new L100?

Anyone get a chance to take a listen to the (new) JBL L100 speakers?  If so, what are your thoughts?
I gave not heard the new ones, but the originals were wonderfully open and spacious.

The only issue I found with the originals was a mildly raucous treble. It would be interesting to know if the new ones have fixed that and retained the rest.

I can't imagine that the new ones could be much better in any other way.

Hi Fidelity online review site gave them a product of the year mention.
Just scroll down and on the right hand side they are mentioned with a link to the review. I would love to hear how they compare to my 4319, which go for the same price.

All the best,
I have a pair that I just got before Christmas, that was basically an impulse purchase. I have to say I am pleasantly surprised.
Extremely coherent.
(They got the crossover right on these guys) as I am somewhat susceptible to crossover anomalies (phase issues) where I can perceive image shifts in the soundstage.
They have a real clear 3 D soundstage. Distinct Images are on top, and others below at the same time. (Nice job JBL). 
It’s like looking at a huge movie screen. (I also got the dedicated stands from deer creek audio).
They have volume pots which you can adjust too. I felt the midrange needed a bit of reduction and have the treble set a bit higher (mid at 11 o’clock and tweeter at 2 o’clock)
Great dynamic swings and punch on these speakers.
The bass in my room doesn’t go “that deep” (concrete floor) I would say it cuts off at around 40/50 hz. But what is there is richly presented.
I just got two Martin logan subs (1100X) also to assist with the deep bass.
I mostly listen to classic rock type music and these really fit the bill.
I’ve had many speakers in my room over the years and these are up there in musical satisfaction with the best of the.
Songs that sounded shrill on other speakers were able to come out of these without any fatigue.
In fact, I know it’s a cliche, but I’ve heard things come out of these speakers that I’ve never heard before.
Not so much that I didn’t hear them before, but it’s just that they were not presented like this before - (coherent and easy to follow)...
I’m a bit reluctant gushing about a speaker, as I’ve done it before, only to have something come up and rear it’s ugly head down the road. But so far very good ! 
Why didn't JBL make them mirror-imaged? The sonic image will tend to be shifted to the side where the mid-treble drivers are positioned on the baffle. In this case, towards the right. This, to me, detracts from a realistic stereo image.
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No image shift at all for me. And I was concerned about that too. The price isn’t that out outrageous for the dolllar per sound ratio I’m getting.
I’ve spent much more and gotten less. But YMMV 
I had the original L110s in college.  Dumped after them after 6 months for Large Adents.
For those who've come across the originals or recount their experiences with them, they are not the same speaker as the ones introduced late last year. You'd be silly to think they were without giving them a listen.

All the best,
What electronics are you using with the new L100s?  I am considering a pair for a system, so have an interest in knowing.  I listened to them yesterday, was pleasantly surprised by what I heard.  
I am running them with a Hegel H360 integrated amp, and they really match up well !.
I have a music reference RM 200 that I have haven’t had a chance to pair them up with yet.
For those who are comparing these to the older model, these are a total re-do and are a totally modern design.
They are fun to listen to, I was up one night past 3 am just putting on song after song.
The soundscape was mesmerizing.  Very musical and non-fatiguing listening session. 
They are fun to listen to, I was up one night past 3 am just putting on song after song. 
The soundscape was mesmerizing.  Very musical and non-fatiguing listening session.
What more could someone ask in speaker? 

 @mike_f  Please send me the RM-200 !!!!
this is a joke Audiogon moderator

LOL ! It’s a great amp !
A few years ago I had it updated to MK II status - (Had to keep the original chassis though) . I had a pair of Magnepan 3.6, and the RM 200 drove them very well. It’s a serious 100 watt tube amp with balls !! Can’t wait to see how the sound on the JBL’s ! 
kosst_amojan wrote
I’ve never heard them. I doubt I ever will. I think $4000 is a ridiculous price for rehashed nostalgia. I run across these and the 431X models a few times a year around town at record stores. They never made much impression on me.

Running $4000 through my favorite inflation calculator, you will find that $4,000 in 2019 is equivalent to $615.72 in 1970, the original year of release. The new L100 Classic features "improvements made to the transducers, enclosure tuning, and crossover network design."

So you could say they spent more money on design development and materials this time around, which could easily account for the small adjusted increase ($55) in the 2018 price over the original 1970 edition.
Well I took the plunge and bought a pair for a third system, and no regrets.  Bass is full (of course) but biggest surprise to me is the quality of the mid and tweeter sounds, plus the ability to image.  Running them with a 40/50 watt tubed amp, a nice pre with a vintage (1990) Proceed CD player, the original one.  Was in the closet for so very long, but still functions and sounds, well, pretty great to me.  Brings me much pleasure.  Similar reaction as mike_f above.  Not harsh, full.  Still breaking in, but I love them.  
Great for the Allman Brothers at the Fillmore.Lets rock and roll dudes!!!!!
I’m willing to bet they don’t sound anything like the originals, which had a response curve like a big smile, but were everywhere back in the day...I think all of the foam grills melted off at the same time worldwide, but that might be a rumor I just started. Those suckers could destroy a Lava Lamp at 30 feet and melt the hash pipes and your eardrums in the recording studio...get yer Sansui or Phase Linear mojo on! The "nostalgia" bet JBL made by making new versions was brilliant and like somebody said...4 grand these days? Klipsch Heresy IIIs nearly identical looking ancestors came from 1957...who knew? You go JBL!

Glad to see JBL being talked about again more. The JBL big boys have certainly been making headlines for a few years and now the return of the L100 is pretty exciting. I think L-ers are going to be pretty pleased with the new design. Some of the peaks and valleys are supposed to be smoothed out. I hope not too much cause that was part of the charm, the adjustments will help.

But if I can slide a hair off topic (not too far) I'd also like to remind people that once in a while there is a JBL that pops up for sale that JBL onlookers might want to think about. While JBL has always done a marvelous job with these 3 ways there was a 2 way that somehow slid under the radar. In 1982 JBL came out with the L46 2 way 8" woofer 1" tweeter. I believe it retailed for $400.00 maybe less. The first time I heard it the midrange spoke to me and I quickly realized this was the JBL midrange I had always listened for, at any price. With the right speaker stand design the L46 does incredible music. I don't use my pair standing up and down like most do but sideways with the tweeters to the outside. I use them with my SW15 Subwoofers. I wouldn't be surprised if this particular model becomes a premium priced collectable in a short time now that JBL is back in the notice. Not that they were ever out of notice, but this JBL 2 way does a cure for those wanting possibly the best of JBLs midrange sound, maybe.

JBL collectables are always going to be in fashion and the L46 is definitely one to add to yours if you understand this speaker.

That's not $4000.00 but it's my 2 cents worth. Enjoy your L100s guys. Let me know if you need speaker wire, I make a wire spin specifically for JBL.


I still have the L40 that I purchased new back in 1977. Sounds like it was preceded by L46 in the eighties. I listen to mine on its side as well. 
I had the JBL-100 back in the 70's. I haven't heard the new 100, but I doulbt it sounds anything like the vintage version. Maybe....a good thing???

The L40 was the speaker that turned me on to 10" 2 way listening. Another treasure in my book! Has that super cool bottom end. And was more flexible than the L46. I thought the L40 stood on it's own where the L46 really works better with a sub. Even though I like the L46 a lot in the mid range, my choice for mixing was the L40. The trim came in handy in the late 70's.

I like that your doing the side ways listening too. That's the smart way with these. Are you listening nearfield?


Hi mr_m

You know it’s kind of like what me and kalali were just mentioning. The older JBLs had their own thing going on when they were turned sideways. I don’t know how you set yours up, but done a certain way they could burn your ears off (speaking of the 3 ways), but turn them a different way and on the right stands, or mounted the right way, they could sound very smooth.

JBL was some smart cookies, understanding the acoustics of typical older recording studios. When they got heavier into the home market or crossover between studio and home is when it got tough, yet they did a pretty good job with that issue. I’m a big variable listening guy and think that "one sound" systems are at a disadvantage because of how different each recording is. JBL was very up on this concept because they were in the middle of both worlds probably more than any other speaker company using domes. A perfect speaker? No. A fun speaker? One of the best. And setup with some creativity pretty darn amazing.

Another cool speaker we should not leave out was the Yamaha NS10 with subwoofer. The NS10 turned side ways is a way good sounding speaker. I build side ways monitors too. I got this from both of those companies.

If the new L100s kept some of the old sound and improved on a couple of things, leaning toward the home environment, at $4000.00 they're a bargain in todays HEA speaker market.

fun stuff

JBL, what a company!


The Yamaha NS10, widely used in studios, sound like nails grating on a chalkboard. I once considered a campaign to rid the world of those things as the inherent screeching produced by them is an audio nightmare, and the reason for severe depression among engineers (a theory, but still...). I guess the reason for them to exist is that they're already in so many studios, but man...ban the NS10 I say...destroy them wherever they are...otherwise, hey, they're FABULOUS!


Not I. The NS10 is a great speaker to modify and so easy.

Yeah...modify something...

Michael, I didn't try all conceivable methods and positions of the older L-100's, but that speaker became way to colored for my tastes. The tweeter was sizzling hot, very forward midrange, and a woofer that sounded like a dull gong when you tapped on it with your finger.

I listened to a revamped line of Altec bookshelf speakers that sounded way more neutral and easy on the ears than that old JBL-100. Plus they were one third the price. I eventually bought the Large Advent Loudspeaker which to my ears, sounded  much more lifelike. JMO.
The Yamaha NS10 was one of the most anti-hi-fi speakers I've ever heard (they are on the console in just about every recording studio in the U.S.A.); the JBL L-100 wasn't far behind. Both extremely colored, they produce a caricature of music, like a funhouse mirror.

Yep, I agree with you guys, that’s why I tune. I think some of you, by reading your posts, grew up studio brats like me.

Plug & Play HEA is so different than what we did growing up in the biz. For some of us voicing a studio was something we had to do on almost a weekly basis or at least as long as a session would be taking place. Same thing those of us who went from live to studio to home as part of our total listening job.

When you take into account all the variables and have to take them with you you get into this "need a reference" mind set. For me I needed to keep a listening setup in the back of my van so when I would start listening I could run out to the parking lot and grab what I needing to bring back in to get that session started. This is something that happened all session long but that first few days it’s make or break. My studio monitors now I make (as of the late 80’s), but back in the 70’s and 80’s how many times did you guys throw up your hands and grab your set of headphones to do your first run mixes? Soffit monitors, to nearfield, to extreme near field to headphones and that’s just in the studio. How many of you did a quick mix and run out to the truck to listen to what you just did? Then how many of you would setup a system in your hotel room to playback all night what you did that day? Then on break you get to go home and use your playback systems in your house and all you can think about is getting to a Studer and Neve (or whatever your choice is) in a room you can trust and re-do?

The JBL Yammy thing didn’t happen by mistake. Nor did the references used when you went from Miami to London overnight. Would we have chosen JBL and Yamaha today to do the same thing we had to do back then, who knows, but having a place to start was the name of the game back then cause you were the reference some credit craving engineer and producer put on the plane to bring the reels to the next stage. It wasn’t really about the speakers but more the sound that was in your head that you had to justify when you landed. My most important tools that I carried with me were my tweaks (screwdrivers for those of you who haven’t done) and my soldering iron.

For you audiophiles reading this saying WTF (I said freak), you picture recordings being cookie cutters LOL. Those who were moderate engineers think stock with EQ, but for the guys who did the "must do" it was about having something to give you that quick picture then you went to town. It was an unappreciated existence maybe, but it was life. As I said, for me, I started making my own monitors to ship with me, but back before this you had quick cues to get you on track. Go look at pictures from control rooms back then and what do you see. Usually a soffit setup and one or two nears. Also look at the different control room acoustics. See any alike lol. Most engineers, producers and artist I dealt with had their own groove. I could go on and so could you, but I think you have to look at the practical applications here to understand the whole picture. You also have to ask what were the engineers looking for through the different stages of the production.

Live, to control, to preview, to control, to master, to playback, back to remaster, back to live, back to master, back to playback. It all has it's place, and I didn't even get into the mods lol.


Makes me wonder what Abbey Road Studios in London was doing back in the 60's and 70's. Or were they WAY ahead of the curve....

"Makes me wonder what Abbey Road Studios in London was doing back in the 60's and 70's. Or were they WAY ahead of the curve...."

Genius: exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability

The whole recording thing was and is absolutely genius.


 @mr_m Next time you are in town, I will borrow brother in laws L-100 with the authentic wood frame cloth grills and we can listen to them side by side w TREO

i had L-40, L-110 growing up... Foghat never sound “ right “ on anything more ... ha one could really wake the 110 up with a 210 wpc Phillips amp...

a fun thread, yes studio rats have different perspectives, one reason why I don’t use convoluted chain recordings as any kind of reference- all that does is guarantees tail chasing, from record to record.....see a LOT of that

but that is a different thread

this thread is about JBL being back with products of interest to music loves and Audiophile, sometimes the same person...


Sounds good to me. I'll bring over a Mofi Original Master recording of Foghat's "Fool for the City." LP. Slow Ride is one of my faves. No nice guys here, were gonna bust the lease that night!  Right? ;-)

P.S. Don't forget the Knob Creek Rye, hehehehe...