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PSB vs JBL...in home shoot-out

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lance Haile, Oct 8, 2001.

  1. Lance Haile

    Lance Haile Extra

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    Well, I have asked on this forum and received a lot of good feedback, but the only way to really find out for sure...
    I just got my PSB Image 1B pair today. I have been running JBL N26 for about 2 weeks now. The JBL's came from BB and the PSB's online...since both cost almost exactly the same, I think I am definitely comparing apples to apples.
    Now I realize that comparing speakers is an extremely subjective subject, so this is just my opinion.
    First, unpacking the PSB's I noticed that they are a much better looking speaker. Even though they use wood veneer, it gives a much more expesnive look than the plastic JBLs. Both have solid cable posts. The PSB's have a much smaller footprint. They are narrower and about the same height.
    Connecting and A/B them:
    The N26's have a larger driver, so they do go a little lower. But I'm not sure that's necessarily a better thing. Since I am running a sub, I think I prefer the clarity of the Image 1B's. Both do nicely in the higher end, but the PSB's have a noticably clearer mid range. My intial comparison was running 2 channel stereo listening to several CD's I am very familiar with. The Image 1B's just seem to Image better and have a much cleaner and musical sound. They are also quite a bit more efficient and reach "louder" volumes at the same setting on the reciever.
    When I played several DVD's including Saving Private Ryan and the Matrix, I really saw the PSB's shine. Dialog is much better than on the JBL's and they truly image better in this capacity.
    I have to admit that I was quite surprised by my findings. I had expected results like this if I was comparing the similar sized driver Image 2B to the N26, but not the smaller 1B. I am very pleasantly surprised to hear that they sound so good.
    Again, I know that speaker auditioning is a very personal thing, but I have seen the question asked, and thought I would give my personal testimony for the Canadian made PSB speakers. I think that they are highly under rated and a lot of people would benefit by including them in their auditon list. I also got a great deal on them, and they were deliverd quickly and cheaply, so if you email off the list I will let you know where.
     
  2. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    Very interesting stuff indeed! I love reading about controlled comparisons.
    Question:
    Is that a real wood veneer?
    ------------------
    Chuck
    http://www.hometheaterinsider.com
     
  3. Lance Haile

    Lance Haile Extra

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    Chuck,
    I sense a little sarcasm in your response, but I am known to be a little paranoid. The cabinets may not be veneer, but real wood. To be honest, I'm not sure. I do know that they are NOT plastic. As far as controlled experiment, I don't claim that. I was just offering my opinion of two like-priced speakers (one of which is touted often in this forum) in my actual listening environment.
    I should also mention that I do have a troublesome room. Long and narrow, all hardwoods with no rugs currently, sparsely furnished, etc...so my environment is far from controlled, but definitley real world.
     
  4. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    The PSB Image series use a vinyl wrapping over an MDF substrate, they are not wood veneer.
     
  5. David Head

    David Head Second Unit

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    Lance,
    What receiver do you have? What other speakers did you use for the DVD tests?
    I use the 1Bs for surrounds and love them. I was also amazed how good they sound for small speakers. They blend perfectly with my 8C and 3LRs.
    David
    [Edited last by David Head on October 08, 2001 at 09:35 PM]
     
  6. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    Lance...no sarcasm at all man...i was just bumpin your review because I think people need to read and appreciate it.
    Thanks for the info.
    ------------------
    Chuck
    http://www.hometheaterinsider.com
     
  7. Lance Haile

    Lance Haile Extra

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    I have an Onkyo 575x receiver. For the DVD tests, I had all JBL's and the PSB pair. I was really more focused on the mains. I actually turned the center speaker off for comparison sake. I have returned the JBL's and plan to get all PSB's. Now I just need to decide which ones. I'm starting to think that 4 Image 1B's and an 8C might do the trick wonderfully and under budget.
     
  8. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    Location:
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    Real Name:
    Thomas
     
  9. Lance Haile

    Lance Haile Extra

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    Thomas,
    Noticed you live in Ft. Worth. Do you have a good PSB source locally? Most of the places on the PSB site are custom installers and don't have retail locations, so it makes auditioning a little difficult. Also, I can't seem to find anyone willing to deal on PSB.
    I think PSB would be better served by trying to get into a few more Brick and Mortar Home Theatre Retailers. Just my $.02.
     
  10. Jim Clark

    Jim Clark Auditioning

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    I have a total PSB setup: four 1Bs, an 8C, and a Subsonic 6. I got them when the line was first introduced over a year ago and I still like them very much.
    When I auditioned them I actually preferred the 1Bs to the slightly larger 2Bs, I (and the store owner) thought the mids were better on the 1Bs and they went low enough to be used effectively with a sub. The 4Ts and 3LRs are also excellent with some more range and imaging. I plan to add 4Ts for mains and make a pair of the 1Bs the back surrounds.
    Bang for your buck they're tough to beat.
    See my setup here: http://users.erols.com/jimclark/jimht.html
     

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