Jr149 Speakers

Has anyone got or had jr149s speakers and upgraded, and to what. I’ve had pair for 30yrs now after upgrading Most things need now help to move on. System at mo. is Linn lp12/ittok Krystal Naim 250, 32/5, hicap. Any views welcome please.


I’ve never owned them but my understanding is they are pretty special and similar to LS3/5a’s. If I were you, unless they are becoming faulty or you want different type of sound, I would be very cautious about changing. You could find yourself disappointed. Maybe audition some modern LS3/5a’s or their derivatives as a starting point to see what you think?

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What about Kan 1s? Same midrange unit until serial 33,004 - should be a nicely balanced sound with NACA4/5 or Linn K20. Wouldn’t sell the 149s until you’ve found a 100% replacement though.

One of my housemates at University had a pair of JR149s. Fronted with a Rega TT and a Sansui amp, they could sound really good. The Sisters of Mercy’s First and Last and Always was one particular LP played on that system that really could be mesmerising. FWIW he moved on to MA R352s and then Epos ES14s.

I bought a really nice minty pair some years later and was most keen to try them against my very early Rogers gold label LS3/5as. As it turned out they were quite different in many ways despite sharing similar drivers.

I think you might want to get out and have a listen to some other speakers. What sort of budget are playing with?

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Thanks a good idea holding on till really happy. I have to say I’m very happy but sure things have moved on since I got them. My budget might be poss 1.5k ish there in great condition. My trouble might be the dreaded upgrade bug !!

Your system was developed around that early 80s Linn/Naim sound. You might find yourself needing an LP12 upgrade or three to fit in with modern sounding speakers. Probably get away with the amps but not 100% sure on that either - still quite a warm sounding combo.

I’d be tempted to leave it alone, assumed everything is serviced. What about a modern Naim streamer in another room and see how that floats your boat? Think there’s one with built-in speakers too, so just a single unit.

Back in my retail days we had a pair of JR149, we also sold LS3/5a, personally I was never a fan of either, but customers preferred the LS3/5a, as I recall when I left the job the JR were still in the store, I suspect you might have more fun with some Kans?

The lp12 at moment is at Linn Akurate stage ( - arm,) I’m not upgrading that end at mo, ( who kidding who here !!)

Ah, right, just assumed it was all original except the cartridge. I’ll butt out now. I’m sure there are plenty of modern speakers to consider, although I’d defo push for a home dem in your situation.

No need to butt out mate all views welcome. We all have experience to help/give each other. My room is about 25x18ish with window on short wall and door other corner back wall so bit of space to explore in.

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I suspect that you might find replacement quite difficult after so long wedded to the JRs.

Rather than recommend any other small two way, even though I use a pair which I love, I think that after so long, you could be really attracted to a something a bit different… The guy who does my Linn, and has one himself and a NAP250, swears by Shahinian Arcs.

Unsure as to how they might fit into your budget. Used I imagine.

Hope that helps.

Cheers Chis, will take a look. May have bring into room 149s are bolted to wall via their made to fit wall brackets. Take yr point about having them so long change will poss be strange at first.

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You have a pretty large room and I suspect larger speakers might work better. If you want to stay contemporaneous then Epos ES14s or Naim SBLs may be ideal. The latter need to be against a solid wall. More modern but very good, something like the PMC twenty.23 or twenty.24 could work for you. For £1,500 there are loads of excellent used speakers available. The challenge, or course, is getting to try them in your room.

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Was also thinking SBLs/SL2s with a room that size, if you don’t mind all the setup faff.

…got to be honest here, but…
If I remember correctly, the JR149s were thought of as more of an eccentricity than a good sounding 'speaker, all those years ago.

They did rather well in some of the big comparative group tests back in the day. In fact, IIRC, I think they won at least one of them outright.

…never heard them myself. I was thinking of the reviews at the time.
I pay no attention to reviews…maybe for the last 20 years.

Can I assume you havent poss heard them, I’ve found them really good up till now but poss dated when compared to modern speakers. Yes they are different to more conventional speaker design but been very pleasing up till now.

Yes that’s poss reason I auditioned them before purchasing all those yes ago. Really solid when using the manufacturers bracket to a outside wall.

As that’s where you use them, some SBLs may be ideal. Your Linn and 32/250 would be a perfect match. The only challenge is finding a good pair, as there are lots around that, shall we say, have seen better days.