Many years ago ---> Paragon
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1975 -- custom built cabinets with JBL professional 15" woofers and pro horns for the midrange and top end -- very large midrange horn (12-15 inches wide). That was hooked up to a Crown preamp and McIntosh amp. I can't recall the turntable. Wow! It was really something and was at least partially responsible for my current addiction ;-)
Best JBL bookshelf speakers: HLS-610's. Now discontinued. Awesome sound for only $199.00 retail when they were new!
Unbelievable sonics for their size and price! Sound better than all their current bookshelfs in me and my friends opinions! Get a sub and you will have an awesome sounding speaker system at a budget price.
I'm not real familiar with their floorstanders.
I have had MANY different jbl models including a Paragon that I use to listen to with a pair of LT80's on top. Rock concert volume.
The best I heard was the 150A's. A friend brought over a hafler 500 amp and 110 preamp and turntable with an ADC cartridge and our jaws dropped. Total synergy!!!
Many times I consider getting the haflers and those speakers again.
I had a pair of vintage J220A's and I am a little remorseful after letting them go. I have not had a two-way, before or since, that you could air out all day like those little JBL's.
I still have a pair of HLS 620's (well, my stepson has 'em). Newer, kinda' chintzy, but still with that in-your-face rock presentation. I had a friend with a pair of L100's back in the day - I guess those were the best JBL's that I've ever heard.
JBLs have alnico woofers - and they sound good. If JBL were to make them like they used to, in today's dollars it would take about $4000 for a 4412 or similar.
I have 4411 and I like the Q value - they got it just right to make acoustic instruments like piano sound realistic.
Today's best speakers do beat them in terms of smooth transaparentcy, but they can be listen to on their own terms and enjoyed.
You might want to replace the capacitors on them (with high quality). They dry out after all these years. You will notice a difference.
I am glad you found an affordable alternative - if you find the same for a CD player and an amp, you can give them to your loved ones - especially yung children who can't afford it themselves.
Its been quite a while since I've heard the Paragon and original Hartsfield. I heard a modern version of the Hartsfield (TAD drivers) at THE SHOW (next door to CES) and it sounded pretty good, but it is really pricey. I have seen the K-2 horn system that is currently in production, but unfortunately I did not get to hear them.
I like the L300 more than the L200. The L300 would be a quite competitive item in the market today, aside from its appearance and size.
If You ever get a chance, to hear the JBL SYNTHESIS® DD66000EB - EVEREST II, you may give them the nod...
I heard them with the JBL SYNTHESIS® S1S-EX 18" Subs.
With the ideal "matching" electronics, they sound amazing!
Very sensitive, so the "dynamics" and "slam" are in full effect.
These are not, grandpa's JBL's...
I Love My Music!
I bought a pair of L65s brand new in 1978 and have never been able to part with them. I suppose, however, the best JBL I ever heard was the Paragon (looked like an entire 1960s Philco or the like console system except it was a big speaker?). The year was '65 or '66 and I was at a home show in Houston TX with my parents......bored out of my mind until happening upon that stupendous sound. My father remarked at the time that he thought it could've produced a decent listening level all by itself next door in the Astrodome. I don't know how accurate that was but hearing that speaker(s) as a ten year old has remained the single most "impressive Hi Fi moment" of my life. Auditioning L 300s as a twenty-something at Pacific Stereo was pretty darned good but I don't think anything will ever compare to that "great big ol' speaker at the home show that time".
Nothing wrong with vintage. Most vintage speakers were built better than many of those today. Good design and craftsmanship will stand the test of time.
The best JBL's I have ever heard were the XPL-200's. Talk about dynamics. Wow! I am still looking for a pair to buy today.
I did own two pairs of L100T's and thought they were great sounding speakers, too. But the XPL's, what a loudspeaker...