JBL Century - 100's [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : JBL Century - 100's

06-10-2004, 12:53 PM
Anyone fimilar with this JBL model (older speaker), and what would they be worth?

Boy Lover
06-10-2004, 05:04 PM
I can say I know the L-100 or so and they are others but I prefer the newer JBL ones since the meterals used today will last longer than paper cones. Plus design is better todays.

06-10-2004, 05:17 PM
actually the L-100's will ruin almost all the new JBL's on the market with the exception of their high end lines. The paper cone with the foam surround gives you a nice full low end response. the battle between paper or poly cones is an on going one.... i am one who believes strongly that a paper cone will last just as long as a poly cone and sounds more natural. ok back to the topic at hand, they aren't worth huge amounts of money but in good shape are worth a few hundred. i actually just reconed a woofer from one for a customer of mine but that is rare. the one i fixed was launched out of the basket. the cone itself was still in perfect shape it hurt to have to get rid of it. they have a very unique tone to them and at very pleasing to listen to. if you own them do yourself a favor and don't part with them, you'll regret it. Don't get me wrong they aren't the greatest thing JBL ever made but they are still built better than most mass market speakers of today. I give a lot of credit to James Lansing, he paved the way from thousands of other companies.

06-10-2004, 05:21 PM
Try Audo Karma
It's a favorite at that web site. Many people who post there own them, revere them, and can tell you anything about them you'd want to know.

Boy Lover
06-10-2004, 06:24 PM
Well paper gets yellow or so when its old and tares easy. but I use to have a pair of the L-100 and yes they did sound good but the S38 in a way I like it since it uses titanium tweeters plus has the EOS waveguide that the L-100 doesnt have and S38 is smaller and compac

06-10-2004, 07:33 PM
the titanium tweets they use now are brutal at 2.5kHz to around 4kHz. it's personal preference. i'm a classic jbl fan though. my dream is to own a paragon

06-10-2004, 08:19 PM
My dream is to build one!

06-10-2004, 10:22 PM
i would love to build one the only thing i don't have at my disposal is the crossovers for one. i have all the drivers at my shop.

06-11-2004, 04:50 AM
The crossover models are available at the Lansing Heritage web site along with a lot of information about all of the landmark JBL and Altec models. You can often buy them used on e-bay and other places. They are standard JBL crossovers and I think there are two per channel. If you know the crossover frequencies, you could tri amplifiy them. I think that they are 500 hz and 5000hz and I think that they are probably second order butterworth filters (12 db per ocatve.) What's interesting is that of the thousand or so that were ever built, no two were exactly alike. Even the drivers changed during the course of production. They built about one per week. It took about 110 hours to build, mostly cabinetry work which is of course the big challenge because it is extremely complicated. It comes in four parts. There's the two horn loaded cabinets placed horizontally, there's the top, and then there is that curved front surface. The woofers of course are mounted deep inside at the throat of the horn. The tweeters are also mounted inside near the ends. The midrange horns are mounted on a special support that incorporates the front legs and aims them at the curved surface. Some versions came with a built in solid state power amplifier. This speaker system is one of the most unusual and unique ever in the audio industry. They stopped making it about 32 years ago. Occasionally, one pops up on e-bay for about $10,000 to $15,000. They cost about $1800 when they were first introduced and at their last appearance they were about $4000. If you ever see and hear one, it's not something you quickly forget. BTW, the entire assembly weighs about 850 pounds.

Boy Lover
06-11-2004, 07:22 AM
the titanium tweets they use now are brutal at 2.5kHz to around 4kHz. it's personal preference. i'm a classic jbl fan though. my dream is to own a paragonSo are you saying the Paper cones sound better and produce more natural sound than Titanium dome tweeters that are even used in JBL Pro?

06-11-2004, 10:46 PM
i'm talking about paper cone woofers. when it comes to mid horns and tweets i perfer a phenelic dia in the horn and a quartz slot tweet. if you want to talk about dome tweeters silk or other soft fabrics are much better than titanium. plus most of the JBL pro horns use aluminium i can think of maybe 3 titanium pro pieces from JBL. I literally make a living from them. I work as a authorized repair man for JBL products.

skeptic - if i had the time to build the cabinet i would love to do it. it's the money and time issue though. i had the pleasure of hearing on and i can't think of many speakers built today that will compair to the quality of the Paragon. Right now I and in the process of rebuilding a pair of JBL 4430.

06-13-2004, 06:37 AM
It comes in four parts. There's the two horn loaded cabinets placed horizontally, there's the top, and then there is that curved front surface... BTW, the entire assembly weighs about 850 pounds.
It sounds like you are referring to the Paragons:

<img src="http://www.audioheritage.org/images/jbl/extracts/thumbs/paragon_small.jpg">

The poster's question is about the L-100 Century, the consumer version of the 4310:

<img src="http://www.lansingheritage.org/images/jbl/specs/home-speakers/1973-l100/thumbs/page4_small.jpg">

The Centuries were well built monitor speakers from the early '70s with an intentionally colored sound. There is a mid-bass hump and a rising upper midrange. Great for rock, but too boomy and honky for my tastes. They were the definitive expression of the "west coast sound".


06-13-2004, 10:43 AM
Great Paragon pic, E-Stat. Brought back memories and I have not seen or heard one for over 20 years.

Value L 100's? The condition would determine the price. $300 or so for a pair in very good condition. Mint, would be much more, usually. They were all in all a very good speaker, although I think some over-hype them.

06-13-2004, 08:31 PM
rough top and forward mids, prominent mid bass that obscured the bass. because of the forward mids, they were used as studio mointors and the pros could compensate for their shortcomings by knowing of those shortcomings. accurate they arent. loud they play. popular they are/were.

the s38s are very likely a better speaker. amoeba records has them all over the place in holywood. i wouldnt mind doing an in home audition but i dont think they would outperform my system.


still, it could be fun.