Your Favorate JBL's from the 70's

My first pr of JBL's where L26 then L110 and finally L220.
I was 17 when my mother purchased the L220's for me.I must say the police where called several times for load music and for my Mother I'm sorry for
all the problems caused by me and these concert hall spkr's.
What's is your story?
My buddy in prep school had L150's.I thought abut trying to poison his Bong.Also thought about creating fatal accident on Lacrosse field for guy with top end Yamaha reciever.But a double murder and convenient promissory notes from two dead formerly lucky stiff's was too much of a lead for the school staff that were already out for me.I have been making up ever since.
I had 4 L40's. The last pr. I bought while working in a stereo chain store. All the employees were offered, get this, 65% off retail for any JBL spk. from the JBL Rep! Friend bought the L220. Life is full of "would-da, could-da, should-da's." I wouldn't mind having that offer over again! Really enjoyed the L40's. Lots of good times/memories! Bill.
Have an Original pair ( bought new 1971 ) JBL 200 Studio Masters ...Look just as good today as the day they were delivered........
Funny, I'm not sure I have enjoyed anymore than tose early years with my L19s and my NAD.
This is a great thread that brings back wonderful memories. I grew up in a house with JBL Paragons. My dad had them from 1956 to 2004, when he died. Amazing old school sound--Sinatra and Nat King Cole sounded great on those.

My dad knew JB and I got a pair of JBL Pro Studios, custom made, in 1979 as a college graduation gift. They were awesome paired with an old Dynaco amp. Every ten years I could send them in for reconditioning--no questions asked.
They really rocked in their day. I gave them to a brother a few years back and they still shine.
I loved my L100s. Sometimes I wish I still had them around just to relive some great moments.
I had a pair of JBL-L88's with the orange foam fronts
MY KIND OF THREAD. First heard JBL's L-26,L-36, L-100's around 1974 or so as a teenager, played mostly on Marantz equipment with Techniques direct drive tables at an audio shop in erie pa.. (heard DSOM many times on these) One day I walked into the shop and they had a pair of L-200's hooked up playing the Eagles at a fairly low volume... one minute when no one was looking.. I turned it up and they exploded with such force and impact it literly scared me! a couple years after that really liked the sound of the L-112's I used to hear playing at Tower Records in NYC on 4th st/Broadway.
Nowadays: Yes I have a pair of restored L-200's and a pair of L-166 Horizons rebuilt and renewed.. a love/hate relationship as I have other much better loudspeakers but still enjoy the JBL's for what they are.
Anybody have the 3-way Aquarius?? always wondered what they sounded like.
As a young teenage audiophile I used to drool over 4311's, but couldn't afford them at the time. (Anyone know their original street cost?) I had to settle for the pair of Pioneer HPM100's I had, which a friend who did eventually get a used 4311, used to tease me calling them boom boom speakers.

I was recently in a friends apartment and saw he has 4311's which he still uses (I guess he had more money than me as a kid). He mentioned he was planning on getting them refurbished (which he often has done to fairly valueless electronics at considerable expense) I have advised him not to refurb them, but rather spend the money (plus some) on some newer but low cost audiophile speakers, possibly used. Any thoughts on this? He has a cheap reciever also from the 70's but I'm trying to get him to go for a Chinese tube integrated amp.

Well I guess in the end I have compensated for never having gotten those 4311's. My well chosen system (approx $50K) using OTL tube amps and the amazing Raven One turntable reproduces "real" sounding music, not just good hi fi playback. (you can see my virtual system if interested in what relative depravation in youth can spawn in later years)
Aaaaahhhh, I can't remember the seventies
My system is undoubtedly "better" than way back then, but I got just as much, more?, pleasure with my humble system back then. I have not thought about JBL in a long time, but when I got my first pair I thought I had it made. I reget not keeping them, they were certainly of a time and place.
I didn't have a stereo for the middle 70's but I ran sound for a rock band & we used JBL 18's in some 4560 cabinets, along w/some Altec 18's in VOC cabinets. Or was it the other way around? Topped off w/some Emilar horns, I just thought of it as my giant stereo.
I had L-88's with the wood veneer fronts, with cutouts for the grill cloth in front of the woofer and the top 6 inches for the tweeter.

As a high school senior in 1974, I had an after-school job and used my savings to buy a Pioneer SX-838 receiver (50 wpc), a Dual 1229 TT, a Wollensak 4765 (what a great cassette deck that was!) and a pair of EPI tower speakers. After a while, I decided to replace the EPI's, sold them to a friend and bought the JBL 88's from an on older guy who was the son of a friend of my parents. Man, they rocked! 12" woofer, bass port in front and a tweeter with an adjustable "tone control" knob to raise/lower treble output.

One time, I raised that treble knob all the way, turned the receiver's treble tone control all the way up, put on ELP's "Tarkus" (there is this cool, phasey drum thing on it) and destroyed the tweeters. I didn't know that there was a covering on the outside ring of the tweeter that had to be removed to expose the screws to remove the tweeters, so I removed the whole piece of wood that the tweeters were mounted to, sent them to JBL for repair/replacement. When I got them back, (replaced at no charge), the new tweeters were mounted in the wood, just as I had sent the old ones.

I guess the blowout occurred during the summer, because I remember going back to college with the L88's, and their not having any tweeters in them. I compensated by placing my old pair of dept. store stereo speakers (I think he brand was "Columbia") on top of the JBL's, and connecting both pairs of speakers to the two sets of speaker outputs in the Pioneer receiver. It worked great.

I had them 'til I got married, and then some. When I needed to downsize, I bought JBL 18ti's (much smaller, but with the JBL house sound). I recently replaced the 18ti's with GMA Europas, but the negative WAF forced them out. Now everyone is happy with Von Schweikert VR-1's, which have a very full sound for their size, but don't thrill the way the JBL's could.
I love this thread. My dad was one of the largest JBL dealers on the west coast. I worked for him as a kid, part time while in school. I used my money to buy JBL L100's, a Marantz 2270 receiver and a Marantz 6300 Turntable with an Empire Cartridge, I also had a Teac (can't remember the model) cassette deck.

I listened to tons of records with great joy. I wanted the JBL Jubal L65's but could never afford them.

Those were great days! I loved that sound, the blue lights, the knobs and switches. I had hours of fun and all of my friends wanted me to bring MY system to THEIR party. It stayed parked in my bedroom.
I had a friend who had a set of L212s. Listening to those speakers is what got me interested in hi-fi.
Cool thread. My dream system in the 70's which I never could afford was a Marantz 2325 Receiver and a pair of JBL L-100's. I was able to afford later my dream of owning the Dual TT. Similar to what Emailists had posted.Of course my system is much better now. Oh those teenage years revisited.
I still have a pair of L-65s which I bought new at the beginning of 1978. I've had them re-foamed (probably due for another within a few years) and have auditioned more than a few speakers which I was "probably sure sounded a little bit better.....maybe.....or which probably had better specs" but I've never been able to part with these. Back at the time I bought them, they were sort of my own consolation prize to myself for not being able to afford Infinity QLS 1's (or the municipal power stations necessary to run them!). Over the long haul, they've suited my lifestyle to a tee -- neither overly temperamental as to power requirements, placement, or the "eeek!...It's outdated! it for something more trendy, quick!" factor, and they've weathered the ups and downs of my fortunes as a freelance visual artist/illustrator perhaps better than any other speaker that could've been custom designed for me! They've been powered by a Pioneer SX-1250, Then a Denon 100 watt per side integrated amp, and now a Sony ES series HT reciever. They've been connected up with reverb amps and equalizers and other sources whose brand names and model numbers I no longer remember. Some ones I do remember were a 1975 Teac 450 cassette deck (A-450??) which was my first venture into stereo equipment up and above all in one AM/FM/8 track/phonograph type things, a Teac X-7R reel to reel, and a Pioneer "Centrex" 8 track tape deck. Presently, I'm back into vinyl and my workhorse source component playing thru the '65s is a Music Hall MMF-5 turntable. I have daydreams of maybe going back to 2 channel at some point but who knows? Only thing halfway certain is that my L-65's will remain my speakers-of-choice unless Infinity comes out with a 100db efficient retro re-issue of the QLS-1s with ten times better than original specs for under $500 a pair...

Wow: The Pioneer Centrex. Our family had one too. We got it in 1970 and my brothers and I would fight over it because we each had our own stash of titles. Hard to imagine the initial excitement of 8 track compared to what we have today. I had the entire Beatle catalogue on 8 track and I loved it when they would break up songs up into two parts as it moved between tracks, especially on Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour. Nothing like a five second delay mid-stream with a song!!!
I still have my 4311's that I bought when I was an enlisted GI in Germany for $500 in 1977. I only made $3K/month (pre tax), so that was major dough. I've been carrying them around with me since then. Steve Perry and Journey blew out a tweeter in 1980, and then Springsteen did it again in 1985 and they've been in my garage(s) evcer since. I just can't bring myself to part with them.
Still have my four L-65 Jubal Speakers that I bought new in 1974. Since then, numerous things had worn out, and needed replacing-upgrading. Of course any JBL fan knows the foam surrounds are a ticking time bomb, sure to eventually go at some point in the future. Sadly, I now understand the Cone Kits for the 126A Woofers are no longer available from JBL. Appears if I ever blow one, I will now be screwed.

In time, the L-Pads went to hell, the X-Overs also too went bad, and Decided something had to be done, so I commisioned Madisound to make four brand new X-overs to exact JBL Jubal Specs, but using Goertz Alpha Core Air Inductors, Solen Poly Caps throughout, replaced the shot L-Pads with 100W versions, and Edison-Price 5-Ways bought from MusicDirect, thus replacing the wimpy, problematic Push Pin Terminals on back.

Internal Wiring was of course high grade Copper 12ga from terminals to X-Over, 12ga from X-Over to Woofer, and 16ga to LE5-5 mid, and 077 Tweeter. All was soldered up with WBT Silver. All four Cabinets were further interally braced, particularly the Front Baffle Board.

While internally different-improved, they still live on without a knick on any of them, grill cloths, and glass tops still like new. Of course I cover them after each play.

The front end driving these today is certainly a step ahead of what was available in '74, a VPI MK-IV, AQ PT-8, Benz Ruby 3, Sutherland PhD. Digital is all CAL Audio Labs.

Only regrets were these were so satisfying for all these years, that I didn't choose go back to the drawing board, and buy a pair, or two of the large 4300 Series Speakers when they were much more easily gotten (4343,4345) Sadly too, turned down the last four brand new 4430 Monitors that JBL had in stock in the mid 90's, at a cost of $1600 ea. Mark
I use a pair of L150A's in my main system and I'm happy with them.
On my way back to school after Xmas break I stopped at a local stereo store in St. Louis. I walked out with a pair of JBL Century L100s. I spend half of my disposable income for the semester on those speakers - best $$ I spebt during college.
I grew up in the 1970's listening to rock on JBL Century 100's driven by a Dynaco amp/preamp. We had them up against a big stone wall. Incredible bass! I didn't think anything could ever sound better than that. We still have those L100's in the same position at my father's house. The bass still sounds strong. But otherwise the sound is no where near modern audiophile speakers. They don't image at all. The drivers are poorly integrated. The frequency response is all over the place and you can hear the cross-overs. The midrange is very colored. The tweeters sound harsh and are poorly resolving. But those L100's went along just fine with the stuff we used to smoke back then!
When I was 21, 1976 my boyfriend and I bought 2 sets of JBL L166. We had a Pioneer receiver and all four speakers wired up for "quadri-phonic" sound. We must have listened to Dark Side of the Moon until the record wore out. I have coddled them and enjoyed them for over 30 years - dutifully oiling the wood, careful not to scratch them - like a musical instrument. They are in fabulous condition and made beautiful music until about a year ago when the foam surrounding the woofers just disintegrated like moth wings. Alas, I feel like a piece of my youth has gone just the same.... these speakers are way, way to heavy and awkward for me to lift and move anymore, but they are beautiful and could still make great music.... Funny how in a way the speakers have held up better than I have - with repair and care they'd no doubt they'd be good for another 30 years.
Around 1977 I had a pair of JBL Jubal speakers, but since it was the 70's I can't remember the model number.Can anyone help? I do remember they had a 12 bass, a mid and a prism like glass tweeter, and besides the excellent cabinet, they had smoked glass tops.The sound thru a Pioneer receiver and Dual turntable was pretty hi end for me and my friends in those days.I remember what replaced this set up - Dynaco 70, Pas 3 and original Rogers LS3/5A,after that it's been quite the ride to present system of Cary 300sei, Shunyata wires and power condionong, balanced power, 30 amp runs and Heron I speakers.I am not getting off the merry go round, I enjoy it.
L 65's.
L150s, although, early eighties.. got them in Okinawa at a sight and sound sale for the military. Mated them with a class a yamaha amp, onkyo preamp and denon turntable with ortofon mc20 cartridge, I kicked a@@ on everybody in the barracks!
I still use 4311s with my TV. No home theater for me.
Still have a pair of L50's on a Marantz integrated sitting in the basement. That's definitly the sound of the seventies. Best? Do the Urei Time aligns count?
I started out with L40's back in the late 70's.........all I could afford, but they got me hooked on the "West Coast Sound". A few years later a friend of mine owed me some cash and offered up his brand new L-100's which I used up until a few years ago. These never ceased to amaze my friends. I had these running trough a Proton Power amp and Nakamichi Preamp....stunning. Last year I was able to afford a pair of L-300 Sunmits in mint condition......I drove, I flew to get of the best descisions in my life. I had heard a pair of these back in the late 70's and fell in love with them but not the price tag ($3,000.00 in 1979 was a lot of cash!) The L-300's simply amaze me with thier ease at making incredible music. A Mark Levinson 380S Preamp and Nakamichi PA-7 Power Amp unleashes the Summits to astonishing heights. I can now sit back and KNOW that I have achieved the perfect sound I had always been looking for.
I can't say they were my favorites (as many other JBL's were certainly better at the time) but I had a pair of full range JBL LE8T's that I built my own cabinets for and drove with a Dyna PAS-3 and a pair of Mark III tube amps (that doubled for guitar with a pair of D131's).

The little 8"ers didn't have much real top end but they were very clean, smooth, and punchy. I listened to them for hours on end for several years until I eventually sold them to a good friend who worked them into a nice car stereo.

That was about 35 years ago, I still have the D131's (reconed as D120F's) in my guitar system.
I owned the L19 and the L40 through high school and college(1979-1986). Loved them both, except, I never had enough power to make these babies jump. My onkyo tx2500mk2 only through a wimpy 40 watts/ch.I bought the JBL 3 way car speakers T-595 or T545 can't remember. These 3 ways were the best car speakers I ever heard and at 91 db they absolutely rocked. They magnetic assembly weight was just like their home speakers...Large and heavy!!! Today, I own a pair of L20T and L46 in a second system driven by my Luxman R-1070. I like the way the system sounds...not as good as my proac 2.5,MCcormack DNA2,Cj16ls, but it still rocks!!
I always wanted a pair of L212, but it never materialized. Hearing the Luxman separates driving the L212 (1979), Tom Petty's "Damn the torpedos" in the dealer showroom mesmerized me.
Still use a mint pair of 4311B's that I got from a radio station. Bruce Swedien used a pair of 4310's for most of his mixes so if you like 70s music...
Started out with a set of L-26's in '75. Bought a set of L-166's while still serving in the military in '79. Tried a set of 4312's in the 90's. Now have Wilson's in the main system, a set of L-166's in the basement hooked up to a Marantz 2252 receiver with a Denon CDP. Listened to it the other day while doing a woodworking project. I was smiling.
Started with a pair of Lancer 44's and upgraded to lancer 99,s in the early 70's and kept them for about 6 years. Recently I bought another pair of L 99's and plan to pair them with my refurbished Mac 1500 and AR XA for my classic/retro system.
I absolutely love this thread. In the early 70's I had a pair of custom made JBL LE215A/ Janzens electrostatic speakers in my record store, Gorilla Records in Syosset NY. I used to have people come in and said they sounded good from two blocks away. I loved those speakers, and and was able to purchase duplicates about 5 years ago, which I am having re-surrounded now. I also have a pair of old JBL's with 16ohm LE15A's, passive radiators, LE85 horns (I Believe) and a pair of super tweeters that I added to the Olympus C-50 cabinets. They are still as good as anything I have ever heard, IMHO. Rock On.
Back in 1978 I had JBL L65 Jubals and a Pioneer receiver.
Never should have sold them.
Not because they sounded that good, but because of what they would sell for today.
I owned a pair of L212's. They had incredible imaging. I also owned a pair of S8's. The big 3 way with an 075 bullit tweeter 375 midrange and a LE15 woofer. Replaced the 075 with 077's and the sound became a lot smoother. Those were the days.
In my 20's I drooled over a pair of 4343's. In my 40's I bought a used pair and I substituted the better 2122 midrange and the 2235 woofer. I have always loved the punch of a JBL. The 10" driver made the voicesand instruments sound so good with a better transition to the 15" woofer. Biamping these made them sound even better. tubes on the midbass, midrange and tweeter and SS on the woofers. What a great sound.
My first JBL's in the 70's were four S8R systems in custom cabinets. I bought a Marantz 4300 receiver to power them. I had the optional SQ and QS decoders as well as an off board Dolby four channel unit. I later changed the 375 and short horn out for the LE85 and 12" horn. I felt it had a more extended HF response and was smoother. I changed the 075 out for a 077 for better response and more even distribution. About that time I added a pair of Phase Linear 400's and bi-amped the S8R's. A bit later I tri-amped them with a Pioneer D-23 electronic crossover, a pair of DH 500's and a Nikko MOSFET Alpha III amp for the top end. I also had a TEAC 3340S four track 10" R-R, 360 cassette deck, Benjamin Miracord turntable, DBX 3BX w/remote. I changed out the Marantz 4300 for a Marantz 3800 preamp and went back to two channel sound a year or so later. In the early 70's I though that was a great system with room filling effortless sound. Most of the time I hardly tripped the amps idle lights on louder passages during normal listening. But, I had a couple thousand watts on hand to kick any transients out with no distortion or clipping. Efficient speakers are great!
I have a pair of jbl 4311 control monitors bought used from a recording studio back in 1982 for $300 I still listen to them outside on my deck on warmer days powered by a nad 80 watt amp only work done was to replace spkr terminals in back still sound fabulous and I have mag 1.6qr and 20.7's in the house I will never part with them the road goes on forever and the party never ends
I've owned 4311's, L110's and L150A's but always lusted after L220's. I'd still like to own a pair one day.
I got a pair of JBL 4311's back in the 80s from a radio station. I still have them and can't part with them. Much of the music that I like to listen to was mixed on 'gerbils" so it's a good fit. They are on stands and flipped upside down about 18" from the wall and majorly toed in. They are after all a nearfield monitor so you have to be in the sweet spot.
I have an Audio Research Ref 1, VPI TNT, ARC Ref Phono and a D130. The speakers are very unforgiving of bad recordings but on classic Columbia 6 eye jazz records they sound incredible.
The first high-end speaker I ever heard was the JBL L110 at Tech Hifi. This will always be my favorite "classic" JBL for sentimental reasons alone.
I like JBL a lot more these days than back then.

JBLs in teh 70's were never my cup of tea. Most receivers and many integrated amps even of the day were not up to bringing out their best. I much preferred OHM over JBL in the 70's at Tech HiFi, though the JBLs were popular as well. I think a lot had to do with the OHMs being designed to perform better off of lesser amplifiers than JBL and some others back then in general. I think many of the older JBLs (and many other popular lines from back then) if in good operating order these days would do much better off of better home audio amplifiers available these days.

I still run my old OHM Ls that I refurbished a few years back and these sound better than ever off my current system which is leaps and bounds beyond anything I had back in the 1970s. I did many A/B comparisons between the OHM Ls, the much larger Advents that they were designed to compete with, various JBLs and others back then and the general character of each line remains pretty fresh in my mind as a result even all these years later.
My father owned the paragon.