A few months ago a reader of my site contacted me and informed about that he found a very interesting driver, that his is using and he is very excited about it. The driver is JBL 2490.
It was mentioned at this site a few times but I never seen/used it and I decided to look what it is. My objective was to have a compression driver, useable in my Fundamental Channel, that will be able to go down to 200Hz.
There are not a lot of suitable drivers around. The large Elmar and Community drivers are out of questions. The Goto/Ale/WE have very small throat that would lead to a long time non-align horn, also it is not know if I like their sound and there is no options to try it. The RCA MI-95XX might be an interesting driver but I do not know them and whoever use them are not credible. Cogent would cover the range but they are too soft sounding for my taste and they are physically too long. The JBL 2" 248X series are unusable as they have too soft diaphragms. The 4592ND-mid is excellent theoretical choose but I had it and it sounds like crap.
From all analyses the JBL 2490 sound like a very interesting candidate. Take a look: It has 3” exit and in order to properly load 183Hz hour it would need just 20” horn. The driver has very low depth, which will be excellent for my Macondo frame. The JBL 2490 wants “200 watts continuous program above 250 Hz”, which means that with my 1-2W it shall be able to handle down to 100Hz-150Hz. So, it looks wonderful. There is negative moment however. The 3” exit makes short horn that minimizes the horn equalization. As the result the lower knee of the Fundamental Channel will be contributively more produce by the efforts of the driver instead of the efforts of horn equalization. That is not good. Well, the 2490 is still compression driver, it is not the idiotic Kharma Ceramic drivers where more bass mean more excursion. The compression drivers are underhang by nature and the extra excursion that this JBL 4” diaphragm will care shall not be too much problem.
Now, JBL 2490 has reportedly fully titanium diaphragm with I presume the titanium suspension. Usually those type of diaphragms sound like shit and only plastic imbedded titanium diaphragms sound acceptably. However, my hope is that since JBL 2490 is only lower MF driver then the HF ringing that is so annoying with fully titanium diaphragms will not be there.
Since JBL 2490 is very much not know I did some searching and reading what people say about it online. There is not a lot of there. There is a Sound African gat with his 5-channals GOTO/Altec playback use 2490 for a number of years and he is hugely pleased. You can find his comment at AA and at Audio Heritage sites. I did not listen his playback and he hardly ever talks about Sound, so I do not know what he is listening and what he is looking in Sound. I made a few phone calls and find a guy that know who use to have JBL 2490. He passed extremely negative feedback about it sound. He found that the driver had a lot of typical titanium coloration and strong lock of colors in lower MF range. It is important to get that this comment came from the guy who I know very much, have good grip about his reference points and he is in my books is a very much “trusted source”. There were a few more comments that I found but they are less relevant or indicative. So, the stage was set for me to try the JBL 2490 and to see if it would be worthy performer.
The JBL 2490 retail price is $960 per driver, the diaphragm replacement is $250. I would call it expensive. Still, I got the JBL 2490 and I will be playing with it, with a naked driver and in various horns I have, probably driving it from my full-range Melquiades. Let see what the JBL 2490 will show up.
Meanwhile if any of you have any experience with JBL 2490, I mean USE the driver, then raise your voice.Rgs, Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche