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JBL s38 vs. Polk rt600i


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#1 of 25 OFFLINE   anthony_b

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:23 AM

Both speakers are at close out prices ($300)and I'm considering these two only becuase it's in my budget and I own polks as surrounds and the JBL s-center as my center channel. I could try to sell one of the brands I currently own to have a complete JBL or POLK setup. I'm a 50/50 music/HT guy. I've heard them both and I still can't decide !!...Which one would you choose ?
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#2 of 25 OFFLINE   KyleGS

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Posted July 24 2002 - 06:14 AM

I've heard the Polk and own the S38's. I like my S38's much better. The Polk tweeter just doesn't sound as smooth and realistic and the bass is no way comparable to the S38. IMO I think the JBL is a MUCH better speaker. The JBL's sound amazing matched with the s-center.

#3 of 25 OFFLINE   JesseR

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Posted July 24 2002 - 06:56 AM

I own the s-center and the s38's...soudn terrific together. I really like them. Also the s38's sound great just for 2-channel music. I havent heard the polks though, except maybe at cricuit city for a few minutes.

#4 of 25 OFFLINE   anthony_b

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Posted July 24 2002 - 07:58 AM

I own a velodyne sub, so bass from the bookshelf speakers are not that important to me...would you still get the JBL's over the Polk's ?
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#5 of 25 OFFLINE   Adam Bluhm

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Posted July 24 2002 - 09:15 AM

I can't do a comparison. I only have two of my four S26II's (from JBL) hooked up with the JBL PB10 sub. So far with a two channel sterio, it sounds wonderful. I've also read that JBL's can actually do movies slightly better than music. I can't wait to get the entire setup complete. Posted Image
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#6 of 25 OFFLINE   Chris Tsutsui

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Posted July 24 2002 - 01:51 PM

I recommend buying the S38s just because they will match your center channel. The surround matching isn't as important compared to the front 3. If you sold the S-center you'd maybe get $100-140 and then you'd have to buy the Polk Center.

I havn't heard much talk about the polks except for the Lsi models. JBL Studios seem to be supported around here so you probably won't go wrong with the S38s.

btw, I have S38s on my computer and they are impressive for the cost. (I paid $245 used)


#7 of 25 OFFLINE   anthony_b

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Posted July 24 2002 - 02:28 PM

Chris, I agree with what you're mean about the center channel and that JBL gets a lot of "love" around here. I'm suprised I haven't heard from any POLK owners ?!....I was looking into the POLK CS245I for $129.00 new, in the event that I were to sell me JBL center.....I think I'm leaning torwards JBL..Posted Image
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#8 of 25 OFFLINE   Mark Russ

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Posted July 24 2002 - 04:54 PM

If you can, buy them both, set them up in your room, do direct a/b comparisions, let your ears be the judge, and then return whichever one you don't like as much. Don't just go by a popularity poll on a forum. I know it's an overused saying, but it is true-listen for yourself, because everyone has different taste and/or opinions and it's all so subjective.
As for me personally, I think the Polks are better than JBLs, but that's just me. I think a fairer comparision would be Infinity vs. Polk (as Infinity are owned by the same company as JBL). Not to diss JBL, but I think that Infinity is probably higher up on the totem pole in the Harman conglamorate (just as Oldsmobile is/was higher up on the food chain than Chevy in GM for example).

#9 of 25 OFFLINE   anthony_b

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Posted July 24 2002 - 11:57 PM

Mark, thanks for making it more difficult for me..Posted Image
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#10 of 25 OFFLINE   Phil Iturralde

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Posted July 25 2002 - 02:35 AM

Quote:
... I think the Polks are better than JBLs, ...

IMHO, though both speakers are well regarded, my critical auditions a few years back revealed the Polks RT25i highs lack vs. the JBL N24's. I like the JBL N24's ability to provide the air and details with bells, bell trees, triangles, cymbals air harmonics and the sweet violins string sections, just like the better local Cinema Theaters.

When Sound and Vision Standard Speaker objective test were published by Tom Nousaine, it confirmed what I heard ...

Frequency Response
RT25i front left/right.... 88 Hz to 15.2 kHz ±3.0 dB

Frequency Response
N-24 front left/right..... 89 Hz to 18.9 kHz ±2.7 dB

All the JBL N-Series use the Same 3/4" Titanium-laminate dome tweeter, so you can expect similar flat, high frequency extensions from the tweeter x-over on up from the other N-Series models.

Lets compare the JBL S-38 - again objective results from Sound and Vision Standard Speaker objective test published by Tom Nousaine ...

REQUENCY RESPONSE
JBL S38..... 80 Hz to 20 kHz ±3.8 dB

All the JBL S-Series use the Same 1" Pure Titanium dome tweeter, so you can expect similar flat, high frequency extensions from the tweeter x-over on up from the other S-Series models.

Quote:
Infinity is probably higher up on the totem pole in the Harman conglamorate ...

Opinions are opinions, but here's where MO disagrees, since Infinity does not have the benefit that JBL has, which it to design their speakers using the same leading-edge testing and design technologies included in JBL's TEC Award Winning Professional Series LSR Linear Spatial Reference studio monitors. (recommended by Dr. Floyd Toole for the N & S-Series)

For example, using Sound & Visions objective results from Sound and Vision Standard Speaker objective test published by Tom Nousaine ...

Infinity Interlude
IL40 (L/R front).... 31 Hz to 14 kHz ±4.1dB
IL36c (center) .... 74 Hz to 15.2 kHz ±3.1 dB
IL10 (surround) .... 71 Hz to 16.4 kHz ±3.1 dB

Sound & Vision - LOW POINTS commends:
Lacks articulation in vocal range.
Surround and center speaker placement not very flexible.

Good speakers but vs. the JBL N & S-Series high frequency flat extension & dispersions, the use of a host of technologies have reaped the reward from the Industry, specifically CEA has recognized JBL design efforts, by bestowing its coveted Innovations 2000 Design and Engineering Award to JBL's Studio Series S38 and S412P loudspeakers.

For my money, I still feel that JBL represents excellent performance vs. price - especially the original N & S-Series, while supplies last.

For more JBL INFO & Reviews w/links, see my webpage Why you should add JBL "N" & "S" Series to your audition list!.

**NOTE: Because my website is 'free', hosted by GeoCities, if too many HT enthusiasts visit, GeoCities will shut it down for an hour or so because it exceeded the specified 'freebie' Data Transfer Rate. Sorry about that, just bookmark it and visit my site an hour later or when everyone has gone to bed!

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#11 of 25 OFFLINE   Phil_DC

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Posted July 25 2002 - 04:15 AM

Actually the Polk R50's sound better than any of the RT's especially with music. When I was comparing Polks, the Rt's( whole series) sounded muffled but R50's were clear.

If you go Polk I would give the R50's a listen first.

#12 of 25 OFFLINE   anthony_b

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Posted July 25 2002 - 04:51 AM

Since I have the s-center already (awesome) I'm going to stick with JBL. Most likely the s26. It should blend well with my Velodyne.....thanks everyone for replying.Posted Image
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#13 of 25 OFFLINE   Phil Iturralde

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Posted July 25 2002 - 04:56 AM

Quote:
... the s-center already (awesome) ...


Agreed!!!

Quote:
...stick with JBL. Most likely the s26.

Great Choice!! I have four S26's anchoring my Fronts & Surround Locations w/ the awesome JBL 3-way S-Center

FYI: Audio journalists choose the JBL S26 as the best speaker on most clips (Blind-Test - Computer Controlled Audio & Video clips) vs. a Boston Acoustics CR8 & a B&W DM601! Jul 1, 2001 - Scott Wilkinson - "OBJECTIVE SUBJECTIVITY" - Electronic Musician

Phil
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---- Toshiba 62HM196 62" 1080p DLP HDTV pic's (#1 in Consumer Reports)
DVD Aficionado (DVDAF) on-going list.
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JBL S-Series + SVS 25-31PCi (SN: 00034) w/NSD Upgrade!

#14 of 25 OFFLINE   Mark Russ

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Posted July 25 2002 - 06:50 PM

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
... I think the Polks are better than JBLs, ...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



IMHO, though both speakers are well regarded, my critical auditions a few years back revealed the Polks RT25i highs lack vs. the JBL N24's. I like the JBL N24's ability to provide the air and details with bells, bell trees, triangles, cymbals air harmonics and the sweet violins string sections, just like the better local Cinema Theaters.

When Sound and Vision Standard Speaker objective test were published by Tom Nousaine, it confirmed what I heard ...

Frequency Response
RT25i front left/right.... 88 Hz to 15.2 kHz ±3.0 dB

Frequency Response
N-24 front left/right..... 89 Hz to 18.9 kHz ±2.7 dB

All the JBL N-Series use the Same 3/4" Titanium-laminate dome tweeter, so you can expect similar flat, high frequency extensions from the tweeter x-over on up from the other N-Series models.

Lets compare the JBL S-38 - again objective results from Sound and Vision Standard Speaker objective test published by Tom Nousaine ...

REQUENCY RESPONSE
JBL S38..... 80 Hz to 20 kHz ±3.8 dB

All the JBL S-Series use the Same 1" Pure Titanium dome tweeter, so you can expect similar flat, high frequency extensions from the tweeter x-over on up from the other S-Series models.

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Infinity is probably higher up on the totem pole in the Harman conglamorate ...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Opinions are opinions, but here's where MO disagrees, since Infinity does not have the benefit that JBL has, which it to design their speakers using the same leading-edge testing and design technologies included in JBL's TEC Award Winning Professional Series LSR Linear Spatial Reference studio monitors. (recommended by Dr. Floyd Toole for the N & S-Series)

For example, using Sound & Visions objective results from Sound and Vision Standard Speaker objective test published by Tom Nousaine ...

Infinity Interlude
IL40 (L/R front).... 31 Hz to 14 kHz ±4.1dB
IL36c (center) .... 74 Hz to 15.2 kHz ±3.1 dB
IL10 (surround) .... 71 Hz to 16.4 kHz ±3.1 dB

Sound & Vision - LOW POINTS commends:
Lacks articulation in vocal range.
Surround and center speaker placement not very flexible.

Good speakers but vs. the JBL N & S-Series high frequency flat extension & dispersions, the use of a host of technologies have reaped the reward from the Industry, specifically CEA has recognized JBL design efforts, by bestowing its coveted Innovations 2000 Design and Engineering Award to JBL's Studio Series S38 and S412P loudspeakers.

For my money, I still feel that JBL represents excellent performance vs. price - especially the original N & S-Series, while supplies last.



Phil I.,
with all due respect, Infinity (and Revel too for that matter) has the exact same access to the "leading edge testing and design technologies recommended by Dr. Floyd Toole" that JBL does. That goes for all 3 of Harman's speaker companies, not exclusively for JBL.
As for JBL's awards, name me one speaker company that hasn't won some kind of awards at some time or another. Just about ALL of them have, even Bose!
Also, I too could go find reviews of Polk, JBL, and Infinity from magazine's web sites and then copy and paste only the positive parts and measurements for Polk and Infinity along with only the negative parts and measurements for JBL, but I'm not going to do that. To me, a reviewer is only a person with an opinion. No different from any of us on this board. The reviewer's opinion is what he/she likes or dislikes (assuming no advertising dollars are behind a hidden agenda), and that may be different from what someone else likes or dislikes.
I think the Polks sound better than JBL. I think they are richer and fuller with much better bass and midrange, while I thought the JBLs were tinny and screechy, but that's only the way my ears interpreted it. Obviously, others disagree, while some others do agree. There will NEVER be unanimous agreement on this.
You obviously are a big JBL fan. If you are happy with them, then that's all that matters. I'm not dissing JBL (I'd only do that to Bose). I don't want for him to buy the same speakers as me just to make me feel better about mine (matter of fact, I own Klipsch and M&K, not Polk and/or Infinity), and I don't depend on any speaker company as my livelihood, so I could care less what brand Anthony buys, as long as he's satisfied with whatever he gets, that's all that matters. This is all subjective opinions. You can't go by measurements and/or specifications, or other peoples recommendations. You have to listen with your own ears. That's why I suggested that he buy both if possible to audition in his own home, and then actually keep what he liked best.

#15 of 25 OFFLINE   anthony_b

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Posted July 26 2002 - 12:16 AM

Mark, I agree totally with what you wrote. I feel sometimes that you're always pushed to purchase what is popular on the forum. I mean, around here if you don't have SVS your not part of the "in crowd".
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#16 of 25 OFFLINE   anthony_b

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Posted August 03 2002 - 12:14 AM

It's been a week since I purchased my JBL S26's and they're going back to the store.....The speakers sound fine but they don't get me excited Posted Image .....I'm trying the polk rt600i's....I'll let you know how I feel about those on Monday...
Think before you speak....Peace always

#17 of 25 OFFLINE   Merrill

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Posted August 03 2002 - 02:29 AM

I was making a simliar decision. I was looking at the 38s and the RT800i. I bought the RT800i and added the Polk CSi30 center (RT15i in the rear). I love the set up. My first impression of the JBLs was I would have to buy stands but after listen to both several times, I agree with Mark and felt the Polk just had a richer sound.

Howerver, the one thing I've always heard is that it's important to match up the Mains with the Center. Therefore, the new Polks may not sounds too good either (in combination with the JBL Center).

You're probably doing the best thing by listen to them in your environment. So many factors are in play when listening to speakers.
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#18 of 25 OFFLINE   anthony_b

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Posted August 03 2002 - 02:36 AM

Merrill, you're right....I might get the polk center also.
Think before you speak....Peace always

#19 of 25 OFFLINE   Brian Warren

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Posted August 03 2002 - 02:44 AM

anthony - why did you get the 26's, your first post said you were looking at the 38's. I bet the 38s would have been better but maybe your saying you are returning the 38's?
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#20 of 25 OFFLINE   anthony_b

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Posted August 03 2002 - 04:14 AM

I decided to save $100 bucks and I went with the s26's. I figured since I already had a good sub I didn't need the s38.....
Think before you speak....Peace always


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