- Aug 15, 2020
- Southampton, UK
I’m not sure that I guy using vinyl and tube amps should be a good reference for this kind of knowledge.. also placement looks far form ideal.To confirm importance of center channel:
This guy has built a custom center channel to match his existing gear level and advises to make it as better as possible
"The use of exposed, vertically oriented, constant-directivity horns for greater accuracy of reproduction at high listening levels has long been a staple of JBL installations in concert venues around the world. When JBL's chief systems designer, Greg Timbers—see —applied vertical horns to the design of speakers for the home, he found that they increased the three-dimensionality of the speakers' soundstaging. However, as Japanese audio critics dislike the appearance of vertical horns, the horns were arrayed horizontally in the flagship K2 models. But, as JBL's Synthesis line was designed for the US market, Timbers was free to stand the midrange horn up again: it stands atop the 1400 Array BG, though the tweeter is still loaded by a horizontal horn. "So, are there any other reasons besides aesthetics why the midrange horn is oriented vertically??
@Ra1zel and @OdradekSo, are there any other reasons besides aesthetics why the midrange horn is oriented vertically??
Or replace it with a normal bookshelf speaker from the same series, which I think is also cheaperThere is no fix for it since it is an acoustic problem in the speaker. You can minimize it by sitting far from it so that the angle of the listening row becomes smaller. Not sure how practical that is though.
The "mid-range" should have crossed much lower frequency to avoid this but maybe that horn can't go that low.
"The use of exposed, vertically oriented, constant-directivity horns for greater accuracy of reproduction at high listening levels has long been a staple of JBL installations in concert venues around the world. When JBL's chief systems designer, Greg Timbers—see —applied vertical horns to the design of speakers for the home, he found that they increased the three-dimensionality of the speakers' soundstaging. However, as Japanese audio critics dislike the appearance of vertical horns, the horns were arrayed horizontally in the flagship K2 models. But, as JBL's Synthesis line was designed for the US market, Timbers was free to stand the midrange horn up again: it stands atop the 1400 Array BG, though the tweeter is still loaded by a horizontal horn. "
JBL was founded 60 years ago, by Jim Lansing. Its history has been amply detailed in the book The JBL Story: 60 Years of Audio Innovation, by the late John Eargle's (JBL Professional, 2006). Although it is primarily known for its pro-audio loudspeakers, the Californian company has offered a...www.stereophile.com
I think it's not about extending the vertical beam width but about limiting the horizontal dispersion, which I may help with imaging/clarity (esp in the 1-8 kHz range, according to Blauert as referenced by Geddes at http://www.gedlee.com/Papers/Audio Acoustics 6 12 05.ppt, note that the 1400 Array has pretty high DI by 1 kHz). Floor reflections can affect spatial perception, according to Bech (references here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-on-readings-of-lokki-bech-toole-et-al.27540/), but in general, vertical ones seem to be more about timbre, which I recall Toole mentioning in his book. Wider horizontal beam width would be expected to increase strength of lateral reflections, which can promote apparent source width and perception of envelopment, but this may come at the cost of clarity (see above link).However I do not understand how extending the vertical beam width could improve perceived quality, I guess it could be useful if you like to listen to music while standing up as well as seated? But wouldn't it increase the magnitude of floor and ceiling reflections, and how would it be better than greater horizontal beam width?
The only problem I have with that is the ever present lack of data even to this day, we really can't know whether similar listener preference is due to directivity not being relevant nearly as much as frequency response or due to qualities like high sensitivity, easy load, dynamic compression and high output of the JBL.@Ra1zel and @Odradek
Regarding the question of controlled directivity (though not specifically about the 880 or use of narrow dispersion center channel speakers) and the vertical horn, you may find the following discussion to be of interest, specifically the comments from Floyd Toole that were copied and pasted there: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...1400-array-measurements-interpretation.27853/
I agree with your thoughts on how this center sounds it’s really not noticeable when setup in a good system. This is the best sounding center I’ve ever herd in my home and I’ve tried a lot like you . It’s really good on vocals on concerts and dialogue on movies is never lacking anywhere you set in my room .I have 3 of these JBLs. I had auditioned klipsch rp-504c, elac unifi 2.0, JBL studio 520c, sony sscs8, carnegie acoustics, mirage os3cc, and revel c10. Since it is said that for home theater, the center channel speaker is the most important, I splurged on cost and bought one. WOW!! The clarity, airiness, realism, and vocals were like nothing else I had heard (other speakers I have or have also owned are the klipsch rp-8000f, rp 600m, svs ultras, and revel m126be, and jbl studio 580). Much like Amir's speaker listening test, it was a delight. So I bought 2 more. Even before I knew Amir used centers for LCR, my thinking was to do the same with the JBLs because the cost was relatively low, comparing it to what the JBL array floorstanders go for that it seemed like too good of a bargain. I was not, nor have I been disappointed. Funny though, while I initially had my home theater setup with them as LCR, I then instead used Revel M10s on LR and the JBL as my center. My theater room is 13'x13' thus having these three was a bit big. The revels and jbl timbre match. I think that in a home theater setup, the changes in tonality being a little off axis are not really noticeable, but was is noticed is the audio quality the speakers output. Dialogue is the clearest I have heard, and most realistic. The movie the Greatest Showman and other musicals shine with this center. I use 2 svs-pb2000 pro subs for the lows. We move the leather recliners into a row of 4 when we have another couple to watch a movie over.
I use the other 2 JBLs for my music listening room. To get the best soundstage and imaging, you do have to be in the center sweet spot. However, for that person, music is pure bliss. The other thing that made me love these speakers was that placement close to the wall didn't affect their quality. I don't think most people can have speakers standing out 3 feet from walls. I have these just a finger width away from the wall, with a slight toe in toward center. They are able to reproduce a 360 degree dimensionality. I do use an svs-sb1000 for the lows. The comments about people listening with friends is not an issue. When my friends are over, we sit in various areas, stand, walk around, talk, drink. It is not like 4 of us would just sit on the couch quietly to listen to music. My wife enjoys music from these too, but her being just off the sweet spot doesn't matter as she would be happy with sound from an echo dot speaker. If I ever have a larger home theater room, I will return to the LCR configuration with revel M10 and M8s as surrounds.