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JBL Stage A130 Review (speaker)

thewas

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On the topic of EQ. Is it true that fewer filters get you better results? I've been playing with both Maiky's filter and Pierre's and I found them to have some subtle differences. Maiky's a bit flatter and Pierre's more dynamic (brighter or more colored?)
I also have often the feeling that too many and too narrow filters can often make a loudspeaker sound lifeless and also make the imaging flatter. Keep in my that positive peak filters mean adding a ringing in time domain.
https://support.genelec.com/hc/en-u...-does-GLM-not-fix-dips-on-frequency-response-
 

ahofer

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Having been into this hobby for nearly 25 years I can say that nearly every HiFi, Audiophile, Performance oriented speaker measures best (and should therefore sound best) with the grills OFF.
This is not at all new or even remotely not understood.
Sometimes grills are well designed and affect the sound very little if at all, more often they are a sonic afterthought and detrimental.
Grills are generally there as an option for various reasons (such as looking better in the living to some people). Often grills are taken off when actually used and for many folks (such as myself) never ever put on the speaker - ever. I like the look of the nearly every speaker without grills.
This is very common in the "audiophile/HiFi" realm. Many people like seeing the drivers.
Any speaker with a special tool required to take the grills off likely will not sell well.

Harbeths are designed, according to Alan Shaw, to be used with grills on. They are fairly difficult to remove. But Harbeth sells like crazy.
 

ROOSKIE

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Distortion
A Revel M105
B JBL A130
C Adam TV5
Just impressive here for the JBL

View attachment 98372
I just did some in-room distortion measurements. While I ran out of time before I finished what I had intended. I still was able to test a handful of different speakers.
I will post the results with a few screen shots as soon as I have a chance.
In a nutshell according to my results this JBL A130 does indeed have superbly low, mid-bass/upper bass/lower midrange, distortion as compared with several other systems in a similar class. (the JBL was still the least expensive unit involved)

*edit*
results posted here
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-in-room-with-several-similar-monitors.18481/
 
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ROOSKIE

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Harbeths are designed, according to Alan Shaw, to be used with grills on. They are fairly difficult to remove. But Harbeth sells like crazy.
Sure,
that is why I carefully used words such as "nearly, likely, ect.
There are always, always exceptions.
Harbeth is deff a company that does a lot of what they do differently from others and they charge you for it. I don't think I would ever buy a speaker from them for a lot of reasons but I like the look of their units sans grills. Shame to cover that design up in a drape. They sure make some pretty old school style speakers and interesting looking drive units. In any case I am deff not one of their customer base so my opinion their products is not worth much.
 

VipinS

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Hi all, this is my first post here as I am going to make my first 5.1 home theatre setup for my bedroom of size 16feet by 15feet height 12 feet.
I am far from an audiophile but I do appreciate a good sound when I hear one . My ratio is movies:music:game , 50:40:10
I have finalised Denon x1600h as my AVR.
I am inclined towards-
Jbl stage a130 L/R
Jbl stage a125c centre
Jbl control 1 pro rear
Jbl a100p or a120p subwoofer

should I make this purchase ? Is it a good choice ? I hope it’s better than the Polk s15 5.1 setup I was about to finalise before someone suggested A130 to me .
Thank you in advance . :)
 

VipinS

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I would definitely switch out the subwoofer. The A120P only goes down to 32 Hz, for that money go with a subwoofer from SVS, Rythmik, Hsu - all of which have subs that dig deep into at least the low 20's. Especially important since your main focus is movies.
Thank you for your reply .
But SVS in India costs over 1000$ .hsu and Ryhtmik not available .
So theses are my choices under 550$ here -
Polk audio Hts 12
Klipsch r-112sw
Bic America pl2
Jbl stage a120p
Any suggestions ?
 

Ralferator

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Hi all, this is my first post here as I am going to make my first 5.1 home theatre setup for my bedroom of size 16feet by 15feet height 12 feet.
I am far from an audiophile but I do appreciate a good sound when I hear one . My ratio is movies:music:game , 50:40:10
I have finalised Denon x1600h as my AVR.
I am inclined towards-
Jbl stage a130 L/R
Jbl stage a125c centre
Jbl control 1 pro rear
Jbl a100p or a120p subwoofer

should I make this purchase ? Is it a good choice ? I hope it’s better than the Polk s15 5.1 setup I was about to finalise before someone suggested A130 to me .
Thank you in advance . :)

If the JBL Stage a120 are not much more expensive i would get these instead of the JBL Control as rear speakers. One bad thing with the JBL Control (besides that they don't sound as good as the Stage a120) is also that their speaker surrounds don't live forever. After about 10 years they will turn to dust.

I would go for the JBLs over the Polks - but the Polks are not bad either.

For the Subwoofer choice i would think about if the maximum bass volume is the only important thing or also the bass quality for listening to music and then decide. I can't say for sure, but it seems like (from what i read) that the Bic America rolls of fast below 30 hz, but punches out a little more bass arround 50-70hz. It might sound impressive though. The Polk seems to play a little deeper but might not be as punchy or loud (but i am not sure about that). The Klipsch is a safe bet, JBL is also very well known for making good Subwoofers. Not an easy decision. Also all depending on room modes. Maybe somebody else has better advice.
 
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VipinS

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If the JBL Stage a120 are not much more expensive i would get these instead of the JBL Control as rear speakers. One bad thing with the JBL Control (besides that they don't sound as good as the Stage a120) is also that their speaker surrounds don't live forever. After about 10 years they will turn to dust.

For the Subwoofer choice i would think about if the maximum bass volume is the only important thing or also the bass quality for listening to music and then decide. I can't say for sure, but it seems like (from what i read) that the Bic America rolls of fast below 30 hz, but punches out a little more bass arround 50-70hz. It might sound impressive though. The Polk seems to play a little deeper but might not be as punchy or loud (but i am not sure about that). The Klipsch is a safe bet, JBL is also very well known for making good Subwoofers. Not an easy decision. Also all depending on room modes. Maybe somebody else has better advice.
A120 are 80-85$ more expensive here and also don’t have mounting kit . Are the Jbl pro ones really that bad in long run ? Can I consider Polk owm3/t15 too ?
I would love bass quality over quantity I guess .i would love to get the Jbl because of same looks but as the bass will be kept near a wall so not so sure as it’s rear ported . Also haven’t read any review online about Jbl a120p .
More inclined towards Polk hts 12 as it has great reviews on internet and has down ports.
bic America is most expensive of the lot and I also don’t like the way it looks .
Klipsch Don’t have the build or size of Polk. Also I don’t dig the way it looks . So unless it’s considerably better it’s not my top pick.
Really confused as the place where I live I can’t audition anything and no return policies . Help please .
 

Ralferator

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A120 are 80-85$ more expensive here and also don’t have mounting kit . Are the Jbl pro ones really that bad in long run ? Can I consider Polk owm3/t15 too ?
I would love bass quality over quantity I guess .i would love to get the Jbl because of same looks but as the bass will be kept near a wall so not so sure as it’s rear ported . Also haven’t read any review online about Jbl a120p .
More inclined towards Polk hts 12 as it has great reviews on internet and has down ports.
bic America is most expensive of the lot and I also don’t like the way it looks .
Klipsch Don’t have the build or size of Polk. Also I don’t dig the way it looks . So unless it’s considerably better it’s not my top pick.
Really confused as the place where I live I can’t audition anything and no return policies . Help please .


Are you sure the Stage a120 don't come with wall brackets? I was reading the manual and it says:

"STAGE A120 2 x JBL Stage A120 Compact Bookshelf Loudspeaker 1 x Owner’s Manual 1 x Warranty Card 8 x Feet Pads 2 x Foam Plugs 4 x Wall Brackets 8 x Screws for Wall Brackets "

I would use the Stage a120 if you can but if it's not sooo important that the surround sound stays coherent, you can of course choose other speakers like the Polk. The JBL Control surrounds usually break after some years (i don't know if they fixed the issue but i don't think so). You can still repair them though. There are lot's of videos about it on Youtube. But i would rather spend a little more and have speakers that sound better and will last almost forever.
Other very good speakers are the old JBL Arena 120 series (if you can find them) and they are easy to wall mount. They are also tuned a little different than the Stage Series but they have a much better frequency response on and especially also off axis than the JBL Control 1.

I think i would also not go for the Bic America. All of those Subwoofers will give you enough volume (if you don't listen extremely loud) and i expect the Polk to sound better. I would probably also go for the Polk. I also couldn't find any reviews for the JBL a120p.
 
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VipinS

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Are you sure the Stage a120 don't come with wall brackets? I was reading the manual and it says:

"STAGE A120 2 x JBL Stage A120 Compact Bookshelf Loudspeaker 1 x Owner’s Manual 1 x Warranty Card 8 x Feet Pads 2 x Foam Plugs 4 x Wall Brackets 8 x Screws for Wall Brackets "

I would use the Stage a120 if you can but if it's not sooo important that the surround sound stays coherent, you can of course choose other speakers like the Polk. The JBL Control surrounds usually break after some years (i don't know if they fixed the issue but i don't think so). You can still repair them though. There are lot's of videos about it on Youtube. But i would rather spend a little more and have speakers that sound better and will last almost forever.
Other very good speakers are the old JBL Arena 120 series (if you can find them) and they are easy to wall mount. They are also tuned a little different than the Stage Series but they have a much better frequency response on and especially also off axis than the JBL Control 1.

I think i would also not go for the Bic America. All of those Subwoofers will give you enough volume (if you don't listen extremely loud) and i expect the Polk to sound better. I would probably also go for the Polk. I also couldn't find any reviews for the JBL a120p.
Then i will look for Polk owm3 or stage a120 . Any idea about Polk audio t15 or micca mb42x ? Also I don’t think I can find Jbl arena 120 now .
it’s strange how Jbl stage line have so fewer reviews on internet specially centre and sub .
Polk hts 12 then ? Any other recommendation ?
 

witchdoctor

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Hi all, this is my first post here as I am going to make my first 5.1 home theatre setup for my bedroom of size 16feet by 15feet height 12 feet.
I am far from an audiophile but I do appreciate a good sound when I hear one . My ratio is movies:music:game , 50:40:10
I have finalised Denon x1600h as my AVR.
I am inclined towards-
Jbl stage a130 L/R
Jbl stage a125c centre
Jbl control 1 pro rear
Jbl a100p or a120p subwoofer

should I make this purchase ? Is it a good choice ? I hope it’s better than the Polk s15 5.1 setup I was about to finalise before someone suggested A130 to me .
Thank you in advance . :)

Yes, that will make a good setup. I use a similar setup with the JBL 230's and the JBL Control CRV, you will love it!
 

Ralferator

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It’s not common that audiophiles say negative about their own setup . Thanks for telling me .

It's because i was also deciding between these JBL series of speakers. I finally ordered the Arena 130 because the Stage a130 are sold out here in brazil at the moment though.

Other than the bright highs the 230s should be very good too and of course you could tame the highs with the EQ - or if you have thick carpets it might fit the room. But to me it seems the Stage A130 are more balanced
 

VipinS

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It's because i was also deciding between these JBL series of speakers. I finally ordered the Arena 130 because the Stage a130 are sold out here in brazil at the moment though.
Nice man ! Any idea on their comparision ? What other options you tried or considered in this price range ?
 

Ralferator

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Nice man ! Any idea on their comparision ? What other options you tried or considered in this price range ?

We don't have so much choice here in brazil. I was also looking at Monitor Audio Bronze 1 or Monitor 100 but it seems to me that Harman (JBL, Infinity and Revel) outplays pretty much everything.

The Arena 120 are highly regarded also by Floyd Toole, who seems to be a highly regarded expert. https://www.avsforum.com/threads/ho...-science-shows.3038828/page-147#post-58178406

here the frequency response:
https://speakerdata2034.blogspot.com/2019/06/harman-consumer-brands-spinorama-data.html

These are sealed speakers and need a subwoofer but could be very nice for your plans, if you can find them. (maybe even 5 of them) But Toole recommends to not hang them on the wall (at least for the front speakers i would stick to that recommendation).

I was also looking at the Infinity R162, but i don't like the looks so much. There are also the smaller R152 and they have nice Surround speakers as well (the RS152) The R162 seem also rather bright (but not hard on the ears when turned up).

I was finally deciding for the Arena 130 because they don't need a Sub (even though the Arena 120 seem to be clearer in the mids and their even frequency response is astonishing for this price). The Stage a130 are said to sound more lively though (could be because of the high mid peaks and the treble peak). I think i could get happy with any of those (Infinity R series, JBL Arena series and JBL Stage series) but i would rather go JBL.

From my research it looks like the Arena speakers are a little more neutral than the Stage, but the Stage are more fun, more detailed and might have a slightly better Soundstage. To me it sounded like the Stage a130 get a little shouty in the mids when turned up loud with some songs (due to the midrange peaks), the Arenas don't seem to do that. But that's only my guess from my research. I think they are all awesome speakers not only for the money.
 
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witchdoctor

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I hope so . How are Jbl 230 in comparision to stage a130?
what subs are you using ?

I haven't auditioned the 130 but the wave guide is very similar. I am using the Studio 250P sub that is the matching sub for that series.
 
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