Comparing Active Monitors - A Trip to Sweetwater (JBL 708P's)

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dburna

Apologies in advance if this is not the right place for it, but it seemed the most appropriate.....

Lots of discussion about the numerous performance advantages of active monitors around here, so rather than rely on hearsay, I did what I often do -- I set out to determine for myself what all the fuss is about. Living near Chicago, I determined that Sweetwater was not impossible for a day trip, so I found a spare day to play hooky and went to Mecca (aka: Ft. Wayne, IN).

This isn't about Sweetwater in particular -- I took many photos of my trip. Sweetwater is a fascinating place, a veritable candy store for the music addict in all of us. If folks are interested, I can post a photo montage of my trip in a separate thread. But for this post, I thought I would describe my comparison of active monitors I conducted during a 3-hour session at Sweetwater, mostly listening to the JBL 705's and 708's.

Will start posting some pix and general impressions in follow-up posts to this thread. Please let me know if you have any questions about my trip.

Thnx, -dGB
« Last Edit: 28 Jan 2019, 12:41 am by dburna »

dburna

This is a picture of the "alternate" set of monitors at Sweetwater. I didn't spend too much time with these as there weren't too many that piqued my interest. Well, I very much like the Neumann KH120's, but I already own these, so no sense spending time to demo something I can listen to at home. I did listen to an active monitor in this group that I thought was semi-awful, congested and distorted when pushed even the slightest. So as not to offend anyone who owns these, I won't mention the manufacturer, but their name rhymes with "Benelec".   :lol:  Really, I found these monitors (shown in the bottom right of this picture) quite unimpressive. I spent about 30 seconds with these and moved on. Confirms my 'meh' assessment of them from an A/V demo conducted at AXPONA.



The second picture is the main listening console where I spent the bulk of my time. This space had an ability to take input from several different sources, but sadly for me, no CD input. I came unprepared for this surprise (I cop fully to being an 'old dude'), as the only tunes I had on my phone (the only other source I brought with me beside a Sonny Rollins Japanese pressing CD) were not truly up to the task. Most of my phone tunes were electronica, which is fine, but not the best recorded/mastered sources I could have brought with me. Oh well, live and learn. Word to the wise (for those going to Sweetwater): bring some well-mastered tunes on your digital source when you go for a demo.





I listened almost exclusively to the JBL 705's and 708's in this console. The 705's were initially set up, but the salesfolk got a pair of 708s from the warehouse for comparison. The JBL 308's were also there (top level of the second picture), but for some reason I didn't think to compared those). Apologies, I was tired and not thinking clearly.

More on the listening session in subsequent posts.

-dGB

dburna

A few words on the JBL 7-Series:

1. As soon as the hype train starts to "leave the station," my hackles go up commensurately. One of the main reasons, I hear things differently than most. I'm not saying my hearing is better or worse, just different. People tout a speaker's "detail," I hear shrill. Others give praise to the latest "speaker-du-jour," I hear a disjointed series of drivers, not a new revelation. But enough about me.

2. The 7-Series does not lack for praise/hype, but my initial impression was that the hype is real with these.

3. Listening to both the 705 and the 708, they definitely share a number of similarities. More on the comparison between the two in the next post. For now I just wanted to highlight that both speakers sound truly different from most of the speakers, and indeed active monitors that I have heard.

4. Most of the differences between the 7-series and other speakers that I have heard I would characterize as an absence: an absence of distortion, an absence of incoherence of driver integration, an absence of break-up at louder volumes. These speakers are clean, clear, and will play loudly. Honestly, it took a little while to get used to the difference in these speakers' presentation....but once I did, they showed conclusively where other speakers "fall down on the job".

5. The 7-Series are low low low distortion speakers. Listening to them, I realized how much the "fullness" of other speakers, to which I had gotten accustomed, are more a function of distortion and lack of coherence. Initially, this makes the 7-Series seem just a tad "thin"....but only for a short bit. But they are definitely not "thin," they are clear/crisp and transparent. The issues with my initial perspective is my being accustomed to speakers that are somewhat muddled/confused compared to the 7-Series.

6. Overall, I was very, very impressed with the 7-Series. They are excellent across-the-board, with no overt weaknesses, well-designed and engineered. Clearly a lot of thought and refinement went into these speakers. The design expertise that JBL brings to the table really is tough if not impossible for smaller organizations to match.

7. For anyone on-the-fence about these, yes, you really can get a pair of the 7-Series and "just be done" with the speaker merry-go-round. They are that good. As for which speaker, 705 or 708, well that depends on how/where you are using them. And that brings me to the next part, the direct comparison of the 705s and the 708s......in the next post.

-dGB

dburna

Comparison between 705P and 708P

Several AC members mentioned that the 705 and 708 are very similar, that the only difference was the lower extension of the 708s. I guess this is one of those "I don't hear things the same way" moments. The 705s and 708s, to my ears, are cut from the same cloth, and the 7-Series definitely have a house (non-)sound. Clear, crisp and transparent. But to my ears they are NOT completely alike.

Differences:

1. The 708s sound bigger and play much louder without congestion. You can't see it from the pictures, but the listening room at Sweetwater was (and I will estimate) 25-30' x 40', with perhaps 15-20' high ceilings. It's a big space, and it really shows the difference between near-field speakers (705s) and mid-field speakers (708s). Actually, I think the 708s will work beyond mid-field, but there are limits to the even the space they will cover.

2. Size: the 705s are thinner and deeper than most of the other monitors I saw. It is a thin rectangle. The 708s are more traditional in shape versus other active monitors. Neither speaker is large. The JBL 305s I have are not far off the size of the 705s, though the 705s seem visually smaller than the 305s because they have a narrower baffle.

3. Usage: to me, the 705s are a near-field monitor, and in that capacity I doubt you'd notice too much of a difference between it and the 708s. For someone debating the 705s and 708s in a near-field setup, I'd say get the 705s without hesitation and pocket the $2k difference for other purposes. Going to listen to these speakers in a small-to-medium sized room? Go for the 708s -- they play larger, they stay more coherent overall, and they sound effortless at almost any volume. At reasonable volumes, the 705s are fine, but the sonic weight and coherence of the 708s really shows when they are pushed harder. The 705s just can't match that, but they were not designed to do so.

4. Cabinet resonance: as other AC posters have noted, all the JBL 3-Series and 7-Series I have heard have cabinet resonances. These 7-Series cabinets are well-designed, but they are not as inert as other "audiophile" speakers I have heard. When you pump some volume through both, you can feel the cabinet vibrations on the side and top. This effect happens earlier in the 705s, but it exists in both models. So, the common wisdom indicates that where there is cabinet resonance there is coloration/distortion. So why couldn't I hear any? Both speakers seem unfazed sonically even though their cabinets are vibrating somewhat. To explain this (partially), I can only assume that the JBL engineers did some very careful tweaking with the DSP engine to reduce/eliminate this effect. Hard as I tried, I couldn't hear the cabinet resonance, even though I knew from hands-on inspection that the resonances existed. Engineering magic, I guess.....it was the darnedest thing, but I admit defeat in not being able to pinpoint any resonance effects.

5. Low end extension: even though the 708s go deeper on the spec sheet, it's supposed to be only by a few Hz. That's probably true, but the 708s sounded bigger/meatier than the 705s at lower volumes all the way through ghetto-blaster levels. I guess that is the main difference: the 708s just sound "more" than the 705s. Could be the placebo effect of seeing bigger cabinets, but the 708s seemed just a little more open and transparent, too. This was not a night-and-day difference, but it was there from my perspective.

[More on this tomorrow. Going to get some shut-eye now].

-dGB
« Last Edit: 26 Jan 2019, 07:37 pm by dburna »

dburna

Listening for the Crossover Point (Subtitled: Frequency Sweeps for Geeks!)

I will add another post later on the fantastic customer service I received at Sweetwater. For now I wanted to tell you about the 30 minutes(!!) I spent with the sales staff running frequency sweeps on the JBL 708Ps trying to listen for the crossover point between woofer and tweeter. Yup, the sales folks are really into their work, and as there weren't many people in the console room, they dialed up some programs that ran 20-22,000Hz frequency sweeps on the 708s so we could figure out the point at which the woofer gave way to the tweeter.

This was spurred by a conversation we had where I said that, if you listened very closely/intently, you can usually hear a small discontinuity at the crossover point on many two-way monitors. I thought I remembered that the 708 crossover point was 2.7KHz (wrong - it is 1.7KHz), so these folks were just as curious as I was.....and we ended up running sweeps for 30 minutes. Incredible customer service. The few people that came to the room during this session quickly came and went, not reveling in the geekdom of frequency sweeps.  Go figure.   :lol:

Here's the main takeaways:

1. Don't bother listening for an anomalies at this crossover point -- there are none. We listened and listened....and listened some more. Nothing nada zilch. Frequency response is just as smooth as the graphs indicate. I though that my hearing was acute enough that I would be able to hear something, but the only thing I caught was some phasing effects at various points which were most likely the impact of room interactions. Apparently the talents of the JBL engineers are way better than my hearing -- go figure.  :thumb:

2. I wish we had tried some other monitors with this, because I bet we would not have received the same stellar results with other monitors, but I felt bad that they spent all this time with me already, so I didn't push it.

3. My hearing: it's not an official audiologist test, but in listening to frequency sweeps, I clearly heard tones all the way up to 22KHz(!!). We didn't test beyond this, so I don't know where my upper bound is. However, I heard tones all the way up until the frequency sweep made a click at the end of its run. Considering my age and my maleness (women generally have better upper-frequency hearing), I was shocked at this result. However, I think this explains why I go into rooms at shows like AXPONA and leave quickly because the sound is harsh/shrill. Other people seem to be enjoying these systems without complaint. Perhaps I am hearing what some folks cannot? Remember, there is no shortage of old dudes at a show like AXPONA.   :roll:  Considering the damage I have done to my ears at loud rock shows in my 20s-30s (until I started wearing ear plugs more regularly), this was a big surprise to me.

4. Note to youngsters reading this post: always wear "ear condoms" at loud concerts. Always.

One more post on my overall impressions....and then a final one on Sweetwater customer service.

-dGB
« Last Edit: 27 Jan 2019, 05:24 pm by dburna »

dburna

Summary/Overall Impressions

Finally getting around to getting to the point. That's a problem for me -- using 10 sentences when two words would suffice.   :lol:

Here are the major takeaways:

1. The JBL 705P and 708P speakers are fantastic: well-engineered, low distortion, revealing (but not harsh) and with constant directivity so they will work in almost any type of room without significant room interactions. Yes, I know there are some rooms with such weird anomalies that almost nothing sounds good (unless you spend $$$$ on professional room treatments), but these speakers are about as room-friendly as it gets. Throw in some fine -- but not the ne plus ultra -- amps into the equation, and this is a mighty hard bar for competitors to clear at their price points.

2. I'd be interested to hear the 708i speakers without the Crown amps. Don't get me wrong, the Crown amps are very fine performers, but I bet this speaker has more performance left to give if better amps were used. Better does mean pricier, however. Quality above the Crowns will not come cheap. Plus, it is hard to imagine you could put anything other than Class D in the 708 boxes without significant heat penalty. Everything is a trade-off.

3. Constant directivity is real, folks: since the room at Sweetwater was as big as just about an living room I could imagine most of us having, I was able to move all over the place and listen to the 708s from numerous angles. It was impressive just how consistent the sound was almost no matter where I went in the room. I was even able to wander outside the line of the CD directivity path -- it is easy to hear when you have "crossed the line". However, crossing the line is MUCH more benign than listening to conventional "drivers in a box speakers". With conventional speakers, when you get outside their directivity, the entire image and soundstage tends to collapse, and you get a flat and uninspiring sound. Stepping outside the line for the 708 resulted in a less lifelike image, but the differences were slight. You could tell you were "outside," but I didn't feel overly "penalized" for that.

4. If you are starting from scratch (or starting over with your rig), just get the 705 or 708 and be done with it. I doubt seriously that you can put an amp/speaker combination together for this money new. Just know this: the 705s are for desktop or small rooms only....8x8' or 10x10' max. I liked them considerably for a desktop, less so as I got outside about 8-10'. The 708s will play to a much bigger room, and play deeper, but I think that 10-20' rooms (length and width) are going to be where they will shine. They can play to a bigger room, no doubt, but I felt more immersion in that mid-to-large area. If you have a room with dimensions larger than 20' in one direction, I bet these would do just fine, but I predict you will like them even better with some subwoofer(s) to augment the sound. You can use the 708s on the desktop/near-field as well, but I'd say there will probably be times when the sound is overwhelming. Not (never) harsh or distorted, but a little like drinking from a firehose.

5. JBL has made some other speakers in the past, but I think they've really hit a home run with the 7-Series. Other past JBL monitors sounded big, but they always had some aspect of loudness-over-refinement for me. I always felt I was listening to a wall-of-sound, but I never quite got "lost in the music" in the way my ears seem to demand. There is no such compromise in the 7-Series. They sound mountain-spring clear and will play without strain and with full integration from octave-to-octave. A really, really impressive engineering feat. How much is due to standard speaker design and how much is due to the DSP? I have no way of knowing....so I didn't even try to figure that out. I could only listen to the net result, and in that aspect the 7-Series succeeds admirably.

6. I had a couple folks ask me, "Did you buy them?". I suppose that's always the ultimate question. Well, no....not yet. I have a combo of Neurochrome amp and Horning (96dB, 8 ohm) speakers that I was lucky to procure at prices well below retail. In my current living room, they sound glorious. I feel a bit like someone may need to pry this combo out of my cold, dead fingers before I will let go. But we're going to be downsizing homes at some point, and at that point the 708s would be the absolute top of a very short list in a somewhat smaller space. For now, if the Missus is not going to force me to sell the Hornings, they stay. On that note, anyone who wants a spectacular super-low distortion amp that is still awfully musical, check out the Neurochrome amps -- you'll be glad you did. And no, I won't sell you mine until I purchase the 708s.   :D

7. Monitor speakers vs. floorstanders. The more I compare these, the more I like monitors.....but the more I realize they take up every bit as much space as floorstanders. I like so few of the stands I see -- so many seem only semi-stable -- and the ones I like are pricey. I know monitors look smaller, even on stands, but in practical terms having a smaller visual impact (and lighter weight) is the only real advantage I see. I think it's hard to find a really great quality monitor that you can put in a corner or up against a wall, in which case, how much space are you really saving? But that's just me, I guess.

I'll do one more post on this thread RE: the excellent service from the fine folks at Sweetwater -- I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

Another point: I took many, many photos at Sweetwater....and I can start another thread just about my tour of the facilities and my impressions of the business. I have spent time throughout my career working with businesses and government agencies to improve their customer service and efficiency. I can say uncategorically that Sweetwater is an organization that "gets it". I walked away very impressed with their business and business model. Soooooo.......would anyone be interested in reading a thread solely on Sweetwater? Lemmeno -- if so, I can start posting that later in the week.

-dGB
« Last Edit: 27 Jan 2019, 11:11 pm by dburna »

dburna

Comparison between 705P and 708P

Several AC members mentioned that the 705 and 708 are very similar, that the only difference was the lower extension of the 708s. I guess this is one of those "I don't hear things the same way" moments. The 705s and 708s, to my ears, are cut from the same cloth, and the 7-Series definitely have a house (non-)sound. Clear, crisp and transparent. But to my ears they are NOT completely alike.

Differences:

1. The 708s sound bigger and play much louder without congestion. You can't see it from the pictures, but the listening room at Sweetwater was (and I will estimate) 25-30' x 40', with perhaps 15-20' high ceilings. It's a big space, and it really shows the difference between near-field speakers (705s) and mid-field speakers (708s). Actually, I think the 708s will work beyond mid-field, but there are limits to the even the space they will cover.

2. Size: the 705s are thinner and deeper than most of the other monitors I saw. It is a thin rectangle. The 708s are more traditional in shape versus other active monitors. Neither speaker is large. The JBL 305s I have are not far off the size of the 708s. The 705s seem visually smaller than the 305s.

3. Usage: to me, the 705s are a near-field monitor, and in that capacity I doubt you'd notice too much of a difference between it and the 708s. For someone debating the 705s and 708s in a near-field setup, I'd say get the 705s without hesitation and pocket the $2k difference for other purposes. Going to listen to these speakers in a small-to-medium sized room? Go for the 708s -- they play larger, they stay more coherent overall, and they sound effortless at almost any volume. At reasonable volumes, the 705s are fine, but the sonic weight and coherence of the 708s really shows when they are pushed harder. The 705s just can't match that, but they were not designed to do so.

4. Cabinet resonance: as other AC posters have noted, all the JBL 3-Series and 7-Series I have heard have cabinet resonances. These 7-Series cabinets are well-designed, but they are not as inert as other "audiophile" speakers I have heard. When you pump some volume through both, you can feel the cabinet vibrations on the side and top. This effect happens earlier in the 705s, but it exists in both models. So, the common wisdom indicates that where there is cabinet resonance there is coloration/distortion. So why couldn't I hear any? Both speakers seem unfazed sonically even though their cabinets are vibrating somewhat. To explain this (partially), I can only assume that the JBL engineers did some very careful tweaking with the DSP engine to reduce/eliminate this effect. Hard as I tried, I couldn't hear the cabinet resonance, even though I knew from hands-on inspection that the resonances existed. Engineering magic, I guess.....it was the darnedest thing, but I admit defeat in not being able to pinpoint any resonance effects.

5. Low end extension: even though the 708s go deeper on the spec sheet, it's supposed to be only by a few Hz. That's probably true, but the 708s sounded bigger/meatier than the 705s at lower volumes all the way through ghetto-blaster levels. I guess that is the main difference: the 708s just sound "more" than the 705s. Could be the placebo effect of seeing bigger cabinets, but the 708s seemed just a little more open and transparent, too. This was not a night-and-day difference, but it was there from my perspective.

6. Dispersion:

[More on this tomorrow. Going to get some shut-eye now].

-dGB

JLM

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Thanks for the write up.  Consumers are slowly waking up to the advantages of active design.  Here's my setup:




JBL 708Ps, (3) 10 inch subs, PS Audio DirectStream Junior, MacBook Air, (10) GIK 244 panels, and Timbernation rack/stands.

« Last Edit: 29 Jan 2019, 12:18 pm by JLM »

skifasterslc

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JLM,
that is a sweet pic of your system JLM, thanks for posting!   My quad 12L studio active are getting long in the tooth (like me) and I would love to audition the 708 in my room.  I really like your solid looking speaker stands, are those custom made?
The only thing that I would change is to get the cords off the floor, but that is me and I have NO idea if it really makes a difference!

NICE set up ! ----Mark

dburna

JLM,
that is a sweet pic of your system JLM, thanks for posting!   My quad 12L studio active are getting long in the tooth (like me) and I would love to audition the 708 in my room.  I really like your solid looking speaker stands, are those custom made?
The only thing that I would change is to get the cords off the floor, but that is me and I have NO idea if it really makes a difference!

NICE set up ! ----Mark

Mark, I think you will really like the 708s if you have a chance to demo them. I was mighty impressed. Definitely a step up from your Quads, but for the price difference they should be!

JLM, I am curious about the speaker stands as well. They are much nicer (and more stable) than some wobbly pedestal stands. What are they? And how high are they? Do they come in multiple sizes? Or are they custom?

-dGB

goskers

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Re: Comparing Active Monitors - A Trip to Sweetwater (JBL 708P's)
« Reply #10 on: 27 Jan 2019, 12:24 am »


4. Cabinet resonance: as other AC posters have noted, all the JBL 3-Series and 7-Series I have heard have cabinet resonances. These 7-Series cabinets are well-designed, but they are not as inert as other "audiophile" speakers I have heard. When you pump some volume through both, you can feel the cabinet vibrations on the side and top. This effect happens earlier in the 705s, but it exists in both models. So, the common wisdom indicates that where there is cabinet resonance there is coloration/distortion. So why couldn't I hear any? Both speakers seem unfazed sonically even though their cabinets are vibrating somewhat. To explain this (partially), I can only assume that the JBL engineers did some very careful tweaking with the DSP engine to reduce/eliminate this effect. Hard as I tried, I couldn't hear the cabinet resonance, even though I knew from hands-on inspection that the resonances existed. Engineering magic, I guess.....it was the darnedest thing, but I admit defeat in not being able to pinpoint any resonance effects.



-dGB

As one of the persons here who had the opportunity to do some auditioning at Harman prior to the purchase of M2’s I applaud the efforts.

While touring the JBL development area with a senior member of engineering we had specific discussion about cabinet resonances and their importance. JBL puts money and efforts where they are warranted. Although cabinet construction matters they build them to a point where more doesn’t translate to better sound quality. They have all of the necessary tools to measure cabinet involvement and certainly do so. I mention this as a hand, knuckle test and/or accelerometer have not shown direct correlation to sound quality at levels beyond which are deemed ‘good enough’.

Yet another one of those things that may be proven via mental comfort.

dburna

Re: Comparing Active Monitors - A Trip to Sweetwater (JBL 708P's)
« Reply #11 on: 27 Jan 2019, 02:53 am »
As one of the persons here who had the opportunity to do some auditioning at Harman prior to the purchase of M2’s I applaud the efforts.

While touring the JBL development area with a senior member of engineering we had specific discussion about cabinet resonances and their importance. JBL puts money and efforts where they are warranted. Although cabinet construction matters they build them to a point where more doesn’t translate to better sound quality. They have all of the necessary tools to measure cabinet involvement and certainly do so. I mention this as a hand, knuckle test and/or accelerometer have not shown direct correlation to sound quality at levels beyond which are deemed ‘good enough’.

Yet another one of those things that may be proven via mental comfort.

Yes, that's just what I experienced: the cabinet resonances were there, I could feel them but I couldn't hear them. An example of where I think you can hear cabinet resonances are most Harbeth (when pushed) or Audio Note (at virtually any volume level). However, to be fair to these manufacturers, that is an intentional design choice. RE: JBL's. I tried to be as honest as possible with myself and not presume that the cabinet resonances were coloring the sound unless I could truly pinpoint them. I had to admit that I couldn't -- either my ears aren't good enough or the coloration doesn't happen.

I have spent a lot of time listening to systems focused more on eliminating my own habits/biases rather than just critiquing the sound from my own viewpoint. I try very hard to listen just for what is there, not my interpretation of what is happening or what I want/expect to happen. It took me a long time to work on this, and it is still a work-in-progress for me, but I have found that (mostly) taking my biases out of the listening equation pays big dividends during the evaluation period.

For anyone following this thread, I apologize for not getting back to the main topics. My wife got me a birthday present -- tix to the Chicago taping of Chris Thile's NPR Radio show, "Live from Here" at Symphony Center this evening. Gaby Moreno, Eighth Blackbird, and Jason Isbell(!!), and a pretty good comedian....I forgot his name. What a treat! Just got back. I'll try to get back on-point tomorrow. Still have a few impressions I want to write up.

-dGB

JLM

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Re: Comparing Active Monitors - A Trip to Sweetwater (JBL 708P's)
« Reply #12 on: 27 Jan 2019, 12:23 pm »
JLM,
that is a sweet pic of your system JLM, thanks for posting!   My quad 12L studio active are getting long in the tooth (like me) and I would love to audition the 708 in my room.  I really like your solid looking speaker stands, are those custom made?
The only thing that I would change is to get the cords off the floor, but that is me and I have NO idea if it really makes a difference!

NICE set up ! ----Mark

Thanks Mark.  The rack/stands are custom, from Timbernation.  Took longer for delivery than expected and Christ works from the phone versus email, but workmanship is good and very solid.  Plinths are hollow and hold 50# of double bagged sand each.  Seems like the sound tightened up especially the bass.  Brian Cheney (RIP) from VMPs fame pushed for a solid or "bearded" speaker stand to achieve exactly that.

As far as wires on the floor go, I've tried various lifts to zero effect, but note that I'm pretty much a no nonsense guy.

Always wanted to hear Quad actives, but no dealers nearby and at Axpona Quad had a large room, but the actives were in the back on static display.   :(

David, the stands are 17 inches tall, to bring the tweeters up to just below ear height.  Prior I used two 8" x 8" x 8" concrete blocks with a piece of 2x8 in-between, thought these would look nicer and worth $350/pair.  Throughout used open weave foam rubber kitchen drawer liner between each piece to reduce vibration.  In total each speaker, stand, and sand weighs in at 100#.  BTW no spikes. 

JLM

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Re: Comparing Active Monitors - A Trip to Sweetwater (JBL 708P's)
« Reply #13 on: 27 Jan 2019, 12:45 pm »
As one of the persons here who had the opportunity to do some auditioning at Harman prior to the purchase of M2’s I applaud the efforts.

While touring the JBL development area with a senior member of engineering we had specific discussion about cabinet resonances and their importance. JBL puts money and efforts where they are warranted. Although cabinet construction matters they build them to a point where more doesn’t translate to better sound quality. They have all of the necessary tools to measure cabinet involvement and certainly do so. I mention this as a hand, knuckle test and/or accelerometer have not shown direct correlation to sound quality at levels beyond which are deemed ‘good enough’.

Yet another one of those things that may be proven via mental comfort.

I have valued your's and Jason's write-up of your trip to Harmon, thanks much.  After decades around audio am finally convinced of the value that the manufacturer brings to the product.  JBL's long professional/commercial history, deep resources (R&D/manufacturing/partner companies), and solid professional service are near the top of the industry.  DIYers and one man shops just can't begin to compete.  Even long time vendors that use off the shelf parts are pretenders in comparison.

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Comparing Active Monitors - A Trip to Sweetwater (JBL 708P's)
« Reply #14 on: 27 Jan 2019, 01:05 pm »
As one of the persons here who had the opportunity to do some auditioning at Harman prior to the purchase of M2’s I applaud the efforts.

While touring the JBL development area with a senior member of engineering we had specific discussion about cabinet resonances and their importance. JBL puts money and efforts where they are warranted. Although cabinet construction matters they build them to a point where more doesn’t translate to better sound quality. They have all of the necessary tools to measure cabinet involvement and certainly do so. I mention this as a hand, knuckle test and/or accelerometer have not shown direct correlation to sound quality at levels beyond which are deemed ‘good enough’.

Yet another one of those things that may be proven via mental comfort.

I have valued your's and Jason's write-up of your trip to Harmon, thanks much.  After decades around audio am finally convinced of the value that the manufacturer brings to the product.  JBL's long professional/commercial history, deep resources (R&D/manufacturing/partner companies), and solid professional service are near the top of the industry.  DIYers and one man shops just can't begin to compete.  Even long time vendors that use off the shelf parts are pretenders in comparison.

Yup. What they said.

In addition, I sincerely believe that manufacturers need to be upfront about presenting the data that clients deserve. This should be openly published and/or measured by a 3rd party in as unbiased of a manner as possible. This requires the client to educate themselves on those measurements that establish whether the loudspeaker being tested meets certain standards. Unfortunately most don't do this. They redirect the client to look at other aspects (cabinet color, veneer, material, etc...), that have no relevance to the actual sound. In addition, there are a new crop of 'loudspeaker designers' who market only certain measurements (that are produced in a flawed manner) and they are really no better. It only serves to obfuscate the general public even more. I applaud JBL for sticking to their objective and repeatable methods of engineering.

Best,
Anand.

JohnR



mr_bill

Re: Comparing Active Monitors - A Trip to Sweetwater (JBL 708P's)
« Reply #17 on: 27 Jan 2019, 05:28 pm »
Thanks for the write up.  Consumers are slowly waking up to the advantages of active design.  Here's my setup:




Now that doesn't look too bad does it?

JLM - What speakers are these and how do you like them - are they the JBL 708p?


poseidonsvoice

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Re: Comparing Active Monitors - A Trip to Sweetwater (JBL 708P's)
« Reply #19 on: 27 Jan 2019, 05:52 pm »
Seriously - where does JBL publish their mesaurements?

I recall seeing it years ago on their website but I can’t find it now. Perhaps somebody else knows or emailing JBL Pro directly...

The M2 is easily found however: https://www.jblpro.com/ProductAttachments/M2_Brochure_Jan2013.pdf

Best,
Anand.