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JBL Stage A130 Review (speaker)

amadeuswus

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I am considering recommending the A130s to friends who would place them on bookshelves surrounded by books, probably shelves 11" to 13" deep. (The A130s are about 9" deep.) The speakers would be driven by a NAD 7155 receiver, which has bass and treble controls, but no other eq would be used. Would the close-to-wall placement be a serious problem? My friends listen mainly to jazz and classical cds/lps.

This comes from the A130 webpage on the Crutchfield website, https://www.crutchfield.com/p_109SA...ge+a130+price&awmt=b&awnw=s&awat=&awug=102669 --

Placement: A pair of JBL bookshelf loudspeakers should be placed approximately 6-10' apart and angled between 40-60° toward the listening position. They should be mounted as close to the seated listener's ear height level as possible. Generally, bass output will increase as the speaker is moved closer to a wall or corner. JBL recommends that you place the speakers at least 20" away from side or rear walls.
 
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pjug

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In that case if I were advising them I would suggest something that isn't rear ported, unless they will high-pass. For example Wharfedale D320 (~10" depth?) costs just a little more and has a downward firing port. I don't know anything about the D320 though.
 

Steve Dallas

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I am considering recommending the A130s to friends who would place them on bookshelves surrounded by books, probably shelves 11" to 13" deep. (The A130s are about 9" deep.) The speakers would be driven by a NAD 7155 receiver, which has bass and treble controls, but no other eq would be used. Would the close-to-wall placement be a serious problem? My friends listen mainly to jazz and classical cds/lps.

This comes from the A130 webpage on the Crutchfield website, https://www.crutchfield.com/p_109SA...ge+a130+price&awmt=b&awnw=s&awat=&awug=102669 --

Placement: A pair of JBL bookshelf loudspeakers should be placed approximately 6-10' apart and angled between 40-60° toward the listening position. They should be mounted as close to the seated listener's ear height level as possible. Generally, bass output will increase as the speaker is moved closer to a wall or corner. JBL recommends that you place the speakers at least 20" away from side or rear walls.

I did not have good luck with rear ported speakers used in bookcases. I ended up with front ported KEF Q100s, purchased half price after they were discontinued.

Plugging the ports is an option, but that did not sound natural with the speakers I tried.
 

Quake120

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Just bought these and set them up to replace Polk T15s. The difference is so staggering it isn't even funny. These are orders of magnitude better! I applied Amir's suggested EQ and these things are AMAZING!
 
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Toblerone

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My first post here. Came across this site while researching the JBL speakers (for my first setup). I was on the fence between these and a Klipsch RP front stage. I needed a smaller center channel (yea yea I'm aware) for my setup which really limited me. I was concerned about the JBLs because there wasn't much on them and everyone just warned to stay away from a center like JBL Stage a135c. But after reading the review on the here about the A130s I decided to pull the trigger hoping the a135c was at least decent. After setting everything up a couple weeks ago, I was happy with the results (much better than my old vizio soundbar) but felt like the sound could be better. So earlier tonight I decided to move the front speakers away from the wall to the front edge of the entertainment center, also moved the couch a few more inches away from the wall, and recalibrated with audyssey. And well the sound immediately and literally made my heart start fluttering and my brain tingle. Everything about the sound changed, even the bass. Never expected that and I'm in awe now. Looking forward to trying just a 2.1 setup now with music and see what kind of difference it makes there too.

Thanks for the review and helping me decide what to get!

5.1.2 setup with
Marantz NR1711
JBL A130s
JBL A135C
Cambridge Audio Minx 22 Min - surround
Polk RC60i - atmos
SVS SB-1000
 
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Teeter

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@Toblerone Nice that you are happy with your JBL's. Yes, they are a find and been around for years. These days, they have little press coverage.
 

Quake120

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@Teeter I have noticed the JBL A130s are out of stock a lot of places. Has JBL cut back a lot on production of these or are they getting a lot more popular?
They are great. I am enjoying mine a lot!
Is the A125C also good? I am using the sub from a Klipsch 2.1 Promedia set. What's a good sub for these?
 

Teeter

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@Quake120 Jbl has been popular and see their next shipment of the Stage A130 is due in 4-17, per their website. The Stage 125C is just fine in my opinion. You might want to consider this for a sub: JBL Stage A100P Powered subwoofer at Crutchfield.
I think you will be happy with overall JBL performance. I assume your room size is small to med and on somewhat of a budget, but want a good sound system.
 

Quake120

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@Quake120 Jbl has been popular and see their next shipment of the Stage A130 is due in 4-17, per their website. The Stage 125C is just fine in my opinion. You might want to consider this for a sub: JBL Stage A100P Powered subwoofer at Crutchfield.
I think you will be happy with overall JBL performance. I assume your room size is small to med and on somewhat of a budget, but want a good sound system.
You are right about the room size. It is my computer room and is a typical bedroom size. Budget for a subwoofer is right about where the Stage A100P is.
If that sub is as good as the A130's, I'll be very happy. The A130s have impressed me a ton.
I was using Polk T15s before and the difference is huge. The review @amirm posted on the T15 is pretty gruesome :)
The T15's are being demoted to surround speaker duty
 

Toblerone

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Does anyone have any idea what happened to the JBL Stage A135C? It looks like it was discontinued and only the a125c available. That was the biggest deterrent to taking a chance on the a135c. I thought maybe there was something inherently wrong with it and JBL decided to remove it from the lineup. It seems more than fine though, but that might only be because I don't know what I'm missing (however compare and prefer it to the Klipsch RP-500c which would be a more traditional size center)
 

charlesluo

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When I look at the A170 FR at stereophile, I can not help but notice the big differences between A170 and A130.
Around 1K-2K, A170 has a dip; A130 has a peak.
Around 10K-20K, A170 has 2 peaks; A130 has only one peak.
Would the differences cause very difference sounds?
I would assume that A170 and A130 use the same tweeter and woofer, or at least similar if not exactly the same. Then why the FR are so different? A170 is not looking good.

A170:
https://www.stereophile.com/content/jbl-stage-a170-loudspeaker-measurements
1019JBL170fig4.jpg



A130:
index.php
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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When I look at the A170 FR at stereophile, I can not help but notice the big differences between A170 and A130.
Stereophile measurements for speakers are not very good. They show an artificial boost in lows and are averaged/smoothed a lot. I would not compare them to my measurements and draw any conclusions.
 

charlesluo

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Stereophile measurements for speakers are not very good. They show an artificial boost in lows and are averaged/smoothed a lot. I would not compare them to my measurements and draw any conclusions.

Good to know. Thanks. I also found their measurements for other speakers a bit odd. Guess they have a lot to consider other than the data.
 

Toblerone

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The JBL Stage A135C seems to be out of stock. At B&H for example it says more on the way in 2-4 weeks. Interesting design with six 3" drivers flanking the common Stage 1" aluminum tweeter with waveguide and ports at the two ends. The A125C is a different design with two 5.25" drivers sealed.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...a135cblk_2_way_dual_6_3_subwoofer_center.html

maybe but the speaker is not available on jbl.com and crutchfield says ‘discontinued’ and only a couple other sites even list it for sale but it’s sold out/not available as well. The only place you can buy it is from 1 company on eBay. That seems sketchy to me?

edit: it’s not even available on eBay anymore.
 

More Dynamics Please

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@Toblerone, the A135C is listed as "sold out" on jbl.com. JBL frequently lists various speakers as "sold out" but are not discontinued. They go back on sale when the next shipment is received. B&H is pretty reliable and they're saying 2-4 weeks. All the vendors dropship from the same warehouse so when one vendor is out they're all out.
 

Presently42

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I ordered the speakers a couple of weeks or so ago from a Canadian retailer. I got an email saying, that the speakers won't be delivered to me before the thirty-first of March. The shop owner blames the plague for the delay: presumably, production can't currently meet demand due to general plague-related logictics and manufacturing issues
 
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