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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


I know it's tough to ask opinions on speakers since everyone has a different "ear" but I'm thinking about these JBL's for my HT speaker setup. Would appreciate any thoughts.


Receiver: Sony STR-DA2ES

Main: S310II

Surround: S310II

Center: S-CenterII

Sub: S120PII


Cost looks like around $2000. Pretty much at my max budget. Any recommendations on other manufacturers for around the same price? Thanks.


Steve
 

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The new JBL towers are some of the best sounding speakers for the price. Even their entry level towers sounds much more open and natural compared to their top of the line bookshelf studio monitors (just to qualify, I don't have the funds to afford 4 digit figure speakers).
 

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Just my opinion, but if you're looking at the JBL for $2k here's what I'd get.


Go to JandR.com


Harman Kardon AVR520 $599

JBL S38 - $299

JBL S26 - $199

JBL S-Center - $169


Then get an SVS 20-39PC+ $825


Total $1995. Shipping will take you a little over budget or you can drop the sub to a 25-31 and or the S38 to S26.


A good sub and good bookshelves will always be better than good towers and an ok sub. (Edit: Should caveat at least in this price range, mind you the tower price range needed where this isn't true any more is much higher than I'd ever consider spending on speakers)


This is what I have and am very happy with. Well except my sub is a little more capable, much larger and I built it myself.
 

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I've had my JBL's for about 1 1/2 years. I have the Studio S310's in front. The S-Center, S38's for my rears and PB12 for my sub. For the money I think they're excellent for home theater use. For music, it depends on the music. Some music sounds fantastic but I find the metal tweeter a little harsh for most hard rock/metal. That's the only real downside.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Dustin B
JBL S38 - $299

JBL S26 - $199


Did you account for needing two of each??
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the input.


My HT area will be 14' x 25' (25 being the viewing direction) that's why I was looking at the S310II's all around thinking I needed larger speakers for the surrounds. Is there any advantage or disadvantage to using the floorstanding speakers for surrounds vs the bookshelves? The surrounds will be about 7' behind the couch. Also thinking about a second S-Center for surround center. Is the SVS sub that much better than the JBL I am looking at. If so I may be able to swing the JBL's I want with the SVS sub. Although at this point because of financial strain I may have to purchase the speakers one at a time or in pairs. I appreciate all your responses.


Steve
 

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I have the s-center and s310s in my ht. Had them for about 2 years now. Got them from J and R for a song. Been very happy with them so far. Especially considering the price. At first I was worried that they would lack compared to some of the other more costly brands, but as far as HT use goes, they do the job well IMO. I dont tend to use them for music and the room isnt set up that way acoustically anyway.


Of course all ears and rooms are different. However I had a nice opportunity to A/B the front S310s with some B&W speakers I just bought for my brother in my HT room. Model DM602 S3. Nice to do it in a controlled environment and not on a sales floor. Also, they are in the same price range and so were a good A/B for me. I was expecting to hear a huge difference. Wasnt the case really. At least not on movie material. I tried both 5.1 and Stereo modes to isolate the speakers from the rest of the Jbls. The B&W had a warmer sound perhaps and performed great, but I was surprised that I didnt hear the big difference I thought I would. A little nicer, but not a knockout punch like I thought.


It gives me a little comfort now and I dont worry about not having the cache' of some of the other brand names. So all in all I find them to be good bang for the buck performers on Movie material. Although I must admit Im not all that crazy about my 5 year old JBL sub, but again I only paid $200 for it so you get what you pay for.


BTW, Im going to upgrade the sub to an SVS sub too. :)
 

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The S310 and the S38 have the exact same tweeter and 4" mid (the S38 uses slightly lower crossover points between the drivers though). The difference is a 10" vs a 8" bass driver. But when crossing over at 80hz to a very capable sub there will be more or less no difference between the two. Even when blasting out movies at near reference level you can hardly see the 8" driver on my S38 mains move.


And yes an SVS PC+ sub is that much better than the S120. Especially with HT being 98% of your use. A 20-39PC+ is more than twice the sub a S120 is.


From what you've said to this point, I'd also suggest you consider getting 3 pairs of S38 bookshelves. Identical speakers all the way around is considered the ideal.




Micheal, those are the prices per pair from jandr.com.
 

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I am sure S38 is a fine pair of speakers as far as bookshelfs go, I once actually owned a pair before I sold them.


I once did a side by side comparison between the S38 bookshelfs with the entry level floor stander N 38, both models bascially utilize the same drivers (in fact I believe N38 uses a smaller midrange driver, if memory holds). However, there was no comparison in sound quality. The floor stander N38 had a MUCH more open sound compared to the S38. In fact I would describe the S38 sound as having a veil over it, while the N38 sound has the veil completely removed.


Anyhow, that's my 2 cents on the S38. I think a pair of N38's actually cost less than the S38's.
 

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With so much speaker hype, I loathe saying anything at all about any of them. But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Guitar Center USA has a fantastic sale on all the JBL Pro line products.


If you want something different in home theater loudspeaker, the JBL Pro LSR-25P is an incredible value at $199 ea.


- Internal self powered, bi amplification

- Active crossover, linkwitz riley 4th order

- 100 watts to the woofer, 50 to the tweeter

- Solid aluminum enclosure, small but a hefty 17 lbs ea.

- Cast aluminum baskets

- time and phase aligned

- Shielded for use near video monitors

- Ruler flat frequency response

- Digital switches for room equalization modes

- Selectable 80 hz high pass filter

- RCA input jack and Balanced XLR input


I bought (5) of them. They sound incredible for music or home theater even at twice the price. Because they are active speakers, you don't need to worry about getting the best amplification. You already have it, built-in. Use them with the best sub-woofer you can afford. Nearfield monitors like these are very forgiving of placement, reproduce a broad sound stage and have precise imaging.


Clean and undistorted, they also play LOUD. Get the best subwoofer you can afford, even a 15 or 18 inch is not over-doing it. They will match perfectly, with or without the selectable 80 hz high pass filter enabled.


They are worth a look, especially if you like JBL. They are equal or better to the pro line monitors from Mackie, Genelec, KRK, Yamaha of equal size, but currently priced better. 'Nuff said.

Specification Sheet

Picture of 5.1 surround application

http://www.jblpro.com/General/photos...LSR/lsr25p.jpg
 

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I think Guitar Center USA is a national chain. They have several store locations here in Denver, and they were in Dallas when I was there also.

They have website:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/
 

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Well...I bought (2) of them in the Park Meadows store from "Kush," and paid $249 ea. for those. That was several months ago. Then I went back for a third (for the center channel), and he told me it was on sale for $229, so I bought that one.


Then last week, he called me on the phone, and said they were being discontinued, that a corporate client purchased 20 pairs, and he had only 2 left for $199 ea. I called JBL, and they said *they* are not discontinuing them, but the merchandiser may stop carrying them.


So I went by today, and picked up the last pair for $199 ea., to complete my 5 channel system. I had told Kush previously I was going to buy two more. He likes to sell things, and I appreciated that he kept cutting the price and even calling me to buy more, even if the story is a bit fishy, the price was not.


Like you, I had shopped online for these before, and the cheapest I found was $259. One day on a whim, I called the JBL distributor to ask if anybody carried them in stock locally. They told me about Guitar Center. I was shocked when I called them, and they quoted me $249 ea., and had them in stock. So that's when I rushed in to buy the first pair. They sell them in singles by the way. Everything from JBL was marked down, and they carried lots of the big pro-line stuff, Crown amps etc.


There is another retailer who also stocked them, but would not budge off the $399 list price.


Tom
 

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Fourseasons


I thought so as well a/bing them at BB although it is a terrible place to audtion speakers. So I went with a the N38s.
 

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To answer your other question, (if you haven't already found out from the http://www.jblpro.com website, the cabinet is solid aluminum, powder coated. The electronics are mounted directly to the rear of enclusure, which is finned, and used for a heat sink. The woofer is a long excursion 5 1/2 inch fiber with butyl surround, 1 1/2 inch voice coil, integral shorting ring, cast aluminum frame. The tweeter is titanium.


There is an on/off switch on the front, and volume control. On the back are four dip switches, RCA jack and XLR jack. There is a green power-on LED which changes color to red if the amplifier is clipping. If it does, it's playing *very* loud. I've only seen this once, when I was deliberately trying.


Meanwhile, one of the impressive attributes of this active speaker, is that the sound does not compress or distort as you increase the power level. I find myself getting drawn into playing them louder and louder, because there is no *fatigue*, it just gets more like a live performance when played at live concert volume levels.


The % distortion specification JBL quotes for these professional speakers it should be noted, is performed at 96 db, or 4 times greater the power level than B&W and most other manufacturers use in stating distortion specs, if they bother at all.
 

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I would add that I have been using JBL pro monitors in my home for years, only to point out that all JBL speakers, including the Northridge series, Studio series always sound great. And when they don't, it's because the front end electronics aren't up to snuff, low power receivers, speakers connected in parallel presenting low impedance loads to low power amps, low end CD players, cassette players, turntables, 8 track...you get the idea.


If you hook up even a consumer grade N38 speaker to a fine amplifier capable of driving low impedance loudspeaker loads, like a Carver, Adcom, Hafler, Krell, Crown, Lexicon, McIntosh etc...you won't believe what good things that does to the sound coming from a JBL loudspeaker, any...


In the case of the LSR-25P active monitor, amplification is already optimized better than you could do it yourself probably, due to the active linkwitz-riley 4th order crossover, bi-amplification, time and phase alignment etc.
 
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