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JBL & Other Sub Questions.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello AVS'ers,
*Is that a word? Hrmmm Jurry's still out. wink.gif

I have been very much so absent on the forum for many years now. Life got in the way, silly life. :P
But I'm back and I'll be around for the foreseeable future.

I was tooling around The Egg, looking for, well... not a sub.
I happened upon this, it made me a bit curious as to some of the user reports in the reviews for the product.
Could it really be all that great for only 150 bones? Something tells me not really.
I'm especially suspicious of the user that stated it out does his/her $2k Velodyne sub, not in raw power but in range and clarity.

The user comments: "Deep bass, not boomy, musical and fast. I swapped out a $2000 Velodyne that might play louder, but is nowhere near as fast or clean on music. The speed and tight, clean bass is amazing."

Surely he has his system horribly miss-calibrated, or, maybe, he place it in a different spot so he got better acoustics out of his room, or maybe it fires differently, so better acoustics. Or, or....
I should ask he/she if they'd be willing to donate their Velodyne to science. I'd pay freight of course, whadya think? biggrin.gif

I do see AVS has some JBLs listed in the sub (no pun intended) $300 recommended sub list.
In fact, this one appears to be a re-boxing of the lowest end model in the "ES" series, from one of which you listed in the recommended thread sticky.
It looks like the sub in question is a repackaged ES150P for purposes of reaching a more "aesthetic" market, maybe a bit of an B&W or B&O inspired look to it.
It is down firing though, what's up with the relief port being right next to the driver cone? Won't that create some really odd distortions as the sound waves and sound pressure "puffs" interfere with one another? Just a thought.

So what are your thoughts on this thing? I'm not going to go out and buy it right now or anything, even though I'm in the market for a new sub, eventually.
It is a groovy price, even compared to that popular site we'll call "rain forest". wink.gif

Just curiosity is killing this cat a bit, really more than anything. Plus a good thread starter for more questions down the road. Hence the title.
So in lieu of closing the web page and just walking away, trying to forget about it.
I figured I'd ask you knowledgeable audio heads. smile.gif

Don't worry, I won't be asking. "So, like, which sub do you think is I should buy?" IE. having you do all the work, me zero, then going out and buying what you, or the collective hive mind decides. That's not me at all. I'm too much of a thinker and not just a nerd, but an actual paid, professional nerd. Well, I try to be professional. It's hard when you're having so much fun. biggrin.gif

I saw this review for the ES150P, the one I suspect as being its sister sub.
The review is kinda, no scratch that, quite scary and sad. This guy that wrote the review seems like quite the uber geek like me. He did what I totally would have done... FIX IT myself!! smile.gif

Thanks for reading.
post #2 of 6
I've seen a number of people inquiring about the ES150 and ES250 recently, but I don't recalling seeing too many commenting from experience. Perhaps they'll be the next Klipsch RW12-d, which at $300 is a killer value. Of course, they could turn out to be the next Acoustic Audio sub; a POS that's not worth much of anything. Time will tell I suppose.
post #3 of 6
I have the ES150 which I believe has the same components of the sub 150p. And I paid $160 and I use it for music and movies. Movies it does great and music it can hold its own. Sure it doesn't sound like a $2k sub, it sounds like an under $300 sub which is what it is. I think the sub 150p, es150 and es250 are all great deals for the money and probably sound better than some of the other budget subs in the under $200.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input and information everyone.
I kinda figured it was probably at least an OK sub at the very minimum.

What's the deal /w JBL? I have heard various car audio as well as some audio nerds, say that JBL is really sharp, over colored and the range somewhat compressed, well at least on the low end. In fact, rather their speakers really fall of on the low freq. *IIRC that's what I remember being told, I could be off, I just know JBL was kind of frowned upon. Like maybe they're now in the budget, not WalMart budget, speaker manufacturer category of the industry. Not the great, awesome product they once were, way back in the 60's/70's.

An car audio guy, well, as well as a colleague of his at another company, have said that JBL used to be awesome, but ever since they got bought out, they aren't as good. However, they do still have a few product lines that are really great. You just have to look and dig they said.

Thoughts on the matter?

I was looking at the specs on this, now granted I haven't researched it here on the forum yet, so forgive me if there's a sticky or big article on it somewhere, I noticed it has a paper cone, of which they coat /w a plastic polymer for a process they call "PolyPlas".
It's obviously to protect it from humidity, as which I have read. But I would assume that it also makes it more durable, IE. lasts longer as well as making it a more solid material, preventing air pass through of the cone material during actuation of the driver and travel of the cone. But the latter is an hypothesis more than anything.
Are paper cones still the de facto standard, or is there something better in this day and age?

A little background....

I had a pair of floor standing Sony speakers that were about 3.5-4ft tall, with approx. 14" woofers and several tweeters + a mid range driver or 2, maybe 6-8", not sure. They were from the mid 80's before, I feel anyway, Sony went to pot and started making junk.
Those things were mind blowing in bass reproduction of old analog recordings such as Hotel California. You could crank up the volume to just shy of 1/2 way on the amp, of course we had an analogue EQ, those puppies would vibrate the floor to the point you could see small objects dance around on it. They never distorted, never sounded muddy, never sounded shrill and never flat. The sound stage, dimension and range was just disgusting!!! *In a good way*
I have heard $8k-10k Mirage & Definitive systems that don't sound as good as those Sony's did. Too muddied.

My current system sounds GREAT, surprisingly for its price. But it really lacks in the music dept.... A LOT!! Good fidelity overall, just lacking a bit in midrange, may be perception due to the following. It also severely lacks in bass on 2 channel music (OGG, 384k VBR, CD Audio..). I don't know if it's bad mixing on the amp's part, or if it's the sub itself. I tend to think the latter, because if I crank the sub waaayyy up, it's much better.
She does movies well, not great, nor awesome in the bass dept but well enough. I just watched Dark Shadows on BD for the 1st time since theaters. The sub took a dump when Josette jumped off the cliff and hit the rocks on the ocean shore below, but other than that it sounded quite mind blowing!! I need to tweak the center a bit, teensy bit low.
The 1st time I ever heard the sub bottom out was in the DVD, didn't have the BD, for Inception. OUCH!! I thought my sub was going to break. That track has boatloads of really, really low LFEs in it. YIKES!! I bet it's SICK on a sub that can handle it.
I have since discovered I was over driving the poor thing, in order to get closer the the bass levels I wanted on the aforementioned inadequacies. So I toned it down from about 3/4 turn, to about a 1/3 on the volume knob, plus I fixed the cross-over... I think. As well as discovering the whole story about the LRG vs. SMALL front channel setting. OOPS confused.gif
Fixed that after learning about it, thanks to the AVS forum. smile.gif
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
To summarize, I was just wondering about JBL's recent (past 5-10yrs or so) reputation, vs say in the 60's/70's. As well as overall build quality.
Also, a question regarding speaker material & some questions about my own system, having given some brief background on its faults.
See sig for system details.

If it's too long to read, tell me, so I can summarize it. I tried to keep it short, but.... well.... you know. cool.gif
Thanks everyone. smile.gif
post #6 of 6
FWIW: As one familiar with their High-End Pro Sound products for a very long time; they are still at the top of the contract rider list.
Since they were bought out ( and expanding into HT and other markets ) I've definitely seen products that were designed to meet price points at the expense of other issues
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