First change in a long time! JBL L100

It has clearly been a very long time! I had to create a new login after being a member since 2004!

Well, made the decision to remove my home cinema portion of the setups - so AV2/NAP175/Spendor C5e/SR5/REL sub gone and then I realised I was bored of looking at my Spendor S5e for 15 years even though they have travelled the world with me, London, New Zealand and Singapore.

So after a quick audition, but clearly heavily persuaded by the fact they were bright orange, my system is now JBL L100, Supernait 1, Rega RP6, Hicap, Sonos and Apple TV. I had some JBL SVA2100’s years ago, blew my student loan on these and they brought a lot of smiles!!

While they are 100% different to the Spendor, which I loved BTW - I am very impressed. They literally made the hairs stand pin my arms! The bass doesn’t go as low as the REL, but the punch is amazing. The only downside is they don’t sound as good quite and really encourage you to turn up the volume…but to be expected.

Huge smile.

image

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Congratulations ! The speakers look lovely indeed !

Does your quote mean that the system doesn’t sound good at low volumes ?

Yes we’ll noted! Correct, compared to the Spendors which performed admirably at low volumes, these need a little bit more dial to really sing.

They look great with the orange grilles. I’m tempted to get some orange grilles for my 4311s.

I had a chat with the guys who were demoing the L100s at Bristol. Really great to see them back. Getting the hairs to stand on end is what it’s all about, so if these are doing it then I’m not surprised you’re pleased with them.

From what I gather speaking to a few others is that the stands could possibly be improved, but that might ruin the aesthetics. Whether better stands would improve low level performance I’m not sure though. Either way, enjoy them!

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Those look great in your room. In ours I have a feeling not so much - blonde hardwood floors. I think my wife would have pointed at the door. But she’d just as soon any speakers disappear altogether, and always would get nervous when I was just going to ‘visit’ my friend who works at the local dealer. Thankfully found my long term speakers last year - even threw away the boxes last week!

Exactly the same here :laughing:

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Occean

Very good word of mouth on the L100’s here in the US. Lots of good reviews. It will be interesting to hear your thoughts after you have lived with them awhile.

So I have had them for a month now and being in lockdown they have had a lot of use, here are my thoughts.

Source: Rega RP6, Sonos Port into SN DAC, Apple TV

Amp: Superaint 1 with Hicap

Second (office system): KEF LSX on stands with Tidal (I reckon these are the future)

Why did I replace? I was sick of looking at the speakers (I am honest!) and the Orange L100 totally grabbed my interest, plus the wife loved them.

Old speakers: Spendor s5e and REL Stampede Sub. Mini overview: super smooth sounding speakers, never ever sounded bad with anything, I really had no issues with the sound, great at lower volumes and never begged to be loud. In hindsight, maybe lacking some dynamics

Demo of L100: Minimal. Price paid VERY competitive.

Music tastes: Trip-hop, acoustic guitar, female singers, electronic. Generally bassy and chilled.

So how do they sound? Let me do my best without too much Hifi jargon.

From the outset, they sound huge. Soundstage is massive, I haven’t really experienced this before with music coming far to the left and right. My room is about 10m x 5m, previously the music came from the hifi area, now it fills every cm of the room. You absolutely feel like you are in the music. Downside – even at the same volume levels, it seems to be more difficult to have a conversation – this is hard to explain, almost a live sound/feeling. I even got the db meter out and compared to the LSX, same listening level and a totally different experience. They always sound louder than they are and always sound better just a little bit louder. Spendors never reacted like this.

You can also feel the music, and I don’t mean thumping bass. It raises the hairs on your arms – maybe down to the fact it is moving so much air in comparison? No idea but it does.

Bass, in my OP I eluded to a concern about a lack of bass extension. My Stampede could reproduce 20hz with a sealed 8 inch enclosure (and I’ve tested this). L100’s 40hz with 2x 12 inch ported units (also tested). But I am not missing it at all, as per above – you can feel it a lot more now – not just audible. The bass is also tauter and faster and sounds pretty fabulous.

Speed/dynamics/urgency. I was expecting something a bit lazy tbh – which would have been fine with my style of music . This was just perception based on old school boxes and honking great 12 inch drivers, reggae sound system style. But no, they are as dynamic and snappy as anything I have heard – together with the feel they create it is quite an experience. My wife keep commenting how it just makes her foot tap.

Build quality – no complaints, big walnut boxes, weigh about 30kg each on the JBL stands. Directly in front they sound better slightly angled in, but I found this sounded a bit muddled in other parts of the room which was solved having them straight. I even had a play with the dials, god forbid – no major change off standard for me.

TV/Movies – quite immersive, with the S5e I also ditched my AV2/NAP175, centre and surrounds, which I am not going to claim that stereo can really compete – perform really quite well. The boys (3&5) haven’t complained about the 100hrs of paw patrol they have watched. Oh and you have never seen a 5yrs face light up in the way his did when we heard Nirvana for the first time

In short, they look fantastic, sound quite incredible though a little in your face and totally rubbish at background music.

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That was a nice write up…

request you to please post pics :slightly_smiling_face:

A speaker that says I know how to have serious fun.

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Many thanks!

A lovely room…wish you lots of musical joy !

Occean

Great write-up. Thanks for taking the time. Your experience seems to confirm what others have said; a speaker that draws you into the music. Enjoy!

See that they are rated at 90dB but 4ohm. Are these beauties hard to drive with a nap
250 dr?

No problem at all.

“ The NAP 250 is stable into any load and able to drive a 2-Ohm load for long periods of time.”

JBL have really gown on me. My thoughts were similar to yours and I likened it to listening at the venue with the musicians rather than hearing a scaled down version for your room.

The idea of big bass drivers of yesteryear moving air but being a bit slow and flabby has well and truly been put to bed. Now they can move air and produce tight, fast bass.

Those are one of the few speakers I think look better with grilles on. Do you remove them for listening ?

No…they look so bad with grilles off. It’s like sitting down to some new vinyl with some Nescafé, sure the music sounds good but the experience is ruined :wink:

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People (dealers) are pairing them with 10w valve amps. By all accounts, they drive pretty easy.

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They suit a certain type of room. Grilles on or off, I think they look cool as hell. I’d do grilles off on a dark hardwood floor with a stack of Grand Funk Railroad to play. Or grilles in a more Danish 70s minimalism look (Orange probably).

The one word that comes to mind about the styling of this speaker is “comforting”. They are the speaker equivalent of comfort food from your childhood.

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I’ve been dwelling on this comment and for some reason has a negative vibe to me. I’m finding these speakers detailed, fast paced and very live sounding.

Fun to me is tons of volume and tons of bass, very reminiscent of a Cerwin Vegas or or other domestic PA’s I’ve played woth in the past. these definitely are not, they are as Hifi as they come.

I’m also sure the comment wasn’t meant that way.