“Study your history, whoever don’t, I pity the fool like Mr. T.”, boomed out of the JBL L Series Floorstanding Speakers and the grin on my face could be seen from the floor below. As MF DOOM’s quirky, syncopated flow continued to assault my eardrums I couldn’t help but notice that a certain ironic, poetic justice was being played out before my eyes.
The L Series from JBL premiered early 2006 to critical acclaim, and while the year is clearly 2010 it’s always nice to revisit the classics. Not only was the buttery sound being delivered by these monumental floorstanding speakers reminding me of that, but the vocal accompaniment from the Mad Villain himself brought the whole message home.
While we were forced to fill in the blanks around these two 42 x 10 x 15 inch floorstanding models, the sound reviewed is only that of the L890CHs. Before jumping into the quality of sound, let’s reposition our focus to design.
JBL has its namesake from audio pioneer James B. Lansing, a fellow you can thank for many cinema sound designs, speaker designs, and the like. Some of his earliest speaker designs live on today, and he is one of a handful who we can all thank for the rise of the home theater.
Unparalleled craftsmanship and attention to detail is present from the moment you, most certainly, destroy the box in your zeal to see what could possibly weigh 60 lbs and be so tall. The series comes in Black Ash, Beech, or Cherry and will provide any room with an ability to radiate instantaneously the vibe of “Movies are watched here.” There’s a reason so many theaters across the United States solely design with JBL.
An advertised frequency response of 28Hz-40KHz through a five-driver array was most certainly astonishing in 2006, and is still quite impressive four and a half years later. An attribute most speaker manufacturer’s cannot replicate: longevity. In a world where marketing meetings obsess over “perceived obsolescence”, it’s charming to revisit the L890CH and realize that was never brought up during the construction of these units. The L890’s deliver a clear sound, airy highs, and a soundstage focused more on width than depth.
JBL brought home the goods in more ways than one, and the reverb from the L890’s is still felt in 2010. A commendable accomplishment that other manufacturers could learn from.