JBL Paragons


Hello... new user on Audiogon here.

My father passed away recently, and in his estate left JBL Paragon speakers which will have to be sold to cover funeral and other final expenses.  I'm looking for ideas/suggestions as to the best place to sell them, and pricing.  There's eBay of course, but their final value fees and paypal fees take a pretty big bite.  There are some currently listed on there at $30,000 and $27,000, and some apparently just sold for $29,800.

Now, the question you're all asking is-- how do they sound??  Do they live up to the hype, the legend and all that.  And the answer is... I don't know!  I've purposely avoided turning them on because they absolutely have to be sold and I don't want to risk getting attached.  I might listen in while a potential buyer auditions them, just so I can say I've had that experience.

Anyway, thanks for any help/suggestions.  I hope I'm not violating any posting rules-- I just registered and I didn't have time to browse through any other threads.  Is there a way to post pictures on these forums?

Many thanks,
Steve
snewman01
I heard them in their day.  IIRC, they weren't quite a match for the Hartsfield, but they were JBL's answer for stereo -- few customers had a pair of corners suitable for a pair of Hartsfields.  You might try US Audio Mart, where a pair of matched Hartfields is listed for $23K.  I suspect the buyer will be seeking it as more a collectible than as a speaker system.

db 
With all respect, how on earth can anyone advise you on how to sell speakers that you have never heard? I submit that your claim of "I don’t want to risk getting attached" as an excuse for not listening to them will be read by many as: "I tried to play them but they were fried." Further, your statement indicates that, if you so desired, you could pay for these speakers yourself and so fund your father's funeral expenses. 

If my speculation is wrong, please accept my apologies. Until then, listen to what they sound like and report back to the board. You may well have some diamonds in the rough. I doubt it though, as after sixty years or so even the best drivers will show some wear and tear and consequent degradation in sound from when they were new.

Still, your father’s corpse and the funeral home handling his burial cannot wait for ever. I wish you all the best in covering those expenses, however unlikely it may be that you will find such assistance on this forum.

In the future, when your next relative or acquaintance dies, I suggest being more upfront about what it is you are trying to sell and not trying to use tear jerking tactics to market whatever it is you have on hand.
Sorry about your loss. At the risk of stating the obvious, I suggest taking some good pictures of the speakers and post a for sale ad in Audiogon. It only cost $10 and it gets a wide exposure to folks looking for all sorts of audio gear. As a side note, if it were me, I'd leave out the circumstances causing the sale. All the best.
I am sorry for your loss Steve, however if you want to get the most from the speaker system you really need to listen to it. I would inspect the woofers and midrange drivers to make sure the surrounds are not in need of replacement. In addition make sure the cones are not scraping the walls of the voice coil by gently positioning your hand in a spider pattern and pushing in on the cone. Make a note of the numbers printed on the drivers and compare them with the numbers & years in the link below to determine when the unit was made. If everything checks out good, list it here on AudiogoN, Audio Asylum and AudioMart. I am sure you will find a buyer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JBL_Paragon
I'm wondering why you had never heard them when it was your father who owned them. Did you live very far away from him?
Snewman01- Sorry for your loss.  And sorry for the callous 'tude taken by others.  No wonder this is a dying hobby.  You can check eBay for closed sales to get some historic info on what they have sold for in the recent past.  Audiogon also has a bluebook where you can buy a one time or short term access and you may also get some historic data.  Those sources will only get you in the ballpark.  Dill gave some good ideas on ways to verify condition.  Also provide pictures of the drivers and crossovers, along with any serial numbers or other identifying marks on the drivers for when you post your ad. 
Sorry for your loss
Grief is a terrible long process
wish my Dad will still here.
we sold his prized Bozaks but kept the McIntosh - I treasure them every day and therefore think of an about him daily.

your problem is top dollar and speed are not normally compatible.

valuations vary widely for this speaker. talk to a JBL collector and expert - I suggest Alan the owner of Hi-Fi Buys in Atlanta.
he has a pair of Metrogons. He is a solid guy.
as others have said verify exactly what you have and condition.


Do you know the driver compliment in this particular unit.  They were not all the same.  The critical driver is the huge 375 mid range compression with its large horn.. The others all count of course. The cross  overs are frequently in need of work in these older speakers.

  I own a couple of pairs of the cheap speakers of that era. With the 075 tweeters and extended range D130s and D131s mids/woofers.

What do the veneers look like.  All that matters in figuring a price.

A heartfelt thank-you for all your suggestions and kind words.  I got many helpful suggestions which I will follow up on, and most of all you convinced me to hook the speakers up and give them a good listening which I will do next week, although undoubtedly I don't have the best equipment for them which I presume to be a tube amp.
I pulled the speakers away from the wall, but it looks like I'm going to have to remove some panels to get a look at the drivers (except the tweeters).  I did find a sticker on the back that says the serial number is 162, but doesn't give a build date.  Since production started in 1957 and an estimated 1000 were made, it would be fairly early on in the production run, like early 60s or so.  The cabinet itself is in superb condition.  I could only find a couple of small scratches, and the woodgrain pattern on the curved piece is especially interesting and beautiful.

Thanks again for your help,
Steve