Review - XL-III Loudspeaker
I’ve been living with Exemplar Audio’s new 10” single driver speaker, the XL-III, for the past several months. I’m here to tell you that it is, by far, the best speaker system I’ve ever had in my home. That list includes Magnaplanars and Cabasse Baltic II with a Thor subwoofer.
Firstly, the obvious: because it’s a single driver, it has tremendous coherence.
Secondly, the new: this is the only supposedly full range driver that I’ve heard that is actually full range. Well almost. It does roll off starting in the low 30s (Hz). There is no shouting, no serious peaks or any of the problems the traditional full range driver has and I’ve listened to quite a few.
I’ve also listened to a lot of great speakers over the years, in friend’s homes, in high end stores and at various shows. The XL-III is the best bang for the buck I’ve ever heard. In my opinion, its speed is comparable to the Quads. Its dynamic range is astounding (listen to any great pianist on a good recording. The slightest change in finger pressure can be heard down to the softest note). Both resolution and transparency are world class. If it’s in the recording, you will hear it. The soundstage is wide and the imaging is spot on.
The sound is much more the way live acoustic music sounds, very clean with no overhang. Music is full where it should be and sharp where it should be. The bass is the cleanest I’ve ever heard.
Most of all, the XL-III is musical. In my audio life, I’ve never spent so much time listening to recordings, both great and mediocre, for the sheer joy of the music.
In conclusion, this is the last speaker I will ever buy.