• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

JBL SCL-7 Review (In-wall Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 29 24.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 67 57.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 21 17.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    117
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
39,144
Likes
174,958
Location
Seattle Area
@amirm
My apologies if this was already asked/answered, but why weren't you able to listen to them?
Because they are supposed to be mounted in a wall with closed back. For measurements, I just have them on a flat panel as you see with open back so won't be representative.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
39,144
Likes
174,958
Location
Seattle Area
Does this show a dip at 2k on the JBL official measurements.....but that it then recovers less than in Amirm's measurements as one goes higher in the frequency range?
Harman graph is much more filtered than mine. If you do that, the ups and downs average and so the deviation reduces.
 

gerG

Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2021
Messages
37
Likes
35
Now I am leaning toward woofer cone breakup for that second harmonic around 2k. It corresponds nicely with the lump at 4k on the woofer response plot. There is even a small 3rd harmonic response in the right location. Not seeing any 4th harmonic response, though, even if I squint. Amir, time to break out that interferometer you have been saving for a "spatial" occasion!
Sorry, I seem to be in pun mode today.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
39,144
Likes
174,958
Location
Seattle Area
Not seeing any 4th harmonic response, though, even if I squint. Amir, time to break out that interferometer you have been saving for a "spatial" occasion!
Don't laugh but I looked into this type of measurement. Unfortunately it is destructive due to requirement to increase contrast of the cone with chalk powder and such. Sure would be cool to do secondary investigation like this.
 

Dj7675

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
1,672
Likes
1,962
This is really a clever design for specific use case such as front wide speakers and surrounds. Getting an in wall to point at the listening position is a nice option to have if you want a clean inwall install. Distortion is higher than it should be and it is expensive but I can see a specific use case where it would be a nice option for FW or surround in some rooms.
 

Rja4000

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
1,660
Likes
1,942
Location
Liège, Belgium
Last edited:

restorer-john

Master Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
9,599
Likes
27,309
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
I've got to say it. USD$1100 for a single (1) in wall speaker, comprising two woofers and one tweeter in a plastic/composite moulded frame is utter and complete theft. Seriously, Harman is taking the p#ss. It makes me laugh.

That it has a ton of HD (likely a nasty driver resonance, voice coil rub, or general design failure) at a specific frequency is even worse.

In-wall speakers should be cheap. I mean really cheap. No cabinets, no massive shipping costs and little or no risk of damage in transit. All rated specs can be out the window because they can blame the 'installation' and its 'shortcomings'.

These things should be USD$199 each MSRP and $299 a pair. Anything else is a joke.
 
Last edited:

restorer-john

Master Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
9,599
Likes
27,309
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Just reading the minimum enclosed volume for this speaker. They say 16 litres.

@amirm, isn't your wall-mount 'rig' basically an infinite open baffle?

1649249866309.png
 

nathan

Active Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
274
Likes
191
This is really a clever design for specific use case such as front wide speakers and surrounds. Getting an in wall to point at the listening position is a nice option to have if you want a clean inwall install. Distortion is higher than it should be and it is expensive but I can see a specific use case where it would be a nice option for FW or surround in some rooms.
Or the Front Left and Right speakers, without requiring any toe-in, or a Center speaker that is above a screen.....thought the "off axis" response makes me nervous about using it in a horizontal position.
 

nathan

Active Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
274
Likes
191
Harman graph is much more filtered than mine. If you do that, the ups and downs average and so the deviation reduces.
You are using the word "filtered" and I am interpreting that as "smoothed" but maybe "filtered" means something else....since "smoothed" would mean (to me) that the general shape is the same but the more smoothed graph would show less fluctuation within that overall shape.

However, to my untrained eye, the Harman graph is not even the same general slope in the upper octaves?

So maybe "filtered" means something different from "smoothed"?
 

restorer-john

Master Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
9,599
Likes
27,309
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
So maybe "filtered" means something different from "smoothed"?

"Filtered" means exactly what the marketing department wants to see...

e.g.:
marketing: "I want a flat response, not too flat mind you, but pretty decent and enough to silence those pixel-peepers out there"
'research': "OK, we've tweaked the numbers, blurred the aberrations, zoomed out a bit (quite a bit, but don't worry) and smoothed out a few glitches nobody will really notice." We think you'll be really happy with the results...
 
Last edited:

nathan

Active Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
274
Likes
191
"Filtered" means exactly what the marketing department wants to see...

e.g.:
marketing: "I want a flat response, not too flat mind you, but pretty decent and enough to silence those pixel-peepers out there"
'research': "OK, we've tweaked the numbers, blurred the aberrations, zoomed out a bit (quite a bit, but don't worry) and smoothed out a few glitches nobody will really notice." We think you'll be really happy with the results...

No wonder they look different!

I mistook the word "filtered" to be a technically defined term (like "smoothing") that results in a true, accurate, but perhaps less detailed display of the data.

But in this example, there is a fundamental difference between the measurements that doesn't seem to be related to a level of granularity. No I see why, I think, but am disappointed.
 
Last edited:

nerdoldnerdith

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
421
Likes
570
Location
Chicago
2nd order harmonic distortion is usually caused by suspension nonlinearity. In this case it looks like the tweeter. Strange.
 

prerich

Active Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
120
Likes
75
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.
View attachment 197717
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:
View attachment 197718

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:
View attachment 197719

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:
View attachment 197720

This translates the same into predicted in-room response although both it, and above graph represent speaker away from the wall:
View attachment 197721

I found a strange source of distortion:

View attachment 197722

View attachment 197723

Is this the woofer distorting or is it the tweeter?

Horizontal beam width is good but offset due to tweeter being so placed:

View attachment 197724

View attachment 197725

Typical of dual woofer configuration, vertical dispersion is quite narrow:

View attachment 197726

Be sure to have the tweeter at your ear angle.

CSD/Waterfall shows some of the resonances we have seen already:


View attachment 197727

Conclusions
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.
Could the 2 khz dip be the well publicized Mid-range compensation that many designers (mainly BBC types) factor into their designs? Just curious since it was so constant.
 

5th element

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Messages
37
Likes
136
Compression drivers are notorious for producing large amounts of 2nd order distortion, especially if you push them a bit too low (what this looks like). Luckily you need copious amounts of it to be audible and even then it's unlikely to sound bad.

It isn't perfect but I'm guessing that no one will hear it.
 

beagleman

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
710
Likes
853
I've got to say it. USD$1100 for a single (1) in wall speaker, comprising two woofers and one tweeter in a plastic/composite moulded frame is utter and complete theft. Seriously, Harman is taking the p#ss. It makes me laugh.

That it has a ton of HD (likely a nasty driver resonance, voice coil rub, or general design failure) at a specific frequency is even worse.

In-wall speakers should be cheap. I mean really cheap. No cabinets, no massive shipping costs and little or no risk of damage in transit. All rated specs can be out the window because they can blame the 'installation' and its 'shortcomings'.

These things should be USD$199 each MSRP and $299 a pair. Anything else is a joke.
You are starting to sound like ME now......I see we DO agree on this for sure.
 

Valentin R

Active Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2017
Messages
185
Likes
272
You are starting to sound like ME now......I see we DO agree on this for sure.
Can you put some examples of inwall speaker
With a better response when listened @ 30 degrees of in the horizontal plane and still covers 3 seats
 

Jamesl3ell

New Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
1
Likes
0
Because they are supposed to be mounted in a wall with closed back. For measurements, I just have them on a flat panel as you see with open back so won't be representative.
Do you think having an open back panel would have any effect on the measurements apposed to having a solid structure constructed similar to how the SCL-6 was measured by Erin?

Did Harman have any comments on what appear to be less than great test results? I'd planned on using these speakers for wide, surround and back speakers to save space in a very small home cinema but would have expected the speaker to perform above standard at this price point.
 
Top Bottom