JBL or HTD? Opinions?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andres Munoz, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Cinematographer

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    I'm in the market for front speakers and decided to go with towers. My budget is about $450 or less. I've done some searching and basically narrowed it down to these two contenders, based on what I've read so far: JBL N38II and Home Theater Direct Level 3 towers.

    Even though I doubt it (but it doesn't hurt to ask), has anybody been able to compare these two set of speakers? The specs seem about the same although price favors the JBLs.

    Any comments or suggestions (even on other models) will be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Well, price-wise, it's no contest. You can get the N38's HERE for less than the HTD level three's.
    I've never heard the HTD level three speakers but having heard the N series towers I would hazard a guess that the S series is probably more comparable to the HTD III's...
    Robert
     
  3. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Cinematographer

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    Are the JBL S series THAT much better than the N series?

    I'm asking because it seesm that the S series are within my budget as well. But I don't know if it'd be worth paying the extra money if the difference won't be as noticeable between the two JBL models.
     
  4. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    I just purchased a pair of JBL S38's for audition in my home theater. I have had them for two days and will post my impressions later (but I will say that I am very impressed).
    I have only heard a comparison between the two at several Best Buy's. To my ears (in the horrible Best Buy environments), the S series sounded significantly better than the N series.
     
  5. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    If you like JBL, and aren't hard set on having a tower speaker, I would suggest the JBL S38s. They are some of the best mass market speakers out there. They are availble for as little as $260 online.

    If you are set on a tower speaker, you can still fit the JBL S310s in your budget. I've found them online as low as $185 each, which $370 for a pair.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    The biggest difference is the 1'' tweeter in the Studio series and 3/4'' tweeter of the Northbrige series.

    I audition S36, S26, S38, N24 and N28. But I dint found so much difference between an N28 and S26, but where you can see a big difference, at least for me, was on the center channel, the S Center eats the N center, much more clear sounding, more detail, etc. So this was the main reason that I went with the S series for my 5.1 setup.

    But this is only my opinion, go and audtion both series and decide for yourself.
     
  7. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Cinematographer

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    The difference in tweeter size can't be the only thing making the S series sound better than the N series can it? Is the S series using better crossovers or woofers?

    One thing that surprised me was that the S310II being a tower with a 10" woofer was cheaper than the S38II which is a bookshelf with an 8" woofer.

    Why is the bookshelf with smaller woofer more expensive than the tower with bigger woofer?
     
  8. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Because to my ears it seems certain that the S38's were given the most design thought of all their lineup, and it shows in the sound...


    Robert
     
  9. KyleGS

    KyleGS Second Unit

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    I also have to add that the S38's are the way to go.
    They sound more open and neutral than the N series. They also sound less "thick" than the larger S310's or anything larger in the S series. I auditioned the entire JBL line and found the S38's and S36's to sound the best. They (S38's) will play down to 34hz in my room which is impressive for b-shelves; not that you would ever run them that low it does tell a little about the speaker quality. Match them with a great sub (Adire or SVS [​IMG]) and you are on your way!
     
  10. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Also, the S36AWs can be found for as low as $170 a pair online. The AWs are the white outdoor version of the S36s. The grilles are metal instead of cloth and the drivers have a heavier coating. I don't know if this would color the sound in anyway, but otherwise the specs are the same. for $100 less than what the normal S36s are going for, this is something to consider, especially for surrounds, since they are white and wall mountable.
     
  11. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    I've been impressed with the S36's every time I've heard them. For the money they are really, really good.
    I'ts next on my list to audition in my Home Theater!

    (I'm also planning on auditioning the PSB 3LR's and the HTD Level III towers.... unless I get hooked on the S38's!).

    Robert
     
  12. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Cinematographer

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    Thanks guys.

    All the good feedback on the S38 has now made me drop the N series from my wanted list. I'll now have to decide between the S38 and the S310. I wanted to do away with speaker stands which is one of the reasons why I wanted towers, but you guys are praising the S38 so much that now I'm going to have to look into it further.

    I still haven't forgotten about the HTD Level III towers. Robert, how are you planning to audition them? You're gonna order them and if you don't like them, you'll return them? If I'm not mistaken, somewhere on the website says that they don't pay the return shipping on the towers.
     
  13. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Yes, I was planning on eating the shipping costs, just considering it part of the expense of replacing my speakers for the first time in 16 years.
    If the S38's continue to beguile me like they are (and they clearly aren't even broken in yet), this may be a shorter search than I planned!


    Robert
     
  14. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Cinematographer

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    How long have you had the S38's for and how long does it take the speakers to get broken in?
     
  15. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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  16. Andres Munoz

    Andres Munoz Cinematographer

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  17. Lorenzo K

    Lorenzo K Agent

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    Try the HTD they are very good. I can't compare them to the JBL as I haven't heard the JBL. I do have the HTD level 3 bookshelves and very happy with it. The towers should be even better.
    That said, we all have different listening preferences and what is good for one might not be good to another person.
     
  18. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    "comparing N and S is as easy as buying both and testing them in your room with your gear."

    That's easier said than done for some people even in this expensive hobby. Just blithely purchasing multiple sets of speakers (or other equipment) is a lot to ask of someone.
    I'm attempting this, but not everyone has much disposable income. Of course it's better to audition in your home theater, it's just not always practical.
    You can compare the S series to the N series at local Best Buys without purchasing (some Best Buys have horrible setups). I know that the S38's sound much better in my house than in the Best Buys I've been at.

    Good luck with your choices whatever you get, Andres.
    Robert
     
  19. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Robert:

    I don't entirely agree with you.

    First of all, if one is in the market for speakers, then I would assume that one has the necessary means to acquire them. If that's true, then buying 2 sets of speakers at Best Buy, spending 3 or 4 days auditioning them against each other at home, and then returning one (or perhaps both) sets will cost you either the price of one set or nothing at all. So I don't see the issue of blithe expenditure that you raise being a complicating factor at all.

    --AM
     
  20. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Then more power to you!

    It's nice when you have the means to obtain the right item by trying at home...


    Robert
     

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