We’re pretty content listening to music at home with a small cadre of network connected speakers (multi-room convenience during the day, headphone sessions after work). But as owners of a late 70s turntable stereo speaker system, we’ve still got a foot in the door of audio’s analog past. A recent loss of output from a pair of vintage speakers revealed the cone drivers had disintegrated into dust. Ever since we’ve been on the hunt for modestly sized floor/shelf monitors that would complement our system. Lo and behold, the revived JBL L100 Classic.
According to Jim Garrett, Senior Director, Product Strategy and Planning, Luxury Audio, HARMAN – owners of the JBL brand – the original L100 speakers were JBL’s all-time, best-selling loudspeakers and wildly common amongst audiophiles during the 70s. Our original Bang & Olufsen Beovox speakers shared aesthetic similarities in cabinetry and stand design, thus making these newly refreshed speakers an appealing replacement with yesterday’s aesthetics, but updated with newer acoustic technology within.
It may come as a surprise the colorful Quadrex Grill foam grille design is a detail original to the 1970 CES debut design (a look back reveals home audio rode out an imaginative era of designs in the late 60s thru the 70s). The iconic candybar-squares of the Quadrex foam grille continue to front the new L100 Classic loudspeaker system, presenting a 1970’s-style retro design stamped with a lone quadrant sporting the black and bronze JBL logo.
Genuine, satin walnut wood veneer complements black front and rear panels, while inside the transducers, enclosure tuning, and crossover network design have all been upgraded to reflect the advances JBL has made after almost half a century later.
Note, because these are passive loudspeakers, they’ll need to be paired with an amp to drive sound out of their 25.5″ H x 15.5″ W x 13.75″ D enclosure, a fine partner to the newly unveiled Sonos:Amp. The JBL L100 Classic loudspeakers can be oriented either vertically or horizontally, with the option to position them closer to the floor with matching black metal floor stands. We think they’d look awfully nice bookending this turntable credenza.