Where are the JBL 120s

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by MeadowLane, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. MeadowLane

    MeadowLane Guest

    I have a speaker question:

    My favorite guitarist Jimi Hendrix and Dickey Betts both used marshall plexi's and 4x12 cabinets loaded with J.B.Lansing 120 (120F, 120F-6, or whatever, I don't know the details). I have had experience comparing JBL's to other speakers especially PA speakers and to me the JBL's had a rich and deep clarity that was WAY better than the Electrovoice or Carvins I heard.

    I am trying to find a certain tone with my plexi and 4x12 cabinet. I am doing comparisons between Celestion G12M ri, G12H30 ri, and Vintage 30's. It turns out that I'm hoping to find a speaker that sounds exactly like a Vintage 30 but with a more polished midrange.
    To me the Greenback sounds good but polished with fine sandpaper,
    The G12H30 sounds polished to a glassy finish except the mids are so glassy polished that their almost gone. There's just no grit.
    The Vintage 30 has a glassy polished bass and high's but the mid is just too rough like coarse sandpaper. Other than the mid's lacking polish it's just about a perfect speaker for my needs. But it's not perfect so I won't use it. So...................

    I'm thinking that the JBL 120 (something) may be the perfect speaker for me but I can't seem to find a place selling them. Does anybody sell these or is any company making a clone of the JBL or a perfected Vintage 30?

    Thanks
     
  2. bob-i

    bob-i Member

    Messages:
    7,551
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Location:
    Central NJ
    WEber makes a great copy, in fact better IMO. The JBL D-120 with it's oversized voice coil and undersized spider had a habit of voice coil rubbing when pushed hard. I blew many JBL's back in the 70's.

    Weber's copy sound great and holds up far better than the orignals.
     
  3. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,506
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    near Philly
    I think the Eminence Tonker is a "better sounding" V30.
     
  4. 62sg

    62sg Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Location:
    Bay City,Michigan

    MeadowLane...you may want to check out the 'Beyma Liberty'...available at www.usspeaker.com
    Very similar to original JBL120-E
    Thanks, John
    www.stoneagecustomcabinets.com
     
  5. MeadowLane

    MeadowLane Guest

    Well that's two people who suggested an Emenance Tonker. I went to their page and listened to some clips and I actually liked the Tonker sound. Of course it was recorded with a Fender Pro Reverb...how could they NOT sound good. The Beyma Liberty looks like an almost direct replacement for the JBL but for the price of four I could almost buy a used car. Maybe when my wallet swells up a bit I will buy a Beyma to experiment with but I think I'm gonna get a Tonker first.
    I also appreciate the reference to a Tonker being a "better sounding V30". I think I will be happier with that because I don't really want to sound more Fender than Marshall. I just want to bring out the best clean sound out of my Marshall.
     
  6. Roe

    Roe Member

    Messages:
    6,953
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Location:
    tromsoe, norway
    rebel sound speakers from canada made a speaker that has been described like a cross between a jbl d120 and a celestion g12h.

    I didn't know that hendrix used jbls in his marshalls. Does anyone have a source for this.

    If you want a better sounding vintage30, try webers ceramis blue dog
     
  7. aaronz28

    aaronz28 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    443
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    The Home of Rock and Roll, Detroit
    actually, i've not heard anythign that soudns like a JBL D-120f that is a reissue or a remake.. I have 4 D-120s laying around.. 2 original cones in my 68 twin and three recones... one of which sounds great, and the other are pretty sterile yet. I'm guessing that they need to fully break in.

    but you'll never get the JBLD-120 sound out of an eminance or a celestion.

    you can often pick D-120F s up on ebay for 200-500 depening on whether or not it is a recone...

    but one thing to be cautios of... when you wire up a d-120... you need to switch the wires.... meaning (red to black) and (black to red) if you don't do this,, then the cone moves in instead of out, and gives a really thin sound.

    i had a sealed back 4x12 wired that way and it sounded like ****... it took me a year to figure out what was going on... i actually bought and sold a ton of JBL speakers becasue I could never make them sound like the Allman Bros or Jimi . untill I figured that out... but its odd, you'll never see it printed anywhere that you have to reverse it...

    i figured it out by taking a 9volt battery to the terminals and when I ran positve to red, the cone moved inwards, and when I switched it, the cone moved outwards like you'd expect, and like celestions, and EVs do.

    once I switched it, i discovered that tone that i was looking for all that time LOL

    thanks

    Aaron
     
  8. Mayflower

    Mayflower Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,459
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Phasing. It is something you should check on all your amps/cabinets. You would be suprised how often a cable or speaker is wired backwards.
    Most importantly, check the phasing on your sound system from the cable back to the speakers. You can't imagine how many PA's I have encountered with speakers out of phase, especially when guys make thier own cables.
    BTW, I love the tone of the original JBL120's, just a little hard to find and always a bit pricey.
     
  9. toddyjoe

    toddyjoe Member

    Messages:
    50
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Good recones can go a long way for less money. I bought a 15" JBL D-130 needing a recone for $50 not long ago. Ted Weber used to make a good JBL recone for $60 (one of the most believable I have heard). However, I believe he is no longer performing recones on non-Weber speakers. Ted mentioned to me that he used the Weber California cone so maybe a broken-in 12" Weber Alnico Cali with an aluminum dome will get you close.

    P.S. Don't let anybody try to sell you a D-120. There is no such thing. JBL went from the 12" D-131 to the 12" D-120F. Just ask Harvey. :)
     
  10. Reeek

    Reeek Member

    Messages:
    1,208
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Phasing. I knew it is a fact and I understand it but how do we figure it out in a practical way?

    Are we looking for the speaker(s) to move outward on the positive? Or inward?

    I assume this only amtters with two or more speakers where you want them all to move in or out together, right?

    What's the technique to verify you're looking good regarding phasing?

    Thanks!
     
  11. toddyjoe

    toddyjoe Member

    Messages:
    50
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Something just popped into my head: didn't Dickey Betts have a fondness for the K-120 JBL as opposed to the D-series? That makes a bit of a difference in what kind of speaker you might be looking for.
     
  12. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

    Messages:
    9,590
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    you talking about the cali's?

    if so, they do rock. closest thing to the original JBL's i heard in that rental oh so many moons ago.
     
  13. Mayflower

    Mayflower Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,459
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Use a 9 volt, preferably one that is not so fresh. Put the positive side to the tip of your speaker cable or the positive lead ( usually marked red ) that goes to the speaker ( If you are checking one speaker only ). Negative to the opposite ( sleeve on 1/4 in. ). Your speaker should move OUT. In a multiple speaker cabinet, make sure they are all going outwards. If not, rewire the one speaker that is going in.
    In a sound system ( on the job only ) check the phasing right at speaker cable right where it goes into the amp. If it is out of phase, just flip the bananna plug. If it is 1/4 in. you will need to rewire it.
    Really, the best thing is to start at the speakers and work your way backward ( guitar cabinet and PA speakers ) to make sure everything is right! This should be done off the gig to make sure EVERYTHING is right when you get there. If you are like me, I hate to pull everything out of the trailer ahead of time, therefore I am usually rewiring on the job!
    Sorry, I know this is not so clear in my explanation. But I hope it helps.
     
  14. MeadowLane

    MeadowLane Guest

    Hey, I found the Weber California's at the Weber site and they offer an Alnico or a Ceramic version. Claims to be a direct replacement for the JBL D120F. The ceramic also has a sound clip but it's hard to judge.

    Would the JBLs of Hendrix time have been alnico or ceramic? and what would be the big difference in tone?

    By the way www.guitargeek.com is one place that I have seen the reference to Hendrix using JBL's. I don't remember where else but I'm sure I've seen it elseware. Celestion claims that the G12H30 is heard on Hendrix tunes and they were around at that time. To me he certainly does NOT have a greenback G12M sound.

    Anyway Thanks All!! I'm digging this thread :)
     
  15. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,721
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Location:
    In the heartland of Sweden
    I'm sorry - what was the question again? :) To me the JBL is sort of the oposite of the V30 or any "british sounding" speaker, the latter having a pronounced mid. The JBL sounds almost scooped in comparison.

    Could it be you're looking for a "stiff" sounding speaker? Then you might be interested in a Fane or a Fanish sounding speaker. I once paired the Weber California (a narrow-coil take on the JBL theme) with a Weber Thames (sort of a gray-frame Fane-ish speaker) wich filled out the mids in a very nice way (hear clip at www.tedweber.com). Fanes and similar doesn't have the pronounced mid hump like Celestions.

    An even warmer sounding speaker would be the Fane AXA or clones thereof. I used to own a Weber AX12 and that speaker could be likened to a bigger brother of the Celestion Blue.

    Anyway, if you're sure you want to go the V30-ish path Weber has their own version of it too and though I haven't heard that very speaker, Webers tend to sound more polished and hifi than Celestions so that could be worth a try.
     
  16. SarasotaSlim

    SarasotaSlim Member

    Messages:
    1,401
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    St. Pete-A-Bug FLA
    Dicky has a JBL endorsement deal and probably has had it for a long time so he may have been given those K's back when they were new and just continued using them. I don't remember him having any K's but have seen quite a few E's in his rigs over the last 20 years. The K is an odd duck. Not many people admit to liking them. I've only heard one and it was in a small open back Fender and it was lacking bottom but could have been the amp.
     
  17. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,481
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    The D120F was a 50 watt speaker, the K120 a 75 watt and the E120 100 watt. The orange frame, black magnet, JBL's used by Fender in the early '70s were indeed K120's. I have a black frame K120 in my Deluxe Reverb and it sounds great to me.
     
  18. Jamie_Mitchell

    Jamie_Mitchell Member

    Messages:
    1,328
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    south of no north
    I got mine out of a SF Twin Reverb that I found in the basement of my weekly bar gig. Heavily water damaged, both speakers cones were totally destroyed. I paid $100 for the whole amp, only condition was that he needed the reverb tank. Recones are expensive, I think mine were $120 each. Good deal though still, I think.

    Did Hendrix really use D120s? I have no idea!
     
  19. sabby

    sabby Member

    Messages:
    2,110
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Boo for resurrecting a 4-year old thread for this -- on your first post.

    :facepalm
     
  20. doublee

    doublee Member

    Messages:
    4,449
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    The Hudson Valley
    Weber also offers the option of not having the aluminum cover, I had a JBL 120F recone for a while and that alum can make it pretty bright, its not a low volume speaker of much distinction, maybe loud they are the stuff....if Garcia used them then obviously there is something there. He didnt have Weber back then though....
     

Share This Page