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Thread: When JBL was JBL...Your first Encounter

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    When JBL was JBL...Your first Encounter

    You know I can still remember opening the carton of our first ever JBL drivers..the 2231A.

    That was way back in the late 1970's. The JBL 2231A was the latest soa woofer from JBL...medium efficiency extended bass driver. Aside from the sound quality and power, it was way above anything else at the time.

    This all came about in the quest to find a speaker with the big sound that really went down low and loud. I had looked at everything incl Tannoys but they just did not cut it.

    Does anyone know who designed the 2231A?

    My interest in JBL soon evolved into the purchase of all the drivers for the 4343..The magic still lives.

    I think it woud be fun to hear about other members first experience with JBL drivers?


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Great idea, Ian. Mine was about 1975 visiting a local studio in Montreal where the Engineer was demonstating mixing from either 16 or 24 tracks, I don't recall exactly which, it was Studer machine, though.

    The monitors were original 4350's wall mounted, the amps were Crown DC-300 for the bottom and Quad 405 on the top, crossover was the Crown VFX.

    When the Engineer started the demo with a multitrack rock recording, he first brought in the drums, then bass and electric guitar, etc at a fairly high volume. Unbelievable! It was was unlike anything my young ears had ever heard. Been hooked ever since.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Central Coast California

    Smile I like it raw

    My first encounter with raw drivers was when I replaced the woofer in my pair of original L100 Centuries, around 1973 I guess. JBL was great about it, sending it to me free after I sent the other in for inspection. That's the first time I saw a quality driver in the rough, and I found the rear more interesting than the front. (Ahhh, like so many things in life... )

    My first real experience with lots of JBL drivers came in the autosound arena, though, where the whole raw driver thing is so much more innovative and experimental.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tomt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    calabasas ca
    worked in a restaurant...what had a bar... and a disco!

    dance floor was 12'x12', with 8 4311's, directly above


    the walls in the back of the employees areas buzzed

    like a massive herd of African Killer Bees.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Don Mascali's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Sarasota, Florida
    I was doing a portable Disco DJ gig in the early eighties and went through some EV horns and drivers and built a pair of EV-15b folded horns and then a pair of 18" ported boxes for larger gigs. I heard some JBL and was off to the races. I built all of my stuff and still use it to this day in my HT and listening room.

    I used 2426H/2344a as HF and 2 E-120s per side for the low mids. It worked for the DJ stuff, but talk about over kill for the house. As we all know "Too much is just right".

    Opening the boxes when I purchased the various drivers from a local music store was almost a religious experiance. They even looked like they meant business.
    4406, 4412A, L100, L100t3 (3 pair), L1, L7, 4645C, 4660A, 4695B, SR4735 and various DIY JBL Pro loaded systems.

  6. #6
    In the mid-seventies I worked at my high school's radio station. We had a pair of L-100s as our "studio monitors". The blue Quadrex foam grilles enchanted me as much as did the sound of the speakers.

    We also used a pair of AR XA tape, no CDs, nothing digital!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    I remember when I was still in High school looking at the Century and L36 at a local retailer called Instrol HiFi.

    Those foam grills were so cool...the real deal in the 70's . They were the best bookshelf systems in the shop but worth more than an average hifi system at the time. I also recall hearing the L112...purr.

    You could buy the Kits then , but they were even more expensive as I recall.


  8. #8
    Senior Member sonofagun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Stanwood, MI
    My first experience was going to the local audio store "Audioland - Men of Music", Mt. Clemens, MI back around the mid -late 60"s. Had a JBL demo room set up - you could select various JBL systems on up to the Paragon driven by Marantz SOA components. I listened to them all - preferred the 001 system - D130 with the 175DLH I believe. Champagne tastes and soda pop budget at the time (still have a used Viking 88 tape deck I bought from one of the salesmen there. Also bought my first turntable there - a Garrard AT60 as I recall).

    Later picked up a pair of 15" (D130 and a D140F) used somewheres - my brother built a pair of cabinets for them from JBL's plans and I used them for music and bass guitar. Of course, wish I still had them - anybody here seen them - they're black if that helps ?

    Those were the days my friend...

  9. #9

    Inside a Fender Twin Reverb

    In the mid-1960's when I was in high school, I worked at a music store after school. I remember uncrating a Twin Reverb and almost dislocating my shoulder when I tried to pick it up. Inside were two D120's that looked like they had been built by a Swiss watchmaker. Not everybody back then liked the clear-as-a-bell sound that JBL speakers brought to the party, but I fell in love with them.

    I went on to work in the sound reinforcement business during the 1970's and early 80's, working almost exclusively with JBL gear. Although I left the sound business, I've almost always used JBL studio monitors in my home, including:
    4350 (almost cost me a marriage)
    LSR28P/LSR12P (current)

    It's amazing that JBL has managed to maintain as much brand identity and loyalty as it has, despite Harman's attempts to water it down.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 57BELAIRE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005


    In '62 I was starting to get steady gigs at my high school and needed
    a "real amp".....then I saw it......Ace Music had a used '61 blonde Fender Showman 12 sitting right in the middle of the floor.

    It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. And staring back was this silver disc that mesmerized me ....I was... "hipmo'tized!!

    The poison was in the wound.

    That little D131 F started a lifelong love affair with all things JBL.

    That love has resulted in a personal collection that borders on lunacy.
    From the Paragon right on down to the Minuet.

    JBL may not be the best in the world,but it beats everything in second place!

  11. #11
    Senior Member porschedpm's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Reno/SF Bay Area
    "Of all the stereo stores in all the world why'd I have to walk into this one...."
    My high school buddy and I used to visit the showroom of this retail/mailorder stereo store about once a week back in the early '70's. Always playing with the equipment, and generally making pests of ourselves. Rarely buying anything. Most of it was all too expensive. That's when I fell in love with JBL's. Here's a couple of pages from their old mail order catalogs.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  12. #12
    Tom Loizeaux
    My earliest exposure to JBL was playing through a Fender Showman with a JBL D140F in it. It was loud, clean, punchy and held up to heavy use. Then, years later I spent some time in broadcast and recording studios and heard lots of JBL 4311s. There was something about the punch and fidelity in those that made me really respect JBL's products.


  13. #13
    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    Brooklyn NY


    My uncle got married, got a new apartment, and got a pair of JBL Century L-100,s with a Fisher reciever! All I knew was that I liked listening to music at his house, blew my moms AR3a,s away!

    The orange grills!

  14. #14
    RIP 2009
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Rohnert Park, CA
    My first real encounter was at a concert in the late 60's or early 70's. The bass player for the Steve Miller band had 4 Sunn dual 15" cabinets with D140's. Ever since I heard those lows and discovered what produced them it's been nothing but JBL for me...


  15. #15
    Super Moderator yggdrasil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Våle, Norway


    My father bought a Paragon. I was only 7. I can not forget the feeling of playing on the floor in front of the Paragon, my chest vibrating from the bass.
    Johnny Haugen Sørgård

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