Is the JBL Studio Series sub in the same league as the SVS's and HSU's?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Joe Spratley, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. Joe Spratley

    Joe Spratley Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello,
    I'm new on this forum. About a week ago I picked up a JBL Studio series 12" 400 watt sub as an open box at BB for $300 the retail list is $799. I have found very little on this sub and was wondering if anyone here has it and their thoughts on it. I have read all the great things about the SVS's and HSU's and am wondering if this one is even close to them.
     
  2. KeithYates

    KeithYates Auditioning

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    You don't mention which model JBL you bought, but I just finished writing 2-part feature on 8 subwoofers for "Home Theater" magazine, and the JBL Studio 120PII is one of the eight. As with the unit you describe, the 120PII is an active, 12-inch design. It's covered in Part 1, which should be on the newsstands within days (Oct. 2003 cover date I think). I included graphs of each unit's freq response at 80, 90, 100, 105 and 110dB nominal levels (as measured at 1 meter); THD at 90, 95, 100, 105 and 110dB/1m playback levels; max-output-before-audible-distortion using Linkwitz shaped tone-burst tests; and listening tests. All measurements (TEF and B&K mostly) and listening were conducted in a quiet, rural seting outdoors, at least 100 ft. from anything large enough to create a reflection that would contaminate the tests. Hope it helps!
     
  3. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Even though you don't mention which model you JBL is....I'm gonna go wayyyyyyyyy out on a limb and say NO, it's not in the same league as SVS or HSU. [​IMG]
     
  4. KeithYates

    KeithYates Auditioning

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    I think you're probably right, you're out on a limb. Why go there? Just curious ... have you measured similarly priced JBLs, SVS's and Hsu's? If so, what did you find?
     
  5. Joe Spratley

    Joe Spratley Stunt Coordinator

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    Keith, yes it is the s120pII. I will anxiously be awaiting the new issue it will be a huge help as I have searched the internet but can find very few evaluations. I am relatively inexperienced with powered subwoofers and not quite sure how to evaluate the performance myself so your review will be invaluable.
     
  6. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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  7. Joe Spratley

    Joe Spratley Stunt Coordinator

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    Reginald, I think you may have confused Keith's response with mine. Anyway thanks for the links and I will read through them. I know SVS is a great product from all the glowing reviews they have received but with my situation I live in a townhouse and can't go too crazy on the bass. The SVS is more than twice what I paid for the JBL and since I can't crank it up it might be a waste of money. So if the JBL is somewhat close in performance then it will be sufficient for me, if it is nowhere even close then I will seriously consider taking it back and getting an SVS.
     
  8. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  9. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    >>>The SVS is more than twice what I paid for the JBL and since I can't crank it up it might be a waste of money. So if the JBL is somewhat close in performance then it will be sufficient for me, if it is nowhere even close then I will seriously consider taking it back and getting an SVS
     
  10. Joe Spratley

    Joe Spratley Stunt Coordinator

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    Tom, Thank you for your very honest answer. The under 30 hz stuff is probably what will make the neighbors mad and I probably wouldn't be able to play it right now, but I am looking forward to when I buy a house in a few years so that I can get an SVS and then go back and rewatch my movies to see what I missed.
     
  11. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

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    Mark Seaton
    Hi guys,

    For those curious, I would suggest checking out Keith's review. It will certainly be a step beyond most magazine review in terms of technical detail. There's a lot more which will be seen beyond how loud the sub gets. Many will not be immediately remember some of Keith's past reviews or more imporantly his experience in designing some of the most elaborate and highest performance home theaters in existence. For those into measurements and hard numbers, Keith even verifies and documents the installed systems to confirm they meet all design expectations and specifications.

    The barrage of tests in the review should raise expectations in terms of real information from magazine reviews. In this thread Keith made mention of the other subs included in the HT review. Given some of the other subs in the mix, I would expect we should be able to make some general correlations to how the SVS, HSU, and other forum favorites might compare.

    One major benefit of Keith's measurement methods is that ANYONE with a TEF20 can duplicate the measurements, and the results should be within expected tolerances. Even though they are taken outdoors, this makes correlation to what will happen in different rooms possible, rather than having to translate from one room into the next.

    To Keith, welcome to the HTF. You will find there are some very enthusiastic circles of owners for various products, with wide ranging levels of knowledge which pass through here. You might also find some interesting discussions over at the AVS Forum as well.

    Best Regards,
     
  12. GalenC

    GalenC Auditioning

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    I've got the S120PIII with my Athena speakers, it definately fills in on the low end where the towers are lacking. I'm in a townhouse as well, and while you can tell the JBL doesn't get really low, it's still definately powerful. After one evening of playing music for a couple hours at a higher-than-normal (but nowhere near reference level) volume level I received eviction threats from my elderly neighbors. We have a concrete wall separating our respective basements where the home theatre resides.

    At the list price of $799 I would've been disappointed, but I picked mine up for $300 shipped, so I feel satisfied with my purchase. My previous sub was a smaller 10" JBL.
     
  13. Joe Spratley

    Joe Spratley Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anyone know the exact day the new issue will hit the shelves? I want to pick it up as soon as it's out.
     
  14. Alton.M

    Alton.M Agent

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    I have the new issue
     
  15. Alton.M

    Alton.M Agent

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    the jbl went down to 25hz at 86.1 db
     
  16. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Well I just am miffed. If you herd a SVS maybe you would understand. Apt.>> would have no bearing with me. I would just calibrate accordingly. Headroom is a very good thing if you are willing/can afford it. (LONG RUN)
    __________________________________________________ _________

    I think the world of Tom V but I do not agree. Maybe/probably there is more to the story. Tom V is a very Conservative individual I warn you! If $$ is a big factor then I understand TOTALLY. Just Don't forget about LONG RUN.
     
  17. Joe Spratley

    Joe Spratley Stunt Coordinator

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    Is 86.1db at 25 hz good? I'm a little confused on the volume issue. Right now I have the sub calibrated to match the other speakers (although on the end of the sofa that is in the corner it is running 4 db hot). Wouldn't volume be somewhat irrelevant since the sub would only have to match the other speakers? Or is the volume important for different frequencies? For example (I'm just guessing at numbers here to make a point) if the JBL plays 50 hz at 100db and 25 hz at 86.1 would the SVS play 50 hz at 100db but 25 hz at 97 db? Would this then mean that JBL and SVS would play the higher frequencies at the same SPL but as the frequencies drop the volume of the JBL would drop more than the SVS?
     
  18. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Quote:

    Reginald, I think you may have confused Keith's response with mine. Anyway thanks for the links and I will read through them.
    -------------------------

    Joe you are right, I meant to type Keith, but typed Joe by mistake. Sorry for the confusion. No offense but..if Keith is so well versed with equipment and its testing why is he even questioning my statement about JBL not being in the same league as SVS?

    Everyone should know that. Sure JBL is a good decent sub but so is the Sony WM40 but neither is in the same league as SVS.... PERIOD.

    Joe, save yourself money by making the correct purchase (SVS) to begin with instead of getting the JBL and upgrading later.

    Botton line with the JBL you upgrade out of necessity. With the SVS you upgrade not because you need to but because you want to. See the difference? [​IMG]
     
  19. Joe Spratley

    Joe Spratley Stunt Coordinator

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    After reading some more I think I understand the numbers better now. Does 86.1db at 25hz mean that the speaker will play at that level at 10% distortion and the higher the frequency goes the louder it can play before hitting the 10% distortion mark?
     
  20. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    Well I am ticked at HT Mag.. I usually have it in the mailbox the 3rd of the month and its still not here!!!!! Anxiously awaiting.
     

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