JBL or Athena

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Joey Bord, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. Joey Bord

    Joey Bord Auditioning

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    I have been lurking on this site for a little while and have now come up with what I am looking to purchase for my home theater (60% music/40% movies) and need a few opinions. I recently purchased an Onkyo TX-SR501 for my receiver and now it is time to purchase the speakers.

    The major concerns are space and matching the décor of the living room. Recently I have debated that I want speakers that are silver in color, but if I can’t find decent ones for the price range I am looking at, then I will go with black speakers.

    My price range is $350-500 for the speakers. I have listened to some speakers at the local stores and I liked JBL and Athena best. I am considering these two options: The JBL NSP1II with the Dayton 10” subwoofer which looks like a grand total of 330 + shipping, or the Athena Micra 6 for $479 shipping included.

    I have heard the JBL NSP1II system and like it. I have heard a few different Athena set-ups, but not the Athena Micra 6. From some reviews it seems like this system is decent, but there is not much info out on these. Does anyone have any opinions on this system? I see it is in the same price range as the Athena Point 5 MKII system. Is it equal in quality? I listened to the Point 5 MKII and liked the sound, but do not care for the look and size of the speakers. The Micra 6 look beautiful, they are the perfect in size and color for my room, but the main thing is the sound. So I guess I am wondering is do they sound as good as the Point 5 MKII? Does anyone think that the JBL NSP1II package with the Dayton 10” subwoofer sounds better than the Athena Micra 6?

    I have never owned anything more then a cheap mini stereo system, so no matter what I listen to, it sounds great to me. I know that the speakers that sound the best is different for each person, but I am just looking for some opinions from some more experienced people!
     
  2. Greg-ST

    Greg-ST Stunt Coordinator

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    Since you like the sound from both companies you're probably going to have to go with the one that will give you better performance. The JBL's and Dayton sub both have larger woofers which allow them to extend lower.

    I think the JBL speaker package and the Dayton sub will provide more bang for you buck. My system consists of these speakers and I really enjoy them.
     
  3. SteveAnd

    SteveAnd Extra

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    Funny how these things work. I currently have JBL's(Studios) and have been seriously considering the Athena's(floor standing). The JBL's are nice, but I think only their larger speakers are where they shine. If it were me, I would buy the Micra 6's off the BB website. If I didn't like them, I'd return them. There is no way I would buy a small ht JBL setup without hearing them first, or at least be able to return them easily.
     
  4. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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  5. Mark_H

    Mark_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Joey:

    I had the NSP1 II system for awhile and still have the Dayton Sub. For the money I think this setup is one of the best available. If your set on spending under $500 for a 5.1 setup with subwoofer go for it.

    There are some good deals on the NSP1 setup on Ebay, I've seen some go for around $125.00 plus ship.

    OneCall.com still has the Studio Series S26II for $140 per pair. http://ww2.onecall.com/PID_15013.htm You could get two pairs of these and pickup a used S-Center for about $150 and have about $420 in a Studio Series JBL setup then save up and get a Sub Later. Even with a Dayton Sub you'd only have $555 plus shipping.

    The NSP1 system is great for the money but the S26II Studio JBL's are a nice step up and a steal at that price. I think you would be pretty impressed with the S26's even without a sub. I've turned off my sub before and set them as Large, the HT won't shake the house but they are very impressive for 6'' drivers and will play plenty loud.

    Good Luck, let us know what you end up with.
     
  6. Dah-Dee

    Dah-Dee Supporting Actor

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    BestBuy.com (online deal only) has the JBL S36IIPM for $150/pair. Free shipping. Redikkerus! Seems like *most* other places online are stilling these for around $500/pair.

    Link: JBL S36IIPM $149.99 at BestBuy.com

    P.S. -- They're silver.
     
  7. Joey^T

    Joey^T Extra

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    Hi there,

    The JBL S36IIPM's, are they suitable for both front channel AND surround channel speakers? Can you put the same type of speakers in both front and surround channels?

    Thanks!
    JT
     
  8. Dah-Dee

    Dah-Dee Supporting Actor

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    Joey^T, it's my understanding that the S36IIPM is indeed suitable for use both as a front speaker and as a surround. Many people use the same kind of smaller speaker as both fronts and surrounds in home theater systems, along with a powered subwoofer. In fact, the JBL press release discussing this speaker actually stated it could also be used as a center speaker!

    Here's the relevant text:

    Studio Series Mark II S36IIPM Loudspeaker: Designed to Perfectly Complement Plasma Monitors

    The JBL Studio Series Mark II S36IIPM is a slim-profile, wall-mountable, indoor/outdoor loudspeaker featuring a stunning, rich metallic-silver finish that perfectly complements today's plasma monitors and
    high-tech TVs. The S36IIPM's compact size and horizontal or vertical wall-mountable design enable easy placement virtually anywhere, making it ideal for use in a wide variety of home entertainment installations.

    Featuring a 1-inch titanium tweeter with EOS waveguide, 4-inch PolyPlas midrange driver and 6-inch PolyPlas woofer, the true three-way S36IIPM delivers exceptionally well-balanced, open, full-bodied sound with superb clarity and presence. The S36IIPM is ideal for use in a five-speaker home theater system as the front-left, center, right-front, and left and right surround channels, when paired with a compatible JBL powered subwoofer, such as the S120PII....

    The JBL Studio Series Mark II S36IIPM carries a suggested retail price of $499 per pair.

    Link: http://www.dba-pr.com/clients/jbl/re...wcedia2003.htm
     
  9. Joey^T

    Joey^T Extra

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    Thanks for the info, John.

    At the Best Buy price of $149 a pair, they are a steal!
     
  10. Joey Bord

    Joey Bord Auditioning

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    Thanks for some of the responses.

    That is kind of funny because after my original research I was going to purchase the JBL S36 for my fronts and surrounds. I was just about ready to purchase them until I realized how big they were. I plan to put them in a great room that I don't want to look like a media room. That is why I am trying to find some speakers that are small in size, but can still give me good sound. That is why I was looking at the JBL NSP1 and Athena Micra 6.

    John, I am so tempted to get those s36 from BB. That seems like a great price! On top of that, the silver color looks spectacular! But I really think that I need to find something smaller. Does anyone have any suggestions for small speakers that sound good?
     
  11. Joey^T

    Joey^T Extra

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    I just saw them at Best Buy during lunch and they are really huge in size. I might have a problem fitting them as surrounds in my current setup. Soundwise, I was not blown away. I have a Cambridge Soundworks HT set now and the S36's did not make me want to upgrade immediately.
     
  12. PatrickDT

    PatrickDT Extra

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    Certainly not dogging on JBL, but their satellites are not killer, I've given them considerable listening time. If it were me, I'd choose between the AThena micosystem, or the Klipsch quintetes, either one is absolutely the most bang for the buck. And beyond that, you'll find that the Athenas are smoother due to the silk tweeter, and the Klipschs are brighter and more detailed, due to the horn. That's just my advice, though.
     
  13. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    For a detailed JBL S36 (all-around) / JBL S-Center review, read Mark Knight's (HTF member) webpage. Mark also reviewed the Energy Take 5 & Klipsch Quintet speakers.

    JBL S-Series (if you can get them) is the way to go IMHO!!! [​IMG]

    Phil
     

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