JBL N Series as Possible Upgrades

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen Hopkins, Sep 5, 2002.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I'm looking into upgrading my speakers. This is what i currently have:

    Receiver - Pioneer VSX-D811S
    Mains - Sony SS-MB300H
    Center - Sony SS-C490
    Surrounds - Sony SS-MB100H
    Back Surrounds - Sony SS-MB100H
    Subwoofer - RCA 12" 200W w/ terrible extension

    I really like what i have now, but sometime (1 in 20 movies at high to just under reference volumes)hear some distortion, especially in the surrounds.

    I don't want to upgrade just the surrounds to something higher up the Sony ladder, because i really think that would be pointless.

    I'm planning a DIY Swan 305 or Dayton 12" sub soon, so that will be taken care of. I'm going to try to keep my budget under $350. Here's what i'm looking at:

    Mains - JBL N28s ($85 + SH new on ebay)
    Center/Surrounds - JBL NSP1 ($200 at alot of places online)

    I would use the N Center from the NSP1 package as my center, and the 4 N24s as my 4 surrounds in a 7.1 setup similar to what i have now.

    Would this be a good solid upgrade from what i have now? Or would this be a sideways move, as opposed to a true upward move?

    This way, i could always move the N28S to surround duty if i wanted to move up to the 38s, 310s, or even into the studio line on down the road.

    I was thinking about trying to save up around $1500 and try to get into the paradigm monitor line, but i really don't want to wait that long (might be a year or two).

    I'm in a small room (11'x12' w/ 8' ceilings).

    One more quick question... If i had a little more $$ to spend, could i go with the N28s as mains, but an S center? how would they timbre match? Would this be overkill on the center compared to my mains and surrounds?

    Thanks alot.
     
  2. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Stephen:

    I think this would be an upgrade from what you have now, although I really think the N38s would be a better choice for mains, particular for music without a sub. No, the S center wouldn't be overkill, and it wouldn't be very mismatched with the N28s or the N38s, but the N Center is a nice piece, and would probably suit your needs well.

    -AM
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The N38s aren't really in my price range (the N28S aren't either, but i found a deal on them on ebay from a reputable seller that i've purchased from on severl occaisons). I can get them for $85 a pair + SH, which is about what i payed for my sony mains.

    I'll probably stick with the N Center since i can get the NSP1 package and have my center and all 4 surrounds for $200. I may later sell the N Center and move up to the S Center, if i feel the N Center is lacking, but i'm pretty sure it will be enough for me.

    As for 2 Channel music w/out a sub, I don't listen to it. I'm 99% HT/TV/DVD. If I had a more musical receiver, i might get the N38S just in case my tastes ever changed, but Pretty sure my receiver will be with me atleast as long as these mains are... and i just don't listen to that much music.

    Thanks alot.
     
  4. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    You can find the N38's on yahoo shopping for about $100+SH. I have that exact same setup D811S, N38's, NSP1, no sub (yet). It sounds good but I cant imagine running the LFE through the N26's.
     
  5. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I do have a sub. It's a 200Watt RCA that's loud and sounds good, but it only goes down to about 36hz. I'll be using this until i get my Swan 305 DIY sub, which will go all the way down to 22hz. I'll be canibalizing the amp from my current sub for my DIY sub. I hope i can find another amp to fit the cutout on the RCA so i can sell it.

    I'm looking at the N28s as mains, not the N26s.

    The N28s go down to 50hz, and the N38S go down to 45hz. I don't think this will really make that much of a difference since i will be using a sub (a damn good one pretty soon) and i rarely, if ever, listen to 2ch music without a sub.

    The N38s are as low as $90 EACH on shopping.yahoo.com. I can get the N28S for $85 a PAIR. This is much more condusive to my budget. I also like the look of a monitor sized speaker on a stand opposed to a tower/floorstading model.

    Do you think the N24s would work well enough for surrounds? I know they're the bottom of the barrel JBLs, but my Sony Surrounds are also bottom of the barrel. Will the 75hz extension of the N24s be enough? I know it will be better then the 80hz of my sony surrounds, but will it make enough difference to merit the upgrade?

    Thanks for the Advice, any other opinions are still welcome.
     
  6. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    The N24s will be much more than adequate for surrounds.

    -AM
     
  7. CollinMorphew

    CollinMorphew Stunt Coordinator

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    I like what you're doing with the upgrades. I don't feel like I know enough to say too much but you are almost in the identical boat I was 2 weeks ago. I have the same receiver and put S38's as main, S center, 36 R/L S and B S and a PB 12. It's a huge upgrade from the Bose AM 10 (yeah yeah) and the Sony 40 sub. I think you are totally on the right track--especially for the money. I did a lot of listening and I'm actually surprised that JBL doesn't get more mention--sometimes I think the name doesn't sound exotic or high tone enough. They sounded a lot better than some of the other speakers mentioned often. I have a ? though--I have the 811 but can't seem to get anything through the B S speakers (just hooked up last night)--are you doing anything that I might not be thinking of to get sound from them?
     
  8. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    Sorry about that, shows how much im paying attention today. Give me a break though its Friday. [​IMG]
     
  9. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    AllanN: Not a problem [​IMG] Thanks for the help.
    CollinMorphew: There are a few things that could remedy your 811S problem. First, make sure that your SB is set to S, and not SUB or *. If it's set to *, it's turned off all together. If it's set to SUB, the LFE is being routed through that amp as if to power a passize subwoofer.
    Also, make sure you have the Surround back wired probery. If you're using a single surround back, it will be wired to the + terminal of the surround back right and the - terminal of the surround back left.
    Also make sure you have 6.1 set to Fixed. If set to auto, most movies w/ 6.1 won't have the 6.1 flag trigger to turn 6.1 on. With 6.1 set to Fixed, all 6.1 movies are played in 6.1, and 5.1 movies are matrixed into simulated 6.1.
    Hope that helps
     
  10. CollinMorphew

    CollinMorphew Stunt Coordinator

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    I just posted a little on mine. I think this is why I'm so confused--I had all that set up when I was running it--do you watch/listen on the 7.1 input select or in advanced surround?
     
  11. Jean_Hendrickx

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    I have a Pioner VSX-810D, at beginning I used some small pioneer 100 watts speakers (5"x10"), but I upgraded to a fron N-38II and N Center and the sound was enhanced so far. My room is a little bigger, and use the HT for both Music and Movie Listening. Definitely you should buy the JBLs.
     

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