Specifications for the JBL D130

by Matt Gerrard

JBL's D130 was a stand-alone speaker produced by the company from 1948 onward. Though there have been numerous edits and updates to it, it still remains part of the range today, renamed the E130. Initially designed as a low frequency speaker, as the frequency range of audio equipment increased, the D130 landed in the middle and became popular as an "all-purpose" loudspeaker.

Construction

The D130 was one of the first loudspeakers to feature an aluminum diaphragm, as opposed to the plastic dust caps that adorned its competitors. A cast aluminum frame supports the 15-inch cone, and a rubber gasket seals around the edge, to prevent the ingress of dust into the voice coil. The magnet for the voice coil is magnetically shielded from interference inside a solid field case.

Voice Coil

The coil of the D130 was another innovation when first released. It is 4 inches wide, and although this large size is fairly common now, it was unheard of at the time. Lansing used a flat metal ribbon instead of coiled fine wire to produce a coil with an unparalleled size-to-power ratio. The design used the natural shape of the magnetic field more efficiently, enabling the generation of more power, with less material. This design also dissipates heat and energy more evenly, reducing the chance of breakages and extending the life of the cone.

Variants

Though JBL manufactured the D130 largely unchanged throughout its production history, an alternate version was produced, specifically for use in guitar amplifiers. It was designated the D130F, the speaker was produced specifically at the request of Leo Fender. The D130F was identical to the D130, but had a 12-inch cone, rather than 15.

Wattage and Impedance

The first D130 was rated at 20 watts, with an impedance of 15 Ohms. As the popularity of the speaker increased, versions were produced in 25-, 30- and 100-watt versions, to increase compatibility with a broader variety of equipment.

About the Author

Matt Gerrard began writing in 2002, initially contributing articles about college student culture to "The Gateway" magazine, many of which were republished on the now-defunct Plinth blog. Since then, Gerrard has worked as a technician for musicians, educators, chemists and engineers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in music technology from DeMontfort University.