JBL E20 3 pairs for a small room.......

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by darek, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. darek

    darek Auditioning

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    I currently own the Athena Point 5 system which I love the sound of but their appearance is slowly giving me upgrade-itis. I'm considering replacing them with 3 pairs JBL E20 bookshelf speakers. The room is small, aprox 12x12 and I already have a good subwoofer. Due to size constraints my choices are limited. Do you think this is a good upgrade?
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    E30's would be much better. Probably to big though huh?

    Let us know how you like the E20's if you follow through with this. I have a lot of experience with E30's.
     
  3. darek

    darek Auditioning

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    Yeah, unfortunately the E30's are too big. I live in an apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn so space is always a consideration. How would you rate the JBL's tweeter? One of the things that makes the Athenas so great is their high frequency response. I just ordered a pair of E20's so I'll find out soon enough but I like hearing other peoples thoughts. Thanks.
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    Better than the Athena's, but still not excellent in all honesty. I know this is why they added the super tweets on their new Studio line.

    Combine this with most living rooms naturally rolling off of 16KHZ and higher you still may have this impression, a speaker would have to sort of unaturally have a bit of a boost up there to overcome a typical living room roll off.


    Hard to say how critical of a listener you are. The E20's I am sure do really well up top in a chamber.


    Just know some of your Athena high end lacking is from your room.
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Most adult males' hearing drops off past 12kHz.

    This is why FM radio-which goes from 30Hz to 15kHz-can sound nearly identical to a CD or LP (as long as the broadcaster & end user both use good gear and settings).

    I've only really listened to the Athena F2s that Best Buy used to sell, but their high-end was too bright for me personally: the overall quality of it *was* good (non grainy & detailed) but I always wanted to turn it down.

    FYI: this is partly why so many vintage speakers still sound good, even though many of them used relatively heavy cone tweeters that only made it to around 15kHz-17kHz. This also helps contribute to their (usually) slightly warm sound.
     
  6. darek

    darek Auditioning

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    I understand about the limits of the human ear but a great tweeter can make or break a speaker. Don't you agree?
     
  7. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Well, I think mostly what we have here are two different high frequency output levels, a very subjective issue. I've listened to the E30s several times (at CompUSA) with my own music and *to my ears* I never felt they had a lack of treble.

    I've listened to several highly regarded hi-end speakers over the years with very exotic tweeter designs, but left the demo room completely unimpressed. And the converse was true: I've also heard some budget speakers with cone tweeters (supposedly the pond scum of tweeters) and thought they had a detailed, non-grainy and quite realistic character. Their only significant problem is their habit of beaming their sound (i.e. narrow dispersion angle) but this can help improve imaging because of reduced wall/ceiling/floor reflections.

    But whatever you read here, always be sure to choose what YOU like, because everybody's ears and musical tastes are different.
     
  8. darek

    darek Auditioning

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    Just wanted to add a follow up to this thread.

    As I said, I really like my Athena's but after doing some A/B comparisons between the Point 5's and the JBL's I've decided to keep the JBL's. The E20's get a pretty bad rap on a lot of forums but they truly don't deserve it. To me, their highs are very nice, just as detailed as the Athena's and maybe a little bit smoother. Since they are have a 5" woofer and a larger cabinet, the midrange and lower bass extension is also better. They have more presence and a bigger sound in general. Appearance is really a personal preference but I prefer the traditional look of the E20.
     
  9. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    darek, what you subjectively heard just confirmed what Tom Nousaine documented in his JBL E20 Objective Benchmark Test ...

    Frequency Response
    JBL E20 front Left&Right* .... 88 Hz to 20 kHz ±3.6 dB

    *SOUND&VISION MAGAZINE - Speaker Testing Notes - IN THE LAB
    All of the response curves and measurements have been weighted to reflect the manner sound arrives at a listener's ears with normal speaker placement. The left/right front speakers were averaged over a ±30° window, with double weight given to the most common listening angle, 30°.

    — Tom Nousaine

    It's amazing how many speaker when objectively benchmark in the front left& right location don't have usable high frequeny higher than 15 kHz or lower than 110 hz! JBL does a great job starting with their original JBL N24's ...

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

    89 Hz down 2.7 dB from a 4" woofer is impressive indeed!

    Have fun,
    Phil
     
  10. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I have a 5 piece set of Point 5's in my "everyday" viewing room and while I'm very happy with them for the price, got mine as a scratch and dent from BB for $129, I think the biggest drawback is the thin plastic enclosures. But that's how they kept the price down. Nice to hear good things about the E20's though.
     
  11. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    I have a set of E20's I picked up brand new for $40 on E-bay. They sound pretty decent. For their size, they have nice bass and treble. I use them by themselves in the workout room and they are decent. I supect a full set-up would be a substantial upgrade over the Athena sats...
     

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