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JBL K151 18" vintage speakers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by oldfclefer, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    I happened across a pair of JBL K151 speakers loaded in custom cabinets and used as "bass dumps" or subwoofers in a P.A.
    I bought the pair of cabs thinking they were EV loaded like the rest of the P.A. Turns out this pair has these JBLs in it.

    The JBL site directed me to a "vintage" site when I searched the model number. In there is a 1976 sales brochure for the K series speaker line. In that brochure, it lists the primary purpose for the K151 300watt driver as being bass guitar and organ.

    Everything I've read about this speaker has been really complementary.
    Does anybody know anything about the JBL K151 18" speaker?
  2. It is the predecessor to the E155, which is also now extinct.

    The older K151 is a somewhat different animal than the E155. I have both in my spread sheet. The JBL replacement data sheet says there is no acoustic equivalent to the K151 (or E155). Both are unique.

    E155 can be reconed for $211 and the K151 for $230, by Orange County Speaker Repair. This puts you into the price range of a new Magnum, which has a whole lot more bottom.
  3. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I've got a pair of K145s in big mid-bass bins. They are the more powerful of the two 15" K series drivers they made, so I think they're the model right below your 18"s. I like them and they are efficient, but I don't think I would chose to recone them if they blew -- too much $ and too many other good deals on speakers out there. My cabs are too big to move around easily or fit in my truck, so they mostly stay in the basement and I'm thinking about selling them, but then I won't have any big sub cabs . . . :crying:
  4. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    Thanks for the info guys. I'm going to load one of these into another cab and use it in my rig to see what happens. I'll let you know how it sounds for bass.
  5. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I love the old JBL K seies. I also use a pair of 145's.
  6. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Nice punchy sounding for an 18....you only need a tweeter if you want to give it a more "modern" edge.....Sounds great for bass. Enjoy them.
  7. I blew my K-130 a while ago. Should I get a 30 year-old speaker reconed or are there better 15's available now that would drop right in where the old k was? Thx.
  8. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    By all means get it reconed, there is no sound quite like an AlNiCo JBl, the new Ceramic or NEO speakers will sound lifeless and dead after an old JBL, .....If you still want a new speaker. email me off list and we will deal.....See my Signature

    You can get your K-130 reconed as a 130 or a 140 , there are a half dozen places on the net that do reconing, the best price by far is $70.00, I'll have to research again who that is. They use aftermarket parts...I have 4 or 5 speakers reconed with aftermarket and they kick butt.
  9. My bad, I just looked & it's an 8o k140 15". I'll pm for that great recone deal. Thx. :hyper:
  10. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    There isn't a 15 on the market today that has the natural sweetness of your 145's. Not reconing them would be a real waste. Once you hear one of these in a proper bass guitar cab you won't even think about Celestion or Emminence

    Those 145's would love a 4 to 4.5 cubic foot cab with about 25 " of 6 inch deep port area. That almost exactly describes the Eden D115/D115T. I have one with a 145 installed and it just rocks! I run it full range or bi-amped below a BE 2x10.

    These drivers are sensitive and want 150 watts of clean power. With that, they'll rock the house but more than that and they melt. Makes them a perfect candidate for older vintage heads (Bassman 100, Dual Showman, V4B, Acoustic 450, Music Man HD 130, etc ...)

    I have a number of other orphan'ed 1 x 15 cabs loaded with JBL's but so far the Eden seems to be the best fit for a 145. I'm about to clone that cab for a bunch of other 140's, 2225's and 145's I have lying about. My speaker closet is beginning to look like the elephant's graveyard of 15" JBL's (and 12 " Altec's) ...

    To be sure there are better drivers out there is you're in a high volume 5 string environment. The 140/145 drops like a stone at 40 but for most everything else they are truly wonderful.
  11. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    Or an 18 or a 12 or a 10 either. JBL, especially the AlNiCo models, (D and K series 110,120,130,140,145,151) are simply the best sounding most accurate speakers available, no one else's do it like a JBL.

    If you do a little research you will find lots of reconers out there, some use aftermarket parts (which to my ears sound the same as the factory parts) which are less expensive and others use factory parts. The secret to a JBL is putting it in the correctly tuned cabinet. In the wrong cabinet it sound good but will blow up quickly.
    Unlike the others (Celestion, Emminence etc...) which don't sound good in the first place, the cabinet makes little difference. And even when those others ARE in a correctly tuned cabinet they STILL don't sound good, it is tough to polish a turd.

    The only speaker that I have heard that even comes close to JBL is the older cast frame PAS.

    Before you Celestion and Emminence lovers get all bent outa shape you owe it to yourself to gig with a JBL, but have your check book at the ready because you will not want to part with it at the end of the night.

    See my signature.... :hyper:
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Can I hear an amen!

    For west coaster's www.speakerreconing.com (Brownell Sound, Portland, OR) is a great reconer. They run $120 for the aftermarket recone which is a bit pricier than most but - they do a superb job. A big part of the aftermarket vs OEM reconing discussion misses the most important factor - the quality of the install ... The Brownell guys do it perfectly. I own original un-reconed, reconed with OEM kit and aftermarket kit. I'll be darned if I can hear a difference in any of them once they are burned it ...
  13. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Well, I wasn't planning on blowing them :)

    My application is in a PA sub cab, so I am tempted by the high power ratings of newer speakers. I guess I should sell them to someone who wants to use them in a bass cab and use the $ to buy more modern PA drivers.
  14. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    They get those hi power ratings by dumbing down the speaker.
    If you want 110db output you can have it either way....

    With a pair of JBL's and a 500 watt amp...............

    Or a pair of some Hi power junk with a 2000 watt amp...the choice is yours.

    Guess what the Gratefull Dead used in their "Wall of Sound"?

    I don't really have to tell you...do I???

    Check out a half dozen professional touring sound companies and see what speakers they use....You won't find an Eminence anywhere....
  15. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I guarantee you those pro sound guys are not using JBLs from 1976 in their PA.
  16. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    JBL's from 2005....
  17. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I agree totally. It's a lifetime speaker. I've been using mine for 20 + years. I had single cabs built for them to JBL spec in '92 and have played many, many a date pushing them with an all tube SVT - I've never heard any modern single 15" cabs that are even close.

    I think it's a cryin' shame that JBL today is run by bean counters when they're totally capable of making great stuff.
  18. isaac42


    Apr 13, 2003
    I know this thread is 12 years old, but has anything changed? Are there any drivers available now that are comparable to the old JBLs?
  19. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
  20. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    Feelin' lucky?

    Want to roll the dice?

    Risk taker?

    PS18-8 500W 18 Inch Woofer

    No returns. I ordered some geetar speakers and some or all are in. I'll head down to receiving later today and see if they were packed well or if at all. I needed a pair and a spare to match what was in my wife's combo. Otherwise, I would have probably thought twice before buying. See the carvin liquidation thread for opinions, I'll post facts on what I see later today if I get my hands on them.

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