JBL XPL-200 Floorstanding Speakers

XPL-200

User Reviews (12)

Showing 1-10 of 12  
Bob Cameron   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 30, 2015]

I am not an audio purist. I am a life long musician. I have had the great pleasure of enjoying outstanding audio systems, over the years. That said, the JBL XPL 200a is an heirloom speaker system. Biamped, this is the most pleasing speaker, that I have ever listened to. Dynamic,detailed and stunningly clean, they take my music to the pinnacle of listening enjoyment. Poor recordings are revealed for what they are, however, not so brutally, that they are completely unlistenable. Outstanding recordings are a vehicle to the studio,concert hall or nightclub, of the original performance. What more could you possibly ask? Increasing difficult to acquire,given the chance,DO NOT hesitate! You will not regret it! Very highest recommendation.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Gregory L. Solomon   AudioPhile [Aug 22, 2014]

Let me start out by saying that JBL has finally outdone themselves with these fabulous audiophile speakers. I acquired them on the cheap for a mere $650 ($3500 original retail)from a fellow who was relocating to VA, because of his job back in the early 1990's, after answering a newspaper classified ad. Lucky me! I never get tired of listening to them. They perform well with any type of music you throw at them: jazz, classical, easy listening, choral, chamber, gospel, soul, or reggae. They also image very well. I have the European version in dark walnut. It looks like a fine piece of furniture with its rounded back, and trapezoidal shape to breakup any standing waves that might color the sound. A real sight for sore eyes. I will never sell them, because I have never heard any other speakers out there that can come close to their stellar performance. It's sad that JBL stopped producing serious speakers like these. Unfortunately, like everyone else, they have gone the way of the masses. I have the XPL200's currently bi-wired, and have yet to experience the bi-amping option that everyone on here says make these speakers really shine. I have given up on trying to find the elusive JBL DX-1 outboard crossover network for them. But I will try other brands of crossovers, such as the Crown VFX-1A that's been mentioned. Grab a pair of these amazing speakers, if you can find them. You will not be disappointed.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
zipcode100   AudioPhile [Apr 17, 2009]

Long story short. I purchased those speakers brand new at a dealer bankruptcy clearance for $2,500.00
At first I was very pleased with the clean sound and the best bass response I've heard in a home speaker.
I had put aside my ESS amt1-monitor and was planing to sell them. Until one day a friend of mine brought over some very dynamic CDs with lots of vocals. To my great surprise I discovered a flaw that I could no longer live with. On certain frequencies on certain vocals, mostly female, the mid titanium tweeters would buzz !!
Every time I listened to the speakers after, I was looking for that buzz which would be seldom present on some music programs. I sold the JBL on e-bay and reinstated my ESS. Still the reference.
PS. Perhaps bi-amping would have soved this problem,,dunno.
-Claude

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
jblnut   AudioPhile [Jun 20, 2002]
Strength:

Cabinet design, build quality, imaging, soundstage.

Weakness:

mid-bass is a little weak compared to higher end JBL 4-way systems.

This review is for the little brother of the XPL200, the XPL140. They are identical in the mid and tweeter, but the XPL140 has only an 8" low frequency driver instead of the 8/12 combo the 200 has. Since I've never heard the 200 I can't compare them, but I have heard many other JBLs as well as some other very high quality speaker systems and I must say the XPL140 is amazing. These were JBL's last attempt to put out a high end speaker for the US market. I believe these retailed for $2k/pair in 1990 with the 200 being closer to $5k. It's too bad JBL abandoned the high end because these were just so well executed. The cabinet is beautifully made and finished in a grand piano-like black finish. All of the drivers are of extremely high quality, as is the crossover network and the internal wiring (using Monster cable). They are setup for bi-wiring from the factory so you can use two different amps for the lows/highs if you choose. I'm using a small Carver (TFM-6C) for the highs and a monster old Yamaha pro amp (PC2002) for the lows. Where these speakers shine versus some of the other JBLs I've heard is in the imaging and soundstage. Whether its the trapezoidal cabinet design, the special mounting stands, or the amazing titanium dome midrange driver I can't say, but the results speak for themselves. Music seems to come from all around the speakers, both horizontally and vertically. I'm still playing with my system to get the most out of them. Once I get the right combo of interconnects, preamp and amps, I think the speakers will sound even better than they already do. If I ever replace them, it will be because I got a killer deal on XPL200's or Ti250's :-).

Similar Products Used: JBL 940, 4410, LX44, J2050, ProIII
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Craig Wentzel-Siva   Audiophile [Aug 29, 2001]
Strength:

Design quality, flat response

Weakness:

A little light on the gauge for the wiring harness, nothing out of the ordinary for factory systems.

I had been associated with the audio fanatic scene in Portland for quite awhile, when I stumbled on the XPL line. I don't actually recall the model, but I believe it was the XPL175 that I purchased originally, with 10" woofers, but I was never totally satisfied with the bass response compared to that of the XPL200. Short story, I bit the financial bullet, traded my XPL175's in (they were a hot commodity as well) and took home a set of recently returned "A" grade XPL200's, (too big for the house, his wife said), a pair of XPL90's to use as rear sum/difference fill speakers (A take-off from a Bang & Olufsen accessory), and 3 fully modified Hafler DH-220 mono-blocks that were just put on consignment. Though I have not ventured into bi-amping, I do use the XPL200's bi-wiring capabilities, with 3 double strands per polarity, per section (Total 24 strands of 10ga Maxus Rope-Strand per speaker). The bottom end is solid and clean, with the mid and upper range smooth and effortless. I use a Hafler DH-101 preamp, modified to passive, save for the low gain section of the phono stage, and a Dynavector/Decca London pickup combination on an Audio Linear table. My CD is a Kyocera DA-910. I have searched many places for another set of 200's, but have come up empty-handed. My last tweak of them was to upgrade the light gauge internal factory wiring to 4 strands per polarity 10ga all around. Results were as expected, a much fuller dynamic range, and tighter response. Story has it, the XPL was the prototype "upscale" speaker line resulting from the merger of Harmon-Kardon and JBL, however costs associated with production for the esoteric oriented consumer were not as profitable as planned, and the line was scrapped after the intial roll-out. A big gain for a limited amount of people. Thank You, JBL.

Similar Products Used: Bang & Olufsen M-70 (highly modified)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tom   Audiophile [May 23, 2001]
Strength:

4-way sytem,Bi-amp capable,incredible clarity throughout the entire bandwidth,great for Music and H/T....Loud and clean Solid/excellent build quality.

Weakness:

I can't find the electronic crossover.

I purchased the XPL200s new about 8 years. I don't think I've ever had anyone listen to the XPLs who didn't think they were some of the best speakers they had ever heard. I've never met anyone else who owned a pair and was glad to see the reveiews on this sight matched my opinion regarding what I consider to be one of JBL's finer Hi-Fi efforts. I have listened to JBL's latest Stereo-H/T 4ways and was really disappointed that they have lowered their standards. I have seen a new reference series on their website; maybe it will be good enough and properly voiced to add some components (center/sub) to my XPL200 based H/T system. I have the angled stands w/spikes and black laquer finish. I am using a Sony TA-E9000ES preamp and Hafler 9500 power amps. I have always wondered if I should have puchased the DLX1 x-over but after reading the reveiws, I am sure it would be a great addition. Anybody out there know where any DLX1s are available?

Similar Products Used: JBL4425
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ricky Boyd   an Audiophile [Feb 06, 1998]

I have listened to many speakers. It came down to Infinity Kappa-9s or theXPL-200s. For the size, better lower sound quality, and amplifier
requirements, I chose the JBLs. The sound stage of the speaker is full and
very rich. With the JBL DX-1 (designed for XPL-200) Electronic Crossover, the
speaker's sound quality with Adcom 555 for bass and Adcom 535 for
mid/highs, is an outstanding combination. The speaker also looks great and
not overt in style. Above all, the sound is the best I have heard with classical
music - well, actually any music.
Great speaker!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Richard Lightner   an Audio Enthusiast [May 04, 1998]

I think that this is the last really fine speaker that JBL produced. Everything since has just been mid-fi quality. To get these speakers to really open up, you HAVE TO go with the bi-amping option.I power the bottom with an Adcom 5800 @250 wpc.The top I switch around between an Aragon 2004 @ 100 wpc, a McIntosh MC 2100, and a McIntosh 240, They all sound great. I wish I had Jbl's DX-1 crossover but I get by just fine with a Crown VFX-1A.
If I were buying these speakers new I would probably only give them 4 stars because of the price. But since these have been out of production for several years now, some of you my have a chance to pick up a pair of these on the cheap.DON'T pass them up!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Jeff   Audiophile [Apr 20, 2001]

This is a follow-up to my first review of this speaker. I recently acquired a beautiful pair of B&W 801 Matrix Silver Aniversary editions with stands and the high pass alignment filter. Needless to say I had the opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison between the B&W's and the JBL's.

The aplifiers used were Bryston 4BST's.

This time I also had the very hard to find JBL DX-1 active crossover for the XPL's.

I must admit that in the beginning I expected the B&W's to outperform the XPL's, but I was shocked! The XPL's outperformed the B&W's in every way. Their imaging was superior, the frequency response was flatter, and the details of the music were astonishing. Considering that the JBL's cost half as much as the B&W's at new retail, they performed at level beyond anything the B&W's were capable of.

If I removed the DX-1 from the system, the XPL's continued to excel against the B&W's but by a much smaller margin. The B&W High Pass Alignment Filter did not help the B&W's sound at all.

Similar Products Used: B&W 801 Matrix Silver Aniversary, many others
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeff   Audiophile [Dec 31, 2000]
Strength:

very detailed imaging, ruler flat frequency response, the only dynamic speaker that sounds like a ribbon

Weakness:

very narrow sweet spot, low frequency transducer's crossover frequency and slope can cause blurred imaging if not bi-amped.

This is quite possibly the best home audio speaker ever built. It is not subject to dramatic changes based on placement or room size. It works well with almost any amplifier. The quality of construction and attention to detail are second to none. It's quite a handsome piece of furniture and not too big or overwhelming. The USA version is black lacquer while the european version is walnut. The crossovers in the two versions are completely different and they do not sound the same. The USA version is designed to be placed close to a wall while the european version is designed to sit in the middle of a room. The crossovers can be modified to either standard.

It has two weaknesses, one of which is easily fixed by bi-amping, the other is more difficult. The narrow sweet spot can be widened depending on placement and room size. One very interesting aspect of this speaker is how deep the sound-field goes as the listener moves closer to the speakers. If the speakers are 8 feet apart and the listener has positioned himself between them and 5 feet in front, they seem to almost create a surround effect on their own.

Similar Products Used: L-100, L-112, L-220, L-250, L-250ti, B&W 801, Altec 19
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 12  

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