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Christmas Gift Guide

Meet Alex and his big JBL

The view

The mother of all JBL speakers

It’s no ordinary Everest

Everest’s deeply sculpted horns

Pass Labs XVR1 electronic crossovers

Marantz Reference Series MA-9S2 amplifier

Pass Labs XA60.8 power amplifier

The Pass Labs XA60.8 meter

The Wolf

The Meitner ma1 digital converter

The EMM Labs Pre2 preamplifier

Alex’s Macbook Pro laptop

More art

The components live here

One more Everest shot

This is Alex. His Show Us Yours showcase comes to us courtesy of Steve Guttenberg, who writes CNET's Audiophiliac column.

Alex likes to get deep into the gear, and over the years he's developed friendships with some of the designers of the components in his system. His JBL Everest speakers proudly hold court in his Upper West Side New York apartment!

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Before we get to the audio system, check out Alex's view of Central Park!

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Those JBL Everest DD67000 speakers look pretty standard, but Alex bypassed the speakers' internal crossover networks to improve the speakers' performance.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Alex consulted with ex JBL engineer Greg Timbers about how to tri-amplify the Everests with Marantz and Pass Labs electronics. Timbers designed the Everest and the sound Alex is getting is so effortless all you hear is the music.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Sorry the pictures can't do full justice to the look of the speakers dramatic Bi-Radial horns. Fun fact: Each speaker weighs 313 pounds (142 kg)!

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Alex selected this crossover to go "active" with the JBLs, so he could bypass the speakers internal passive crossover to achieve better-than-factory sound from the big JBLs. Alex isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and tweak the sound. He takes real joy in making his system sound better and better.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Alex uses two of these made-in-Japan 300 watt monaural Marantz amps on each speaker, one for each 15-inch (380mm) woofer! That's a total of four MA-9S2 amps in the system! Alex is fascinated by the tech behind the products in his system, and the designers who make the tech.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Alex uses a single XA60.8 Pass 60 watt amplifier to drive the JBL horn loaded 4-inch (100mm) pure beryllium midrange and 1-inch (25mm) pure beryllum tweeter. So if you're keeping score, Alex has a total of six mono power amps; each speaker is tri-amped with two Marantz and one Pass amplifiers.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Not sure what it's for, but the meter looks cool.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Alex has some remarkable art in his apartment, and I couldn't stop staring at this Joe Andoe painting.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Alex puts his faith in Ed Meitner's digital converters for a couple of reasons, starting with the sound quality of course, but also because Sony uses Meitner converters. Also, Meitner offers upgrades for his converters so they never go out of date.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

The Pre2 preamplifier is the system controller.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Alex uploaded 1,600 CDs to his Macbook Pro, which he uses as a server. He no longer plays CDs, and hasn't played LPs in years. Alex plays rock, classical and other genres for pleasure, for time to think, and as background sound.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

There was quite a bit of art in Alex's apartment. This one hangs in his home office.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Thanks for checking out this installment of Show Us Yours. If you want to see more, we have plenty to look at here.

Caption by / Photo by Steve Guttenberg/CNET
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