JL Audio Subwoofers

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I think all music lovers and audiophiles need to have speakers that can reproduce low frequencies, at least down to 31 Hz. Lower if possible. Obviously I do not mean boomy bass that has no control. Although most musical instruments do not go that low, you hear and feel so much; the size of the hall, reverberation, not to mention that instruments sound more natural when the low fundamentals are correctly reproduced. The problem is that subwoofers are not the easiest to incorporate. Most are designed for the home theater market, and do a poor job for acoustic music. However, when it is done right, you can experience real magic and goosebumps.

JL Audio has been around since 1975. Originally, the company sold speaker kits, then had a retail store selling and repairing speakers. By the late 70s, the car audio industry was starting to grow, and JL Audio became known for their superb quality drivers and car audio installations, winning many of the most prestigious awards.

 

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I was a very successful Velodyne dealer in the 90s and 2000s. Velodyne was the preeminent manufacturer of high end subwoofers, capable of amazing deep and powerful bass in reasonably small enclosures. I started seeing a lot of chatter among knowledgeable audiophiles about JL Audio subwoofers. Many claimed JL was better, with even deeper bass, higher output and at lower distortion. When I finally had a chance to audition them, I had to agree that JL was every bit as good as claimed. However, I didn’t pull the trigger because the prices in Canada were too high. I thought clients would not pay a premium for them.

 

I was wrong. I lost many sales to JL Audio, and Velodyne imploded (no pun intended) due to internal problems between the owners. Thus when Nabil, VP of Sales responsible for JL Audio in Canada asked me if I was interested, I jumped at the opportunity. Momma didn’t raise no fool…

 

I know what many of you are thinking. Car Audio subwoofers? Aren’t these the people responsible for the obnoxious loud bass emanating from Fast and Furious wannabes? Sure, JL Audio drivers can certainly produce prodigious amounts of bass output, and tuned to be as boomy as you want. However, they are also incredibly good. With the right designer, the drivers are as tuneful, clear and precise as it gets. The drivers are also extremely rugged, capable of withstanding the harsh environment of cars; intense heat, humidity, AND cold. JL Audio also makes speakers for Marine applications, where the drivers have to survive the salt and sea.

 

 GOTHAM on the left FATHOM on the right

GOTHAM on the left FATHOM on the right

The talented design team developed specialized power amplifiers for the woofers, inert, strong enclosures AND pioneered one of the first room correction systems for subwoofers called the ARO. The current generation features updated driver technology, new amplifiers and more sophisticated room correction.

 

The result is one of the best subwoofer lines available. Period. Other subs may be larger, prettier, cheaper, but JL is still the King. From the E series ($2,199 and up), there are few true competitors.

 

Even Jonathan Valin, senior writer for The Absolute Sound was impressed with the E-Series, saying:

 

“It was as if (and I scarcely exaggerate) a blanket that had been thrown over the deepest bass octaves had suddenly been lifted, revealing an astonishing wealth of previously unheard information—and revealing it with a clarity and definition that I don’t quite hear even with my reference Raidho C-4.1s

 

The E-Sub e110 ($1,999) is a no-brainer highest recommendation if ever I heard one. And remember this is coming from someone who hates subwoofers (or used to).”

 

If your speakers are specified down to 40 Hz or so, or you have bookshelf speakers, I strongly recommend auditioning a sub or 2. I promise you will be amazed at what you are missingI think all music lovers and audiophiles need to have speakers that can reproduce low frequencies, at least down to 31 Hz. Lower if possible. Obviously I do not mean boomy bass that has no control. Although most musical instruments do not go that low, you hear and feel so much; the size of the hall, reverberation, not to mention that instruments sound more natural when the low fundamentals are correctly reproduced. The problem is that subwoofers are not the easiest to incorporate. Most are designed for the home theater market, and do a poor job for acoustic music. However, when it is done right, you can experience real magic and goosebumps.

 

JL Audio has been around since 1975. Originally, the company sold speaker kits, then had a retail store selling and repairing speakers. By the late 70s, the car audio industry was starting to grow, and JL Audio became known for their superb quality drivers and car audio installations, winning many of the most prestigious awards.

 

I was a very successful Velodyne dealer in the 90s and 2000s. Velodyne was the preeminent manufacturer of high end subwoofers, capable of amazing deep and powerful bass in reasonably small enclosures. I started seeing a lot of chatter among knowledgeable audiophiles about JL Audio subwoofers. Many claimed JL was better, with even deeper bass, higher output and at lower distortion. When I finally had a chance to audition them, I had to agree that JL was every bit as good as claimed. However, I didn’t pull the trigger because the prices in Canada were too high. I thought clients would not pay a premium for them.

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I was wrong. I lost many sales to JL Audio, and Velodyne imploded (no pun intended) due to internal problems between the owners. Thus when Nabil, VP of Sales responsible for JL Audio in Canada asked me if I was interested, I jumped at the opportunity. Momma didn’t raise no fool…

 

I know what many of you are thinking. Car Audio subwoofers? Aren’t these the people responsible for the obnoxious loud bass emanating from Fast and Furious wannabes? Sure, JL Audio drivers can certainly produce prodigious amounts of bass output, and tuned to be as boomy as you want. However, they are also incredibly good. With the right designer, the drivers are as tuneful, clear and precise as it gets. The drivers are also extremely rugged, capable of withstanding the harsh environment of cars; intense heat, humidity, AND cold. JL Audio also makes speakers for Marine applications, where the drivers have to survive the salt and sea.

 

The talented design team developed specialized power amplifiers for the woofers, inert, strong enclosures AND pioneered one of the first room correction systems for subwoofers called the ARO. The current generation features updated driver technology, new amplifiers and more sophisticated room correction.

 

The result is one of the best subwoofer lines available. Period. Other subs may be larger, prettier, cheaper, but JL is still the King. From the E series ($2,199 and up), there are few true competitors.

 

Even Jonathan Valin, senior writer for The Absolute Sound was impressed with the E-Series, saying:

 

“It was as if (and I scarcely exaggerate) a blanket that had been thrown over the deepest bass octaves had suddenly been lifted, revealing an astonishing wealth of previously unheard information—and revealing it with a clarity and definition that I don’t quite hear even with my reference Raidho C-4.1s

 

The E-Sub e110 ($1,999) is a no-brainer highest recommendation if ever I heard one. And remember this is coming from someone who hates subwoofers (or used to).”

 

If your speakers are specified down to 40 Hz or so, or you have bookshelf speakers, I strongly recommend auditioning a sub or 2. I promise you will be amazed at what you are missing

Adrian Low