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View Full Version : To clone or not to clone? 4344 vs. 4345 vs. XPL-200 Advice will be appreciated.



Amnes
01-12-2011, 10:41 AM
Hi guys.

I'm having a hard time making up a decision. I own a pair of piano black 250 Ti Jubilee in mint condition. They are good speakers, very good.

After some searching I came across the XPL-200's which are (as per opinions on this forum) highly regarded. I have a chance to acqiure a set of XPL-200's in good shape at approx. 1000 USD. The seller states the veneer needs some TLC and grills need new cloth. No biggie. It is a buy and enjoy kind of deal. To not get bored too soon I could play around a bit with active x-overs and Biamping using heavy weight amps. Maybe attempt to clone the DX-1 as it seems to me it would be one of the most desired initiatives in the JBL community.

On the other side I would love to lay my hands on a pair of big blue baffle cabinets 4344 or 4345. Unfortunately this route has one serious drawback. It would most likely be a very time consuming project not to mention the money factor (3.5-4k USD from my estimates). Cloning is my only option because Europe isn't a JBL speaker mine like the US coasts and they can cost double or triple that ammount if original with signs of use.

What would you more experienced JBL fans suggest me? My brain is telling me to buy the XPL's but I can't trust it as much as I can trust someone who has actually had a chance to compare the two.

Please leave me 0.02 $ each if you have an opinion.

Maciek.

4313B
01-12-2011, 10:54 AM
I have a chance to acqiure a set of XPL-200's in good shape at approx. 1000 USD.That sounds like a good cost/performance ratio to me...

Amnes
01-12-2011, 11:19 AM
The 250's cost me over twice that. Such words coming from such a knowledgeable forumer mean much to me and were exactly the advice I was searching for.

Will a M552 crossover be a suitable addition to the equasion?. I can't wait to find out.

rgrjit8
01-12-2011, 01:34 PM
I have the XPLs and the 4355 monitor.
It's not fair to compare the two. While the XPLs appear to lack for nothing when listened to alone*, you will never even know they were there when turning on the 4355s.

I have only dealer demo experience with the 4344s and the 4345s but I know they would both outperform the XPLs.

On the other hand, the XPLs have a serious advantage in pricing. At about one fourth to one sixth the price of of the blue monitors you will have a pair of speakers that outperform everything else out there at even twice your quoted price. (In my prejudicial opinion.)

The XPLs are a lot of fun to play with too, as they are bi-amp ready. I would go for them and amuse myself with different amp combinations.

BUT, if you are truly set on the big monitors, nothing less is going to satisfy your desire. So be honest with yourself about what you really want.


*Well, there IS that lame 115H mid-bass driver, but it isn't a deal breaker.

4313B
01-12-2011, 02:12 PM
*Well, there IS that lame 115H mid-bass driver, but it isn't a deal breaker.Yep. And despite its limitations it acts just like the little engine that could. ;) It's no 2122, 2123 or 2202 though...

Amnes
01-12-2011, 02:52 PM
I guess I'm going to snatch those XPL's and start gradually collecting drivers for the 43XX's. That way I will not be under pressure to finish the speakers asap with negative effect on the finish. Accuracy takes time and thought. I also might be able to track down some bargains instead of collecting whatever shows up on epay. The additional experience with active xovers will also be a spot on skill when finally in possesion of BigBlueBaffle.

From your words I understand the difference is somthing like really accurate and good sounding speakers vs. wall of sound very high efficiency simply amazing jawdropping droolproductive speakers correct?

In my opinion good and very good design speakers must be highly efficient, otherwise lack of lightness during sound reproduction. JBL's signature value for me.

Thanks again for the input! I will not hesitate to brag when the deal is sealed.

HCSGuy
01-12-2011, 07:53 PM
I guess I'm the sole dissenter? I'm not sure why you're wasting your time with the XPL's - I can't think of one way they're better than your jubilees, but they have similar enough tonal character that after the novelty wears off, they'll sit in the closet until you find someone else to pawn them off to. A 43xx monitor, though, is like having a 2nd girlfriend in another town - who really likes to party! You can't live with her all the time, but when you want to let loose, she's the one you think of. When you get tired of the jubilees (relative) neutrality, you can crank your monitors and feel the undistorted bass until you ears hurt, then you feel a little guilty at the abuse you've subjected them to. I don't love the monitors, but little else does what they do.

BTW, I'm not knocking the XPL's - I have a set and love them, they're just not different enough to be exciting when you already have the Jubilee's.

That's my .02

Robh3606
01-13-2011, 09:12 AM
Hello Maciek

Well I have built clones of both the XPL-200's and the 4344's. As a matter of fact the 4344's are up right now in my 2 channel system. They are different animals and both good in their own strengths. Several years ago I did comparison between them. I had the 4344's biamped with an M552 and the XPL'S running in non biamp mode. It was a lot of fun. The XPL's won on the top end with the 093ti and in my case 050 gold tweeters. The 4344's on the low end with the 2122 and 2235. To my surprise on axis they sounded very similar. Off axis the XPL's were smoother with a more uniform sound field. Hard to go wrong with either one.

Rob:)

Amnes
01-13-2011, 09:20 AM
HCSGuy:

That's the whole problem with me. I kinda know the XPL's are not going to be a whole lot different. But having in mind the 1 year+ project thingy is huge a cost of lost chances not to mention about 3k USD of frozen cash and time spent. There isn't going to be a lot of listening during the time of build frankly none at all. The girlfriend part and sound description makes me wonder if I'm really interested in such experiences. After all I go to parties with hair raising Db levels of bass (I use pro stoppers). I'm more interested in quiet listening without the normal disadvantages which come with such use of most speakers. I wan't full range jbl "flat" response at low levels db.

On the other hand cranckin id up would be inevitable. Why not give the whole neighbourhood an exquisite oportunity of listening to the finest of UK-hard dance, UK-tech trance and grave low sinus from a selection of nasty techno tracks?

I guess I have to make more money to buy more speakers and to not have to choose between them.

Robh3606:

Again valuable information.

4313B
01-13-2011, 09:26 AM
I guess I have to make more money to buy more speakers and to not have to choose between them.There you go! :rotfl:

Titanium Dome
01-14-2011, 05:17 PM
Good luck with that theory. I could never get it to work. I always want something else, but I don't want to part with what I have because I like them so much. So I just accumulate more and more. :banghead:

Titanium Dome
01-14-2011, 05:23 PM
I will write this, though, in my experience it's a lot easier to get three pairs of consumer speakers (like XPL200As, L250s, and K2s) in the house than two pairs of coffins (4435s and 4345s for example). Those big boys stick out like a sore thumb, and your housemate (wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever) will go :eek:

richluvsound
01-15-2011, 02:36 AM
Just my opinion ......

First , what do you want from your speaker ?

4345 is a brilliant speaker . Bi-amped with the new CC networks , top drawer crossover and tons of room
and you can be in heaven. You really need to hear them ... the horn is the weakest link as as stock.

TAD 2002 or the large format JBL s added is a huge and worthwhile up-grade . Put 10k Euro in pocket and watch it melt away .

Now , 4435 is a brilliant speaker too .... CC the networks , pull the crusty 2425 or 6 . Put in a Tad 2001 or wait for the Truextent 1 inch phrams .

I sold 4435 when I got 4345 , I regret it , still do. Even though Im happy with what I have now ,I do regret not playing with 4435 for longer and seeing what I could squeeze out of them . If I ever find another pair and have the money Ill buy another pair .

The XPL 200 is a different HIFI beast ... dont know it.... and no burning desire to either .

My advice is to build something . Although re-sale is tough , the value is in the fun and the feeling of achievement .

All of us that have gone the DIY route can attest to buzz diy gives you ....

Just my opinion , Rich

Amnes
01-16-2011, 08:32 AM
Lots to think about. Now I can't make up my mind weather to buy the 200's or not. What is shure I will be building some clones but with no deadline. There is only one big problem for me which is what drivers to gather. As many A-Z 43XX diy projects on this forum are I still can't find/decide on a specific project. I know there are as many opinions as people but let me help you help me decide.

As much as I would like a 2245 in the cabs it will be pretty impossible/costly to get it to Europe regardless weather the chassis was sourced locally and recones came in from the US or completely from the US. That pretty much leaves me with 2235's. I guess that is the easiest decision to make. I have a source for a 2123 so the midbass is also done. 2405's or 077's aren't too hard to get a hold of. Which leaves me with the horn/driver combo decision. I do not have anything against the old designs which would keep me close to the original speaker set up. But it is mentioned here and there there are better drivers to choose upon. So what is the optimal cost/availability combo on that frequency response range? And my final concern is having you knowledgable people keep in mind while helping me decide and pursue my goal: I will not be cabable of any network redesigning on my own. No not any at all. I will find it challenging to build a ready design let alone make tweaks to it. Apart of turning l-pads of course:D. Should I stick to the 2420/2425 2307/2307 or seek somthing different. And which crossover design availible on this forum is my best shot.

Woodwork I will have to handle somehow and it will not be nearly stressful for me as gahtering proper drivers and picking/building the crossovers.

Thanks, Maciek.

Uncle Paul
01-16-2011, 09:03 AM
I suggest using 4313b's 4345 thread here (http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?27199-DIY-quot-4345-quot-Project) as inspiration. Scale the cab to 4344/2235 volume and keep everything else the same, including the biamp only 4355 network, since you are planning on using 2123's. That's about as much as I think you can get out of a 4344 type design, with the exception of upgrading to beryllium dia's and adjusting the network accordingly.

Guido
01-16-2011, 10:38 AM
That's not right

Why don't you ask your forum friends?

A fresh recone 2245 (2240 core) isn't much more expensive than a fresh recone 2235 (2225 core) when bought in Germany. The C8R2235 price went through the roof last year.
As soon as you start bargaining and sending baskets or cone kits from USA to Europe you start to loose money. Shipping, damage, custom, V.A.T. etc. etc. But try it if you need some exitement.
You don't get cone kits in the states anyway :(

Contact me if you need help.


As much as I would like a 2245 in the cabs it will be pretty impossible/costly to get it to Europe regardless weather the chassis was sourced locally and recones came in from the US or completely from the US.
Thanks, Maciek.

Amnes
01-16-2011, 11:51 AM
Uncle Paul:

Why would I want to take the effort of scaling down the cabs when there is great 4344 cabinet documentation? I'm quite familiar with the thread you linked but there is no final precise x-over information as 4313b sold on the speakers befor completing the 2123 tailored x-overs. And I would not be happy to invest a lot of $$ and end up with somthing that is big heavy expensive but just doesn't get the job done as good as it is capable of. Or am I missing somthing?

Guido you seem to say nothing but the truth.

HCSGuy
01-16-2011, 12:05 PM
OK, let's look at your options. As you already have 250Ti Jubilee's, you've kind of conquered the 80's/90's direct radiator type JBL Speaker - as we have discussed, XPL's won't take you anywhere you haven't already been. Here are some other branches of the JBL tree you may consider
1. TheTiK series - Ti2k - Ti10k - direct radiator speakers like your jubilees, but with much more modern drivers - the tweeter especially is superior to what you have. Look for a pair of Ti2K's to play with, you may be impressed, $ outlay is not too horrible, though along with that the resale desirability isn't huge, so make sure you don't overpay. Also, parts are still available for repairs :)
2. A modern speaker - find some place to listen to Array's, or haunt the used market for them. They're different enough to be interesting, and good enough to be appealing.
3. The vintage horn thing - 43xx/44xx monitor - use a pre-engineered crossover (from here or copy a stock one to start). Start really simple and modify from there, maybe build something you can get parts for easily, then modify from there - build a 4343 or 4344 sized cabinet for 2235's with a removable front baffle, get something working that is an established design, then modify from there. 43xx/44xx monitors are a hobby, not an end result; you will always be tweaking them as there are so many changes you can make.

Anyway, here are 3 ways to spend your money, all of which I think would be fun. Good luck.

MikeBrewster77
01-16-2011, 12:19 PM
OK, let's look at your options...

Well, if we're talking options now, I've got to make a plug for the Performance Series. For about $500 more (maybe less if you're patient) than you're going to pay for the XPL's you can get two brand new PT800's. Assuming you have a sub laying around somewhere, cross them high, and be done with the whole thing. You get new speakers with amazing drivers at only a couple hundred more than what you'd spend on used gear.

Just another thought to confuse you more... ;) :p

macaroonie
01-16-2011, 12:32 PM
Keep your eyes open in Denmark and Norway , those boys are mad for the big blues. Good drive units come up quite often too.
Good luck with your project and make sure you have a read at what my mate Rich has done in the past with restoration and also build from scratch. He is a very talented boy.

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?18086-JBL-4333a

This is the kind of thing those pesky Danes have on their secret auction sites ....

http://www.dba.dk/jbl-4435-legendariske-jbl/id-71028801/

also a nice wee bargain pair of compact blues

http://www.dba.dk/jbl-4313-b-control-monitor/id-70677090/

Amnes
01-16-2011, 12:32 PM
Small brand new JBL's do not interest me. The arrays are not somthing one could even get to see here so listening or buying is not an option. Newer from mine Ti's look like umm... well they don't appeal my eye.

43XX's seem to be a long project. I've never attempted such a big diy topic yet and it seems that it will be a long road. But forums like this always get me astonished with the sheer amount of free and good advice when one is too dumb to do somthing on his own.

I'm really torn now. how bout some milk eh?

richluvsound
01-16-2011, 02:21 PM
Hey mac,

hope your well mate .


looks like we have some fresh European blood :D

Rich

Ps .... these are mine .... they were . :( Cheeky Sod !

Uncle Paul
01-16-2011, 02:45 PM
Uncle Paul:

Why would I want to take the effort of scaling down the cabs when there is great 4344 cabinet documentation? I'm quite familiar with the thread you linked but there is no final precise x-over information as 4313b sold on the speakers befor completing the 2123 tailored x-overs. And I would not be happy to invest a lot of $$ and end up with somthing that is big heavy expensive but just doesn't get the job done as good as it is capable of. Or am I missing somthing?

Guido you seem to say nothing but the truth.

I meant scaling down from 4345 cabs as in 4341B's thread to a 4344 size cabinet - please note I said to scale down to 4344/2235 dimensions. The 4355 network is here (http://www.jblproservice.com/pdf/Studio%20Monitor%20Series/4355.pdf). I agree with others that the 2245 is preferred as long as you can deal with the much larger cabs.

4313B
01-16-2011, 02:52 PM
Or am I missing somthing?I ended up using my 4355 equivalent network... I spent many years with the 43xx's and came to the conclusion that my particular build wouldn't suffer from excessive padding. I wanted the ten-inch three-way to be as sensitive as possible. It ended up quite dynamic. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

I stand by my original suggestion to pick up the XPL's. You seem real hesitant to take on a 43xx project. Worst case you could put the XPL top end with a 4344 bottom end at some point and have a pretty nice system.

Titanium Dome
01-16-2011, 03:08 PM
Hey mac,

hope your well mate .


looks like we have some fresh European blood :D

Rich

Ps .... these are mine .... they were . :( Cheeky Sod !

Hey, Rich, thanks for posting those photos again. I knew I'd seen someone putting some big boys up on blocks. I'm thinking my S/2600s might benefit from a lift, so I got a length of 4x6 to chop up and give me two height options: 3.5" or 5.5" up.

Since you did it, I know it's not crazy, eh? Well, not too crazy anyway. :p I'm gonna back 'em up with a pair of S3S subs for extra big boy sound.

Amnes

Get the XPL200 pair. Build a xover, actively bi-amp them, add a couple of 14" or 15" subs for that ass-grabbing quality on the bottom. The Ti mid and high drivers are more than capable of filling any room in your house to levels that will leave you legally deaf.

Amnes
01-16-2011, 03:15 PM
when a pair of woofs costs as much as a set of working XPL's.

I am the kind of guy that when starts a project finishes it. But I have learnt that as cool as diy and projects are it does always end up a longer road then expected. I just keep making the mistake of taking on too many time and money consuming projects at a time. Don't we all have a bunch od diy projects/spare parts/no longer used gear lying around? Albeit it being a great way to learn and achieve a goal of some sort it appears I'm not ready yet to roll out the saws and routers. I will give the idea two weeks of time to settle down in my head and see where I end up then.

macaroonie
01-16-2011, 06:36 PM
Hey mac,

hope your well mate .


looks like we have some fresh European blood :D

Rich

Ps .... these are mine .... they were . :( Cheeky Sod !

How would I know that ????

richluvsound
01-16-2011, 07:07 PM
How would I know that ????



your not the cheeky sod .... I meant the guy that took my photo from the ebay auction
;)

HCSGuy
01-16-2011, 08:20 PM
Brilliant Idea! - a 4430 or 4435. I can't believe I forgot those, as my 4430's are probably my most often listened to speaker. They're thoroughly engineered, give you the horn slam, and 4430's are available easily and affordable (at least over here). 4435's are rare - I'd love to have a pair, but am not sure I could fit them. This series is not a hobby, as there's not much you can do except re-cap the crossovers and bi-amp them with an active crossover. However, when the 1 3/4" TruExtent diaphragms come out, we should have some great crossover revisions to do that will really improve the speaker.

Look for a pair of 4430's - you can't go wrong, and they are easily resold.

4313B
01-17-2011, 07:14 AM
However, when the 1 3/4" TruExtent diaphragms come out, we should have some great crossover revisions to do that will really improve the speaker.I would think so.

Amnes
01-31-2011, 01:51 PM
I'm not quite shure why, but it certinely appears I just snatched a set of alnico 2405's. Why would I do such a thing sirs? At this point I still do not know but it might have somthing to do with 4345's.

I think the xpl's will not be able to find a buyer soon so they might be just sitting and waiting for me. Although I have found a set of ti speakers from the xpl 140's. One mid has mangled diafragm but it does NOT affect the sound as you would imagine.

So it looks like I will be cloning after all. Winter break is coming soon and I have to have somthing to do.

Titanium Dome
01-31-2011, 02:38 PM
Good luck. :)

Amnes
02-08-2011, 05:35 AM
Decisions.

When buying the first drivers for my 4345 clone I thought I knew what I need to search for in terms of midrange transducers. Well it appers I'm just more and more confused with every new information. But at least now I again think I'm on somthing just need that finishing touch from you tech guys. My whole problem surfaced when I discovered the 2123's I can have painfree ar 16ohm...

Facts are: 2405 and 2245 are rock solid in the picture. I also want the 2307/ h91 horn and 2308 lens. Now down to the questions. Bi amp only seems like the preferred driver blending option. I agree. Make it Bi ampable with an active crossover.

Now for the passive x-over, comp driver 242X and 212X. The main routes look like this to me:

1. 3145 crossover, 2425/6j, 2122h
Pros: Owning a 90%+ original performance copy
Cons: 2122h - where, for how much and after how long will I be able to get ahold of these

2. 4344 mk II - 2425/6h, 2123H
Pros: availability?, newer and higher efficiency design, nearly stock design
Cons: crossover price

3. Giskards 3155cc 2445/6(h or j?) 2311/h93 horn 2123h
Pros: newest driver selection
Cons: least original design

I have to say by now options 1. and 2. look like my best shot. First of all I would have to search for a pair of 10" midrange drivers as to me it looks like they the hardest to get ahold of. I'm not trying to be cheap and cut corners anywhere but a set of 2122h's in good shape would most likely cost me around 800-1000usd (shipped) right? While 2123h's will be more like 300-400.

Could someone please give me a +-100usd estimate on all three crossovers costs?

Sorry for asking so much questions so far, but I've never yet done a full speaker clone and as it seems this hobby is highly affected by what one can source to put into the cabinets. Add living in a JBL desert to it and problems just multiply all over the place.

Cheers, Maciek.

4313B
02-08-2011, 06:05 AM
You should get with Guido. He's on your side of the pond and he knows what's going on.

Amnes
02-09-2011, 02:03 AM
I got my brain pretty much on fire yesterday. After even more thinking my ultimate decision is to take route number 2 with 2425/6h's, 2307's, 2123h's and the 4344 mkII crossover. Well see what Guido thinks about it hopefully.