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Thread: JBL L-50 opinions please

  1. #1
    Junior Member Bill Ding's Avatar
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    JBL L-50 opinions please

    I own L-100's and love them. Just recently purchased an excellent pair of L-50's except that they need surrounds (stored in a hot Louisiana attic for several years). Anyone have the L-50's that could opine them? They appear as well built as the L-100's but have 10 woofers and lower power handling capacity.

    Thanks

    Bill

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    Updated L36 Decade with a vertical driver array. They're decent enough.

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    They are a real "good value" for what they are... the L36 and its legacy L50 surprise a lot of people. It's a sleeper pair with punch that everyone should hear at some point.

    I have a feeling that Giskard would also say "decent enough" about the L100 eh? That's not a critique, but sort of "Simon Cowell-like" honesty in the GRAND SCHEME of JBL History.

  4. #4
    jay
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    Not only does the L50 sound good, it has that ultra-cool diagonal grill material, assuming it hasn't rotted away.

    BTW, how come certain 10" 3 ways like the L96 and L110 are highly thought of, while the L36 and L50 are relegated to 'step-down' options?

    I must be a liberal, I like 'em all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jay
    BTW, how come certain 10" 3 ways like the L96 and L110 are highly thought of, while the L36 and L50 are relegated to 'step-down' options?
    I believe the 10" LF in the L36 and L50 use 2" voice coils while the L96 4313, etc., use 3" voice coils, allowing for more LF control.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMMD
    I have a feeling that Giskard would also say "decent enough" about the L100 eh? That's not a critique, but sort of "Simon Cowell-like" honesty in the GRAND SCHEME of JBL History.
    You got it.
    Quote Originally Posted by jay
    BTW, how come certain 10" 3 ways like the L96 and L110 are highly thought of, while the L36 and L50 are relegated to 'step-down' options?
    We've discussed this before. Price points... Take all the systems you mentioned apart and it should become clear.

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    I seem to recall the L36 Decade as being even more forward and brighter than the L100 Century. Although this is just my memory and I don't believe I ever made a direct comparison of the two.

    Some of JBL's so called budget speakers were actually pretty good. I'll never forget the old L19A's. They were probably JBL's least expensive speaker but one of their most impressive.
    Mike

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    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    "BTW, how come certain 10" 3 ways like the L96 and L110 are highly thought of, while the L36 and L50 are relegated to 'step-down' options?"

    Take the 10" woofers 125A or 127A and compare it to the Le10A or Le111. Night and day. I own a pair of L-25 Primas. Basically an L-26 in a different cabinet I still like them. But there is no question which speakers had the better driver set's and crossovers.

    Rob

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    Giskard's inference dead on... as are Mike and Rob's comments. The l19, l26, l36, l50 were what I would call "lifestyle" speakers. People who wanted the JBL name and repuation but couldn't spring for the expensive line. The decade line produced quality sound at a more affordable price.

    Pick up a LE10a from a L96 cabinet the wrong way and you'll hurt your wrist. Pick up a 125A and you'll marvel at how much sound that thing really produces.

    It's an Old guard design vs. New lightweight aluminum design. Economy. The L36 is remarkable for the fullness of the sound it produced at that price point.

    The cabinets and crossovers (not much different in scope or composition than the L100A) are well built though. Overall, the L36/l50 is not "light" it's just that the 125A was "light" in comparison as to what came before. That's not to say it was a bad driver though....

  10. #10
    Senior Member 57BELAIRE's Avatar
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    grill

    Quote Originally Posted by jay
    Not only does the L50 sound good, it has that ultra-cool diagonal grill material, assuming it hasn't rotted away.

    BTW, how come certain 10" 3 ways like the L96 and L110 are highly thought of, while the L36 and L50 are relegated to 'step-down' options?

    I must be a liberal, I like 'em all.
    These guys are right...the low end of the L50 lacks punch due to the wimpy woofer. However , the overall performance is smooth and accurate.

    The grill is the neatest asset...it can't deteriorate because it's molded plastic covered with cloth. I'm using one to cover an open space in a shelf unit in the workshop.

    I don't think JBL had this in mind as part of it's sales promo, though...
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Yeah, even the L26 and L36 were built better than most of their competion.
    It's been a long time since I owned any of the Decades or L19's but I really enjoyed them when I did.

    Mike

  12. #12
    jay
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robh3606
    Take the 10" woofers 125A or 127A and compare it to the Le10A or Le111. Night and day.
    Rob
    Fascinating....ok, what if some mad scientist type, of which there are many here, were to take a set of the 'better' 10" woofers and put them in L26/36/50's?

    Would the minimal-ish crossovers in the Decades and such run the better woofers adequately? It sounds like the makings of 'budget' oriented overachievers to me.

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    NB: "budget" was still pretty relative. They were by no means "cheap" when they were "new" for most consumers. The crossovers in the decades are fairly simple. Smooth and accurate GIVEN the components in them...makes for a great value- THEN and TODAY. It's all about tradeoffs.

    There isn't anything really "wrong" with the 125A/127A. And I'd say don't mess with the original configuation. Technically, I'd say the wholesale substitution won't work.

    Alternatively, I'd pick up a pair of L96, L100, L110, L166 if you want the comparison. The L50's will serve you well as a secondary system. They sound "fun" They would be perfect for the shop/garage.... and the "utimate retro" dorm speaker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jay
    Fascinating....ok, what if some mad scientist type, of which there are many here, were to take a set of the 'better' 10" woofers and put them in L26/36/50's?
    Reference the LX11 network - http://www.lansingheritage.org/image...comp/page7.jpg

    Reference the LX14 network -http://www.lansingheritage.org/image...omp/page08.jpg

    Reference the S15 System -
    http://www.lansingheritage.org/image...omp/page06.jpg

    Note - the LE21H is a variant of the LE25/LE26 type transducers.

    Note - the more expensive systems such as the 4313, L96 and L110 used the new JBL 033, 044, and 066 1" dome radiators in addition to the 3-inch voice coiled LE10 variants with their larger magnetic assemblies.

    Here is the L50 Engineering Staff Report for those with interest in such things - http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/s...ead.php?t=4551
    Quote Originally Posted by DMMD
    There isn't anything really "wrong" with the 125A/127A.
    True enough. Nor with the 116A/116H in the L16/L19/4301. They are what they are and filled their intended applications just fine. One should note that a 127H variant is used to this day in the 4410. A 116H variant is used in the 4408.

  15. #15
    Member Steelyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay
    Fascinating....ok, what if some mad scientist type, of which there are many here, were to take a set of the 'better' 10" woofers and put them in L26/36/50's?
    IMHO I think it has been done by JBL itself : the studio 4310-4311-4312 series.

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