Weber Speakers: California Series (JBL D120F)

saltydogg

Rock & Roll Enthusiast
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,373
All,

Happy New Year to all you guy's and gal's....

I've been doing some research on a "clone" of the revered JBL D120F speakers. I see that Weber makes a California line of 12" speakers based on the D120F and was hoping someone here might have some experience with the Webers? The alnico's are $200+ each while the ceramics are $100+ a piece. Big difference.

I also see that Eminence makes "the Commonwealth" which I hear is supposed to be loosely based on the D120F.


Lend me your thoughts, please. Thanks.
 

Baxtercat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,701
The Calis come w/ either paper or aluminum domes. Get the aluminum to be closer to JBL's [which had the dome too].

[my Twin w/ real 'bells']
 

just ken

Member
Messages
276
I had a paper cone, ceramic California for years. It was ok, much better than the stock speaker it replaced, but just ok. Never compared it to a real JBL, nor have I ever played through a JBL. I moved it along after going through a speaker craze phase when the Eminence speakers came out. I eventually settled on a Mesa Celestion 90 and an the Eminence version of the V30--like both of them more than California. But, I may have had the wrong amp for the California, Rivera era Fender, and after trying lots of celestion type speakers and real celestion speakers (V30 and others) I got rid of the California.
 

saltydogg

Rock & Roll Enthusiast
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,373
I think the Weber 12" Neomag is closer to a JDL D120 than the California. I have never played through a D120 or D120F, but, I only know what ted weber has said. The Weber neomag has edgewound voice coil and a 4" one at that. The Cali has a 2 inch voice coil. The JBL's all had 4 inch voice coils. So, I think the Neomag might be sonically closer...but..as I said..I have not played thrugh an actual vintage D120 or D120F.
Having read your post, I found this bit of info on Mr. Weber's site:

https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/

After checking the link, I see that this takes you to the home page. In the left hand column, click on NeoMag and click on 12" than scroll to the bottom of that page.
 
Last edited:

RCCola

(|@ / \ @ |.)
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,445
I own a D120F (original cone) as well as an alnico Weber California. Have not tried the neo mag Cali.

I think Weber did a really good job with the alnico Cali. The general characteristics of the D120F are there. Very full, round mids. Big controlled bass. Highs jump out but not in a harsh or ice pick way (most likely from the dome). No plinky tones at all even when the amp is at very low levels.

There is a unique connection between the guitar and a D120F - gives a bouncy type feel to the strings. Almost makes the strings feel like larger gauge strings without the tough tension. Hard to explain. Thickness. Warmth.

The JBL D131 is a good alternative. Very minor differences from D120F that allow the D120F to handle a little more power.

If you can wait, I'd just wait to find an original cone D120F. That is, if you're willing to spend $200 on one speaker. You should make sure 21032 is printed on the cone and there are no cracks/holes in the surround. On a lot of D120Fs the surround starts to rot.

I bought the Weber partly because I found it used for a very good price.
 

pula58

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,665
I finally got a D120-F off of craigslist. It was reconed in 1987.

I am going to make some clips to compare the:

JBL D120-f (reconed in 1987)

Weber Cali, paper dome, ceramic magnet

Weber Neomag, paper dome, cloth surround

All are 12's, 8 ohms.


more to come....
 

bsrguitar

Member
Messages
332
I finally got a D120-F off of craigslist. It was reconed in 1987.

I am going to make some clips to compare the:

JBL D120-f (reconed in 1987)

Weber Cali, paper dome, ceramic magnet

Weber Neomag, paper dome, cloth surround

All are 12's, 8 ohms.


more to come....
-------------------------
I would love to hear your opinion when you get a chence, I an looking at doing some swapping in a 2x12, its between webers and a eminence commonwealth.
 

SkydogFan81

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,045
did you make ever make some clips?
:clips

I finally got a D120-F off of craigslist. It was reconed in 1987.

I am going to make some clips to compare the:

JBL D120-f (reconed in 1987)

Weber Cali, paper dome, ceramic magnet

Weber Neomag, paper dome, cloth surround

All are 12's, 8 ohms.


more to come....
 

marsos52

Member
Messages
2,151
sorry i didnt see this thread earlier.

i have a pair of weber cali's in my vintage sound amps clone of a pro reverb
and i have played original jbl's in fender twins from the early 70's

my cali's are ceramics and i was told by ted weber i wouldnt hear a difference other than the ceramics dont breakup as early as the alnico's

there really very good ,, they have a amazing bottom end and very clear and they sing when pushed i do think jbls have a little sharper high end

hope this helps
 

kludge

The droid you're looking for
Messages
7,104
I dunno about the Webers, but I have a vintage JBL K120 in my Boogie (presumably original 1976, dunno if it's ever been reconed), and it's STUNNING. It's so fast and analytical, but at the same time warm, and it hides nothing. It has more "acoustic guitar" feel than any other speaker I've tried. I had the amp in for maintenance at Savage Audio, and Jeff told me that the speaker was a good chunk of why it sounds so great. Another nice thing is that the alnico doesn't weigh as much as ceramic.

If the Webers get even 80% of this sound, they're worth buying.
 

FiestaRed

Member
Messages
21,412
The JBL sure is "crisp"

Pula58 -- thanks for doing this.

I liked the Michigan too. Trying to find something for my Allen Accomplice.
 

MagnumSSS

Member
Messages
486
I finally got a D120-F off of craigslist. It was reconed in 1987.

I am going to make some clips to compare the:

JBL D120-f (reconed in 1987)

Weber Cali, paper dome, ceramic magnet

Weber Neomag, paper dome, cloth surround

All are 12's, 8 ohms.


more to come....
pula, did you ever make those clips comparing the D120-F to the Cali and Neomag?
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,455
The weber Cali, the Michigan... Both very fine speakers. But in my opinion they don't really compare to the originals. The best "clone" that weber makes is the Cerwin Vega clone.

If you want a good clone of an E120 they can be had. That would be the Beyma Liberty.

If you want a good D120 find one... But most have are either close to dead or reconed. You'll have a better chance of finding a good K120 and it will be very close. If you come across re-cones, ask who did it... There are a few guys out there that can do it quite well.
 

swiveltung

Senior Member
Messages
14,485
I've owned many JBL's and a few Cali's. I don't find the Cali to be a JBL sound, although a great speaker on it's own. For one thing the voice coil isn't the same size at all.
I have a RI Jensen C12K that I put an aluminum dust cap on, to me it sounds a bit like a JBL. But still not the same.
 






Trending Topics

Top