JBL D120 Clones?

zenas

Member
Messages
8,759
The orange frame D120F I've got here definitely has the cloth surround. The last SFTR I serviced had orange frame D120Fs and both had cloth surrounds.

Seems I read somewhere that the orange frame D120Fs were really K serious speakers? And since the orange frames came out in the early 70s that seems to make sense.
The reality is, I really don't care one way or the other. :)
I went down the internet rabbit hole that JBL history is already. There's so much contradictory information out there it's crazy!
 

edgewound

Member
Messages
5,679
The orange frame D120F I've got here definitely has the cloth surround. The last SFTR I serviced had orange frame D120Fs and both had cloth surrounds.

Seems I read somewhere that the orange frame D120Fs were really K serious speakers? And since the orange frames came out in the early 70s that seems to make sense.
The reality is, I really don't care one way or the other. :)
I went down the internet rabbit hole that JBL history is already. There's so much contradictory information out there it's crazy!
This comes up all the time about the orange frame Fender/JBL D120F.

The orange frame Fender/JBL D120F is, in fact, a K120. They were introduced around 1974-75 when JBL was in the process of developing the K-Series and Fender wanted to have their own D120F. JBL was tooling up for the not yet completed line-up of K-Series drivers and Fender agreed to use the K Series moving assemblies in the D Series motors and keep their model the D120F, since the JBL D120F had since been discontinued. You will never see an original OEM orange frame Fender/JBL D120F or D130F with the all paper cone and kraft paper voice coil...because they are actually K Series drivers in function.
 

kafka

Member
Messages
1,737
One of my favorite speakers right now is the Eminence Commonwealth. It's their version of a D-120ish speaker. It sits right between an EVM12L and a D120. I have a pair in a 2x12 open-backed cab that I use on my Fuchs amps. Great speaker. They weigh a ton, though.

The Commonwealth was discontinued, but the PF-350 Paul Franklin looks to be the same thing but with a paper dust cap. Even better. I'd get a pair, but I have too many speakers lying around as it is.



On real JBL's, I tend to use K120's instead of D120's. They're pretty much the same thing. I don't really compare them, because my D120's are all a bit old, and I don't have any in a cab at the moment. I have one oversized bluesbreaker 2x12 with a K120 and an Eminence that's in the Celestion family - Man O' War, possibly. It's a really fun cab, because, I feel, the closed back makes the two speakers interact, so they individually sound a lot more similar to each other than they would if they were in an open-backed cab.
 

ablue

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
442
This comes up all the time about the orange frame Fender/JBL D120F.

The orange frame Fender/JBL D120F is, in fact, a K120. They were introduced around 1974-75 when JBL was in the process of developing the K-Series and Fender wanted to have their own D120F. JBL was tooling up for the not yet completed line-up of K-Series drivers and Fender agreed to use the K Series moving assemblies in the D Series motors and keep their model the D120F, since the JBL D120F had since been discontinued. You will never see an original OEM orange frame Fender/JBL D120F or D130F with the all paper cone and kraft paper voice coil...because they are actually K Series drivers in function.
Great info , thanks
 

AintNoEddie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
569
This comes up all the time about the orange frame Fender/JBL D120F.

The orange frame Fender/JBL D120F is, in fact, a K120. They were introduced around 1974-75 when JBL was in the process of developing the K-Series and Fender wanted to have their own D120F. JBL was tooling up for the not yet completed line-up of K-Series drivers and Fender agreed to use the K Series moving assemblies in the D Series motors and keep their model the D120F, since the JBL D120F had since been discontinued. You will never see an original OEM orange frame Fender/JBL D120F or D130F with the all paper cone and kraft paper voice coil...because they are actually K Series drivers in function.
+1 thanks a lot for the clarification. FWIW, I've had two original orange basket D120Fs, and yes they had cloth surround just as described above.
 

Teleguy61

Member
Messages
128
There are many great speakers out there, but there is no substitute for a D120F.
If that's the sound you want, that's it.
 
Messages
6,192
Is there anything better than the Tone Tubby as a modern-day comp for the D120F?
I'm sorry but specs/ tone wise there are not a lot corresponding between the TT and the JBL.

Unfortunately one would have to deliberate with oneself which compromises one is prepared to make - unless, of course, you'd actually find the real deal.

1) Shallow, curvilinear paper cone
2) Cast, aluminium frame
3) Massive alnico magnet
4) 4" edgewound VC
5) Effective range up to 7kHz, aided by an alu dust cap.

I'm looking for something similar myself. Easier to come by something EV-ish (usually ceramic w. deeper cone, 2.5" VC, paper dome - easily replaced - and higher power handling) or Fane-ish (ceramic, Kurt Mueller cone and typically 2" VC) now that the Weber Neos are no more. Then, of course those GPA reissues of the 3" VC Altec Lansings.
 

USMarine75

Member
Messages
1,339
Hard to believe the way capitalism works that there are no speakers made today that sound like K120 or D120F.

If there's a market and there's no patents. Especially with JBL not even making guitar speakers any more. There's no special sauce here... speakers are an easy item to duplicate.
 

amphog

Member
Messages
4,182
A large alnico magnet speaker like that would likely cost 500$ or more, and once you got it, you my find that it does not really do what you thought it would. I used JBL, EV, and Altec exclusively in the 70's, and 80's. There were not nearly as many choices then, and I needed reliable, and loud, in a 2x12 that could survive a 100w Marshall, my needs have since changed! There is something to be said for the Fender, JBL combo for jangley, loud cleans, the 2khz rise in the JBL's response is a advantage here.
 

tdawg

Member
Messages
497
EMI commonwealth is a great speaker for the money, in the JBL family of sound. Liked it much better than Weber California. That said I have never played real JBLs, K120 is on the speaker radar one of these years.
 

J M Fahey

Member
Messages
2,399
I have a 66 Twin that I'd like to load with JBL D120's. Before I go down the vintage route rabbit hole is there a modern version of this speaker being produced?

Thanks!
Yes, and VERY good ones.
In fact, many in the know chose these because they were still made "like old JBL" while originals had changed:




fact is Spain was economically isolated from the rest of the World (very high Tariff barriers) for decades, there was a huge market: thousands theaters and cinemas, so some Engineers cloned JBL speakers to a T, knowing they would sell alln they made.
Since it was a captive market which would pay whatever was asked for, they could invest in the best machinery and materials, no Oriental cutthroat competition to bring price and quality down.
Now dies and machinery have been paid for for decades, so they can produce the high quality speakers at a reasonable price.
It´s the real deal, edgewound aluminum voice coils, monster magnets, tight precision machined gaps, cast frames, the works.
No small/boutique manufacturer can even reach them, because of the huge investment needed, plus the decades of experience.





dimensions in mm:
 

Ben S.

Member
Messages
2,178
Holy Smokes, thanks for your post mr. Fahey, I am thrilled to read that info. I will be ordering a pair soon.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,366
Just one guy’s opinion, but I owned a Liberty. It’s a pretty good clone / replica of the E120. One of the reasons folks go to these is to get Jerry tone. But Jerry’s tone was pushing these to near or full failure. Do you play stadiums? Because that’s pretty much what that speaker pushed at volume requires. So... I gave mine to a freind who does “Jerry” at larger scale.

I’ve got a handful of of D120’s... they sound sweeter that the E series and are lighter. Three are original (K) factory cones, two are re-cones by Edgewound... who btw, if you have him on the thread, defer... he is the man.

I rarely get to push those... but I also have two clone Fender amps with TT Purple Haze. Clear and dry sharp tone. Not the same, but I don’t play a Wolfe either ; )

...I hope that’s a little helpful.
 
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