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Choosing Drivers For JBL L26 Cabinets. Complete Noob Needs Help!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello, I have a pair of JBL l26 cabinets. They are in great shape, but have no drivers, cross overs or L-pads.

I want to rebuild these but have no idea what drivers to use. I am handy enough to enlarge or add any holes. I can solder good enough to build and install a crossover.

I like listening to classic rock like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who etc.

I have a 2x15w tube amp and a modern 100w receiver. Is it possible to build these as high efficiency speakers for the tube amp? Would a waveguide be a good match for these cabs? I want to build these with strong bass. My budget for these is under $400 for the pair.

Please help me choose a good set of drivers for these cabinets. Thanks.


Maybe something like this?



post #2 of 9
You're on the right track.

The JBL 125A is a pretty decent woofer and are readily available (and usually overpriced, IMO) on that auction site. Decent bass response but not very efficient.

I think the 12" SEOS is too wide for the L26 cabinet. You could make it work but it wouldn't look right...at least to me.

The 10" EOS waveguide might fit above the existing woofer cutout. It will on the similar L36 but I think the woofer may have been mounted higher in the L26.


Here's a nice design that uses the same waveguide along with the Eminence Deltalite 2510 woofer. Not cheap but efficient.


Erich at DIYSG may have a pair of baffles cut for these as there was a plan to offer it as a kit.

Edit - I missed your budget so the above design is out. Also keep in mind that "strong bass" and "efficient" are competing objectives.
Edited by mobeer4don - 7/8/13 at 3:50pm
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I used to have the drivers for these cabinets. The problem was the system lacked any real midrange and, like you said, was woefully inefficient.

I am in the process of learning about speaker building so Im not sure if a waveguide is the right way to go for this cabinet. The post with the econowave delite 10 is actually what gave me the idea in the first place.

It looks like I could put a midrange where the tweeter used to be and cut a hole for a 1" dome tweeter. Is there a set of drivers/crossovers sold that would make for an easy first project?
post #4 of 9
For simplicity and price, you can't beat the 2pi kit.


It is a 2-way design with a dome tweeter but should be more efficient than the stock L26. Of course you will give up some bass response so the next question is about subwoofers. Got one? If not, that will be your next addition since going high efficiency means losing bass response.

The standard econowave waveguide will fit since it is 12" wide. It would look a lot like this...L36 cab

Using the "high efficiency" version of the ewave crossover and the Eminence Beta-10A or Delta-10A would get you close and should be under your budget. Now you've got me thinking about getting rid of the ewave components and dropping in the delite 10 components. rolleyes.gif

If you didn't care about the waveguide sticking out ~1/8" on each side of the baffle this would be perfect. http://www.diysoundgroup.com/waveguide-speaker-kits/karma-series-kits/karma10-kit.html
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I didn't realize the econowave would need a separate sub. I thought with a 10" woofer it would have plenty of bass. I already need a sub for my polk lsi bookshelf speakers so the whole point of this project was to build a full range speaker.

I guess I need to find something similar to the original drivers with better midrange.
post #6 of 9
Look up "Hoffman's Iron Law". Bass performance is compromise between size, efficiency, and and extension. You can only pick two. You can't get all 3.

Power is cheap relative to the old days so the usual solution is to go smaller and less efficient. Of course if you are running low power tube amps (like the old days) going big is your best option. Given that 5-8 cubic foot monkey coffins (see Cerwin-Vega D-9) are out of style, the usual solution is to go with a small, inefficient, high-powered subwoofer and pair it with a reasonably sized high-efficiency mains crossed over at somewhere between 50 and 100 Hz. Ultimately it comes down to how much space you have and how you spread the $ between amps, drivers, and cabinets.

Good luck!
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the info I read about Hoffman's Iron Law. It makes sense. I guess these cabinets are not big enough to get efficiency and extension. I love my tube amp and think I will get a pair of large klipsch in the future, or do a cornwall build after I have more building experience.

With these cabinets I would like them to sound similar to the L36. The L26 really lacks midrange. And even though they were inefficient I could play them in my bedroom using my tube amp. I am going to buy a set of monoblocks in the near future so power shouldn't be a problem.

The hole in the cab for the tweeter is pretty large. If I put a 2-3" midrange like this in the tweeter hole


Then cut a hole for a tweeter I could turn the cab into a 3 way.

What I am trying to figure out is can I get a 2 way system with a 10" woofer that doesn't need a midrange.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Bump for a 2 way or 3 way driver set suggestion
post #9 of 9
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