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Speaker/Receiver recommendations please

Old 08-26-00, 12:14 AM
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Well, I'm ruined. Listened to some JBL S38 speakers and I will never be satisfied with anything less. I was just blown away by the clarity. I have to have them. I have some older Bose 501 speakers and was going to work them into the setup but now I suppose that idea is shot. The speakers were powered by a Yamaha when I heard them but I'm almost convinced I want a Onkyo 575x as the receiver. Is this a good matchup? I intend to use a JBL studio center. Would a cheaper speaker (JBL or otherwise) do in the rear? Exactly how critical are the rear speakers? Recommendations on a Sub would also be most welcome.
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Old 08-26-00, 05:44 AM
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A few things to keep in mind:

1-Try to match all your speakers, if not identically, at leat the same company. This can include the sub too, although not as vital as the other 5.

2-The rears are very important when running a digital system as you plan to do, I'm sure.

The Onkyo 575X is a nice a receiver. We sell it at work powering an Acoustimass 15. It does, however, seem to heat up a little much. I've heard this a lot from other people with the receiver and now know from personal experience it to be true.

The JBLs are nice. Great choice. I really don't know too much about subs though so just look around and get something that satisfies you. I hear that 12" are usually the best. Don't settle for anything less than what you want/enjoy. That goes for all your speakers, sub, receiver, so on.

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Old 08-26-00, 05:18 PM
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The sub doesn't have to be of the same brand. I'd recommend you look at Velodyne subs. Probably the best sounding sub out there for the price.

On receivers, it all depends on how much you want to spend. If you can go a little higher than the 575x, you might want to look at the Marantz SR-7000. It's gotten excellent reviews in Home Theater, and raves at audioreview.com.
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Old 08-28-00, 07:47 PM
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I just bought a pair of JBL S310's and the matching S-Center so I am sure you are in for absolute listening enjoyment with the JBL Stdio seris. I am powering these with a Sony STR555ES reciever which I am very happy with. I am not sure how much money you want to spend on a reciever but I got mine for $600. Hey you can go wrong with Sony ES. Check the reviews at audioreview.com. When it comes to Dolby Digital the rears are very important. I would reccomend matching the fronts with the JBL S26's in the rear. I wanted to use that setup but the S26's can not be wall mounted and i do not have the space. As for a sub don't go cheap. Buy a nice Velodyne or Acoustic Research.
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Old 08-28-00, 08:03 PM
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I will second the above suggestion that you consider Marantz.

In addition to Onkyo, you might want to look at the Denon AVR3300, Marantz SR-7000, and the Sony ES mentioned above. If you are going to use it for both music and HT, you will most likely want one of the three. You may want to look into the Outlaw 6.1 setup too.
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Old 08-28-00, 11:41 PM
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Here's another vote for Marantz. By all means, compare as many as you can. What matters most is the one YOU like best. But I can tell you that I have no regrets for buying a Marantz and would buy it again in a heartbeat.
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Old 08-29-00, 01:00 AM
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JBLs sound great compared to Bose, but they don't sound very good when you compare them to other speakers like the NHT, PSB, B&W, and Paradigm. My advice would be to go to a nearby specialized stereo store and listen to some of their speakers. As far as receivers go, the Onkyo 575x is a great, powerful receiver that mates well with most speakers. Denon and Marantz are also good. Good luck!

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Old 08-29-00, 11:54 AM
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JBL's Studio Seris does sound good compared to NHT, PSB, B&W, and Paradigm. The only difference is you don't have to sell your family to put together a nice system when buying the studio seris. In my opinion they really are the best bang for the buck out there. NHT, PSB, B&W, and Paradigm do sound somewhat better, but the difference is so small that it is really not noticeable at all. In fact the components in the studio seris are better then many in NHT, PSB, B&W, and Paradigm. Food for thought.
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Old 08-29-00, 01:03 PM
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I just went through this same process and I have to agree that the JBL studio series sounds prtty great, especially for the price. No, they aren't B&W or NHT, but the normal listener will be very happy with this setup. I almost bought the same package, but happened to get a great deal on some Infinity Crescendos and I just couldn't pass it up.

As for the reciever -- MARANTZ, MARANTZ, MARANTZ. I listened to everything on the market, and nothing in the lower price range (< $1000) sounds anywhere near as good. It is so smooth and well-rounded for music and HT. Sr-5000 if you can't go go upto SR-7000 will leave you just as satisfied. I've had mine for two weeks now and haven't shut it off. Can't go wrong!

Good Luck
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Old 08-29-00, 10:49 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions you can be sure I will look into them. I tried today but having a time finding someone who sells Marantz out here in the boonies. Denon, Sony, Onkyo, no problem ... but no Marantz.
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Old 08-30-00, 12:06 AM
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While, I wouldn't buy JBL speakers with my hard earned cash, one thing I would strongly recommend regardless of brand is to put the bulk of your purchase into the cost of the speakers and be less picky about the receiver. You'll have the speakers a lot longer than the receiver, this is pretty clear with they way technology is going. I'd get the best sounding speakers you can budget. The way things are going, to me at least, you'll have them for a long time and have to add extra speakers. These receivers are not upgradeable. EX is here and may end up being the new standard. A budget receiver today doesn't have the ability to do it, so tomorrow you may upgrade it. Your speakers don't go out of date, they just become not enough in sound or numbers.
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Old 08-30-00, 12:54 PM
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Can someone please explain to me why people keep putting down the JBL Studio Seris. I have been studying sound equipment and sound fields in college and realize now you don't have to win the lottery to enjoy unparralleled sound. I have heard almost all brands of high end speakers in many styles and sizes, and since I am a college student and could not afford to spend several thousand dollars on speakers, I found the JBL Studio seris to be far superior to any other speakers in their price range. Some have been quick to badmouth this line of speakers simply because they are JBL's, but this line of speakers set a new standard for this compaines consumer speakers. This line of speakers all have titanium dome tweeters with EOS waveguide which produces amazing crystal clear highs. All the woofers are made with polyplas material, they have oversized Kapton voice coils, and they are all built on cast aluminum frames. These speakers really leave no room for improvement. I own studio seris speakers and have not heard them faulter yet. The highs are perfect, the mids blend with both the low and high frequencies, and the woofers produce undistorted hard hitting bass. Of all the high end brands I've heard (NHT, PSB, B&W, Paradigm, etc.) none of those brands could offer me a reason why I should pay upwards of 4 times as much for them to get the same sound as you can get from the studio seris. Friends I have that own NHT's and Paradigm speakers have heard my speakers and hate themselves for spending so much money for the same quality of sound. If the system is set up right with quality wires and postioning of spekers there is no reason to spend a fortune for name brands like NHT, PSB, B&W, and Paradigm. If you are into paying tons of money for speakers, which many of you are, then continue badmouthing things you obviously don't understand and keep paying for your monster cables and other overpriced named brand equipment. In the end I have amazing sound with my JBL Studio speakers and Radio Shack wiring. You really just can't hear or see the differences, but then again that's just my two cents.
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Old 08-30-00, 04:43 PM
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Right on, Zendog!
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Old 08-30-00, 05:01 PM
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Everybody has their own opinion. I listened to JBL, Infinity, Bose, Paradigm and others and I bought the NHT's. They had the best sound and performance over all of the others.

I did not hear the clarity out of any of the others that I heard out of the NHT, yes they are expensive; but the sound it worth it. (too me)

One drawback, NHT's require lots of power to perform, 6 ohms, 88db spl; but when properly feed, they stomp the others.

Waving my NHT flag (yes I have one)

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[This message has been edited by vlad (edited August 30, 2000).]
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Old 08-30-00, 06:58 PM
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Hey Vlad which JBL's did you listen to? I agree there is a difference in clarity beyween the other speakers you named, but the technology used in the JBL's Studio Seris is so incredibly close to that of the NHT's, there is no way the human ear can notice a big difference (if they are both hooked up and positioned in their optimal setup). That is a fact. I am all for spending extra money if there is a noticeable difference, but in this case there really isn't a good reason to spend tons and tons and tons of cash on speakers and a special reciever just for a very minimal difference in clarity unless you have that kind of cash. To all consumers out there who are like me and are not filthy rich, don't try to buy components you can't afford just because people like Vlad, who are too good for speakers like JBL's, try to tell you that you have to spend all your hard earned cash to enjoy quality sound.
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Old 08-30-00, 07:59 PM
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I also like the JBL Studio Series -- the S310 and S312 sound great! To help put an end to this debate, does anyone know of a store that carries JBL and some of the competing brands as well? An A-B comparison would be great.
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Old 08-30-00, 08:24 PM
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What is your budget? Are we talking you want 5 speakers + sub + a receiver? Do you want to spend 1500 or 5000 dollars? How big is the room that you are putting this in? Are you looking for full range front speakers or just monitors? Do you want to play music as well as HT? Seriously I would not buy JBL. I would try to pickup used speakers that are better. Try http://www.audiogon.com and http://www.audioreview.com Both have good classifieds... of course there is ebay. And for god sakes mail order because it is a ton cheaper. But go listen to the speakers you want at a local store. I could recommend several different speaker setups, but without knowing how big the room is and how much money you are willing to spend it is pointless. Some people don't want to spend over 2K and some people spend over 100K. I think I am around the 15K mark... I lost track and try not to think about it.

++Russ
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Old 08-30-00, 08:51 PM
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repstein you are an idiot. To simply say "Seriously I would not buy JBL. I would try to pickup used speakers that are better" makes you sound stupid. Used speakers are never a good option and buying them online when you don't even know what you are getting is even more stupid. If all you rich home theater fanatics would just pull your heads out of your asses for one second you would realize that A)most people don't have $15k to spend on a theater system B)that things don't have to cost a lot to be of good quality C)JBL Studio Seris are quality components. If you don't think so then try looking at http://www.audioreview.com like repstein said and you'll see that the JBL's get outstanding reviews which are in some cases better then those of high end speakers.
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Old 08-30-00, 08:56 PM
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I too have to give a hearty recommendation for the JBL studio series. Currently I am using the S38s, S-Center, KEF surrounds, and an Infinity BU-120 for my 5.1 set-up. These are all being driven by a Sony DB-830 DD/DTS receiver. For price/performance the JBLs are very hard to beat. They are incredibally clear and very dynamic. The center channel is also very warm and natural for dialogue in movie soundtracks.

Now don't get me wrong there are many other speakers that sound very nice, and sound by it's nature is a very subjective term. I auditioned B&W, KEF, and NHT to name a few a while they all impresed me one way or another on a somewhat limited budget they were just out of my league. The studio series offered a nice alternative. Try them out and see for yourself. With all speakers it is up to whatyour eas tell you if you are going to enjoy them or not.

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Old 08-30-00, 09:26 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by ZenDog:
Used speakers are never a good option and buying them online when you don't even know what you are getting is even more stupid.


I'm curious why you're so negative about buying used equipment and also buying on-line?

I've purchased quite a bit of my equipment used, some from on-line dealers, and never had a problem. Buying used allows me to pick up much better equipment than I could otherwise afford. There are many very reputable audio dealers that sell/trade used gear and provide good options if the equipment does not arrive as advertised.

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Old 08-30-00, 10:15 PM
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Dude I know more about HT then you could ever hope to know. And I have had several HT setups as my budget grew. I don't like JBL speakers. I rank them slightly above Bose. There is nothing wrong with buying used high end audio equipment. Usually good high-end equipment is very well taken care of. Also many dealers sell demos off the web. You are calling me the idiot. I am not the one spending more money to buy new speakers. I bet you go buy new cars because you want the new fresh smell. Hey, I drive a BMW and I bought it used. I could have bought a new Accord instead. BTW I would never trust those audioreviews. Lots of them are done by idiots. Listen to the speakers yourself and don't trust others opinions. That counts magazines. Idiot who is the idiot here? Pull your head out of your ass. You can buy good quality used high end equipment that is much better than new equipment for the same amount of money. Anyways don't listen to this jackass. Take a look around. Go to your local HT dealer and listen. Buy what you like and what you think sounds good. To a certain extend you can trust some reviews, but in the end it is your personal taste.

++Russ
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Old 08-30-00, 11:40 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Easy:
Thanks for all your suggestions you can be sure I will look into them. I tried today but having a time finding someone who sells Marantz out here in the boonies. Denon, Sony, Onkyo, no problem ... but no Marantz.


Go to Marantz's home page and they have a dealer locator link by state.
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Old 08-30-00, 11:54 PM
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Not to add too much fuel to the fire, but the real differences in the speakers tend to show up through listening to music and not really HT. For HT only, most any speaker will sound ok. DD5.1 is so dynamic and exciting that everything just seems good. Through on some accoustic music and those JBL's won't be as impressive as some other brands. But it is subjective to opinion. I remember reading some Sound and Vision issues where they have music people listen to like 3 different sets of speakers and give their opinions. The last one I think was with the guy from phish and JBL was a contender with NHT and Energy. He did not care for the JBL. These aren't scientific articles or anything and mainly show the subjective nature of speakers. These also seem geared towards music reproduction and not HT again. I still don't like JBL regardless, same with Inifinity and Bose, but I don't have to buy or listen to them. I think it's more imporant for everyone on this forum to have a good DD system to enjoy these flicks that we get dirt cheap on.
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Old 08-31-00, 02:26 AM
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Repstein, it is so nice that through every post you write you look like a bigger idiot each time. First of all you don't know me and you don't have any idea how much I know about HT so shove it. I go to a major university and have astually taken courses on sound and sound equipment. Secondly, Bose doesn't even come anywhere close to the JBL Studio Seris (Papers cones? HA). Thirdly, there is a problem with buying used high end equipment online bacause you never know how hard the equipment was pushed. Someone as wise as youself knows that when a speaker is pushed to a high enough level it never regains what it once had. This is even more true in higher end systems since amps come in to play. Fourthly, if I could afford a new car I would purchase one over a nicer used car for yet again the same reasons. I work on cars and have seen many vehicles that have been beat on only to be traded for a new car. These are the cars you wind up buying when you buy a used car. No one who wants a car to last many years beats on it all the time, only the people who plan on trading it in when the lease is up. It is not worth the risk with lots of money only to be screwed in the end. Finally, you sounded really stupid saying not to trust audioreviews. Although I would not put all my trust in them, it is one of the best ways of finding out how a speaker performs. The opinions of the people who own the speakers are the most important, and if there is a problem with a line of speakers it will usually show up in a review.
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Old 08-31-00, 03:36 PM
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Zen,

I will try to answer your questions. First of all, you need to realize that not everyone is in love with JBL. They make a fine speaker, so does Bose, Paradigm, Infinity, KLH, Klipsh. I am happy that you love your JBLís and that they satisfy you theater needs.

I chose NHT. I had, as most of us do, varying requirements for my theater system, some of them being: a thin profile, great sound and most important, the left and right would also have to perform in a dual job. Music and Theater. My sub is on the dedicated sub channel, so I needed front speakers that would both. This means that these speakers would have to be full range.(and serious about it 20hz Ė 22khz)

I found the NHT VT-2, a wonderful speaker. Not for everyone , but it does both stereo and theater will equal vigor.

I have had my NHTís for three years now, I do not remember what all of the models were that I compared them to, but I do remember going to at least 8 different stores here in Dallas listening to all of the brands.
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