JBL Speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen Houdek, Feb 26, 2002.

  1. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    Ok, I've been out of the Audio Scene for quite a while. I remember when Carver/NAD/Klipsh/Nakamichi and JBL were quite popular amongst audiophiles. I even had one of those Carver M400's.

    What is JBL's reputation currently? They seem to have a bunch of pretty low priced speakers out there and I know they used to be good. I'm not too familiar with the "designer" brands out there. Back in the day "Polk" was decent, but considered to be one of those brands who colored their speakers a little too much for the purist who preferred the Klipsch flat response to an audio source. Bose was always considered more or less Junk in my circles. More of a marketing ploy than anything of real value. Oh, and Advent was considered an up and comer also and they seem to have dropped right off the charts!

    Can someone catch me up a bit?
     
  2. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i too am wondering why boston acoustics is not popular here. everytime there was a review about the boston, they always got very good reviews! i wonder why.
     
  3. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    NHT, PSB, Monitor, Klipsch, Paradigm, Acoustic Research, Definitive Technology and M&K come to mind. JBL has several different lines out, and like many large manufacturers are building mass-market type stuff to keep the money flowing. Sub / Sat sets dominate the landscape. Built-in powered woofers are more common than passive towers. DIY is strong, as are internet-only brands. Sonosubs are entering more households. Divorce rates are increasing, as are bankruptcy notices. Technology is moving too fast for anyone to feel adequate, and flame-fests are common if you own a non-progressive DD-only DVD player.
    Welcome back![​IMG]
    - CM
     
  4. Brian_C

    Brian_C Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think JBL is in the same class as Carver, NAD, etc anymore, but I see them as one of the best bang for your buck manufacturers. Their low and mid line speakers are especially strong. I have the S series setup myself.
     
  5. Paul_Fisher

    Paul_Fisher Screenwriter

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    I used the Studio S26's for a while before I got my paradigm mini monitors. the jbl's were really good, but not as good as the mini's.
     
  6. MikeKaz

    MikeKaz Stunt Coordinator

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    My general impression is that JBL home speakers were pretty crappy after the 70's, and I didnt really like their horn driver home theater speakers in particular. And when I first saw the copper color driver Studio series for the time in Crutchfield, I thought they were some kind of gimmicky BS. But they actually did a very good job with the Studio series. Noone has anything but good things to say about the S-38 in particular. They got a very positive review in Stereophile magazine, with the reviewer specifically mentioning that the sound not did not have the harsh brightness that JBL speakers from years before had. So you could say that JBL has mounted a bit of a comeback with the Studio Series.
     
  7. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Despite what some here think, they still have a good reputation in the pro-audio world, matter-a-fact, that might be an understatement. The "Northridge" & "Studio" Series were introduced in 1999, both series were designed with the above pro-audio experience.
    About the "N" Series:
     
  8. ReggieW

    ReggieW Screenwriter

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    Welcome Stephen.

    JBL has really made quite a comeback the last few years with the Northridge and Studio series. The JBL NSP-1 package is probably the most popular speaker package (two pairs of N-24's and N-Center) on this forum for under $500.00. They are considered overachievers in their price bracket, so much so, that many reviewers and owners believe that they are probably worth two to three times their asking price. I have a set (except I have the larger N-26's for my mains) driving my Denon 1802, and they sound OUTSTANDING for HT, and GOOD for music. Their two entry level subs The PB-10 ($200.00) and PB-12 ($300.00) have received praise as well, and are said to be quite musical as( especially compared to the speakers which appear to be geared mostly towards HT). I haven't listened to the S-series line, but have heard nothing but stellar things about them as well. Many of the people on this forum are VERY hard to impress, and the fact that so many were impressed with the JBL's performance (in its respective price bracket) is what prompted my purchase. However, as someone pointed out, they are considered the best in their price bracket, not the best overall. JBL does have a line or two which runs in the thousands, but I am not familar with it at all. If I had more space (and funds) I would look to Paradigm, Diva, PSB, and several other manufactuers of better quality in the $750.00 and up crowd. Another popular system which sells for slightly more than the JBL package is the Energy take 5 package, which like JBL, is considered another best bang for the buck setup. Ditto to Bose. No one appreciates or respects them around here. Thanks to slick marketing, and deceptive tactics, Bose is selling speaker packages for literally several times their value to the mostly uninitiated. There is a gentleman on this forum named Phil, who is our local JBL afficianado. I'm sure he can give you FAR more info on JBL's current speaker lines than anyone else on this forum. Oh Philllll?

    Reg
     
  9. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Hey ReggieW, thanks for the plug, . . . but I couldn't say it any better than you did in your thread!! Besides, I did post something above your comment! [​IMG]
    Now that I'm here, . . . let me add that two JBL Speakers that was benchmarked in the Consumer world, revealed the same wide & frequency response characteristics, in particular, the clarity of imaging and transparency as their JBL Pro Audio Studio Monitors, . . .
    1) JBL N24 (part of the JBL NSP1 HT Speaker package)
    2) JBL S26 (designed after JBL LSR25P - Linear Spatial Reference Bi-Amplified Monitor)
    Phil
     
  10. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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  11. Vin

    Vin Supporting Actor

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    Stephen, just one more [​IMG] for JBL! I own their older HLS line for my left & right mains and center channel and I love them. I have to agree with what everyone else is saying here....JBL offers a tremendous bang for your buck. Another brand that I think falls into the bang for your buck category is one that Colin mentioned, Acoustic Research. BTW, very nice summary Colin! [​IMG]
    Vin
     
  12. Jason_H

    Jason_H Second Unit

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    Another endorsement of the JBL S-series from me. I have S312's with an S-center up front and S-38's for my surrounds. I am considering adding another pair of JBLs for rear surrounds now that I just got a 7.1-capable receiver. I love my system and would only bother to updgrade if I had several thousands of dollars just laying around

    (By the way, which ones would be best for that? I will have to mount them on the rear wall facing down, since there is nowhere else to put them. They will face directly down at my sofa and I am worried about them falling on someone's head!)
     
  13. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I really think that JBL made a big comeback with the release of the HLS series several years back. I owned the HLS-610 and it was certainly one of the best inexpensive small speakers out there at the time (By the way, just came back from trip to Hong Kong and the HLS-610 is still available there, in rosewood color). I've heard the N24 and the S26 and both are great speakers. I sometimes regret selling my S26s. [​IMG]
     
  14. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    WOW!!!

    Thank-you everyone for your thoughtful responses. I like this place already.......I didn't expect this much response and am delighted at all of the reading material.

    Thanks.
     
  15. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    I have a pair of Radiance series speakers...the highs and mids are AMAZING!!!
     
  16. Robert Lovejoy

    Robert Lovejoy Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought a NSP-1 set from J&R and installed it yesterday. I'd been living with my Pro Logic system, consisting of Tannoy PB6 mains, a Mirage center and sub, and Yamaha limited bandwidth surrounds.

    The difference was incredible! My wife and I watched "The Ghost and The Darkness" last night, which has to be one of the best mixed films out there. We heard so much we'd not heard before, and everything sounded a _lot_ better. This from a system that cost us less than the Tannoys did by themselves.

    Fortunately the Mirage subwoofer blends in perfectly, and I await the day I can replace that an SVS PCi (I'm in the contest I hope!).

    I have to say I'm more than satisfied with my new JBLs!
     
  17. Stephen Houdek

    Stephen Houdek Second Unit

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    Ok, had a chance to demo some stuff yesterday. Listened to the Bose stuff which sounded like crap. (I was in Best Buy so it was there).

    They had a nice JBL Demo space and I really liked the "S" series.

    I have three options I'm considering.

    Option 1:

    JBL Scenter -Center of course

    JBL S312 -Fronts

    JBL S38 -Rears

    SVS Sub?

    Sunfire Sub?

    Option 2:

    JBL Scenter -Center again

    JBL S38's -Fronts & Rears

    SVS Sub?

    Sunfire Sub?

    Option 3:

    JBL Scenter -Center

    JBL S312 -Fronts

    JBL N26 -Rears

    SVS Sub?

    Sunfire Sub?

    Option 4:

    JBL Scenter -Center

    JBL S312 -Fronts

    JBL S36 -Rears

    SVS Sub?

    Sunfire Sub?

    The reason I"m considering the N26's or S36's for the rears is I'm concerned about having to wall mount them. I'm not sure, but logistics may force me to wall mount. The S38's in the rear would have to be put on stands.

    Any opinions on mixing the S with the N's for the rears? I figure that should have little impact since the rears "should" be less critical. Also, any opinions on the S312's versus the S38's for the front? The S312's seemed better for music than the 38's but weren't a huge difference.

    Also, would the SVS sub (which I couldn't audition with this setup) compliment this setup? Would it favor one or the other?

    Thanks for your input.
     
  18. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Another JBL lover here.

    IMHO... the S38 set on small may be the better choice if you're gonna use a sub from SVS. I currently am using some N26 as rears and they perform well..... mounted to wall with some BT77 from Cruthfield...

    My system:

    mains: JBL L100 (from the 70's)

    Center front and rear: JBL S Center

    Rears: JBL N26

    Effects: JBL Sat 2

    Sub: SVS 20-39PC with Art 351 Eq

    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V1

    This system REALLY rocks.......
     
  19. Jo_M

    Jo_M Stunt Coordinator

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    A few months back I dove in an bought a whole JBL setup. S310's

    S-Center

    PB12

    and S38's (rears)

    The S38's are big for rears unless you have a good place for them. I ended up putting them on Bello stands but they are not too stable. I really like the sound of the system especially for movies. My only complaint, and this may not be limited to the JBL's, is that rock music sounds a bit bright. Could be the poor production quality of the music.
     

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