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JBL HDI-1600 Speaker Review

Sal1950

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How's the break-in going.
What's the schedule?
Schedule, what schedule? I''m retired plus locked down, I don't do anything on a schedule. LOL
No schedule really, I've got 60 days to keep em or send em back. Just trying to get used to listening in 2 channel again. I've been listening to everything in multich for so long it seems weird right now. In a few days I'll start switching around and listening seriously.
I'd say right off the for sure they have more bass than my Hsu's, both louder and deeper. Then (I think) I'm hearing a warmer sound on balance and more detail-shimmer in the high end. That could even be expectation bias not sure, When I start to switch back and forth a few times and try to decide then.
"I hate sounding like a subjectivist and writing like that". :p
 

Wombat

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Schedule, what schedule? I''m retired plus locked down, I don't do anything on a schedule. LOL
No schedule really, I've got 60 days to keep em or send em back. Just trying to get used to listening in 2 channel again. I've been listening to everything in multich for so long it seems weird right now. In a few days I'll start switching around and listening seriously.
I'd say right off the for sure they have more bass than my Hsu's, both louder and deeper. Then (I think) I'm hearing a warmer sound on balance and more detail-shimmer in the high end. That could even be expectation bias not sure, When I start to switch back and forth a few times and try to decide then.
"I hate sounding like a subjectivist and writing like that". :p


The stakes are high.
Don't%20tell%20anyone.gif
 

RayDunzl

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"I hate sounding like a subjectivist and writing like that". :p

Ok, but we expect comparative measurements.

Get some Jack Daniels and see if you can't do a spinorama.
 

Sal1950

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Sal1950

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GXAlan

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How bout a subjective spin, where you tell us, 6moons style, about its PRAT for each 10 degree increment?

Here's my attempt and a subjective description (having never listened to the HDIs).

"The JBL plays music with Dolby Vision-like chromatic saturation with thickness and gravitas yet never loses the clarity, fire, or brilliance one associates with the perfection of a perfectly colorlessness diamond. Listening to a modern high-resolution recording such as Anne-Sophie Mutter's rendition of "Rey's Theme" from Star Wars transcends space and time. Her wonderful Stradivarius violin and the PRaT that it conveys both on-axis at off-axis is truly timeless. Antonio Stradivari was the premier audiophile instrument manufacturer of his time, with his instruments being magical despite being made a long time ago, in a zona genarale far, far away.

Where the JBL falters, though of no fault of its own given its price point, is my inability to determine whether Ms. Mutter is using her '1703 Emiliani Stradivarius or her 1710 Lord Dunn-Raven. For those unfamiliar with those instruments, the Emiliani has single-piece back while the Lord Dunn-Raven has a two piece back. On a very high-performance system it is possible to hear the slight variation between the left and right side of the wood from the Lord Dunn-Raven. That is Ms. Mutter's preferred instrument and what I assume to be used in Rey's Theme. For that reason, the Harman's instruments from JBL Synthesis HDI line won't be held in the same reverence as Mr. Stradivari's instruments some 300 years from now."
 

amadeuswus

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Here's my attempt and a subjective description (having never listened to the HDIs).
"Where the JBL falters, though of no fault of its own given its price point, is my inability to determine whether Ms. Mutter is using her '1703 Emiliani Stradivarius or her 1710 Lord Dunn-Raven. For those unfamiliar with those instruments, the Emiliani has single-piece back while the Lord Dunn-Raven has a two piece back. On a very high-performance system it is possible to hear the slight variation between the left and right side of the wood from the Lord Dunn-Raven. That is Ms. Mutter's preferred instrument and what I assume to be used in Rey's Theme. For that reason, the Harman's instruments from JBL Synthesis HDI line won't be held in the same reverence as Mr. Stradivari's instruments some 300 years from now."

Then this must be the ideal test recording ;): Canadian violinist James Ehnes's "Homage," on which he plays 12 instruments by Stradivari and other Golden Age makers. There's a fascinating Blu-ray version as well.

https://tidal.com/browse/album/8976042
 
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Dougey_Jones

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As a thought experiment, if I were able to get Harman products at employee pricing, and was in the market for a high end bookshelf, should I be going Revel over these?
 

GXAlan

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As a thought experiment, if I were able to get Harman products at employee pricing, and was in the market for a high end bookshelf, should I be going Revel over these?

Go for the Ultima Gem2 if you can get employee pricing.

I like the HDI-1600 if you think you have an equal mix of movies and music.
 

Sal1950

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As a thought experiment, if I were able to get Harman products at employee pricing, and was in the market for a high end bookshelf, should I be going Revel over these?
It's a hard decision, at competing price levels the differences will be extremely small.
It would be easy to fall back on the old myths and say the horn/waveguide based speaker will be more dynamic and play louder so best for HT and Revel for music. But if you look closely at the measurements that's a too easy way out. Look at the sensitivity numbers and they are within 1 or 2 db. The dispersion & FR are also super close with the Revel's looking ever so slightly better. I imagine under blind conditions they would be very difficult to separate with their dispersion/room interaction maybe separating them more under certain conditions. I had a pair of 1600's here and they sounded amazing but I was looking for a little more drive and bass power. I returned them and just received 4 JBL HDI-3600s and a 4500 center channel a few weeks back to upgrade my rig. All I can say is to my ears they are providing the clearest, most detailed high end I've ever heard in my 50 years as a enthusist, but then I believe the Revels would be their equal..
You buy your ticket and take your ride.
 

Dougey_Jones

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I’ll be pairing them with a Martin Logan Dynamo 10”, so Im not overly concerned about low end drive, I’ll probably cross them over around 60hz.

thank you for the thoughtful response Sal
 

Sal1950

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I’ll be pairing them with a Martin Logan Dynamo 10”, so Im not overly concerned about low end drive, I’ll probably cross them over around 60hz.

thank you for the thoughtful response Sal
That should make a outstanding stereo rig as long as you room isn't too large or you play super loudly.
I'd recommend at least a 100 wpc, I was driving them with 100 wpc Adcoms and really had to get to ear bleed levels before my clipping lights would blink.
Best of luck,
Sal
 

Dougey_Jones

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That should make a outstanding stereo rig as long as you room isn't too large or you play super loudly.
I'd recommend at least a 100 wpc, I was driving them with 100 wpc Adcoms and really had to get to ear bleed levels before my clipping lights would blink.
Best of luck,
Sal

Front end is PC —> SMSL SU-8 v2 —> Balanced XLR —> Classe CAP-151 Integrated

Making a run at a giant killer system in a small room. Current speakers are Monitor Audio REF-700 PMC
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Sal1950

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Asinus

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As a thought experiment, if I were able to get Harman products at employee pricing, and was in the market for a high end bookshelf, should I be going Revel over these?

Still speaking hypothetically, if you are not the employee or a parent, sibling or child of the employee you could get someone in trouble.

That being said, at employee price, a single Gem2 costs about the same a pair of HDI-3600 or five HDI-1600 (or a pair of M126Be + stands). The HDI-1600s are about the same price as the M106s and both of them are on impulse-buy territory (you could pay more for high-end cables).

At those prices, if you only have space for bookshelves I'd go for the pair of 126s but if the budget is tighter the 1600 and the 106 measure similar, the JBLs could probably go louder but it is a coin-flip.
 

Dougey_Jones

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Still speaking hypothetically, if you are not the employee or a parent, sibling or child of the employee you could get someone in trouble.

That being said, at employee price, a single Gem2 costs about the same a pair of HDI-3600 or five HDI-1600 (or a pair of M126Be + stands). The HDI-1600s are about the same price as the M106s and both of them are on impulse-buy territory (you could pay more for high-end cables).

At those prices, if you only have space for bookshelves I'd go for the pair of 126s but if the budget is tighter the 1600 and the 106 measure similar, the JBLs could probably go louder but it is a coin-flip.

I appreciate the feedback!
 
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