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JBL Stage A130 Review (speaker)

whazzup

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Chalk me up as another who's been (self-)poisoned by this review, as well as this thread by @ROOSKIE comparing A130's distortion against other speakers:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-in-room-with-several-similar-monitors.18481/

index.php

index.php


Hopefully they perform as well in a desktop setting.
 

Ralferator

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Ha ha sorry then but on JBL USA site those pictures are published for A130 and not for A120 site plus in A130 specifications there they print its a bookshelf loudspeaker :confused:..

Can see that if its 45 rpm singles on the picture with the white brick tiles then i get a height of that loudspeaker to be about 240mm in height and that number doesnt stem with 285mm height number for A120 or 321mm height number for A130 :D..

Ok, i guess then i am wrong. Only way to find out if the A130 play ok in a bookshelf is to try it then i guess. At least they don't have 6 inch drivers so it might work ok.
 

ROOSKIE

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Hobbes

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Hey there, not sure if this is really the right place to ask but it seems somewhat appropriate.
I stumbled onto this forum a couple weeks ago and have been lurking for a while trying to decide what first purchases I'm going to be making to graduate from just portable bluetooth speakers/headphones. I've been looking at picking up the a130s for livingroom speakers for my apartment at school, but I was thinking, considering the size of the room, I might want floorstanding speakers instead. The ones I'm considering now are the a170s which seem to be essentially the same as the a130, but with the added woofer. They get pretty great reviews and they're going for $180 each on Crutchfield, would you think this is a good buy? Also, on craigslist I have come across a pair of JBL 590s in great condition for $400 total, but they don't have the original boxing or warranty or whatnot. I'm open to any suggestions or opinions, thanks.
 

Ralferator

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Hey there, not sure if this is really the right place to ask but it seems somewhat appropriate.
I stumbled onto this forum a couple weeks ago and have been lurking for a while trying to decide what first purchases I'm going to be making to graduate from just portable bluetooth speakers/headphones. I've been looking at picking up the a130s for livingroom speakers for my apartment at school, but I was thinking, considering the size of the room, I might want floorstanding speakers instead. The ones I'm considering now are the a170s which seem to be essentially the same as the a130, but with the added woofer. They get pretty great reviews and they're going for $180 each on Crutchfield, would you think this is a good buy? Also, on craigslist I have come across a pair of JBL 590s in great condition for $400 total, but they don't have the original boxing or warranty or whatnot. I'm open to any suggestions or opinions, thanks.

The JBL 590s are rather big and designed for rather big rooms, so it depends on your room and speaker placement if they fit. They should be awesome speakers but if they stand to close to a wall, your room is too small or your listening position is very close to the wall the bass could be too overwhelming. I read from owners of the JBL 590s who thought they are too bassy in their room. How big is your room and where would you place the speakers and the sofa?
The JBL a170 should be also awesome speakers and would fit a smaller room much better.
 

Hobbes

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The JBL 590s are rather big and designed for rather big rooms, so it depends on your room and speaker placement if they fit. They should be awesome speakers but if they stand to close to a wall, your room is too small or your listening position is very close to the wall the bass could be too overwhelming. I read from owners of the JBL 590s who thought they are too bassy in their room. How big is your room and where would you place the speakers and the sofa?
The JBL a170 should be also awesome speakers and would fit a smaller room much better.

It's probably right around 16x18 from what I can remember, and the main sofa is a foot off of one of the longer sides, so I guess I'd place them on the opposite side relatively far apart 2 feet or so off the wall(?). That's just a guess, I have no knowledge on speaker placement. The soundproofing is pretty good in the building, but I don't think I want all that much bass anyways, so the a170s it is I guess ahaha.
 

boselover61

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I take credit for this sale... I called them and mentioned the review by Amir and how well it would sell if it was on sale. Jokes! This is a great speaker, audiophile quality for dinner money price at $170
 

boselover61

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Prefer the 530 or this one? Again tempted (still no sign of the 570s I ordered).
This one has better bass. The sound signature is quite similar. The 530 is not bright and is very neutral. The 130 is also neutral but a bit on the bright side but it can be tamed with EQ. The 530 is a better speaker overall but you couldn't go wrong with A130.
 

Jmudrick

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This one has better bass. The sound signature is quite similar. The 530 is not bright and is very neutral. The 130 is also neutral but a bit on the bright side but it can be tamed with EQ. The 530 is a better speaker overall but you couldn't go wrong with A130.

Well I have the 530 (and IL-10 and M106 and R263 and more) so it's not like I need another pair ...but curious about that bass quality.
 

ROOSKIE

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Well I have the 530 (and IL-10 and M106 and R263 and more) so it's not like I need another pair ...but curious about that bass quality.
Howdy,
I know you have the 530's but I'll write so that others can interpret when cross shopping...

I don't have my measurements handy but I measured both sets extensively.
Measurement wise they are both truly excellent.
Neither measures as a bright speaker, both generally track the Harman downward slope quite well in my room.
The A130 has more forward mids both in measurement and subjectively.
In my medium room the 530 has much better bass extension and output below 60hrz above they are similar.
The A130 measures with lower HD in the 60-120hrz zone above that the 530 is generally similar or superior. IMD was not measured but the 530 appears to have higher Xmax so factor that in.
Ultimately I use PEQ as nearly all speakers benefit and all rooms are influential.
More corrections are used with the A130 to track my preferred curve, the 530 is smoother pre-PEQ.
With PEQ both speakers are phenomenal, really.
Measured distortion wise (&subjectively) both benefit from high-pass & bass reinforcement (like nearly all small speakers) at least to allow removing the low bass from their agenda. The 530 would be my choice for a full range between the two though I haven't spent as much time with the A130 full range yet.
I should note that the 530 has very low distortion in my measurements from the tweeter, it is all 2nd order and orders higher than that are super low - as in near world class for a home speaker at typical volumes. That compression driver is barely working up any sort of sweat. I hear zero ringing during the HD test sweep, I do hear some chirping from the A130. Still that button tweet is amazing. I can't believe how cheap it is appears in construction and yet how well it performs here.

(PEQ tweaks judiciously applied) Subjectively, wow. Such low money for this?
The A130 has a very wide dispersion and in my room sounds very different from the 530. These are different speakers from the 530's. The level of detail retrieval competes with much, much more expensive speakers I have owned and DIY'ed. This is after PEQ so not due to the elevated mids.
Bass wise the A130's are really great above about 60hrz, lower notes sound bad at volume and they measure poorly. This is a small speaker run full range, however crossed at about 70/75hrz they rip. Very easy to drive, using about half the power of the 530 for equal SPL.

Still the 530 are my favorite between the two. (not by much) Something about them, I don't know. Of course there is something about these A130's as well, I mean I am seriously impressed. I have a shelf full of carefully selected RAW drivers some of which cost as much as a pair of these finished speakers, good thing I love DIY for the experience and am not doing it to save money.

The A170's are on sale as well, if you want to try them and the 570's never get back in stock. You already have the 530's so the A170's might be fun. The reviews of the A170 in the press are high praise - Stereophile has some published measurements as well.

By the way regarding PEQ, the files and recommendations folks have posted here are pretty pointless. One has to measure in room. None of the examples here match in the way that I would want when compared to what I actually used in my room. In fact I think using them would be just slightly above a zero sum game.
 
Last edited:

boselover61

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JBL makes so much great speakers for a budget price you can never go wrong with any of them. I still rock the previous generation prior to the JBL studio 530, the JBL ES30.
Capture.PNG


Would be interesting to get them measured somehow. I can only measure them with my in-rooms. They measure pretty similar with what the JBL Studio 530 shown in the graphs here but without a slope like the harman curve.

Edit: Also JBL needs to start making cherry speakers again, they only make them for the Japanese market now with the JBL STudio 630 and the A130
 
Last edited:

Ralferator

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It's probably right around 16x18 from what I can remember, and the main sofa is a foot off of one of the longer sides, so I guess I'd place them on the opposite side relatively far apart 2 feet or so off the wall(?). That's just a guess, I have no knowledge on speaker placement. The soundproofing is pretty good in the building, but I don't think I want all that much bass anyways, so the a170s it is I guess ahaha.

The room is not so small but also not huge. I think the A170 would be easier to integrate, because an overwhelming bass can ruin everything. And they are not so huge. If you go for the 590 and they are too bass heavy in the room you could experiment with closing the bass reflex port though.
 

Jmudrick

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
357
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312
Howdy,
I know you have the 530's but I'll write so that others can interpret when cross shopping...

I don't have my measurements handy but I measured both sets extensively.
Measurement wise they are both truly excellent.
Neither measures as a bright speaker, both generally track the Harman downward slope quite well in my room.
The A130 has more forward mids both in measurement and subjectively.
In my medium room the 530 has much better bass extension and output below 60hrz above they are similar.
The A130 measures with lower HD in the 60-120hrz zone above that the 530 is generally similar or superior. IMD was not measured but the 530 appears to have higher Xmax so factor that in.
Ultimately I use PEQ as nearly all speakers benefit and all rooms are influential.
More corrections are used with the A130 to track my preferred curve, the 530 is smoother pre-PEQ.
With PEQ both speakers are phenomenal, really.
Measured distortion wise (&subjectively) both benefit from high-pass & bass reinforcement (like nearly all small speakers) at least to allow removing the low bass from their agenda. The 530 would be my choice for a full range between the two though I haven't spent as much time with the A130 full range yet.
I should note that the 530 has very low distortion in my measurements from the tweeter, it is all 2nd order and orders higher than that are super low - as in near world class for a home speaker at typical volumes. That compression driver is barely working up any sort of sweat. I hear zero ringing during the HD test sweep, I do hear some chirping from the A130. Still that button tweet is amazing. I can't believe how cheap it is appears in construction and yet how well it performs here.

(PEQ tweaks judiciously applied) Subjectively, wow. Such low money for this?
The A130 has a very wide dispersion and in my room sounds very different from the 530. These are different speakers from the 530's. The level of detail retrieval competes with much, much more expensive speakers I have owned and DIY'ed. This is after PEQ so not due to the elevated mids.
Bass wise the A130's are really great above about 60hrz, lower notes sound bad at volume and they measure poorly. This is a small speaker run full range, however crossed at about 70/75hrz they rip. Very easy to drive, using about half the power of the 530 for equal SPL.

Still the 530 are my favorite between the two. (not by much) Something about them, I don't know. Of course there is something about these A130's as well, I mean I am seriously impressed. I have a shelf full of carefully selected RAW drivers some of which cost as much as a pair of these finished speakers, good thing I love DIY for the experience and am not doing it to save money.

The A170's are on sale as well, if you want to try them and the 570's never get back in stock. You already have the 530's so the A170's might be fun. The reviews of the A170 in the press are high praise - Stereophile has some published measurements as well.

By the way regarding PEQ, the files and recommendations folks have posted here are pretty pointless. One has to measure in room. None of the examples here match in the way that I would want when compared to what I actually used in my room. In fact I think using them would be just slightly above a zero sum game.

Cancelled the 570 order, ordered the A170. Also back ordered but one can hope the Jan 30 stock date sticks.
 
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Would the waveguide, with its intention to limit directivity and/or spread the tweeter sound further from the source, shrink the soundstage inward compared to something more directive? I imagine each speaker would bleed into the opposite ear some which would cause the imaginary width to be smaller than other speakers.

with the "sale" going on right now I'm really tempted to upgrade from my hand me down AIWA SX-F12 "honeycomb flat diaphragm" speakers that you know just as much about as I do... which is nothing.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Would the waveguide, with its intention to limit directivity and/or spread the tweeter sound further from the source, shrink the soundstage inward compared to something more directive? I imagine each speaker would bleed into the opposite ear some which would cause the imaginary width to be smaller than other speakers.

with the "sale" going on right now I'm really tempted to upgrade to this, or even the A170 for it being the same price (and having a glowing review from Steve Guttenberg), from my hand me down AIWA SX-F12 "honeycomb flat diaphragm" speakers that you know just as much about as I do... which is nothing.
 

Jmudrick

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Would the waveguide, with its intention to limit directivity and/or spread the tweeter sound further from the source, shrink the soundstage inward compared to something more directive? I imagine each speaker would bleed into the opposite ear some which would cause the imaginary width to be smaller than other speakers.

with the "sale" going on right now I'm really tempted to upgrade from my hand me down AIWA SX-F12 "honeycomb flat diaphragm" speakers that you know just as much about as I do... which is nothing.

I very pleased with the A170. While I think the 530 tweeter/waveguide does the better disappearing act two good woofers are much appreciated.
 
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