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JBL HDI-1600 Speaker Review

Dougey_Jones

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They’re excellent speakers. My room is doing them no justice, and I’ve had to plug the ports with some dress socks because I have them too close to the back wall, but after that “mod”, I don’t know if I’ve heard more neutral/accurate speakers. They’re really a pleasure to listen to, but @ 85db sensitivity they ARE hungry, for speakers with horn loaded tweeters.

Bring some heavy metal with you or don’t show up.
 
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Sal1950

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I ended up getting the 3600s and 4500 center.
The more I listen to the system, the more incredible it sounds to me.
Maybe it's breaking in? LOL
I could lay out all the positive attributes I hear but then I'd just sound like another TAS writer.
What has impressed me most was the increase in inner detail over the old system, also a big improvement in bass reproduction.
Even though I still use the same 2 subwoofers I really should have expected the bass improvement from these floor standers.
 

Dougey_Jones

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I ended up getting the 3600s and 4500 center.
The more I listen to the system, the more incredible it sounds to me.
Maybe it's breaking in? LOL
I could lay out all the positive attributes I hear but then I'd just sound like another TAS writer.
What has impressed me most was the increase in inner detail over the old system, also a big improvement in bass reproduction.
Even though I still use the same 2 subwoofers I really should have expected the bass improvement from these floor standers.

My current plan is to upgrade my stereo only setup with Revel Performa F208’s and move these HDI-1600’s to home theater duty. I’ll pick up the matching HDI-4500 center speaker to match so I have a cohesive front soundstage.

Question for you Sal, does the HDI-4500 center have mounting holes on the bottom for the HDI stand like the 1600’s do? Just wondering if I should buy an extra stand for the center when I purchase it, or if I’ll need to make other arrangements.
 

Sal1950

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My current plan is to upgrade my stereo only setup with Revel Performa F208’s and move these HDI-1600’s to home theater duty. I’ll pick up the matching HDI-4500 center speaker to match so I have a cohesive front soundstage.

Question for you Sal, does the HDI-4500 center have mounting holes on the bottom for the HDI stand like the 1600’s do? Just wondering if I should buy an extra stand for the center when I purchase it, or if I’ll need to make other arrangements.
No, only the four holes where the feet attach, which are wide apart on the bottom.
 

Dougey_Jones

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Thanks!
 

HuubFranssen

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My JBL 1600’s are running for a week now and I love the sound. I have always been a big fan of Naim gear for the PRAT but this works too and is a lot cheaper. The amplifier is a nice looking build with standard Hypex Ncore 250 modules with enough power. Don’t biwire these JBL’s because the stunning sound is completely gone then. It sounds like a change in balance beween low and high (or less bass distortion). I don’t measure, just listen. This is a very helpful site! Donation under way.
 

Sal1950

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My JBL 1600’s are running for a week now and I love the sound. This is a very helpful site! Donation under way.
Welcome to the ASR Forums! Glad to hear your enjoying your 1600s, they really are excellent speakers. I believe JBL has a big hit on there hands with the HDI line. I had a pair here for a couple months but decided to go with something more full range and got the 3600s. I'm not sure what to say on your comment about any change in sound from biwire, I have to think something in you expectation caused you to hear any difference.. Have someone come in and connect or disconnect the second set of wires without your knowledge a number of time and see if you can correctly identify the change.
You really should start getting into the measurement side of things, it is very valuable in putting together an outstanding kit.
Again welcome, and thanks for the donation, Amir will much appreciate it!
Sal
 

Prolix

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Anyone know if eq'ing out the top end spike does anything strange to the sound? I figure it has to be there for a reason.
 

Sal1950

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Anyone know if eq'ing out the top end spike does anything strange to the sound? I figure it has to be there for a reason.
Are you talking about that peaking that begins around 18khz?
Only dogs are hearing whats going on up there.
I don't know why it exists but I promise you it's not there for an intended audible effect.
 

tuga

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Anyone know if eq'ing out the top end spike does anything strange to the sound? I figure it has to be there for a reason.

The spike is what @John Atkinson calls "oil-can" resonance, produced by the break up of the tweeter and may be audible.
 

ElNino

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Are you talking about that peaking that begins around 18khz?
Only dogs are hearing whats going on up there.
I don't know why it exists but I promise you it's not there for an intended audible effect.

For younger people, it's likely audible on-axis. I used to be able to hear 23kHz resonances until my mid-20s, and this is lower than that.

Nothing you can do about it though; it's not possible to effectively EQ these types of resonances away. You can try to reduce its effect by putting a brickwall right before it to avoid directly stimulating the resonance, but that messes with the phase of the top octave and is likely to do more harm than good.
 

Sal1950

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For younger people, it's likely audible on-axis. I used to be able to hear 23kHz resonances until my mid-20s,
Sure it wasn't a lower harmonic you could ID?
Just call me skeptical ;)
 

charleski

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Just thought I'd share this one:
I know there are lots of fans of Steve Guttenberg here who will be eager to hear that he thinks these speakers are "pretty, pretty good". He doesn't know the difference between a waveguide and a horn, but hey, give the guy a break, he's only been selling audio gear for thirty years ...
 

Senior NEET Engineer

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Just thought I'd share this one:
I know there are lots of fans of Steve Guttenberg here who will be eager to hear that he thinks these speakers are "pretty, pretty good". He doesn't know the difference between a waveguide and a horn, but hey, give the guy a break, he's only been selling audio gear for thirty years ...

What's the difference other than marketing?
 

charleski

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What's the difference other than marketing?
A waveguide corrects directivity, a horn matches impedance.

Dear Steve expresses surprise that the speakers are relatively insensitive despite using 'horns', which should improve efficiency. That's because they aren't horns.
 

milosz

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Yeah a horn is an acoustic impedance matching construct. It matches the acoustic impedance of the driver diaphragm to the air in the room, in essence.

Waveguide is a term I do not like, except when used for microwave RF electronics. The concept of a waveguide as used in electronics doesn't really work when applied to acoustics. An RF waveguide has electric and magnetic field properties in it's walls that dominate it's function, a little conical depression around a tweeter has no analog of that in terms of acoustics. "Dispersion shaper" would be more accurate.

(Just FYI, a rectangular waveguide to carry electrical signals at audio frequencies would be about 25 km wide, give or take. I'm waiting for some high-end speaker cable company to claim that their cables are waveguides....)
 

ElNino

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A waveguide corrects directivity, a horn matches impedance.

If the "waveguide" is also used to permit a lower crossover frequency for the tweeter, by raising the tweeter's low end response (i.e., better coupling the tweeter to the air), can it technically be both? A waveguide and a horn?
 

charleski

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If the "waveguide" is also used to permit a lower crossover frequency for the tweeter, by raising the tweeter's low end response (i.e., better coupling the tweeter to the air), can it technically be both? A waveguide and a horn?
All horns are also waveguides (though I suppose it’s possible someone could find an exception*). But not all waveguides are horns, which require specific expansion metrics.

*Yes, I’m just covering my ass here in case someone unearths an odd-ball design ;)
 
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HuubFranssen

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A match from heaven: the JBL HDI1600’s with an Electrokompaniet PD-2D. It’s Danish. More lively than the outstanding but ultra-flat Hypex 250. You lose some high-endish finesse but it’s the best sound I ever heard in my room.
 
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