JBL Metregon and Paragon


Of late I have been enamored by the look of these systems. They seem to be quite unique. All I can comment on is they look stunning, like well built pieces of furniture. Heirloom quality even.

I am sure there are those of you with experience with these. I would love to hear your impressions of these systems. What do they sound like? Are they high quality systems? Do they live up to and deliver on their wide dispersion with pinpoint imaging claims?

And if they are as good as literature makes them out to be, why don't we see others employ the same premise? Yes there are modern speakers that try to deliver the same experience through various means, why not reflector like the JBL?

Appreciate your input.

Best

Dave
corazon
I used to sell the Paragon when it was new, and it truly is an heirloom product. But most homes don't have the space or the singular furniture style necessary to have a long console on one wall. You can't spread the two speakers apart, so listening distance becomes fixed and if you don't want a chair or couch right there, well, you're outta luck. They do have the big horn sound and the ease that comes from the very low distortion of horns, but you might find two separate horn loaded speakers to be easier to set-up. That said, if you can pay the tariff and accommodate the eccentric domestic requirements, you may end up in love.
Viridian,
Thanks for the response. I would love hear either of them. I suppose given the time they were made that tubed equipment was what they excelled with?

Something cool I tried to share a few months ago but was not posted was there is this guy who manufactures desktop (1/5 scale?) working models of the Paragon! I was blown away! It was so cool. It has a stand alone sub woofer to help with the bass and the whole system is amplified. I would love to hear that! Bet it would be pretty cool on a credenza.

Thanks again and look forward to hearing from more of you.

Best,

Dave
Well, yes and no. The Paragon was produced over a long period of time, '57 to '83 and there were some driver changes over the run. So they started out in the tube era, but extended well into sandland.

The estimate on Audio Heritage is that they made about 1000 total systems, though no actual records are extant. That works out to about 38 systems per year.

I would love to see that mini Paragon system as well. If you have a link, please post it in this thread Dave.
Viridian,

A few months ago I tried to post the link to the Paragon but the moderators wouldn't allow it.

The ad is no longer active, if you go to eBay/vintage speakers/completed listings/jbl paragon, it will come up and has a full description. Looks cool.

Best,

Dave
Thanks Dave!
You're welcome. Checkout the guy Matt who is selling one. Checkout his system with all the Marantz gear.

Love to hear what you think!

Best,

Dave
Wow, that is pretty cool, and spendy! I wish that he had put something in there so that one could have a better sense of scale. But not as spendy as what they are asking for those Paragons. Amazing. While looking at the completed auctions, there was other kitschy JBL stuff.
He did have a square in one photo for scale. I saw another the other day, a Paragon asking $48999.00! It is incredible what the low serial numbers go for.

Some of them look to be in incredible condition.
What did they retail for back in the day?

Best

Dave
Hi Dave,

According to an older bluebook I have, the D-44000 Paragon System Series I originally sold for $6000, and the Series II for $10,000. The Series I is listed as having been produced from 1964 to 1983, and the Series II from 1984 to 1986. I wouldn't take those dates as gospel, though (Viridian mentioned that the Paragon was produced as far back as 1957, which I have no reason to doubt). And I'd assume that the $6000 price of the Series I changed significantly during its long production run.

Best,
-- Al
This is a Paragon brochure attributed to 1957:

http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/specs/home-speakers/1957-paragon.htm

The Paragon history, also at the Lansing Heritage site also puts the roll out date at 1957. I was only being born in the later half of that year, so it's all supposition to me!
Viridian,
Thought you would like to get a sense of scale. Unit is listed again, second photo in description has a scale in it.

Saw another for $42K listed now. I believe seller claims it to be the 100th made.

Best,

Dave