JBL, James Bullough Lansing, who doesn’t know him? Possibly everyone knows the famous brand, if only from their popular boomboxes. But there’s more. JBL also has a hi-fi division of which the Classic L100 is probably the best known representative. For this author, it is the first “hands on” introduction to this illustrious brand and it came about because of a special edition that caught our attention. Today we have the JBL Model 4312G Control Monitor in but in the “Ghost Edition. That proverbial ghost refers to the white color that you rarely, if ever, encounter with this American manufacturer. Let’s see what exactly we are dealing with
Surely we read monitor in the brochure although the JBL 4312G GE has little or nothing in common with the bookshelfs we normally have in our room. This is a serious speaker, which unlike the norm, does not come on a normal stand but fits on its own low metal stands. You carefully place the speaker in those stands so that they radiate diagonally toward the listener.
It looks particularly cool in our white room or what would you have thought. Even more so when we take off the fronts. By the way, those may be more subtly attached but probably the idea is to stay off.
Curious as we are, we naturally want to see that famous 30 cm woofer because this large paper/pulp bass driver is the star of the show. Thankfully, that bass does not dominate. It’s surprising but more on that later.
Above that rather impressive woofer we see a 12.5 cm paper/pulp mid-driver and a 2.5 cm aluminum/magnesium tweeter. So the JBL 4312G GE is a three-way system (the specific placement of the drivers dates back to 1968!) with a crossover at 640Hz and 5kHz. This hefty monitor is 60 cm tall, 36 cm wide and 30 cm deep and weighs almost 24 kilograms. Sensitivity is a nice 90 db but to keep that woofer under control we do recommend stable watts.
The round bass port is at the front which allows placement closer to the wall. The sound box itself is rather rudimentary in appearance. No high-gloss or exotic wood veneer but a translucent layer of white to allow the texture of the wood to subtly show through. The thin MDF makes the corners look quite fragile so be careful when unpacking. At the back we see a couple more speaker connectors and that will be about it.
We, at Alpha Audio, are purists but those knobs at the top of the 4312G GE are so nice! You have one for the mids and one for the highs. Why none for the bass? In our room, we choose the maximum (10) for the highs and halfway (5) for the mids. That way we have enough detail and sparkle but voices are not too prominent. YMMV but it does have something to be able to tune your speaker a bit according to your space.
You can position the tweeters inward or outward. We chose the latter option. We have also seen them horizontally on an ordinary stand, an arrangement that is often used in professional studios