Need Large Bookshelf speaker recommendations to pair with a Sherbourn 7/2100 amp to replace JBL S-38s..... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-11-2012, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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So my tried, true and beaten to death JBL S-38s finally seem to have found there limit as far as my needs. I had these speakers literally SMOKING blasting a Phish concert which I have never seen them do in the ~10 years I have owned them. I then realized I blew a mid range driver so I swapped out my rear for my front to make due until I figure out a new speaker setup. Considering all that, I am starting a speaker hunt to replace my 38s with at some point and need something that can handle HIGH levels of music and movies without fear of destroying them! tongue.gif I am looking for large bookshelf speaker options in the ~$1000/pair range give or take. Any suggestions for me to try and audition would be MUCH appreciated.

EDIT: Forgot to add that these speakers will be crossed over at 80hz and I will let my 4 SVS subs take over from 80hz on down.

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post #2 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 05:23 AM
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JBL 820s are still highly recommended among JBL folks. I liked them better than my JBL S312s in terms of sound quality. My L820s are paired with two large, ported 15" subwoofers in a small HT room. The center channel should be the LC2.

If you are into relatively straightforward kits, you should look into the SEOS designs from diysoundgroup.com. With the demise of eD and (possibly) Chase Home Theater for their high quality horn-loaded speakers, another choice is JTR (but price jumps considerably).
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 05:38 AM
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The S38 is extremely hard to match or beat for value and sound. They are available on eBay regularly. There are a couple pair available now, although they can usually be had at lower prices.

An alternative is the E50 which is also not hard to find.

The most common reason for a fried speaker is that it's being under-powered at high levels, and/or the source content is poor quality, distorted, etc. Sounds to me like your S38s withstood many years of abuse.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

The S38 is extremely hard to match or beat for value and sound. They are available on eBay regularly. There are a couple pair available now, although they can usually be had at lower prices.
An alternative is the E50 which is also not hard to find.
The most common reason for a fried speaker is that it's being under-powered at high levels, and/or the source content is poor quality, distorted, etc. Sounds to me like your S38s withstood many years of abuse.

Would the E50 have a better chance of holding up under high SPL vs the S38?

Thanks for the info. I might just grab a spare pair of 38s off ebay at some point and prolong this upgrade for a while. Funny thing is I did not even notice anything was wrong subjectively sound wise with all the movies, SACDs, etc....lately, so putting this blown mid range 38 in the rear of the room where it gets used even less while at the same time putting the rear 38 up front to get my front stage to 100% again should be plenty good enough.

The crazy thing is I have played all sorts of demanding music through these speakers at volumes just as high and never had an issue like this. I just recently watched Dream Theater Live at the Budukan which was nearly 3 hours straight of hard progressive heavy metal type music in 5.1 DTS-MA with no issues, but this PCM 2 channel stereo Phish show any longer than ~30-45 minutes fries the 38s? confused.gif Granted the Phish show is not near the clarity/quality of the DT or some of my SACDs/blu ray concerts so maybe that has something to do with it? I would think the Sherbourn 7/2100 has enough power for these speakers, but maybe not somehow?

Any way this turns out, I have gotten MORE than my moneys worth out of these 6 S38s along with the s-center and up until now, they were the one area of my HT I have never felt the need to upgrade. The bang/buck has been huge and I have zero complaints. cool.gif I am honestly surprised (and impressed) they have made it this long considering how hard I have pushed them at times!
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Originally Posted by wwinkler View Post

JBL 820s are still highly recommended among JBL folks. I liked them better than my JBL S312s in terms of sound quality. My L820s are paired with two large, ported 15" subwoofers in a small HT room. The center channel should be the LC2.
If you are into relatively straightforward kits, you should look into the SEOS designs from diysoundgroup.com. With the demise of eD and (possibly) Chase Home Theater for their high quality horn-loaded speakers, another choice is JTR (but price jumps considerably).

Thanks for the suggestion. I will check these out as well and maybe the DIY if I feel adventurous. biggrin.gif I doubt the 820 would take any more abuse vs my S38s though? I really need something that can handle HIGH SPL for long durations which is what these Phish shows are all about and I have a ton of them I would like to listen to.

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post #5 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 08:43 AM
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Would the E50 have a better chance of holding up under high SPL vs the S38?
.

You stated you've had the S38 for 10 years. I'd say they stood up pretty well. It's not impossible that you fried the crossover, not the driver. The way to rule that out would be to swap the drivers from one to the other and see if the problem moves too. Your description of "smoking" suggests crossover. That kind of heat should be easy to see if you inspect them. A fried crossover isn't always due to high power or SPL, sometimes they just do that.

If you want something that will withstand most conditions, go with a pro monitor model like the 4412, 4312A/B/C, or 4410. But even with the very best drivers, being under-powered at high SPL is a recipe for disaster.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

You stated you've had the S38 for 10 years. I'd say they stood up pretty well. It's not impossible that you fried the crossover, not the driver. The way to rule that out would be to swap the drivers from one to the other and see if the problem moves too. Your description of "smoking" suggests crossover. That kind of heat should be easy to see if you inspect them. A fried crossover isn't always due to high power or SPL, sometimes they just do that.
If you want something that will withstand most conditions, go with a pro monitor model like the 4412, 4312A/B/C, or 4410. But even with the very best drivers, being under-powered at high SPL is a recipe for disaster.

I definitely got the miles out of these S38s (and still am). I am VERY impressed with how long and well they have held up.

Thanks again for the help. I might pull it apart at some point and see what I can find out and swap the drivers as well. I think they were just being pushed to hard since the swapped speaker started to smoke slightly as well last night when I moved it up front. I had the volume a tad lower which I thought would be enough to maybe prevent more issues, but it started again and I stopped it immediately before damaging another speaker.

As far as the pro monitor models you mention, would those be under powered with my Sherbourn 7/2100?

I was also just considering maybe a pair of more durable towers to swap in and out of the system for the more demanding 2 channel music. That way I could still run the JBLs for HT which they are still doing great for and what little 2 channel I listen to I could just put the towers in for those moments. Not ideal of course, but it would be much better than replacing all 7 of my speakers and maybe I could get a sound upgrade to some degree as well with a couple of nice towers for music. Just a thought.

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post #7 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Toe View Post

I definitely got the miles out of these S38s (and still am). I am VERY impressed with how long and well they have held up.
Thanks again for the help. I might pull it apart at some point and see what I can find out and swap the drivers as well. I think they were just being pushed to hard since the swapped speaker started to smoke slightly as well last night when I moved it up front. I had the volume a tad lower which I thought would be enough to maybe prevent more issues, but it started again and I stopped it immediately before damaging another speaker.
As far as the pro monitor models you mention, would those be under powered with my Sherbourn 7/2100?
I was also just considering maybe a pair of more durable towers to swap in and out of the system for the more demanding 2 channel music. That way I could still run the JBLs for HT which they are still doing great for and what little 2 channel I listen to I could just put the towers in for those moments. Not ideal of course, but it would be much better than replacing all 7 of my speakers and maybe I could get a sound upgrade to some degree as well with a couple of nice towers for music. Just a thought.

Size, price or anything else does not equal "durability" in speakers. Your amp I think is rated 200W x7, so should be more than adequate as long as its really producing that much.

But there's some wrong here. A second speaker started smoking under moderate use? That spells trouble with the amp IMO. If it was smoking then its already damaged. I suspect your amp is outputting DC current or some other issue like that, and this should be thoroughly investigated before using it again. This also supports the notion that the crossovers are cooking, not the drivers.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Size, price or anything else does not equal "durability" in speakers. Your amp I think is rated 200W x7, so should be more than adequate as long as its really producing that much.
But there's some wrong here. A second speaker started smoking under moderate use? That spells trouble with the amp IMO. If it was smoking then its already damaged. I suspect your amp is outputting DC current or some other issue like that, and this should be thoroughly investigated before using it again. This also supports the notion that the crossovers are cooking, not the drivers.

I would not call it "moderate" use as it was only 1 db lower than before. smile.gif It is something with this particular set of music which is super high energy and super sustained at MAX for a long period. I was playing a SACD the night before as loud as I feel comfortable with which was LOUD and no issues. I got through that Dream Theater blu recently which was almost 3 hours long and no issues. Could it be something to do with running only 2 channels instead of all 5? Most of the music I listen to is 5.1, so maybe going just to stereo is just more demanding on the speakers/amp to get to my "normal" volume compared to when I am using all 5 speakers? Not sure. Nothing has changed with my amp though as I have been using it for 8-9 years. confused.gif

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post #9 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 04:08 PM
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