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Thread: Seeking subwoofer recommendations to pair with XPL200's.

  1. #31
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Thank you for yet another detailed response, Ian! I really appreciate you taking the time to shed some advice my way.

    Neat links. Listened to "Jungle Man" by the Meters, which was imbedded into that bass frequency range link. Never heard it before, I dig it. I think the only Meters tune I knew was "Rigor Mortis." Have you auditioned that Behringer amp? Lot of watts for the buck, plus an equalizer.

    I think I am asking for too much from the XPL's. That or they're playing much louder than I actually think. Story time (Skip if you hate these): As a teen and into my early twenties, harsh sounds/ears hurting were my indicators for it's "too loud." That was often achieved with my JBL E90's and a 100 watt/channel receiver But with my current gear, it doesn't hurt or shock me unless it's a terrible recording. I was once listening to ZZ Top and the ex had to relocate to a different room while I jammed on. So I thought I was going deaf or perhaps hard of hearing so I went in for a test. Well, despite having tinnitus they told me my hearing was actually better than most. The tech analyzing me said I had better hearing than he did. With that said, I'm not sure what I'm trying to achieve SPL wise. I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers the other day, for example. I wore ear plugs as I always do at concerts and whoa, they were still really loud. My ears would have been bleeding if not for the plugs. By comparison, my set-up seems like it comes about 80% as close to concert levels. I should have taken my SPL meter, but I think it measures in the wrong weight for audio? In any event, when I listen again I'll cite what levels I achieved and what meter I used. I think last time I did it was 114dB peak. Concerts achieve up to 120, so 114 should be damn loud, but it isn't hurting my ears and so that says to me it isn't loud enough. Then when I showed my dad my set up, he goes to jam it and similar thing- he goes to turn the damn thing up louder than I would. Fortunately, I did not have reveal my system's weakness as what he was listening to (Edgar Winter) wasn't bass heavy, but did have to tell him to watch for the clip lights. He was at least impressed with the system's clarity, and said that's why he kept wanting to go louder. Looks like we attenuate volume based on the same criteria, pain in the ears. Is that typical behavior?

    TLDR: I suppose I need to adjust to the fact that the system is louder than necessary/capable. It's just a hard thing to get my mind to come to terms with, from comparing concert experience to home listening experience. However, it does seem that when at a concert, satisfactory bass thump in my chest. At home, just shy of that. From your post I've deduced I need to amplify the 40-70hz spectrum.

    Passive mode huh? Hmm. Well, my experience with those XPL's seems to mirror everyone elses', that with the switch flipped to "Passive" the bass just doesn't sound great, but it really comes alive when you bring out another stereo amp and switch to "bi-amp" with an active crossover. Like, the bass isn't tight and seems muddled by comparison. I'm not sure why that is, but do remember coming across something in which Greg Timbers said the 2214H didn't play well with the inductor in the network, that bi-amping solves that problem.

    So what do you think of this idea?: Continue to use the XPL's in bi-amp configuration. Divide the signal to them via Ashly XR2001- amplifier 1 for midbass, midrange and tweeter, amplifier 2 for 2214H, but limited to 100hz via XR2001, amplifier 3 for passive subwoofers, HK Citation 7.4's (which utilize anLE14-H) I like this idea as I enjoy the bass from the 2214H's, very tight no matter what frequency. Hard for me to describe but I think you know what I mean. I'm just afraid I'd lose that if I used a subwoofer to cover stuff above 60hz.

    Again, thank you (and anyone else) who reads through my drivel and tries to make sense of it to help me. It's really appreciated. I love listening to music and have never enjoyed it like I do now, thanks to this gear. It's just started that bug of, "Well, this sounds good, but how can it be better?" Which all started from a free receiver and a set of JBL LX44's. Funny how that goes, right?

  2. #32
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    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    Try out your plan and do that for a while then review. Trust your ears. We all have our own unique interpretation of the sound we like and itís about what you like.

    On loudness your ears do adjust but donít be fooled by that. You can damage your ears quite easily. Listening in a room is a different environment to a concert gig in an open air stadium or a large venue.

    At home all the bass energy pings around inside your room walls and tends to build up in the corners as the bass energy dissipates over a small time interval called reverberation time.

    I did something similar in the early 90ís when l was gifted a pair of Altec bass enclosures. At the time l had some old school poor manís 4411 monitors made by RCF. After a while l realised the RCF monitors were the weak link and l tri amped them with a jbl 2397 horn. I then added a 2405 slot radiator. Over several years l trialled numerous combinations of horns and mid cone drivers. Then one day l scored a single jbl 4645 sub with 2245H woofer and some high sensitivity Audax mid cone drivers. What l ended up with was a Frankenstein four way jbl studio monitor which l morphed in some 4345 monitors after l found the LHS forum.

    The thing is l was about 40 at the time and had gone full circle as l had built some jbl 4343 15 inch clones when l was just 20 in the early 80ís. I was determined l needed a descent set of loudspeakers for my 21st. At the time there was very little information on anything other than brochures so l wrote to JBL for details of the crossover network. I got a nice letter back from Gary Margolis who politely suggested l try an active crossover. I designed my own mid array passive crossover from a schematic in Martin Colloms HiFi Handbook and used a Nakamichi active crossover. My brother still my 4343 system.

    I still use my 4345 clones till this day because they work for me and thatís all that matters. They are not perfect but l have refined them and they do things most loudspeaker canít do and never will. They are very linear over the entire frequency range which our hearing is sensitive too. In other words all frequencies from 32 hertz up increase in loudness equally together and itís limitless. Everything tracks together perfectly. Itís a very immersive sound experience which l like. I have a lot of drivers including Tadís but l still come back to the JBL sound.

    Enjoy your journey and above all let your ears be the judge.

  3. #33
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    Hey take a look free shipping and you can return.

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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    ...I think last time I did it was 114dB peak. Concerts achieve up to 120, so 114 should be damn loud, but it isn't hurting my ears and so that says to me it isn't loud enough...
    Much like some earlier discussion of your previous L150A speakers and listening at these levels, there's no doubt both pairs of speakers are producing lots of distortion. Neither pair was designed for this type of use imho.

    I do appreciate wanting your system to be able to REALLY kick-it though. I recently heard a unique speaker system that utilizes 24 - 6.5" mid woofers, 12 - 1" dome tweeters, and 2 - dedicated subwoofers. The listening room was 24'x35' with a cathedral ceiling. The sound pressure was amazing and effortless. Concert levels with very little distortion. There are options available that will let you do what you're looking for, but I don't know if you'll find it with 30-40 year old JBL home speakers. Have you considered other options like selling the home speakers and some of the electronics and maybe getting some cinema speakers, or a diy build with more modern drivers? Maybe 2 - 12" high excursion woofers per side?

  5. #35
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    Try out your plan and do that for a while then review. Trust your ears. We all have our own unique interpretation of the sound we like and itís about what you like.

    On loudness your ears do adjust but donít be fooled by that. You can damage your ears quite easily. Listening in a room is a different environment to a concert gig in an open air stadium or a large venue.

    At home all the bass energy pings around inside your room walls and tends to build up in the corners as the bass energy dissipates over a small time interval called reverberation time.

    I did something similar in the early 90ís when l was gifted a pair of Altec bass enclosures. At the time l had some old school poor manís 4411 monitors made by RCF. After a while l realised the RCF monitors were the weak link and l tri amped them with a jbl 2397 horn. I then added a 2405 slot radiator. Over several years l trialled numerous combinations of horns and mid cone drivers. Then one day l scored a single jbl 4645 sub with 2245H woofer and some high sensitivity Audax mid cone drivers. What l ended up with was a Frankenstein four way jbl studio monitor which l morphed in some 4345 monitors after l found the LHS forum.

    The thing is l was about 40 at the time and had gone full circle as l had built some jbl 4343 15 inch clones when l was just 20 in the early 80ís. I was determined l needed a descent set of loudspeakers for my 21st. At the time there was very little information on anything other than brochures so l wrote to JBL for details of the crossover network. I got a nice letter back from Gary Margolis who politely suggested l try an active crossover. I designed my own mid array passive crossover from a schematic in Martin Colloms HiFi Handbook and used a Nakamichi active crossover. My brother still my 4343 system.

    I still use my 4345 clones till this day because they work for me and thatís all that matters. They are not perfect but l have refined them and they do things most loudspeaker canít do and never will. They are very linear over the entire frequency range which our hearing is sensitive too. In other words all frequencies from 32 hertz up increase in loudness equally together and itís limitless. Everything tracks together perfectly. Itís a very immersive sound experience which l like. I have a lot of drivers including Tadís but l still come back to the JBL sound.

    Enjoy your journey and above all let your ears be the judge.
    Thank you for sharing yours as well.

    Indeed we do. Ok, so I'll try to get that plan in motion. Would anyone happen to know someone who is willing to part with one (preferably two) Harmon Kardon Citation 7.4 subwoofers?? I'm getting the feeling that I will not have an easy time finding a set or even one. In the meantime, what about these? Seller has only the one listed, but says two are available: Bowers & Wilkins CT SW12 Passive Subwoofer | eBay I once listened to a friend's active 10" B&W subwoofer and was impressed with it. The track was an acoustic version "Blowin' Free" by Wishbone Ash- the first time I felt that bass could tap you on the chest. Like, "Whoa, that's what it is supposed to sound like???"

    Oh my ears definitely ring after a good session, akin to a concert. So you're right, I shouldn't be fooled by them but it's a good thing the K1 has clip lights. It's just strange because during the listening experience, there's no pain (mostly) or any cause for concern. But when I shut it all down and it's quiet- whoa. If only my mind wasn't playing that trick on me, "If only it was just a weee bit louder. Let's get that thump just a bit more defined to enjoy this track properly..."

    Pretty cool that you can build your own enclosures and enjoy doing it, it's definitely an art. I would have liked to hear this "frankenstein" four-way monitor of yours.

    Yeah, so far it's been a good journey. I feel I'm close to being able to close the book on it, hopefully the subwoofers are the final key. Thanks again for your input, I'll be sure to chime back in with results when I have them. Unsolved threads irk me.

    Quote Originally Posted by rusty jefferson View Post
    Much like some earlier discussion of your previous L150A speakers and listening at these levels, there's no doubt both pairs of speakers are producing lots of distortion. Neither pair was designed for this type of use imho.

    I do appreciate wanting your system to be able to REALLY kick-it though. I recently heard a unique speaker system that utilizes 24 - 6.5" mid woofers, 12 - 1" dome tweeters, and 2 - dedicated subwoofers. The listening room was 24'x35' with a cathedral ceiling. The sound pressure was amazing and effortless. Concert levels with very little distortion. There are options available that will let you do what you're looking for, but I don't know if you'll find it with 30-40 year old JBL home speakers. Have you considered other options like selling the home speakers and some of the electronics and maybe getting some cinema speakers, or a diy build with more modern drivers? Maybe 2 - 12" high excursion woofers per side?
    Thank you for the response, rusty! Special thanks for remembering that thread! Yes, and it seemed when I bi-amped those L150A's with bridged GFA-555II's, it was bliss!! -For about five minutes. Someone put the wrong fuses in one of the amps and so it shut down mid way through some great guitar work by Steve Miller on Mercury Blues. I had just gotten the woofers back from edgewound and man, those things never shined so bright! 600watts seemed to be what those liked. But when I changed all the fuses out on both amps so they were all the same, firing the one back up after it shut down was a dumb idea. Well, dumb in the sense I left it connected to the 150A before verifying it was ok. It immediately fried the fresh recone job on one of the 128H's. Those 150A's have been down ever since. I got the one repaired again thanks to Ken, but I gave him more work to do with the 044 tweeters and PR300's. I've also acquired fresh crossovers for them but nothing has been installed as I'm still waiting for Ken to work his magic.

    However, if there was distortion, wouldn't it sound like soupy dog-doo? I have pushed other speakers in the past and I can hear them start to break up, I just call that sounding like ass, aka dog-doo. I've never had that happen with a pair of JBL's I've owned.

    Wow, I'd like to hear that system too. Just don't know that I'd want to be responsible for it haha. As it was a long time ago (back when I had & thought a Marantz 510M was a good amp) I seem to recall thinking that when I had the Klispch Cornwalls in rotation they got mighty loud when paired up with the 510M. I learned a lot about sensitivity thanks to them. I am starting to think I need to move to compression drivers to achieve what I am looking for SPL wise. Had my eyes on JBL 4435's. Seemed like they would be wonderful, but then when I started looking into what a set would run me- Not a poker table I could sit at.
    So I'm going to try adding subs with the XPL200's as they truly are the most wonderful speaker I've heard so far. I especially like them down low when say people are over. I tend to zone out on the conversation and pay attention to the music instead. By comparison, the Cornwalls weren't as magnificent. However, they could pound and play loud, best $600 I ever spent on audio.

    Well, not a fan of DIY audio stuff, so that's out. Newer speakers? Meh.. I've got my preconceptions as to what they'll sound like. Given most music today isn't what I'd call music, I can't imagine that what I could afford would please my ears. I like to think that the stuff I have was produced & developed back when music mattered and more people cared about what they listened to, not "Boom-boom, tee-tee-tee-tiss-tiss-tiss" that is "popular" music. I'm sure I'm wrong about that, but in my head it makes sense given what I've seen and all I'm subjected to outside my own personal sanctum. And I quote, "Gotta get that boom-boom-boom! Gotta get that boom-boom-boom!" -Crappy hip-skippity-hop track I was subjected to in public. So that's either a reference to rattle your license plate off bass or kids still refer to sex as "boom-boom" like Howlin' Wolf did.

  6. #36
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    So I found a Citation 7.4 subwoofer: Citation 7.4 Subwoofer For Sale - US Audio Mart

    $800 seems a bit steep for a single LE14H-1 in a box, what do you guys think?

  7. #37
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    So I found a Citation 7.4 subwoofer: Citation 7.4 Subwoofer For Sale - US Audio Mart

    $800 seems a bit steep for a single LE14H-1 in a box, what do you guys think?
    I'd say its steep, yes. Not sure what your local market is like, but maybe one of the 18" (non-powered) pro subs would do better for you. I had good results with a 4641 I found for under $500 at the time.
    Terrible WAF initially, but played very well, and good at home once I hid it under a nice cloth drape. (pix circa 2011-2012)
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  8. #38
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Thank you for your response, hjames! Awesome set up, is that a set of 4341's? What do you think of them? Haven't you had 250ti's? I wonder how the big monitors compare. What is your opinion of the L212?

    Yeah, my market is terrible for hi-fi. What crops up usually does so about 125-150 miles away in Ohio. If and when it does locally (<40 miles), the price is inflated quite a bit and the condition leaves more to be desired. The 4641 was amidst my possible alternatives, no dice there either. Fortunately though, the WAF factor isn't really a factor. She loves this stuff just as much as I do. Although ever since learning about the 7.4 Subwoofer, I'm kind of set on it. A pair would be wonderful. This one appears to be minty, and so I find myself asking, "When would another show up and how much would that person want?" So what if I offered this person $600? I'm thinking about doing just that..

  9. #39
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Thank you for your response, hjames! Awesome set up, is that a set of 4341's? What do you think of them? Haven't you had 250ti's? I wonder how the big monitors compare. What is your opinion of the L212?

    Yeah, my market is terrible for hi-fi. What crops up usually does so about 125-150 miles away in Ohio. If and when it does locally (<40 miles), the price is inflated quite a bit and the condition leaves more to be desired. The 4641 was amidst my possible alternatives, no dice there either. Fortunately though, the WAF factor isn't really a factor. She loves this stuff just as much as I do. Although ever since learning about the 7.4 Subwoofer, I'm kind of set on it. A pair would be wonderful. This one appears to be minty, and so I find myself asking, "When would another show up and how much would that person want?" So what if I offered this person $600? I'm thinking about doing just that..
    Never owned 250TIs, tho my friend Mark (Opimax) had pairs of them.
    I had 4341s when I took the first picture in 2011. had L100T as side surrounds, and L20T as rear surrounds.
    By the 2nd picture (2012) I was trying a room full of vandersteen 2Cis and 2CEs, interesting,
    but I prefer the more dynamic JBL speakers - currently I have UREI 809As for side and front surrounds.
    They use JBL Coaxial drivers (those 14 woofer!) and have stunning imaging!

    I'm a fan of the JBL 14" woofers - from the L100Ts, and my current UREIs - Nice punch!
    So, I'd vote to make an offer for that, haggle a bit, and see how that goes.

    Couple years back I found my heart's delight in Ft. Meyer, FLA.
    A guy there had a B460 he couldn't seem to sell, kept lowering the price!
    When the price got to a certain point, I even considered driving to FLA to get it!

    But a friend was moving up from FL and he offered to bring it to Fredericksburg, VA -
    so I bought it remotely, I met him in Fredericksburg, tipped him nicely,
    and brought it the rest of the way home to Fairfax, VA where I live ...

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  10. #40
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Awesome, I love hearing about the lengths taken in pursuit of audio nirvana. I travelled to nab my XPL200's. The person I bought them from was kind enough to meet me half way. A B460 is quite a score. What did you think of the 4341's? How about the L100T? I've always wondered what one would sound like with the T3 crossover, heard there are some differences between the cabinet used for the T and T3. Don't those use the same 12" as the XPL200, the 2214H? The nomenclature is definitely confusing, why not call it a 2212H?! I'm a fan of that woofer's punch though, nice and tight, best bass I've heard yet.

    Thank you for your advice, I'll certainly try and haggle then. However, something else came up and if it works out...

  11. #41
    Senior Member HCSGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Awesome, I love hearing about the lengths taken in pursuit of audio nirvana. I travelled to nab my XPL200's. The person I bought them from was kind enough to meet me half way. A B460 is quite a score. What did you think of the 4341's? How about the L100T? I've always wondered what one would sound like with the T3 crossover, heard there are some differences between the cabinet used for the T and T3. Don't those use the same 12" as the XPL200, the 2214H? The nomenclature is definitely confusing, why not call it a 2212H?! I'm a fan of that woofer's punch though, nice and tight, best bass I've heard yet.

    Thank you for your advice, I'll certainly try and haggle then. However, something else came up and if it works out...
    I saw that sub on USAudiomart - yes, it is more expensive than others, but it does look minty. In my experience, looking at a mint product washes away the pain of paying a little more, while thinking ďBut I got a good dealĒ doesnít do as much to ease the pain of looking at scratches on a really nice speaker. Iíd probably buy the citation sub, though freight is going to make it hurt even more. Or just sit and wait - given enough time, everything comes up for sale.

    If you like the ďHiFiĒ sound (imaging, smooth highs, etc), and are a JBL fan, youíll have a hard time beating your XPL200ís. Every time I hook mine up, they sound great, regardless of the room. I also have L100T3ís - theyíre like an unrefined little brother. Bass doesnít have the same detail, mids are a little harsh, but theyíre still fun to listen to. If you can only have one speaker, youíre doing pretty well. You might like 250Tiís a little bit better, or might not. I listen at much lower levels than you, and love them both though my room is tough - really strong in the bass, so I generally prefer something that has less bass, or has a front port. I havenít put my 250Tiís in that room yet, but I think Iíd have to plug the port. Good luck with your continuing search
    That the internet contains a blog documenting your life does not constitute proof that your existence is valid. Sorry.

  12. #42
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    Thank you for the response, HSCGuy!

    I am of the same opinion. Also, it has been my experience that it is much easier to keep something nice than to make it nice, cheaper too. I was pretty close to pulling the trigger on that Citation 7.4 subwoofer, but now believe I'm going in a different direction altogether. However, your opinion on the XPL's has some weight. I do enjoy Hi-Fi quite a bit. I've found the XPL to be the best thing I've heard in terms of the qualities you've listed. Just so smooth & buttery at any volume. I find myself listening to material I wouldn't have listened to before I had them, especially tracks with soloists and whatnot. I'm not a writer, so I can't accurately describe what I've heard but I can say I hear things I've never heard before. It's like the difference between seeing the real thing after staring at a hologram of it for years. Seeing is believing. I do jam out, but the XPL200's also put in a lot of time as background speakers. And even then, I find myself zoning out on them instead of listening to whatever the company I have over is trying to talk about. If I dial back the throttle on them, the detail is even more pronounced. Although in my experience, that seems to be true of every speaker, even the junky ones. They just don't compare to the XPL's. The first time I tried that was after reading through some sales literature for the L150A's I had. They advertised as being great at any volume, but if you dialed back a bit, the transients would really step out. After going, "Huh?" and then trying it out I thought to myself, "Wow. There is something to that, it's not just market-wank-a-teering.." I have often thought of the XPL200 as being my end game speaker, if I could just figure out how to seamlessly get some additional low end in there and if possible, could I then drive them just a smidge harder without hurting the titanium mid & tweeter.

    But thanks to this thread, an opportunity has come up to own what appear to be legendary UREI studio monitors from the early/mid 80's. Something within says I need to do that and at the same time another part says something will change and then that'll drive me nuts as well. However, I think the trade off could be worth it, won't know until my ears audition them. But, just like with every other speaker I've purchased, that opportunity doesn't come until after I've purchased them and set 'em up in my house. I'm telling myself that if these sound acceptable while providing that smidge of extra SPL desired, they'll edge out the XPL's. I only hope that's the case. Because even though I feel I'm getting the family price, it's still quite the expense and much more than my original budget for "just some subwoofers" as I intended. Here's hoping misfortune doesn't strike me while my financial pants are down, LoL...

    Also, I enjoyed reading what you wrote about the L100T3's as well! Very interesting, and surprisingly similar to what my mind had generated about them after reading other threads about them and the 240ti. The 240ti was on my list as well, almost bought a set which came up locally some two years ago. Decided against it when I learned the mids weren't the original units. Have you ever listened to those? Seem like a poor woman's/man's 250ti haha..

  13. #43
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    ...Yeah, my market is terrible for hi-fi. What crops up usually does so about 125-150 miles away in Ohio...
    Case in point! A very lovely looking set of 4350B's for sale: JBL 4350 SPEAKERS - electronics - by owner - sale (craigslist.org)
    ...About 120 miles from where I am.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Also, I enjoyed reading what you wrote about the L100T3's as well! Very interesting, and surprisingly similar to what my mind had generated about them after reading other threads about them and the 240ti. The 240ti was on my list as well, almost bought a set which came up locally some two years ago. Decided against it when I learned the mids weren't the original units. Have you ever listened to those? Seem like a poor woman's/man's 250ti haha..
    Yeah, I had a mint pair of 240Tiís years ago - very disappointing. Similar comparison between 240Ti and 250Ti as there is from L100T3 to XPL200 - didnít have the smoothness in the mids or the definition in the bass. I ended up pulling them apart - Grumpy has the enclosures now, mids went to someone else for a 250 to 250Ti up grade, etc.

    I think the biggest thing youíll gain going to the UREIís, or really any high efficiency speaker, is that they will sound much more dynamic when played loud, as they will not go into compression until a higher volume point. For someone who likes it loud like you, this may be addicting, but you may miss how clean and detailed the XPLís sounded. If you want it loud, clean, and dynamic, you will find your choice in speakers to be much smaller, and at significantly higher cost (Genelec, JBL K2, Danley, etc). I have never heard UREIís, btw, so I cannot say how they sound.
    That the internet contains a blog documenting your life does not constitute proof that your existence is valid. Sorry.

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    Did you say "K2"? (In parenthesis at least...)

    As often posted around here, I use a pair of JBL Synthesis S2S 15" subs with my K2s to give better mid bass and better low bass. The BSS 366T grumpy-tuned omnidrive units on the K2s and Greg Timbers blest S2S subs on a 40Hz crossover through a Parasound pre make a great addition that produces ample LF output in my home's big common area.

    I see S2S subs on the 'bay from time to time, and prices are usually low. Since I prefer to have subs that require external amplification, the S2S fits the bill. There have been far too many failed plate amps for me to want to mess with that again.
    Out.

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