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JBL 4429 vs 4349

cany89

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Hi All!

I got JBL 705i paired with dual 8-inch subs. 705s got active crossover around 110 Hz and subs take over below. It's a large living room with a bit of reverb. But overall I'm very happy.

I was eyeing some new bigger models for a while. 4429 and 4349. I can understand from the price the latter is somewhat better. I'm not 100% sure if I can hear its purse breaker qualities in my untreated living room. But unfortunately, 4429 doesn't have any measurements as 4349 does and I can't objectively compare them.

What I do like about my 705s right now is the wide-angle listening area and the 5.5-inch woofer is powerful than anything I heard in that size.
I believe in subs but since they are just 8-inch, I might ditch the subs if the 12-inch woofer of 4429 is enough. (It's never enough so I can buy new subs with 12-15 woofers :D)

Found a nice used pair of 4429, so the big question is: should I save for 4349. Will 4429 be an upgrade that brings a smile over 705? (I'm a huge JBL fan since L50 and not thinking of other brands or actives...)

I would appreciate some advice :)
 

Doodski

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You are going to notice a substantial improvement going to either of those new JBL models from the L50.
 
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cany89

cany89

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You are going to notice a substantial improvement going to either of those new JBL models from the L50.
Oh, I sold my L50 a long time ago. It was fun but definitely nowhere anything like even the small 705.
 

fitero

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I was in the same boat a few months ago. I bought the 4349, though irrationally, I dislike that they are not made in the USA. The fit and finish are perfect though.
A German outfit did make some measurements of the 4429. A search should reveal that information.

I personally don't care for the treble produced by the 2409H driver that is in the 705, 708, SCL-3/4. My ears make it sound "splashy". Go figure.
 

jhaider

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View attachment 163052
I got JBL 705i paired with dual 8-inch subs. 705s got active crossover around 110 Hz and subs take over below. It's a large living room with a bit of reverb...What I do like about my 705s right now is the wide-angle listening area... But overall I'm very happy.... Will 4429 be an upgrade that brings a smile over 705? (I'm a huge JBL fan since L50 and not thinking of other brands or actives...)

I would appreciate some advice :)

Given what you like about 705i, I'm inclined to say 4429 is more likely to be disappointment than upgrade or sidestep. The horn profile and compression driver phase plug are comparative relics, and the "super tweeter" is gimmicky. Overall it's a speaker from the ancien regime at JBL, not one of the newer research-influenced designs. While lots of people like those old JBLs and some even miss them, I strongly prefer the newer stuff. Based on your post it sounds like you might too.

Truthfully I would also say 4349 is not a surefire upgrade. JBL Synthesis seems to voice their speakers - not just the 4349, but also at least the Synthesis SCL-3 I used as a center channel with 708i's in our previous home - with a little midrange dip rather than the flat target used for 7-series. Also, 705i is a really well engineered speaker. People who haven't heard them will whine incessantly about the deep, narrow port null, but that's mostly because there isn't anything else to complain about (and that might look nasty but doesn't really sound like anything). Yeah, it's teeny tiny so there are output limits. If that's not an issue, then there's really not much higher up to go except in cabinet appearance.

Are you running your 705i's with the correct processing (BSS BLU processor or Crown DCNn processor+amp)? If you're running a hack instead I would suggest upgrading to the correct electronics: BSS BLU-50 if it's in the same room, BLU-100/160/806 or Crown DCIn amp if not. The hacked BSS settings for 705i, when applied on non-BSS hardware, do not yield the correct transfer function. Following that, more/better subs. If you have processing to burn (i.e. a >4ch BSS unit - can also implement fanless, as BLU-50+BLU-BOB - or Crown DCI8|x00n amp) and your 8" subs are good units (clean response to at least 400Hz or so), you might even want to consider using them as "boundary" or "flanking" subs at 150-200Hz, and then folding in a third (and possibly 4th) larger sub with a lower low-pass to further smooth out the in room response and reduce seat-to-seat bass variance.
 
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cany89

cany89

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Thanks for all the comments! I wasn't expecting the 700 series to be this competitive. Especially after people almost worship for older design on forums and shops...

It seems there are 3 options:
- Upgrade to 708 (I would like to use some more volume)
- 705 or 708, try to get the best sound
- Change to a full range audiophile speakers like Revel etc. (highly unlikely, I would just upgrade my subs...)

Also, 705i is a really well engineered speaker. People who haven't heard them will whine incessantly about the deep, narrow port null, but that's mostly because there isn't anything else to complain about (and that might look nasty but doesn't really sound like anything).
+1!

Are you running your 705i's with the correct processing (BSS BLU processor or Crown DCNn processor+amp)? If you're running a hack instead I would suggest upgrading to the correct electronics: BSS BLU-50 if it's in the same room, BLU-100/160/806 or Crown DCIn amp if not. The hacked BSS settings for 705i, when applied on non-BSS hardware, do not yield the correct transfer function.
I don't know anything about it, to be honest. I just have an Adi-2 DAC and a decent power amp (SPL 800s) Might be a dumb question but can't I just apply any DSP filter with VSTs like FabFilter? I got all and using PEQ anyway.

Following that, more/better subs. If you have processing to burn (i.e. a >4ch BSS unit - can also implement fanless, as BLU-50+BLU-BOB - or Crown DCI8|x00n amp) and your 8" subs are good units (clean response to at least 400Hz or so), you might even want to consider using them as "boundary" or "flanking" subs at 150-200Hz, and then folding in a third (and possibly 4th) larger sub with a lower low-pass to further smooth out the in room response and reduce seat-to-seat bass variance.
Currently, I apply a low-shelf filter to the whole signal on Adi-2 then boost the gain of subs from their amps. Crossovers and slopes are almost matched on both Adi-2 and subs. Measured it, looks fine but not perfect. I was opting for what you wrote actually. If I can get separate channels, use current subs around 100-200, then add a good 15-inch sub just to go low. That would be amazing.
 
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cany89

cany89

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@jhaider I thought about it and look for BSS a bit. From what I understand it's more important when you bi-amp the 705/708 and bypass the internal crossover. Then you need delay etc. But when you connect speakers with a single wire, do I still need a unit, can't I just use my PC + Adi-2?

And to apply proper crossover, I can use a unit like this. Where I get XLR in (coming from Adi-2) and XLR outs, the only problem with SPL's crossover is low side is only 120 Hz. (with 24-octave slope) I need to find another unit if I want to sun subs beyond 120 Hz. (not sure about that either) Then use the pass-through ports of both L and R subs to connect the 3rd sub (lol)

Sorry if I jumped to the conclusion :D
 

jhaider

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@jhaider I thought about it and look for BSS a bit. From what I understand it's more important when you bi-amp the 705/708 and bypass the internal crossover. Then you need delay etc. But when you connect speakers with a single wire, do I still need a unit, can't I just use my PC + Adi-2?

No. Regardless of number of amp channels used the “crossover” in 7-series is part in the speaker and part in the Crown/BSS processor. You need both parts. If you just entered the hacked BSS parameters into a standard processor you will get substantially different results from intended. BSS defines some filters differently than convention. These differences are more significant on 705i than 708i, but present on both. I know this to be true (not just hype to sell more Harman boxes, which is not something I care about one way or the other) because I’ve measured the outputs from BSS BLU-50 as well as the BSS hacked parameters on MiniDSP and Monoprice HTP-1 for both speakers. The latter two were substantially similar (Monoprice PEQ has coarser resolution) and different from the real thing.

Bottom line is forums and attempts to crack Harman’s IP seem to have led a fair number of people astray re these speakers. Perhaps Harman also made a mistake by relaxing their initial condition that 7-series could only be sold with complete crossover (speaker box + BSS/Crown). For people who don’t want to use the correct processing, the P models are more appropriate.
 
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aac

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Do they really go as far as inventing their own convolution engine that convolves differently from other solutions? I've never seen 2 convolution engines having different results.
Filters for 7-series consist of convolution with IR and a few IIR filters.
The difference in IIR filters I can understand, but not convolution.
Anyway, those speakers measured here exhibit probably more deviation from the target (and what was measured in S&R, for example) than these differences in filters are.
 

jhaider

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Do they really go as far as inventing their own convolution engine that convolves differently from other solutions?

I don’t know what those words mean, nor particularly care. Music/reproduction is my interest, not computers. I know the measured transfer function by entering the hacked parameters into a miniDSP or HTP-1 differs substantially in some areas from the intended transfer function as measured from a BSS device.

Anyway, those speakers measured here exhibit probably more deviation from the target (and what was measured in S&R, for example) than these differences in filters are.

That is not the case for 705. There are substantial differences from 100-2.5k Hz, up to maybe ~4dB in the lower midrange.
 
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aac

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I don’t know what those words mean, nor particularly care. Music reproduction is my interest, not computers. I know the measured transfer function by entering the hacked parameters into a miniDSP or HTP-1 differs substantially in some areas from the intended transfer function as measured from a BSS device.
BSS does not use convolution, I was talking about DCIn (or whatever it's called) amplifier.
what is "substantial" in absolute numbers?
 
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cany89

cany89

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@jhaider I’m a little bit confused here. So you are saying even if I use just single wire - not bi-amp - still the intended DSP settings should be applied on either BSS or Crown?

A different perspective: since Amir measured the powered version here, the spinorama he shared is at least with the default preset - so probably much better than what I’m getting without a DSP right now, correct?
 

aac

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Use a convolution engine to use convolution part of the filters from DCIn (this is precise, unless you believe they use some very special convolution engine) and use "normal" filters for the rest. This is the best you can do with it now.
If you want better alternative - rent a BSS BLU (or ask someone), measure it and replicate the settings.
I don't like the idea of inserting this device after ADI-2
THD: 0.005% typical at +4 dBu, 1kHz, 0 dB input gain
Dynamic Range: 110dB A-weighted, >107dB unweighted

There are just 4 iir filters for the 705i single wire and the rest is FIR convolution. Should be precise enough.
Sample rate for the convolution is 48 khz so you might have to resample on your PC, or measure this convolution and recreate IIR filters for it.
 
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changer

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@jhaider I’m a little bit confused here. So you are saying even if I use just single wire - not bi-amp - still the intended DSP settings should be applied on either BSS or Crown?

A different perspective: since Amir measured the powered version here, the spinorama he shared is at least with the default preset - so probably much better than what I’m getting without a DSP right now, correct?
I would not agree with Jay that original hardware is absolutely needed for properly setting up the DSP and XO filter functions. Apart from how one stands to original producer equipment, or if hacking stuff is okay, the sole question is if you have the time and energy to determine what a certain setting in the original hardware/software combination translates to in others. For example, have a look at the work that was done to reverse engineer the JBL M2 crossover: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bzJyui75ZG_-wjV95dqKSbFs1Xh87bk2qlc-qS7Kk_Y/edit?rm=demo Here, the actual filter functions where translated to different applications. This is obviously always necessary, to check, whether the numbers do mean the same. This work must be invested to ensure that the 705i hardware is operated correctly from the software side.
 
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cany89

cany89

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@aac I found filters needed for 705i single wired on minidsp forum, and it just looks like PEQ. Are you sure I need a convolution engine?

See the attachment:

RSkZB4a.png
 
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cany89

cany89

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I would not agree with Jay that original hardware is absolutely needed for properly setting up the DSP and XO filter functions. Apart from how one stands to original producer equipment, or if hacking stuff is okay, the sole question is if you have the time and energy to determine what a certain setting in the original hardware/software combination translates to in others. For example, have a look at the work that was done to reverse engineer the JBL M2 crossover: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bzJyui75ZG_-wjV95dqKSbFs1Xh87bk2qlc-qS7Kk_Y/edit?rm=demo Here, the actual filter functions where translated to different applications. This is obviously always necessary, to check, whether the numbers do mean the same. This work must be invested to ensure that the 705i hardware is operated correctly from the software side.

Ok, I will ask a similar question as a total noob here... So you are saying, even with a single wire (no bi-amp hence, using the internal crossover) connection, I might still need more than PEQ - like delay, or rePhase in your M2 example?

So right now the horn and woofer might be out of phase!?
 

changer

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Single wire is single wire, you cannot and must not change delay. You got to do your research: are the slopes in minidsp the same as original DSP option? That might differ, this is why extra care was given with the reverse engineered M2 xo to ensure that slopes and magnitude are the same with different base technology. In the end, the filter function must be identical.
 

Pulkass

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View attachment 163052
Hi All!

I got JBL 705i paired with dual 8-inch subs. 705s got active crossover around 110 Hz and subs take over below. It's a large living room with a bit of reverb. But overall I'm very happy.

I was eyeing some new bigger models for a while. 4429 and 4349. I can understand from the price the latter is somewhat better. I'm not 100% sure if I can hear its purse breaker qualities in my untreated living room. But unfortunately, 4429 doesn't have any measurements as 4349 does and I can't objectively compare them.

What I do like about my 705s right now is the wide-angle listening area and the 5.5-inch woofer is powerful than anything I heard in that size.
I believe in subs but since they are just 8-inch, I might ditch the subs if the 12-inch woofer of 4429 is enough. (It's never enough so I can buy new subs with 12-15 woofers :D)

Found a nice used pair of 4429, so the big question is: should I save for 4349. Will 4429 be an upgrade that brings a smile over 705? (I'm a huge JBL fan since L50 and not thinking of other brands or actives...)

I would appreciate some advice :)
Jbl always disappointed me in the end. Gross shop friendly sound, but at home , problems arise, turn up the volume in my treated big room and they just can't handle it, no bracing inside, cheap X over full of electrolytic caps, with serious music they are finished. No classical, jbl is intent in saving 30 bucks in the production line, that same money could make a huge improvement in sound with bracing, simpler and better X over, and silicon gaskets. Not so many people can afford 20.000 bucks a piece 6600 s, but c Mon JBL make more decent items and keep them in production, don't change every six months. For that plastic gadgets too !!!!
 
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