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JBL "L77" pair for $175 - What are they, good deal?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ColinM, Jun 28, 2002.

  1. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    An ad in the local rag has a pair of L100's for $275 and a pair of L77's for $175, 8/10 condition.

    I know what L100's are, but LD purchases have eaten that kind of money for now.

    I can't find anything on the 77's, though. What are they?

    TIA for any replies -

    - CM
     
  2. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Colin--A speaker from JBL's heyday in the 70s when their home speakers were built to the same exacting standards as their pro stuff. The L-77 is a 2-way with a 10" woofer crossing to a 2" cone tweeter at 2000hz. The bass is loaded with a 10" passive radiator. The drivers are built to a very high standard; cast frames, large edgewound voicecoils (a 3" coil on the woofer, very unusual on a 10). The crossover uses mylar caps and the cabinet is very sturdy. Very few speakers today, at any price, are built as well. As for how good they sound, well that's up to you. Old JBLs have a fanatical following and hold their value very well but I'm more familiar with the large horn models and don't know the value of the L-77s. See what they've been going for on ebay. Mind that the woof and passive radiator surrounds aren't made of rotted foam. JBL used several surround materials back then but you gotta watch out for the ones with foam surrounds, those surrounds turn to dust. If the surrounds are half-round or corrugated cloth they're most likely okay.
     
  3. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Thanks a ton, Tom.

    Cone tweeter....Hmmm...me no like.

    That's the same as the 10" 'cone', but 2" diameter, right? Dust cap and all?

    Never heard one. Don't like the looks, but my eyes don't have ears, either. I was hoping for dome tweets.

    I'll call dude back and see if I can audition.


    Thanks again!
     
  4. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Colin---Cone tweeter, yes. Though they've gone out of favor some cone tweeters sounded pretty good and the one in the L-77 was very well made, not at all like the Asian cone tweets used in many inexpensive speakers. Cone tweets actually have some advantages over domes, lower distortion near the bottom of the range being the main one. The JBL's cone has more mass than a dome but it also has an exceptionally powerful motor for a tweeter, one that can overcome the cone's inertia and "brute-force" the cone to extended high frequencies. In any case listening is what really matters. :)
     
  5. brucek

    brucek Second Unit

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    Colin,
    I would be cautious paying too much for those speakers. I own a pair of JBL L-36's that I purchased in 1974, so they are of the same vintage. They originally cost $800, which was a lot of money at the time.
    I still use them as mains in my second system, but they have undergone many upgrades since. There are several problems that occur with speakers over time.
    As Tom pointed out, the woofers will definitely have suffered foam rot and should have been repaired by now. I put in a set of re-cone kits from JBL for this, because you certainly want to keep the original baskets.
    Next, all the capacitors in the crossovers will be finished and will need to be replaced. It's a bit of a tricky job getting the crossovers out, and you'll need to be skilled in soldering and replacing the new parts. You'd need a source of high quality capacitors also.
    When the capacitors go, the tweeters tend to fry because the crossover isn't doing its job any more. So, examine the tweeters carefully in the centre for any resin stains which are present from overheating of the coils.
    JBL also did a rather poor job on the internal wiring by using cheap clips connecting all the drivers. They became oxidized over the years and created high resistive joints. You'd want to hard wire all the drivers.
    And while you're at it you should replace the poor push type speaker connections on the rear with newer 5 ways, since they'll only accept a very small wire.
    Anyway, I'd check them very close before I spent any money, and be prepared to do some work.. [​IMG]
    brucek
     

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