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JBL Discussion & Owner's Thread


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I love my K2s. A few people who have been here more recently now I have them dialled in to within a inch of their lives would most probably agree how dynamic, and engaging they can be.   And

Unboxed to try at home a pristine pair of S3900s

Indeed a lot of it can be R&D.... but there are also other overheads to recover....and it isnt the same for every product...   cant talk speakers specifically.... but having worked in ma

Henry, This is not the same woofer as the one under discussion.

Your initial post may have been innocent but to me still reads like an attempt to denigrate JBL .

You also posted that Revel use all SB which is false.

If my memory is correct you have previously posted that Wilson use the SB Satori as a midrange in one of their more expensive models which also turned out to be untrue.

I think you are, possibly inadvertently, being unfair to these manufacturers. If your point is that many manufacturers use custom drivers from companies like SB fair enough but I think you should be more careful going beyond that. Maybe you could go back and edit your previous posts to be clearer.

Cheers Mike

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and now, the 15" 2216ND from the S4700 and M2 Reference....

 

Tech_R2_zps4d92cc89.jpg

 

The only approved supplier is JBL Pro Manufacturing. JBL patents 5664023, 5748760, 6768804, 6847726, and 6774510 apply.

 

OTOH, the approved supplier for the S3900 bass driver is GGEC of China. 

 

Both transducers were designed by Jerry Moro, Senior Transducer Engineer at JBL. So they are both JBL drivers, and my bet (only guessing) is that the S3900 bass driver is a JBL driver outsourced to GGEC in China and also sold under JBL licence to SBA.

 

Which is a long, long way from them both being made by SBA.

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Which is a long, long way from them both being made by SBA.

good to know. 

 

i have no intention to denigrate JBL, i suggested JBL few times over other hifi brands. You dont get the bling with JBL, but you got a solid engineering, even though maybe not as exotic as some. 

 

in regards to REVEL, i apologised for not being clear, the whole Performa3 series are built and made by Sinar Baja Indonesia :)

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I somehow feel that they would only play well when really loud. Sort of like a PA speaker

 

Totally unfounded opinion, just a thought. I feel the same way about all horns though

 

I reckon if they were in my house for trial, i would buy them

Actually the Studio 590s are the opposite.

Really good with medium powered valve amps.

I heard them with my Almarro 318B which is about 15 watts and a SET and they sounded superb.A breath of fresh air in a world of boringly up-tight and mechanical sounding modern speakers.

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Guest Karl Rand

A friend runs a Yamaha A -S500 amp into JBL Studio 590's. I'm very impressed, especially when I had to admit he'd achieved such a wonderfull result for such a relatively small outlay ( well small compared to high end silly money gear ) There is a mindless prejudice against JBL speakers in audiophile circles. They're often described as rock and roll speakers. That may have been the case in the past and I confess to thinking that way until I heard the 590's. Additionally they're efficiency could save you a lot of money and let you play around with lower powered valve amps. My mate however tried his 590's with a borrowed Cary 300b amp and found the bass went 'all fat and sloppy' - - his words. 

The really galling thing about this is my friend knows nothing about audio. He bought a single issue of Australian Hi-Fi News then went out and put his hard earned down on two products that received good reviews in that issue. 

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Hear hear. Thanks for saving me the typing. I have had similar experiences with other recent JBL models. Their West Coast Sound reputation is long gone into history, and only revived today through prejudice or lack of better knowledge.

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Up until 1994, I sold more JBL Speakers than anyone else in the country. In 1995, with the release of the "Radiance" range I stopped. At the time, I wondered whether if in the early seventies, Gianni Martini AKA James  Bullough Lansing had had a psychic view of the products that would bear his name in future years, when he picked up his gun and blew his brains out . How many more people have to die before Polypropylene Bass Drivers are banned forever?

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Up until 1994, I sold more JBL Speakers than anyone else in the country. In 1995, with the release of the "Radiance" range I stopped. At the time, I wondered whether if in the early seventies, Gianni Martini AKA James  Bullough Lansing had had a psychic view of the products that would bear his name in future years, when he picked up his gun and blew his brains out . How many more people have to die before Polypropylene Bass Drivers are banned forever?

I agree about the radiance series but fact check: James Lansing was was Giacomo Martini. He committed suicide by hanging himself in 1949.

Bill

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I agree about the radiance series but fact check: James Lansing was was Giacomo Martini. He committed suicide by hanging himself in 1949.

Bill

Thanks Bill, now that I think about it the Radiance thing happened when Penny Lane was still in Toorak Village so I'm roughly a decade out on that as well! Every now and again something happens that makes me think that all those rumours about my being "Senile", "Past it" and "an old D*ckhead", may not be entirely without foundation.

 

Steve?

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I think the reason JBL high end get little interest is just brand, they make $100 iPod docks, people spending big bucks want exclusivity

I don't think so, I went from Wilson Audio to Pioneer (TAD) and pioneer sell a lot at jb Hifi and the likes. Pioneers also makes a lot of ****, didn't influence my decision at all and I'm more than happy with the upgrade.

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I don't think so, I went from Wilson Audio to Pioneer (TAD) and pioneer sell a lot at jb Hifi and the likes. Pioneers also makes a lot of ****, didn't influence my decision at all and I'm more than happy with the upgrade.

 

True, but then I was talking about the average audio fool and you Sir are neither average nor a fool !

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There are definite brand connotations, some can see past those, others can't. Can name you countless brands, some of which I own/ed gear from that people turn their noses up on because they come from companies that also make affordable gear. They can't see that these brands while can make affordable gear can also make top flight stuff... Oh well their loss !

I've heard the same of top end brands more humble base models some will malign those to say they are pretty stripped out and your paying for the brand. I got that with a 2nd off the bottom range nakamichi tape deck where someone told me I was better off spending my money on something else as it was no dragon gees never mind how awesome it was as tape deck hehe. !

It's hard putting peoples perceptions/bias and subconscious aside and take on face value... some can some cant ... Oh well :)

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Henry, you can't always judge simply by the basket. Often the exact same basket will be used by different brands of driver. Other times you will find a very similar and almost identical basket is made by different manufacturers. You may be looking at a stock driver, or it may be an OEM version or possibly even a custom modified OEM.

 

I have very little listening experience with JBL, but two things in particular I appreciate about the brand:

 

1. They actually use realistic sensitivity ratings in a market that so often likes to publish fairytale sensitivity specs.

 

With JBL you might see a big 15" speaker with a rating of say 94 dB and 35 Hz bass extension, where others claim nonsense figures.

 

2. Innovative engineering and R&D.

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+1 on Pauls comments,

 

I am interested in actually listening to some of the JBL new stuff.  I can’t see why if it sounded good at the show (in some members opinions) then it would not be worth an audition.  Put your perceptions aside - worst that can happen is that you don’t like them.

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I like the new ones a lot, they sound good. The again I like 1970s Sony amps, and there's a brand that turns people right off!

 

not me, always been a fan of their ES disc players and theyve  made some very nice gear over the years. but yeah sure people are allowed to have their individual tastes and preferences right :D

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I don't think so, I went from Wilson Audio to Pioneer (TAD) and pioneer sell a lot at jb Hifi and the likes. Pioneers also makes a lot of ****, didn't influence my decision at all and I'm more than happy with the upgrade.

TAD is hardly perceived in the same way "Pioneer" is. More like Lexus and Toyota. 

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TAD is hardly perceived in the same way "Pioneer" is. More like Lexus and Toyota. 

 

blinky,

If you ever strip down a Lexus, Toyota stamps are everywhere.

 

Tase.

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I ran a full active set up comprising drivers from JBL 4355 monitors throughout most of the nineties..

Whist not really relevant in this post, the SQ was as dynamic and profound as you will ever find!!

 

I should therefore imagine today's stuff will have some of that DNA

 

I want a big pair of JBL's again...badly

 

Tase.

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Yes and the TADs are made by Pioneer but the perception of quality as well as the real quality is quite different.

As is Esoteric and TEAC.

 

So why isn't the manufacturers name used instead of some fancy one that the manufacture choose any way......and then wants you to know this!!!

Everyone Knows a Lexus is a Toyota......We all know TAD is Pioneer......Esoteric is Teac..

 

Tase.

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The reason for JBL's decline in reputation can be traced back to two words, Syd Harmon.

 

His greed destroyed the engineering reputation of the company in what can only be described as "a death by 1000 cuts".

 

Step one was kind of small, in the old days the people who wound the voice coils would hand over to the Metrology Department who would precisely measure the diameter of each individual voice coil marking each one with the exact diameter, the guys who machined the pole pieces would go through the same process, each one measured exactly and marked. This allows the people assembling the motor system to individually match the right voice coil to the right magnet assembly with absolute precision. Then somebody in the accounts department had the bright idea of cutting the cost of this time-consuming process by introducing some "new technology". Rather than fitting an individual voice coil to a specific motor system, why not put the voice coil on expanding aluminium mandrel and stretching it to suit whatever motor might be to hand. Huge cost saving versus a "slight" reduction in performance.

 

Step two was when somebody in the accounts department had the bright idea of replacing the Alnico V magnet with ceramic ferrite magnets which were "almost as good, but way cheaper". Again, a "slight" reduction in performance but a big increase in gross profit.

 

Shortly after this, the ownership of JBL changed hands on almost weekly basis, as Syd sold the company to anybody who could pony up his asking price. Then he would wait until the new owners monumentally f**cked up at which point he would buy the company back from them at cents on the dollar below the original acquisition price, then wait for the next poor schmuck to come along and then repeat the process ad infintum.

 

At one point, things had reached the stage where the only thing coming out of Northridge were the labels applied to the back of the now Japanese Built Loudspeakers which carried the words "Printed in the USA".

 

Then came the infamous Radiance series, which featured all low-grade chipboard enclosures and the first of the deeply sh*tfull polypropylene bass drivers.Again, only a "marginal" reduction in performance for a large reduction in manufacturing cost and a commensurate increase in gross profit.

 

At the time, Penny Lane did an ad in the Green Guide featuring the new JBL loudspeaker range "Now Featuring Washable Bass".

 

A couple of years later, I was having dinner with Steen Sloth, the then CEO of Scan Speak, when I asked the question "Listen Steen, you know that I know that polypropylene bass drivers sound sh*thouse. And I know that you know that polypropylene bass drivers sound sh*thouse, so why do you make them? His reply "Because Americans like to buy them".

 

By this time, the only JBL speaker systems of any real worth were being manufactured in Scandinavia, solely for the Scandinavian market, who refused to buy the mainstream JBL product.

 

I hope this goes somewhere towards explaining why the JBL brand(at least IM(NR)HO currently lacks credibility.

 

Steve

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Guest Karl Rand

The reason for JBL's decline in reputation can be traced back to two words, Syd Harmon.

 

His greed destroyed the engineering reputation of the company in what can only be described as "a death by 1000 cuts".,   ,   ,   ,   ,,  , , , , ,   ,,  ,,  ,,,  ,,  ,,,  ,,   ,,, , , , ,,,      ,   ,

 

.  .  . 

I hope this goes somewhere towards explaining why the JBL brand(at least IM(NR)HO currently lacks credibility.

 

Steve

Fascinating history - thanks Steve. I wish we could read a similar exposure of a number of other companies who destroyed their own reputation then arose from the ashes again. Luxman and Marantz come to mind.

Who owns JBL now? Might be a good to time to buy shares if it's public.

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Fascinating history - thanks Steve. I wish we could read a similar exposure of a number of other companies who destroyed their own reputation then arose from the ashes again. Luxman and Marantz come to mind.

Who owns JBL now? Might be a good to time to buy shares if it's public.

Hey karl.

Your post pre-supposes that JBL have in fact "risen from the ashes", I'm not that optimistic.

As to the other brands you listed , I've got thirty plus years of dirt on file on all of them. Stay Tuned.

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Lexus = Toyota for me.

Yes but that's not my point. Ask a Lexus owner which car they drive and they won't answer "Toyota" (even though we both know who makes it). Similarly you didn't introduce your new TAD speakers by saying you'd bought some "Pioneers" as there's justified cachet in the former.

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This is a great thread, nearly ruined by personal remarks and digs. It's been cleaned.

Continue gentlemen.

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Anyone interested in JBL background information might like to have a look around the Lansing Heritage website or if really interested spend a few dollars on John Eargles  "The JBL Story."

Cheers Mike

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Anyone interested in JBL background information might like to have a look around the Lansing Heritage website or if really interested spend a few dollars on John Eargles  "The JBL Story."

Cheers Mike

 

I am interested, but first I would like to know if it full of 'dirt files', which is more likely to depress me than provide any reading enjoyment. I don't need that style.

 

The Lansing Heritage website is a treasure, I do enjoy it.

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I am interested, but first I would like to know if it full of 'dirt files', which is more likely to depress me than provide any reading enjoyment.

I don't think you would be disappointed in the book. Certainly no dirt files, just a somewhat dry but appeciative look at the history of JBL and a reminder of the contributions of some of the great engineers who worked there.

Just had a look its now available as a Kindle edition for around $ 17

Cheers Mike

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Anyone interested in JBL background information might like to have a look around the Lansing Heritage website or if really interested spend a few dollars on John Eargles  "The JBL Story."

Cheers Mike

 

I have that book, very nice, but not as informative as the heritage website.

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I had always thought of JBL as brash and loud - probably due to the British sound being in vogue when I got into audio.

 

A few years ago, I wanted to build my own loudspeakers, and wanted a high efficiency bass driver. I took a punt on a Wolf Von Langa 15" field coil - 150WVL, which is a rebuilt JBL K145, with the alnico magnet replace by the electromagnetic motor. The K145 was a professional music bass (bass guitar/organ) driver, and was the predecessor of the E145, used in the original Everest.

 

I have to say that I was not disappointed. It doesn't do the lowest bass, but it really punches, and had the most gorgeous rich tone.

 

I heard Bryan's (LPG) horn speakers on a number of occasions, and thought the JBL berylium midrange was wonderful. Would love to hear some of the upper end JBLs like the recent K2 and Everest.

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