JBL D120 tone on the cheap?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by MIM#1, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. MIM#1

    MIM#1 Member

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    Well, I really love my D120F but it was about to break the baffle board in BOTH of my Fender 1x12'' combo amps.
    I have a few Jensen Neo 12-100 speakers that I like, but always felt they lack the brilliance that brings out the chime in Fender amps, something I need!
    So on a whim I decided to see if an aluminum dust cap could bring this out and it sounds GREAT!
    Brighter [but still not harsh] and a noticable upper presence boost, much closer to JBL tone to my ears.
    Sorry, no sound clips [I'll post a couple pics] but I thought I would share as it is a noticable improvement on the rather flat Neo 12-100 tone.
    I used a 2 1/2'' cap as opposed to the JBL 4''.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  2. OPENYOUREYES

    OPENYOUREYES Member

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    wow..i have a few of those speakers and like them alot
     
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  3. Fender6g8

    Fender6g8 Member

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    I would highly recommend the Eminence Commonwealth 12". Features a 4" voice coil and heavy magnet. It was designed to recreate the JBL D120F. I have the 15" version (JBL D130). Outstanding lows, mids and clear clean non-spiky highs.
     
  4. odourboy

    odourboy Member

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    Or buy a Weber California.
     
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  5. Jim S

    Jim S Gold Supporting Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I purchased one of these and it sounds very nice mixed with a Scumback M 75 in an open back 2 x 12 cab.



    Alnico California 12
    Impedance

    16 ohm
    Power
    60 watt
    Dome
    Large H
     
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  6. Humble Texan Fan

    Humble Texan Fan Member

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    I think the Commonwealth compares better to the K, actually. Then it's nowhere near as bright and thorny as a real JBL. Rather it rolls off rather early making it accept dirt likea champ.
     
  7. SoPhx

    SoPhx Member

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    The California is nowhere near as efficient or toney as the original JBL models.
     
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  8. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    There are no addiquate substitutes for the D and K variations imho. And the four inch coil coil is a critical component if you want ‘that’ time. The Weber’s don’t really come close. The D110 lacks in this regard... it doesn’t sound like a 12 or 15”.

    There is a very good reproduction of the E120 made, but the name of the company fails me at the moment.
     
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  9. Rossi163

    Rossi163 Supporting Member

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  10. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    This. The D120F, K120, D130F and K130 all have a 12 lb. (yes, that's 12 pounds) alnico magnet. This is a major part of the sound as much as the 4" aluminum voice coil.

    It would probably cost more than $600 to reproduce this speaker today.
     
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  11. Gig Young

    Gig Young You donut send me flowers anymo Silver Supporting Member

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  12. dharmafool

    dharmafool Member

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    I think you're thinking of the Liberty-8 by Beyma speakers from Spain. https://usspeaker.com/beyma index-1.htm
     
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  13. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    I recently bought a Music Man 1X12" 65 model for five bills, partly cause it had a JBL. The speaker and the amp both sound fantastic. Now you are going to make me look to see which model JBL it is. lol
     
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  14. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

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    I was about to respond similarly. How good is this speaker and how do/did the JBL D and E differ?
     
  15. Red House

    Red House Silver Supporting Member

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    Is this what you're thinking of? It looks legit, but I've never read a review on it:

    https://usspeaker.com/beyma liberty-1.htm
     
  16. Red House

    Red House Silver Supporting Member

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    This is partially correct, and I used to think the same too - however...

    It has a 12 lb "magnetic structure" which includes both the alnico magnet and a huge cast-iron structure for the magnet which focuses the magnet's energy onto the voice coil. Therefore, the actual magnet-weight is MUCH less than 12 lbs.

    I discovered this one day while looking at the specs of the EV SRO Coffee can where in EV's spec sheet, they broke-out/separated the weights of the alnico magnet, and its supporting structure - it was a big surprise to me at the time.
     
  17. Humble Texan Fan

    Humble Texan Fan Member

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    The Eminence EPS 12C is pretty good, considering.
     
  18. Figaro

    Figaro Supporting Member

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    That is awesome!
    I’ve always thought the Jensen 12-100 Neo sounds similar but just needed a little extra “presence” to sound like a JBL D120F. And the 12-100 only weighs like 4 lbs!
    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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  19. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    IMHO closest thing to a K120, and not saying its the same, is the Altec Lansing 100w 417H
    3 inch voice coil, and 10lbs Alnico magnet including assembly weight. Actual mag is 2.4lbs of actual Alnico

    Great Plains Audio still makes the Altec 417H.
     
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  20. dharmafool

    dharmafool Member

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    I don't have any experience with the Liberty-8, but build-wise it is meant to be a faithful recreation (clone?) of the E120, down to the edgewound 4-inch diameter voice coil, cast frame, 102db sensitivity, 300-watt power handling and overall weight (22 pounds). I don't know how close the Liberty's cone comes to the original.

    Scroll down the page on this link to see the frequency response curve: https://usspeaker.com/beyma liberty-1.htm

    Here's an old thread comparing the Liberty-8 with the E120: https://www.rukind.com/viewtopic.php?t=10595. The consensus then was that the Liberty-8 is a legitimate substitute. However, users caution about break-in time.

    JBL D series speakers were alnico and the D120 had a 60-watt power rating. When driven they had a sweet upper mid and high end compression. They were sort of easy to blow, however, and this led to problems (for a time in the '70s, JBL gave a lifetime warranty on this series), and probably also led to the creation of the K series alnico speakers with a higher power handling capacity (100 watts, IIRC).

    The E series were ceramic and the E120 had a 300-watt power rating. They were more "in your face" sounding and took a lot more power to drive them. In the '80s and '90s they were also used in floor monitors and other PA applications because they could take a lot of abuse.

    Most guitar players don't like the E120 because it is unforgiving, super efficient, heavy, doesn't do particularly well with dirt pedals and doesn't conform with their approach to EQ-ing guitar tone. Other guitar players like them because they're unforgiving, super efficient, relatively bullet-proof and have a pleasing and unique clean tone when EQ'd appropriately. To be sure, they're an acquired taste, and heavy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019

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