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Thread: JBL Signature C38 Lo Boys?? Can You ID These?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2022
    Birmingham, AL

    JBL Signature C38 Lo Boys?? Can You ID These?

    Hi folks - I usually know pretty well what I am looking at with JBL speakers, but this one has me a little stumped. I picked up this pair of what I thought were JBL Model 38 Lo Boys today at an estate sale. They were missing the Eames style tapered feet and I noticed the differences in terminals / crossovers at the time, but was surprised by what they were loaded with. One is loaded with what I expected - D130, 075, and an N2600. The other has a D131, a University Loudspeakers HF-206 driver with horn, and an unidentified JBL crossover. I assume that these were never shipped like this and that this was work done due to one of the speakers failing at some point in the past. The estate sale was that of a writer / columnist who wrote music and art reviews for the Birmingham Post Herald for many, many years. He had a massive vinyl collection (20k+) of which I was able to snag quite a few fantastic classical pieces I have been hunting for years. Point is, I could maybe see that this setup was intentional, though not likely. Am hoping that some of you good folks may have some thoughts. My original reaction was to grab another D130, 075, N2600, and two sets of feet for these bad boys and get them back in action. Any thoughts are much appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Well, the C38 Baron is what you call the "lowboy" as opposed to the C36 Viscount. I didn't see any legs in your photos but they came with wooden legs with brass tips at some point. I know I have C37s with wood and aluminum legs.

    The cabinet with the D131 looks like it has the proper adapter for the 12-inch driver so pulling it and replacing with a D130 should be very simple—just remove the adapter. That funky University piece looks like it was mounted over the spot where the 075 would have been mounted to its adapter which appears to be missing. Easy to recreate. Usually just a triangle with a hole in it for the ring-radiator.

    Can you see what the crossover knobs look like? The 2600 should be continuously variable while if the other was maybe an N1200 it would be a three-position switch as it was normally used with the LE175DLH.

    Can't really offer anything else without more photos. My normal reply is that the C38 isn't really large enough for the D130 to reach its full potential—which means not really much of a woofer in the low-end, anyway. But likable, none-the-less. I'm doing a 3-way with them in a C35 cabinet but I'd really rather have a 130A. We often just have to work with what we've got!!
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  3. #3
    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Santa Rosa CA
    I've seen some similar situations several times. It's from the early days of stereo. Sometimes it was sort of a layaway plan, buy one speaker now, add another later when you had saved up more money. I've seen old advertising suggesting this. But more often, I think people were buying a nice mono system, and adding to it later after stereo was available. Trouble is, the makers would be constantly updating, and an exact match wasn't always possible. My own listening would suggest that the original owner wasn't completely happy with that single 131, and bought the better 130 later to have some bass. And this would be common practice in building single speakers as well. Start with a woofer and add a tweeter later. Hey, times were tough back then, and Hi-Fi was very expensive relative to most paychecks. I've seen JBLs mixed with University drivers before. I currently have an old Jensen/University corner horn combo stored in my garage.

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