JBL Speaker Choices

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Perry_C, Jul 19, 2002.

  1. Perry_C

    Perry_C Extra

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    Hello,

    I am new to the form, however I have spent about a month reading the information here. And wow there is a lot of great advice. I am hopping someone can help me figure out what solution would be best for the JBL speaker combination I am looking at.

    The JBL speakers will most likely be connected to a Yamaha RX-V1200 receiver. The center is to be the JBL S-center II and the subwoofer is to be the JBL PB10.

    My mains and surround options are as follows:

    A. JBL S38II's mains and surround
    B. JBL S38II's mains and S26II's surround
    C. JBL S38II's mains and S36II's surround
    D. JBL S36II's mains and S26II's surround
    E. JBL S36II's mains and surround
    F. JBL S26II's mains and surround
    G. JBL S-310II's or S-312II's Mains with the S36II's surround. (However I think this will be out of my budget.)

    The setup will be used for about 60% movies and about 30% TV and 10% games/music.

    The room is the living room in an apartment on the 1st floor. The room is about 15x15 with no wall behind the couch and no wall on the right side.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you,

    Perry
     
  2. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    Personally I would go with option F. This is what I am working on setting up, I currently have S26 mains and a S center.
    http://www.markfitzsimmons.com/pics/studioseries.jpg
    I would rule out any setup that uses the S36, the construction seems low quality, this is just me, they are fine speakers, but I just prefer MDF construction for my mains and surrounds.
    Going S38s all around would be an awesome setup, although they may give you some trouble mounting them in a surround positon, it is a big speaker.
    You could go with S38 up front, and use S26 rears, but for how little you listen to music it might not be worth it. Others have reported that the difference between S38 and S26 for movies is barely noticable. I just don't think its worth the money.
    I am an extremely satasfied owner of JBL studio series speakers, I love my S Center and S26's I know you will too.
     
  3. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I would go S38 main, S26 surround.

    I predict you might listen to 2ch music more often with the S38s. The bass is clean that comes from them and there will be more overlapping and flexibility of sound with the PB10.

    All the Studio series are timbre matched so I'm not too concerned about getting all the same type of speakers all around, just getting what works best in those areas.
     
  4. HankB

    HankB Stunt Coordinator

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    I use the S26 as surrounds and they suit that purpose fine. I wouldn't want to use them as your main music
    speakers though. For movies they should be just fine. As a solution to the mounting problem and since I managed to
    closeout version 1's for a steal ($115 a pair)! I just mounted them to the wall using brackets, just screwed right
    into the speaker (gasp!). They are as solid as can be, and the mounting hardware was $3 per speaker.
     
  5. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

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    I use my S26 as mains for music and they are great.
     
  6. HankB

    HankB Stunt Coordinator

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    Just don't try an A/B test for Paradigm Studio 80's....
     
  7. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    I went option B. I don't regret the decision. Although, I'd seriously consider alotting some more funds to the sub. Ditch the JBL sub and step up to a HSU VTF2 or SVS 25-31PCi.

    If you have some basic wood working skills, seriously consider building a Dayton DVC12" based sub yourself. Can be done including the amp for under $300 and will compete very well with SVS PCi series (which one in the series depends on what allignment you choose to build).
     
  8. Binh Vu

    Binh Vu Stunt Coordinator

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    I have N38ii as main speakers. The tweeter and mid are great but I the bass sound really bad. I don't know why, anyone has any idea why the bass from my main speakers arn't good???
     
  9. Brian Warren

    Brian Warren Stunt Coordinator

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    this is a very interesting thread. 2 questions for those in the know that may help me as well as the original poster.

    1. s38 vs s26 as mains. aside from price, what are the differences one would notice listening to music and HT. is the articulation with one better. are the 38s boomy and unatural or more full and natural sounding and more seamless with a sub.

    2. for surrounds, it doesnt seem like s38s would be worth it so the question is s 26s vs s36s and it seems as though 26s would be better. so the question is where to mount and how is the effect for HT. if on the back wall would you point them at the listener or point above. same question for side wall mounting.

    3. how is the HT effect with these 26s as surrounds, can one elaborate for me

    thanks
    Brian
     
  10. ray porco

    ray porco Auditioning

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    perry,
    suggestion: at least go to bestbuy and audition the speakers. i was very fortunate in getting a salesperson to switch speakers into different configurations for me/us (he wanted to listen to differences as well). spent about 3-4 hours there (it was great fun). you MUST make up your own mind.
    my personal preference is theater application and when i listen to music, vocals are very important, loose boomy bass sucks, and i can't handle warm (it muddles). therefore my decision was easy - "E". try this link:
    http://www.digitalvortex.com/jbl_s36's_&_s_center.htm
    mark,
    the 36 is just like the old character actor - Jack Elam, sooooo ugly that they're beautiful. the construction of the 36 is intentional - a sealed, molded (no possibility of distortion from cabinet vibration) enclosure. acoustic suspension.
    brian,
    1. not trying to be smart but, you should listen for the differences yourself, not relying on someone else's taste.
    2. go to the jbl website and download the owner's manual for suggested placement and orientation (you will be surprised), then read response no. 3 below.
    3. surrounds in theater auditoriums have a specific formula for mounting height and angle of speaker.
    my personal opinion (what it's worth) is that i think jbl intended the 36's specifically for theater.
    ever hear of joe d'appolito? do some research and then you'll see what i mean.
    respectfully,
    ray porco
    copy and paste the url.
    hyperlink did not include 's_&_s_center.htm
     
  11. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Ray, the link you provided doesn't work, so the best way to read Mark's JBL Speaker Review is to go to his main Review webpage, and select the JBL review from there.
     
  12. Brian Warren

    Brian Warren Stunt Coordinator

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    good info Ray and Phil.
    1. I cant listen to the 26s, BB does not have them only the 38s. the 36s sound nice though. the 38s sound better than 36s as mains to me. if either of you or anyone else have heard the 38s, please compare them to the 26s as mains.

    2. the 36s would work nice as side surrounds in my new room but the 26s would not 'cause of the WAF(therefore was going to put beech 26s to the rear and something(? 36s - low profile) to the sides as a 7.1 system). can you cover the 36s in some light colored speaker mesh to blend with the walls, black is no good.
    thanks
    Brian
     
  13. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    I just snicker every time I read something like this [surround speaker placement].
    I was at Sears to check out when they were getting in the newest 27" HDTV from Samsung. I was also still looking for speaker mounting brackets (which I've since found), but they really only had small ones.. nothing for an S26. Side note: I didn't want to drill into my S26II's either.
    Anyway, he began his routine of trying to sell me a product and explaining the best way to set the speakers up. He proceeded to tell me not to mount the speaker in contact with the wall (surrounds). He also said that "you want the speakers slightly angled down toward the listening position." According to Dolby's website, that is WRONG.
    Looking back now, I just can't listen to these guys anymore. I asked him a simple question and he fed me wrong info. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    BTW, I envy your wonderful post layouts, Phil. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. Perry_C

    Perry_C Extra

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    Wow,

    Guys thanks for the great information. I have been to best buy. I still have not made up my mind yet. However, I do have a few more question in the whole configuration idea. I did look at the JBL S36II. How do you guys like that speaker for the surround?

    Also, What about a stand for the S38II. And would the S-310II be a little over kill for mains?

    Thanks,

    Perry
     
  15. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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  16. Perry_C

    Perry_C Extra

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    Phil,
    Based on what you are saying. Keeping all the speakers basically the same ( mains and surrounds). It sounds (no pun intended [​IMG] ) that the JBL S26II would be the best route to go?
    Perry
     
  17. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I saw K-19 at edwards Giant screen IMAX theater and they had JBL Pro speakers all the way around. Then I went to the O.C. Fair and there were JBL speakers at most of the booths and concerts. At the Mall there were more JBL in-wall speakers and satellites... They must have a pretty big industry seeing all the different models.

    My opinion:

    The benefits of having an S38 over an S26 for mains is the more fuller range of sound and bass in the front sound stage (Some audiophiles claim bass as not being non-directional). Also, by your mains producing more bass, your subwoofer doesn't have to worry as much about upper bass notes. I find that the less frequency range a driver has to play the better it sounds which is why I like the idea of more drivers teamed with good crossover/circuitry.

    You'll find that a lot of male vocals produce bass so it can sound better coming from a full range speaker, than from a sub (Unless the sub can produce deep un-localized vocals). Not that the S38s are full range, I just find that they are able to produce 40-60hz fairly well and can overlap with subwoofers at like 80hz.

    Of course you can buy a good quality sub to fill in the bigger bass gap that the S26 leaves. But then those notes are coming from a single source so it must be non-directional. In addition, the sub also gains the task of playing a wider range of sound including upper bass notes that the S38 could handle.

    I may have explained it as an exaggeration because the differences may sound subtle when you AB compare them, especially if you run them as "small". I think you'd be pleased with S26 as mains but am just adding thoughts to how an S38 could be a better choice.
     
  18. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Just to confuse matters further, I'm using the S312 mark I with the S Center for HT and just love it. I don't think you can go far wrong in the Studio series.
     
  19. Perry_C

    Perry_C Extra

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    This is what I think I am going to do for now. Get the JBL S26II's for mains and surrounds. Then in about a year or whenever I actually have a room that I can call the home theater, I could then use those speakers as a 7.1 setup and then get the S312's for the mains. That might be a good upgrade path.
     
  20. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    That's not a bad idea, Perry. I have four S26II's all around. They're not too awful big for my small area. Also, whenever I move, they'll still put out enough power to satisfy the larger rooms. [​IMG]
     

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