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Post new topic JBL E120 vs K120
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Author Topic:  JBL E120 vs K120
Liam Sullins


From:
Dayton, Ohio
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2020 4:57 pm    
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I have a E120 in my Showman, it sounds great but what is different between it and the K120?
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Marty Broussard


From:
Broussard, Louisiana, USA
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2020 5:40 pm    
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Watching to learn...
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"Technique is really the elimination of the unnecessary..it is a constant effort to avoid any personal impediment or obstacle to achieve the smooth flow of energy and intent" Yehudi Menuhin
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2020 7:46 pm    
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Here's a link to a discussion on the gearpage. They seem to know what they're talking about:
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/differences-between-jbl-d-120-and-e-120.98205/

I believe the main differences are the D mag is alnico while the E is ceramic and the E has more power handling capability and a stiffer cone. Sonic wise, I would guess that the D has a brighter tone. Guessing, because my experiences have been with the earlier D and K series.
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2020 8:27 pm    
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The k120 is the same as the iconic d120 except for a slight variation in the cone. Same basket and magnet. It can be reconed to d120 specs with no problem. When players talk about how there is nothing like a real JBL this the speaker they are talking about.

They are not talking about the E series. e120’s are decent speakers but will not transport you to the mythical JBL land of sonic bliss.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 14 Nov 2020 9:22 pm    
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Yeah, I linked to a discussion concerning the D rather than the K which was the subject of the topic. Sorry 'bout that.

They are very similar though. D series frames are grey or rare orange [f] while the K is black. I believe the K series can handle more power than the D.

I have had both the D and K130's in the 15 in. configuration and I really couldn't tell much difference.
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Brett Lanier

 

From:
Vermont
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2020 10:26 am    
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Bob Hoffnar wrote:
The k120 is the same as the iconic d120 except for a slight variation in the cone

I thought the voice coil gap in the magnet was slightly wider in the K series compared to the D series. Is that not true?
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Bill Hatcher

 

From:
Atlanta Ga. USA
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2020 12:44 pm    
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Brett Lanier wrote:
Bob Hoffnar wrote:
The k120 is the same as the iconic d120 except for a slight variation in the cone

I thought the voice coil gap in the magnet was slightly wider in the K series compared to the D series. Is that not true?


i know that the voice coil gap was increased in the speakers that have "F" on them....like D120F D140F etc.

harvey gerst engineered that change along with the accordion edge cone with painted with the black stuff. i would think the K was just the same basket.
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 15 Nov 2020 2:30 pm    
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I'm only speaking from what my JBL guy showed me while I was going nuts buying and selling and reconing JBL 12's a few years ago. He said that the K , D and DF series JBL 12's had the same basket and magnet so he could fit the last of his NOS recone kits for JBL D120's in any of them. Whatever he did the JBL's I had him deal with sound heavenly.
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TRAP TRULY

 

From:
Mobile , AL
Post  Posted 17 Nov 2020 12:08 pm    
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Is it correct that most of the D recones were done with E kits? If so, I wonder how the thicker cone with cloth surround of the E recone kit sounds on the alnico magnet?
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 20 Nov 2020 5:39 am    
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TRAP TRULY wrote:
Is it correct that most of the D recones were done with E kits? If so, I wonder how the thicker cone with cloth surround of the E recone kit sounds on the alnico magnet?


The recones I had done were either nos JBL or aftermarket done to D120F specs. It would be great if somebody who tried the E kit would chime in.
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Dave Grafe


From:
Cortlandt Manor NY
Post  Posted 26 Nov 2020 8:22 am    
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There are three major differences between the JBL D and E series 120 12" speakers.

1) the D and K series have alnico magnets, the E series use larger and heavier ceramics, thus the D-120 is about 14 lbs, the E-120 is almost 50% heavier at 20 lbs.

2) the original D series cone had a smooth paper surround, which was fragile enough the the "F" modification included applying a rubbery "goop" to reinforce it. This was later supplanted by a pleated paper surround, which in the K series was changed to fabric pleats, which are continued in the E series cones. The E series surround has been stiffened to increase power handling, which may be why they tend to sound more brutal in the top end at "normal" power levels. The E series cones fit the earlier magnets perfectly, but the surround design causes a notable difference in response.

3) the E series magnet has a wider gap than the D series, continuing the effort for higher maximum power levels at the expense of sonic accuracy. It also utilizes the "Field Focused Geometry" introduced with the K series, which focuses the magnetic field in a more uniform pattern around the voice coil, compensating somewhat for the wider gap.

That's what I've got 😎
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Jack Stanton

 

From:
Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Post  Posted 26 Nov 2020 9:06 am    
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I quit using the K & D series after blowing and reconing them 4 times. ( yes I know that's a 15" (130)and the conversation is about 12" (120). My Webb cam with a E series, and I liked it so much I put them in my Session 400 & Nash 400.
I currently have 2 E-120's I use in separate cabs with my little Walter and they sound great. Bob Hoffnar is right as usual- the E's aren't quite as magical as the D's and K's on the top end, but they sound like JBL's to me and I don't have to worry about pushing them.
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Pete Burak

 

From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 26 Nov 2020 9:20 am    
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The E's are great for playing extremely loud. I have two 4ohm E120's (in a 2x12) cab, that I got from Tom Brashaw a few year back. I really can't play loud enough to get them into their zone. I have to put them far away from me on an outdoor gig to get them going. I usually only plug one of them in.
Jerry Garcia often used three or four E120's for electric guitar, and you could see them moving in and out when he played at Stadium concert volume. He also used D's and K's in earlier years.
I am currently loving an 8ohm K110 I found in a local shop. I have it in a deep 1x10 cab so I can use it with various amps. That is enough volume for me these days.
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TRAP TRULY

 

From:
Mobile , AL
Post  Posted 26 Nov 2020 12:32 pm    
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Dave, I think you answered my question. I was wondering if anyone has used an E recone kit on an alnico D120F magnet. I have researched it and have found most said that the sound of the speaker was not the same with the E kit.
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