JBL Synthesis K2 9.4 array for home theater...? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello:

Anyone have any input on the JBL Synthesis K2 9.4 array for home theater

http://jblsynthesis.com/Products/Details/123

Thanks!
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post #2 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 04:05 PM
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Overpriced imo, JBL stuff is cool but i dont see the point in spending all that money. Thats like a $50k setup

How big is your room and do you care about aesthetics?
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post #3 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

Overpriced imo, JBL stuff is cool but i dont see the point in spending all that money. Thats like a $50k setup

How big is your room and do you care about aesthetics?

The home theater room is 18' wide x 26' long x 10' high.

Yes, aesthetics are very important...

However, the front three speakers will be behind the acoustically transparent 14' screen - so those will not be seen...
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post #4 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 05:30 PM
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The K2 is one incredible speaker! Hopefully some of the JBL guys will lend their opinion. You'll get much better insight on the Lansing Heritage site. I will say one thing, part of the high cost is the beauty. It's a shame to put them behind a screen, but that is the correct wway to do a theater.

Have you considered soemthing from the cinema line? They are ugly (to some, my wife for one), but are meant to be behind a screen.
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post #5 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 05:32 PM
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Check out the Procella and Triad Platinum speakers as well.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #6 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wrager View Post

Have you considered soemthing from the cinema line? They are ugly (to some, my wife for one), but are meant to be behind a screen.

lol, they are ugly...

But would be behind the screen.

I wonder how they compare to the K2 9.4 set-up

I really wish I knew more about this stuff!
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post #7 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheaterGuy74 View Post

lol, they are ugly...

But would be behind the screen.

I wonder how they compare to the K2 9.4 set-up

I really wish I knew more about this stuff!

I would be surprised if JBL didn't have a "big ugly black box" version of these speakers (or an equivalent sounding model) at a somewhat lower price point for AT screens.

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post #8 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 06:25 PM
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I wonder how the JBL pro 3731 would compare?

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post #9 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 06:34 PM
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The Synthesis K2 stuff is really, really nice.

I wouldn't consider the lower stuff but the K2 speakers are one of my favorites. The only thing I would caution is the subs, the JBL subs are kind of one note wonders. I would probably look at doing a couple of JTR Captivator S2 subs instead of the JBL units.

Of course you will need the calibration done for the SDEC as well.

I hate to say this but I would also look at something else for the electronics. The SDP-40HD is a rebadged Lexicon MC-12HD without the eq.

I would consider maybe the Denon AVP-A1HDCI pre-amp/processor. The Denon is a very good unit is they are very quick to implement new technology into their products. And you can still use the SDEC if you want.
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post #10 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 08:02 PM
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I thought JBL had their own secret sauce in the processor for eq and room correction or is that a separate DSP speaker management system?

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post #11 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmiles View Post

I thought JBL had their own secret sauce in the processor for eq and room correction or is that a separate DSP speaker management system?

They use trinnov i think, might be wrong.

Question is, is it worth $50,000, especially since im not sure how future proof their stuff is.

If i was the OP id get 3x4722N and put them behind the enormous screen. Done..

This is assuming the OP is sitting further than 12 feet away from the screen (it would be insane if he wasnt)

If i was interested in latest-greatest then id get danley synergy horns. Probably 3x SH-60 or 3x SM-96

subwoofer: As someone else said above JTR S1 or S2s.
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post #12 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 09:05 PM
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A 14ft wide 2.4 screen is 5.83ft high or 70 inches. Not many of those JBL Cinema speaker will fit they are just to big ( tall ).

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post #13 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omegaslast View Post

They use trinnov i think, might be wrong.

They use ARCOS: http://www.jblsynthesis.com/Info/Story/25

Sanjay
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post #14 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 09:23 PM
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Where do you live ht guy? If in range of a local HT users group, it would be worth putting out some feelers so you can see/hear some alternative speakers, subs, projectors, screens first hand. If you don't live close to an HT group, given your budget, it would be well worth the plane ticket and rental car to visit a "meet" somewhere. I live in So Cal, there are locals here with JBL Synthesis and Triads, among others (I'm on a lower budget than yours, but still could be a good data point to understand what you get for additional expenditure).

Alternatively, a full spec build from Dennis Erskine and friends could get you a high performance, no regrets system (where the room itself is a huge part of the system).
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post #15 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmiles View Post

A 14ft wide 2.4 screen is 5.83ft high or 70 inches. Not many of those JBL Cinema speaker will fit they are just to big ( tall ).

Yes and I also was told that they sound very "horny" and not as smooth as the K2 9.4 array...

I hate horns and overly "bright" sounding speakers...
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post #16 of 58 Old 05-30-2012, 11:17 PM
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The SDEC is JBL's room correction system. It is curved to represent all (or most) JBL theater systems. They have a set curve to apply to the room and it can be customized after calibration to suit your needs.

You really need to listen to some speakers yourself, I would not rely on others when dishing out this much cash. I wouldn't discount the JBL Pro line out of hand. Although they are the same company, they have different engineers and design goals.

I have heard the K2s and the Everests, and I want the Everests badly, although I don't think that will happen if I don't win the lottery. The K2s are very similar but designed for a smaller room than the Everests.
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post #17 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post

I have heard the K2s and the Everests, and I want the Everests badly, although I don't think that will happen if I don't win the lottery. The K2s are very similar but designed for a smaller room than the Everests.

Do you mind telling us where you heard them?

Was it at the new Harman/JBL Demonstration Facility In Northridge, California?

Aren't the Everests overkill for a home theater though?

I found the Harman/JBL press release regarding their new Demonstration Facility In Northridge, California and what it has in it...

http://jblsynthesis.com/News/Story/91

That is basically the set-up that I am looking at minus the Everests and including the K2s...

I would love to go and hear that set-up!
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post #18 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 01:24 AM
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Okay, I have a JBL Synthesis® set up and the K2 S9900s, but not in the same system. I have K2s as a stereo pair on the large, open main floor, supported by two Synthesis® S2S subs below 40 Hz.

My Synthesis® system in a dedicated room on the bottom floor is a One Array, so it has everything the K2 Synthesis® system has, except for the K2s. Instead it has the SAM1HF and SAM2LF modules. The SAM1HF units are like the horns on top of the 1400 Array with a Ti UHF and Aluminum HF driver, and the SAM2LF units are dual 8" anodized Aluminum mid bass drivers.

A K2 Synthesis® system would be a ball buster, but my room is too small at 15x17x8.5. The One Array system is so powerful that the consultant I hired (a former JBL Synthesis® employee who told me what to do; otherwise it was all DIY construction until he did the calibration) recommended it as being at the extreme upper end of what would be comfortable in that room. The K2s might be dangerous. (kidding, sort of)

As a stereo pair, the K2s and S2S subs have no problem filling our expansive main floor (about 10,000 cubic feet) and even our upper floor, and they sound particularly compelling in the "sweet spot" after a small amount of room treatment. As an HT, the One Array is shockingly good. Of course the room was built from scratch with secondary walls, insulation, acoustic panels, diffusers, bass traps, and so on, and, of course, got the full JBL calibration.

I would recommend sticking with JBL (Lexicon and BSS) electronics for two reasons. First, the system approach that JBL uses functions best with known electronics. The calibration software already knows the characteristics and capabilities of every unit, and once the software is told which main speakers, surrounds, pre/pro, SDEC units, and subs are in the system, it can calibrate specifically on the data it has in memory of the performance characteristic of every single component. Throw in a Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, whatever, and it's simply an unknown, random factor.

Second the SDP40 (rebadged Lexicon MC-12 with a few tweaks) isn't used for the EQ. The SDEC units are, and they're far more sophisticated than any Audyssey or Trinnov automatic or semiautomatic system you'll find in consumer gear. They're actually customized BSS Blu units with JBL firmware in them, and that's where all the work is done during the calibration. They're PEQ, crossover, microprocessor, multiple 24/96 DACs, and I/O units all in one. That's another reason why the calibration can be so precise. These units (and the software) know where a SAM1HF and SAM2LF unit should crossover and can set it. They also know the efficiency of each unit, FR of each driver, etc. They can assign the crossover point(s) for the subs (2 or 4), change phase, shave off unwanted peaks, etc., all under the guidance of a trained calibrator. You don't just put out several mics, push a button, and hope for the best.

As for the subs, I'll step forward and say that the S1S-EX subs definitely aren't one note wonders. Each is powered by a bridged S800 stereo amp, putting out 800W into 8 Ohms, and you'll feel that in every frequency from the crossover point down to the bottom (in my case 17 Hz) without a 1dB drop in output. (Even at 15 Hz, it's only -3 dB.) Your pant legs and your hair will move, if you have any hair or pants.

I have nothing against any of the other suggestions, and you'd be well-served to check them out with anyone who actually has them in daily use. I'm obviously biased, since I've voted with my dollars. The good news is I have not regretted the purchase a single day--that is not a single day after I finished the room (took four+ months), got the equipment out of the boxes and installed (another two weeks), and had the calibration completed (another week). Up 'til then I was doubting my sanity, but when I heard it as it was meant to be, I knew beyond all doubt that I had done the right thing.

And my girlfriend agreed!

What I can afford, when I can afford it...
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post #19 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheaterGuy74 View Post

Yes and I also was told that they sound very "horny" and not as smooth as the K2 9.4 array...

I hate horns and overly "bright" sounding speakers...

I think speakers only sound horny if you play certain material through them

Both the K2 and 4722N use waveguides. Id say the only real significant difference is the material used in the compression drivers... but really for movies you cant be critically listening to everything above 5000hz for whether or not its beryllium or another material...

^As explained above synthesis is great for compatibility but i wouldnt want to be locked into a $50,000 system with how crazy technology is upgrading personally. On ebay and audiogon a bunch of old synthesis gear pops up that is basically worthless. If you buy Danley Synergy horns with unity technology you dont really have to give a damn about EQing for your room, you might have to EQ subwoofers, but thats it. Unity speakers are controlled directivity down into the 100hz range. Which is nuts. Slap 3 synergy horns behind your screen and you would have sound that even imax doesnt achieve. Then slap a bunch of JTR S1 subs around your room and you will have unparalleled base.

At your budget you shouldnt be satisfied with having an f3 (-3db point) of 15hz... you should be flat until 10hz in your room, if not deeper.
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post #20 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filecat13 View Post

Okay, I have a JBL Synthesis® set up and the K2 S9900s, but not in the same system. I have K2s as a stereo pair on the large, open main floor, supported by two Synthesis® S2S subs below 40 Hz.

My Synthesis® system in a dedicated room on the bottom floor is a One Array, so it has everything the K2 Synthesis® system has, except for the K2s. Instead it has the SAM1HF and SAM2LF modules. The SAM1HF units are like the horns on top of the 1400 Array with a Ti UHF and Aluminum HF driver, and the SAM2LF units are dual 8" anodized Aluminum mid bass drivers.

A K2 Synthesis® system would be a ball buster, but my room is too small at 15x17x8.5. The One Array system is so powerful that the consultant I hired (a former JBL Synthesis® employee who told me what to do; otherwise it was all DIY construction until he did the calibration) recommended it as being at the extreme upper end of what would be comfortable in that room. The K2s might be dangerous. (kidding, sort of)

As a stereo pair, the K2s and S2S subs have no problem filling our expansive main floor (about 10,000 cubic feet) and even our upper floor, and they sound particularly compelling in the "sweet spot" after a small amount of room treatment. As an HT, the One Array is shockingly good. Of course the room was built from scratch with secondary walls, insulation, acoustic panels, diffusers, bass traps, and so on, and, of course, got the full JBL calibration.

I would recommend sticking with JBL (Lexicon and BSS) electronics for two reasons. First, the system approach that JBL uses functions best with known electronics. The calibration software already knows the characteristics and capabilities of every unit, and once the software is told which main speakers, surrounds, pre/pro, SDEC units, and subs are in the system, it can calibrate specifically on the data it has in memory of the performance characteristic of every single component. Throw in a Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, whatever, and it's simply an unknown, random factor.

Second the SDP40 (rebadged Lexicon MC-12 with a few tweaks) isn't used for the EQ. The SDEC units are, and they're far more sophisticated than any Audyssey or Trinnov automatic or semiautomatic system you'll find in consumer gear. They're actually customized BSS Blu units with JBL firmware in them, and that's where all the work is done during the calibration. They're PEQ, crossover, microprocessor, multiple 24/96 DACs, and I/O units all in one. That's another reason why the calibration can be so precise. These units (and the software) know where a SAM1HF and SAM2LF unit should crossover and can set it. They also know the efficiency of each unit, FR of each driver, etc. They can assign the crossover point(s) for the subs (2 or 4), change phase, shave off unwanted peaks, etc., all under the guidance of a trained calibrator. You don't just put out several mics, push a button, and hope for the best.

As for the subs, I'll step forward and say that the S1S-EX subs definitely aren't one note wonders. Each is powered by a bridged S800 stereo amp, putting out 800W into 8 Ohms, and you'll feel that in every frequency from the crossover point down to the bottom (in my case 17 Hz) without a 1dB drop in output. (Even at 15 Hz, it's only -3 dB.) Your pant legs and your hair will move, if you have any hair or pants.

I have nothing against any of the other suggestions, and you'd be well-served to check them out with anyone who actually has them in daily use. I'm obviously biased, since I've voted with my dollars. The good news is I have not regretted the purchase a single day--that is not a single day after I finished the room (took four+ months), got the equipment out of the boxes and installed (another two weeks), and had the calibration completed (another week). Up 'til then I was doubting my sanity, but when I heard it as it was meant to be, I knew beyond all doubt that I had done the right thing.

And my girlfriend agreed!

That is one great thorough review!

Thank you VERY much.

It is GREATLY appreciated!

The Synthesis K2 array is on the top of my list...

The only thing I don't like about the JBL/Harman line, etc, is that the only dealers seem to only be in California...
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post #21 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post

I have heard the K2s and the Everests, and I want the Everests badly, although I don't think that will happen if I don't win the lottery. The K2s are very similar but designed for a smaller room than the Everests.

Didn't JBL come out with, or is about to come out with, a new, slightly lower end, version of the K2 this year (2012)

I know I read the article, but cannot find it...
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post #22 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 11:05 AM
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You could just try to duplicate the Harman International Reference Home Theater room with 7 JBL LSR6332 and 4 subs.
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post #23 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheaterGuy74 View Post

Didn't JBL come out with, or is about to come out with, a new, slightly lower end, version of the K2 this year (2012)

I know I read the article, but cannot find it...

Pretty sure that model is available in Japan only, if we're thinking of the same one.

The Everest, K2 and similar models are all built on the same designs concepts and are all fantastic speakers. Throw the Array 1400 systems in there for good measure. The main differences are the drivers and the materials they are made from. It's extremely rare to hear any negative reports from folks using them.

I think it goes without saying that if you are considering any speakers of this caliber, you must also remember that the room and setup of the speakers are critical to get the most from them. Any speaker can be made to sound bad.
That said, and assuming you plan to spend as much on the room/setup as you do on the speakers, go for it.

Also note that it is possible to assemble such a system from used and demo gear if you're patient, and costs can be cut in half or more.
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post #24 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 11:42 AM
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FWIW....I have heard filecat's JBL Synthesis setup, and it is WONDERFUL!

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post #25 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheaterGuy74 View Post

Didn't JBL come out with, or is about to come out with, a new, slightly lower end, version of the K2 this year (2012)

I know I read the article, but cannot find it...

S4700
http://www.jblsynthesis.com/Products/Details/149
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post #26 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeTheaterGuy74 View Post

Didn't JBL come out with, or is about to come out with, a new, slightly lower end, version of the K2 this year (2012)

Aside from the slightly lower end version, they did introduce a bookshelf speaker "directly derived" from the K2.

Project Array 800:
http://jblsynthesis.com/Products/Details/151

Press release from CES 2012:
http://www.jblsynthesis.com/News/Story/86

For the price of a pair of K2 speakers, you could get 12 bookshelf versions, enough for the 7-main + 5-height layout that Harman is proposing for their upcoming pre-pros. Front-back, up-down; that would be one helluva consistent sounding set-up.

Sanjay
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post #27 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filecat13 View Post

I would recommend sticking with JBL (Lexicon and BSS) electronics for two reasons. First, the system approach that JBL uses functions best with known electronics. The calibration software already knows the characteristics and capabilities of every unit, and once the software is told which main speakers, surrounds, pre/pro, SDEC units, and subs are in the system, it can calibrate specifically on the data it has in memory of the performance characteristic of every single component. Throw in a Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, whatever, and it's simply an unknown, random factor.

Funny how JBL isn't using a SDP-40HD in their Northridge Synthesis theater.

The SDEC inserts between the processor and the amp. Any processor and amp will do for the system. Although I would pick a very good processor and amp all the same.
If the equipment is going into the same room, I was also going to suggest looking at ATI for amp(s) as the JBL units have fans on the front of the units and are loud enough to hear them.
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post #28 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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That's it!

How does it (S4700) compare, or not compare, with the K2?

I really would like to know!

Thanks!
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Originally Posted by ifor View Post

Funny how JBL isn't using a SDP-40HD in their Northridge Synthesis theater.

Yeah, it used a Mark Levinson No.502 - which has since been discontinued...
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post #30 of 58 Old 05-31-2012, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by HomeTheaterGuy74 View Post

That's it!

How does it (S4700) compare, or not compare, with the K2?

I really would like to know!

Thanks!

All I could find:
http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...-the-USA/page5
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