Review - XL-III Loudspeaker

If you have heard the products produced by John Tucker, you know he is a brilliant designer.  I'm a long-time believer: going back to his modified Denon 2900 universal player from many years ago.  I'm now using John's current player, electronics and cords, and have been happy with my LSA2 Statement speakers.

Several months ago, John told me about his new Exemplar speakers.  I was intrigued, but taking a fly on single driver speakers at that price was a risk I was hesitant to take.

Over the years, John and I seem to hear things the same way.  He was very excited about this new line, saying they might be his all-time best creation.  That was quite a statement coming from a guy with such an excellent track record, so of course, I had to take a fly on the model with single 10 inch drivers.

The speakers are fully broken in after being in my system for 3 months. They are the most seamless and coherent speakers I have heard.  I've always loved the Exemplar "see through" sound, and you get that big time.  Much more low level detail, textures and nuance. It's not that artificial tipped up highs that attempt to create the illusion of clarity that you get from some manufacturers.  It sounds completely natural.

I love great imaging, and these speakers image better than any I have heard.  That sense of being able to place instruments and voices on the stage is magic for me. They draw me in to the music in a way that's hard to describe.

Another hard to describe intangible is the sense of effortlessness that these speakers have.  Absolutely no strain, the music just pours in to the room.

The speakers have tons of bass, and of course, it's foundational and gives you so much low level detail.  No boom boom here, it's tight and real.

Part of what I'm hearing must be the absence of noise from the multi-drivers in other speakers.  My LSA2 Statements, which I love, now sound bloated and mechanical after listening to the Exemplars.

Bad recordings will still sound like bad recordings, but they are not unlistenable.  You get tons of detail, but it's not a stark x-ray kind of sound.  It's very natural and musical.

These speakers are everything John said they were.  Know that placement really matters, and break in time is significant but worth the wait.    

It was a leap of faith to take a chance on these speakers, but no regrets here.  I'm not a reviewer, just a guy who loves music.  But I can say these are easily the best speakers I have heard, and it doesn't get any better than having the best speakers you have ever heard in your room.  They are incredibly alluring for me.  Most importantly, I connect with the music better than ever before.  They really may be John's best creation.  I'm confident in saying that if you like his players and electronics, you will love these speakers.


Joe Martin

Louiville, KY