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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've owned the Pioneer Andrew Jones since 2013 and have had the itch to try something out different for some time now. I'm mostly a movie guy so that's always been my main priority, but certainly like to listen to some tunes here and there. The only real comparison I've made thus far is the BIC FH6 LCR which I ran for my center and fronts for a few months with Wally World's generous return policy. For dialogue it made a very noticeable difference, but something just felt "off" for most other things, especially for music. So, people directed me towards the JBL Studio 2 series and I've been using them for the past week or so. I'm not some audiophile by any means, so I'll try to do my best to describe them the best way I know how. I should mention I didn't spend time much running these full range since I never really would. From the brief time the JBLs put out very good and non-boomy bass despite my speakers being 4 inches from the back wall. I'm pairing my system with a PB 2000 in a 2,100 cubic foot room. I sit around 12 feet from the speakers.

To test them against the Pioneers, I did some listening with music and movies with the Pioneers for a bit and then swapped them out for the JBL, the fronts and center channel. I also did movies in 2.1, running one Pioneer as my main and the other with JBL. I ran Audyssey with them as my mains and did the wire switch on the fly, letting only one speaker play for a bit and then quickly let the other let loose. What I did have to do was stack the two speakers on top of one another because the left side of my room sounds different than my right. The clap test proves this with a lot of reverb on the left side and the right side sounds much more dead. So, on to my thoughts...

What I will say first and foremost is that these JBLs have a smoothness to them that is beyond what the Pioneer can pull off. When you have nothing to compare it to it's not as noticeable, but oh how these JBLs crush the Pioneers in just sheer sound quality. If I had a metaphorical way to explain it, when running Pandora the JBL sounds like a 320 bit rate, whereas the Pioneer sounds like a 96 bit rate. The JBL sounds as if nothing is playing expect the sounds of the singer and instruments, whereas the Pioneer is more cloudy and not as "together." You can notice almost a static with the Pioneers as well which I never noticed until comparing to the JBL, which clouds up the music. The Pioneer sounds more muted and much less "alive." The JBL presents things in a more refined way.

My complaint with the FH6 for music is that music felt too disorganized where voices would dominate the presentation, but not so with the JBL. It sounds very natural and more real. Do voices comes at you more than the Pioneer? Yes, but not in an unauthentic way. I've read some reviews that these get "shrill" or too bright at high volumes, and I just didn't really have that experience. What's really interesting is that people call these speakers sensitive, but they are nearly identical to the Pioneers. The Pioneers are rated at 85db and JBL 230 at 88db. Audyssey set the Pioneer at +1.5 db and the JBL at +1.0db. I used an SPL meter and Audyssey got it right on the money. So, either Pioneer is undershooting their BS22 or JBL's marketing team is up to something. I'm leaning on the position that Andrew Jones is being an honest man, so my guess is the JBL is not 88db. But what's funny is that despite them being equal in sensitivity, the JBL ends up sounding louder just because of the voicing of the speaker. The JBL 235C center does provide more accurate ratings as it came out around 5db higher than the rest of the speakers.

For movies, the JBL gives a hands down different experience. It's more "airy", crisp, and detailed, with sounds and voices coming at you. Again, it's the same with music...Pioneer gives you something, but just not enough. It holds back sounds and brings a muted presentation. The scene from How to train your dragon where he flies the dragon for the first time is a perfect example. I had the BS 22 (with no center channel) playing for 20 seconds or so, and then turned on the 230 and it was like a different scene was playing due to how much more the 230 brings life to the scene. It's more of a movie experience. The JBL is just more fun to listen to because sounds are just easier to hear and feel more life like.

I probably don't need to mention it, but I will: The JBL 235C center gives an easier to understand, and again more "airy" presentation to the dialogue. Voices are clear and articulate while remaining life like and natural. Again, things open up on the JBL and it's less hazy of a speaker. The SP-C22 almost sounds as if someone is secretly holding a piece of paper over the speaker to make it sound muffled. That's not to say you can't hear anything, and to give Pioneer credit it is a natural sounding speaker. Music sounds good, and voices can sound natural, but that's not really the problem though. The problem is that it sounds too congested and veiled sounding that it doesn't give the clarity that I want.

All in all, the JBL 230/235C have been a lot of fun to listen to and use in my room, and I'm having a hard time saying goodbye to them because I'm not sure I could find or want to spend the time finding something comparable at the sale price I got them. These JBLs are seriously something special. Clear, can play loud, and is just downright fun to listen to. If anyone is in the market for some modestly priced speakers and have the room, I'd look at these quickly.
 

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I'm not following your terminology very well...You've owned "the Pioneer Andrew Jones ____________?"

For example...I've also owned my AJ Pioneers since 2013...That is the C22, BS22s and FS52's.

What amplifier do you own?
If you ran Audessey...did you rerun it again for the other set of speakers? If not you've essentially hodge-podged your own review...

I have a 7.1 (with Atmos height speakers) AJ set and paired with a Yamaha TSR-7810 the system just sings. I have never experienced static.

Keep in mind I realize these are value based speakers on a budget...(even if they weren't) I'm not attached to them.

I'm shocked by your review but then again your conditions for making such a review have a lot of holes that need to be plugged.

Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Are you saying you ran auddessey on one pair then switched the cable to compare?

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I did both. I ran Audssey with just the BS22s as fronts and SP-C22 as Center, took them down and re-ran Audyssey with the 230 and 235C. I also used the BS22 as my left and 230 as my right and also ran Audyssey.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm not following your terminology very well...You've owned "the Pioneer Andrew Jones ____________?"

For example...I've also owned my AJ Pioneers since 2013...That is the C22, BS22s and FS52's.

What amplifier do you own?
If you ran Audessey...did you rerun it again for the other set of speakers? If not you've essentially hodge-podged your own review...

I have a 7.1 (with Atmos height speakers) AJ set and paired with a Yamaha TSR-7810 the system just sings. I have never experienced static.

Keep in mind I realize these are value based speakers on a budget...(even if they weren't) I'm not attached to them.

I'm shocked by your review but then again your conditions for making such a review have a lot of holes that need to be plugged.

Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
I put in the model numbers for the speakers I was referencing, so I guess I assumed people knew the line I was discussing. I'm talking about the Pioneer SP-C22 and BS-22, Pioneer's newest line from Andrew Jones.

Sorry if I wasn't making myself clear. I wrote this pretty fast. I ran Audyssey for both sets, but then I also ran Audyssey as BS22 as left and 230 as right.

When I say "static", I don't actually mean static that you would hear from a TV. I was simply trying to emphasize how the JBLs are a more clear and articulate speaker. Like I said in the review...the Pioneer's aren't bad speakers. For music they work great, but for HT they just don't give the punch that I'm looking for, but if they work for you that's all that really matters.

I use the Denon 2112 CI.
 

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I'm shocked by your review but then again your conditions for making such a review have a lot of holes that need to be plugged.

Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
His review was exactly what I expected. JBLs should have destroyed the Pioneers... and they did. His same complaints about the Pioneers (muffled, not very dynamic, missing some high end), is also spot on with what a lot of other people have stated. And same as what my ears heard when I owned the AJs as well. I wouldn't even classify them as good with music. I'd say they are decent with certain types of music, but in general just so-so. And for HT they are just plain lousy.

As for his review, I remember how exact and persistent he was when comparing to the Bics some time ago. Pretty sure the way he tested was fine.
 

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I'm not following your terminology very well...You've owned "the Pioneer Andrew Jones ____________?"

For example...I've also owned my AJ Pioneers since 2013...That is the C22, BS22s and FS52's.

What amplifier do you own?
If you ran Audessey...did you rerun it again for the other set of speakers? If not you've essentially hodge-podged your own review...

I have a 7.1 (with Atmos height speakers) AJ set and paired with a Yamaha TSR-7810 the system just sings. I have never experienced static.

Keep in mind I realize these are value based speakers on a budget...(even if they weren't) I'm not attached to them.

I'm shocked by your review but then again your conditions for making such a review have a lot of holes that need to be plugged.

Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
I really appreciate butie120 taking the time and effort to compare the AJ and JBL's. Is does a great service to the forum and provides a great resource for other members.

He is not a professional reviewer with any bias to any brand paying to advertise on his web site. I thought his opinions were very informative and consistent with the many complaints people have when coming in here asking for upgrade recommendations from the Pioneer, especially the C22.

Feel free to take the time and effort under better conditions to do an unbiased comparison.
I'll be looking forward to your review.
 
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I really appreciate butie120 taking the time and effort to compare the AJ and JBL's. Is does a great service to the forum and provides a great resource for other members.

He is not a professional reviewer with any bias to any brand paying to advertise on his web site. I thought his opinions were very informative and consistent with the many complaints people have when coming in here asking for upgrade recommendations from the Pioneer, especially the C22.

Feel free to take the time and effort under better conditions to do an unbiased comparison.
I'll be looking forward to your review.
I also appreciate his contributions. It opens doors more than you know. I just bought some RBH R55ti with the R56ci center a few days ago and they arrive today. I will also compare the differences and see what's doing.

I don't use Audessey but I did read that other speakers in the same room when you A and B them can pose a problem even more so with room correction.

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All in all, the JBL 230/235C have been a lot of fun to listen to and use in my room, and I'm having a hard time saying goodbye to them because I'm not sure I could find or want to spend the time finding something comparable at the sale price I got them.
Wait, do you mean you're NOT keeping these??? :confused:
 
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Oh no. I'm keeping em. I was only saying that in reference to other speakers at a similar price point, such as chane, HSU, HTD. I thought it might be worth my time to check out others and compare, but in all honesty I'm just not interested in doing that at this point. The JBL's just work too good.
 

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Good job

I liked the JBL 230s when I auditioned them, as I said this was the Hot girl you pick up on Friday, spend the weekend with her, wow she's awesome, great sex, great personality I'm going to marry her
Then, she complains or gripes at you about so trivial on Sunday that you take a step back and say ok, well maybe I don't want to spend my life with this girl

That's what I felt with JBL 230s, music at high volumes had me running for hills, I'm talking high 80s db volume, it was not their strength

HT was a treat with these but their downfall I thought was any high volume music....also lacked clarity, definition, imaging, highs = average, mids did a little better
 

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Good job

I liked the JBL 230s when I auditioned them, as I said this was the Hot girl you pick up on Friday, spend the weekend with her, wow she's awesome, great sex, great personality I'm going to marry her
Then, she complains or gripes at you about so trivial on Sunday that you take a step back and say ok, well maybe I don't want to spend my life with this girl

That's what I felt with JBL 230s, music at high volumes had me running for hills, I'm talking high 80s db volume, it was not their strength

HT was a treat with these but their downfall I thought was any high volume music....also lacked clarity, definition, imaging, highs = average, mids did a little better
When you say "high volume music", how loud are we talking?

Also, were you testing them with a subwoofer or running full range?
 

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Oh no. I'm keeping em. I was only saying that in reference to other speakers at a similar price point, such as chane, HSU, HTD. I thought it might be worth my time to check out others and compare, but in all honesty I'm just not interested in doing that at this point. The JBL's just work too good.
ah, good to hear...I thought you were about to set yourself up for another 6 months of speaker angst! :)
 

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That's what I felt with JBL 230s, music at high volumes had me running for hills, I'm talking high 80s db volume, it was not their strength
High 80s is pretty high though, isn't it? I can't see anyone going that high for HT, and even for music... unless they were throwing a house party or something or were trying to purposely induce tinnitus.
 

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Oh no. I'm keeping em. I was only saying that in reference to other speakers at a similar price point, such as chane, HSU, HTD. I thought it might be worth my time to check out others and compare, but in all honesty I'm just not interested in doing that at this point. The JBL's just work too good.
My post got deleted earlier this morning (forgot to send) I wanted to tell you that I greatly appreciate your articulate and real world review. I was a bit shocked but the bubble has burst and I'm more than ever looking forward to what lies ahead....so thanks!

I'm selling my AJ line. I was going to buy the Chane A5RX-C's but they were out of stock.


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I thought it might be worth my time to check out others and compare, but in all honesty I'm just not interested in doing that at this point. The JBL's just work too good.
Continue to enjoy your JBL adventure -- they are well reviewed and well received.
 

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Good job

I liked the JBL 230s when I auditioned them, as I said this was the Hot girl you pick up on Friday, spend the weekend with her, wow she's awesome, great sex, great personality I'm going to marry her
Then, she complains or gripes at you about so trivial on Sunday that you take a step back and say ok, well maybe I don't want to spend my life with this girl

That's what I felt with JBL 230s, music at high volumes had me running for hills, I'm talking high 80s db volume, it was not their strength

HT was a treat with these but their downfall I thought was any high volume music....also lacked clarity, definition, imaging, highs = average, mids did a little better
I will try some music in the high 80s Db for music and report back what I find. I'll try a variety of music.
 

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I will try some music in the high 80s Db for music and report back what I find. I'll try a variety of music.
I think you are doing the smart thing. Keep the JBL's!!! Don't worry about how high they play. I have yet to play my Chane's past 80dbs, and that's just because I had an itch
Most of the time, I play 60-65 volume which is like 70s dbs

As I said about JBL 230s, they disperse music so widely and with force, no need to play high volumes because at 60 volume it sounds like 80 volume (not db's just volume knob)

Here is my review again of JBL 230s

JBL 230s- Let me describer the JBL’s. This is the girl you meet at a bar on Friday, say to yourself, I’m gonna spend the rest of my life with her, then come Sunday you say, Ok that was fun, I gotta use my brain here and now the member in my pants, I thought it was love at first sight but it was really just a weekend fling.
I opened up the box, boom bam thank you ma’am. Pure fire, excitement and Wow. Full stage, Wide dispersion of music. Better than Ultra’s at bass, better than Ultra’s at dispersing music at lower volume, this was the “Thor” of speakers that brought the hammer to lay some wood.
Watched Star Wars Rogue One day 1 out of the box, holy guacamole, talk about earthquake with my 2 subs. Love em’ I’m keeping them!!!
Next day, lets play more music. Ok 50, good , 55, um…..volume at 60? Oh no Kryptonite!!! Turn it down, mayday mayday…But here’s the thing You don’t ever need to turn these babies up. Moderate volume plays as if they cranked to 90.

Highs-um next
Everything else is solid, so recap don’t play highs too often and no high volume playing.
But I would absolutely buy these at $299 over the Ultra’s at $1,000. I would never go above moderate level and you will never hear their defeciencies.
Imaging- ok nothing great
NBA Comparison: Shaq
 

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High 80s is pretty high though, isn't it? I can't see anyone going that high for HT, and even for music... unless they were throwing a house party or something or were trying to purposely induce tinnitus.
yes it is, I only did it couple times because I like to test the Chane's, hear no distortion at high levels, but really have very little use or desire for high 80's/low 90s db music
just nice to know if you want you can go there...kinda like a gun by your bedside, just good knowing you got it
 

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Oh no. I'm keeping em. I was only saying that in reference to other speakers at a similar price point, such as chane, HSU, HTD. I thought it might be worth my time to check out others and compare, but in all honesty I'm just not interested in doing that at this point. The JBL's just work too good.
That is the smart way to go.

One of these days when your budget balloons maybe you can consider something different but I doubt whatever you buy will have the same bang for buck improvement as you just experienced as the law of diminishing returns kicks in quite quickly as Mike will attest.

The leap from $150 to $400 speakers can be huge.

The leap from $400 to $1000 will rarely be as huge IMHO and the leap from $1000 to $2000 will be marginal.
 
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