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JBL Stage 125C Review (Center Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 100 57.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 63 36.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 10 5.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    173

voodooless

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but that has to say something about whether it is hated or loved?
Well, it costs next to nothing and the audience buying this will not care very much. It makes sound, so it’s probably good enough. It’s 2x 6.5” so will get loud: loud is good… Lots of bad sounding things get rave ratings. Lot of indistinguishable sounding stuff gets rave ratings as well. In the end, it really isn’t very indicative.
 

beagleman

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Well, it costs next to nothing and the audience buying this will not care very much. It makes sound, so it’s probably good enough. It’s 2x 6.5” so will get loud: loud is good… Lots of bad sounding things get rave ratings. Lot of indistinguishable sounding stuff gets rave ratings as well. In the end, it really isn’t very indicative.

Me thinks you just do not "Get it".

Do you think Polk takes more stock in those Crutchfield reviews of people that OWN this, bought it and USE IT, or of ASR ,of a bunch of guys that have never owned the speakers they complain about?

One is based on reality and actual owners, and the other on guys looking at a chart and measurements.

Honestly bad form to say the audience buying this will not care very much. That is condescending.
 

SwampYankee

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Do you think wildly different FR for people not sitting at dead centre is a preference? I think it is a requirement unless you are a single person in the house or a person who doesn’t care what others in the room experience.
Do you think you think center channel speakers over 30cm in height are a preference? Or center channels that cost more than $1,000?

It's fine by me if you do. Others will differ on their preferences and requirements. That end result doesn't correlate in any simple way with the competence of designers and engineers responsible for the speakers on the market.
 

sarumbear

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Do you think you think center channel speakers over 30cm in height are a preference? Or center channels that cost more than $1,000?

It's fine by me if you do. Others will differ on their preferences and requirements. That end result doesn't correlate in any simple way with the competence of designers and engineers responsible for the speakers on the market.
I have no idea what your point is.
 

sarumbear

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Yes, and it has 2 larger ports on back.

Polk has the theory, that 2 different sized ports, tuned to the same frequency, will effectively have different rates of transmission of mid frequencies, and will effectively lower the mid range output from inside the ports by having one port on front and other(s) on back, effectively making the midrange output out of phase at listening position.
I love to see that measured. I’m pretty doubtful that it will work though.
 

sarumbear

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You don't seem to be making an earnest attempt to understand his point of view. He made his point clear in the very next post. Different customers have different requirements.
Will you sell a car that doesn’t have doors if some customers had such needs? A speaker must deliver what it is designed for.
 

beagleman

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Will you sell a car that doesn’t have doors if some customers had such needs? A speaker must deliver what it is designed for.

Fit in a very low space, not cost a fortune, and to provide decent sound. (low priced to mid priced center speaker)

Anything more would be more expensive or often too high to fit, or would require multiple drivers and far more complicated crossovers.

The reviews I posted from Crutchfeld make it obvious that most people do think they deliver.

Provide some reviews from actual owners that show they think most center speakers are not delivering please.

Not guys objectively looking at charts and bashing things they never heard or owned.

I am saying this not to be negative, but for almost the entire forum to rate every center as mostly poor, shows we are either out of touch, do not have the hands on listening to really make those votes, or are simply just bashing stuff based on less than stellar reviews.
 

sarumbear

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I am saying this not to be negative, but for almost the entire forum to rate every center as mostly poor, shows we are either out of touch, do not have the hands on listening to really make those votes, or are simply just bashing stuff based on less than stellar reviews.
What you are saying is we shouldn't care if it is cheap and if they can sell. This is a consumer forum. We like to test and find out if audio products are fit for purpose. None of these centre speaker do. Manufacturers should do better, but if the consumer attitude is like yours they get away.

Before the mid 70s, the industry had no idea how speakers worked. It took one man to write a PhD thesis and presented to the AES for the industry to wake up. We had been at the moon by then but the audio industry had no understanding on how speakers worked. They manufactured them blindly. Why? Because they don't care. If we also don't care we will not have decent products on the market.

Please care and took the manufacturers to task. You are a member for ASR for that aren't you?
 

SwampYankee

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I have no idea what your point is.
Let's try another angle. Why do you think JBL didn't just rotate their logo on the Stage 125c and sell the speaker as a vertical MTM center speaker? That orientation clearly provides better horizontal FR performance. If they had bothered to actually measure their own speaker they would know this. Moreover, if they had the slightest training in speaker design, they would know the horizontal dispersion would be compromised by selecting this driver array before getting to the prototype. Why lay it on its side?
 

sarumbear

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Let's try another angle. Why do you think JBL didn't just rotate their logo on the Stage 125c and sell the speaker as a vertical MTM center speaker? That orientation clearly provides better horizontal FR performance. If they had bothered to actually measure their own speaker they would know this. Moreover, if they had the slightest training in speaker design, they would know the horizontal dispersion would be compromised by selecting this driver array before getting to the prototype. Why lay it on its side?
I'm confused further as your point is now exactly mine. I must be wrong in thinking the opposite.
 

SwampYankee

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...We like to test and find out if audio products are fit for purpose.... None of these centre speaker do.

Before the mid 70s, the industry had no idea how speakers worked. It took one man to write a PhD thesis and presented to the AES for the industry to wake up. We had been at the moon by then but the audio industry had no understanding on how speakers worked. They manufactured them blindly. Why? Because they don't care. If we also don't care we will not have decent products on the market.

Please care and took the manufacturers to task. You are a member for ASR for that aren't you?
Fit for whose purpose? Are we working towards the One True Speaker that suits everyone's needs?

And Harry Olson, A.N. Thiele, Edgar Villchur, and Henry Kloss were just twiddling their collective thumbs before 1974? If only they had cared! Imagine where we would be on our journey to Directivity Nirvana if they tried to understand how speakers worked.
 

SwampYankee

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I'm confused further as your point is now exactly mine. I must be wrong in thinking the opposite.
My point might be clear if you answered the first question in my comment. What reasons other than incompetence would lead JBL to lay the center speaker on its side?
 

Sancus

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Do you think you think center channel speakers over 30cm in height are a preference?
Well, we know you can build a 3-way center with similar ~5" woofers (the C1+) and it's only ~0.7cm taller and costs $250. As for why JBL didn't put a 3-way center in this line, dunno. It's not a new product. It also goes on sale for comically low prices sometimes, so it may have a lower manufacturing cost.

The idea that you just can't build a reasonably priced, not too tall center with a coaxial or 3-way design is not true. Is it harder and the manufacturing more difficult/expensive? Yeah, probably.

Anyway I'm not gonna comment on this further. The membership(and I) have explained how we feel about MTM centers in at least half a dozen reviews on them and I'm not seeing any new or productive arguments to the contrary here, just a lot of reductive arguments.
 

More Dynamics Please

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Looks good, but there is mixed feedback due to hot treble..

As one would predict by its design, there is not much difference in performance between the vertical and horizontal axis. Orientation does little to affect its performance, so it can be used on any of its sides without any serious acoustic penalty. The absence of any lobing artifacts demonstrates why the CCB-8 makes for a good center channel speaker. On traditional center speakers, woofers are aligned on a horizontal plane, and this will cause cancellation artifacts off-axis, sometimes as close as 10 degrees off-axis. This can result in an erratic sound for those who have to sit off to the side of the direct axis of the center speaker. The Hsu CCB-8 has none of these drawbacks. One drawback that it does have is that, since the upper treble on the direct axis is elevated, users may want to aim the tweeter above or below the listening position by 15 to 25 degrees. In my own listening, I aimed the tweeter over my head when seated at the listening position for an approximate 15-degree angle.


Right, the hot treble is correctable through positioning or EQing.
 

sarumbear

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Fit for whose purpose? Are we working towards the One True Speaker that suits everyone's needs?

And Harry Olson, A.N. Thiele, Edgar Villchur, and Henry Kloss were just twiddling their collective thumbs before 1974? If only they had cared! Imagine where we would be on our journey to Directivity Nirvana if they tried to understand how speakers worked.
The subject is centre speakers, not "One True Speaker". Don't go off-subject. The fact of the matter is the manufacturers are failing to produce a proper centre speaker that is fit for the job. What they produce are not fit for the purpose.

If you are a concerned consumer you will agree. If you are not, your ASR existence will not be happy.
 

sarumbear

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My point might be clear if you answered the first question in my comment. What reasons other than incompetence would lead JBL to lay the center speaker on its side?
Because you need a small height (not tall) speaker. Isn't that obvious?
 

beagleman

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Well, we know you can build a 3-way center with similar ~5" woofers (the C1+) and it's only ~0.7cm taller and costs $250. As for why JBL didn't put a 3-way center in this line, dunno. It's not a new product. It also goes on sale for comically low prices sometimes, so it may have a lower manufacturing cost.

The idea that you just can't build a reasonably priced, not too tall center with a coaxial or 3-way design is not true. Is it harder and the manufacturing more difficult/expensive? Yeah, probably.

Anyway I'm not gonna comment on this further. The membership(and I) have explained how we feel about MTM centers in at least half a dozen reviews on them and I'm not seeing any new or productive arguments to the contrary here, just a lot of reductive arguments.

You make some good points for sure. Coaxial I think would be out of the question for most manufacturers. Unless we are talking about something like that Insignia brand speaker years ago from best buy. But coaxials often have other issues, unless they are quite high priced.

The mid driver you mention, for sure seems like a great idea, but I think it is not done, for the same reason that most bookshelf speakers are 2 way, instead of 3 way. Simply becomes too complicated and expensive for an extra small driver and crossover.

Often in lower priced 3 way speakers, a smallish mid, will "crap out" a lot quicker than a couple inch larger woofer, or exhibit far higher distortion over a certain frequency range, unless it is fairly expensive again.

I agree with you and will not comment any more on this issue. Beating a dead horse....but was great to "discuss/argue" some ideas!
 

voodooless

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Me thinks you just do not "Get it".
I get It very well. The point is: how many people like something is no measure of quality.

Polk knows this, and they monetize on it. Good for them. It still says absolutely nothing.
Do you think Polk takes more stock in those Crutchfield reviews of people that OWN this, bought it and USE IT, or of ASR ,of a bunch of guys that have never owned the speakers they complain about?
I don’t need to try homeopathy to know that it’s nonsense.
One is based on reality and actual owners, and the other on guys looking at a chart and measurements.
The primary reality here are the sales figures. It still doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of the product. Fact is, most people want a horizontal center speaker, and also fact is, most people will buy a lower tier product, so a 2-way is basically the only choice. So one really cannot blame them for buying that product if there really isn’t that much out there. At the very least it requires some serious investigation and for that you need some basic knowledge as well. Reading a bunch of positive reviews is much easier.
Honestly bad form to say the audience buying this will not care very much. That is condescending.
Well, it’s probably close to reality. Apparently though, at least they care enough to write a review. I’m pretty sure that at least 95% don’t know that off-axis frequency response is very bad. Hell, I’m pretty sure most of them don’t even have a clue what that means… there is a nice saying:

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”

Mind you, I’m not saying those people aren’t happy with the product. I hope they are very happy. All I’m saying is that you can’t use that data as a measure of quality.
 

beaRA

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Will you sell a car that doesn’t have doors if some customers had such needs? A speaker must deliver what it is designed for.
This is a silly analogy which demonstrates exactly how much you are exaggerating the problem here. Doors are a matter of safety on cars and we're just talking about a speaker that sounds different off-axis. Poor horizontal dispersion is a dealbreaker for you. That's totally valid and it happens to be a dealbreaker for me as well. Other customers will have different dealbreakers like cost, size, and aesthetics.
 
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