JBL Speaker Recommendations

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by MuneebM, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. MuneebM

    MuneebM Supporting Actor

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    Hi folks, this would be my first post on this forum, so please be gentle to this newb.

    I am upgrading my home theater system and I am purchasing a whole set of JBL Studio Series speakers, since they're discontinued I wanna get my hands on them before they are forever gone. I have already gotten plenty of useful information from Phil on this subject through emails we've shared. Phil, I am in no way undermining your expertise on JBL speakers, I just want to get more opinions [​IMG]

    Here's my 6.1 setup:
    Fronts: JBL S310II (on order)
    Center: JBL S-Center II (if I can find it) or else JBL EC35
    L/R Surround: JBL S38II or JBL S26II
    Back Surround: JBL S36II (buying it from a friend)
    Sub: HSU STF-2

    I need opinions for my L/R surround speakers; ideally I would like to get a pair of S36II to match my surround back speaker but I can't find this model anywhere online. As a result, I am left with 2 choices: S38II or S26II. My concern about the S38II is that it is such a big speaker and it might be a big waste of "potential" if I use it as a surround speaker, but I want to get it because its a horizontal speaker and its 3-way like the rest of the speakers in my setup. As for the S26II, its cheaper, and should be adequate as a surround speaker, however its only 2-way and I'm concerned it may not match well with all the other 3-way speakers in my setup, not to mention its a vertical speaker. Has anyone used either of these speakers as surrounds, if so, any suggestions/recommendations?

    As for the center, I really want an S-Center II, but if I have no choice I'll have to opt for an EC35 - how is this speaker and how will it match with the rest of the Studio Series speakers in the setup?

    I plan to power all these with a Yamaha RX-V2400 receiver.

    Thanks in advance for all the help.
     
  2. MikeKaz

    MikeKaz Stunt Coordinator

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  3. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    Yep, the S36's make great surrounds. I use them and am very happy. I bought mine from Bestpriceaudiovideo.com as Mike linked to above. Also got my 310's and SCenter from them.
     
  4. MuneebM

    MuneebM Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the replies guys but Bestpriceaudiovideo and Wild West Electronics (both those links) don't have the S-Center II nor do they have the S36II in stock. I have called these and many other stores throughout this week and the conclusive result is that none of the stores have them in stock even though they may still show them as available on their websites - the sites are just not updated with real-time inventory data.

    So, back to my original question: given that the S36II is not available, what do you think would be better as l/r surround: S38II or S26II, combined with a single S36II for the surround back - I am leaning more and more towards the S38II because its a 3-way speaker and because of its horizontal configuration.
     
  5. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Muneeb:

    The S38IIs are simply awesome speakers, and they'll do fine as fronts or surrounds (although they might be overkill as surrounds). They are physically large/conspicuous which might affect your decision.
     
  6. John Doh

    John Doh Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the S-Center II, S38II's for the fronts and S-36II's for the surrounds (and a PB1-ISD SVS Sub...woohooo!!). These JBL's sound WONDERFUL! However, I think using the S-38II's a surrounds is a big waste of talent. I would go for the S26II's for surrounds. Either way your gonna be in a sticky because the S36II rear surround will dominate the S26II's, as would the 38's to the 36.
     
  7. MuneebM

    MuneebM Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the input Angelo and John.

    John, you make a good point that the surround back S36II will dominate the surround l/r S26II OR that the surround l/r S38II will dominate the surround back S36II - this is one of my concerns but I just wanted to confirm if its true. However, I would rather have the surround l/r slightly dominate the surround back than vice-versa - I could always use an SPL to do ref calibration and I am sure if I do that the levels of the S38II (as surround l/r speakers) will be lower than that of the S36II surround back speaker. What do you think?
     
  8. Norman L

    Norman L Second Unit

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    The S36IIPM is available. They were not discontinued.
    PM is for platium Color to match a TV. Do a search for the best price.

    Their is a NEW (unopened box) on ebay for the S CenterII.
    Search JBL S Center

    In my living room I use an S CenterII with older B & W.
    In my bedroom I have the S CenterII with S38II.
     
  9. John Doh

    John Doh Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes the using of a meter would ensure the sound is equal, but the same process could be done using the S26II's. There is no question the S38II's sound great and are far superior to the S26II's. I would base your decision on room size, mounting/placement options, and what has already been mentioned... the work to be accomplished by surround speakers. I personally would get the S26II's for the surrounds and tune them using the SPL meter. Good luck!
     
  10. John Doh

    John Doh Stunt Coordinator

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    BTW, on Ebay do a search for S36II and their are a couple of pair on there. They are not new, but look to be in great condition.
     
  11. MikeKaz

    MikeKaz Stunt Coordinator

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    I wouldn't necessarily give up all hope of being able to find an S-36, or agonize about which speaker choice would be a comparable replacement to the S-36. They can still be had if you do want to get them.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=14991

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=14991

    You can also try the Froogle shopping search site. At least some of these sites are bound to still have them in stock.

    http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=...Search+Froogle

    http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=...Search+Froogle

    http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=...Search+Froogle
     
  12. MuneebM

    MuneebM Supporting Actor

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    Thanks MikeKaz for the eBay links, I'm already watching those 2 items closely. As for the other links to the online retailers, they're all sold out, I spent hours on the phone last week with absolutely no luck. I appreciate the links and help nonetheless, thanks. I think my best bet for the S36II speakers is to get a used pair through eBay.
     
  13. John S

    John S Producer

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    The s38's are the real gem.. I'd buy them over the floor standers for your fronts as well.


    Actually, the very nature of DD and DTS, and all channel stereo make it a great idea to use the S38's all the way around. That would be my suggestion.
     
  14. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Man, those S-38's are HUGE, I remember when I received mine in the mail my first word's were " gotdamn, these things are huge!" . So with that said it's going to be a pain trying to hang those things up on a wall (better you than me).

    You can find that S-center online for $150, good hunting.[​IMG]
     
  15. John Doh

    John Doh Stunt Coordinator

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    I didn't know that he was considering hanging these on the wall. MuneebM, is this the case? If so, definitely do not go with the S38II's because they are huge for bookshelfs and they weigh close to 30 pounds each. If you are looking for wall mountables, the S36II and the S26II are your only options.
     
  16. Norman L

    Norman L Second Unit

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    MuneebM,
    Hi,
    BTW- Albert Ness emailed me that he found the S centerII for you. I helped him set up his system in 2002. His son and my son are friends. He is a great guy.
     
  17. Tom Tubbiola

    Tom Tubbiola Stunt Coordinator

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    I have to respectfully disagree about the difficulty of mounting the S38s.

    [​IMG]

    I have some new gear to add soon. Still need my S Center!!!
     
  18. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    I could have sworn JBL said not to have those vertical like that, I'll have to read the manual when I get home. Thought it said something about if your using them for HT don't put them vertical, or something like that, can't remember.

    But I do remember it saying depending on how far apart you have them will dictate if the tweeter and mid range should be towards the outside or towards the inside. So actually that right there lets you know not to place them vertically. I think if your using them for music only it said vertical will be ok.
     
  19. John Doh

    John Doh Stunt Coordinator

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    You're right LeMarcus, JBL recommends the S38II's to be mounted horizontally for proper imaging, not vertical. You can however mount them how you like, but the maker recommends only one way.

    Tom T.,

    My neck hurts already trying catch that viewing angle!! Once you do get your S-Center, it is also recommended to position the front and center channels at the same height for proper imaging as well, so you may think about rearranging a bit. Nice work on the wall mounting though. I'm willing to bet you are one of the very few who has attempted this configuration. Good luck!
     
  20. Tom Tubbiola

    Tom Tubbiola Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I didn't have too many options. The brackets I am using were purchased for my Klipsch RB-5s and would not go wide enough for horizontal mounting.

    This set up is in my bedroom so the height is not really an issue. It has been primarily a music system and I just bought two more S38s and a Panasonic XR45 receiver. I'm still trying to find an S-Center II.

    I plan on hanging the receiver and center channel under the TV. Space limitations are making me hang everything except the surrounds. I'll build corner shelves for those.

    It may not image perfectly but I'll bet it's as good as or better than 80% of the Bedroom HTs out there. :)
     

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