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post #1 of 40 Old 11-18-2013, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have a JBL Synthesis home theater setup?

I'm in the middle of a Home Theater remodel and decided to go for it, i sat through their demo at Cedia and was blown away, i love the idea of a fully integrated and calibrated package.
Hopefully i wont be disappointed!

If you have one of their setups please let me know how you like it, and link some picture as well!

http://www.jblsynthesis.com/
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post #2 of 40 Old 11-18-2013, 04:01 PM
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Existing thread: http://www.avsforum.com/t/989606/jbl-synthesis

Shoot filecat13 a PM. He owns a Synthesis setup.
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post #3 of 40 Old 11-18-2013, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dseliger View Post

Does anyone have a JBL Synthesis home theater setup?

I'm in the middle of a Home Theater remodel and decided to go for it, i sat through their demo at Cedia and was blown away, i love the idea of a fully integrated and calibrated package.
Hopefully i wont be disappointed!

If you have one of their setups please let me know how you like it, and link some picture as well!

http://www.jblsynthesis.com/
Here is a semi-marketing write-up I did for our reference theater with pictures and some technology details: http://www.madronadigital.com/Showroom/HomeTheater.html

Amir
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post #4 of 40 Old 11-18-2013, 04:15 PM
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Filecat13 has a synthesis set up.

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #5 of 40 Old 11-18-2013, 08:07 PM
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Hi Amirm,

Just looked at your write up --- are those ribbon/quasi-ribbon speakers I see there on the screen wall?! If so, WOW!

Thanks,
Paul
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post #6 of 40 Old 11-19-2013, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by waterm3732 View Post

Hi Amirm,

Just looked at your write up --- are those ribbon/quasi-ribbon speakers I see there on the screen wall?! If so, WOW!

Thanks,
Paul
They were (planar magnetics). Alas, the JBL Synthesis system cleaned its clocks in almost every performance metric in hidden AB tests. So we ripped the planar speakers and no longer sell them. Shame though from appearance point view as they look like they do wonders compared the unassuming JBL commercial looking speakers.

By the way, if you are in the market now and can accommodate larger front speakers, you owe it to yourself to look at the JBL M2 speakers. Check out this response:

Tech_R5.jpg

Not only the direct signal is perfect (the green line) but important, all the off-axis responses (those below it) are also nearly identical to it. This means that the reflections in the room that sum up with the direct sound to create what you hear will not change the sound tonally. Importantly, once the direct and indirect signals are the same, room EQ works great. If the two deviate as they do in many other brands, you cannot EQ fix that because it is upstream of the speaker.

We got the M2 a week ago and the performance is just stunning. They have the incredible dynamic range of JBL Pro systems but with the fineness of the Revel line. That is not by accident: this speaker was a joint project at the two groups in Harman. This means the speakers are great both for 2-channel music listening and movies.

Amir
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post #7 of 40 Old 11-19-2013, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

They were (planar magnetics). Alas, the JBL Synthesis system cleaned its clocks in almost every performance metric in hidden AB tests. So we ripped the planar speakers and no longer sell them. Shame though from appearance point view as they look like they do wonders compared the unassuming JBL commercial looking speakers.

By the way, if you are in the market now and can accommodate larger front speakers, you owe it to yourself to look at the JBL M2 speakers. Check out this response:

Tech_R5.jpg

Not only the direct signal is perfect (the green line) but important, all the off-axis responses (those below it) are also nearly identical to it. This means that the reflections in the room that sum up with the direct sound to create what you hear will not change the sound tonally. Importantly, once the direct and indirect signals are the same, room EQ works great. If the two deviate as they do in many other brands, you cannot EQ fix that because it is upstream of the speaker.

We got the M2 a week ago and the performance is just stunning. They have the incredible dynamic range of JBL Pro systems but with the fineness of the Revel line. That is not by accident: this speaker was a joint project at the two groups in Harman. This means the speakers are great both for 2-channel music listening and movies.

So what's the story with these bad boys? Must be used with the Crown amps or full Synth setup? No way around that I guess... The m2 does make me drool... smile.gif


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post #8 of 40 Old 11-19-2013, 04:29 PM
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So what's the story with these bad boys? Must be used with the Crown amps or full Synth setup? No way around that I guess... The m2 does make me drool... smile.gif
It comes in two packages: one with Crowns ($25K list, often discounted to $20K). Then there is a synthesis setup that has Mark Levinson amps. That one is $45K. It is difficult but maybe not impossible to get the speakers and DSP processor without the amps. Please ask your dealer to see if they can do that or not.

The crown package is incredible value. If you subtract the amps, the cost of the pair is $12K for such a high-end, high-output speaker. The amps are also the right thing to drive the woofers. I think each has 1,000 watts or some insane amount like that smile.gif. Then a pair of delicate amps for the horn.

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post #9 of 40 Old 11-19-2013, 05:27 PM
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Be sure to let us know if this JBL system will be demod at CES this year. For the first time in over ten years I will be attending.
If you're going, I'd like to meet you - finally!

Over at the Theta thread, I quoted you today on HDMI, Sim2 and how it pertains to Theta with their HDMI for the CB3 HD and upcoming upgrade to CB4 SSP.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:

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post #10 of 40 Old 11-19-2013, 06:14 PM
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Will do Steve. It was at CEDIA so I would be surprised if it doesn't come to CES.

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post #11 of 40 Old 11-19-2013, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

Not only the direct signal is perfect (the green line) but important, all the off-axis responses (those below it) are also nearly identical to it. This means that the reflections in the room that sum up with the direct sound to create what you hear will not change the sound tonally.

What about the fact that room reflections have their own spectral signature?

Noah
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post #12 of 40 Old 11-20-2013, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies and great article!

All of my synthesis gear just arrived, install wont be complete for about 4 more weeks (mid December), then we have to burn it in before JBL comes to calibrate. Should be done just in time for some long holiday marathon movie nights!
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post #13 of 40 Old 11-20-2013, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

What about the fact that room reflections have their own spectral signature?
They have that for two reasons:

1. The off-axis response of the speaker is colored. This unfortunate is true of many speakers. The M2 solves this problem. It is side and front responses are very similar tonally.

2. The acoustic treatments color it. For this reason, you want to have broadband products there. Absorbers no less than 4 inches and diffusors no less than 8 inches. This won't make them perfect in this regard but will get one pretty close. Of course, because M2s are so good off-axis, this is an excellent opportunity to leave the side reflections bare. That will broaden the image and with a bare wall, you don't have to worry about coloration.

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post #14 of 40 Old 11-20-2013, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dseliger View Post

Thanks for the replies and great article!

All of my synthesis gear just arrived, install wont be complete for about 4 more weeks (mid December), then we have to burn it in before JBL comes to calibrate. Should be done just in time for some long holiday marathon movie nights!
Ah, you should have lots of fun!

By the way, if you want to read more in depth articles on how the signal processing/room eq works, I have written more authoritative articles on those:

1. Sound Field Management: http://www.madronadigital.com/Library/Computer%20Optimization%20of%20Acoustics.html

2. Multiple subs and optimization of the same: http://www.madronadigital.com/Library/BassOptimization.html

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post #15 of 40 Old 11-20-2013, 07:08 PM
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1. doesn't count because that's from the speaker, not the room.

2. fair enough, but highlights how unlikely it is for reflections to match the direct sound spectrally even with speakers that have the same response at all angles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

They have that for two reasons:

1. The off-axis response of the speaker is colored. This unfortunate is true of many speakers. The M2 solves this problem. It is side and front responses are very similar tonally.

2. The acoustic treatments color it. For this reason, you want to have broadband products there. Absorbers no less than 4 inches and diffusors no less than 8 inches. This won't make them perfect in this regard but will get one pretty close. Of course, because M2s are so good off-axis, this is an excellent opportunity to leave the side reflections bare. That will broaden the image and with a bare wall, you don't have to worry about coloration.

Noah
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post #16 of 40 Old 11-21-2013, 10:09 PM
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As I mentioned, a good speaker like this allows you to use bare walls on the side. That will not color the reflections. And you certainly don't want to make things worse by starting with a speaker that has poor off-axis response. Large number of double blind tests show that we prefer speakers with smooth off-axis response. And that we score down the one's that aren't that way.

When a speaker has different on and off-axis response, it gets very hard to EQ the system. The composite response will be very hard to correct because the EQ is up stream of the speaker and hence before both direct and indirect sounds. Correcting one will also impact the other. By using a speaker like M2, you can EQ any resulting room effect because we know the direct and indirect sounds are similar.

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post #17 of 40 Old 11-22-2013, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

By using a speaker like M2, you can EQ any resulting room effect because we know the direct and indirect sounds are similar.

More similar than with a lesser speaker, but not necessarily similar.

Anyone actually seen the freq resp of the indirect soundfield in a typical room?

Noah
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post #18 of 40 Old 11-22-2013, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

More similar than with a lesser speaker, but not necessarily similar.
What do you mean not necessarily similar? To set context, here is a Wilson measurement:

frequency_456075.gif

B&W 802 (using the same Harman measurement)
8183d1267643581-b-w-nautilus-vs-sonus-faber-cremonas-b-w-802n.jpg

Here is M2 again:

Tech_R5.jpg

By any standard, these are stellar power responses.
Quote:
Anyone actually seen the freq resp of the indirect soundfield in a typical room?
There is some research data. The measurement is pretty difficult in that you need to isolate one direction and exclude all the other. Mic arrays are used to gather them.

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post #19 of 40 Old 11-24-2013, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

What do you mean not necessarily similar? To set context, here is a Wilson measurement:

Room response not similar to speaker response, speaker is irrelevant to said difference.

Noah
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post #20 of 40 Old 11-24-2013, 02:50 PM
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Room response not similar to speaker response, speaker is irrelevant to said difference.
If you have a red light in a room, what would white walls look like? White or red? Speaker is everything in that regard. It is the #1 mistake people make in approaching the room: they focus on acoustics first. That is backwards. #1 focus must be the speaker. The characteristics of the speaker and psychoacoustics of how we hear are the fundamentals of getting good sound.

The curves below the top one are estimates of what the room response would look like by the way. The first one is early reflections and the second, all the reflections. The former is based on weighted average of probable reflections. So what you are asking about is also presented in the graphs.

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post #21 of 40 Old 11-24-2013, 05:41 PM
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Those B&Ws always seem to have some sort of dip or suckout up in the midrange. They're definitely not what I would call flat.
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post #22 of 40 Old 11-24-2013, 05:53 PM
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Love the dispersion characteristics and flat response of the M2.... So where are the HT version surround speakers and other LCRs in such a line?


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post #23 of 40 Old 11-25-2013, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

The curves below the top one are estimates of what the room response would look like by the way. The first one is early reflections and the second, all the reflections. The former is based on weighted average of probable reflections. So what you are asking about is also presented in the graphs.

The way it reads to me, the third, blue one is the total sound power of the speaker + room, not that of the room only.

Looks like they might not be that different for this room; am I correct in presuming that great pain$ were taken on it?

Noah
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post #24 of 40 Old 11-25-2013, 09:15 AM
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"Room only?" I guess someone needs to tell me how a room by itself creates sound.

The "room" in those graphs is based on statistical sample of different rooms. The testing is performed in anechoic chamber making it possible to measure speaker response from all angles. Then a subset is used to create the early reflection power based on those statistics. In other words, it is the typical response in room.

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post #25 of 40 Old 11-25-2013, 01:01 PM
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By "room only" I mean the signature of the ROOM, not the overall system response.

Is it really that hard to understand that in a system with multiple variables it's instructive to isolate them?

Noah
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post #26 of 40 Old 11-25-2013, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

By "room only" I mean the signature of the ROOM
From what stimulus?

Sanjay
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post #27 of 40 Old 11-25-2013, 07:55 PM
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Whatever the RC system uses - chirp, sweep, white/pink noise.

How does that bear on my point?

Noah
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post #28 of 40 Old 11-26-2013, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

Whatever the RC system uses - chirp, sweep, white/pink noise.

How does that bear on my point?
But it's not like sound comes from an interconnect sitting on a speaker stand. The stimulus has to come through a loudspeaker. How will get the "signature of the ROOM" without including the signature of loudspeaker?

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post #29 of 40 Old 11-26-2013, 03:56 PM
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You mean because every speaker excites the room differently?

I guess there would need to be, or maybe there already is, a standard room stimulus.

In any case, no matter the stimulus, a transfer function of the room's response could be calculated (not necessarily a straightforward endeavor) which isolate the room's freq resp from the speaker's.

I guess freq resp is too simplistic, as the power resp and directivity characteristics would affect the results.

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post #30 of 40 Old 11-26-2013, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

You mean because every speaker excites the room differently?
I mean because the room can't stimulate itself, so the signature of the room is a reflection (pun intended) of the loudspeaker stimulating it.
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I guess there would need to be, or maybe there already is, a standard room stimulus.
A "standard room stimulus"? You're looking for neutrality that doesn't exist in real life.

To use Amir's analogy: if you shine a flashlight on a wall, how do you measure the colour of the "wall only"? Not like you can use a flashlight bulb so neutral that it has no colour temperature. And the wall itself isn't going to light up.

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