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This ultra-high-end system climbs the Mt. Everest of audio

Show Us Yours: This installment features the mother of all JBL speakers, the Everest, which weighs in at 313 pounds (142 kg). That's a lot of boom.

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
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1 of 16 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Meet Alex and his big JBL

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!

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The view

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

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The mother of all JBL speakers

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

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It’s no ordinary Everest

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.

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Everest’s deeply sculpted horns

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)!

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Pass Labs XVR1 electronic crossovers

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.

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Marantz Reference Series MA-9S2 amplifier

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.

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Pass Labs XA60.8 power amplifier

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.

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The Pass Labs XA60.8 meter

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

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The Wolf

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

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The Meitner ma1 digital converter

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.

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The EMM Labs Pre2 preamplifier

The Pre2 preamplifier is the system controller.

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Alex’s Macbook Pro laptop

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.

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More art

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

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The components live here

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One more Everest shot

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

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