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JBL S38's or 2.1 Divas? (1 Viewer)

ReggieW

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 6, 2001
Messages
1,571
I currently have a JBL NSP-1 Package (with N-26's as mains). A friend has offered to buy the package from me, thus, giving me an incentive to upgrade in the coming weeks. I also plan on upgrading my outstanding Denon 1802 to a 3803 this fall, so I figured I should start upgrading the speakers now. Since I use my system a little more for music than HT, I was thinking of getting two pairs of either S38's or 2.1 Divas and pairing them with a Adire Rava sub (most ideal sub for music I hear). The Divas are a little more expensive and would have to be significantly better than the S38's for me to consider them. Please give me your thoughts, but take note, that I have a budget, and the Divas are pushing it a little financially.

Reg
 

Chris Tsutsui

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 1, 2002
Messages
1,865
Diva 2.1 Technical Specifications

2-way

4th-order vented alignment

Drivers 1 6.5" driver and 1 1.1" silk dome tweeter

Frequency response = 48Hz-20kHz

Efficiency = 87 dB

Nominal impedance = 8 ohm

Power handling 20-100 watts

Dimensions (W x D x H) 10 x 13 x 15.5 in (252 x 330 x 394mm)

Weight 26.4 lbs (12kg) each

Maximum Recommended Amplifier Power: 175 Watts

• Impedance: 8 Ohms

• Sensitivity (2.83V @ 1m): 89dB

• Frequency Response (–3dB): 45Hz – 20kHz

• Crossover Frequency(ies): 800Hz, 3200Hz

• High-Frequency Driver: 1" Pure-titanium dome with EOS™ waveguide

• Midrange Driver: 4" PolyPlas™ cone

• Low-Frequency Driver: 8" PolyPlas™ cone

• Dimensions (H x W x D): In Horizontal Configuration:

11-1/2" x 17-1/2" x 11-3/4"

(292mm x 445mm x 298mm)

• Weight: 28 lb (12.7kg)

Since I have the JBLs I'll list:

JBL Pros:

over $100 cheaper (My reason)

lower frequency response

higher sensitivity

more power handling

3-way

Easier auditioned

Available in different colors

JBL cons:

Bigger/heavier

Mixed reviews on whether sound is good
 

Steve Zimmerman

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 6, 2001
Messages
347
I own a full complement of Divas AND two pairs of S38s. I like them both. The one thing I liked about the S38s is the ability to place them on their sides so they could fit in a bookshelf--but I found that I didn't like the way they sounded as much as when I placed them more out in the open.
As far as fit and finish goes, the Divas are hands down better and that silk tweeter is awesome--but they do cost more. If you're buying two pair, you really should put a call into AV123.com to see if they'd be willing to discount the price a bit.
I don't think you'd be making a bad choice with the JBLs either because of how economical they are--and if you save the packaging you would have no problem reselling them on eBay down the road.
If you want to audition the Divas before buying, I invite you to visit www.audioenvy.com where you can find plenty of people in the LA area who have signed up as being willing to allow you to come over for an audition.
--Steve
 

Todd smith

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Messages
643
Just about every speaker will have a mixed review because everyone hears diferently. Even speakers like the Paradigm studio series get critisized by some for being to colored or uneven. So I personally dont think that is a negative for the jbl or any other speaker for that matter. If you want to be reasured of the s38 go to audioreview.com 114 reviews 4.78 average. Not to mixed there.
Diva's seem to get consistent positive response, but I personally would want to audition before buying.
From what little I have said, you can probably tell my preference, but this should not matter. Go listen to the 38's and the divas if possible and then decide. Speakers are so subjective that I think it would be better just to get a group of the better known models in and around your price range and go audition all yourself. If you find one you like by all means DO NOT come here and ask an opinion on speaker "x" because you will get just that, opinion. These opinions that you get can play mental games with you (maybe I really did not like that speaker) and confuse you. Think for yourself and dont let others persuade you if you find something you like, because they might hate it. I am speaking from personal experience because I have been doing this to myself over the weeks and am starting to realize it. Naturally you want a product that EVERYONE raves about but that will not happen with speakers for the most part.
Sorry to ramble, just dont torture yourself over others opinions because not everyone will like what you like. I cant beleive I went on and on about this, I need sleep. My intentions by all this are pure though. Good Luck.
By the way, deciding on a direct view 4:3 hdtv has been the worst so far for me. I am realizing that my perfectionistic ways (hard for me to help this, I try) do not mix well with HT equipment because there is a compromise with all of it, at least at my price point. Allright, goodnight.
 

Steve Zimmerman

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 6, 2001
Messages
347
Todd, while I agree with what you're saying on principle, there are so many factors that affect how speakers sound and how we *think* they sound that a real A/B comparison is extremely difficult to do even when speakers are side by side in a showroom.

For example, I'll bet there aren't very many listeners who remember to level-set the volume when switching between A and B speakers to account for efficiency differences. Yet to most people loudness differences affect the sound to a much greater degree than subtle driver differences. Unless you bring an SPL meter with you to the A/B test, you're letting loudness differences affect your judgement. That's arguably no better than flipping a coin.

Or another common occurance is the guy who tests speaker A at one store and then tests speaker B at another store. Different room acoustics, different receiver, different volume level, different sales ambience!

So my soapbox response to the "trust your ears" recommendation is that you can only trust your ears if the speakers are (1) in the same room, (2) at the same SPL, (3) both broken in for at least a few hours, (4) in the same physical location, (5) being played by the same source, (6) with your eyes closed so you don't let the fit, finish, or pricetag affect your expectation. Otherwise your trust is being misplaced.

--Steve
 

ReggieW

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 6, 2001
Messages
1,571
Thanks for your replies guys. Again, the Divas would have to represent a significant improvement over the S38's for me to consider them, especially since their C3 center will cost nearly three times what the JBL S-Center does. In other words, I can get two pairs of S-38's and an S-center for about $750.00, two pairs of Diva 2.1's and the center will cost $1,300.00 PLUS shipping. The JBL's can be shipped FREE through J&R. This is a considerable price difference.

Thanks,

Reg
 

Sean D

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 3, 2001
Messages
181
Reg,

Have you emailed Russell or Steve at av123 to inquire about a package price? They are pretty good about that kind of stuff.
 

Todd smith

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Messages
643
Reg,
Hey that j&r is a good deal. I just received my 4 s38's ad s-center 10 minutes ago for $729.00 shipped. Dont have a receiver yet :frowning: so I cant listen, but that problem should be solved soon. Packaging looks great. Looks like nothing to worry about if you go through j&r, but I bet the diva's would be great as well. Good luck!
 

BryanZ

Screenwriter
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Messages
1,214
Reg,
The 4.1 package goes for $1,198. If you are going to do something like that then you might as well get all five speakers. So for $1,200 plus shipping you are getting all five speakers. Even the 2.1s and the C3 center come to $998 plus shipping. I imagine the 4.1 package will be significantly better than the S38 combo you are currently considering. Though I would take the nOrh 4.0 package over both ($850 delivered). ;)
 

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