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JBL or Infinity?

Old 09-11-00, 02:12 PM
  #1  
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I'm looking at buying a new center speaker for DVD use. Dialogue clarity is the prime concern here. I would like to know which one of the following wins out in your opinion:

Infinity Interlude 25c
JBL S-Center

What confuses me here is that these are supposed to be comparably similar yet the Infinity is more expensive than the JBL and the Infinity lacks a midrange.
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Old 09-11-00, 03:02 PM
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In my personal opinion, the Infinity would be your better choice. JBL and Infinity are both made by Harman Kardon and targeted for different consumers. The JBL is more for raw power and loudness while the Infinity is more clear and refined. That is why it is usually more expensive. Also, the JBL's have a LOT of distortion at high levels while the Infinity's keep their composure well at any level.

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Old 09-11-00, 06:55 PM
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ed
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Utopia, first off what are using for your mains? You should try to match your center speaker to these if possible. Infinity and JBL both build good centers. Both of the models you mention have received good marks from audio enthusiasts, in their respective price range.

The JBL center (3-way) you mention is from their Studio Series line and is very popular right now. The only place that has it available in Orlando is Best Buy, but it's overpriced there. I was out there last week and listened to one. It sounded very good to me. I noticed no distortion. If you shop online you can find it for $152.00 - $170.00. Just make sure that you verify that the seller has it in stock, since it's so popular that many retailers have it on backorder.

BTW - I know this because I just ordered one. I'm replacing my Infinity Sterling center with it. Also ordered two JBL S-38's for mains and two S-26's for surround. Already own a JBL subwoofer. I'm expecting delivery tomorrow.

If you want the name of the retailer I used e-mail me.

Good luck!
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Old 09-11-00, 08:15 PM
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I'm planning on upgrading my mains. I currently have Aiwa bookshelfs and plan to move towards matching Infinity floorstanding mains. However, if JBL turns out to be a better option for center, I'll go towards another brand.

Does the midrange matter at all for the center? I ask this again because Infinity does not have a dedicated midrange for their center.
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Old 09-12-00, 06:06 PM
  #5  
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JBLís just arrived yahoo!

If you plan to replace your current AIWA mains with Infiniti floor standing speakers you probably would want to stick with the Infiniti center.

That said, remember that all of this is pretty subjective and opinions vary from listener to listener. I worked in film for sixteen years as a colorist\timer and optical sound specialist\mixer and believe me; Iíve heard a lot of opinions. From my point of view, in itís price category, the JBL Studio Series offers a good value for the average home theater enthusiast. Are their better speakers out there? Of course. If you have a discerning ear and a blank check you can certainly do better.

The center is the primary speaker in your home theater and generally handles more than 50% of the information encoded in the film soundtrack. Therefore itís important to utilize a center which is capable of reproducing a wide frequency of sound accurately. From my perspective the s-center is a good choice when you stop to consider the price and itís (3-way) features. In my situation it made perfect sense since I planned on pairing it with other JBL Studio Series speakers.

If I were in your place my first decision would be to decide on the mains, then the center. If at all possible you should voice match these three. If youíre interested in floor stand speakers in the JBL Studio Series line look at the S-310 and S-312. If you would like to preview the S-312ís check them out at Best Buy. I would have purchased the S-310ís if I had the space for them, but in my set up the S-38 bookshelf 3-ways were far more appropriate.

Hereís what I paid for the JBL speakers I just received.

S-Center - [email protected] $156
S26 - Pair $194
S38 - Pair $300
Freight: $78
Total: $728

Good luck!
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Old 09-12-00, 06:58 PM
  #6  
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quote:
Originally posted by ed:
JBLís just arrived yahoo!

If you plan to replace your current AIWA mains with Infiniti floor standing speakers you probably would want to stick with the Infiniti center.

That said, remember that all of this is pretty subjective and opinions vary from listener to listener. I worked in film for sixteen years as a colorist\timer and optical sound specialist\mixer and believe me; Iíve heard a lot of opinions. From my point of view, in itís price category, the JBL Studio Series offers a good value for the average home theater enthusiast. Are their better speakers out there? Of course. If you have a discerning ear and a blank check you can certainly do better.

The center is the primary speaker in your home theater and generally handles more than 50% of the information encoded in the film soundtrack. Therefore itís important to utilize a center which is capable of reproducing a wide frequency of sound accurately. From my perspective the s-center is a good choice when you stop to consider the price and itís (3-way) features. In my situation it made perfect sense since I planned on pairing it with other JBL Studio Series speakers.

If I were in your place my first decision would be to decide on the mains, then the center. If at all possible you should voice match these three. If youíre interested in floor stand speakers in the JBL Studio Series line look at the S-310 and S-312. If you would like to preview the S-312ís check them out at Best Buy. I would have purchased the S-310ís if I had the space for them, but in my set up the S-38 bookshelf 3-ways were far more appropriate.

Hereís what I paid for the JBL speakers I just received.

S-Center - [email protected] $156
S26 - Pair $194
S38 - Pair $300
Freight: $78
Total: $728

Good luck!



Ed, you will not be disappointed witth your setup. I have the same exact system except I am using KEFs for the surrounds mainly due to space limitations, but once I get more space I am going to pick up the S26s as well. For the money the Studio series is hard to be beat. They are incredibly clear and dynamic in Home Theater presentation.
Congrats on your purchase.

J



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Old 09-12-00, 08:38 PM
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Hi J,

Thanks, I'm looking forward to setting them up and testing them out! I was just looking at the s-center in it's shipping container. It's rather large compared to my current Infinity Sterling center. Hope you can grab a pair of S-26's for yourself real soon!
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Old 09-13-00, 05:42 AM
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Ed,
I recently got the S310's and the S-Center and they sound great. The clarity they reproduce is spectacular good luck with your purchase.
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Old 09-13-00, 02:00 PM
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Here's a better question to ask you guys:

Which center provides the most fidelity?

I opting for clarity and quality, not loudness. The room that I have my home theater set up is relatively smaller compared to some other rooms I've seen on this forum so I'm not going to crank it. My current Aiwa center is cheap and hearing dialogue can be straining.
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Old 09-13-00, 03:14 PM
  #10  
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Hello All,

Well, I unboxed all the speakers last night and set them up. They look great! I need to thinker with them a bit more on placement, but Iím very happy with them thus far. Iím going to reserve judgement on completely critiquing the quality of the sound until I burn them in for several days. However, I havenít heard anything so far that would cause me to pack them back up and return them.

As far as clarity in the S-center is concerned dialogue is very clear and natural sounding. My home theater is situated in a 10í X 15í room, and I live in a zero-lot line residential community, in close proximity to my neighbor. Iím respectful of their rights to relative peace and quite, so like you I donít turn up the volume.

But, again, as Iíve suggested this is all very subjective, and your mileage may vary. Therefore, drive down to the Best Buy on east Colonial near Fashion Square Mall and listen to the JBL S-center, S-312ís and S-38ís that they have in their showroom. You might also find the Infinity model your interested in down there, in which case you can make a direct comparison. Let YOUR ears make the decision! Then shop around online for the best price. Start at www.pricescan.com.

Ed

PS: Still wish I had the room for the S-310íS
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Old 09-13-00, 08:18 PM
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there is no right answer you must listen and make the choice. Both are good.
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Old 09-18-00, 09:33 AM
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quote:
Also, the JBL's have a LOT of distortion at high levels while the Infinity's keep their composure well at any level.

You really should qualify statements like this as to not come off as uninformed as this statement makes you sound! Maybe the very low end (small coned) speakers can sound distorted at high volumes but that is certainly reduculous to make a blanket statement like that about JBL's. Most JBL speakers will sound dead straight on when feeding them large wattage equally from the highend to the low bass. If you want to pick out a low end speaker from a manufacturers line and judge that to be how all the speakers in the manufacturer line are is again rediculous and you would then have to make the same "distortion at high levels" statement for every speaker manufacturer out there. Just because you've heard a few inexpensive speakers at BB or CC means nothing considering the fact that JBL has numerous speaker lines that will never appear at a BB or CC.

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[This message has been edited by Frank S (edited September 18, 2000).]
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Old 09-18-00, 01:19 PM
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I'm asking for opinions on these two brands. I don't have the luxury of driving back and forth between B&M stores, trying out speakers. The little first hand experience I have with these speakers have been positive but I need some kind of consensus in this forum before I make my final decision...

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Old 09-18-00, 01:31 PM
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Utopian,
You will never get a concensus in this forum. Both are good brands that offer some nice equipment. I have listened to many lines of Infinity and JBL. I purchased the JBL S-Center and the S-310's because I felt they were the best speaker I could afford in my price range. If I had the money though, I probably would have bought some of Infinity's higher end stuff. Either way you won't be disappointed. Just try to see which brand fits your needs better.
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