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Norh 4.0 vs JBL S-38 (1 Viewer)

David_Merrow

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 25, 2001
Messages
51
Hello,

What do you guys think is a better speaker the norh 4.0 or the jbl s-38? I bought the s-38 about a month ago and got a great deal, $240. But I seen the norh's are on sale for $300. So should I sell the s-38 and get the 4.0? Also, I will be building a tempest subwoofer, so bass will not be a problem.

thanks

David
 

Brian Corr

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 10, 1999
Messages
535
To say one is better than the other is all personal preference.

IMHO the Norh's are nothing special. The sound they put out is about what you should expect for what they cost.

I think the JBL is a better buy.
 

ScottH

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2001
Messages
3,410
Real Name
Scott Hanson
IMHO the Norh's are nothing special. The sound they put out is about what you should expect for what they cost.
Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but in this case I couldn't disagree more. I bought a pair of Definitive Technology BP 10b and used them for about two months. They were good, but (I'll spare you the story of how it happened) I "ended up" with a set of norh 4.0. Within a day of listening there was no doubt in my mind the Definitives (as good as they were) were out. I have even since upgraded the norh's to 5.1, but I have to say I think I prefer the sound of the 4.0 (paired with an SVS) and now am looking to replace my 5.1 mains with 4.0 ceramic or marble. I should mention that for a home theater only setup, there is nothing better than the norh's (that I've heard) for even twice the price. I've never heard the JBLs, so I can't attest to that, but I know that you would be very happy with the norhs. Now if this will be primarily a music setup, there may be better options, but I'm sure someone else can shed some light on that.
 

David_Merrow

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 25, 2001
Messages
51
Thank you for the replies so far. I wanted to add that I have a Kenwood VR509 and a 12'x14'x7.5' room. Would this be able to power the 4.0 or maybe the 5.1.

thanks again
 

BryanZ

Screenwriter
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Messages
1,214
David,
The Kenwood will be enough for the 4.0s or 5.1s. If you are looking to buy a package, go for the ceramic 4.0 package ($850) as it will be better than the wood 4.0 one ($775). You should be able to substitute wood 5.1 mains in the ceramic 4.0 package without a price increase until December 26.
With the bass covered by the Tempest sub, IMO there is no contest between the JBL and the nOrh. The nOrh is better, playing cleaner and giving a much wider sweetspot. The off axis response of the nOrhs has no equal.
Lastly, if you are considering getting a pair of nOrhs only and can afford the wood 5.1 I wouldn't hesistate and would get it over the wood 4.0, especially considering the 5.1 goes deeper than the 4.0 does. All the 4.0s and 5.1s use identical tweeters, woofers, and crossovers so the sound will be the same. The main difference is the wood will be warmer whereas the ceramic/marble/synthetic marble will be more revealing and more detailed. When you upgrade your source equipment they will continue to improve whereas the wood will be maxed out beforehand. (Upgrading from the Kenwood to the Outlaw 1050, for example, will bring a noticeable improvement, easily perceived in the wood 5.1s.)
Overall, get the nOrhs over the JBLs. That's my opinion. :)
 

Ryan Schnacke

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 5, 2001
Messages
876
I believe that the norh speakers win in terms of quality of sound, imaging, soundstage and quality of components. And some of those are good sized margins. No doubt there's a higher percentage markup on the JBLs.

All IMO. I respect Brian's opinion - he seemed to be a great guy when we met.
 

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