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JBL Stage A130 Review (speaker)

samwisegangi

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It's really hard to find good reviews of the A120 or the Studio 220. I guess it stands to reason the A130 would be the best, but I'm trying to gauge how much of a tradeoff it is to go down to A120, which I understand has the same tweeter but a smaller woofer. And also how much difference there is from the Studio 220, which I think uses different cone materials.

I guess in the end it might just be as simple as the difference in the published low end frequency response specs, which are actually pretty close: 55Hz for the A130 vs 60 for the A120.

And the room these will be in has less than ideal acoustic conditions, which might make the differences even less important.

There are just so few reviews of the A120 and the 220 out there. Was curious if anyone has any impressions.

Thanks again.
I just had the Studio 220's and Stage A130's in my apartment. The Studio 220's were good but the tweeters were a bit harsh and obviously they have a size limitation. I thought they weren't much of an improvement on my 30 year old Venturi DV52's so they got sent back.

The Stage A130's are a revelation. Play every kind of music perfectly. Have a huge stage so it almost feels like I have a 7 foot wide center channel when I'm watching movies even though I have no center channel. (I'm exaggerating but only a little) I only have 70w per channel driving them in stereo and they'd probably sound even better with an amp with 100 or more watts driving them.
 

Teeter

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I think your choice of the A 130 would be the right choice for the long haul, if on a budget. I had over looked the psb Alpha P5.
 

JEntwistle

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I just had the Studio 220's and Stage A130's in my apartment. The Studio 220's were good but the tweeters were a bit harsh and obviously they have a size limitation. I thought they weren't much of an improvement on my 30 year old Venturi DV52's so they got sent back.

The Stage A130's are a revelation. Play every kind of music perfectly. Have a huge stage so it almost feels like I have a 7 foot wide center channel when I'm watching movies even though I have no center channel. (I'm exaggerating but only a little) I only have 70w per channel driving them in stereo and they'd probably sound even better with an amp with 100 or more watts driving them.

I think your choice of the A 130 would be the right choice for the long haul, if on a budget. I had over looked the psb Alpha P5.


Awesome. I'm getting the A130.
 

AdamG247

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I just had the Studio 220's and Stage A130's in my apartment. The Studio 220's were good but the tweeters were a bit harsh and obviously they have a size limitation. I thought they weren't much of an improvement on my 30 year old Venturi DV52's so they got sent back.

The Stage A130's are a revelation. Play every kind of music perfectly. Have a huge stage so it almost feels like I have a 7 foot wide center channel when I'm watching movies even though I have no center channel. (I'm exaggerating but only a little) I only have 70w per channel driving them in stereo and they'd probably sound even better with an amp with 100 or more watts driving them.
Welcome Aboard @samwisegangi.
 

Teeter

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Good show! If one gets around to a center channel and subwoofer for movies, I suggest the center speaker be of high quality for dialog. Long story short. If you get an AVR with auto speaker calibration, turn the center channel up +1.5db via speaker manual adjustment in the AVR speaker settings. Enjoy the JBL Stage A 130. We know these speakers are really good for music and should hear viewing DD movies.

For music listening, Oldies, Folk, or Symphony, I have the AVR set on Multichannel, as my preference.
 

Nomad

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Since reading this review, I've longing to buy these speakers because: 1. I'd like to upgrade my old KEF Q1 series with dented tweeters. 2. They're highly praised here (and on other subjectonist's sites) and 3. I can pick them up in my hometown (which is quite lucky as I'm living in Europe and no one seems to be able to get them outside of The Netherlands.

Two things are keeping me from buying these: should I first get proper speaker stands (the KEF's are now standing on a lowish cabinet) or should I choose a tower speaker instead (Girlfriend acceptance factor).
 

Teeter

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@Nomad, The tweeter of the Stage A 130, if used for fronts, should be placed at head/ear level, for best listening quality. Same for any bookshelf speaker with tweeter at the top of the enclosure. Buying bookshelf vs tower is up to you. Bookshelf speakers are usually intended for small to mid size rooms, for whatever that means. What's small and what's medium. You can do some research on the speaker selection and what budget you can afford. Here is a webpage for suggestive speaker stands. wooden speaker stands - Bing There are metal stands too, You might find something near where you live off the internet or a store. People sometimes find stands at a garden center, that work for them. Have fun!
 

Teeter

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More Dynamics Please

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Stage A170 towers are also on sale at Harman for $180 each. Adds a second 5.25" woofer in a larger cabinet for greater sensitivity and bass extension plus higher maximum SPL while not requiring an additional speaker stand to raise to ear level. Praised by ASR forum member @Jmudrick.

.
 

Ata

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Hi,

Here is my take on the EQ.
The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:
Score no EQ: 5.05
With Sub: 7.41
Spinorama with no EQ:
  • Not bad except the resonances
  • The HF peak may make the speaker sound "thin"
View attachment 98317
Directivity:
Horizontal pretty good thanks to the waveguide.
Better stay at tweeter height
Horizontally, better toe-in the speakers by 10/20deg and have the axis crossing in front of the listening location
View attachment 98318
View attachment 98326
EQ design:
I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat, pretty good that one maybe better if you listen ON
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable, come back closer to the bare speaker, maybe better if you toe-in
Score EQ LW: 5.78
with sub: 8.03
Score EQ Score: 6.29
with sub: 8.54
View attachment 98315
Code:
JBL A130 APO EQ LW 96000Hz
December102020-135648

Preamp: -0.6 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 37.8 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 0.87
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 148.5 Hz Gain -2.17 dB Q 1.5
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 931 Hz Gain -3.5 dB Q 4.21
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1349 Hz Gain -3.18 dB Q 4.06
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1806 Hz Gain -2.2 dB Q 2.11
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 5738 Hz Gain 0.72 dB Q 5.21
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 10000 Hz Gain -1 dB Q 3
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 15000 Hz Gain -5 dB Q 10

JBL A130 APO EQ Score 96000Hz
December102020-140817

Preamp: -0.2 dB 

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 37.8 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 0.88
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 153 Hz Gain -1.92 dB Q 1
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 925 Hz Gain -3.05 dB Q 4.07
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1352 Hz Gain -3.35 dB Q 5.53
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1795 Hz Gain -1.41 dB Q 2.86
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 10000 Hz Gain -0.75 dB Q 2
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 15000 Hz Gain -6.2 dB Q 7.5

Spinorama EQ LW
View attachment 98314
Spinorama EQ Score
View attachment 98316
Zoom PIR-LW-ON
View attachment 98313
Regression - Tonal
View attachment 98312
Radar no EQ vs EQ score
Nice improvements
View attachment 98311

The rest of the plots is attached.

Is it possible to generate a convolution filter instead of a discrete PEQ filter? With a large enough number of taps to get, say, within +-1db? I hope my question makes sense...
 

BYRTT

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Is it possible to generate a convolution filter instead of a discrete PEQ filter? With a large enough number of taps to get, say, within +-1db? I hope my question makes sense...
Make sense :)..
1) Download member Pos's free Rephase program.
2) Set or say dial in member Maiky76's filters into Rephase.
3) Pick whatever output parameters that suit best your situation to generate a convolution filter.
4) Have fun...
 

bunkbail

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Make sense :)..
1) Download member Pos's free Rephase program.
2) Set or say dial in member Maiky76's filters into Rephase.
3) Pick whatever output parameters that suit best your situation to generate a convolution filter.
4) Have fun...
I never knew you can do that with Rephase. I've always done it using REW, works well for me though.
 

Ata

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Make sense :)..
1) Download member Pos's free Rephase program.
2) Set or say dial in member Maiky76's filters into Rephase.
3) Pick whatever output parameters that suit best your situation to generate a convolution filter.
4) Have fun...

Thanks! But this flow would take Maiky76's filters as input (starting point?), and use an interactive program (Rephase). Can I feed the spinorama files into an automated tool/script and generate a convolution filter from that with the goal of achieving the +-1db target (or +-2db, or whatever the target is), and also have the predicted EQed score with and without a sub? Sorry if this is covered elsewhere, I can read up given a link. :cool:
 

BYRTT

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Thanks! But this flow would take Maiky76's filters as input (starting point?)...
Yes because you reffered to Maiky76's filters when asking how to generate a convolution filter instead :)..

...and use an interactive program (Rephase)...
We need a tool to create impulse responses for use as convolution filter, free Rephase and free VituixCAD can do that task, they only needed once to create that wav-file, then you load wav-file into whatever player.

...Can I feed the spinorama files into an automated tool/script and generate a convolution filter from that with the goal of achieving the +-1db target (or +-2db, or whatever the target is)...
Only automated EQ i know of is REW but also it has some limitations, if you use Rephase you have seventeen PEQs times sixteen banks = 272 times PEQs to dial on which should be enough to get inside say <0,1dB of whatever your target is :p...In practice if you use Maiky76's filters use reciep in my previous post, and if you wanna download Amir's spindata to base EQ then get that data to output as txt-file or frd-file and load it into Rephase, now into rephase task is use as many PEQs you like to get curve as flat as possible, and finally use point 3) from previous post.

...and also have the predicted EQed score with and without a sub? Sorry if this is covered elsewhere, I can read up given a link. :cool:
Set Maiky76's filters into Rephase and you have exactly the predicted score +/- whatever sample to sample difference there is from Amir's sample to your own sample, and now remember Amir's curves are anechoic :)..
 

Denon545

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Not to get too far off topic, but doesn't Olive/Toole and others not recommend EQ above the transition frequency of about 300-500hz? I noticed that when I run Audyssey XT32 full range, I lose some space and separation. But when I limit it to about 300hz that space and instrument separation comes back.
 

Ata

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Not to get too far off topic, but doesn't Olive/Toole and others not recommend EQ above the transition frequency of about 300-500hz? I noticed that when I run Audyssey XT32 full range, I lose some space and separation. But when I limit it to about 300hz that space and instrument separation comes back.

I used to own DENON AVR-890 (2010 model) and could not get good EQ results with its MultEQ (non-XT, non-XT32) implementation. On the other hand, Dynamic EQ was a godsend as far as I am concerned and I miss it with my Sony AVR.
 

Haint

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Not to get too far off topic, but doesn't Olive/Toole and others not recommend EQ above the transition frequency of about 300-500hz? I noticed that when I run Audyssey XT32 full range, I lose some space and separation. But when I limit it to about 300hz that space and instrument separation comes back.

My understanding is that advice is generalized rule of thumb to account for speakers with unknown off axis response, and is based on an assumption of problematic single point, omnidirectional in-room measurements that may well be showing uncorrectable or nonexistent errors. My purely intuited suspicion is that Full Range Audssey's perceived reduction in sound stage or imaging is due to its attempts at correcting reflections and slap back echos, not simply frequency response. Could be totally wrong, that just conjecture on my part, I have no idea of the inner workings of Audyssey. I believe Maiky's strictly anechoic based EQ is the same thing a lot of active speakers do.
 
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mayes

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Does anyone have any thoughts on this JBL Stage A130 vs Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 i have narrowed my choices down to these two (to a lesser extent also Mission LX-2 MK2).

I'm leaning towards the Wharfedales at the moment only because i think they look better but they seem to be very evenly matched otherwise. I intend to use them on my desk, relatively close to a wall.

Thanks for any thoughts
 

More Dynamics Please

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For sure the Stage A130 has a huge price advantage over the Diamond 12.1 when the JBLs are on sale as they are right now at $180 per pair vs. $400 for the Wharfedales, which no doubt have the advantage on appearance. For less than the cost of the Diamonds you could buy a pair of the A130s and add an Infinity Reference R12 sub also on sale at just $170 (66% off the regular $500) so $350 total.
 
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