old JBL studio monitors

(old) JBL Studio monitors seem like an interesting deal on ebay (or here on agon).

But what makes a "studio monitor " a "studio monitor " ?

How well have 15 (20?) year old JBLs aged? I do know about failing foam woofer surrounds. I would imagine the caps in the crossovers are getting unhappy too, maybe.

Any thoughts?
It depends I guess how well they were cared for and if they've been stored properly. I have a pair of Original JBL200 studio Monitors,purchased late 60s.Still in perfect playing condition.Woofers are mint,as are everything else. I did take very good care of them ( babied them realy ). I hand rubbed them with Linseed oil twice every year.I occasionally take them from my cellar and play them till I get bored and packem away for a few more years.I would love to know what they'd cost to build today?????

I own a pair of JBL L150A and if I'm not wrong they were manufactured in 1982...they sound great !!!
I changed the foam a year ago and they are in like new condition, replacement parts for older (good ones) JBL speakers are quite easy to get.

And for the exact definition of what a studio monitor is, I really don't know so I'd preferer not to speak.

Go for them.

It depends, the 150a's are good, I use to have a pair. The 212s had a very uneven frequency response.. Research the particular model that you are considering carefully. Stan
I have a pair of 4350 and believe me that is sound.DEEP BASE, natural impac sound, the presence is there.
I have JBL 4333AWX's (basically the studio version of an L300). With Quicksilver KT88 monoblocks I find them smooth and very relaxing.
I did the same as foxtrot. There was an article in speaker builder about two years ago regarding rebuilding L300's.
Studio Monitor was a promotional term used in the seventies
to suggest that the speakers making that claim were designed to be utilized as monitor speakers in the recording studio. If the engineers used these speakers to record the sound, surely you would be wise to use them for retrieval. I always thought it was a lot of crap but it certainly sold a lot of product.

JBL construction quality is unsurpassed but the sound is definitely a matter of taste.
I have 2 pair of JBL monitors. 4311's and L-100's. The 4311's came from a co-worker who bought them new and took very good care of them. The L-100's came from the Salvation Army for $40.00. They have had some cabinet work, but sonically were in great shape.

Both of these pairs have held up really well. The only problem I have is that one of the attenuators has a dead spot in it. Deoxit has helped but not completely. No caps in the crossovers to fail.

I have several vintage receivers and one thing I have noticed is that these speakers need more power than most people think. It's true that they can be driven nicely with 50WPC, but give them 100 or more and they change dramatically. It's like a completely different sound.

I can't see paying the dollars that people are getting on ebay, but if you are looking to put together a vintage system and like 70's rock and or jazz, you might find them very pleasing.
Studio monitors.... The ones I used to listen to in my recording days were the ones like Dynaudio's, old B&W 801's and some active stuff like ATC's and Genelec. They had in common that they sounded very analytical, a bit harsh, could go incredebly loud and didn't do much imaging, although I have to be honest: placing wasn't always optimal. So one day I decided to buy a couple of Yamaha NS10's from the studio (small two way monitor) and use it at home. It was dreadfull!! I traded them for some small Mission's, which were less 'hifi' but more 'fun'...... So, in my experience, real studio monitors are not necessarily good in home situations. But it does make, as said before, a nice marketing statement.
I have 4311 and it sounds realistic and neutral like you are hearing live musicians - especially good for acoustic instruments. Whether realism is prefered or not depends on the music you listen to. I say for classical, it is good.

For some music, you want speakers that are refined - not realistic. Although they are not transparent on top frequencies, they have satisfying bass and mid. Piano especially sounds good on them.

Did you notice how different speakers do different instruments well? Speakers that do feminin voice well might not do piano well for instance. Excuse for us to hook up several sets of speakers to an amp - and switch depending on the music and the mood.

I like my JBL - especially for that realistic rendition of acoustic instruments that have a warm low sound. There are modern speakers that do highs better - like B&W for instance. Sometimes I feel like I am at a live concert - and wonder why we need more than this.

I heard that it would take JBL $4000 to build them today like they used to - with good sounding alnico magnets. If you are into transparency, then this might not be for you - but I like mine for their realism - especially good for dance music - has rhythm.