JBL 4429 vintage speaker
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JBL 4429 – A Monitoring Artifact

JBL4429 is a well-known monitor speaker. It is widespread to use monitor speakers as Hi-Fi speakers in the audio industry. Although monitor speakers have direct characteristics, their accuracy and dynamic range can reproduce more details and create more vibrant colours, but they sound more vivid than ordinary Hi-Fi speakers. Therefore, many excellent professional monitor speakers are used as Hi-Fi speakers. JBL speakers have a large number of lovers in the Hi-Fi industry, especially Japanese users who believe in this brand. The position of JBL in global audio enthusiasts is beyond imagination.

JBL 4429

Mr Lansing designed JBL since 1927. He later joined the American West Electric Company, a significant number of famous Altec horn speakers were born at that time. Then, Lansing established his own company JBL, which has always been recognised in professional audio and home audio. For the history of JBL, people in the audio industry are already familiar with it, no need to repeat. But for audio enthusiasts who are just getting started, how to explain how famous JBL is. Simply put, owning the JBL speaker brand will definitely make you have a face in front of your friends.

The JBL 4400 series has already excited HiFi enthusiasts. The earliest model of the JBL 4400 series is JBL 4425. In 1998, there was an improved model JBL 4425 MK2, which ranked first in the sales volume of 300,000 to 500,000 yen in Japan. The design of the JBL 4425 was very successful. Twenty years later, JBL launched the new 4428, which added a super high-pitched sound, which increased the high frequency from 16kHz to 40kHz. The sound of the JBL 4428 is more detailed and closer to the Hi-Fi speaker style.

The JBL 4429 is a new model that has just been launched. It is an improved version of the JBL 4428. The volume and shape of the JBL 4429 cabinet are almost the same as the JBL 4428. The internal design also follows the technology of the JBL 4428. The woofer has not changed. This unit used to be the most vigorous 12-inch bass in JBL history. The difference is that both the treble horn and the super treble horn have been upgraded. The midrange unit model is the newly developed 175ND-3, which replaces the JBL 4428’s 175ND-2. The tweeter is 138ND, which is increased to 45kHz. The frequency division point is also changed from 900Hz and 7kHz to 800Hz and 7kHz, and the impedance is changed from 8Ω to 6Ω. The sensitivity remains at 91dB.

  • 1200FE-8 Low-Frequency Transducer
    Featuring a 300mm (12-inch) pure-pulp cone woofer and large-aperture ferrite magnet and edge-wound aluminium voice-coil assembly, the 1200FE-8 driver delivers impressively deep, visceral bass that will not degrade at any volume level.
  • 175Nd-3 High-Frequency Compression Driver
    With a 50mm (1-3/4-inch) pure-titanium diaphragm, the 175Nd-3 compression driver produces extremely accurate midrange to high-frequency performance with minimal distortion and power compression for explosively realistic dynamics at all listening levels.
  • 138Nd Ultrahigh-Frequency Compression Driver
    A 19mm (3/4-inch) pure-titanium diaphragm produces realistic dynamics far beyond the range of human hearing, with ultrasmooth response that is ideal for SACD™ and other high-resolution audio formats.
  • SonoGlass HF and UHF Horns
    Dense, mechanically inert high- and ultrahigh-frequency horns with extremely precise Bi-Radial horn flares eliminate horn resonances for clear, distortion-free sound.

In terms of crossover design, the JBL 4429 has designed high-frequency and ultra-high frequency gain and attenuation adjustment. The listener can adjust the balance according to the overall characteristics of the system and the acoustic characteristics of the listening room. During the audition, the ultra-high The tuning knob is set at 12 o’clock, and the middle and high is set at 2 o’clock to get the best balance. Of course, as the use time increases, the unit damping will change slightly, and you can fine-tune it to get the best state.

JBL 4429 has better resolution than JBL 4428 I have heard before and can show more musical details. Especially after the super treble is improved, the gain and attenuation are adjusted to appropriate positions to obtain rich treble details. Listening to Rossini’s string quartet, you will hear rich string harmonics. Although the timbre is not as sweet and warm as the British speakers, the rich details restore the music to a more vivid and live atmosphere.

In terms of bass, the 4429 nominal -6dB can dive to 38Hz. As a high-sensitivity 12-inch unit, this indicator is already good. The most powerful bass is usually around 50Hz, and further down is the extension feature. As long as the extension feature is outstanding, it will feel deep. 4429 shows good elasticity here, not only the low-frequency level is precise, but also the high-frequency and high-frequency also show proper positioning and sense of space.

Finally, let’s take a look at the mid-frequency, which is the most critical part of the speaker. The speaker design is a holistic solution. The problem of any frequency band will affect other frequency bands or the overall frequency response. Testing the intermediate frequency is actually testing whether its overall design is in place. The mid-frequency characteristics of JBL monitor series speakers are loose and thick, and the rich reproduction of details makes the frequency rich and full, the scene is grand, and the space is rich. The 4429 still inherits this tradition, and the 12-inch unit creates a wide, natural and relaxed sound.

JBL is the number one manufacturer in the world and the originator of horn speakers. Due to the complex radiation characteristics of the horn, it is difficult to make the frequency response straight. In the test data of the horn speakers I have seen, JBL’s K2 series frequency response is the best. JBL K2 series almost achieves the smoothness of ordinary speakers, which is commendable in horn speakers. JBL 4429 has adjustable treble and super treble, which can be adjusted to the ideal state. But in my experience, although the balance can be adjusted according to personal preference, the perfect state of the crossover is only one. A slight change will significantly change the frequency response. Whether it can be adjusted to the best state depends on Personal skill.

Many friends know that the sound of large-diameter woofer speakers is natural to listen to and expressive. Still, there are not many speakers with large-diameter woofer units on the market that have excellent cost performance. JBL’s 44 series have always been among them. This series of speakers is not only a recording tool for recording engineers but also the first choice for a wide range of listening to real and natural sound.


JBL 4429 Specifications

  • Low-frequency transducer: 300mm pure-pulp cone woofer 1200FE-8
  • High-frequency transducer: 50mm titanium diaphragm 175Nd-3
  • Ultrahigh-frequency transducer: 19mm titanium diaphragm 138Nd
  • Recommended amplifier power:200 watts RMS
  • Frequency response: 40Hz – 45kHz (–6dB)
  • Nominal impedance: 6 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 91dB (2.83V/1m)
  • Crossover frequencies: 800Hz, 7kHz
  • Controls: Attenuators for MF and HF drivers
  • Enclosure type: 25mm (1″)-thick MDF (medium-density fibreboard) stock, ported
  • Connector type: Dual gold-plated five-way binding posts
  • Finish: Topcoated walnut veneer
  • Grille colour: Monitor Blue
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 635mm x 400mm x
  • 300mm (25″ x 15-3/4″ x 12″)
  • Weight: 32.3kg (71 lb)