This is a review and detailed measurements of the JBL SCL-7 in-wall "custom" home theater speakers. It was purchased new by a member and kindly sent to me for testing. It costs US $1,100 each.
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It is an interesting design with two mid-woofers and asymmetrical waveguide/horn. There is a near/far boundary setting. I tested it in far mode.
Measurements were performed using special mode of Klippel Near-Field Scanner which ignores everything outside of a radius in front of the speaker. As such it simulates speaker being mounted on infinitely large wall. Edge diffractions are also removed as are reflections.
Note: our company, Madrona Digital, is a dealer for Harman products including JBL line. While there is little subjective opinion in this write-up, feel free to read what level of bias you like.
JBL SCL-7 Measurements
As usual we start with our frequency response measurements:
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Response is nice and even until we get to crossover region around 2 kHz. Response droops there and becomes variable, likely due to resonances from the woofers:
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Please note that the baffler that I made for it may be responsible for that. Then again, you are also going to have such resonances when you mount it on your wall.
Near-field response unfortunately worsens that dip:
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This translates the same into predicted in-room response although both it, and above graph represent speaker away from the wall:
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I found a strange source of distortion:
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Is this the woofer distorting or is it the tweeter?
Horizontal beam width is good but offset due to tweeter being so placed:
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Typical of dual woofer configuration, vertical dispersion is quite narrow:
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Be sure to have the tweeter at your ear angle.
CSD/Waterfall shows some of the resonances we have seen already:
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I wish had ability to listen to these speakers but I do not. Going by the measurements, it seems to be less perfect than what I expect form JBL at this price. I know you can do a lot worse though with many in-walls sold in the custom market so the news is not bad overall.
Without listening tests, I am withholding any recommendation.