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Thread: JBL 250ti ...good, bad or.....? Advice please

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    JBL 250ti ...good, bad or.....? Advice please

    Hi,
    I am looking to purchase a pair of JBL 250ti speakers...to get back to dynamic sound that I seem to have lost with my Quad ESL989 speakers. I have not been able to audition the 250ti models yet...but I have some confidence in JBL having been a user of the L300, 4345, 4411 and other models over the years.

    However, I came across a review in Stereophile, by J. Gordon Holt, which was less than great..see https://www.stereophile.com/content/...ti-loudspeaker. I also came across a review by Martin Colloms, see attachment, which was less than glowing..in fact it gave a warning! Now, I respect both of these reviewers but their opinions seem to be at odds with the opinions of many 250ti owners. In fact, downright contradictory. So, I am hoping that someone can clarify just what is going on. In the reviews there are comments that these speakers do not sound like the old JBL sound, etc. I know that auditioning is essential, but the reviews help reduce the wasted time of auditions on poor equipment.
    All advice, suggestions etc, gratefully received.

    George
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    Last edited by georgebrooke; 10-18-2021 at 03:34 AM. Reason: tags

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    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    Given the prices being asked for decent quality pairs of 250ti, there's a good argument that your money might be better spent on something newer. Like any big-assed 4-way JBL, the 250 demands careful room treatment, placement and setup.

    I don't usually find much value in reviews such as those in any case, I end up wondering what they're trying to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post
    Given the prices being asked for decent quality pairs of 250ti, there's a good argument that your money might be better spent on something newer. Like any big-assed 4-way JBL, the 250 demands careful room treatment, placement and setup.

    I don't usually find much value in reviews such as those in any case, I end up wondering what they're trying to say.
    Over here, in the UK, they are usually going for around £2000 or thereabouts. Are you suggesting a more modern JBL unit instead of the 250ti?

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    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgebrooke View Post
    Over here, in the UK, they are usually going for around £2000 or thereabouts. Are you suggesting a more modern JBL unit instead of the 250ti?
    Nothing against them, they are fantastic. But a decent pair of smaller speakers with a good sub will do pretty well too. OTOH, how much are you going to spend buying and selling speakers looking for the right ones? Maybe just bite the bullet and spend as much as it takes to get your "dream speaker"? So yes I'm suggesting you try something from the past decade or so.

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    The review linked in the first thread basically says to be sure to audition them. No problem. As rare as they must be over there, buy them, audition them for a year or so, and sell them if you don't like them.

    Seriously, they go for easily $2,500 in the US in good condition. All day long, with excellent resale. The only obstacle in selling them is their size and shipping cost. That's less of a problem in a large metro area with a larger universe of prospective purchasers close by.

    That being said, I'm impressed that you're comparing a 20-year-old speaker that sold for $8000/pair 20-years ago, to a 35-year-old speaker that originally sold for $3400/pair. Reviews of the Quads used terminology like "the best speaker you can buy at any price". I'm not sure what your expectations are, or how realistic they are, in comparing the Quads to the JBLs. The times I've listened to the 250ti they have been impressive, but power hungry. Mine are still in their original boxes awaiting new surrounds on the 14s, so time, moving, and working for a living haven't afforded me the opportunity to play them alongside my 4345s. Pending retirement may change that, though the income cut that entails may cause the loser in that comparison to go up for sale. It will be fun while it lasted.

    Good luck and be sure to let us know what you decide—and how you like them!
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    The review linked in the first thread basically says to be sure to audition them. No problem. As rare as they must be over there, buy them, audition them for a year or so, and sell them if you don't like them.

    Seriously, they go for easily $2,500 in the US in good condition. All day long, with excellent resale. The only obstacle in selling them is their size and shipping cost. That's less of a problem in a large metro area with a larger universe of prospective purchasers close by.

    That being said, I'm impressed that you're comparing a 20-year-old speaker that sold for $8000/pair 20-years ago, to a 35-year-old speaker that originally sold for $3400/pair. Reviews of the Quads used terminology like "the best speaker you can buy at any price". I'm not sure what your expectations are, or how realistic they are, in comparing the Quads to the JBLs. The times I've listened to the 250ti they have been impressive, but power hungry. Mine are still in their original boxes awaiting new surrounds on the 14s, so time, moving, and working for a living haven't afforded me the opportunity to play them alongside my 4345s. Pending retirement may change that, though the income cut that entails may cause the loser in that comparison to go up for sale. It will be fun while it lasted.

    Good luck and be sure to let us know what you decide—and how you like them!
    Hi,

    I have gone through several cycles of Quad ESL and otehr speakers. The Quads always win on detail and precision...but never in involvement. My Klipschorns were all involvement...but not detail. The L300, somewhere in between. This is always difficult, but I think I am moving more towards the involvement than pure precision. I'll see how it goes and let you know.

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    Senior Member HCSGuy's Avatar
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    250Ti’s are excellent, and deserve at least an audition. Speakers are all about your taste and what you like to hear - other than a general description of sound, reviews aren’t really helpful to me, as the room has as much to do with the final sound as the speaker. 250Ti’s have a big sound, and wider dispersion than the horn speakers you mention. However, if you’ve ever had a speaker “Disappear” into the soundstage, like a really good point source can do, these won’t do that - you’ll always know where the speakers are. Also, if you go to hear a pair, chances are the damping foam in the tweeter has disintegrated, which makes the speaker sound bright, but not detailed in the high frequencies. If the seller doesn’t know how old the tweeter foam is, it is bad. If this is the case, and the speaker condition is otherwise good, make a deal and buy the speakers anyway - fix the tweeter, listen for a year, then sell them on to someone else for the same cost - they hold their value really well. Have fun!
    That the internet contains a blog documenting your life does not constitute proof that your existence is valid. Sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCSGuy View Post
    250Ti’s are excellent, and deserve at least an audition. Speakers are all about your taste and what you like to hear - other than a general description of sound, reviews aren’t really helpful to me, as the room has as much to do with the final sound as the speaker. 250Ti’s have a big sound, and wider dispersion than the horn speakers you mention. However, if you’ve ever had a speaker “Disappear” into the soundstage, like a really good point source can do, these won’t do that - you’ll always know where the speakers are. Also, if you go to hear a pair, chances are the damping foam in the tweeter has disintegrated, which makes the speaker sound bright, but not detailed in the high frequencies. If the seller doesn’t know how old the tweeter foam is, it is bad. If this is the case, and the speaker condition is otherwise good, make a deal and buy the speakers anyway - fix the tweeter, listen for a year, then sell them on to someone else for the same cost - they hold their value really well. Have fun!
    I like your enthusiasm. I shall probably go with what you suggest. The speakers I am interested in are in the Netherlands. My son lives in Brussels, so we have borders to fight with to get them to the UK, and there is the coronavirus and all of that...and finally Brexit. But Hifi nuts always win through. Thank you for the thoughts.

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    The 250 you owned by my brother, they are fantastic. You need a very powerful amplification to bjt

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    I like the soundstage from my 250Ti. And yes, they like a lot of power. Thank goodness it's super easy to get high powered amplifiers that sound good.
    I think it would be a fun adventure to run them active using Acourate, or the like. But I find their stock, passive system very pleasing.

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    I have 2 pairs of 250Ti. The original Teaks which are Beautiful and some Piano Finish Classic Editions which look striking. They both sound excellent but i probably prefer the originals by a whisker. Probably a smigeon more refined? Both have those typical 250Ti attributes. Very Wide Soundstage,Neutral Sounding,Require decent Power behind them,Super Dynamic and pretty much "full range" depending on the room they are setup in and where they are positioned. I "upgraded" to some Revel Salons(Opportunity arose at a price i couldnt refuse,especially down in my part of the world) and the Upgrade wasnt as big as you may think. I kept both pairs as they are that good. Definitely Audition a pair setup properly if you can. You should be pleasantly surprised.
    Currently own and use JBL 250Ti,250Ti Classic,18Ti,L100T and L20T

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    I have been re-reading many of J. Gordon Holt's reviews and have developed a new appreciation for his writing. Thanks Don C for the link to WorldRadioHistory where you can read most issues of High Fidelity, Audio, Stereo Review, and yes, Stereophile magazines in there entirety.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgebrooke View Post
    However, I came across a review in Stereophile, by J. Gordon Holt, which was less than great..see https://www.stereophile.com/content/...ti-loudspeaker. I also came across a review by Martin Colloms, see attachment, which was less than glowing..in fact it gave a warning!
    If you read the full review including the rebuttal by Anthony Cordesman and all of the footnotes, I think you get a very accurate depiction of the speaker. It is an accurate speaker that images well especially for such a large system, but unlike many of the large horn based designs many here appreciate it doesn't quite have that snap that makes you feel the musicians are really in the room with you.

    Read the parts of Mr. Holt's comments where he applauds the punchiness and immediacy of many of JBL's systems... I have seen similar comments about Altecs and other speakers from his writing back in his early days at High Fidelity. I also found his general condescension of JBL Consumer entertaining.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgebrooke View Post
    I have gone through several cycles of Quad ESL and other speakers. The Quads always win on detail and precision...but never in involvement. My Klipschorns were all involvement...but not detail. The L300, somewhere in between. This is always difficult, but I think I am moving more towards the involvement than pure precision. I'll see how it goes and let you know.
    I know I have. I love holographic imaging and I love inner detail. I am annoyed by obvious tonal coloration. All that said, I have come to the conclusion after playing with systems for almost 50 years that I will err on the side of excitement and give up a little accuracy and holography... I have never heard anything approaching holographic imaging in any form of live music anyway so it is more of a fun diversion than an accurate portrayal of live music.

    So George, what is going on with your quest?


    Widget

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    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    I have been re-reading many of J. Gordon Holt's reviews and have developed a new appreciation for his writing. Thanks Don C for the link to WorldRadioHistory where you can read most issues of High Fidelity, Audio, Stereo Review, and yes, Stereophile magazines in there entirety.


    I love holographic imaging and I love inner detail. I am annoyed by obvious tonal coloration. All that said, I have come to the conclusion after playing with systems for almost 50 years that I will err on the side of excitement and give up a little accuracy and holography... I have never heard anything approaching holographic imaging in any form of live music anyway so it is more of a fun diversion than an accurate portrayal of live music.

    Widget
    Hello Widget

    Well said one thing live music certainly does have is dynamics!

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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