My, My, My Audiona—Whoo!
This is Vegas, so you'll understand that when I say that Jon Iverson and I were simply rolling the dice when we entered Audiona's room at T.H.E. Show, I mean that in a good way. "Want to hear some actively crossovered, four-way loudspeakers?" Brian Quick asked us. Well, yeah, that's what we do.
The 275 lb, 56.5" H by 26" W by 24" D 442 GL contains all-JBL drivers: a bi-radial constant-coverage horn/compression driver tweeter, bi-radial constant-coverage horn/compression driver midrange, 10" midbass driver, and 18" woofer. The class-A active crossover employs phase compensation for the fourth-order filters, with frequencies set at 150Hz, 1kHz, and 4kHz. Cables are included. The whole system retails for $45,000.
Quick told us he'd considered building a three-way system, but it was impossible to keep the woofer pistonic throughout its range going that route. It sure sounds pistonic in the 442 GL. Wowsers, no wonder horn guys are so contemptuous of reflex-loaded small box loudspeakers—the 442s sounded immense. What impressed us most, however, was how natural the mids and highs sounded through those compression drivers. Voices sounded smooth and unforced and music had life and sparkle. If you love horns, you've got to hear the 442 GLS—and if you don't love horns, these could rattle your prejudices.
I hope Quick is bringing Audiona to HE 2006 in June, because you really ought to hear'em.