JBL just announced new bookshelf speakers that look iconic and vintage — and you might actually be able to afford them. The all-new L52 Classic have the same walnut wood veneer enclosure and striking foam grille (available in black, blue or orange) as the company's $2,500 L82 Classic, but they cost significantly less. You'll be able to purchase a pair for just $1,000.
The main reason the L52 Classic are so much cheaper is size. They are smaller (or "scaled-down," according to the company) versions of the L82 Classic. Each L82 Classic weighs roughly 14 pounds and stands 18-inches tall, while each L52 Classic weighs 11 pounds each and standing 13-inches tall.
The nice thing about this size difference is that it means that the L52 Classic are small enough to actually fit on your bookshelf, while the L82 Classic most definitely can't. In fact, the L82 Classic are so big that they need to be paired with JBL's expensive companion stands (which cost $250) to sound their best. The L52 Classic, on the other hand, are small enough to fit on the speaker stands you already have.
As for sound quality, the L52 Classic won't deliver the same grandiose sound as the much larger L82 Classic, but they still should be plenty big for most rooms. Each L52 Classic has a similar two-way design, with an 0.75-inch titanium dome tweeter, a 5.25-inch white cone woofer and a front-firing tuned bass-reflex port. The L52 Classic should work with most amplifiers as they aren't nearly as power hungry as their larger siblings.
If you're smitten by L52 Classic and are interested in buying them, you'll have to wait. According to the company, they'll go on sale sometime this fall but before the holidays.