JBL is reissuing the classic L100 speakers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Monsieur Gadbois, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. Fruff76

    Fruff76 Forum Resident

    I can tell you in my set up, they don’t.
  2. Monsieur Gadbois

    Monsieur Gadbois Forum Resident Thread Starter

    French Sûreté
    Perhaps the bass drivers need a bit of playing time to loosen up.
  3. carbonti

    carbonti Forum Resident

    Would any of you who has bought the reissue L100 with the floor stands measure the height of the speaker with the stand? The speaker itself is 25”. How high on the stands?

    I want to buy a pair for the living room sized as you’d expect to find in a NYC apartment. So yeah, these speakers are overkill - I was gonna buy KEF LS50 so these JBLs are a completely different animal. Fuhgeddaboud runnin’ these at high volume, that kind of thing is not in keeping with the genteel decorum I wish to maintain with my neighbors. So I hope they image and work well at low to moderate volume. These will be driven by a vintage Marantz 2325 receiver.

    As for the really important part, I’ll get them with orange grills.
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  4. Fruff76

    Fruff76 Forum Resident

    Mine did loosen up after a few weeks. The ba
    i’ll check when I get home, but they’re not very tall. Maybe 8” if I’m thinking correctly.
  5. carbonti

    carbonti Forum Resident

    Thanks. This tidbit of data re: L100 height w/stands is for WAF purposes. I am painfully aware that looks count for a lot and there's agreement in this household that the L100s do indeed look very retro-cool. Unlike some speakers which could never make its way outta being hidden away in my listening/man-cave room in the basement of a suburban home as from before.
  6. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    I'd like to hear a pair and compare to my Revel's. Not sure if they will be better.
  7. Fruff76

    Fruff76 Forum Resident

    They have a high WAF if your wife is cool. Thankfully my wife gets it.
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  8. Tauren04

    Tauren04 Well-Known Member

    Revels without a doubt will be better than a loudspeaker with recycled old technology with “some” newer modifications. IMHO.
  9. These new versions don’t have recycled old technology. Just the casing is original retro. Inside speaker design is all new.

    Let’s not start fake rumors.
    Eigenvector likes this.
  10. Jimi Floyd

    Jimi Floyd Forum Resident

    Revel who?
  11. Tauren04

    Tauren04 Well-Known Member

    Not fake rumor, just my opinion. I heard these at a DEMO with Craig last week. They aren’t worth $4,000 and definitely sound very similar to the old L100s when we A&B’d them. They aren’t in the same league as the serious modern HiFi. Again, this is my opinion and I’m sure others may feel differently.
    Larry Geller and VinylSoul like this.
  12. Tony Plachy

    Tony Plachy Forum Resident

    Pleasantville, NY
    I heard these at someone's house recently driven by McIntosh amps. They sounded very good, but I think my Magico S7's sound better and cost much less. JBL is now owned by Harman (which is owned by Samsung) and is trying to re-establish the brand as a true audiophile brand and not the cheap stuff that it was for many years. This is always an up hill battle, but I think they are doing a pretty good job of it. I still have a pair of JBL L88's (my first speakers) from the JBL glory days. They are boxed up and have not been played for about 30 years.
  13. Well that is a totally fair comment after listening to them. My point was that they are not recycled old tech; that's all.
  14. Fruff76

    Fruff76 Forum Resident

    Just like tubes are recycled old technology.
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  15. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    I’m sure that other folks will have a completely different opinion. I imagine Revel and JBL Synthesis are being designed and tested at the same state of the art facility. I expect them to sound good, I just don’t know if I will like them better.
  16. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    mill valley CA USA
  17. carbonti

    carbonti Forum Resident

    Went to the Harmon NYC store on Madison Ave this morning for the purpose of hearing the L100. Unlike the presentation in the video posted by Mazzy, the L100s today were not hooked up in the Levinson room but aligned outside that room along a wall with Harmon's other speaker offerings. The electronics driving those speakers - out of sight so who knows? Harmon offered to plug into the headphone jack and played the Stones 'Brown Sugar' off of my iPhone. Music on my iPhone is all 320kB mp3 but it doesn't matter here. L100s and Stones Sticky Fingers, a match made for each other and should be great, right? But with this setup, heck if I know how they sounded at all. $4K in speakers made to sound like a pair of $50 'Colby' boomboxes bought on Canal Street. To say it was a letdown is unfair, I look at it more like a mismatch of purposes and skillsets.

    Not Harmon's fault about the setup. There is a lot to be said about what speciality stereo shops know how to do and to demonstrate the way audiophiles know to listen for and the standards they expect. Harmon Madison Ave is a corporate prestige and flagship location and that's what they are rightfully setup to showcase and display for all of Harmon's brands. Not for audiophiles.

    Harmon staff were very nice and allowed me to hang out in the Levinson room as long as I wanted and listen to whatever they had on the music server. Revel speakers. Not bad but not breathtaking. In the audiophile audition game, Harmon is clearly outta that league. Catch a audition with a good setup for Wilson speakers at Lyric HiFi - now that's breathtaking. Catch almost anything Jeff Catalano would throw together at High Water Sound - now that's breathtaking.

    Still interested in buying L100s. But even having heard them, I really didn't hear a thing. So it feels like I gotta take a flyer on 'em and hope they work out. That's a little unsettling but then again, it won't be the first time I've done it.
  18. Vuanghenhac

    Vuanghenhac Well-Known Member

    Việt Nam
    it has been improve improvements or keep the original ?
  19. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Seems like you want to buy them no matter what (o.k., they look retro cool, I get that,) but if you are living in a place where you can't crank them,
    why not buy some near-field type speakers that will sound great with the limitations you have. I wouldn't mind trying some L100's either, but I have
    vintage Klipsch Heresys, and they ROCK well enough.
  20. automojo

    automojo Member

    Interesting-have to agree seems to be more nostalgia then hifi. I bought a second hand set from Sound World (now Best Buy) in 1978. Drove them with a SX-950. I thought the sounded good......till I heard the real Rock Monitors of the 70's. Fellow West Coast ESS AMT3's with the Great Heil.
    Sorry, IMHO there is no contest soundwise.-except they don't look as cool like the old Maxell tape ad's as the L-100.
    I imagine they have flattened the response curve on the newer models.
    Not so 'discoesq', but the JBL TI tweet, IMHO is bright, but not particularly detailed, or tone correct.
    They have a big sound, narrow but big, and play loud, with a minor midbass rise.
    Remember the 70's "bright clear sound?"
    In contrast, AMT3's sound just as good with Jazz, pop, etc as with heavy rock. One of the few speakers that can accurately reproduce piano music, making you think it's right there in the same room, and still rock out. And be detailed with out the brightness.
    They still sound very good, even by todays standards with a little rework, and better low frequency transducers, bracing, and damping techniques.
    Even in their stock 70's state-the AMT3's will give todays speakers a serious run for their money. Essentially a flat extended response.
    I would be surprised if the new JBL100's could...but plan on a listen in the near future. Should be interesting.
    The current L-100's would look nice setting next to a current Dodge Charger...just skip the platform shoes, polyester pants, and pinholed satin shirt, unbuttoned down to the waist!!:righton:
  21. automojo

    automojo Member

    Opps, not sure how to edit.
    My fairly clear recollection of the vintage L1oo's was a midbass rise, and forward midrange "presence". I recall they used quite a bit of yellow fiberglass damping. Nothing wrong with that, but adding a bit more may smooth out the woofer impedance peak a bit more , at the sacrifice of a db or 2
    I think the port was there mainly to get increased SPL, instead of deep, extended bass.
    I'm not trying to knock the L100, it's a icon, Probably best left that way, or modifying a vintage piece to modern standards yourself, such as additional damping, port tuning, etc.
    I get the need to look cool, retro-but DIY is just as cool, and you really have something to hang your hat on, so to speak, instead of just buying in.
    Hehe, but buying in to cool, was definitely a 70's thing-so maybe it fits just as well....
    FIY, you used to be able to buy the 'quadruplex' grill foam at Radio Schack.
  22. carbonti

    carbonti Forum Resident

    All true what you said.

    But as much as I might have conveyed that I'd buy L100s unconditionally because they would look retro cool in my living room....c'mon there will never be a wilful neglect to not consider how they sound also. I am an unabashed audiophile and what's gnawing at the back of my mind is the idea that you really can't go back. Or that my tastes have changed over the years to become more tempered to audiophile attributes and qualities that even if the reissue L100s were updated & modernized for their sound signature, in the here & now I'm not where those speakers are even today.

    I wish I heard them better sounding at Harmon NYC when I heard them.
    Chris Schoen likes this.
  23. Jeremy Bunting

    Jeremy Bunting Forum Resident

    Oh man, I had the chance to hear these at the Harman store in NYC today and was deeply disappointed.

    I wanted to love these. Aesthetically, they'd look just perfect with the orange grilles in my living room (and for those of us without dedicated listening rooms, speakers are furniture, too). In person they're very pretty, although when you get up close it's apparent the cabinets are particle board. That just adds to the retro-shtick.

    But the sound is all wrong, especially for a product this expensive. Granted, the source was dubious. They were being driven by a generic 50 watt amp I can't remember the name of, and the music itself was coming out of an iPad at the store. Didn't ask about bitrate. I have no idea why you would hook up speakers you're trying to sell to a less-than-ideal source, but oh well; this is the Harman store, not a proper hifi store. The sales guy picked the music, and started with the Hamilton remix album, which isn't a recording I know well.

    They're capable of very deep bass, which isn't surprising. But that's accompanied by an exceedingly tinny high-end, that, if anything, actually overpowers the bass. It's like listening to a pocket bluetooth speaker sitting on top of a 12-inch subwoofer. I said as much to the salesman (and a random onlooker added an, "exactly"). The salesman actually agreed, and said the speakers sound better with the tweeter turned down on the built-in knobs. He did so, and threw on some Quincy Jones.

    They did sound substantially better with the tweeter rolled off. But they didn't sound much better than my Epos Epic 2's, and come on, pretty are not, these are $4,000. Even with the tweeter adjustment, these sounded just good. Music was well-defined, and I would certainly not describe them as boomy. The midrange is pretty relaxed, in a "tube-y" sort of way, which some people will love and others will call inaccurate. Otherwise, there's really nothing remarkable about them. If I didn't know how much they cost, there's no way I'd guess more than $1000 based on the sound.

    I really wanted an excuse to take these home, but I couldn't find one. So, I've opted for a pair of very generic looking Focal 1008's instead. Maybe I can spray paint the grilles orange.
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  24. automojo

    automojo Member

    Good to know at least they cleaned up the bass. It's pretty easy to model and get proper P.R. tuning, as compared to the 70's. Overly ripe bass, especially with digital music, would be a hard sell. Given it's intended use, maybe some proper room bass reinforcement is needed.
    Seems to reflect my experience with the TI tweeter.
    Given it's intended use, it may need some room bass reinforcement/
    Regardless, there is a way to properly integrate the TI tweeter, with the rest of the drivers to make it sound seamless. Perhaps they left it to the consumer with the l-pads? A retro trick for sure.
    Given the equipment at there disposal, I'm surprised to a point, but I had a feeling they would sound more retro, in a average 70's way, given the marketing.
    Personally, I have refurbed, and upgraded a lot of speakers over the years (ESS in particular). Even a novice like myself, with trial and error, simple measuring equipment, and modeling programs (but frankly more tuning by ear, and others ears) been able to integrate even a Great Heil in a 3-way system pretty damn well-to where you listening to the music, not the speakers.
    I like using l-pads-and maybe it's just a mater of finding the proper level with the help of a measuring setup, and by ear.
    I remember the big DLK's in the 70's, a big floor "bookshelf" 3-way really needing wall, but not corner reinforcement to even out the sound.
    It's too bad they didn't go with a sealed bass setup. I realize they are looking for DB's-but it's easier to really have a quality, "fast" and tight bass without the issues of front (or rear) port. Put a high flux woofer in there and it's not hard.
    My opinions of course!! :)

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