JBL N-Center - who uses this for their center speaker?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ThomasL, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    I have a friend who has an eclectic mix of various speakers obtained through various means (aka mostly giveaways [​IMG] ) for his 5.1 system. For his fronts he has some old tower Pioneers dating back to 1987, for his center he has a tiny full range Sony speaker that came from a HTiB that I gave to him sans the subwoofer - the SA-VE315. For rears he has two Radio Shack Optimus XTS-10s. FInally for a sub has the sub that comes with the CSW Ensemble II series circa mid 90s, I think. I won't go into details on how all of these are wired up (he also has the Emsemble II satellites wired in parallel with the Pioneer towers in the front) since it doesn't relate to the plot of this particular story. For awhile, I've been telling him to get a better center speaker since, in my opinion, I never should have given him the SA-VE315 center since it is not very good at all. So, this weekend he finally bit the bullet and picked up a JBL N-Center for $100 at Best Buy. He told me that after hooking it up, he thought that music and special affects in movies sounded better but dialogue sounded terrible - I can't recall his exact words - but I think he said "people sounded like they were talking through a surgical mask from 25 feet away"
    So, can anyone else who owns this speaker (I do not nor have I auditioned it yet i do know the N-Series from JBL seems to have a favorable opinion here) comment on its performance for dialogue and voice? Is the speaker fine and there simply is no hope for him? [​IMG]
    thanks,
    --tom
     
  2. ScottAndrew

    ScottAndrew Stunt Coordinator

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    I have it and it sounds great to me. Is it possible that your friend didn't set the level correctly after switching speakers?

    Scott
     
  3. Loring

    Loring Stunt Coordinator

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    Well first thing I would try is if the center is fairly high up (ie on top of say a entertainment center) try pointing the center speaker down towards ear level/the listeners. I did this with my S-Center when I had a entertainment since it was on top of the unit. And dialog became a lot more clear at least for me and my listeners. Now since we moved things around it now sits on a speaker stand that puts it just under the tv screen and I have it tilted up a bit to aim it roughly ear level.

    How much power is the center being feed the problem could also be an under powering problem.

    One last thing to check is, is the port on the center blocked any way.

    Was this an open box version or a unopen/new item? I usually restrain myself when it comes to open box items at shops like Best Buy or Circuit City the items sometimes are returned in not to great working order. The price might seem right but you don’t want to buy something that doesn’t work correctly when you get home.

    If any of this doesn’t correct the problem then maybe they got a bad speaker try taking it back to Best Buy.

    Well hope this helps.
     
  4. Jeff Sch.

    Jeff Sch. Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the Ncenter and its great. Very well designed. What kind of reciever does he have and how much power is it pushing. It known that the JBL Northridge system need to have good clean power going to them to sound good. They take some drive but when pushed the whole sires sounds awesome.
     
  5. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Thanks everyone for the comments so far.

    He has everything hooked up to a Pioneer D510 receiver - 100 watts/channel on the specs.

    I don't believe it was an open item since Best Buy's web site has the N-Center on sale for $99.

    I am not sure how high above the tv it is but I don't think it is too high. It is on a shelf above the tv that is meant to hold a VCR.

    Is it rear ported? It is possible that the rear port is obstructed somehow. I will ask him about that.

    cheers,

    --tom
     
  6. ozric_smith

    ozric_smith Agent

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    Yea, somthing is wrong. The N-Center is a good low-end/mid-level center. I can hear a fly fart at 20 paces with mine.
     
  7. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    I agree with the N-Center posters!
    If you review Sound&Visions frequency graph below (by Tom Nousaine), you'll notice why N-Center is timbre-matched to the N24's. But it's rising high-frequency characteristic is one reason why the N-Center dialog doesn't get lost during the blockbuster DVD effects chaos, like some other HT Speaker setups, where the consumer must add 2 - 3 dB just to hear what's going on. Not a problem with a properly REFERENCE Calibrated NSP1/sub setup.
    [​IMG]
    N-Center.... 89 Hz to 20 kHz ±5.5 dB
    ThomasL - Something is wrong with your friends N-Center setup.
    Phil
     

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