other more common and cheaper alternatives would you recommend? Would mostly be playing jazz from vinyl at moderate volumes but also streaming more modern stuff like house and electronic (probably through a DIY raspberry pi DAC). Rock is way down my priority list although I know JBLs gets labeled as "rock speakers". The Japanese seem to like them for jazz and I can't argue.

    Suggestions for amps, tube or hybrid tube also appreciated. Pretty blown away by the Kendrick videos of the big 4343's powered by $200 chifi tube/hybrid amps:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTWb...ature=emb_logo

    Thanks been lurking for awhile and absorbing this incredible communities knowledge.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sonofagun's Avatar
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    For me its always the 001 system:

    http://www.lansingheritage.org/image...1967/chart.jpg
    40+ years of sacrifice...and for what???

  3. #3
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robgnyc View Post
    So I'm thinking about some of the older, larger, more high efficiency JBLs that I could (at least eventually) power with a tube amp. I think the 4343's are probably the ultimate version of this, but are difficult to find and pretty expensive. What other more common and cheaper alternatives would you recommend? Would mostly be playing jazz from vinyl at moderate volumes but also streaming more modern stuff like house and electronic (probably through a DIY raspberry pi DAC). Rock is way down my priority list although I know JBLs gets labeled as "rock speakers". The Japanese seem to like them for jazz and I can't argue.
    Based on your goals, I think you are right and the 4343 is likely your best bet. If you can’t or don’t want to spend big bucks on a pair of carefully maintained or painstakingly restored 4343s, you can assemble your own over time.

    I would consider a pair of 4311 or L100 speakers as a placeholder while you spend the months or years that may be required to get a pristine pair of 4343s.




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    That sounds totally reasonable. Any reason for the 4311 over the 4310 or 4312s? They all seem to be fairly common. Difference in tweeters mainly?

    Also any suggestions for amplification? Looks like they are around 91db efficiency so maybe borderline for smaller tube amp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Based on your goals, I think you are right and the 4343 is likely your best bet. If you canít or donít want to spend big bucks on a pair of carefully maintained or painstakingly restored 4343s, you can assemble your own over time.

    I would consider a pair of 4311 or L100 speakers as a placeholder while you spend the months or years that may be required to get a pristine pair of 4343s.




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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robgnyc View Post
    That sounds totally reasonable. Any reason for the 4311 over the 4310 or 4312s? They all seem to be fairly common. Difference in tweeters mainly?

    Also any suggestions for amplification? Looks like they are around 91db efficiency so maybe borderline for smaller tube amp.
    My only L100 experience is with the classic L100 which is identical to the 4311. These speakers are definitely colored and present the classic JBL “West Coast Sound”. I have enjoyed them as a window into that era. I have no experience with 4310 or 4312A speakers, but I can say the 4311B has a different sound and I don’t think you’ll like it if you’re going for the classic warm sound.

    Regarding sensitivity, the difference between 91dB and 93dB is audible, but it isn’t dramatic. You should be able to use a low power amp as successfully with the L100/4311 as you will with the 4343.

    Regarding choices in tube amplification, that is a very personal choice and the sound will be affected by the speakers you use. If you can find out what amps were being used in the clubs you’ve heard and enjoyed that would likely be your best bet. I have personally had many tube amps from McIntosh, Dynaco, and numerous small boutique builders. I prefer a more neutral sound, so can’t make any recommendations. I do have and still love a tube Marantz model 7 preamp.


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