JBL S38's vs CBM 170's

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Trot, Dec 18, 2002.

  1. Chris Trot

    Chris Trot Stunt Coordinator

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    Can anyone compare these two speakers. I'm planning on buying the CBM's, but want to make sure I'm making the right purchase becasue I can get the S38's for much cheaper, are the CBM's worth the extra money. I'm about 80% music. Any help is greatly appreciated...my head is spinning.
     
  2. Marcus Lewis

    Marcus Lewis Stunt Coordinator

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    Depends on your listening levels ...

    The Ascend's are certainly sweeter, but if you like it loud,
    my personal preference is 105dbs + then go with the JBLs.

    IF you like it REALLY loud then Klipsch reference ....
     
  3. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Marcus has a good point, the JBL's Studio Series S38 (& S412P) - CEA Innovations 2000 Design and Engineering Award Winner - does follow the JBL tradition to sound better when played loud!
    Daniel Kumin documented about the JBL – Studio Series S38 ...
     
  4. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the CBM-170s, but have only heard the S38s in BB where there was tons of noise and not as good of equipment as I have at home.
    I don't listen at 105db+ (sounds like time to have your hearing checked [​IMG] ), but the CBM-170s sound great at the levels I listen at. I think they're a great deal, especially at the $300 price they have them at for Christmas.
    If anyone has S38s in the Boulder/Denver area and wants to stop by to compare, drop me a note.
     
  5. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris, I also have CBM-170's on the four "corners" of my 5.1 system. A friend of mine has four S38s for the surrounds and rears of his 7.1 setup, so I've heard both speakers. I don't think that you could go wrong with either speaker, but I tend to agree with Marcus - if you plan on extremely loud volumes I'd pick the JBL's, at more "reasonable" levels I think the Ascends have the advantage. I'm a long-time owner of JBLs, (in fact my L150s were what helped my friend pick JBLs in the first place) so I'm definitely not biased against the brand. It all boils down to the volume levels you like and whether it will be HT or music (I also feel that the Ascends have the edge in musical reproduction).
    Also Chris I would strongly recommend getting either a Hsu VTF-2 or VTF-3 sub, either of these subs integrates wonderfully with the Ascends.[​IMG]
     
  6. Chris Trot

    Chris Trot Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the help, I'm actually planning on picking up the Adire sub because I don't do too much HT
     
  7. RandyKudor

    RandyKudor Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Chris,

    I have had the pleasure of listening to the S38s and I am a proud CBM-170 owner. Both are excellent speakers for the money but both are VERY different.

    I don't know why this thread has ended up in a "how loud this speaker plays" debate, you did not ask that question. The CBM-170s which I own probably won't play as loud as the JBLs (3-way with an 8 inch woofer compared to 2-way with a 6.5') but they are capable of playing far louder than I can handle. Marcus, you are crazy! 105db+ continuous? Isn't 110dB the threshold of pain?

    regardless, to more qualify what is the right speaker for you ask yourself what type of music you listen too.

    The JBLs are more of a rock -n- roll style speaker that will play loud and sound pretty good with most music. The CBMs on the other hand are more of an audiophile speaker that when played with a good recorded CD, will literally suck you into the music experience. They image very well and practically disappear. I would say if your music tastes are for loud rock, save a few bucks and go for the JBLs. If your tastes are for nice clean music, clean vocals, (Dave Matthews and Dianna Krall are incredible), go for the Ascends.

    my 2 cents
     

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