JBL Decade L26

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by humber, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. humber

    humber Active Member

    I, once again, need some help. I have the opportunity to buy a cheap pair of JBL Decade L26 speakers. I have never seen nor listened to this JBL model. I need to know if they would be keepers. The cabinets and front grills are ordinary. I won't have an opportunity to do a listening test. What do you guys think. Are they as good as AR 6's and are there any good websites to search for info?
  2. Clmrt

    Clmrt Just thrilled.


    You could read all day on them there. Check the library, also.

    Bottom line, enjoyable bass and midrange, acceptable treble in a substantial cabinet. One of my "would buy again if I had the chance" speakers.
  3. Pioneer727

    Pioneer727 SEMPER FI

  4. Markw

    Markw Banned

    Great for rock.

    I picked up a pair for $150 (100% functional in pretty good shape), married them to a Marantz 2270 & a Philips AF-887 TT, and have no complaints at that price. The Grateful dead hasn't sounded this good in many, many years.

    Of course, if they had been cheaper I'd be even more happy.
  5. humber

    humber Active Member

    Thanks my friends. It sounds like they are worth chasing..........they are part of the proceeds of a deceased estate.
  6. 70salesguy

    70salesguy Only 99 easy payments!


    This is a really good speaker! :yes:

    BITD when I was a salesman, we called it the "The Advent Killer".

    If I am not mistaken, when they first came out they listed for $126 or $129 each. JBL was fair trade and no discounts were allowed. $126 was around the price for a large Advent at the time (corrections welcomed if needed).

    I NEVER had a customer who told me that he was looking at Large Advents and then listened to the L26 end up buying the Advent. NEVER.

    Now in all fairness. I'm sure that plenty of people bought the Advent that would never had considered the JBL. But it is fact that every customer that came into my store and told me that that were looking to buy a pair of speakers in the $125 per speaker price range and liked the large Advent ended up buying the L26.

    My biggest problem was that I couldn't always keep them in stock!


    I have a pair of L26s and they perform very well with mid powered amps or receivers. They seem to really like Pioneer gear too. :thmbsp:

    Let us know what YOU think after you get them and play them for a while. :music:
  7. gonzomeep

    gonzomeep Super Member


    As an added bit of good info about these fine speakers, here is a link to one of AK's site administrators "Wardsweb". He has a great L26 restoration feature on his personal website. Here is the link: http://www.wardsweb.org/audio/JBL_L26.html
  8. jblmar

    jblmar JBL & marantz

    Depends on condition of the drivers. You should get a nice sound from them.
    I prefer 2 way systems myself. If the components in the crossover are in good shape, the sound from the speakers should be seamless. If the CO needs work, you'll hear it right away.

  9. macaltec

    macaltec Metal Master

    Get em. Great sounding speakers.
  10. humber

    humber Active Member

    Tomorrow, Tuesday Australian time is when I know if they are mine. If I am successful I will post some photos. This model of JBL is rare down here, in fact, I have never seen a pair before last week. Keep you guys informed and thanks for all the advice!
  11. alwayslooking

    alwayslooking Recorded Live

    I had a pair for about a year and like a fool sold them due to lack of space. Woofers needed new foaming but even as they were sounded good. I would definitely keep the next pair I run into
  12. humber

    humber Active Member

    I got them for $38. Pickup is tomorrow. I will post photos. These speakers are definitely a project. Cabinets are scruffy. Does anyone have ideas how to replace speaker grills on these 70's JBL's?
  13. Markw

    Markw Banned

    When you say replace the speaker grilles, do you mean the fabric which is stretched over a frame that snaps onto the box, or the frames themselves?

    If you have the grille frames, any stretch fabric will do the job. If you don't have the grilles, well, dunno...

    IIRC, the original grilles came in your choice of three colors. dark blue, dark brown, or a gaudy orange. Thankfully, mine are brown.

    But, ultimately, are the drivers in decent shape?

    ...and, for 70salesguy, the original price was $126 US. I remember that well because I couldn't afford them back then and just drooled over these.
  14. humber

    humber Active Member

    I mean the actual stretch fabric. My boxes have the dark blue material but it is not in great condition. Is there anyone in the USA selling genuine replacement fabric in the correct colours? I have no idea where I would buy it in Sydney. The drivers appear OK
  15. markd51

    markd51 Nyuk Nyuk

    Howdy Humber,
    I would pose your Grillcloth question over at the Lansing Heritage Forums, as I believe there is a source for a virtually indentical Grillcloth.

    First pair of JBL Speakers I ever owned back in the day were L-26 Decades, and I had four of them with a Sansui QR-6500 Quad reciever, and then later with a Marantz 4400. Very nice speaker, for a 10" 2-way. Just keep in mind these aren't going to take high wattage like an old JBL 4333 Studio monitor, so be careful just how much juice you pump into them. With high wattage, the tweeters will blow, and they aren't cheap fixing, or replacing.

    If memory serves me correctly, there were three "Decade" Speakers, the L-16, which was an 8" 2-way, the L-26, which was a 10" 2-way, and the L-36, which was a 10" 3-way. Mark
  16. Clmrt

    Clmrt Just thrilled.

    I ran my L26's with 8 wpc tubes, then 30 wpc and 275 wpc solid state. I occasionally ran up to 95db average for a song or two before I couldn't take it any more.
  17. 70salesguy

    70salesguy Only 99 easy payments!

    You are correct sir. The big deal for the L16 was an exceptionally compact enclosure for a 8 inch 2-way. The L36 was the L26 with a mid-range added.

    But the star of the show was the L-26, at least in my store. We could NOT keep them in stock when they were at $126. They also have a nice natural oak enclosure that looks great. :yes:
  18. SPL db

    SPL db It's all about the music! Subscriber

    Just curious... I was wondering how the L19's fit into this mix... where they from the same time frame?

    I picked up a pair of L19's from the original owner late last year in excellent condition.

    I also have a pair of the L40's (I think that was the model number) that need new surrounds...

  19. bigstereo

    bigstereo Super Member

    If you want blue grill cloth, talk to Zilch. He might be able to hook you up.


  20. Markw

    Markw Banned

    Yeah, if one isn't crazy stupid with the volume these do fine.

    Their "continous power" rating initially appears a bit low but, in the real world. they can handle amps quite a bit larger, as long as common sense rules. My 2270 plays these things as loud and as clean as I could ever want, but everyone has different tastes.

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