Difference between JBL speakers?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Tray, Sep 7, 2002.

  1. Tray

    Tray Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    How much of a difference can you tell in the sound between the JBL N and S series?

    I haven't had a chance to hear them yet. If the N series sounds decent enough that would save me $$$ I need 5 maybe 6 speakers. I believe I have decided to go with the Denon 3802. Will it be to much for the N series?

    Thanks!

    Tray
     
  2. Jason Wilcox

    Jason Wilcox Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    you should really give a listen to them yourself...they are available at a wide range of dealers so it shouldn't be a problem

    i prefer the s series and most others seem to as well. however, some do prefer the N series to the S.
     
  3. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    526
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tray,

    There is an expert here about JBL speakers (Phil), I hope he checks your thread, because he has a lot of information, and more details than anybody else here.

    I think the you could check the specs in both series, check the recommend power, the Frecuency response, but one of the biggest difference is the tweeters in the Northbrige is 3/4'' and in the Studio series is 1'', as you might now also are a little more expensive. But both series are good. I think the N series doesnt have 3 way bookshelfs, and the S series does with the S36 and S38. Also the center of the N series is a two way speaker and the S series is a three way, both sound very good, but I like a little more the S series.

    But a lot is going to depend on size of the room, budget, and audtion both series, at the end the best judge is you and your ears.

    And about the DENON 3802, I think is a very good reciever, and I couldnt say if it is too much because you could go for

    N24 Maximum Recommended Amplifier Power: 100 Watts
    N26 Maximum Recommended Amplifier Power: 125 Watts
    N28 Maximum Recommended Amplifier Power: 150 Watts
    N38 Maximum Recommended Amplifier Power: 175 Watts
    ND310II Maximum Recommended Amplifier Power: 250 Watts

    And the 3802 drives 110W x 7.

    But my personal opinion is to go with the Studio Series, if you could stretch your budget.

    Hope this helps,
    Pablo Abularach
     
  4. AlbertA

    AlbertA Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 1999
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I got 6 jbl s26 for $475 at jandr. They are great!
    These paired with a svs 25-31Pci is an awesome setup!
     
  5. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,865
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "however, some do prefer the N series to the S"

    Are you sure about that one?

    Anyways I can describe my own perceptions when I auditioned the N24, N26 and N38 compared to the S26, S38 and S312.

    When I listen to the N series in a direct ABA comparison to the S series I noticed a very big difference in tonality and the fullness in sound. The S series sounded clean and full while the N series was on the muffled side lacking crisp/clear highs and dynamics.

    The N series sounded more on the dull side and not as full and open as the S series. The separation of sounds was harder to distinguish in the Ns and the overall sound was as if a blanket had been put on them.

    Bass seemed very similar, the biggest differences lied in the sound of the mids & vocals/highs in the "S, T, and Sh" sounds. I believe that when you ABA test them you'll notice an immediate shift in tonality and the N series will sound muffled in comparison.

    However, if you listen to the N series and only the N series it is likely you will very much enjoy them like many others. If you're on a tight budget then get I'd get the N series, but if it's possible, I'd choose the fairly cheap S26 or S38 over any N series model.
     
  6. Frank Kanyak

    Frank Kanyak Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2002
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I picked up my Rear S-26 from bestpriceaudiovideo.com for $150 shipped. Check them out also. Personally I preferred the S series(they came highly recommended from a friend). I'm a happy camper with my set-up!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. Jason Wilcox

    Jason Wilcox Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i guess some people like the titanium laminate tweeters of the N series to the titanium tweeters of the S series. a few people over on the boards at audioreview.com preferred the N. I thought it was odd too.
     
  8. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 1998
    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey Pablo, thanks for the nice comments!
    Pablo & AlbertA: Love your setup now, ... wait until they break-in (about 3 months)!!! [​IMG]
    Tray - if you're a musician, critical w/music, have the space and the budget, I would recommend getting the JBL S26's. If you just want great 'better' than Cinema Theater SPL sound (w/sub of course) that excels the local theater with crystal clear highs, depth and imaging, then, ... either the JBL N or S-Series will fit the bill!
    I'm a semi-pro musician (piano, keyboard, acoustic, classical & electric guitar, drums) and I used the JBL NSP1's for two years before upgrading to the JBL S26's/S-Center when the price dropped! The NSP1's satisfied my musical wants, and exceeded my HT SPL playback (REFERENCED Calibrated w/Video Essentials). For over two years, my once or twice a month Friday NITE DVD sessions didn't have any trouble getting my family and friends over to enjoyed that setup and DVD movie for the night. I generally played my DVD Movies @ -10 dB - based on the Fast SPL LFE peaks reaching approx. 106 dB - loud enough to move the couch, floor, air and walls but still maintain the whispering dialog moments clarity during the movie.
    Anyway, I compared the S26 vs. N24 in the March 14th thread (#21 post of 26). Everything I wrote holds true today, except that after 3 months of break-in, the JBL S26 highs, presence and imaging excelled the 2-year old N24's. Chalk that up to the larger cabinet size, overall speaker design, lower mid to high x-over and 1" Pure Titanium tweeter.
    The JBL NSP1's are a keeper though, since, few @ it's price point have the usable frequency down to 89 Hz (easy to blend w/any powered sub) and maintains an extremely flat, high and wide frequency response (from Sound&Vision objective benchmark tests: Fronts = 89 Hz to 18.9 kHz ±2.7 dB - 30-degree weighting / Surrounds 89 Hz to 18.4 kHz ±3.2 dB - 60-degree weighting). I moved them up to my vacation house and after hiking, or touring the country side, (this winter after skiing), we can kick back and enjoy a blockbuster DVD @ or near REF Level and they will just sound glorious w/no neighbors to worry about!!! (maybe Thumper or Bambi)
    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!
    Phil
     
  9. Tray

    Tray Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Thanks for the great info!
    Albert, Did you talk J&R down to that price? The S26's are listed as $199 a pair!
    Pablo, Thanks for the recommendation! What speakers do you use now?
    Phil, How did the NSP1's handle the music? I play a trumpet both classical and jazz music so tone is important to me. The system I am building will be used mostly for home theater and music. I would say a 60/40 mix with theater being the higher number.
    I have a tendency to overdue everything (according to the wife... [​IMG] ) and was thinking of getting the following:
    S38II for front L/R ($300)
    S26 for rear L/R ($160)
    SCII for center ($250)
    unknown sub ($300-400)
    Well... When I add in the $700 for the receiver and another $200-250 for a DVD player. Add another $100 or so for the cables and I have missed my initial goal of $1000-1300. I can actually go to $2000 but I will need to space that out. I'm not a patient person so I started thinking about your research on the NSP1's.
    With that in mind:
    NSP1 ($250)
    unknown sub ($300-400)
    Receiver Denon 3802 ($700)
    Unknown DVD player ($200-250)
    I can upgrade as time allows or the play fund builds back up. I don't want to do the NSP1's if they aren't up to the task though. From your research it would appear they were. How do they handle movies like LOTR's etc... Did they handle the power of your receiver without problems? I have actually thought that I could go with the Denon 1802 but as stated above...I like to overdue things! [​IMG]
    Decisions, decisions...
    I guess I just have a fear of getting the NSP1's and them not living up to my expectations. I have heard the S38's and they sound very good. I waiting on the local best buy to get the NSP1's hooked up so I can hear them.
    I forgot to mention that the S26's may be to large for my rear wall. Is there an in wall or smaller JBL speaker that will work?
     
  10. Tray

    Tray Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Phil,

    I forgot to ask how you thing the S26's do versus the S38's as main speakers. Since one is 2 way vs 3way on the other.
     
  11. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tray,

    in all honesty, if you are going for a Denon 3802, I think you would either be much better off with the JBL S-series or an entirely different speaker brand like Axiom's M3 or M22ti, the B&W 600 Series 3, or PSB image series. I currently have a JBL N-26 package and hear the weaknesses that Chris speaks of. The fact that you are pairing your speakers with a 1k receiver, I would say that you need to spend a little more on the speakers and that the N-26 - as good as they are for the money, simply won't cut it in this matter unless you are on a very tight budget, in which if this is the case, then maybe you should reconsider the 3802 and get an 1803 instead - It probably would be a better match up with the budget N-series. I have a Denon 1802 and will be moving to the 3803 early next year and am now in the market for a good pair of speakers as well. Remember, the biggest difference you hear in your system, or any other for that matter, will be the speakers, so definitely don't skimp on them.

    Reg
     
  12. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm getting ready to get 7 new speakers and i'm looking at the following to compliment my Pioneer D811S and a soon to be started DIY sub:

    N28 Mains ($120 shipped, ebay)
    NSP1 for center and 4 surrounds ($230 shipped, yahoo shopping)

    This would give me a 7.1 speaker setup for $350. I auditioned most of the JBL line at best buy today. The N26II was the closest comparison i could get to the N28 since they dropped the N28 for the second series. Regardless, they sounded really good, and close to the S series. The S series did seem to image better and created a little bit wider soundstage, but they were also farther apart on the wall, so this may have had something to do with it. For the budget i'm on, i can't move up into the studio series, but i'm pretty sure i'll be really happy with the setup i'm getting ready to put together. From the comparrisons i was able to make with the N24IIs and the N26IIs, i would not reccomend the N24IIs as mains. They just don't have the extension and full sounds to be used as mains. The NSP1 package will save you about $80 over buying the speakers individually, so i would reccomend getting it and using the 4 N24IIs as surrounds and back surrounds, and then get atleast N26IIS as mains in a 7.1 speaker setup.
     
  13. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 1998
    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, since I decided to use four identical speakers for the Front & Surround, I only considered the S26's for my main speakers. My right surround side wall location didn't have the space required to mount the S38 - actually, if I had the space, I would of bought the S36's. So, I didn't really do any critical listening with the S38's, so I can't comment on the comparison.
    Based on my research, the 2-way S26 frequency response is somewhat flatter since it has only 1 x-over frequency point vs. 2 for the S38 (usual characteristic is a frequency drop @ the x-over point - objective benchmarks via Sound&Vision), but both meet the challenge, accurately re-creating the surround sound or stereo recording environment to reproduce movie soundtracks and music with remarkable realism.
    The entire S-Series use the highly acclaimed 1" Pure Titanium dome tweeter (entire N-Series use 3/4" Titanium-laminate dome tweeter). The S-Series larger tweeter (same size used in JBL PRO TEC Award Winning LSR Studio Monitors) extends the high frequency character vs. the N-Series.
    So, if you have only one choice, I would get the S-Series to address your HT & Musical requirements. If you were not a musician, then you'd be extremely happy w/N-Series.
    Hope this helps,
    Phil
     
  14. Tray

    Tray Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Reggie,
    You make and excellent point. My logic behind the 3802 vs the 2802 is that there is only $150 difference in the two.
    I think that in the long run the 3802 would last longer without needing upgrading.
    My problem is that I want everything now [​IMG]
    I am thinking of using my existing 4 speakers (2 front floor speakers ELH I think and 2 JBL 2500's for the rear.)
    and buying a JBL SCII center and some type of sub.
    The appeal of getting everything at once is hard to resist. Thats why I was thinking of the NSP1's, add a good sub and buy the S series as I find good deals on them.
     
  15. Tray

    Tray Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Stephen,
    That sounds like it will be a great setup! I hadn't thought io it the way you lay it out. [​IMG]
     
  16. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tray,

    I know the feeling, but believe me, if you don't have all of the funds on hand, you would be MUCH better off building your system up a little at a time. For example, I am considering the Paradigm Studio 40's which are 900.00/pair, and there is no way I can buy a complete package all in one hit. I would have to get the mains one month, the center the next month, and the surrounds a month after that, and a good sub in between. Yes, it'll take three months, but it will be worth the payoff. Sure, I can rush in and buy a cheaper package, but I would like to make a sound purchase, and not have to worry about upgrading a year down the road, and believe me, if you get something like Paradigm Studio 40's, you will have to spend a load of dough to top them. Here are some setups for you to consider, as I myself am considering these 5.1 options......

    -Axiom M22ti's for mains and surrounds/VP-150 center/Adire Rava or VTF-2 sub..1,400.00. If you substitute the outstanding M3ti's instead of the M22's, your total will be around 1,200.00

    -B&W 601 S3 for mains and surrounds/LCR60 center/ and the same two subs listed above.....around 1,600.00

    -PSB Image 2B's for mains and surrounds/8C center/ and the same two subs.....around 1,400.00

    I think these setups would compliment the 3802 well. If you go for a cheaper receiver like the forthcoming Denon 1803, then look at the JBL S-series and the Energy Take 5 package for this. It is always important that you try to keep your receiver and speakers level matched. I mean, for example, you wouldn't want to run a Denon 5803 with a NSP-1 package now would you? I don't think with the bargains available these days that you have to spend three times the value of the receiver for GOOD speakers, but feel that you can get a GOOD package for a little more than the msrp of your receiver to balance things out. Hope this helps.

    Reg
     
  17. Tray

    Tray Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Reg,

    Once again thanks.

    One question though. Are we assuming the JBL's are inferior to the the ones you mentioned or just differnet sounding? I haven't had a chance to hear most of them. Someone told me of a site to buy axioms from in Canada and that will save $$$. Just curious what we are talking about here.

    Thanks!
     
  18. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tray,

    The speakers that I have recommended are not just better sounding than the N series JBL's, but they are better constructed and on an entirely different level, hence the cost difference. The JBL N series are outstanding budget speakers and were never constructed to compete with the speakers I listed. I love my N26's but B&W's they ain't. The S series comes a little closer to the speakers I recommended, and you may be happy with them for the cost/performance ratio. I have not heard the Axiom's so I can only go on what I've heard from professional reviews and other buyers, and that they appear to go beyond the call of duty for their price. Honestly, the Axiom's are cheaper than the other two options I listed, and I would seriously consider the M3ti package - they are 275.00/pair retail. They have a generous return policy, but you would have to pay the return shipping if you were unsatisfied. I don't think B&W can be bought online so you would have to find a dealer near you that carries them. B&W is one of the most respected speaker companies in the world and are considered quite prestigious by audiophiles and HT enthusiasts alike. The 601 S3 retails for 450.00/pair, and if you do a search here, you will find that many HTF members have them paired up with the Denon 3802 with very positive results.

    Reg
     
  19. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2002
    Messages:
    4,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tray:

    In terms of one of your original questions...

    How much of a difference can you tell in the sound between the JBL N and S series?

    I don't think any of us can answer that. With due respect to the excellent information provided in this thread by Phil and others, the numbers mean very little in terms of what will be pleasing to your ear.

    I spent a long time demoing the N38II and the S38II, including a week's worth of A/B comparison in my home (using an NAD receiver). In fact, I dragged my wife into the test, and we A/B compared using Emmylou Harris' spectacularly-recorded Wrecking Ball (thank you, Daniel Lanois); a record we are both very familiar with (this is, in my opinion, crucial when demoing equipment; use something you know very well). I ended up keeping both sets of speakers; the S38s for music only and the N38s for front L/R in my home theater system. When we do listen to music with the N38s we are never disappointed; for their price, they are great-sounding (not to mention good-looking) speakers.

    All of this goes to saying that the Northridge series gives you plenty of bang for the buck. Compared with the Studio series, they are somewhat less detailed and refined, but there is not an order of magnitude difference.

    --AM
     
  20. AlbertA

    AlbertA Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 1999
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tray:
    If you do a search for s26(series I not II) on jandr they pop out at $159.88 the pair, free shipping. So that's $479.64 for three pairs (I have a 6.1 setup, using one pair for the center front and back).
     

Share This Page