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Thread: Vintage Acousticraft JBL D131 Project

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

    Vintage Acousticraft JBL D131 Project

    Greetings all, Just before the lockdown I gambled on an Estate sale offering across state---Estate sponsors agreed to deliver ---so, I took a shot. The cabinet is by Acousticraft and had a Tube Concertone reel, a Pioneer 1500, a Garrard 88 and lo and behold a pair of JBL D131 speakers. I love the cabinet and I am sure there was a tube set up originally and then got replaced by the early Pioneer. At the moment I have a Yamaha M4 and C-2 with a Sony 2251 connected. It turns out these speakers were originally for a guitar???? and foursome reason they were chosen in this custom install.The cabinets have an additional front opening for a mid-tweeter that has a wood block covering it. Guess the original owner did not want to spring the extra $ for the enhanced sound.So, Now is where I come to this forum to help in decision making...........

    The sound of the D131 s by themselves is ok but very flat. When I added my Soundcraftsmen Equalizer-----they came to life and am just loving the sound experience. [ My main set is AR 3as and my other set is AMT1Bs. ]

    I have had in storage for some time a set of D131s, 075 s and a pr of 2400's . I am guessing these came from a C38 [?] that for some reason got disassembled.

    I think what I want todo is install my factory wired Dynaco ST-70,Pas, and FM3 and hide my equalizer on the bottom shelf and go ahead and install the 2 075s and the crossovers I have. My dilemma is I like the sound so well with the D131s with the equalizer-----should I leaVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE OR WILL THE ADDED 075 MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE? The ball is in your alls court with my appreciation !

    ps- I would add a picture but guess its not allowed?

  2. #2
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    San Francisco
    Welcome to the forum.

    Adding photos would be appreciated. Here is a link to instructions for posting photos:

    I would definitely add the 075s. You will still likely want to use your equalizer to boost the bass. The D131 is a 12” version of the famous JBL D130 extended range speaker. These speakers were originally sold as “almost full range” that could be used without a tweeter to save money initially and then tweeters and networks could be added later. These woofers have two principle hallmarks, extended range and very high sensitivity. The high sensitivity gives them a very lively and dynamic sound. The high sensitivity also limits the low bass response by design, but some bass can be coaxed out of the speaker with added EQ. If you over do it, you can damage the speaker, but usually the sound quality will change before damage occurs.

    As far as these speakers being “guitar” speakers, they were originally designed as home hi-fi speakers, but years later were adopted by the music industry and as the home hi-fi industry grew and evolved the descendants of these speakers evolved and eventually became dedicated musical instrument speakers.

    Are your D131s the early versions with un-treated paper surrounds, treated paper surrounds, or the later fabric surrounds? Either of the paper surround versions will handle less power and should not be played at high SPLs with bass boost.


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