JBL L5s - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-12-2014, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
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JBL L5s

Hi all!

I just bought a pair of like-new condition JBL L5 floorstanding speakers off Craigslist for ~$300. I have now completed my home theatre upgrade, which consists of:

Fronts: JBL L5 (~$300 used for the pair)
Centre: JBL S-Center II ($50 used)
Subwoofers: MartinLogan Dynamo 300, Cadence CSX-12 MKII ($100 for the ML, $200 for the Cadence, both purchased as new)
Surrounds: JBL L1 ($20 used)
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V675 ($350 refurbished)
TV: Vizio E550i-B2 ($699 new)

I really couldn't be more happy, as the entire system cost me $1,700 in total, much of which I recouped from the sale of my old system, which focused more on compactness than audio quality. I am now of the opinion that having big speakers offers many benefits when the budget is limited.

The L5s sound almost exactly like the L1s, which makes sense given their similar construction, but they fill out the midrange and low end noticeably better. (Not that I had a gap in that range, given that I set the crossover for the MartinLogan relatively high [120hz] because the 8" woofer is great for midrange punch and not-so-great for low end thump [that's what the Cadence is forβ€” I set the crossover at 80hz for that subwoofer.])

The whole purpose of this thread is to stress that these JBL L5s rock. They sound very similar to many $1,000+ speakers on the market right now, and I really do prefer their energetic, forward sound signatures to many popular speakers such as B&Ws or ML Motions. If you find a pair and like the sound signature, get 'em! It would take some serious blind testing to tell the difference between these vintage speakers and many of those $1,000 floorstanding speakers mentioned on this forum, in my opinion. And in my opinion, if you need to blind test to justify spending much more $ on a sound system, then you probably should save the cash for alcohol and drugs.

Also, thanks for all the collective advice from this forum! Every time my friends come over to watch movies/TV, they complement my system and then try to steal the components while I'm peeing. I couldn't have done it without you all. Hopefully my upgrade 'bug' will be satisfied until I get a major raise at work.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-12-2014, 11:44 PM
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That later 90's L series is probably the best JBL mid priced consumer line until the more recent Studio 5 series, and may even equal those or surpass them in some cases. I had a chance to pick up some L7's for $300 but forgot I was logged into an email address I rarely use or check. The seller on CL accepted the offer, but I didn't notice it for at least a week and by then they were gone.

I wanted to kick myself in the sack for that. I have however been completely thrilled with my recent JBL Studio 530's which I find considerably better than my JBL L80t's.

The only down side to the L1-7 is that they use a funky woofer surround that is not available that I'm aware of. As long as they are intact it's not a problem.

Last edited by 89grand; 08-12-2014 at 11:48 PM.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-13-2014, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Dammit, I just bought an LC2 centre speaker off eBay for $250. I figured I'd see if I could get a big performance bump over the S-Center II, and if I didn't, I can always sell the LC2 for a profit at the price I bought it for.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-13-2014, 07:21 PM
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Still rocking with the JBL L7 speakers as left/right surrounds. They used to be my main speakers when I had a 5.x setup. I thought about selling them once or twice but Definitive Technology doesn't make decent direct-radiating speakers that match the power handling of the L7s and they aren't bad at blending in with the DefTech stuff.
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