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anyone know much about these? I'm interested in finding out more. They seem quite expensive, but I have never heard them or know of anyone who has these anywhere. TIA for any information
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure-Evil /forum/post/19617487


anyone know much about these? I'm interested in finding out more. They seem quite expensive, but I have never heard them or know of anyone who has these anywhere. TIA for any information

Mr. Evil,



Synthesis has been around for two decades now, and is a very interesting, if not outright enigmatic, system and approach. It was initially very closely related to the JBL Pro components of the time. A Syn 1 or 2 system did sound very much like a fine JBL theater of the time. Professional compression driver/horn-based, they were very efficient, bullet-proof tough, but not exactly what you would call audiophile sound. They lacked the "refinement" of fine home speakers. From the start, there were different models, based on the need to scale for different size rooms. They conformed to the original THX Ultra Home specs.


Synthesis subwoofers of the first generation followed the THX Ultra requirement to roll-off 12dB per octave below about 32Hz to compensate for the 12dB per octave typical room gain in home-sized room. Proper near-boundary placement, though, rendered flat acoustic response to 20 Hz; an efficient design that ensures that the sub will have blistering sound power at the 35Hz to 60Hz range where film mix content really demands it. The advent of THX Ultra2 changed the sub requirement to be anechoically flat to 20 Hz, and that is the capability of today's S1S-ES. To be able to do this and have the blistering sound power in the mid-bass in larger rooms, they have to be ported and large by today's consumer standards. Once again, the design is a bow to professional environment realities. They presume these subs will be concealed.


Although most of the models were compression driver/horn designs, the Synthesis 4 system was/is designed for smaller rooms and is composed of conventional drivers, but unique amongst JBL designs. The S4VC is an in-wall design. Their in-room version, the PT800, is not Synthesis per se, but from the Perfomance line. Otherwise identical in performance when installed properly.


Another big concept utilized in Synthesis from the start was electronic room correction after proper acoustic design and speaker installation. Twenty years ago their SDEC room correction system was the most advanced of its kind. Although unrelated, today's modern Audyssey and similar analysis/room correction utilities are the natural progression of this approach...and far more affordable.


Today's Synthesis LCRs are a new design that is far more refined, and comparable more to their audiophile Project Array designs. Still compression driver/horn-based, but utilizing far more advanced driver and horn designs. They are a stack design that mates the HF section with the LF section very much as is done with the Pro Cinema line. It is still expected to be concealed, but people sometimes want them in view.


A real world fact about Synthesis is it's always been very expensive. But there are creative ways that Synthesis are being used these days to respond best to a particular room or client need ($). A dedicated theater I designed and executed this year used the Syn S4VC speakers behind the screen because we lacked the depth to use anything else from the line. We used PS1400 subs from the Performance line making sure that they were positioned/installed so as be acoustically flat at 20Hz, but we opted for non-Synthesis electronics, and finished the EQ in the room with Audyssey Pro. That was a creative approach that met the client's budget, but retained the performance goals.


I have never heard a JBL Synthesis system that did not sound spectacular. That is not due just to the hardware. A basic requirement of systems utilizing Synthesis (and accounting for a chunk of labor expense) is that the room has to be designed well, products chosen and installed properly, with strong attention to acoustic issues, then electronic room correction. That is as much about "doing it right" as it is about the products. That's how it's done in fine theaters/screening rooms.


The subject of utilizing products from the JBL Pro Cinema line at home can be viable. If you have the room to conceal the subs from the line, that is done. The shear "giant" size of cinema LCR stacks creates an obvious complication, but how the different components in a cinema stack blend due to their various issues including dispersion characteristics, can make for a mess unless you have a significant seating distance from them.


Jesse S mentioned the Cinema line surround speakers that folks experiment with for LCRs. This can be viable if you plan well. One terrific thing about speakers from the JBL Pro line is that their spec sheets include things that you will never see for consumer speakers...specifically off-axis response graphs. This is a huge help in making sure you choose a speaker that will cover what you need to cover, and ensure that you will not have unrully dispersion at the crossover frequency (very common in many consumer 2-way speakers).


There is one other very imporatant factor regarding these Pro Cinema speakers. They utilize the Cinema X-Curve which is necessary in large, reverberant environments like a cinema, but not in typical home-size theaters. The X-curve rolls off 3dB per octave above 2KHz. That's 9dB down at 16KHz! You can easily see it on the FR graph of the 8350 here. http://www.jblpro.com/catalog/suppor...e=3&docid=1360 The OOTB sound of one of these at home is not what we'd call high fidelity. If your EQ/room correction utility can compensate for this, you're good to go. If not, you have HF issues. Still, with today's utilities like Audyssey, it is tempting to experiment with these. Presumably, the bigger room you have, the easier it will be to utilize speakers from the Pro Cinema line and overcome any X-Curve-induced HF issues.


Sorry for the long post. I hope it is helpful and interesting.


Cheers
 

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JBLs pro offerings are so solid. Proper R&D, and their products are such strong perfromers, they become obvious choices for HT.


Their subs aren't optimized for extreme LF, but the remainder of the line offer strong value, and re-sale value as well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse S /forum/post/19618331


I've been keeping an eye on CAM and Ebay.ca but nothing available recently.

You missed the deal of the century this past summer. I bought 3 lightly used 4622n's for $1245. Picked them up just outside of Detroit. They were listed on ebay.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrager /forum/post/19620815


You missed the deal of the century this past summer. I bought 3 lightly used 4622n's for $1245. Picked them up just outside of Detroit. They were listed on ebay.

Yep, if you are lucky, you can find some crazy deals on the these JBL Pro speakers as they are huge and ugly and not a lot of people are willing to buy these and if the owner is desperate, they will almost give it away. Now, if I can only find JBL 8340A this cheap.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse S /forum/post/19618331


I would say they are a ripoff considering JBL sells many other similar speakers with equivalent output for much less money.

And avoid their subs. Lots of output but they roll-off around 25-30hz.

You are dead wrong. True, Synthesis gear is expensive, but it is for the most part built with "spare-no-expense" attention to detail and the highest quality parts available.


The flagship speaker, the Everest DD66000 is widely regarded as one of the finest music speaker systems ever built. It represents the culmination of 60 years of design and building of high-quality systems. Nobody who has heard them has ever questioned the pricing. The K2S9900 runs a close second and can be had for considerably less.


There are certainly lesser models and systems to choose from. But none of this gear is intended for the casual HT builder, and is meant for a complete pro setup and calibration service to install. Bottom line is that if you have to check the price, Synthesis may not be for you.


Much of this technology is shared with the pro lines of JBL gear, to be sure. And there are a number of examples of pro gear that will deliver excellent AQ at less cost. But by and large the pro gear is NOT designed for HT use, but for pumping out insane SPL in large rooms. Sometimes those 2 objectives merge.


I'll add that the S1S-ES sub is perfectly suited for VLF LFE duty in a home system, particularly with proper EQ and setup. There are other examples of JBL subs that do the same, the HTPS400, the Array 1500 and more. There are a few pro subs that are very similar to the S1S-ES that cost less and use similar drivers.
 

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As with any cost no object project, performance is not commensurate with price. If on could quantify the performance of the Synthesis products, and compare that to the other pro offerings, one would encounter an exponential relationship in price/performance.


My point is to achieve the last "10" percent of performance increase, one has to pay perhaps a premium of 10 fold increase in price. Why? Some individuals will purchase the highest price item, and that is their determining factor for which item to buy, whether their system has the resolving power to take full advantage of any purported advantages.


With any line of equipment, there lies a sweet spot in pricing whereby price/performance ratio is optimum. From that point higher, each performance increase is met with more and more price increase.


Back OT, any of the primary pro manufacturers of speakers, JBL, EAW, Meyer, EV, and Lacoustics, offer phenomenally high levels of sophistication and stunning high performance. They have outboard DSP processor based dividing networks, that correct time and frequency non-linearities, and allow each passband to operate directly coupled to their corresponding amplifier section, thereby achieving rock solid control of voice coil control and overshoot.


Additionally, unlike the Synthesis line, these very high performance offerings are marketed to pro users worldwide, in a very demanding high value no nonsense environment.


Therefore, a very high level of performance is availed to the HT enthusiast, by navigating through all the choices, and ultimately choosing the pro audio route.


So, I think Jesse is right
 
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