Who here’s a sucker for vintage hifi equipment? *Raises hand* There’s an undeniable appeal in the aesthetic of ’60s and ’70s hi-fi, a look that permeated the pro-audio world as well. The wooden cabinets, huge woofers, glowing VU meters, high quality aluminum knobs and switches and big balanced sound is a far cry from the overhyped plastic sound bars that dominate the market today.
JBL were a big innovator in the pro audio market in the ’60s, their 4320 monitors became the industry standard when Capitol Records and EMI adopted the JBL monitors in their studios around the world. Smaller 3-way 4310 monitors were also developed and were immensely popular. JBL saw the domestic hifi market booming so rehoused and tweaked the 4310’s innards into a cabinet featuring a bold, and instantly iconic gridded foam grill design. This was the L-100 speaker and became their best selling speaker, ever.
So 51 years later, JBL are giving us a modernized L100 model to celebrate their 75 anniversary, limited in numbers to 750. The iconic design is still there, including teak cabinets. Special edition badges are found on the front and rear of the loudspeaker including a commemorative plaque that includes the signature of the principal system engineer, Chris Hagen, as well as the individual pair number out of the total 750 pair production run. Acoustically, the L100 Classic 75 features an improved woofer suspension design and a revised network to include bi-wire capabilities via a premium input cup with dual sets of gold plated binding posts.
Jim Garrett, Senior Director, Product Strategy and Planning, Luxury Audio, HARMAN, commented, “We have seen tremendous success with the latest L100 Classic model that we introduced in the fall of 2018.” Garret went on to add, “We thought there was no better way to honor the 75th anniversary of the JBL brand than with a limited edition version of what is perhaps our most iconic loudspeaker of all time. This one-of-a-kind loudspeaker is destined to become a highly sought-after model by music lovers around the world.”
The L100 Classic 75 is sold as a matched pair system and includes a set of JS-120 floor stands. The entire system ships inside a specially-crafted wooden crate with limited edition artwork on the side panels.
The JBL L100 Classic 75 will be available beginning in May 2021 and retails at USD$5,500 a pair.