View Full Version : Opinions on JBL L40


johansens
02-25-2010, 07:36 PM
Hi there!
I'm from Norway, and new on this forum, and I'm curious about buying some old JBL L40's. Old JBL's are not often for sale up here.

For now I got a pair of Dynaco A-25, B&W 601, and some big,old Seas 503 kits.

How do JBL L40's compare to other, more well-known JBL's and to my own speakers? The L40's are far from here, so I don't want to drive 500km each way to listen.

Regards, Oyvind

macyjrm
02-25-2010, 09:17 PM
I bought a pair of L40s from a pawn shop in Oxford, Mississippi a couple of years ago. Cabinets needed cleaning and the woofers required refoaming. Although not "high end" JBLs, I found them to be very satisfactory for simple two-way speakers. The bass was full and tight and the sound was very linear from low bass to the highest highs. I own a lot of speakers and I thought these L40s "colored" the sound less than most of my other vintage speakers.

kywillie
02-25-2010, 09:52 PM
I find the 40's to be more fun than the 100's.
I love 'em.

Fred Sanford
02-25-2010, 10:29 PM
033 tweeters- really nice sound, but somewhat rare to find replacements if something goes wrong (usually somebody poking their finger into 'em). 125A or 127H woofer, I think- not bad but not their best 10". I have both drivers in other speakers (L110s & L50s), but don't know how well the 033 does its job in a 2-way, that's a pretty low crossover point.

je

trusound
02-26-2010, 12:38 AM
IMO much better speakers then the A25s. More deep bass, flater midbass, and nicer highs. Also better dynamics then A25s or 601s.

sealy
02-26-2010, 01:22 AM
Hi there!
I'm from Norway, and new on this forum, and I'm curious about buying some old JBL L40's. Old JBL's are not often for sale up here.

For now I got a pair of Dynaco A-25, B&W 601, and some big,old Seas 503 kits.

How do JBL L40's compare to other, more well-known JBL's and to my own speakers? The L40's are far from here, so I don't want to drive 500km each way to listen.

Regards, OyvindForget the speakers. Men's curling final. We're going to whup yer ass!!

johansens
02-26-2010, 04:29 PM
Thanx for alle your comments! I like the sound of the Dynaco's, but I think they could be a bit more dynamic, allthough they are extremely non-fatiguing.
(I'm bored of my B&W's, so those are just for comparison.)

Fred Sanford:
The Dynaco's are also a 2-way with a 10 inch and a pretty large dometweeter, so big 2-ways like the L40's could maybe be a success?

JBL's like the L100 are a bit large, rare and expensive up here in Norway. Others for sale here are L65 Jubal, L19, L26, L36 and the L50. Some of them are better than the others? Do one of them stand out as specially non ear-fatiguing?

Thanx again,
Oyvind

johansens
02-26-2010, 04:32 PM
Sealy:
I'm so good at multitasking forums while watching olympics ;-)
Good luck to you in the final!

barredowl
02-26-2010, 07:05 PM
L65 is something special if it's reasonably priced at all. it's a lifetime speaker, and would likely cure your upgradeitis.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://audio-database.com/JBL/speaker/l65a.JPG&imgrefurl=http://audio-database.com/JBL/speaker/l65a-e.html&usg=__uxre-UrW_XFZNE2ehM2sacMwf6E=&h=382&w=545&sz=29&hl=en&start=13&itbs=1&tbnid=lGdP5YQIWWIH6M:&tbnh=93&tbnw=133&prev=/images%3Fq%3DJBL%2BL65%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26gbv%3D 2%26tbs%3Disch:1

Fred Sanford
02-26-2010, 09:09 PM
Thanx for alle your comments! I like the sound of the Dynaco's, but I think they could be a bit more dynamic, allthough they are extremely non-fatiguing.
(I'm bored of my B&W's, so those are just for comparison.)

Fred Sanford:
The Dynaco's are also a 2-way with a 10 inch and a pretty large dometweeter, so big 2-ways like the L40's could maybe be a success?

JBL's like the L100 are a bit large, rare and expensive up here in Norway. Others for sale here are L65 Jubal, L19, L26, L36 and the L50. Some of them are better than the others? Do one of them stand out as specially non ear-fatiguing?

Thanx again,
Oyvind

The L40 might work, I don't know- I've heard the drivers, but not in that package. Is this for near-field, fairly quiet listening? Or, does it need to fill a room?

The L50 is, to me, an odd little middle-ground between the L100 and L110. It has the same 10" woofer as the L40 you initially asked about (not nearly as burly as the L110s, though), the typical excellent midrange of all of the bookshelf 3-ways, and a cone tweeter that's an improvement over the L100s. It's not a bad speaker, but I really don't like how the wavy grilles really seem to hush the high frequencies. It shouldn't be a ton of money, either. It is nearly the size of an L100, if that's a concern- I think the L36 is, too.

L65 has a great tweeter (2405/077 or variant), but I've heard that the woofer and cabinet size is a bit of a handicap if you're used to JBL's larger offerings. Lots of people love them, though.

Non ear-fatiguing, to me, is the L110 (and, I'd think, the 4313B). 033 tweeter (like the L40), great mid & x-over, and a killer 10" woofer. I listen to mine for hours each day (I've been mixing the audio for a concert DVD on my L110s for months), and they're just great.

je

barredowl
02-26-2010, 10:06 PM
Pretty sure the 4313b is the 066 tweeter:

http://audioheritage.csdco.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=26313

Anyway... :)

Fred Sanford
02-27-2010, 06:24 AM
Pretty sure the 4313b is the 066 tweeter:

http://audioheritage.csdco.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=26313

Anyway... :)

My parenthesis might have been confusing- I was talking about the L110s having 033s, and saying that the 4313B is likely to also be non-fatiguing.

Thanks,

je

johansens
02-27-2010, 06:30 AM
These are supposed to fill my livingroom with sound, I do also need an old amp/receiver that would match the speakers (suggestions?)

So as I have understood the woofers in L110 are of better quality than the L50's? There are a pair of L50's for sale up here, but I've never seen L110's around. What about the L26? Is that model any good, or is it not comparable to the larger 3-ways?
I think those L65's would dominate my livingroom as they are much bigger than the others?

My conclusion upon what you've said is that I should look around for a set of L110's, and drop considering the smaller 2-way's like L40 and L26?

I'm used to speakers that are non-fatiguing like the Dynacos, so I'm afraid of getting JBL's which are too hard on my ears.

Thank you for useful reply!

Fred Sanford
02-27-2010, 10:31 AM
These are supposed to fill my livingroom with sound, I do also need an old amp/receiver that would match the speakers (suggestions?)

So as I have understood the woofers in L110 are of better quality than the L50's? There are a pair of L50's for sale up here, but I've never seen L110's around. What about the L26? Is that model any good, or is it not comparable to the larger 3-ways?
I think those L65's would dominate my livingroom as they are much bigger than the others?

My conclusion upon what you've said is that I should look around for a set of L110's, and drop considering the smaller 2-way's like L40 and L26?

I'm used to speakers that are non-fatiguing like the Dynacos, so I'm afraid of getting JBL's which are too hard on my ears.

Thank you for useful reply!

Obviously, the best bet is to trust your own ears & tastes, and use any advice you get here just as some fact-finding.

You said the L100s are a bit large for you, I don't know if that makes all speakers that size no good for you or not. The L110s and L50s are close to the same size as the L100, with the L110 being a bit more shallow (~23" x 11" x 14"). To me, owning all of those, the L110 is the clear winner. L50s sound good if they don't have their grilles on, and should be fairly cheap compared to L100s & L110s. I find L100s quickly fatiguing, other folks love them...

I myself am quite curious to hear L40s; but I'm also in a position where, if I don't like them, they would instantly become spare parts for speakers that I do like. No big gamble for me for me to roll the dice on a pair.

I don't know the L26 and L19, but I have heard people here and at the Lansing forum rave about them. I think the L40 is the model that replaced the L26, but the L26 sold very well in its time (sometimes getting better reviews than L36s). I think the L19 is related to my 4401s, but I'm not sure.

I've never been big on receivers, but I'm really liking my Nakamichi RE-1, and I did like the Denon PMA series of integrated amps. Both work very well with the assortment of JBLs I have here.

je

johansens
02-27-2010, 07:41 PM
Obviously, the best bet is to trust your own ears & tastes, and use any advice you get here just as some fact-finding.

You said the L100s are a bit large for you, I don't know if that makes all speakers that size no good for you or not. The L110s and L50s are close to the same size as the L100, with the L110 being a bit more shallow (~23" x 11" x 14"). To me, owning all of those, the L110 is the clear winner. L50s sound good if they don't have their grilles on, and should be fairly cheap compared to L100s & L110s. I , other folks love them...

I myself am quite curious to hear L40s; but I'm also in a position where, if I don't like them, they would instantly become spare parts for speakers that I do like. No big gamble for me for me to roll the dice on a pair.

I don't know the L26 and L19, but I have heard people here and at the Lansing forum rave about them. I think the L40 is the model that replaced the L26, but the L26 sold very well in its time (sometimes getting better reviews than L36s). I think the L19 is related to my 4401s, but I'm not sure.

I've never been big on receivers, but I'm really liking my Nakamichi RE-1, and I did like the Denon PMA series of integrated amps. Both work very well with the assortment of JBLs I have here.

je

Yes, the best is to trust my own ears, but my problem is that it would be very expensive to drive around up here when it's 500km between each pair ;)

I've never heard the L100's, so if I find someone nearby who has a pair I could have a listen. Just to eventually sort them out. If I like the sound of them, or if I could find a pair of L110's sometime and like those, I could make room for them..

Vintage JBL are very rare up here, and therefore no "bargains" lying around. L40/L26 typically out for around 2000Nkr (350-400Usd). Curious to hear if I really like that old JBL-sound. I don't want another set of ear-fatiguing speakers that I'm selling after 3 months. Therefore trying to find out who will be the best "entry-model" for me.

Thanks again for all your advices / comments je! You've helped me on my way so far

snookinman
02-27-2010, 07:57 PM
having a pair of l19s, l26s and l36s, I prefer the sound of the l36 being a 3 way and great l-pads to adjust the mids and highs works great for me. I recently sold my l100s and I liked them too, but the sound of the 10" woofer has that nice tight bass i like, the l100s were a little boomy for my liking. I also don't listen at such a high volume that you are chased out of the room. and the L36s are not too big.

Fred Sanford
02-27-2010, 08:01 PM
having a pair of l19s, l26s and l36s, I prefer the sound of the l36 being a 3 way and great l-pads to adjust the mids and highs works great for me. I recently sold my l100s and I liked them too, but the sound of the 10" woofer has that nice tight bass i like, the l100s were a little boomy for my liking. I also don't listen at such a high volume that you are chased out of the room. and the L36s are not too big.

Yep- the L100s boom can be tamed by plugging the port, but I don't like the tweeter or the crossover. Both the L110 and the L50 have 10" woofs + L-Pads for mids & highs.

je

johansens
02-28-2010, 06:11 AM
Okay, so 3-way's with the 5-inch mid-range are something I should look after?
There is a fellow with a couple of pairs for sale around 400km from here. He got L50, L26 and L36. All are out for the same price, around 3000NKR (appr 500USD), so this is not cheap up here. Also have to add the cost of driving there. There's a pair of L15's who can be sent to me by post, these will cost around the same. Alle mentioned speakers already refoamed and in good shape.

Also found a thread discussing the 10-inch woofers:
http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5581

Wish there was a pair of L110 or L96 out for sale in scandinavia ;-)

Fred Sanford
02-28-2010, 10:18 AM
Okay, so 3-way's with the 5-inch mid-range are something I should look after?
There is a fellow with a couple of pairs for sale around 400km from here. He got L50, L26 and L36. All are out for the same price, around 3000NKR (appr 500USD), so this is not cheap up here. Also have to add the cost of driving there. There's a pair of L15's who can be sent to me by post, these will cost around the same. Alle mentioned speakers already refoamed and in good shape.

Also found a thread discussing the 10-inch woofers:
http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5581

Wish there was a pair of L110 or L96 out for sale in scandinavia ;-)

Look here for some tech info on different models:

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=10661

Any of the 3-ways with dual L-Pads (volume controls to tweak the mid & high response with) will give you more control to match the speakers with their associated gear and new listening environment. They'll also give you a bigger box to try to place in your room.

That seems like a lot of $ for those speaker models, but then I think I've only spent ~$1,000 USD on the 20 JBL speakers I have here. You could probably fly here, listen to all of them, and take a pair home as checked luggage for right around that price.

I don't know, I like the 033 tweeter so much I might be gambling on the L40, and I like the L50s tweeter more than the L36s tweeter, but I don't like how the L50s grilles seem to kill the highs. Tough call.

je