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

  1. #31
    Senior Member alexkerhead's Avatar
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    Dont know if my experience counts, but my first sight of JBLs were my Dad's L65s when I can first remember(around 4yo).
    I got my first set when I was 12yo, a set of L16s powered by a sx-434.
    My older brother sold me my first set of l100s.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    In 1965 I went away to college and became perhaps the first roadie. The goal was to hang with the band and get out of hours (as in be back and inside by midnight) at the dorm by going on road gigs. A clueless suburban kid, I had a chance to broaden my horizons by about 1000%. I noticed right off that the tube amps with the shiny domes on the speakers kicked everything else's butts. I knew sound because my DIY Dad worked for Shure Bros. and had a great mono rig at home.

    Cut to 1968-1969, back in Chicago for a year of Hippie lifestyle, Democratic Convention disorder, stereos everywhere and hearing hundreds of name bands live. I and my cohorts spent all our loot on upgrading our rigs. I built Dynaco pre and power amp kits, got Koss Pro 4A phones and built some speakers, augmented by using the cab from my Fender Bassman amp as a stone age subwoofer. I traded the amp head to a friend who had an early sound reinforcement concern. God, I think it was called Euphoria Blimpworks, but I might be confusing it with another Hippie business. He gave me a pair of 075's with networks in exchange, which I finally topped off my speakers with after handling, starring at and being mesmerized by their heft, looks, design and sheer build quality for I don't remember how long.

    The last straw was several trips to Toad Hall on the north shore that our bunch, Clive, Kevin and I took to listen to gear we couldn't afford. We were building kits, after all. The Lansing and Mac powered demos of a Paragon and a pair of S8R kitted Factory cabs (Olympus or Sovereign, I don't remember) made us all lose interest in anything else available. That JBL room became a magical, life-transforming place for us, as surely as the acid trips were in those days. None of us would ever forget our visits there.

    It was thirty-six years before I could afford any big JBL's, but they were "always on my mind." My Sister scored sooner, bagging a VOTT pair in the mid 1970's.

    Clark In Peoria
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
    Too many audiophiles listen with their eyes instead of their ears


  3. #33
    Senior Member SUPERBEE's Avatar
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    Can you name some of the bands you worked for from 65 to 68?



    Quote Originally Posted by Ducatista47
    In 1965 I went away to college and became perhaps the first roadie. The goal was to hang with the band and get out of hours (as in be back and inside by midnight) at the dorm by going on road gigs. A clueless suburban kid, I had a chance to broaden my horizons by about 1000%. I noticed right off that the amps with the shiny domes on the speakers kicked everything else's butts. I knew sound because my DIY Dad worked for Shure Bros. and had a great mono rig at home.

    Cut to 1968-1969, back in Chicago for a year of Hippie lifestyle, Democratic Convention disorder, stereos everywhere and hearing hundreds of name bands live. I and my cohorts spent all our loot on upgrading our rigs. I built Dynaco pre and power amp kits, got Koss Pro 4A phones and built some speakers, augmented by using the cab from my Fender Bassman amp as a stone age subwoofer. I traded the amp head to a friend who had an early sound reinforcement concern. He gave me a pair of 075's with networks in exchange, which I finally toped off my speakers with after handling, starring at and being mesmerized by their heft, looks, design and sheer build quality for I don't remember how long.

    The last straw was several trips to Toad Hall on the north shore that our bunch took to listen to gear we couldn't afford. The Lansing and Mac powered demos of a Paragon and a pair of S8R kitted Factory cabs (Olympus or Sovereign, I don't remember) made us all lose interest in anything else available.

    It was thirty-six years before I could afford any big JBL's, but they were "always on my mind."

    Clark In Peoria
    Paragon
    Olympus
    L-100's
    4311's

  4. #34
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUPERBEE
    Can you name some of the bands you worked for from 65 to 68?
    That's really funny! I carried the gear for a local Peoria band, The Vagrants, for free to tag along. I only did it for a year or two. There were no paid roadies that early that I knew of. I stayed in college for the next three years.

    I did eventually get an offer, but I couldn't take it because of the draft. Nam and all that. I went to a Beach Boys concert at the Bradley Field House. While I was into the Beach Boys, I really went to see Ian & Sylvia, who I will always worship. Ian explained that he insisted on opening so he could get on the road sooner, and oh that reminded him, he was looking for someone to help with the gear on the road and he offered me the position as we hit it off pretty well. I got the idea it would have been the three of us in a van or something, basically the coolest time available on the planet. I had to pass as it would have meant almost immediate draft into the service. I had a very low number in the draft lottery and I wanted to finish college while I could maintain my scholarships and work odd jobs. You know, pay as you go. So I never had a real paying gig as a roadie.

    No need to ask me if I regret not being able to go with Ian & Sylvia. I can't bear to think about it often. I managed to bury it for the last fifteen years or so until now. How much more alive I would have been, even if I hadn't survived long. The only thing that makes up for it is that the path I took led, many years later, to my Wife and children.

    Clark
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom
    Too many audiophiles listen with their eyes instead of their ears


  5. #35
    Senior Member indycraft's Avatar
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    Welllll.......let me think. I was in a cover band with some high school buddies. At one point we did 10 or 12 tunes by Chicago from their first 3 albums. We also covered Sly and the Family Stone, Tower of Power, The Sons of Champlin, Ides of March, Santana and many others. The guitar players often talked about JBL speakers. Some where along the line we won an all day (15 hrs) battle of the bands at The Surf Ballroom. Every band but us played China Grove. The agent, Morris Drey from Omaha was promoting his bands. The prize for winning was 4-15" JBL speakers and 2 JBL horns loaded in Vox cabinets. I do not recall the models. Evidently they were used by The Rumbles (a popular band from the midwest) for their PA. The horns were fried but the speakers we used in our PA. I don't remember them being remarkable but then again I was behind them and I don't remember many of the things I should from that era. All I knew was we had some JBL speakers. During this time I bought some JBL 2 ways......again I don't remember...... but promptly traded them in for some L-100s. Like so many things I had during that time period I had to part with the stereo within a couple of years. It wasn't until last year when I started to repurchase my childhood that I once again enjoyed the JBL experience. I can't believe I waited so long. And now I am here but tomorrow I will not remember but the reason will be different.

    Indy

  6. #36
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    In 1976 a "proper" HiFi shop was opened in my little hometown Västervik (of Abba Björn fame) in Sweden. They had a pair of L300's that we teenage boys drooled over...

    The shop is long gone but I think the owner still has them.

    JohanR

  7. #37
    Ken Pachkowsky
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducatista47
    The only thing that makes up for it is that the path I took led, many years later, to my Wife and children.

    Clark
    The silver lining....

    Your story speaks volumes.

    Ken

  8. #38
    Senior Member Wornears's Avatar
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    I saved my money while working in college and bought my first real stereo system in an Anchorage, AK audio shop in 1974 during the pipeline-building boom days. Pipeline workers would come in and drop $5,000 cash and up for systems. Saw and heard my first Klipschhorns and tube Macs there. I had been raised on a Grundig console, so we had decent tube sound for all my mom's Johnny Cash records. My brother still has the console.

    My first setup included a Marantz 2015, Pioneer PL-15 (?) TT and JBL L-26. All vinyl all the time. Blew out one of the woofers while getting stupid with the Marantz, and my local audio shop and authroized JBL dealer sent in to the factory. They replaced it no questions asked. Sold me.

    Traded the whole group in at Jerry's Audio Exchange in Phoenix, AZ (still have the receipt) in 1977 for a Yamaha CA-600 and oak veneer L-36s (with flaming orange cloth grills). I had A-B'd the L-36 and L-100 and found the latter too bass heavy and not as balanced.

    Still have them both and all their paperwork (finally threw out the boxes about 10 years ago...grrrr). Now my teenage son enjoys them both. He and his buds think the L-36 are IT! The orange grills knock them out -- nothing says '70s like those.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Storm's Avatar
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    Wow, I had no idea that Jerrys audio in Phoenix was that old!

    They sell high end stuff now. I went there once, nice people - but kind of pushy.

    I could not find a system there that could compete with mine - so I say vintage is better, always....


  10. #40
    Senior Member Donald's Avatar
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    1965 or 66. I graduated HS in 1966. I attended a Dick Clark R&R concert at the Stock Yards in Chicago. The sound system was all JBL. It blew me away. I went home and sent a hand written letter to JBL in California asking if they knew what the system was. Someone was kind enough to actually answer me. I don't remember what is was now. But that put me on the JBL bandwagen. Shortly after that I bought a pair of C56 Dorian S12 at Olsen Electronics on south Western avenue. When looking through the JBL brochure I immediately lusted after the Paragon. I still do. I still have the Dorians. They are shown in my avatar. I have every pair of JBL I ever bought. I see a pair of Dorian like mine just sold on eBay for $685. Don't remember what I paid. :-)

    My next pair were L222 Disco Towers around 1976. I thought those kicked butt until I got a user pair of L65 last year. The 077 tweeter can cut glass. And the woofer is no slouch, either.
    had L25,L36,L40,L120,L222,L300,AquariusIV(2),S1,4408
    have L65,L100,L222,DorianS12,B380

  11. #41
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    1st encounter

    My brother who was a jock during the 70's in london told me it was the best system he ever heard and purchased ,so the brand was already familiar to me at the age of 10 and at that time heaven knows how much i was excited at the thought of listening at one of theese but still there was no such stuff around the place i was living, not till 1983 during a school gig,i was sitting in front of a 4560(yes i wanted to be close to them),and when they started playing music,god!!!!! i was receiving all this bass over my body,i was so shocked and pleased that i didn't make a move,get back home,plug my eminence driven cabs along with piezos,hoping they were jbls

  12. #42
    Senior Member jbl_man_uk's Avatar
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    Mid 1970s,in a Hifi shop in West end London (REW Pro.audio) heard my first JBLs,L300`s driven from crown D150a amp.amazing.
    Late 1970s, home made disco systems,i had a pair of plywood EV copy eliminator type folded horns,but the bass was weak,i bought a pair of K140s brand new (£95 each,a fortune in 1978)...oh wow,on opening the orange and brown cartons ,can still remember the smell of the fresh glue/varnish..and such lovely build quality,they made the british Celestion and Fane drivers look junk in comparison.
    Been using JBL ever since.

  13. #43
    Senior Member Woofer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    I remember when I was still in High school looking at the Century and L36 at a local retailer called Instrol HiFi.
    Ian
    .... was that Instrol in Adelaide by any chance Ian?

    George.

  14. #44
    Roddyama
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    Quote Originally Posted by vettedrummer View Post
    ...I hung out at Audioland and Pecars in the MtClemens and Detroit areas.
    Do you remember Tech HiFi on Kelly & 8mi? They had a pair of L300's in the store for the longest time. The salesman had to constantly wipe my drool from the glass tops.

  15. #45
    subwoof
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    old dayz

    In college a freind with $$ to burn bought (4) L100's and a mac amp and proceeded to play floyd, genesis, etc in a local college house-turned-bar. 25cent pitcher night was the place to be...

    The stunning detail and bass was far and above the generic crap we heard at the local "clubs" that seemed to all have the same overdriven D150A and 2 Klipsch herseys or god-forbid the bass less bose 901's.

    That summer break I happened upon a pair of 4560's with 2220's that a local band was selling cheap thru a high-end store. Bought them, promptly refinished them with dayglo paint, added the only horns I could afford ( radio shack ) and put them in my apartment.

    Each had a MASSIVE HP quad input oscilloscope set to X-Y on top fed from the preamps tape out jacks. This was a HIT with the ladies and provided just enough spooky green illumination to further my endeavours..

    My alarm clock was a timer that tuned on the AC power to the rig at 7AM sharp. JUST like the ( not yet on the airwaves "earrache my eye" ) song, it would turn on the 70w/ch Knight tube amp and drop the 45 onto the changer. hiss, hiss, crackle, LOUD.

    I had about 20-30 seconds to get up, cross the room and turn it off before the opening guitar riff of "iron man" hit.

    Dunh. Dunh. Dunh. Dunh.

    One weekend I left to visit the parents and forgot to turn it off. I came back to a broken door and a tonearm in serious disrepair...

    I retaliated by buying a phase linear 400 and a pair of JBL 2350 / 2440's.

    And never looked back.

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