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Sub Purchase Assistance

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Ron Reda, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I've lately been looking to add another sub to complement my JBL PB12 (yes, I have one that actually works!). I've been checking out SVS and others, but they're a bit more than I can spend right now. Then, a deal came up that I can't pass up. Due to an employee discount, I can get my hands on one of the following subs for a good price (under $200). So, which one should I get?

    Infinity Alpha 1200SBK (12", 500-watt, front firing)

    JBL S120PII (12", 400-watt, front-firing)
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Well do what I did I saved up for six months then sold my old sub and got an SVS ...in the long run it was worth it.
    Why keep upgrading to something only maybe a tad better...
    when you can upgrade to something with real bass....
     
  3. BrianMe

    BrianMe Stunt Coordinator

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    easy, buy them both and sell one to me! I was actually looking at the alpha sub.

    Brian
     
  4. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    ChadLB,

    You have a good point, but something more important inevitably comes up that requires the money that I was saving for my next component! I guess that comes with owning a new home...
     
  5. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    BTW, here are the specs on both subs...

    JBL S120PII:

    • Amplifier Power (RMS): 400 Watts
    • Low-Frequency Driver: 12" PolyPlas™ cone
    • Frequency Response: 22Hz – Low-pass crossover setting
    • Weight: 56 lb (25.5kg)
    • MSRP US: $799.00 each

    Infinity Alpha 1200SBK:

    -Frequency Response (±3dB): 28Hz – 150Hz
    -Internal Subwoofer Amplifier Power: 500 watts with Bass Optimization System
    -Low-Frequency Driver: 12" (305mm) CMMD™
    -Weight: 45 lb (20.5kg)
    -MSRP US: $799.00 each

    What I don't understand is how a sub with a 400W amp goes lower that one with 500W??? Plus, it's 11 pounds heavier...I wonder why?
     
  6. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I'd get the JBL as a home theater sub.

    For some reason I have a feeling that the Infinity sub was designed more with cosmetics in mind than the ugly JBL. The JBL goes deeper, it sounds pretty good, and is heavier. [​IMG]

    If you care more about musical bass, and appearance, than I'd get the Infinity. Just a guess, but since the infinity driver doesn't go as deep, it might be a lighter driver and can play upper bass easier.
     
  7. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Chris,

    That was my thought exactly (the JBL goes deeper and is heavier), but I wanted to ask the experts here first.

    Since I don't use my sub for music, I think using the JBL for HT would suit me just fine!
     
  8. terence

    terence Supporting Actor

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    bump
     
  9. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    I've only played with the JBL S120 at Best Buy for a few minutes so I can't comment much on it.

    If the Alpha 1200s is anything like the IL120s it replaced, then it's an outstanding subwoofer. One of the most important features it has is the on board parametric eq(big plus IMO), even though it's a single band, that can make a significant difference in sound quality. It was recently tested by S&V magazine and did quite well. It does't have much output below 30hz as the frequency response indicates, but it averaged something like 109db~32-63hz(105dDb~25-63hz) w/10% distortion in Nousaine's huge 7500 cu ft room.

    W/regards to comparing freq. response. JBL gives no -3dB limit like Infinity does. There's no telling how much output it has at 22hz. If the subwoofer is [email protected], I think they would proudly rate that way. My guess is that left that out on purpose.

    Like I mentined above, if the quality of the Alpha sub is like the Interlude 120s it replaced, than it should have good output with outstanding sound quality. As you've probably guessed by now, I'd recommend the Infinity.

    Isn't the Infinity a plain black box?
     
  10. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Hi Ron

    The JBL-S falls off big after 30Hz. It was tested in Stereophile Guide to home Theater.

    I'll see if I can dig the issue up and give you some harder data.

    I remember they felt it did very well, good SQ, but again fell off steeply around 30Hz....[​IMG]
    For music, fine for "most",,,, but for HT not deep enough for me! JMO

    Regards
    Geoff

    Edit: Shoot :b :b :b

    Ron
    I'm very sorry it was the:
    JBL-PS1400BE Sug Ret. $1599.00
    14"-Driver
    400-watt
    80-lbs
    28-150Hz -6db
    20"x 19"x 15" (WxHxD)
    Dual Front Flared Ports

    This JBL Sub started falling off around 35Hz, tho with impressive spl from 35 and up. 106-db with no hint of SQ strain...

    Ok, open mouth insert foot!
     
  11. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I stand corrected: They are both plain boxes with silver drivers. [​IMG]

    One with CMMD technology, the other with polyplas cone.

    This 400-watt, 12-inch powered subwoofer reproduces sound with incredible power, delivering the punch that puts the "cinema" in home-cinema system. (Maybe the JBL has a higher Q in the design or has more punch and slam than the Infinity because they advertise it as having "punch" in HT)

    "Bass Optimization System: Infinity's Bass Optimization System is a simple-to-use, yet sophisticated, low-frequency calibration system. The subwoofer contains a parametric equalizer that you can adjust, improving the sound of your system." I didn't see that detail...

    The infinity sub has a posted F3 of 28hz. Franks right in how JBL doesn't post the F3 of the sub and only states the low end response to be 22hz.

    If 22hz is not the -3db point in the JBL, then I would get the Infinity because it has the EQ.

    It's so Hard comparing subs when we have no detailed specs about them. Especially when they are a similar design, and same MSRP. [​IMG]
     
  12. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    Also, w/the Alpha subwoofers, purchasing the RABOS kit is not a necessary purchase since they put frequency marks on the dials this time.
     
  13. Greg Bright

    Greg Bright Second Unit

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    And let us not forget: both JBL and Infinity are designed and manufactured by Harman International, a big-time player in the home entertainment industry. Yes, their lines overlap somewhat; but Infinity has always been their "accuracy" line. JBL has been their "kick-ass" line.
    With Floyd Toole as their speaker design guru I doubt now that either has a pronounced advantage in either direction.
    It may all come down to cosmetics now. But I own Infinity, so what do I know?
     
  14. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I could honestly care less about cosmetics as the sub will be tucked away from sight. I am thoroughly confused now!
     

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