JBL N-38II with S Center II ?

Josh Varghese

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
84
Hey guys,

I am currently in the process of making piece by piece upgrades to my VERY modest college-budget home theater. I recently purchased an Infinity IL100S subwoofer to replace a crappy sony HTIB sub.

Now its time to work on the front soundstage. I will be replacing RCA fronts (8"-3"-1") and an RCA center (the one with the special material cones).

What I'm looking at is a pair of JBL N-38II floorstanding speakers for ~$300 shipped and then rather than the N series center getting the SII center for ~$150 shipped.

http://www.jbl.com/home/products/pro...NOR&sCatId=BFS

http://www.jbl.com/home/products/pro...STU&sCatId=BFS

Does anyone have any experience with any of these JBL speakers? Is it a bad idea to mix a center channel from the Studio series with mains from the Northridge series? Will I have issues with voice-matching or anything like that?

Thank you all in advance for any replies.
 

Mark Hedges

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Messages
442
I would be more inclined to stick with the same series - the tweeter is different between the N and S series and that difference may cause problems. I would get the S-Center and a pair of S38's. You can get the S38's for $300 or so shipped.

Mark
 

greg baker

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
165
I agree with Mark. I would either go all N center or all S center. I have 4 s26's and a scenter and they sound great.
 

Phil Iturralde

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 7, 1998
Messages
1,873
I generally don't recommend mixing the JBL N- & S-Series speakers - reasons covered by Mark Hedges & greg baker.

Now, I've received emails and read posts where some said they contacted JBL Customer Service and they said it's OK to mix the N- & S-Series! (Well, I say, ... what did you expect them to say??)

Many above wrote that are happy with the combination where the JBL N24 is used in the surround location and the Fronts & Center are S-Series speakers. That combination answers their space restrictions, budget, etc.

I had the above setup for 3-days (JBL S26 Fronts / JBL S-Center) and after I REF Calibrated (Video Essentials DVD) my setup, ... I could hear the difference between the N24 3/4" Titanium-laminate dome vs. S-Series 1" Pure-titanium dome!!! (Semi-pro musician) Once I installed my surround JBL S26's, ... the 360-degree timbre-matched seamless surround was Most Glorious!!!

The JBL NSP1 is a keeper though, and when I'm @ my vacation house, ... I don't miss my JBL S-Series/SVS watching my blockbuster DVD's with my NSP1/AudioSource SW15.

JBL brand manager Paul Bente summed up the N- & S-Series differences very nicely when he wrote ...
"Voice-wise, the two series are similar," Bente said, "but the Studio series offers more detail and guts. It's a sharper lens on a very good camera."
 

Steve Goolsby

Auditioning
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
Messages
6
I had the same setup for a while (except I had the Series 1 speakers). I agree with Mark and Greg, I think you need to either go with all "S" speakers, or all "N"'s.

The S-center is a great speaker, but it doesn't match-up well with the N-38's. It seems to be a lot brighter in sound, and seems to play louder as well. I had to set my center output level in my receiver to "-2" to keep it equal to the level of my mains at "0".
 

Josh Varghese

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
84
Ok, well thanks so much for everyone's replies so far.

I was just really looking at the S center because it wasn't that much more money and seemed like a significantly better speaker than the N center (and better looking).

But from the sounds of things around here, just because it may be a better speaker, the differences in the two tweeters would detract of the seamlessness of the front soundstage.

So unless anyone else thinks I wouldn't notice the difference, it looks like I will be going with 2 N-38s and an N center.
 

KyleGS

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
342
I'd stick with the same series. I think you will be very happy with the N-center anyway.
 

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