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Thread: JBL L Series (1990s)

  1. #16
    Senior Member JBLnsince1959's Avatar
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    No need to defend yourself, your post just struck me as funny, that's all.

    and yes, there are some mightly BIG -holes out there, no need to let them upset you tho...

  2. #17
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    Smile L7 Heaven, Part the Second

    As I wrote above, the L7 Owner's Manual Supplement spends a little space on placement of the speakers, then goes on for three and a half pages on "Bi-Wiring and Bi-Amplification." This latter section really covers a lot more than just bi-wiring and bi-amping. Here in L7 Heaven, Part the Second, I'll get into those latter issues.

    The first time I heard the L7 was at ABC Warehouse in Kalamazoo, MI, where the resident audio "geniuses" had done what the L7 Supplement calls "Two-Amp Bi-Wire." (Today a lot of people call this passive bi-amping. JBL also offered examples of One-Amp Bi-Wire, Three-Amp Bi-Wire, and Four-Amp Bi-Wire.)

    Anyway, I was impressed with how LOUD the L7s would go in that configuration, and I must admit I wasn't really focusing on quality as much as quantity of sound. The L7s and amps were set up on a super-sized end cap in the audio dept, so the sound quality was marginal at best in that environment. I went back a couple of times over the months and the speakers never sold. Too expensive, I believed.

    I admitted to the salesman that the L7s looked bitchin' with those four thick wires and big amps behind 'em, and he tried to pitch them to me. However, it was clear that he needed to sell them more than I needed to buy them, so a marathon session of "I can walk away with no regrets and you're still stuck with the speakers ensued."

    Eventually, I walked out with the L7s, the heavy duty cables, and both Soundcraftsmen A200 amps for $1300. Oh, sometimes I kill myself!

    Reading the L7 Supplement was like a new world to me.
    Bi-wiring!
    Reduction of intermodulation!
    Frequency-optimized cables! (skin effect? ETPC vs.OFHC--wha-a?)
    Amplifier flexibility! (tubes and SS together? mono amps?)
    Bi-wiring connections!
    Bi-amplification! (which people call active bi-amping these days)
    I know the audio agnostics among us long ago debunked and demythologized much of this information, but it was the Holy Grail to me, so I followed it religiously, and I might add, to great effect.

    So, here are my subjective conclusions about optimizing the L7 from the standpoint of cabling, wiring scheme, and amplification.

    First, get rid of the grounding straps. Even if you're going to drive them with a single stereo amp, remove the straps and replace them with short jumpers made from the same wire you're using from the amp to the speaker. Those straps (as I recently learned again in my Performance Series experience) really ruin the upper frequency performance and muddy up the midrange. Almost any wire is better than the straps.

    Second, you're feeding two crossovers and four speakers in an L7. Give 'em some juice. The brochure may read "minimum 35 watts" but don't believe it. If you want harsh, metallic, shrill sound, then stick a wimpy amp on these babies and clip the hell out of it. At a minimum, 150W/ch is needed. Over the years, I tried driving them with a very nice 55W/ch Kenwood integrated amp, a 100W/ch receiver, and a 125W/ch amp. When I finally got back to using one of the 190W/ch A200s, I finally realized what potential these babies had. This dramatically improves low volume dynamics and makes loud listening thrilling.

    Third, try Two-, Three-, or Four-amp Bi-wiring as JBL describes it. Separating the LF crossover from the HF crossover and adding one, two, or three extra power supplies to the power chain gives you a real shot at achieving the kinds of sonic "reproduction in a bi-wired system which will be played at realistic concert hall levels." Two A200s with twice the power supply capacity really let these things suck the juice, which they like to do.

    Of course, you can get really good results with a single wire connection to a high power amp, but my subjective experience is that doubled power supply capacity (not simply "twice" the amplifier power rating) really helps.

    Maybe next I'll mock up a diagram or two showing a couple of the Two-Amp Bi-Wire schemes and give my impressions of how they affect the L7s output.
    Out.

  3. #18
    Senior Member "Duke" Spinner's Avatar
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    my L-7's suck up every Watt that Crown K-2 as to give.....

    i'd love to bi-amp ..gotta find a crown MX-4 soon ...!

  4. #19
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    l5's

    Hello, new here, I have a question about my L5s. I have run these with a Pioneer spec-1 pre amp into a Marantz 250 amp, to great sounding heights as the Marantz is 125 old school watts per channel. I also love the Pioneer Spec it seems very much just a pass through..transparent even. Currently due to the 250 being in need of repair I am running the L5's through a vintage Marantz 2250b reciever..you know it sounds fine, not as nice as the other set up but still clear and punchy and...well you all know how the L5's sound(God I love em). The 2250b is rated at 50 watts per channel. BTW what would that mean in todays "watts"? My actual question however is about the 035 tweeters, they seem to be a bit fragile as I have run through two of them...they just stop working. Jeez are they expensive even on Ebay..do others have this as well? I have cannibalized my L1 for it's tweeter? Are the 035's known to be fragile or prone to burn out?

  5. #20
    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Whoa! Slow down that volume control. You may be clipping your amp and running a lot of high frequency grung into you tweeters (especially with that 50-watter).

    David

  6. #21
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    Invest $50 in a Radio Shack SPL meter. Standard equipment, and you can do fun stuff with it like spectrum analysis (plot your system's response curve using a tone disc.)

    [AND harass your local bus company for exceeding the city's allowable noise level limits. ]

  7. #22
    Senior Member jim3860's Avatar
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    Talking L-5s

    Quote Originally Posted by speakerdave
    Whoa! Slow down that volume control. You may be clipping your amp and running a lot of high frequency grung into you tweeters (especially with that 50-watter).

    David
    I agree, i have a pair of L100ts that use the identical tweeter 035 ti and no problems yet, i have used a adcom 200 watt amp wide open with them and the only damage was to my ears, the best way to kill a tweeter is to clip them with an underpowered amp. HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all

  8. #23
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    Ha ha ha..What makes you think I was cranking it? I really have not with the 50 watter. No, this last time they had just been sitting for a while unused and today I hook em up and....no tweeter. The only tthing I can think of is that my house got a surge from a summer storm that knocked out my TV the L5's were my mains for that system and on the same surge protector perhaps the surge fried the tweeter as well....but I am not convinced. So do guys think that my Marantz 250 is underpowered for these speakers? I know the 2250b is a little short for them. The 250 really made them sing....sheesh, I had no idea what these speakers were until I ran them with that big Marantz.

  9. #24
    Senior Member jim3860's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by ojom
    Ha ha ha..What makes you think I was cranking it? I really have not with the 50 watter. No, this last time they had just been sitting for a while unused and today I hook em up and....no tweeter. The only tthing I can think of is that my house got a surge from a summer storm that knocked out my TV the L5's were my mains for that system and on the same surge protector perhaps the surge fried the tweeter as well....but I am not convinced. So do guys think that my Marantz 250 is underpowered for these speakers? I know the 2250b is a little short for them. The 250 really made them sing....sheesh, I had no idea what these speakers were until I ran them with that big Marantz.
    Hmmm, Well if you weren't cranking on them when the tweeter went south, and you had a big surge that killed your tv, my guess is yes it was the surge that did them in. There are speakers out there that are famous for tweeter blowouts but not that one. As far as your Marantz 250 goes im not sure if its underpowered or not. I think you would be a better judge of that since you have used it. how loud do you like it?. if you r happy at levels that it can put out fine. there always seems to be a gain in bass when you go to a more powerful amp. perhaps if its possible borrow a friends amp for a day that has more power, then you will know for sure. By the way marantz makes nice stuff IMHO. HAPPY HOLIDAYS

  10. #25
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    Well I feel great about the amp. Just curious about what other people are using with their L5's. Thank you all BTW. I also tried a Hafler 500...did not bring out the clarity in the high frequencies like the vintage Marantz. The Hafler was rated at 250 WPC..it did not seem like double the power...and it was muddier all around.

  11. #26
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    I was just wondering are all replacement diaphragms for this tweeter 8 ohm? I know it is a 6 ohm speaker..but each driver is 8 ohm correct? I just want to order the right replacement.

  12. #27
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    Wink Not enough L7s? "L9" next?

    Okay, so a couple of weeks ago I trekked out to Palm Desert, CA to grab a pair of minty L7s for under $600.

    I hooked up with my traveling amp and iPod. The traveling amp is a Soundcraftsment S860 in a hardborad, metal, and carpeted case. It's a bitchin' companion for getting a couple hundred Watts per channel out into the field. Because the iPod puts out both a straight signal (via dock connector) or a gained signal (via miniplug), it's great for field use.

    Anyway, they looked great and sounded good, so I loaded the beauties into the back of the Sorento and trekked back to LA, stopping for a few minutes at the Morongo Casino to see if I could earn enough to pay for the speakers. Not quite, but I got a bit back anyway.

    I put them in the basement studio, otherwise known as the garage, where other L7s, some L5s, an L3, some SVA1800s, the L250s, the L60Ts and the LX300s all live. They sounded terrific there, better than before (as expected).

    My practical side wondered, [i]Why did you buy these?" My JBL demon replied, "Because." As I listened to how very good the LE120H-1s were at producing bass, I glanced at the LE14H-1 looking at me from the L250 behind the L7. Hmmm. I wonder?

    Soon the grille over one of the LE120H-1s was off and the driver was out. Hmm. I wonder?

    A few quick internal measurements, some volume calculations, a quick look at the crossover schematic... Hmmm. I wonder?

    Over to the L250, tape measure out, a reading here, another there... Hmmm. I wonder?

    Back to the opening in the L7... Hmm. I wonder.

    L9 anyone?
    Out.

  13. #28
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    Hey TD,

    You're JBL demon is saying " Heh, Heh, Heh"

    Regards,

    Bart

  14. #29
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    Exclamation Demon, eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by mech986
    Hey TD,

    You're JBL demon is saying " Heh, Heh, Heh"

    Regards,

    Bart
    Well, the L9s aren't quite ready for prime time, but I've got to say that the L7 cabinets present some unique "opportunities." One definitely doesn't want to do an LE14H-1 install in an L7 cabinet that lacks the stablizing base. There's certainly a devil in that detail.
    Out.

  15. #30
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    Question L Series (1990s) bonanza?

    A lot of L3, L5, and L7 pairs have gone on ebay lately, some without any bids due to unrealistic opening bids asked by the sellers.

    Still some of these should have sold at the opening bid price as the components were easily worth twice the opening amount. Hopefully this will signal a decline in price for these models in the short term, making them an even better deal IMO. There's a lot of restoration and modification work to be done with this series.
    Out.

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