Using old speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Mirko, Aug 15, 2003.

  1. Mirko

    Mirko Agent

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    I have a pair of JBL L-100's that I am emotionally attached to. They have been to a lot of wild parties and oh...if only they could talk! Bought them new in 1974. I use them for music listening only and whenever I have gone shopping for new speakers I end up liking my JBL's more than anything new I audition, unless I get into the really high end stuff. I drive them with an ADCOM GFA545-II, which I also really like.

    I am now in the market for a new Plasma 42", leaning towards Panasonic. I have modest expectations for a home theater at this time since I am not able to dedicate a separate room to it. Maybe in the next house. The JBL's are located with the tweeters slightly below ear lever. The Plasma will go over the fireplace, well above ear level.

    I am trying to decide if I should just get a separate set of speakers for my Plasma experience or whether I shluld incorporate the JBL's. It seems a little redundant to have two systems, one for video and one for audio only. I would not be opposed to just selling the JBL's and the ADCOMS (amp and pre) and just starting from scratch with a system that would serve for both. I would prefer to incorporate the JBL's, however. The JBL's sure sounded a lot better when I fed them the juicy power from the ADCOM as opposed to an old Sony receiver I used to have. They really thrive on power. I am concerned about hooking them up to an AV receiver and not having enough juice. Can I still use the ADCOM?

    I do not have a lot of options as far as placement. The JBL's are located in a built in bookshelf type of thing, on the bottom shelf.

    Several years ago I listened to the NHT's Zero's and sub-woofer and liked them.

    Even if i kept the JBL's, I think I would like to get a sub-woofer anyway. Really like that rumbling sound for movies.

    Thanks,

    Mirko
     
  2. adamKI

    adamKI Stunt Coordinator

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    Why not get a receiver that has Zone 2 preouts (like on the Onkyo 701 http://www.onkyousa.com/, for example) and wire in your ADCOM to that. Then you'll get the best of both worlds.
     
  3. Mirko

    Mirko Agent

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    Does that mean that the power from the ADCOM just "passes through" the Onkyo?

    I'm still undecided as to using the JBL's for my video experience. I guess the Onkyo would continue to be good if I ditch the ADCOM/JBL combo and just get new gear, right?

    I still need to decide on center and rear spekers, as well as a sub, assuming I keep the JBL's for front L/R.
     
  4. DavidES

    DavidES Stunt Coordinator

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    Why not contact JBL @ 1-800-336-4JBL (US only) or 1-800-567-3275 (Canada only) and see if they recommend any of their newer stuff to match what you have.
    That might allow you to would keep what you have and build up from there since you like the sound of what you have already and it would save you some money.
    http://www.jbl.com/home/products/default.asp

    Just a thought.
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    This isn't really a Basics area-type query, hence its move to the Speakers/Subs area.

    Ah, the ol' Century 100s. Until the Larger Advent speaker was released, the vintage JBL bookshelf units were just about the most popular speakers in the world of home audio. Purist audiophiles would often deride them for their "West Coast" sound (boosted midbass and upper-midrange, courtesy of the factory) which made them such a hit among pop/rock fans of the day.

    One thing, though, they — like all JBLs of the era — were beautifully constructed. I used to see them in clubs all the time.
     
  6. Mirko

    Mirko Agent

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    Thanks for moving it. I'll get the hang of this thing!

    I've had mine for 30 years now (I'm 53). I used to play them in an auditorium for a group I belonged to and it was amazing what they sounded like. Used to power them with a JK citation 12 which I gave away and "upgraded" to a lower power Sony with lots of bells and whistles. Was never happy again until I got the ADCOM. Now they sound nice again. They sound like the first day. Long lasting speakers.
     
  7. Mike J Z

    Mike J Z Auditioning

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    Recently I picked up a pair of JBL L65s at a garage sale for $15. The guy was very said to part with them (I suspect his wife was behind this). I promply sold them on ebay for $600. Before packing them up I listened to them a bit and ask myself "My God, What have I done?"
     
  8. gregD

    gregD Second Unit

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    I can relate... in my separate 2-ch system, I drive a pair of Bolivar Model 64's... any geezers besides me remember them from the mid-70s? -- they came out around the same time Ampzilla did... made with JBL drivers, extremely dynamic, and frankly, they sound too good to get rid of; everything from prog-rock to woodwind quartets sounds wonderful (via Rotel CD player + integrated amp)... all I've ever had to do is replace the woofer surrounds.

    I suggest hanging on to your JBLs, and especially your Adcom gear, and running your 2-ch music sources thru them, insofar as they please you at this time... add a modest surround receiver + center / surround / sub speakers to handle HT chores... your biggest challenge will be trying to find a center speaker with reasonable voice-matching to your JBLs (the rears are less critical)... and as suggested above, JBL should be able to help... that ought to give you an enjoyable system and a solid base to which you can upgrade later.

    Otherwise, if you are a critical listener, you could be facing $5-10-15k to build a new sound system that meets or exceeds standards set by your existing Adcom/JBL rig.

    And if that's not a problem, go for it! -- start from scratch!
     
  9. Mirko

    Mirko Agent

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    Yeah, you talked me into it! I'm keeping the JBL's. So...what's a good match for the center speaker? I'll call JBL on Monday but I'd like some opinions here as well.
     
  10. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Mirko... DO NOT>>> I REPEAT.... DO NOT move those L's out!!!
    I bought my old L100s in 1978 and they have been my sidekick since. You will spend a lot of money trying to find better.
    I have been into HT for about 10 years and every year of that, I have bought some speakers system with the thoughts that something new should be a little better. I bought Magnepans, Monitor Audio, other JBL, Energy, Norhs and several others and NOTHING>>> I MEAN NOTHING puched those L's out.
    Yes, they really shine with some power. I currently run a Yamaha RXV-1 receiver that really pushed the L's well but I recently put on an Acurus 200x3 for front amp duties and the L's simply came alive. The L's are so efficient and so easy to drive that they pretty sound great regardless.

    I did add a SVS sub a couple of years ago for that low end rumble yet there are times, I will turn the sub off and just listen to the L's by themselves for 2 channel music. Solid and so in your face! It is that strong midrange that sets the L's apart from all the others.

    The L's will present themselve to a sweet spot for HT and placement will come into play for you. Mine are about 8 feet apart and towed in to the primary listening area with the tweets at ear level. I have mine on home-made stands.
    I keep my presence and brilliance dials around 5-6.

    They don't make'em like they used to.

    Keep the L's.....please.


    GREGD:
    Yes, those old Bolivars were some real ones too. Glad to see some others around who still have some oldies but goodies.
     
  11. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Mirko:
    Forgot to mention, I use the JBL S-Center. A couple of years ago, I replaced my L100 tweeters with titaniums, didn't like... and went back with the originals. The S-Center is a good and strong unit and the L's can be dialed to come cvery close.
     

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