JBL XPL200A, Custom Risers, Superior Performance
JBL, or James B. Lansing, Inc., is a brand that has become synonymous with high powered sound systems. From the company's earliest days in the 1930s to the evolution of studio sound systems that permeated the last 6 decades; JBL has been a source of exceptional sound for generations of musicians, studio engineers, fans, and audiophiles across the globe.
Some time around 1989, JBL as a company had a "hold my beer" moment with the evolution and release of the XPL series of components. The line included a compact XPL90 bookshelf speaker, two mid-sized models - the XPL140 and 160, and the top-of-the-line XPL200 floor stander. The challenge at the time was to build the best speakers in the world. Full stop. And the engineers at JBL responded to the challenge with a true 4-way loudspeaker capable of handling gobs of power, while simultaneously delivering gobs of clean unfettered output.
The XPL200A is a slightly later version of the original, designed with some minor crossover tweaks to allow the speaker to perform similarly in both "passive" mode (using its own on-board crossover networks), or in "active" mode using JBL's optional DX-1 Active Crossover. The XPL200A was available in gloss white or black finishes in the US. The driver compliment consists of the company's signature titanium dome tweeter (046ti), a massive 3" titanium dome midrange (093ti), 6.5" poly cone mid-bass (115H), and their recognizable workhorse 12" paper pulp woofer (2214H). The combination is packaged in tall, solid, resonant-free, composite and wood cabinet with stepped and acoustically treated front baffle, trapezoidal sides, and mirror-imaged driver placement. JBL threw nearly every speaker designer's trick in the book at these speakers; just to prove they could.
The results are amazing. These speakers play as well with quiet passages as they do with whomping, raucous ones. The titanium drivers can be delicate and in a split-second whip your head around with brute force and dynamics. The mid-woofer coupling is perfect, and the low-end impact of JBL's ubiquitous 12" beast of a driver - possibly one of the best ever made in the industry - is reminiscent of when Lamborghini placed a 12-cylinder tractor engine in a sports car.
Full disclosure, this pair of XPL200A have some cosmetic damage to the cabinet rears - some scars from careless moving company or maybe a bad divorce. But the drivers are perfect in both sound and presentation. The most recent owner was also nice enough to devise a set of correctly designed rolling stands that tilt the speakers at the exact 4-degree angle recommended in the owner's manual. These custom risers are included with the sale.
As always, demos are encouraged in Lawrence, MA. Prepare to be blown away.
$1,699 (plus applicable sales tax)
*Note, conventional shipping is not available for these speakers. They are simply too large and heavy. Enquire about freight or custom delivery options.