Results 1 to 15 of 15

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

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    102

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

  2. #2
    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    2,205
    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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    102
    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?

  4. #4
    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    2,205
    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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,445
    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."óGreg Timbers

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    102
    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member HCSGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Posts
    745
    250Tiís 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 arenít really helpful to me, as the room has as much to do with the final sound as the speaker. 250Tiís have a big sound, and wider dispersion than the horn speakers you mention. However, if youíve ever had a speaker ďDisappearĒ into the soundstage, like a really good point source can do, these wonít do that - youíll 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 doesnít 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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    102
    Quote Originally Posted by HCSGuy View Post
    250Tiís 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 arenít really helpful to me, as the room has as much to do with the final sound as the speaker. 250Tiís have a big sound, and wider dispersion than the horn speakers you mention. However, if youíve ever had a speaker ďDisappearĒ into the soundstage, like a really good point source can do, these wonít do that - youíll 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 doesnít 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.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Italia
    Posts
    60
    The 250 you owned by my brother, they are fantastic. You need a very powerful amplification to bjt

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Elkhart, IN
    Posts
    41
    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.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    13
    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

  12. #12
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    11,213
    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

  13. #13
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rocinante
    Posts
    8,843
    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"

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,155
    Widget, I couldnít have said it better. This is why I have a clear preference for high efficiency, horn based systems. They just sound more real to my ears. However - done poorly, they can be awful!

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    102

    My Quest

    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.

    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.

    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
    Well, we now have the latest version of the virus to fight with , so I am hoping to get to Brussels in February to collect my speakers. By then the Brits claim they will have their border controls up and running (I rate that at 50%) so I may end up paying import duty on them. However, Boris might get thrown out, so that would be some compensation.
    I completely accept your point about the "snap" of horn speakers. I bought my Klipschorns when I lived in Munich precisely for that reason. I was in the main street and heard a band playing around the corner. Except it wasn't. It was a HiFi shop playing Klipsches with the door wide open. It was astonishingly realistic but they are long gone for WAF and neighbour reasons. Also, I felt that the horns add an effect which became bit hard to listen to. So, here we are with the 250ti and I am hoping that it will give some idea of Greg Timber's view of HiFi, at least in the domestic world. My Quad 989s may not survive the comparison and they are very smooth and detailed...but never give me the impression of immediacy except for small-scale performances. I am hoping that the 250ti will still provide some of this, the sort of sound that I got used to on L300 and 4343 speakers.
    I am assuming that when I finally get them here I shall do some auditioning and then have a look inside to see if they are in a reasonable state or have been modified. And that does bring me to a technical question.
    The caps...although bypassed....are mainly electrolytic. I am assuming that I should be updating them and it seems I have a choice. I could go to a set of film caps....probably much larger and may modify the original intended sound, or high grade electrolytic (such as Elna Silmic (ROS Series) & Silmic II (RFS Series)) and probably stay closer to the original sound. Any advice or suggestions on this are gratefully received.

    Right now, all I know about these speakers depends on my son's opinion. He thinks that on voice they are better than his current Tannoys. on loud music they are indeed very loud, as his neighbours have mentioned. And finally, he is looking for a pair of JBLs for himself. So I am hoping that they will not be a disappointment.

    All the best


    George

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Need your advice please! Build the good old JBL set again?
    By Arne in forum Lansing Product General Information
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-24-2019, 03:35 PM
  2. Refoam advice for LE14H-1 on 250TI Jubilee
    By jblfreeek in forum Lansing Product Technical Help
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-27-2011, 12:31 AM
  3. Some good advice..
    By palermo100 in forum Lansing Product General Information
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-05-2010, 05:30 AM
  4. 250TI Advice
    By Jeff M in forum Lansing Product General Information
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-12-2006, 05:58 PM
  5. 250Ti Advice sought
    By Audiokarma in forum Lansing Product General Information
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 05-17-2005, 08:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •