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JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the JBL 4319 Studio Monitor, 3-way speaker review. It is kindly loaned to me by a member who bought it from Japan and had it sent to me. Apparently that is the last of the production before they switched to building them Malaysia. The 4319 is still in production and costs US $4,000 although I see it advertised for much less at US $2,495.

The 4319 naturally has an old fashioned studio monitor look which I now strangely find attractive!

JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers Audio Review.jpg


As you see, it barely fit in my lightbox so it is a "giant bookshelf" speaker if you want to call it that. This is what it looks like on the inside (JBL picture):
1588272727440.png


The back panel shows split terminals which I used for some measurements:

JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers Back Panel bi-amp Connectors Audio Review.jpg


I didn't want to mess with the grill so made my measurements using it. Note that there are two controls to adjust mid and the highs. I centered them visually and measured them as you see in the picture:

1588272871802.png


Looks like I left the highs a bit "hot." Sorry about that. Hard to see it on the measurement stand. When I received it, both were set farther to the right.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

All measurements are referenced to the tweeter axis with frequency resolution of 2.7 Hz.

Spinorama Audio Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker can be used. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:
JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers CEA-2034 Spinorama Audio Measurements.png


The good news is sensitivity at or above 90 dB depending on how you average the curve. This means you will be able to get to higher loudness or with less amplification power for the same loudness.

The bad news is that we have a chewed up response with pronounced dip around 800 Hz and directivity error around mid to tweeter driver (2 kHz). And of course a peaking response above 3 kHz but perhaps this could be adjusted with the dial on the speaker.

The above causes the estimated room response to have rather high treble energy:
JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers CEA-2034 Spinorama Predicted In-room Response Audio Measureme...png


Here is our early reflections that sum with the rest of the measurements to produce the above graph:

JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers CEA-2034 Spinorama Early Reflections Audio Measurements.png


Since we have dual terminals in the back, I broke the connection between them and measured the tweeter+mid and woofer separately and got this composite graph (room compensated):

JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers THD Distortion Woofer and mid+tweeter Audio Measurements.png


We see peaks and dips in the woofer before dying down. It appears to be comb filtering, i.e. another delayed source mixing with it. The tweeter has the same dip though at the offending 850 Hz or so which I can't explain.

While we are on this graph, let's look at the distortion data, this time filtered for room response (which would have made low frequency worse due to room modes):

JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers THD Distortion Percent Audio Measurements.png


We are used to seeing low frequency peaks that go off the chart but not here. That large paper woofer is doing a good job of playing loud but without a lot of distortion. Here it is in absolute level:
JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers THD Distortion Audio Measurements.png


Impedance dips are controlled so this should not be a hard speaker to drive:
JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers Impedance and phase  Audio Measurements.png


There are fair number of kinks in there which you can see better when I zoom in:

JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers Impedance and phase zoomed Audio Measurements.png


Here is our waterfall which again has room compensation:

JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers CSD Waterfall Audio Measurements.png



We see the issue near 1 kHz. Frequency response is a bit poor so it doesn't show a narrow peak where our problem is.

Here is our horizontal directivity plot:

JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers Horizontal Directivity Audio Measurements.png


The directivity width varies with frequency and we have sudden dips and peaks.

Vertical directivity in non-coaxial designs is usually not good but this is worse than normal:

JBL 4319 Studio Monitor Speakers Vertical Directivity Audio Measurements.png


Speaker Listening Tests
I did not have a low stand to put the 4319 on so used the same I have been using with bookshelf speakers. This placed the tweeter a few inches above my ear level. The positive is that that woofer can generate a lot of bass. The cabinet resonates a lot but when I put my ear to it while playing female vocals, I could not hear much at all. So most of the cabinet resonances are at lower frequencies which we can see from waterfall plot.

The bad news is that not much that I played on the 4319 sounded that good. It was kind of boxy and closed in with some brightness at times. I thought being old school speaker, it perhaps is a better fit for older music. So I queued up The Girl from Ipanema on my Reel to Reel tape deck and boy, did it sound disappointing.

Conclusions
Both objectively and subjectively I was disappointed in the results of JBL 4319. We have advanced in understanding what makes good sound at home since this speaker was designed. I can see its appeal in its look and pedigree but it sure is not for me. The woofer though is low distortion and produces copious amount of bass which combined with higher efficiency, would pair well with low power amplifier. Perhaps such use with a tube amp to change its response and/or playing with controls would make it sound better. For this reason, I did not give it the lowest score possible, but one step above.

Overall I can't recommend the JBL 4319 unless you like looking at it more than listening to it.

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Out of imagination for another lame joke so simple request: please donate what you can using : https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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MZKM

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#2
Preference Rating
SCORE: 3.6
SCORE w/sub: 5.6
I also always compute a score where the listening window is used over the on-axis (though I do not alter the PIR) to try and help speakers meant to be listened off-axis, and in this case, the score w/ sub is 5.8, so still not great; actually doing the measurements at 20° may be a bit better, but realistically not by much. The directivity isn't super well controlled either, so it's not a speaker that could sound great if you applied EQ (whereas the Klipsch R-600M is such a speaker) or fiddled with the HF adjustment knob (the manual doesn't say what frequencies they effect).

Sensitivity: 91dB

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 11.56.23 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 11.56.40 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 11.56.49 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 11.57.00 AM.png
Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 11.57.13 AM.png

chart (33).png


JBL states you should be at 40-60°H off-axis when listening, which is interesting as while I don't know what the other curves would look like, to my eyes -20°H is the most flat.
 
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Doodski

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#3
Perhaps some AC/DC would be better suited for these speakers or maybe even some Def Leppard. High efficiency, big woofers, bright tweeter makes for a great party speaker.
 

TimVG

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#9
I was told these, along with some others, were designed in Japan (and intented to be sold there) - I informed some years back for spins and none were available, it's clear why.
 

TimVG

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#10
Since we have dual terminals in the back, I broke the connection between them and measured the tweeter+mid and woofer separately and got this composite graph (room compensated):
This is very useful, would be cool to see it more often in future measurements whenever possible.
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #11
Did you listen to it fully toed-in, slightly toed-in, or facing forward? It would be interesting to see if the reduction of toe-in would have any significant bearing.
Sorry, should have mentioned that. I originally listened to them toed in partially. I think listened to them with no toe-in. Neither sounded good.
 
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amirm

amirm

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This is very useful, would be cool to see it more often in future measurements whenever possible.
I thought so too. Will repeat it in the future.
 

GXAlan

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#13
Per the technical manual, 800Hz and 3500 Hz are the exact crossover points. So the brightness from the tweeter certainly comes from the dial being a bit high. The L-pad doesn't have a detent, which is a weakness of this design, but dialing it down a bit should help.

Edit: I have attached the PDF here. An L-pad is like a variable resistor (rheostat) except by having two resistors, you are able to maintain the impedance which prevents the crossover from changing.

These are my speakers. I had them sent in partly because it is a collectible and the uniqueness of the bass driver (12” cloth accordion surround with neodymium differential drive.). This shows in the very low distortion, but it also shows the role of enclosure versus just having low distortion drivers and adds to our understanding of audio science.

These are control monitors not studio monitors so they supposedly capture some of the sound of the original L100/4310. Also the last US made, Greg Timbers/Jerry Moro combo.

Edit: For those who aren't familiar with the JBL terminology of control vs studio monitor, see this post later in this thread.

Edit 5/8/2020: Speakers finally came back to me.

In-my-room response is better with the tweeter truly set to zero. My room is just a normal family room with a sectional sofa, some rugs, 8 foot ceilng. I agree that the L-Pads are a bad design choice. If you turn the dial down all the way, it cuts own the tweeter completely so small changes to the dial result in big changes to the sound. There are micro-clicks maybe one every half degree of turn and there may be positions "in between" the clicks since it's an analog L-pad. Setting it to neutral is easiest by making the slot vertical. I have not tweaked the midrange dials.


Flat-tweeter.png
Tweeter-all-the-way-down.png
Tweeter-slightly-turned-down.png
Flat-148.png
Flat-16th.png


Tested w/UMIK-1 at 90 degrees. Both speakers playing. Topping D50s straight to an Accuphase P-266.


Subjective Test #1: Girl from Ipanema (Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto, 24/192)
- Very sensitive to position.
- At my listening position (where I measured it), the sound stage was almost monaural somehow. It's not a track that I normally listen to, so I am not sure what it's supposed to sound like.
- Sitting in the equilateral triangle position improved stereo imaging.
- Agree with @amirm in that listening to this track isn't very pleasant.

Subjective Test #2: Another Day of Sun from La La Land Soundtrack
- The Pro Tools recording session for this is maxed out at 768 voices, most being vocal tracks.
- I do a pre-check in first 30 seconds of making sure the jazz band and vocals are matched. A speaker that is too lean will push the jazz band to the background while a speaker that is too "relaxed" will have the band overpowering the singer. There is some middle ground for slightly forward and slightly relaxed. I think the JBL 4319 is in the middle ground but slightly lean.
- At the 1 minute mark, you have the most complexity of the entire song. The test is to listen for the clarity of the voices during this period. The JBL 4319 does really well here in that you can "just listen and enjoy" or you can individual pick out each of the elements and easily follow it. Among the very best speakers I've heard for this test.

(I highly recommend this test for everyone. It's a quick, repeatable test.)

Subjective Test #3: Echo Game from House of Flying Daggers Soundtrack
- really clean/taut bass. One of the most articulate setups where I can "just enjoy" or "isolate" the individual drums. There is a portion that I thought was always just noise or a poor recording (0:45 to 0:50 seconds), but the JBL 4319 is super precise here.
- at normal listening volumes, I'd probably want more bass.

Subjective Test #4. Spanish Harlem, Rebecca Pidgeon
- super clean, the trio of bass notes is very balanced without the "hump" that can be heard on most speakers.

Subjective Test #5. Magnificent Seven, Erich Kunzel & Cincinnati Pops; Round-Up SACD
- the opening drum hit at 0:04 is subdued at low volumes.
- The 0:17-0:23 section is super clean and you can hear each of the instruments clearly.

Subjective Test #6. Drum Improvisation, Sheffield Lab Drum & Track Disc (xrcd24)
- super clean at all volumes. No visceral "kick" although each hit of the drum is unique.

Subjective Test #7. John Mayer, Neon from the Where the Light is (Live in LA)
- really highlights the resolution of the 4319. It's better than AKG K3003 IEMs with deeper bass and the sound staging of proper speakers.

Compared to S/2600: Soundstage is wider on the JBL S/2600 (which is a 2-way DD55000) with asymmetrical horns. The JBL 4319 is leaner, but noticeably more detailed. For critical listening, the JBL 4319 may actually be better thanks to the resolution. For relaxed listening or group listening, the S/2600 is better. Center image for the phantom vocal is more focused for the 4319. The bass on the S/2600 digs deeper.

Compared to Studio 590: The 4319 is much clearer and more balanced in terms of frequency response. The 590's were too lean with a weak mid-bass even though it had great bass. This was noticeable on the La La Land Soundtrack. An EQ'd Studio 590 is still probably an amazing deal given the price as long as you can deal with it being top-heavy and not toddler friendly.

Compared to AKG 3003 IEMs: The 4319 is more detailed, has a wider frequency response and has the benefit of soundstage as opposed to being headphones.

Summary: In my room, I think it worked out better than expected from Amir's measurements. The L-pads for the tweeter adjustment are extra-sensitive, when it probably would have been better to just have +/- 2-3 dB, so I feel as if the range is really only a few degrees in each direction. This is clearly a design choice for aesthetics/vintage-ness rather than performance. The speaker is definitely Japanese-market-style lean in that the bass is probably one of the cleanest I've heard, but I don't get the visceral impact I expect from a 12" woofer. (My reference for bass is the Revel B15). I guess I should not be surprised since the Everest DD67000 with DUAL 15" woofers only goes to 47Hz anechoic.

Even though these are classified as the spiritual successor of the 4310/4312 type Control Monitor, once the dials are set, In-room performance is flat (less down titling) rather than the rising midrange and "impact" of the old L100's. Measurements suggest that in-room performance probably feels closer to listening in an anechoic chamber. Compared to premium IEMs (the AKG K3003), I think the 4319 offers even more detail. While there may be even better IEMs/headphones, the fact that detail across the bass/midrange/treble is better with the 4319 is saying a lot.

AKG K3003:
https://www.cnet.com/news/akg-k3003i-can-a-headphone-sound-too-accurate/
https://www.whathifi.com/akg/k3003i/review
https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AKGK3003ReferenceFilter.pdf

I can see why @amirm wasn't happy. The strength of the 4319 is its resolution, but I imagine the Revel Ultima Studio2 matches that resolution with all of the other benefits of a downward tilt for the in-room response and better imaging and deeper bass. There is definitely a tradeoff with the 4319. Resolution is among the very best, but you'd still benefit from adding a sub with the JBL 4319.
 

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Midwest Blade

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#14
Mental note, "send speaker to Amir for review...be prepared for a possible pop of the bubble".

All of the speaker reviews have been enlightening.
 

tuga

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#16
Since we have dual terminals in the back, I broke the connection between them and measured the tweeter+mid and woofer separately and got this composite graph (room compensated):
Thanks for providing this measurement.
 

Hugo9000

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#17
http://www.cieri.net/temp/4319.pdf
800 and 3500 Hz are the exact crossover points.

These are my speakers. I had them sent in partly because it is a collectible and the uniqueness of the bass driver (12” cloth accordion surround with neodymium differential drive.). It definitely shows the role of enclosure versus just having low distortion drivers. Adds to our understanding of audio science.

These are control monitors not studio monitor so they supposedly capture some of the sound of the original L100/4310. Also the last US made, Greg Timbers/Jerry Moro combo.
The owner's manual lists the crossover frequencies as 650 Hz and 2.2 kHz, see page 5 of the attached:

JBL_4319_OwnersManual_EN.pdf

The part numbers listed for the drivers match, incidentally. The owner's manual has a copyright year of 2011, whereas the document you linked has 2010. Weight listed is also different.


Then on their website, JBL lists a single crossover point of 2 kHz. :facepalm:

https://www.jblsynthesis.com/produc...eakers&dwvar_4319-_color=Cherry-Japan-Current
 

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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #18

GXAlan

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#19
The owner's manual lists the crossover frequencies as 650 Hz and 2.2 kHz, see page 5 of the attached:
JBL_4319_OwnersManual_EN.pdf

The part numbers listed for the drivers match, incidentally. The owner's manual has a copyright year of 2011, whereas the document you linked has 2010. Weight listed is also different.

Then on their website, JBL lists a single crossover point of 2 kHz. :facepalm:
https://www.jblsynthesis.com/produc...eakers&dwvar_4319-_color=Cherry-Japan-Current
JBL ended production in the United States in 2010 and moved the 4319 production overseas (where it remained in continuous production until 2020), so more likely than not, the technical manual is what is reflected with the specimen being tested. Since the crossover design is labeled, maybe someone with simulation software can run the numbers. It certainly makes sense that we see a rise at 3.5 kHz and the L-Pad is slightly high on the tweeter. That's one of the problems with a continuously variable L-pad rather than the discrete "ladder" type used by the 4367/4365.

It is also useful to note that JBL called this a "CONTROL" monitor and not a "STUDIO Monitor". It's still the most expensive non-compression driver design up until the L100 Classic. The L100 Classic is supposed to be a modern speaker with vintage looks. The 4319 is supposed to be a vintage sounding speaker with vintage looks.
 
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#20
What's the difference?
In studio, speakers was tools.
Tools to listen the record that musicians plays
Tools for show to musician the record
Tools to make a mix of records
Tools for make mastering
Tools to test how it sound in every-body home / car
Tools to show to the producer how the mix sound good

It's not the same speaker for each usage.

For example , I owned a pair of JBL 4430 .
It is more a "show to the producer how the mix sound good " speaker not a mixing speaker ....
 
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