JBL L100 MkII Classic Speakers

JBL L100 MkII Classic Speakers

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Key info

  • A fresh take on one of the all-time classic speakers with a vintage pedigree and futuristic design.
  • A speaker with a direct technological and design lineage to the most popular studio monitors of all-time.
  • 1 in. Titanium dome tweeter mated to acoustic lens and waveguide.
  • 5.25″ Polymer-coated Pure Pulp cone.
  • 12″ cast-frame Pure Pulp cone woofer with Dual Spider.
  • High frequency level and low frequency level attenuators.
  • Vintage style removable front grills available in orange, blue and black.

All specifications

Physical characteristics
Weight 28.6 kg
Dimensions (HxWxD) 636.52 x 389.64 x 371.48 mm
Speaker characteristics
Sensitivity 90dB (2.83V/1m)
Impedance 4 Ohms
Crossover frequency 450Hz, 3.5kHz
Frequency Response 40Hz - 40kHz (-6dB)

JBL Classic L100 Classic MkII speakers are an updated version of the L100 Classic loudspeakers released a few years ago now – which themselves were an updated version of the 1970s classic. This MkII version is enhanced by JBL’s ‘Performance Package’ which upgrades the drivers and features a new bi-wireable crossover.

The cabinet is covered in real wood walnut veneer and the Quadrex grill comes in three colours – Black, Blue or Orange. Matching stands are available separately which tilt the speakers slightly.

New performance package

The new performance package mainly involves improvements to the drivers. The 30cm woofer has an improved knurled fibre membrane, this also has a rubber suspension. The 12.5cm mid-range unit is mounted off-centre to allow space for the forward-firing bass port.

Additionally, the woofer has a large voice coil and a new more powerful magnet system. The cast aluminium chassis is mounted with eight screws. The tweeter has a titanium dome, with a small scattering lens at the front, which helps to provide better dispersion of higher frequencies.

The result is improved sound quality – very dynamic and full of warmth as well as ambience, with a smooth mid-range and crisp treble – a more impressive loudspeaker all round than the Mk1.

L100 Classic – A classic is reborn

If we turn back the clock to 1970, this was the year when JBL first launched their L100 speakers. A set of speakers that turned out to be just what the people at the time wanted. Today, these speakers are a big part of JBL’s history, as they are actually the best selling speakers they have ever produced. Therefore, it is not so surprising that JBL therefore chose to bring these iconic speakers back in 2018, with the launch of the L100 Classic and now in another updated version here in 2023. L100 MK2 a modern speaker technically, while the design is kept true to the originals from 1970. This means that we find a large solid cabinet covered with real walnut veneer, as well as the iconic foam fronts with Quadrex pattern in either black, blue or orange.

Cabinet design

The JBL classic L100 MkII cabinets feature, real wood, walnut veneer. There is also a pair of tilted stands available. Next, the L100 MkIIs have an adjustable crossover that is also bi-wireable. Beneath the removable grilles, there are controls for treble and mid-range adjustments to tweak the sound slightly to suit your room. The cabinets have a rigid bracing structure, to reduce resonances.

Why bass ports?

Bass ports are used to enhance the bass response of a speaker. The port is just a tube that vents the cabinet to the outside air. They can be placed either at the front or rear. However, subwoofers often have a port on the base, firing at the floor. The L100 has ports at the front so that the sound is less ‘boomy’ when the loudspeakers are placed close to a wall.

Loudspeaker crossover design

The L100 MkIIs have a new crossover design that allows for bi-wiring. This allows you to connect two speaker cables separately – one for the bass frequencies and the other for the high frequencies. The L100 MkII has gold plated terminals for the speaker connections. Alternatively, passive crossovers use a combination of inductors and capacitors to send the correct frequency range to each driver.

Is the speaker’s position important?

Speaker placement can seriously affect the sound of a speaker setup. Too close to a wall and the sound can be ‘boomy’. Usually, speakers should be at least three feet from a wall. This is especially important if there is a rear firing bass port, although as mentioned about the L100 MkII gets around this with front bass ports. Too close together and the stereo separation will be poor. Additionally, they should be four feet apart for the best stereo image. Moreover high frequencies are directional. Therefore the tweeters should be level with your ears, otherwise, the sound will be too bass heavy. Finally, toe the speakers in slightly so that they converge slightly behind you.

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