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Thread: JBL L112 vs modern speakers

  1. #1
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    JBL L112 vs modern speakers

    Hello all,
    I am thinking of buying l112 but never heard one except on Youtube.
    How this speaker compare to modern speakers in terms of depth, cleanliness and transparency ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taud1 View Post
    Hello all,
    I am thinking of buying l112 but never heard one except on Youtube.
    How this speaker compare to modern speakers in term of depth, cleanliness and [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87)]transparency ?[/COLOR]
    Honestly...the subwoofer is under powered. Greg Timbers said so. The potential is amazing with dual subwoofers powered at about 200 watts each.


    EDIT: Disregard my comment, unless you decide on an L212 system...lol. BMWCCA was correct. I misread your post.

    That said...L112 is a great system. The very first globally acclaimed system from JBL. Those pesky audiophiles granted it worthy of a listen.
    Edgewound...JBL Pro Authorized...since 1988
    Upland Loudspeaker Service, Upland, CA

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    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Never listened to a L112, but the L150A employs the same components with the addition of a passive radiator and the benefit of a larger cabinet, which is what I have. I say wait for the L150A, you won't be disappointed.

    As for tonal quality, I think the 128H is an awesome woofer. Produces tight bass and it'll go really low. Although like EW said, Timbers himself said it is not a subwoofer, so don't feed it overexaggerated "booty" bass signals on overdrive unless you want to find out how expensive reconing is.. The 044 tweeter is pretty amazing to me as well, along with the LE5-12 mid. You'll be able to hear things within your music you never heard before. However, compared to my XPL200's, the mids and highs aren't as sweet. But that's to be expected.

    Overall, I think the L150A is a fabulous speaker, they beat out all of the vintage Klipsch stuff I pitted against them and only came 2nd compared to the XPL's.

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    Bass is easy to fix but what about cleanliness and transparency ?

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edgewound View Post
    Honestly...the subwoofer is under powered. Greg Timbers said so. The potential is amazing with dual subwoofers powered at about 200 watts each.
    Having followed and respected Edgewound's advice, knowledge, and opinions here for decades, I have to assume he was referring to the L212, not the L112.

    Having owned the L112 since new (nearly 40-years) I have to say I always liked them and find them one of the easiest to listen to 3-ways from JBL I've ever heard. I also own L96 and would probably have to say exactly the same of them. I'd owned my 030 system prior to getting the L112 and actually preferred those for serious listening and now have the 4345 so my assessment of what a speaker should sound like has changed but I still love the sound of my L112, L96, 4412A, and the L5 and L7. Playing side-by-side, the L7 is the best and often found for less than the L112 and the L5 may be the L112s equal. I also have a pair of L150A and, depending on how much room you have, they are obviously similar to the L112 but that much better depends on where you position the L112 and how loud you want to go. For normal listening in a normal room, there's not that much difference and you have far fewer options in where you put the L150.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  6. #6
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Having followed and respected Edgewound's advice, knowledge, and opinions here for decades, I have to assume he was referring to the L212, not the L112.

    Having owned the L112 since new (nearly 40-years) I have to say I always liked them and find them one of the easiest to listen to 3-ways from JBL I've ever heard. I also own L96 and would probably have to say exactly the same of them. I'd owned my 030 system prior to getting the L112 and actually preferred those for serious listening and now have the 4345 so my assessment of what a speaker should sound like has changed but I still love the sound of my L112, L96, 4412A, and the L5 and L7. Playing side-by-side, the L7 is the best and often found for less than the L112 and the L5 may be the L112s equal. I also have a pair of L150A and, depending on how much room you have, they are obviously similar to the L112 but that much better depends on where you position the L112 and how loud you want to go. For normal listening in a normal room, there's not that much difference and you have far fewer options in where you put the L150.

    Well, well, well...Do I feel dumb. You're right. Missed it by one little digit. I'll edit my comment.
    Edgewound...JBL Pro Authorized...since 1988
    Upland Loudspeaker Service, Upland, CA

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    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    GT did say the 128H is not suited for subwoofer duties though.

    The bass they produce is fantastic, tight and right I say. I feel I prefer the bass of my 150A's to what comes from the 2214H's from my XPL200's. EW needs to finish up my toasted 128H for me to recompare though :P

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    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taud1 View Post
    Bass is easy to fix but what about cleanliness and transparency ?
    You won't find a better example of well balanced sound till you get to the models of the 90's in the "L series", or some of the 44xx pro models. The L112 can make your ears bleed and sound fantastic doing it. In fact the harder you push them the better they sound. 200W, 400W or even 1000W will make them sing. I use a pair in my office stereo system running on a pair of direct 200W monoblocks (no pre-amp) and just love them. The L96 and L150A use identical drivers and crossovers and all share the same strengths. Some people prefer the newer titanium tweeters, but the 044 has a lot going for it. (its actually a soft-dome tweeter)

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    Quote Originally Posted by taud1 View Post
    Bass is easy to fix but what about cleanliness and transparency ?
    It's a good sounding speaker but won't have the transparency of a modern 2/3 way design. The woofer plays up to about 1.2khz, they don't have matched dispersion at the crossover points, and the offset drivers hurt the off axis response. Still, good in the near field but not likely to disappear like a modern speaker.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Chris Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Timbers himself said it is not a subwoofer, so don't feed it overexaggerated "booty" bass signals on overdrive unless you want to find out how expensive reconing is..
    Greg Timbers might have said that. It wouldn't surprise me, because if you are building a subwoofer you don't need flat response above ~120hz, and there are drivers with much more power handling if that is all you need.

    But the way you say it makes it sound like there is some sort of deficiency in regards to their ability to handle bass. The usage you describe is really not all that far off from how I push my speakers on a daily basis. 20 years of pushing my 128H woofers to near XMax and no damage yet. They certainly don't need a recone.

    The most likely failure from too much bass when using a 128H would be a loud pop from the woofer when XMech is exceeded and the voice coil makes contact with the pole piece. If this happens occasionally, it's unlikely to damage anything, and can serve as a warning that it's time to turn it down. If you ignore it and let it continue like you're trying to make popcorn, that's on you not the woofer. The 2nd most likely failure condition would be burning up the voice coil from too much power through the woofer. In most real-world conditions your woofer would likely start popping before the voice coil would suffer thermal damage, unless you are using a high-pass filter to cut off the ultra-low bass AND really pushing them.

    As far as comparisons to modern systems. The 128H at least was used in the 4412A (128H-1) which was still sold up until about 15 years ago. That would meet many people's definition of modern, and it certainly gives you an idea of just how much faith JBL placed in the capabilities of the 128H, using it in their speakers for over 25 years. The 044 tweeter is a great tweeter that strikes an amazing balance between being revealing yet easy to listen to for hours. The LE5-12 is good enough that it doesn't hold the system back. I've never heard of anyone who tried a L112 that wasn't pleased with what they could do.

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    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Hi Chris,

    No, not trying to make these look bad in anyway. Their bass response is fabulous. If you remember, you and several others helped me when I first got acquainted to my L150A's. They needed a recone as they were done poorly with incorrect parts. Not sure if you've kept up on my threads but since then, these things have impressed me with their bass. It's some of the finest I've heard- especially the mid bass. I've gotten them to play low enough such that it felt my floor was oscillating- something a subwoofer has never been able to do for me yet. Now, that was at lower levels though- I'm not foolish enough to try that at higher levels.

    "If they pop enough such that you're trying to make popcorn." LMAO! That's great. My favorite with them so far has been bridged Adcom GFA 555 II's, 600 watts seemed perfect for them. However, I made a novice mistake when one of the amps went down- I got it going again but didn't check the outputs for DC voltage and I turned it back on with a 150A connected to it- it immediately killed my 128H. Still waiting on the repair. Probably the dumbest and most costly thing I've done to date.

    I am a fan of all the other components, I agree and think the 044 is a wonderful tweeter. However, I'd very much like to try the crossover network from a 120ti as well as the other components to see if that would yield an improvement.

  12. #12
    RIP 2021 SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    I'd very much like to try the crossover network from a 120ti as well as the other components to see if that would yield an improvement.
    really do not think that idea would work out well.

    back to original Q:

    Greg Timbers said:

    "Speakers have generally become smoother, more 3-dimensional and much smaller. This means that they are less dynamic on the whole and rather toy like compared to good stuff from the 60s and 70s. Unlike electronics, miniaturization is not a good thing with loudspeakers. There is no substitute for size and horsepower. Nothing much has changed with the laws of physics in the last 100 years so what it takes to make dynamic life-like sound is unchanged. There have been some advances in magnet materials and a bunch of progress in adhesives but not much else."
    Some kind of happiness is measured out in miles

  13. #13
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Hmm, seems like it would in my head. The 120ti employs the 128H same as the L150A, but uses that poly mid and 044ti tweet.......... What could possibly go wrong?

  14. #14
    Member Fitero's Avatar
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    I recently brought home a pair of new L100 Classic to compare with my L112. Both my wife and I thought that the L100 were defective. They weren't. Simply, we both far preferred the L112 to the new speakers.

    I think a pair of L112 in good condition are a preferable alternative to many modern speakers.
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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitero View Post
    I recently brought home a pair of new L100 Classic to compare with my L112...
    A rather small sample group, but interesting results none the less.

    I’d love to hear more… for example: “the bass was flabby in the L100”, “the L100s had glaring and harsh highs…” etc.


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