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JBL A180 Tower Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 34 16.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 118 58.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 46 22.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 3 1.5%

  • Total voters
    201

Dennis Murphy

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Guys who want them, they have been on sale at Crutchfield for $239 each $480 a pair for about the last 5months.

That seems like a good price. Some open box ones there now as low as $205

Plus Crutchfield usually has cashback from various sites and also gives you points toward future buying, use legitimate ones like Topcashback (currently 5.4%) or Couponcabin (2.5%). If pinching pennies there is a way.

Dennis would have to chime in about the value at $480+X-over parts. As I have never heard them but the price still seems well negotiated.

I hate to say it, don't hold your breath waiting for $99ea. Unless they clearance them out and discontinue the line. If your budget really is only $200 I'd look at the used market.

You could also wait for the next 500 series sale. More money for more speaker but insanely discounted when on sale. Harman has been milking those for several years now in the US. The 600 series is almost here (in the US) after many delays and milking of the 500 line for all it is worth so I'd imagine the 500 series really getting moved along soon.
Thanks for the reminder. I forgot about that. I think it's worth sending mine to Amir if he's interested. I'll be away for a week or so, but I can take care of it when i get back.
 

Dennis Murphy

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MickeyBoy

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I only had one speaker. I think it turned out really well. It's very clean and neutral in the mids and highs. The upper midrange distortion is gone. The bass is very impressive. There's usable output down to 34 Hz with lots of power handling. The midbass is a bit exaggerated, but I suspect that would win as many friends as enemies. The crossover is more complicated than the stock, but not by much. Too bad Harman discovered their pricing mistake. But if they ever mess up again, these would be killer bargain towers for a hobbyist.




View attachment 219257View attachment 219256
Many, many thanks for this mod. Two questions for the 3 inductors: air core or iron-core? Resistance important?
 
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This is what I'm ordering - shipping is free from $99, just add some spare items.

Cart_Icon.png

22 Item(s) in your cart:

$96.16

undefined
Reporting my progress on Dennis Murphy’s mod for A180. Had to do some corrections for my order as the 3-way crossover board simply wouldn’t fit into the existing cut for the original crossover. I ended up ordering 4 2-way boards. Tweeter and bass crossovers were done on separate boards.

This is what I ended up with. I haven’t figured out how to fix the boards inside yet. It sounds great but I’m going to listen for about a week before giving my opinion here ;-) Right now I’m too biased after building the crossovers and right now I think they are fantastic!

Thanks again, @Dennis Murphy!

Alex

Bass:
B369ADD2-4BD8-4824-8DFD-CD7947ED6046.jpeg

Tweeter:
0C63EE13-E2FB-43FE-BB72-F606CCCA0E8F.jpeg
 

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Last edited:

ROOSKIE

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Stage A180 is on sale direct(the whole line is)
$200 per unit so $400 a pair.

 

MickeyBoy

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Jan 3, 2018
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69
Reporting my progress on Dennis Murphy’s mod for A180. Had to do some corrections for my order as the 3-way crossover board simply wouldn’t fit into the existing cut for the original crossover. I ended up ordering 4 2-way boards. Tweeter and bass crossovers were done on separate boards.

This is what I ended up with. I haven’t figured out how to fix the boards inside yet. It sounds great but I’m going to listen for about a week before giving my opinion here ;-) Right now I’m too biased after building the crossovers and right now I think they are fantastic!

Thanks again, @Dennis Murphy!

Alex

Bass:
View attachment 221678

Tweeter:
View attachment 221679
HI Alex, I can't open you Parts-Express order. The message 'undefined' pops up. Could you post it another way? Thanks.
 

tw 2022

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2022
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295
Stage A180 is on sale direct(the whole line is)
$200 per unit so $400 a pair.

I kinda knew that was gonna be the ballpark number.. With the Dennis mod , that's a winner...dual use at a very reasonable price...
 

eardiggler

Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2021
Messages
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43
Reporting my progress on Dennis Murphy’s mod for A180. Had to do some corrections for my order as the 3-way crossover board simply wouldn’t fit into the existing cut for the original crossover. I ended up ordering 4 2-way boards. Tweeter and bass crossovers were done on separate boards.

This is what I ended up with. I haven’t figured out how to fix the boards inside yet. It sounds great but I’m going to listen for about a week before giving my opinion here ;-) Right now I’m too biased after building the crossovers and right now I think they are fantastic!

Thanks again, @Dennis Murphy!

Alex

Bass:
View attachment 221678

Tweeter:
View attachment 221679

Thanks for posting images of the crossover. I'm interested in what your solution is for mounting inside.
 

More Dynamics Please

Addicted to Fun and Learning
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Nov 18, 2020
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USA
Stage A180 is on sale direct(the whole line is)
$200 per unit so $400 a pair.

Same price Crutchfield has been offering for months as part of a long-running "special purchase" sale.
 

ROOSKIE

Major Contributor
Joined
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Same price Crutchfield has been offering for months as part of a long-running "special purchase" sale.
No it was $239 see my post #219 earlier in this thread. Where I talk about that sale.

They dropped it to $199 to match JBL's sale.
I like Crutchfield though in this case I would order direct from JBL or Harman myself, free returns and at least in my state they still don't charge sales tax which is not because MN doesn't have it. Crutchfield does have the tax added correctly.
 

More Dynamics Please

Addicted to Fun and Learning
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Location
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No it was $239 see my post #219 earlier in this thread. Where I talk about that sale.

They dropped it to $199 to match JBL's sale.
I like Crutchfield though in this case I would order direct from JBL or Harman myself, free returns and at least in my state they still don't charge sales tax which is not because MN doesn't have it. Crutchfield does have the tax added correctly.
You are correct. I misremembered the earlier Crutchfield price. And the free shipping/return from JBL/Harman gives it the edge.
 
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Location
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HI Alex, I can't open you Parts-Express order. The message 'undefined' pops up. Could you post it another way? Thanks.
Apologies, don't know what happened there.

Here is the list with links:

- Crossover PC Board 2-Way 12 dB
$3.99
Quantity: 4
Total Amount: $15.96

- Dayton Audio DNR-1.0 1 Ohm 10W Precision Audio Grade Resistor
$1.49
Quantity: 2
Total Amount: $2.98

- Dayton Audio IC181 1.0mH 18 AWG Laminated Iron Core Inductor
Quantity: 2
Total Amount: $14.98

- Dayton Audio DMPC-15 15uF 250V Polypropylene Capacitor
$6.81
Quantity: 2
Total Amount: $13.62

- Dayton Audio DPR10-2.4 2.4 Ohm 10 Watt Precision 1% Audio Grade Resistor
$1.79
Quantity: 2
Total Amount: $3.58

- Jantzen Audio 3.9uF 400V Z-Standard Capacitor
$3.88
Quantity: 2
Total Amount: $7.76

- Dayton Audio DMPC-4.7 4.7uF 250V Polypropylene Capacitor
$3.29
Quantity: 2
Total Amount: $6.58

- Dayton Audio DMPC-10 10uF 250V Polypropylene Capacitor
$5.48
Quantity: 2
Total Amount: $10.96

- Dayton Audio 0.27mH 18 AWG Perfect Layer Inductor Crossover Coil
$4.89
Quantity: 2
Total Amount: $11.58

- Dayton Audio 0.10mH 20 AWG Air Core Inductor Crossover Coil
$2.89
Quantity: 2
Total Amount: $6.78

- Dayton Audio DPR10-20.0 20 Ohm 10 Watt Precision 1% Audio Grade Resistor
$1.79
Quantity: 2
Total Amount: $3.58
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Seattle area
Thanks for posting images of the crossover. I'm interested in what your solution is for mounting inside.

I ended up using 3m velcro picture strips on short sides of each board plus small pieces of foam adhesive weatherstrip in the middle as vibration damper. Very low tech, I know ;-) I couldn't put screws in such a limited space. I lifted the speaker padding and cleaned the dust from the bottom of the speaker first to make sure the velcro would stick. Will see if it stays in place after a couple of months.

Both boards fit nicely, they are purposely arranged to minimize inductors interference:
3B4776D3-E882-4503-BE1F-A6017D68D22A.jpeg
 

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Last edited:
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
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34
Location
Seattle area
It sounds great but I’m going to listen for about a week before giving my opinion here ;-) Right now I’m too biased after building the crossovers and right now I think they are fantastic!

Thanks again, @Dennis Murphy!
I'm very, very pleased with the sound of A180 mod. After side by side listening of my A170 and A180 mod I made A180 mod front speakers and A170 surround ones.
@Dennis Murphy, you're a legend!
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
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Likes
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Location
Seattle area
They dropped it to $199 to match JBL's sale.
I like Crutchfield though in this case I would order direct from JBL or Harman myself, free returns and at least in my state they still don't charge sales tax which is not because MN doesn't have it. Crutchfield does have the tax added correctly.
+1. I got my A170 from jbl.com about a year ago and wasn't charged tax (10% for my location).
 
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