JBL L20T loudspeakers. A consumer version of their 4406 studio monitor.
Another classic loudspeaker by JBL that has stood the test of time. Having some great nearfield speakers in the studio are a must but I find myself going to these wonderful speakers to evaluate their opinion of my mix, time after time. Why?
Well, there is something special about them, and it seems I am not the only engineer with that impression.
JBL 4406 Studio Monitors
After putting together initial mixes on nearfields, I always listened to the mix through several loudspeaker systems. These monitors seem to have a very clear, precise and uncolored presentation. The tweeter (JBL’s infamous O35Ti), could be considered a bit bright but I have never been fatigued by them as I have by others. The low end of these little guys are fantastic and with a front facing port they are not that fussy about wall placement. They just sound great.
The other thing about these classics are their esthetic. Real wood veneer with seamless edges including the backs! The 15H-1 woofers have rubber surrounds and have out lasted other speakers in this series which have foam surrounds.
They are still around and show up on Ebay fairly often but a recent search came up with only a few. I have seen prices as low as 120.00 a pair, which is an incredible bargain, if in good condition. So, want an small, attractive and great sounding monitor for your studio? Get a pair before they become rare and collectable. It may already be too late!
13 thoughts on “JBL L20T Loudspeakers”
selling mine on ebay [unless you want them!]. Your article was quite helpful to me in writing my description!
Glad the post was helpful! They are great loudspeakers and I hope they go to someone who can appreciate there great performance. Good luck with the auction!
Thanks for the write up! I recently found three pair at a local Salvation Army…2 pair of L20 t3 (rear bass port) And one L 20T…All perfect working condition. Around 25 bucks a pair. These little things are amazing! I could not be happier with them.
Glad the post was helpful. Sounds like you made a great find on the JBL’s. It is nice that they can still be found as bargains considering how well they can still reproduce audio! Keep checking that Salvation Army store!!
The TOP picture on this page is of a pair of JBL 18Ti speakers. The SECOND picture is of the lesser valuable/quality L-20T speakers. There’s a huge difference between the two qualities in many respects – some can be seen, and most cannot. Please don’t confuse the two.
Hey SS, thanks for the post. You are correct about the first photo being the 18Ti series. I would however disagree that there is a “huge” difference between the models. Physically, The 18Ti has a more handsome cabinet veneer, but the backs are not veneered like the L20T, which is very nice when stand mounted. Although the tweeter manufacturer number is different in the two models, the only real world difference is the mounting and lead wires of the drivers. The dividing networks are different on these two models, as well as the 4406 (sold as studio version). Having worked around them all, in my opinion, they are very similar in audio performance with the 4406 having the more unique voice among the three.
Other than the veneer being walnut of the L-20T, and the 18Ti having more resonance stability with Teak veneer and thicker cabinet walls, and corner bracing, and that the .044 could better withstand the G-Forces of cymbal crashes, etc., and the fact that of the three, only the 18Ti CAN HANDLE up to 200wpc, these were just a few of the reasons why the 18Ti speakers were far better and more expensive. As to the many other “betterments” of the 18Ti speakers versus the 20T speakers, we’re going to have to agree to disagree.
However, my whole purpose in writing in the first instance was merely to point out that since this Blog was about the 20T speakers, that an incorrect picture was used, and that may have caused confustion to those who noticed or the uninitiated who may think that the 18Ti and 20T are the same or have very little differences, if any. I’m a huge fan of the Ti series of speakers, owning many of each type in the series, and I guess I become just a little “protective.”
Thanks for your opinions! Your site is very nice, indeed!
P.S. The JBL 4406A was the studio version – – the 4406 was the home version. The 4406A has the .052 tweeter, a better cab build, and has no need of the “consumer” sound adjustments as do the 4406 home speakers. Again the “A” version handles greater G-Forces.
Hi SS, Thanks for your reply. The intent of the post was to alert those interested in any of the three versions of this design, and that they were great speakers which can still be found at reasonable prices. I purposely showed the three versions of this similar design to show they existed. The L20t being the best value for the buck, I used it for my primary example. It really wasn’t a comparison piece about the differences they have. Any of the three are very good loudspeakers.
You are absolutely correct about the difference between the models and apparently are very fond of (and yes, as you stated, maybe a little protective of) the 18Ti. I appreciate you alerting others to what you feel are the attributes of the 18Ti. You are however getting into some real subjective and esoteric areas (veneer species, g- forces in tweeters) about construction differences, which wasn’t the intent with my post. That’s a whole different conversation! From an engineering stand point and having experienced both (L20T, 18ti) speakers in studio use as audio monitors for both mixing and mastering, their sonic performance were very much equal. I was aware that 4406 came in the two versions but again, a great monitor either way one would chose.
Thanks again for your input. Enjoy your JBL 18ti’s!
Oh, JBL called it a “Studio Monitor” for sales/consumer reasons. It sounds more “professional” to the consumer. The “A” version was actually the model meant to be used in the studio, among many other models.
I have an ugly GW refugee pair of 4406’s in the garage. Look like hell, sound like heaven. I get many compliments on the clarity, I can stand there for hours just listening…ask my wife, she thinks me weird.
The 4406’s are a great monitor. Nice that you saved them from their “refugee” status! Looks are a lot less important than how they sound..so good for you. Compared to todays Bluetooth world of convenience speakers, these are miles above. Enjoy….plenty of folks out there that get it, your not weird brother…you just know good sound when you hear it!
Does anyone happen to know the Thiele/Small parameters for the woofers? Their stock # is 115H-1 but online searches have come up empty.
Michael, Apologizes for the late post. I have also looked for this information with no luck. These were a very popular woofer in the day and I have to believe that JBL must have that information. It might be a wild goose chase, but worth checking with JBL tech department.