JBL K2 5500 anyone?

It's really weird. They were supposed to be top of the JBL line (or second from the top) in 1993 yet there is absolutely NO info or reviews on them anywhere. What's the problem? Are they an absolute disaster erased from history? Anyone heard them? I'm in the market for a big floorstanders and the local guy sells them for a decent price.
What search engine are you using?I found this and lots more info with a couple of mouse clicks on google.

I meant not the technical info, but reviews, opinions, discussions etc.
These are favorites of the Japanese market. They love JBL. The most current version is the 6600, Everest. The Kimber room at RMAF 2009 had these monsters. You need to build a special room to house these. The most puzzling part of these large speakers is that the Japanese market eats them up but room size in Japan is very small, you figure.
The reason is that the bass only goes to about 33hz. therefore not overpowering the smaller rooms. At RMAF, the 9900 K2's in the trailer sounded MUCH better than the Everests in the main building. In fact, I almost bought the 9900's, which have yet to make it to the JBL website, for some reason.

I've noticed on Agon that some people are pretty "proud" of their 20 yr-old JBLs trying to get 3 and 4 times what they originally cost- they have remained unsold for quite a while now. Guess they really don't want to sell them....
Well, the 35 Hz response of 5500's is what's puzzling me. Since I have a rather big room and want my speakers to have a really big and low bass. Currently I'm having JBL L150s and while they are far from the greatest speaker JBL ever made I simply love the power of their bass and the stunning realism which they give to the drums sound. That's what makes you addictive to JBL sound and frankly I don't want JBL speakers which doesn't have that kick-ass bass.
I'm in the market for a big floorstanders and the local guy sells them for a decent price.

Anton,Why don't you go and hear them for yourself?

Buc,I read an article about this a few weeks ago.They use flea powered SET amps and place the listening seat between the speakers that are orientated directly at each other,kinda like giant headphones I guess.I can't see how you can get much enjoyment out of that configuration,but,to each his own.
Antonkk- The story I got from the Harmon Kardon people at RMAF was that if they made the bass go lower, it would lower the speaker "efficiency" and sound disjointed from the rest of the horns. Not sure that I buy it, but that was their story and I'm pretty sure they're sticking to it...

It would seem that with all their research in their facility in Cali, someone would be able to figure it out, just as other manufacturers have. Since they do so much business in Japan, maybe their business model is set the way things are. If would seems like if they want to penetrate the US floorstanding speaker market, hopefully they realize the bass needs to go lower. It seems ridiculous to need a sub with full-range JBLs - I told them that at RMAF and got a shoulder shrug. The lack of bass extension is what kept me from a purchase right then and there.
Tpreaves, the guy just stores them without a room or a system to show them. And since they weight am almost 100 kg it's he will not give them for an audition.
Fplanner2010, I guess I'll have to pass to. 35 Hz is not serious for speakers of such size and anyway, my room is almost 50 sq.m.
35hz is very good responce, sure many claim lower but at what SPL and level of distortion? And what type of music are you into thats sub 35hz anyway? Heck most HT effects are lucky to be this low today. The older movies sure. But today producers know most use HT in a box and 40hz is about it for those.
Anton,Beware of backroom deals,you will usually get burned.I would be very wary buying from someone that would not let me try something out.BTW,35Hz is a very respectable measurement for a speaker and JBL is usually spot-on with their numbers.
Despite the above 2 comments, 35hz is not very low for a full-range speaker, especially at that price point, IMO. Its high enough to make me lose interest, at least at this point. And yes, there are many movies and CDs that go below 35hz without blasting, depending upon the quality of your system.
I don't think the 35 Hz will be a brick wall. There is sure to be plenty of energy below 35 Hz. I do not think it is wise to dismiss a world class speaker on this measure alone, unless, like most people, you prefer the North American consumer slow resonant deep impressive bass extension over fast bass with better transients and lower distortion.

Good quality bass below 35 Hz is actually extremely expensive to engineer in significant SPL's. It is not crazy but actually quite reasonable to use a dedicted high quality sub for this task.
Shadorne - you raise a good point. Not sure about the 5500s. but the K2 9900s I heard at RMAF were pretty impressive.

Antonkk - You won't really know anything until you try them in your system and you may very well love them, if they are in good condition. I would be wary if the seller won't let you try them first. Depending upon the price, maybe you could offer to pay a small amount to be credited towards the purchase price if you decided to buy them, sort of like the Cable Company does? At least them he could see you are serious and that might change his attitude. Good luck.

Quite an old topic, but I am always surprise to find so few information about JBL K2 speakers, especialy this first serie.
I owned a pair of K2 S5500 and the upper description is quite good: fast basses, good transients, low distorsion and also a great balance. Doing less, but doing good and if you want the 20Hz at home, invest in a dedicated speaker.

As I am a lucky man, I had an opportunity on a K2 S9500 pair, still an apolito design but in maxi format, with more everything (basses, energy, information, tones, dynamic...) and still the same philosophy. You can go deeper, but not in the same conditions (speaker size/volume, distorsion...).

These speakers seem to be rare in US and it's a "harm" because it's really good ones, far better from my point of view than the first Everest DD55000 (tones for example), one among the best JBL.

JBL specs are anechoic. Real world, in room measurements show a much deeper bass. JBL just does not want to use the "guesswork and optimism-based" phrases, like "typical in-room response......" that so many boutique manufacturers use. I've seen the Everests do 22 hertz flat in a medium room in a home.

You do not see the older speakers in the USA as JBL gave up on the USA market for the large horns due to the market's blind prejudice against horns. A dealer could not order them. But they sold plenty overseas. Just a couple of years ago JBL decided to let them be sold in the USA and started demoing them. There are several great low distortion speakers in the line, from the 1400 array up to the DD67000 Everests.

I am not a dealer, not affiliated in any way with JBL. But I appreciate excellence.
Low distortion was exactly what I said myself past week end. You can listen loudly very easily, not that you need, just that you have pleasure to increase the level song after song. It plays loud and always easy.

Now, that's doesn't significate that it's not able to be detailled or delicate.

I don't appreciate so much the K2 S9800 serie, that I consider as a little bit boring, but the first K2 (9500) is really a great speaker and it's quite sad to realise that the model is unknow (or closed) on US market.
"Now, that's doesn't significate"

Hmmm......we making up words now? Or are you channeling Archie Bunker?


English is not my mother tongue and I use it because most of people doesn't understand mine.