I own a pair of JBL 4430's, theses were designed in the 80's. Using the newly developed Bi radial horn. The introduction was a departure from older design from the 60' to 70'. The architecture used new principals unheard of in that era. For instance, the low freq. driver is crossed over at the point where the off axis are equal (-6 db). This eliminated the abrupt transition between the two drivers. The nasal quality and harness were addressed and effectively eliminated. This was JBL first venture into high power two way design loudspeakers.
The topology coupled high sensitivity with very wide dynamic range unheard of for a 15 inch drive crossover at 1khz..
JBL earlier loudspeakers (43XX) used a round exponential horn with a plastic slant plate. In this application, it added a nasal quality and through sound as if propagated by a spotlight. In general this gave horns a bad rap in the eyes of the consumer. The rounds horns lope like crazy, I would not consider them unless I had a special application, like a restoration project. My 20 year old KEf were much smoother.
The JBL 4430 loudspeaker is not for everyone. They render music on the cold side of neutral and play with passion. They are not bright nor etched. But can handle several 100 watts all day/night at 92db efficiency.
Remember they were designed to be mounted in a wall. DON'T place them in the middle of the living room and in a environment that echo's. This speaker has very wide even dispersion for it's bandwidth. An
Acoustically dead environment is required to achieve balance in the frequency domain.
So far every person I introduced them to thought they produced a life like reproduction. I yet to hear any speaker under 1500(ebay) that can compare. If you have a chance check them out, you might be surprised.
If the the 2231 and Le15 were such great drivers would they be produces today? NO!!!!! Because the 2235 will go lower, play louder with less distortion. I had the two later there is no comparison.
The 4430 superceded the 43XX series because it was the next generation of studio monitor!!!!! Are they better than the 4355's ????