JBL ND310 speakers: help me figure out why they don't sound awesome. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-08-2013, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey all, I'll try to make the long story short:

Since finding a pair of JBL L50s at a garage sale when I was in high school, I've been a devoted fan. Had to sell them off a few years back, and I've been missing the heck out of them . . . so I went on craigslist and found a pair of ND310s. They look to be in very good shape, except that one of the center dust-covers on one of the woofers is slightly dented. Reviews that I could find seemed positive, so I took a chance and picked them up.

Got them home and hooked them up, and they sound . . . pretty good. But I didn't purchase huge JBLs to sound pretty good! These things should sound incredible! They seem just a bit muddy compared to the L50s, and I don't want to turn it up past about 5 (which is quite loud, but not block-busting) because even though I might listen to louder music on great speakers, that's about where it starts to get uncomfortable with these. It does not seem to be a bass problem, and does not sound different between the two, so I don't think this is related to the dented dust-cover.

I'm not all that well-versed in all of the technical aspects of audio, but I guess I'd say I'm a back-seat audiophile. I know good sound when I hear it, and I'm itching to get that incredible clarity I had with the L50s.

So. My first questions are to make sure that the system I'm running has what it takes to make these things sing. I'm using the same receiver and cables that I used with my L50s, so I know it's not a problem of quality in that department, but since these ND310s are designed to draw a lot more power, I'm wondering if perhaps my receiver is not up to the job. I'm running an old Sony STR-D1015, which is rated to 220W. It's not only at high volumes that they sound a little muddy, but I guess that's where my knowledge breaks down . . . Is anyone familiar enough with these speakers to know why they might not be sounding as good as the older L50s on this setup?

(I did play around with all of the equalizer settings quite a bit, but couldn't find a solution that way.)

Thanks in advance for your help!
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-08-2013, 01:04 AM
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I think that, if your receiver has external pre-amp outputs for an amplifier, that an outboard amplifier will increase your enjoyment quotient. My dad had a stereo model of that Sony amp line and it paled in comparison to his 1970's era STRD-7065. It also clipped before the 7065 on the same material with the same source even though the 7065 was bench tested at only 65 watts RMS and his receiver was rated at 110 RMS.

Upgrade the quality of amplification and you'll see a benefit. Plenty of decent used amps on eBay and Audiogon.

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post #3 of 5 Old 07-15-2013, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Oops! Thanks for your reply - somehow even though I "subscribed" to the thread, it didn't notify me. =/
I'm not at home at the moment, so I'll have to check the receiver when I get back. I think what you are saying is consistent with my experience, though, given that the L50s seemed to give me a much richer, fuller sound, even though they were also rated at a much lower power than the ND310s. Power ratings certainly don't tell the whole story!
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-15-2013, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feandro View Post

Oops! Thanks for your reply - somehow even though I "subscribed" to the thread, it didn't notify me. =/
I'm not at home at the moment, so I'll have to check the receiver when I get back. I think what you are saying is consistent with my experience, though, given that the L50s seemed to give me a much richer, fuller sound, even though they were also rated at a much lower power than the ND310s. Power ratings certainly don't tell the whole story!

Yeah, speaker power ratings are essentially useless. A loudspeaker is only as "strong" (in terms of absorbing power from an amplifier) as its weakest link. Without knowing all the crossover components, their place in the crossover, their power ratings, the ratings of the drivers themselves, and knowing the true efficiency and sensitivity of the total package, it's difficult to put a watt value that is anywhere near accurate.

Home loudspeakers are in much more danger of being damaged due to amplifier clipping or exceeding x-max on bass drivers than due to long-term thermal damage from high power input (though anything is possibly biggrin.gif ).

A used Adcom amplifier (among many other solid choices) would fit your purposes perfectly and should be at or under a c-note in perfect working order (maybe with some cosmetic issues) on eBay or Audiogon. Run stereo RCA cables from the pre-amp outs (if you have them) and connect your speaker wire...BADDA BING.

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