My Harman (JBL M2) Trip

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jtwrace

Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #20 on: 16 Apr 2017, 03:38 am »
I am not going to quote all of the above as I don't follow why this has a great deal of relevance to the overall thread.  The comments that have been made were eluding to the capabilities which Harman possesses versus most of the other players in the audiophile market.  This is at least how I perceive the overall inferences being made.

i don't disagree with what was stated, I just don't understand the overall relevance here.

My .02


....and we saw some Samsung stuff being tested by JBL.   :lol:   That tells me a lot too! 

richidoo

Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #21 on: 16 Apr 2017, 05:17 am »
You got the 4|1250N or ND version with built in DSP for running crossovers and EQ?

Russell Dawkins

Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #22 on: 16 Apr 2017, 08:02 am »
Entire post deleted due to it being, on second thought, a combination of faulty conjecture and unconstructive dirty laundry airing.

Sorry, all.

Fragments can be seen in replies below.

« Last Edit: 16 Apr 2017, 05:44 pm by Russell Dawkins »

AJinFLA

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Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #23 on: 16 Apr 2017, 11:20 am »
2. the M2 was designed primarily by Greg Timbers who was unceremoniously let go after a 90 second explanation of benefits on Sep 30 2015. This was followed in March 2016 by the firing of three other top engineers of JBL with a total seniority of 70 years, including the top driver designer, Jerry Moro. These people were the principle talent behind the M2, LSR 705 and LSR 708. As Greg himself said:

"So this brings an end to any world class engineers at JBL. Jerry and I were the last two. There are only 3 guys left and although they are competent, they are no where near the knowledge, success or capability of what they just dumped. The senior Model maker left last week to go elsewhere which means that Consumer no longer has any model making capabilities, either.

It appears that this is the end for JBL was we have known it. The Lab equipment is in total disarray with much of it not working properly. If it weren't for Professional's need for and use of the lab, I doubt that it would function at all. There will be no more internal transducer development, no world class engineers, no more internal model making capabilities and no more real JBL product. It is just going to be me-too product copied from somebody else and designed and manufactured in China or equivalent.
Well, don't know any of those folks personally, but it sounds like a rather bitter, just terminated long time employee.
Much of what he's saying could very well be/turn out true.
However, I'd be remiss to not note that the heart and soul of these new JBL products, which is the annular ring radiator (and coaxial version), is actually "borrowed" tech from BMS (Germany). Yes, JBL may have made a number of improvements to it, but it did not originate from their own vaunted R&D. Maybe the glass isn't quite as half empty...
Samsung acquisition may indeed spell doom, however, Gold Peak (HK) certainly didn't for KEF
http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2016/08/kef-gp-acoustics-no-longer-your-fathers-loudspeaker-company/ back in 1992.
IMO, the newest KEF products are SOTA and sound that way too. The "old" engineers are all gone, replaced now by this guy responsible for IMHO, the most advanced coax design in the biz:


So I guess I will take a more wait and see attitude before declaring all doom and gloom... :wink:

JT, enjoy your new M2s. Heard them on several occasions, very good, near the pinnacle of box designs IMO.

cheers.

AJ

goskers

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Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #24 on: 16 Apr 2017, 12:13 pm »
You got the 4|1250N or ND version with built in DSP for running crossovers and EQ?

In the DCi series there are two variants.  One was the standard and the other is the 'N' or networked version.  Both have DSP capabilities.  Only the networked version can be used with the M2 and 7 series speakers.

goskers

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Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #25 on: 16 Apr 2017, 12:22 pm »

2. the M2 was designed primarily by Greg Timbers who was unceremoniously let go after a 90 second explanation of benefits on Sep 30 2015. This was followed in March 2016 by the firing of three other top engineers of JBL with a total seniority of 70 years, including the top driver designer, Jerry Moro. These people were the principle talent behind the M2, LSR 705 and LSR 708. As Greg himself said:

"So this brings an end to any world class engineers at JBL. Jerry and I were the last two. There are only 3 guys left and although they are competent, they are no where near the knowledge, success or capability of what they just dumped. The senior Model maker left last week to go elsewhere which means that Consumer no longer has any model making capabilities, either.

It appears that this is the end for JBL was we have known it. The Lab equipment is in total disarray with much of it not working properly. If it weren't for Professional's need for and use of the lab, I doubt that it would function at all. There will be no more internal transducer development, no world class engineers, no more internal model making capabilities and no more real JBL product. It is just going to be me-too product copied from somebody else and designed and manufactured in China or equivalent.

I have read this as well.  We heard that three people were really behind the M2.  Mr. Timbers was not listed as one of those.  I believe the Everest design was his last big one.  Just take a look at that versus the M2 as there is a significant visual difference.  The M2 achieves most of the objectives of Olive and Toole to a 'T'.  I get the feeling that the M2 was the first advent of the old school/new school paradigm shift.  I did not get into this discussion on our trip as this is their business not mine.

mcgsxr

Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #26 on: 16 Apr 2017, 12:23 pm »
Great story.  Reminds me of guys who pick up their BMW's or Ferrari's from the factory. 

AFRF

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Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #27 on: 16 Apr 2017, 12:57 pm »
1. JBL product always has been more respected for their studio and home speakers than their PA systems by those 'in the know'.

Hold on to your Vintage products and hope that you can find a way to get parts when things wear out. None of this will involve Harman any longer!"

So, jtwrace and goskers, it looks like you might literally have bought the last real JBLs. Good timing!

OH, Russell, did not catch that you were one of the JBL engineers. Fine work, and my condolences.

Goskers, my apologies to you and OP if my post seemed to be a derail. Sometimes I go off a bit, but, there is a core there I was hoping to communicate, the bulk of which is encapsulated above in Russell's quote. I won't say JBL is going to get iced, I have no idea (and I'd put Studer and AKG higher on the list for closure than JBL), but there are strong signs that point to JBL engineering becoming more of a "design to cost" game now, handed down and watered down through three layers of management. Once again, congrats on the purchase, and don't mortgage your house or anything, but if there are JBL fans out there with cash on the sidelines, now might be the time to buy JBL monitors or vintage JBL.

I do not know the business dynamics between Harman and JBL, but my limited experience with them, which was exclusively in line arrays and sound reinforcement for events, "them" being JBL, is overall very positive. My hat was always off to them and still is. And if you don't believe me go back to my post on the first page before Russell entered. It seemed that Harman didn't really do that much hands on management, especially they didn't seem to interfere with R&D/engineering, except to review the budget every year and say yes, or no way. Also Harman kept a pretty tight leash on the visual branding of all their companies' marketing material.

But now, with Samsung... oh boy. I'm concerned.

As mentioned, it is absolutely possible for a larger acquisition like this to retain or even enhance the quality of well engineered advanced product, but IMO unlikely!

The international market and economy just isn't there for the type of world class acoustic + EE engineering @ JBL. Or, you really have to find a way to squeeze margins out of it, or, push revenue past, ehhhhh ballpark, $500 million, to add significant value to Samsung's portfolio. Hard to do that with professional/upmarket products like the M2s, because the pool of buyers is small, competition is intense and abundant, and therefore you need a ratio of dollars spent on sales/marketing to actual transaction revenue which is rather poor. I mean, it's AMAZING that you got the experience and hospitality to go to the factory to be convinced of the buy, but how much do you think JBL made off of your purchase? Especially since they pulled engineers and management off the line/cubicle to show you around? $50? $100 maybe? (OK, not I'm starting to drift again: resetting)

Because Samsung's loyalty is first and foremost to their shareholders, then board, then to upper management - I expect they will unleash a small army of accountants and analysts on all the brands Harman owns. These professionals do not care about the heritage of these brands. They don't care what they look like. They don't care what they sound like. They care about two things: past financial statements and future financial projections. If a company like JBL cannot demonstrate they add value to Samsung's portfolio and have potential for financial growth, I bet something bad will happen. Either more severe engineering to cost, or layoffs, or they will try and get rid of JBL altogether, either by firesale or closure.

I doubt this is isolated to Harman/Samsung. If you find components from manufacturers that have more than 20 employees that you love into which lots of R&D was poured, hold on to them!

AFRF

goskers

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Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #28 on: 16 Apr 2017, 01:19 pm »
I mean, it's AMAZING that you got the experience and hospitality to go to the factory to be convinced of the buy, but how much do you think JBL made off of your purchase? Especially since they pulled engineers and management off the line/cubicle to show you around?

AFRF

AFRF,

Our experience was a bit unique.  I don't think it is common place for the hosting of a couple of schmucks as ourselves.  It took a good bit of time and efforts to set up.  It also took the willingness for both of us to fly out there and show that we were serious.  At the end of the day we know that us buying a couple pairs of loudspeakers which are admittedly expensive to us really doesn't move the bottom line for them.

I wish these guys well as any acquisition candidate and typically does bring change.  Sometimes it helps bring light to things that should have time directed to it while other times this as viewed as 'me not being able to work on something just because it's cool'.  Either way, we didn't get the feeling of any alarming tendencies.  In fact, it was just the opposite.  There were a couple of things mentioned in which Samsung was already working with them as an asset.

AFRF

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Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #29 on: 16 Apr 2017, 01:37 pm »
AFRF,
Our experience was a bit unique.  I don't think it is common place for the hosting of a couple of schmucks as ourselves.  It took a good bit of time and efforts to set up.  It also took the willingness for both of us to fly out there and show that we were serious.  At the end of the day we know that us buying a couple pairs of loudspeakers which are admittedly expensive to us really doesn't move the bottom line for them.

Goskers,

Thanks. Can't say that you are a schmuck, or even what the definition of a "schmuck" is, except that it is derisive in nature. You don't seem to be one!

Neither do I know that this type of sales experience is common at JBL. But even that it happened is testament to the good people and corporate culture at JBL for allowing it. Speaks (or rather drives, haha?) volumes. 

And also, thanks to you for sharing your experience with the community. (And for NOT sharing what JBL told or showed you which may have been under wraps - those disclosures prevent these types of visits from happening in the future for others).

I think your post started an interesting discussion which has turned over some rich soil that contributes to our understanding of JBL, and the speaker industry proper (rather than boutique small brands and garage retirement projects - which sound good sometimes, but rarely outlast their founders), past and present.

I am also glad that you saw some positive signs of a continuation of the JBL line with Samsung and possibly a productive new business paradigm.

AFRF

goskers

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Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #30 on: 16 Apr 2017, 01:53 pm »
AFRF,

if I were JBL and heard that a couple of 'audiophools' wanted to come for a visit I would have serious reservations.  We, as a group, tend to focus on things that have been shown not to matter in double blind testing.  The room which we used was populated with basic cabling and sparse room treatments being driven by Crown amps.  Imagine the looks if we were to start quizzing on those items.  These guys practice what is preached in the professional world.  At this point I can't argue with the results.

I am not knocking the smaller manufacturers in the market.  It is just a different result when the resources available to you are able to design, test and manufacture most anything you may require to fulfill a need. 

macrojack

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Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #31 on: 16 Apr 2017, 02:02 pm »
I still remember the hand wringing and dire predictions when Harmon acquired JBL originally. The fears were pretty much the same as now, although nobody mentioned it on the internet.

Rocket_Ronny

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Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #32 on: 16 Apr 2017, 02:05 pm »
Quote
The 705i, 708i and 305P were all setup next to the M2.  With some software and a switcher we were able to toggle between all four of the models. Although not level matched, nor blind, it was difficult at times to tell one from another.  The family resemblance is remarkable considering the price difference.

This is quite a statement. Can you guys elaborate a bit on this? How close to the M2s sound, impact, imaging, would you say they come to within their frequency responses, and what model would you buy next to the M2?

I have to wonder if the 705i would be the best imaging of the bunch with the narrow design. Set them up with a pair of Rhythmik subs and have M2s on the cheap. Although I don't know the  705s pricing as I type this.

Rocket Ronny

jtwrace

Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #33 on: 16 Apr 2017, 02:13 pm »
I am not knocking the smaller manufacturers in the market.  It is just a different result when the resources available to you are able to design, test and manufacture most anything you may require to fulfill a need.
It's very important to remember that knowing how to use those resources is where the art of business comes in.  Many people always assume that because there is a ton of money that it's always used properly.  Having been involved in this environment I can say with certainly that's not always the case. 


Also a good time to mention that there is a TON of trickle down/up technology at JBL but I'm not able to explain here. 

JohnR

Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #34 on: 16 Apr 2017, 02:18 pm »
Crown DCi 4 1250

Do you need a separate BSS processor?

jtwrace

Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #35 on: 16 Apr 2017, 02:26 pm »
Do you need a separate BSS processor?
No, load the tuning file into the DCi and you're done. 

NavyDoc

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Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #36 on: 16 Apr 2017, 03:16 pm »
Congrats on your purchase. I have lusted over the M2's since I first heard them at a get together.  The ability to use the networked DCi amps instead of the iTech amps really helped with the cost for enthusiasts.

OzarkTom

Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #37 on: 16 Apr 2017, 03:19 pm »
This is quite a statement. Can you guys elaborate a bit on this? How close to the M2s sound, impact, imaging, would you say they come to within their frequency responses, and what model would you buy next to the M2?

I have to wonder if the 705i would be the best imaging of the bunch with the narrow design. Set them up with a pair of Rhythmik subs and have M2s on the cheap. Although I don't know the  705s pricing as I type this.

Rocket Ronny

$695 for a pair of B-stocks on Ebay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAIR-of-JBL-LSR-705i-Master-Reference-Monitor-Speakers-5-Factory-B-Stock-/332182814184?hash=item4d57a37de8:g:B-oAAOSwCWFY8B1D

Somebody had 10 pair of new ones on Ebay for 450 a pair, but sold 9 pair to one person.

DaveC113

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Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #38 on: 16 Apr 2017, 03:33 pm »
I guess no comparison with K2, Everest or 4367? That would have been interesting...

I have heard the BMS dual diaphragm compression driver, it was a step up from most typical 2-way waveguide speakers I've heard. JTR uses them in their speakers, which are an exceptional value as well.


jtwrace

Re: My Harman (JBL M2) Trip
« Reply #39 on: 16 Apr 2017, 03:59 pm »
I guess no comparison with K2, Everest or 4367? That would have been interesting...

I have heard the BMS dual diaphragm compression driver, it was a step up from most typical 2-way waveguide speakers I've heard. JTR uses them in their speakers, which are an exceptional value as well.
I heard the 4367 the week prior...