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JBL 4367 review by Erin

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ernestcarl

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Measurements can tell a lot, when enough information is presented. Here, the top speaker is overall better, because it has better pattern control and better directivity, bottom speaker will likely sound bright.

Yep... @hardisj's complaint of the M2 out-of-the-box, if I remember correctly... was that it's a little bit bright sounding.
 

jhaider

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While I certainly agree that this price for some simple wooden boxes with more or less generic drivers plus a waveguide

Well, that's simply not what we have here.

D2 has a unique diaphragm configuration and a phase plug that's protected intellectual property. "Protected IP" is an antonym to "generic."

2216Nd has a neo motor with twin voicecoils spaced out on the former, with current running in opposite directions to cancel out inductance, as well as other tricks. Yes, perhaps there are one or two other drivers out there with similarly complex motors - I'm thinking 18Sound "Tetracoil" - but it's hardly generic.
 

Vladimir Filevski

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If somebody else would do like JBL did and develop a competent main monitor, the same dilemma occurs. How to assure the profit? Big numbers in volume, or alternatively in price? How many people are willing to spend that much real estate for the footprint of a maximised studio main monitor? How predictable (sic!) is the decision making of these people?

You contradict yourself.
I can not see how I contradict myself. Some members claimed the JBL 4367 is exuberantly expensive, but I proved that is not the case - because there is no other company which offers comparable loudspeaker at lower price.
"Comparable" is the magic word here - to compare apples to apples, other competitor should be passive two-way loudspeaker with large woofer and large horn equipped with compression driver. Otherwise, if we are comparing apples to oranges, I will always choose active Neumann KH310 + KH750 over passive JBL 4367 + amplifier. Much cheaper and better suited to my needs and to my taste (I have heard both of them).
 

fineMen

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... unique diaphragm configuration and a phase plug that's protected...
... a neo motor with twin voicecoils spaced out on the former, with current running in opposite directions to cancel out inductance, as well as other tricks. ...

The driver cost is not a tenth of the price for the completed speaker, while the latter is not even worth to be told "ugly". (https://www.deepl.com understands this sentence perfectly, wow!)

Where it all began:


The speaker in consideration repeats history (2-way, CD horn lense, 15" bass)), it is intentionally a legacy product. I'm personally o/k with that. The price is justified by a very low count of sold product. The audience is relatively small, compared to the intended perfection.

People here know better, critisize, recommend improvements, so why don't they DIY instead of whining about the cost? You guys are not the target for the marketing. Exactly not. That simple.

I've got my JBLs already, improved a lot, though. I know, that's unfair :facepalm:
 
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Sal1950

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Thanks Erin, great review!
The JBL 4367 (or M2') had been my fantasy speaker purchase for a number of years.
It was this lusting that lead me to purchase their baby brothers from the Synthesis line, the HDI-3600's.
I've had 4 of them here, along with the 4500 center, for right at 2 years now and never regretted the purchase for a minute. The accurate tonality along with the incredible inner detail presentation is something the JBL wave guides just "get right" IMHO.
Great Job JBL, thanks a ton.
Sal
 

fitero

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I always find it interesting how one person perceives sound so differently from the next. I owned the 4367s then the M2s. The 4367s always seemed a bit too sharp on the top end for my tastes. The M2s sounded smoother and the bass went deeper in my small room. The bass hit harder on the 4367s though. I hated the slight hiss the JBL SDEC processor allowed through on the M2 system. There are ways around this though for the creative.
 

Bjorn

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What's really interesting about the polar measurements of the JBL waveguides is that it's clear step backwards compared to older JBL designs. But that's how the market works. One has to come up with something new and convince people it's revolutionary. I wouldn't be surprised if JBL in a future line will go back to a former design with a minor twist.
 

fredoamigo

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Interesting, if the current waveguides are only marketing, can you say more? Can you show the polars of the old production?
 

Bjorn

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Interesting, if the current waveguides are only marketing, can you say more? Can you show the polars of the old production?
Sure. Here's the polar of the horn used in the JBL 4430/4435. It's much more uniform. Unfortunately we don't have sonograms from this time.
polars.jpg


These horns/speakers didn't measure that well on-axis though, but that's related to the driver quality of the time and lack of EQ.
4430 response.jpg


4435 response.jpg
 
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DanielT

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A few pros and cons regarding them:

Overall good measurement results, but the big beauty spot is of course the inevitable second-tone distortion for compression horns for high frequencies, which is far higher than for better direct-beam constructions in the price range (approx. SEK 160,000. ($17 000) ). For modern horn constructions with few other weaknesses, it is probably usually this that leads to me not thinking that they perform the very highest sound quality. Another weakness with horn constructions lies in the top octave, which is often somewhat restrained as soon as you move just a few degrees away from the reference axis. On the reference axis, you also have a slightly disturbing peak around 14 kHz (which of course can be equalized away).

On the positive side, in addition to a smooth frequency response and controlled dispersion, one can also add a high sensitivity and almost total absence of power compression. Large baffles also have great advantages when the speakers are to be integrated in the room because the SBIR problems are significantly less, which leads to a "muscular" sound when the typical valleys around 100-300 Hz are reduced and the upper base / lower middle register emerges properly.



Edit:
If I had been a rich man, I would have bought them. They seem damn cool.:D

Edit 2:
I can add a little more from that thread:

Question:
He commented in the video on how much he liked the sound even though it falls as it does for high frequencies.
Could it be the dominance of the 2a ton distortion in the treble that makes it "sound good"?


Response

No, all non-linearities sound bad with music signals because these lead to a carpet of IM products in the frequency spectrum. Some types of music highlight the IM distortion more than others, it is always heard for a sensitive listener but can be bearable under the right circumstances.

However, many listeners are not particularly sensitive to distortion, often because they have learned to take distortion for granted. The normal consumer does not react until THD with a typical distortion spectrum dominated by second and third tones is above about 3% in the middle register and treble.

Not all listeners care about what goes on over 15 kHz, relatively often due to hearing loss.
 

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Sal1950

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I owned the 4367s then the M2s. The 4367s always seemed a bit too sharp on the top end for my tastes. The M2s sounded smoother and the bass went deeper in my small room. The bass hit harder on the 4367s though.
How can you even begin to compare the tonal balance of the two when one was fully passive, the other a active design with DRC controling it's sound. Apples and ornges unless you were curious enough to measure the two and adjust the M2's FR to match the 4367's as closely as possible? But to what end?
 

fineMen

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No, all non-linearities sound bad with music signals because these lead to a carpet of IM products in the frequency spectrum. Some types of music highlight the IM distortion more than others, ...The normal consumer does not react until THD with a typical distortion spectrum dominated by second and third tones is above about 3% in the middle register and treble.

I once measured the IM of horns. The HR90 of Electro Voice (who actually pioneered the "constant" thing, JBL followed) showed relatively high H2. But then, no IM to speak of?! I went on to more contemporary designs, had even the biggest cinema lenses 80x80cm^2 with a 2" driver and so on. It was always the same: not that much IM as may be expected from the H2 measurement. If any at all ...

This is an anecdote. If someone asked a similar question and can back-up his answer by meausrement, a comment would be highly appreciated!

Regarding IM all my horn/driver combos did a tremendously good job, like 20dB or so better than top notch dome tweeters.

H2 is not 'musical'. It is just masked more effectively by the hearing, is also masked by the musical content, which has tons of harmonics, which is the essence of music for us Western people in the first place, and the ear itself generates (!) H2 in the inner ear due to its, You name it, non-linearity.

So, the H2 of horns, or better of the compression drivers is a non-issue. At least with medium sized rooms and logically not that much distance ear to driver (as opposed to p/a for stadions).
 

DanielT

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I once measured the IM of horns. The HR90 of Electro Voice (who actually pioneered the "constant" thing, JBL followed) showed relatively high H2. But then, no IM to speak of?! I went on to more contemporary designs, had even the biggest cinema lenses 80x80cm^2 with a 2" driver and so on. It was always the same: not that much IM as may be expected from the H2 measurement. If any at all ...

This is an anecdote. If someone asked a similar question and can back-up his answer by meausrement, a comment would be highly appreciated!

Regarding IM all my horn/driver combos did a tremendously good job, like 20dB or so better than top notch dome tweeters.

H2 is not 'musical'. It is just masked more effectively by the hearing, is also masked by the musical content, which has tons of harmonics, which is the essence of music for us Western people in the first place, and the ear itself generates (!) H2 in the inner ear due to its, You name it, non-linearity.

So, the H2 of horns, or better of the compression drivers is a non-issue. At least with medium sized rooms and logically not that much distance ear to driver (as opposed to p/a for stadions).
Aha, interesting.:)

Then it will be the usual, you can measure, but when can you hear differences? Deviation FR, distortion and so on.
 

Bjorn

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The HR90 of Electro Voice (who actually pioneered the "constant" thing, JBL followed)
Just a side note. It was Don Keele who "pioneered" both. He worked for Electro Voice where he first developed constant directivity horns. He was later hired by JBL and found himself in the peculiar situation of needing to go around his own patents at Electro Voice.
 

changer

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What's really interesting about the polar measurements of the JBL waveguides is that it's clear step backwards compared to older JBL designs. But that's how the market works. One has to come up with something new and convince people it's revolutionary. I wouldn't be surprised if JBL in a future line will go back to a former design with a minor twist.

That is certainly a steep claim. As you have already noted, the JBL 2344 produced quite some linear distortion. When you browse the lansing heritage forum, you can see modern day measurements which show resonant notches in the higher frequencies. Here is more material on the old bi-radial, high dispersion waveguides: http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/specs/pro-comp/2344.htm
It is realy not true, that they where better designs, but what you are referring to is beamwidth, which is but one factor of a waveguide. The decision for narrowing pattern in the higher frequencies is one solution to create a preferred sloping in-room response, and for many customers of this speaker, it will be perfectly fine, as they will listen to music mostly alone and in a dedicated listening position, which can be covered without a doubt with the remaining pattern width.

However, the technology behind the modern day JBL waveguides is, as you have noted, not a new technology. The waveguides seen in JBL708, HDI-Series or M2 are developments. They can usually be understood as diffraction horns withouth excessive diffraction, due to a progressive rounding, that widens the beamwidth. Into this profile (which differs vertically and horizontically), two more profiles are inset: One in the edges, where a shallower angle assures that the wavefront of higher frequencies does not collapse, one at the throat, where a partial area of the total profile helps to widen the top octaves. This is a sophisticated solution for a baffle-mounted, rectangular waveguide, especially relevant for compression drivers with a bigger diameter exit, not so much for smaller.

However, this is not the only solution, as Genelec with its S360A shows in a elliptical waveguide a similarly extended (16 kHz) performance, although a German reviewer had noted that "some arieness" could be missed, if one was looking for it: https://www.soundandrecording.de/equipment/genelec-s360a-high-spl-monitor-im-test/
 

Bjorn

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That is certainly a steep claim. As you have already noted, the JBL 2344 produced quite some linear distortion. When you browse the lansing heritage forum, you can see modern day measurements which show resonant notches in the higher frequencies. Here is more material on the old bi-radial, high dispersion waveguides: http://www.lansingheritage.org/html/jbl/specs/pro-comp/2344.htm
It is realy not true, that they where better designs, but what you are referring to is beamwidth, which is but one factor of a waveguide. The decision for narrowing pattern in the higher frequencies is one solution to create a preferred sloping in-room response, and for many customers of this speaker, it will be perfectly fine, as they will listen to music mostly alone and in a dedicated listening position, which can be covered without a doubt with the remaining pattern width.

However, the technology behind the modern day JBL waveguides is, as you have noted, not a new technology. The waveguides seen in JBL708, HDI-Series or M2 are developments. They can usually be understood as diffraction horns withouth excessive diffraction, due to a progressive rounding, that widens the beamwidth. Into this profile (which differs vertically and horizontically), two more profiles are inset: One in the edges, where a shallower angle assures that the wavefront of higher frequencies does not collapse, one at the throat, where a partial area of the total profile helps to widen the top octaves. This is a sophisticated solution for a baffle-mounted, rectangular waveguide, especially relevant for compression drivers with a bigger diameter exit, not so much for smaller.

However, this is not the only solution, as Genelec with its S360A shows in a elliptical waveguide a similarly extended (16 kHz) performance, although a German reviewer had noted that "some arieness" could be missed, if one was looking for it: https://www.soundandrecording.de/equipment/genelec-s360a-high-spl-monitor-im-test/
You seemed to disregard this comment which explained the on-axis response:
"These horns/speakers didn't measure that well on-axis though, but that's related to the driver quality of the time and lack of EQ."

Put in modern drivers and add some EQ, and these old JBL horns will be very even on-axis as well.

Besides, small on-axis deviations with narrow Q's is seldom audible at all, while wider deviations in the directivity matters greatly. But obviously the on-axis response needs to be at a certain level, and that was difficult to achieve with the driver quality and passive crossovers in the early 80s. Take note that I was showing JBL 4430/4435, not JBL 2344.

The directivity of the newer waveguides from JBL are simply not very good. The result is a less even response and/or different time domain behaviour in the listening position because the reflected energy doesn't resemble the on-axis response well enough. I saw that very clearly with the JBL 2384, which is perhaps overall the best JBL modern waveguide. However, something that has been improved in these JBL speakers is a better match in the directivity between the horn and the woofer. But that could easily have been done with the older horns as well.
 

mightycicadalord

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How can you even begin to compare the tonal balance of the two when one was fully passive, the other a active design with DRC controling it's sound. Apples and ornges unless you were curious enough to measure the two and adjust the M2's FR to match the 4367's as closely as possible? But to what end?

Easy, they're both speakers. What matters at the end of the day is what comes out of them. We compare active monitors with dsp to passive speakers here all the time.
 

fineMen

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Just a side note. It was Don Keele who "pioneered" both. He worked for Electro Voice where he first developed constant directivity horns. He was later hired by JBL and found himself in the peculiar situation of needing to go around his own patents at Electro Voice.

The HR90 showed some peculiar behaviour that made me sell it, despite its iconic all-white appearence. The presence range was leaking off-axis, namely the dispersion around 2..3kHz was significantly wider than below and above. The sound was either dull, if e/q'ed for flat in-room response, or it was too bright, grizzling if e/q'ed for a flat on-axis.

I wonder if the JBL here poses a similar problem, as such leakage may be seen in the range 3..5kHz.

btw, the flat front biradials for EV were superb, HP940 for instance. The ff birads for JBL, no comment ;-) The fins in the throat I think, patented?
 

Schollaudio

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Another aspect of this speaker that may have been missed in this thread is the relationship between 2nd and high order harmonics. Maybe it's not important but I tend to like high frequency combos that have low 2nd 1-.1% and 5-10db lower odd\higher order harmonics. Fairly common with CD\horns not so much with other device types.
 

Bjorn

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The HR90 showed some peculiar behaviour that made me sell it, despite its iconic all-white appearence. The presence range was leaking off-axis, namely the dispersion around 2..3kHz was significantly wider than below and above. The sound was either dull, if e/q'ed for flat in-room response, or it was too bright, grizzling if e/q'ed for a flat on-axis.

I wonder if the JBL here poses a similar problem, as such leakage may be seen in the range 3..5kHz.

btw, the flat front biradials for EV were superb, HP940 for instance. The ff birads for JBL, no comment ;-) The fins in the throat I think, patented?
What you're describing there is the issue with beamwidth aberrations. There's simply no way to fix it properly with EQ and why constant directivity over a wide frequency area is so crucial. On-axis deviations on the other hand, can effectively be equalized if it's minimum phase behaviour.
 
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