The qualities that have made previous JL Audio’s subwoofers exceptional—lack of bloat and overhang, coupled with tremendous power and authority—were evident in the new, more affordable e112. The pair of e112s was quick and agile, reproducing transient information with no smearing of leading-edge attacks, plus very fast decays. As a result, the subs didn’t dilute pace and rhythm, as many subs do. Ray Brown’s bass playing, on everything from his Soular Energy, to Duke Ellington’s Duke’s Big 4, to Bill Evans’ Quintessence, was reproduced with its driving swing intact.
Kickdrum was startling in its impact and depth, and organ pedal points pressurized the room in the way that only subwoofers can. The e112 goes low, plays loudly, and does both at the same time without any sense of strain or compression of dynamic peaks. Adding the subs also made the soundstage bigger and more expansive (many spatial cues are carried by very low frequency information).
As you’ll read in the sidebar, filtering bass from the X-1s also conferred big gains in dynamic contrasts, midrange clarity, and the ability to play loudly without congestion in the midbass.
Finally, if you’re thinking of adding a subwoofer to your system, I highly recommend that you buy two or more. Two subwoofers drive the room more uniformly than one. Moreover, each subwoofer works only half as hard for a given sound-pressure level, increasing dynamic headroom and lowering distortion.
The JL Audio e112 seems to have sworn the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. The e112 follows this dictum in two ways. First, its integral crossover is extremely clean and transparent. Second, this sub doesn’t call attention to itself by weighing down the music with a bloated rendering of the bottom end. These qualities alone would make the e112 a standout. But this subwoofer takes excellent performance up several notches, reproducing the dynamic, textural, and tonal nuances in acoustic or electric bass playing. Despite “light on its feet” agility, the e112 also delivers tremendous bottom-end authority. It’s this combination of finesse and impact that makes the e112 such a stand-out in a crowded field—and at an eminently affordable price.
SPECS & PRICING
Driver: One 12"
Integral amplifier power: 1500W
Crossover: Line-level, variable frequency, fourth-order
Phase control: Continuously variable
Dimensions: 15.5" x 16.23" x 18.39"
Weight: 75.3 lbs.
Price: $1900 (black ash); $2100 (piano black)
JL AUDIO, INC.
10369 North Commerce Pkwy
Miramar, FL 33025