$1000 Speaker System - JBL N

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RobSB, Dec 7, 2002.

  1. RobSB

    RobSB Agent

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    Hey guys. I'm looking for a nice Home Theater Audio system to complement my Toshiba 50HDX82 TV. My room is 25' by 15', and my budget is around $1000 for 5 speakers, a sub, and a receiver. This sysetm is only for TV/DVD/VHS, with virtually no music listening. I think I've compiled a decent system for myself.

    JBL N38II Mains - $285
    JBL N Center II - $109
    JBL N24II Surrounds - $115
    Sony WM40 Subwoofer - $170
    Pioneer 811S Receiver - $339
    Total: $1018

    What do you guys think of that system? Is it good? Is it OK that I used tower mains and bookshelf surrounds - would they match? Could I do better for the price?

    My other choice for a receiver was the Denon 1803, but I just couldn't fit it in my price range. I could probably stretch it a bit though. Would it be a lot better, or is the 811S good?
     
  2. DavidCannon

    DavidCannon Auditioning

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    Not bad, I was doing the same thing with the same budget this summer, Here's what I would recomend.

    JBL S26II - 2 pairs front and rear $400
    JBL SCenterII - $170
    And the Pioneer 811 - $330
    And the Sony sub - $175

    I know its about 75 more than you were looking to spend, but the studio series is really nice. That is the extact setup I have except I have the Studio series 1 instead of 2. I noticed a considerable difference between the N and S series, and my current setup rocks. let me know if you have any other questions. You might be able to find that sub cheaper than 175 if you look around.
     
  3. Justin H

    Justin H Stunt Coordinator

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    I have N38 mains, N-center and N26II/N24 surrounds with the Sony sub and it sounds pretty darn good for the money. I really impressed the whole family on Thanksgiving. [​IMG]
    The 24 will do you very well for the surrounds, but the 26's would do better. If space is of a concern the 24's would be more appropriate as they are easily wall mountable and about 3 times smaller than the 26's (which really need a shelf to rest on). From what I have learned in my short time at HTF the S series could be a very worthy step up for you. If you can fit it in your budget, get the S series...if not, I think you'll be happy with the N's.
    The Sony can be had for $125 shipped from www.my.sony.com
    Also, the Pioneer will serve you well, especially if you plan on adding an amp in the future b/c it has a full set of preouts. I own the Denon 1803 and while it is a great sounding unit with sufficient power for smaller rooms it does not have a full set of preouts. I've been happy with mine but will be forced to replace it if I ever get the bug to amplify the fronts (which I already have :b ).
     
  4. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    I can just tell you that you won't be disappointed with JBL S26's all around for HT playback.
    I'm not! [​IMG]
     
  5. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    Hey Rob,
    As far as the receiver goes, I'd keep the Pioneer for the reason Justin stated. Also the Sony is no longer available through my.sony.com.
    JBL N series make for a great "entry level" theater, even though there's nothing that entry level about their sound. Since you mention the use will primarily be for HT use, I would recommend spending more of the budget on the sub. Just because it's good for the money, doesn't make it a good sub. I might look at going with the N26 bookshelfs instead of the N38's. Since it's almost always best to set all speakers to small and let the subwoofer handle the bass for all channels, the extra bass extension of the N38's isn't a big deal. This allows more money for a high quality sub.
    Also since your receiver has power for seven channels, I would go for a 7.1 HT if space allows. After going to 7.1, the surrounds become much more involving, I find it a worthy reason to upgrade. Here's what I would do with $1K:
    The JBL's are from http://www.bhphotovideo.com(another HTF member said they're an authorized dealer)
    JBL NSP-1II(includes 2 prs. of N24 and N-Center)
    Use for 4 surrounds and center
    $279.95 free S&H
    JBL N26II
    Use as mains.
    It says $299 for the price but if you notice underneath it says email me for a better price. If you do this it give you a link back to their site with a lower price
    $139.95/pr with free S&H after clicking link
    I'd stick with the Pioneer 811 for a receiver at $330
    (same site has the 811 for $295 but you have to pay shipping on it and I don't know if they're authorized)
    For a subwoofer, I highly recommend the Infinity IL100 or IL120. They can be found cheap from ebay seller: harmanaudio
    The IL100's usually end around $200-$250
    The IL120's usually end around $300-$350
    Since you're buying them straight from Harman, you get the warranty. I've owned both these subs and they're excellent. The IL100s was a big improvement in quality from my Klipsch KSW-12 and will really blow away Sony. The IL120 is also worth the extra $100 or so, larger driver, 2x power, and larger cabinet. All this adds to greater output and lower extension. My in freq response tests shows flat response to 25Hz.
    $280 JBL NSP-1II
    $140 JBL N26II
    $330 Pioneer VSX-811s
    $250ish shipped Infinity IL100s
    -----------------------
    $1000 even
    I think HT and music would sound better with the $1k redistributed this way. JBL S Series are noticeably better but I think a good sub is what makes HT so involving.
     
  6. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Here's my 2 cents, but very similar to Frank's suggestions

    Reveiver - Pioneer D811S ($300 shipped)

    Mains - JBL N28s ($150 shipped)

    Center/Surrounds/Sub - JBL NSP1 II/PB12 Sub package ($550 shipped, etronics)

    Total - $1000 even

    I recommended the NSP1/PB12 package from etronics because the Infinity IL100 sub that Frank recommended only goes down to 32hz, where the PB12 goes down to 25hz. Since both JBL and Infinity are made by Harman Audio, i'm guessing the 250 watt amplifier will be either the same or very similar.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    Stephen,
    I've only had the BB demo of the PB-12, which I know is less than ideal to assess what it can do. However, I have had experience w/older versions such as the DPS-10, DPS-12, and PSW-D112. All of these subwoofers were able to give decent output, but none of them come close to the sound quality of the Infinity. The Infinity also includes RABOS, a single band parametric eq which can reduce your largest freq. response peak by 6db.
    I going from memory here but in a review from Tom Nousaine, the IL100's average output from 25-63Hz(at 10% distortion) in TN's 7600ft^3 was around 102-104db.
    Here's some other stuff from reviews at cnet.com:
    Click for IL100s review from cnet.com
    "After diddling with the controls a bit, we measured the IL100s's impressively flat response in our room: +/- 1.5dB from 30Hz to 100Hz (it was down an additional 2dB at 26Hz). That's incredible performance for a $499 sub! Your results, of course, may vary."
    I measured [email protected] in my small room.(I also found out that location gave me [email protected] from the listening position[​IMG])
    Also from cnet, JBL PB-12 review
    "The JBL PB12 carries a $479 price tag. That's not unreasonable, but in that range, we prefer Infinity's excellent IL100s, which does a better job of filling the room with bass while also communicating musical detail."
    Now I know that listening for yourself takes precedence over what some reviewer says, but I happen to agree with what this reviewer has to say.
     
  8. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I think either sub would do you well. The frequency responses i quoted for both subs were those published by the manufacturers. Take that for what you will. You never know how something will sound in your environment until you listen to it.

    Also, the IL100s from Harman Audio are refurbs, and the PB12 w/ the combo from etronics is new. That said, you would probably have better luck getting warranty work done on the refurb infinity because it carries the same original factory warranty since it's direct from harman audio. You might have some problems getting warranty work done on something from etronics, since they're not an authorized JBL dealer.

    Also, i usually don't put much stock in published reviews, especially those from a non-audio publication such as cnet (and rarely those of audio publications). Like Frank said, you really should listen, then decide.

    Hope this helps.
     

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