JBL 100 Classic or Klipsch Heresy III?


Looking for any opinions on these two options being driven by a PrimaLuna Prologue Classic integrated in a smallish listening environment (approx. 13” x 14.5” end of an open floor plan space which goes right into a kitchen/minuscule dining area...Speakers have to go on the long wall and can have the benefit of close wall boundaries but not corners.). Listening tastes are all over the map with emphasis on mainstream Rock/Pop and Jazz/Blues but, on any given day, Stravinsky or Steeleye Span might be on the turntable. Thanks in advance.
lg1
2 entirely different animals there...the Heresy IIIs are extreme efficiency (99db) horns with no low bass (I own a pair and use 2 REL subs with 'em as they go down to about 58hz before the bass drops off...the bass they do put out is very accurate though), and the JBLs are 90db and more "normal" but twice as expensive as the Heresy IIIs. Heresy IIIs do seem to like boundaries as that reinforces the bass, and since they use horns they project away from the box to minimize room issue in the upper frequencies. Note that all of this requires listening to the things someplace as your ears are what matters, and note that at 4 grand for the JBLs you can look at a myriad of speakers that would also work great. Good luck!


A pair of Heresy, with your PrimaLuna, would be awesome. As mentioned above, efficient, and an easy load. The PrimaLuna would thrive, never break a sweat, as will the Heresys. Heresy against a wall. No problem. Need a sub or 2. No problem, and still less than the L100s. Not only do the horns minimize cabinet diffraction, as wolf stated, they also minimize side wall reflections. However, I must be honest here. If you have never read any of my posts here on the "gon, I am likely the largest Klipsch Heritage fan here, of which the Heresy is a member. The bass on the JBLs extends a little deeper, but the quality of the Heresy will be faster and tighter, especially using tubes, as the designs are : ported ( JBL ), vs. air suspension ( Heresy ). And my opinion is based on experience. However, $4K is a good amount of money to spend, and there is a lot available, again, as wolf indicated. Enjoy ! MrD.
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Thanks, Wolf and mrdecibel!

I'm currently using JBL L65s with the PrimaLuna...have had them since new in 1978 with one re-foam & service check in the late 90s.  I LOVE the sound of these with the EL34s at modest volume but, after having had the amp now for about 3 months, have been a little disappointed at how much the volume control needs to be turned before they'll "rock the house".  I'm approaching straight up 12:00 on the volume on the PL and still wanting for a bit more but have backed it down to 9-10ish again as this is my first tube amp and I have no idea how hard these components/tubes should be pushed before usable life starts to drop off precipitously.  The Heresy's are looking more and more attractive as an option with this new amp (although they'll probably bury me with my L65s...lol).
Crazy, I am looking at the same 2 speakers today. I haven't found anywhere to hear the L100 Classics, but I am very familiar with the Heresy IIIs having owned a pair and upgraded to La Scala IIs in my main system. I'm now looking for speakers to power my vintage Luxman office system (C1010 and M2000) and was about to pull the trigger on a pair of 70th anniversary Indian Rosewood Heresy IIIs, but got the vintage itch looking at the L100 Classics with the orange grills. 

Sounds like the Heresy IIIs are going to be the way to go (and save a bit of coin). 
I’d never want either, but you are doing yourself a disservice to not listen to the Forte III instead of either.  
Well the original L100s were probably the worst sounding speakers I have ever heard.The new ones would want to be a lot better.
The Forte 3s are wonderful. They need to be at least 8 inches off the back wall to allow the 15 in. passives to breath, and they are a much larger box. No subs needed. So yes, recommended.
Fortes all day. Those speakers love tubes, go very low and will crush those jbl’s. You won’t be able to turn it past 11 o’clock without ear protection. 
I found a great pair of Cornwall lll's used locally that I'm using with a Primaluna Dialogue (GE 6550's and Amperex 12au7's). You should demo the L-100s to compare but would definitely recommend an efficient speaker with added lowend potential like the Fortes or Cornwalls for the Classic. 
I have owned a pair of JBL 100 classics  since Christmas. And I have to say it is one of my best speaker purchases to date. (And I’ve had dozens of speakers over the years).
I just sold my Forte 3’s and kept these instead. They do everything really well. I really liked the Fortes too, but felt they sounded a little thin with solid state, and better with tubes. The JBL’S have a way with music that lets pretty much everything shine. Imaging and sound staging are excellent. Images float above and don’t collapse when panned to the far right or left. The stability is fantastic. I usually have problems with image shifts or when there are crossover anomaly’s, and whatever they did with this crossover, they did right. I have them on dedicated deer park audio stands, and they work extremely well with them. Great speakers !
lg1
been a little disappointed at how much the volume control needs to be turned before they’ll "rock the house". I’m approaching straight up 12:00 on the volume on the PL and still wanting for a bit more but have backed it down to 9-10ish again as this is my first tube amp and I have no idea how hard these components/tubes should be pushed before usable life starts to drop off precipitously.


Few things in audio are noticed more but matter less than the position of the volume knob. Explained so beautifully in this underrated documentary here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xgx4k83zzc

With tubes, or anything else for that matter, if it sounds clean and its not overheating then relax and enjoy it. Will tubes wear out a little faster if they’re driven hard? Probably. But if you enjoy your music enough then I would hope its worth it. Will tubes wear out a little faster if you turn the amp on an hour or so to before listening to warm up? Probably. But if you enjoy good sound I would hope its worth it to you. It sure is to me. Will tubes wear out no matter what you do? Pretty sure that’s a yes.

But there’s plenty of crappy sounding SS amps you could have none of which will ever require new tubes.

Relax. Enjoy your tubes. At whatever volume you want. Then at some point before too long order a new set. I think you will find just having them sitting there ready to go alleviates a lot of tube anxiety. Besides then if you still worry you have a new set to pull out and compare any time your neurosis flares up. Just remember after you confirm yes indeed the ones you thought were about to explode are just fine after all to put the new set back in the box. Eventually, probably years from now, you’ll be glad to have them.

High efficiency is its own reward. I would continue the search.
Lg1,I agree with Contuzzi, I am running a Primaluna HP integrated and a pair of Forte III's and it is just splendid, rich, clear, wide and the bass is great in my room about the same dimensions as yours ....and volume galore!
I also had a pair of JBL L65 speakers.
I parted with them in 2009.....A great sounding speaker.  Hang on to them.
Good luck in your quest!
You may not like the horn speakers over time.
Or you may like the horn speakers even more over time, as I have. An audio geek friend was visiting today and hadn't heard my system since I added a little SE Dennis Had tube amp and Heresy IIIs...he's the guy who turned me on to my (previous faves) Silverline Prelude speakers which he still uses (by the way, GREAT speakers)...he was amazed at how immediate, coherent, and great sounding the Heresy IIIs are, and agreed that they seem to be a bargain relative to what's out there (Or he thought they sucked and was just trying to be nice). Note that Forte IIIs cost about the same as the JBLs so that makes at least a monetary comparison relevant, and I'd bet a side by side comparison of those 2 items would be interesting. I think the utter retro vibe of the JBLs foam grills is pretty cool, and wonder if they made those out of something that won't disintegrate like the originals all did...seemingly all at the same time...I stuck a finger through one of the older versions creating a little pile of orange dust in a friend's place once...oops...my bad...
lgi, did you make your purchase of the Heresy IIIs? I’ve been doing quite a bit research on speakers and am almost ready to pull the trigger on the Heresy III for my Mystere tube amp by sister company PrimaLuna. In my reading it seem like the H3 and PimaLuna is a good match. You may want to give Kevin Deal of Upscale Audio a call. He carries both and recommends the pairing whole heartedly.
Note that Heresy III owners lives are generally transformed with slight growth spurts and reversal of hair loss...their kids somehow get into better schools, and don't get me started about scratch-off lottery tickets...
hahaha...
funny
but oh so true