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

  1. #1
    Senior Member Amnes's Avatar
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    To clone or not to clone? 4344 vs. 4345 vs. XPL-200 Advice will be appreciated.

    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.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amnes View Post
    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...

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    Senior Member Amnes's Avatar
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    Thank you for the input.

    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.

  4. #4
    rgrjit8
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rgrjit8 View Post
    *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...

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    Senior Member Amnes's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    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.

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    Senior Member HCSGuy's Avatar
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    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

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    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    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
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    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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    Senior Member Amnes's Avatar
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    Sounds to make sense

    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amnes View Post
    I guess I have to make more money to buy more speakers and to not have to choose between them.
    There you go!

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    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.
    Out.

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    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
    Out.

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    Senior Member richluvsound's Avatar
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    Slow Down !

    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

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    Senior Member Amnes's Avatar
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    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. 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.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Uncle Paul's Avatar
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    I suggest using 4313b's 4345 thread here 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.
    "Zobel is as zobel does"

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