JBL 1400 ARRAY BG Floorstanding Speakers

5/5 (2 Reviews) MSRP : $5750.00


Product Description

  • Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 89dB
  • Frequency Response (-3dB): 32Hz – 40kHz
  • Crossover Frequencies: 750Hz, 8kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms
  • Port: 4" Flared


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by topspeed a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2016

Bottom Line:   
I have an inordinately large room (25'w x 30'd x 30'h) that simply swallows normal sized speakers whole. To pressurize 22,500 cubic feet of air, you're going to need a big boy, which the 1400 most definitely is. It's also odd looking. Really odd looking. Odd enough that my wife queried, "You're going to put THOSE in the living room?!?"

Yes. Yes I am.

If you're considering these speakers, you'll need to get past the same preconceptions that I had:
1) Horns are all hollow sounding, beam a lot, and fatiguing
2) You want how much for a JBL? Don't they peddle those crappy boxes at Best Buy?
3) Why do they look so weird?

To answer number 1 and 3, you have to understand these are not horn loaded tweeters and mids as in a Klipsch. These are compression loaded drivers, which are a completely different animal. The odd vertical orientation is to improve the 3D imaging that audiophiles so cherish. Looking at them, you would think the horizontal plane would be limited, but in fact the sound stage is properly proportioned with rock solid imaging floating a few feet above the ground. The 1400's are effortlessly smooth and airy (FR extends to 48kHz!) without a hint of sibilance, beaming, or cupping. They are also astonishingly fast with transient response right there with the best 'stats or planar speakers. Coupled with an extremely neutral and revealing nature, and have a truly special speaker. How neutral? Check out the measurements from Stereophile's review and then try to find another speaker that is as flat. How revealing? You'd better make sure your front end is up for the challenge. These are not forgiving like Wilson's or Sonus Fabers. The amp in particular will need a lot of current and at least 150wpc in my experience. The more, the better. You can drive the 1400's to lease (and ear) busting levels without fatigue or compression on either end of the spectrum, which is one of their greatest strengths. They are as delicate and beautiful at low levels as they are gut-punching visceral when you crank it to 11. There's a reason they are Class A rated by Stereophile (if that matters to you).

Now, the elephant in the room: $11,500 for JBL's?!? I can get a beautifully built speaker from (insert boutique speaker company) made out of diamonds and rain forest saplings for half that! You'd be right, of course. However, these are not the mass market vinyl boxes built in China you find at Best Buy. The 1400 Arrays were designed, engineered, and (until recently) built in Northridge, CA. The ebony cabinet is absolutely furniture grade and all of the drivers, binding posts, and enclosures are of exceptional quality. There's a reason they are 115lbs. The Synthesis line also uses the same drivers as JBL Pro, which if you've ever been to a concert in your lifetime, you've heard. Combine pro level drivers with the almost limitless resources of JBL's parent, Harman Intl. and you get a true reference speakers for a 1/4 of the price of competitors.

Listen, I know no one will ever claim they're inexpensive. However, versus the competition, their price/performance ratio is unmatched. The 1400's are, unquestionably, the best speaker I've heard and portray music with the dynamics, liquidity, and liveliness that makes putting on your favorite tunes much more than enjoying some music. It's an event.




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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Kevin Sweeney a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 12, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I auditioned these on the 35th floor of the Venitian in the Harmon suite during the 2011 CES show. The electronics were all Mark Levinson, including their 300 watt per channel stereo power amp. I was expecting them to sound like the other horn loaded speakers I've heard over the years, blarey, colored and harsh. The first cut I heard was of a piano, and I was shocked at how real it sounded. It really sounded like a piano was in the room. I was impressed, but I was sure they would still sound colored on voices. I couldn't have been more wrong. Next came a Frank Sinatra recording that just about knocked my socks off with the immediacy, total LACK of coloration and downright realness. Depth, imaging, dynamics are all superb on this speaker. Cut after cut sounded absolutely amazing to me. I left the room to hear several other more traditional audiophile systems costing many times more than the simple JBL/Levinson combo, but none came close to recreating the live sound of this system. I was particularly unimpressed with an absurdly expensive system that featured Wilson Alexandia X-2s and Lamm amplifiers that came in at around 700,000 dollars. The JBL/Levinson system probably cost less than the cables used in this insanely priced system.

If you don't think you like horn systems, or if you've heard some of the newer SET/Horn combinations and weren't impressed, give the 1400s a listen, and prepare to have have your preconceived ideas about "JBL sound" smashed to bits. These are the most real sounding speakers I've ever heard.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010




Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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