JBL Control Speakers (a/k/a The Gods Hate Me)

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Wallis, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. Wallis

    Wallis Agent

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    I bought a house from someone who had installed a 5.1 HTS. When he left, he took everything but the center channel speaker, which is buried inside some crown molding. It has an immovable grill in front. Unfortunately, I cannot tell exactly what type of speaker is in there and would need to rip apart the crown molding to tell for sure.

    The previous owner is lost in the mists of history. The store that did the original installation has lost all of their records on the speakers that they installed. I tracked down one former employee who did some installations around the time the HTS was installed. He thinks that the center channel is a JBL Control speaker. He recommended installing JBL Control 28 bookshelfs up front and Control 26 C/CT in-ceilings in the rear.

    I've looked at JBL's website and talked to a JBL representative. These speakers were not designed for HTS, and the representative did not think that they would work well at all in this setting. (Not sure why the original owner--who spent a small fortune on his HTS--used them in the first place, but that's a different story.) I'm now trying to figure out my options:

    1. Tear up the crown molding to confirm what the center channel speaker actually is. If it is a JBL Control, then switch it out for a different speaker. If it is something else, then try to put it back into place and buy matching speakers. I'm not really excited about this because of the cost/delays involved.

    2. Just assume that there is a JBL Control speaker in the middle, bite the bullet, and get the recommended Control speakers. I'm not excited about this for the reasons explained above.

    3. Assume there is a JBL Control speaker in the middle, try to guess what it is, and then buy another brand that will hopefully be timbre-matched, etc. This seems difficult to do, though.

    4. Ignore the center channel speaker altogether, get four other speakers that I like, and see if they go well with the center channel. If, as I suspect, they don't match well, then tear out the center channel unit and install one that will match what I have purchased.

    5. Shoot myself in my soft, gently-rounded belly out of frustration. (I've been trying to get to the bottom of the speaker issue for three months now, and have made zero progress.)

    What do people think? If there is a vast, teeming universe of JBL Control fans who have discovered that these make terrific HTS, I'd love to hear that too.
     
  2. David Devaux

    David Devaux Agent

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    Four seems to be the easiest, though 5 could work as well [​IMG] . You could also get a new center and just ignore the one in the wall, maybe build a shelf in front of it and put the new center on that. That may not be the best solution for you though. I am not familiar with the JBL control series, but I do have the new E-Series and I enjoy them alot (not very high end, but for the price they were great).

    Could you post a pic of how it is currently set up, that may help people figure out some ideas for you.
     
  3. Wallis

    Wallis Agent

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    Thanks, David. I don't have a camera handy, but can probably describe it fairly well. I've got 10 foot ceilings. There is a fairly elaborate piece of crown molding on the ceiling that hangs down about 10 inches or so and extends about three feet out from the wall. The center speaker is at the front of this crown molding. The dropdown screen is behind the center channel. The crown molding is quite nice, and was put in place to house some of the HTS equipment. My wife wants whatever center speaker we get to be inside the crown molding. Thus, I can't just disconnect it and put another one somewhere else.

    I thought about taking a Sawzall and cutting through the metal grill, but haven't done so because (1) it will make a big mess, (2) I'm not even sure that I could move the speaker around enough to get the make/model information once the grill came out, and (3) I have no mechanical skills.
     

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