JBL Control Monitor Speakers - Gut Shots and Informal Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-13-2010, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I purchased these from ebay for $80 shipped (refurb from the Harman store), and wasn't sure exactly how good these speakers would be since I could find absolutely zero reviews of them even after a comprehensive scouring of google search results. Granted, I'm no audiophile and these are probably the best speakers I've purchased so far, but they sound excellent. The detail is outstanding (to me). Highs are crisp but not overly bright, mids are warm, and bass is very sufficient. I'm using these for my computer speakers with Dayton DTA-1 T-amp. The construction of the speakers includes at least 1/2" (or thicker) MDF with an outer plastic covering, metal grilles, and 5-way binding posts. They also come with sturdy mounting brackets.

Upon receiving the speakers, I was pleased to see that they had arrived in a sealed retail box, with no signs whatsoever that they were refurbished. In addition to a previous experience buying from the Harman ebay store (purchased seven Infinity TSS-SAT1200 speakers for my HT), the Harman refurbished products I received are not refubs at all, but probably just overstock. In any case, I'm extremely happy. The list on the JBL Control Monitors is $329, they sell for +/- $180 at pretty much any retailer on the web, and I got them for $80. Almost a steal as far as I can tell- I'm a bit surprised that at least one other person hasn't reviewed them.

As far as the gut shots, the crossover seems fairly robust (sorry, don't know enough to say more than that); the main driver is polypropylene with rubber surround, and it appears to have a vented backplate; the tweeter is a soft dome (feel free to look up the speaker specs for additional info).

All in all, I'm very satisfied with my purchase. I hope this is of help for anyone thinking about purchasing these.


I do have one question, if any experts have some advice: I noticed that the back of the cabinets had no batting material; I tried adding some generic polyester fill material, but that seemed to detract from the bass response. Should I try some other material, such as batting affixed to the back of the cabinet, or just leave it alone with the bare wood? Thanks for any informed advice on this.
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-13-2010, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Last pics (had to include one of our kitties playing in the speaker bag).
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-13-2010, 01:08 PM
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nkx1 -- IMHO, don't put any additional batting on the back of the cabinet (inside or outside). Per your xxxx138.jpg picture, the batting around the woofer is sufficient. Putting batting on the back of the cabinet ruins the rear porting of the speaker (as you observed).

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post #4 of 6 Old 02-13-2010, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
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CT, thanks again for your response. Actually, I think the stock batting may have caved in a bit during my disassembly of the speaker. It is actually supposed to fit neatly around the sides and top of the speaker walls (diagram). I'm thinking the polyester fill stuff I used is the wrong material, and that perhaps some batting on the back wall might be better suited? The rear port is at least about 5" long, so there's not really any risk of obstructing the port (I would cut the batting to fit around the base of the port).

I guess I'm trying to figure out whether the designers/ bean counters omitted the rear batting for cost reasons, or if the speaker actually sounds best like that. In reality, perhaps I'll just have to experiment to find out. Either way, the polyfill seems to be the wrong stuff.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-05-2011, 02:54 PM
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For their size they sound real good and play LOUD nicely if need be. Bass is great from these book shelf speakers. I really like them a lot!
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-08-2013, 03:09 PM
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JBL Knows what they're doing when they design stuff, they are top flight cutting edge engineers. I imagine the angles and materials of the box are sufficient to damp out standing waves, and the box would definitely be very precisely tuned for bass response. Don't mess with em. I have 5 pair of these for various tasks from secondary studio monitors to stereo extension speakers to the front surround speakers in my 5.1 system, augmented by wall mounted 15" JBL D140Fs. I used one pair for vocals at band rehearsal space as well. Guitar Center was blowing them out at $175 per pair and I kept coming back for more. I found them to have an even, uncolored, natural sound. When they get real ols the surrounds deteriorate, but kits are readily available
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