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JBL Stage A130 Review (speaker)

mayes

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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.

ah I should have mentioned where I live in Australia the price is a lot closer... JBLs are $499 and the Wharfedales are $580 AUD. Would you still choose the JBLs given this pricing?
 

Teeter

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@mayes , The choice is up to you. You can look up any reviews and decide what is best and on your budget. I'm sure all are within the same listening range to your ears.

My listening to piano music, tells me if the speaker is good or not. Symphony music is next. For me, JBL bookshelf speakers over the years, have been admirable for me and been around for many years perfecting, as a whole. Read reviews and see how objective they are or not.

I listen more to DD movies than MP3 music, for example. I have a couple CD's of Piano and Symphony that I will put on at night, going to bed and the AVR is on Multichannel. If you enjoy DD movies, the Center Channel could me of a higher class.

Good luck
 

More Dynamics Please

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ah I should have mentioned where I live in Australia the price is a lot closer... JBLs are $499 and the Wharfedales are $580 AUD. Would you still choose the JBLs given this pricing?

A slightly higher price may be worth it for appearance if audio performance is comparable. Unfortunately I've heard neither and haven't seen measurements of the Wharfedales comparable to the Klippel measurements of the A130 on ASR. Australia is probably more Wharfedale "territory" than JBL. :)
 

375HP2482

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^^ I acquired the JBL Stage A-130 as a desktop speaker a few months ago for half of what the Aussies have to pay.

Knowing what I know now, I would gladly pay 499 AUD ($388 USD) for the two-tone brown vinyl Aussie flavor of this speaker.
 

More Dynamics Please

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I forgot the Aussies get the better looking A130. Not sure how the A130's woodgrain vinyl wrap compares with the Diamond 12.1's vinyl wrap up close but the A130 looks pretty good in images:

a4118ca9.jpg

g336D121WLN-o_other3.jpg
 

375HP2482

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This speaker is, for me, a more remarkable piece of engineering than the comparable Revels, as this one had to hit a demanding price point that the Revels don't have to think about. It even gets some of the Revel white-cone treatment, an echo of the old JBL LE-15 et al. Hope no one gets confused, eh?

I suspect that Harman marketing doesn't offer this particular finish in the USA in part because it doesn't want this entry-level product to eat into sales of the Studio series -- or, heaven forbid, the Revel M105. Not much to worry about there as one factor for many potential Revel customers is the elevated price.
 

mayes

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Ah ok I think you’ve all just convinced me to go with the A130s. I’ll just wait for an eBay sale to make the Aussie price gouge more bearable.
Cheers
 

Presently42

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They finally arrived!!! After three months of waiting, I received them a few hours ago. My first thoughts were, o lawd, they smol! Growing up with my parents huge speakers, that's what I've known speaker size to be. And even now, my speakers are big: how could these puny boyes possibly have more bass than the old Technics SB-P1000 with eight inch drivers?

My second thought was, o lawd, they bassy! What witchcraft have jbl used to get so much bass from such a small driver and speaker?

My third thoughts was, with eq, they just have such good tonality. Quite honestly, I've only listened to headphones all my life. A few years back, I discovered I could eq my HD800 to sound unbelievably good. I've never heard speakers sound nearly that good - audio shows don't count. I have to room eq these little ones now. I'll provide some measurements and hideous photos later; but so far, I'm even happier than I thought I'd be. Bravo jbl for producing these, bravo Amir for telling us all about them; and bravo those who produced the eq profiles. More to come!
 

Presently42

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Some measurements were taken and the bass has been tamed a bit. They don't go as low as my previous big old speakers, but they're better in every single other way.

The top two traces are measurements taken from the centre of the sofa, around two metres from the speakers (which are around two metres apart): left is blue, right is orange. The bottom two traces are moving mic method: left is green, right is purple. 1/24 smoothing is used: I usually e; with variable smoothing. Of note is, that this is post speaker eq from one of the members here who produces listening window and score eq (here measured is with lw eq: it sounded the best of the five I tried (lw, score, one from BYRTT, one from Amir, and my own attempt)): I've therefore applied room eq to eqd speakers. The results are quite good, though some extra tilt of 1 dB per octave starting at 1 300 Hz was needed. I'm not sure that's the right amount of tilt, but it's close. The room is horribly live: I include a terrible pic from the dying camera on my phone. Remarkably, the hideous diy room treatment is rather effective. Anyone fancy a pair of ancient Technics SB-P1000?

jbl a130 2020-05-17.jpg

signal-2021-05-17-210401.jpeg
 

abdo123

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They finally arrived!!! After three months of waiting, I received them a few hours ago. My first thoughts were, o lawd, they smol! Growing up with my parents huge speakers, that's what I've known speaker size to be. And even now, my speakers are big: how could these puny boyes possibly have more bass than the old Technics SB-P1000 with eight inch drivers?

My second thought was, o lawd, they bassy! What witchcraft have jbl used to get so much bass from such a small driver and speaker?

My third thoughts was, with eq, they just have such good tonality. Quite honestly, I've only listened to headphones all my life. A few years back, I discovered I could eq my HD800 to sound unbelievably good. I've never heard speakers sound nearly that good - audio shows don't count. I have to room eq these little ones now. I'll provide some measurements and hideous photos later; but so far, I'm even happier than I thought I'd be. Bravo jbl for producing these, bravo Amir for telling us all about them; and bravo those who produced the eq profiles. More to come!

Exactly my first impression as well!
Some measurements were taken and the bass has been tamed a bit. They don't go as low as my previous big old speakers, but they're better in every single other way.

The top two traces are measurements taken from the centre of the sofa, around two metres from the speakers (which are around two metres apart): left is blue, right is orange. The bottom two traces are moving mic method: left is green, right is purple. 1/24 smoothing is used: I usually e; with variable smoothing. Of note is, that this is post speaker eq from one of the members here who produces listening window and score eq (here measured is with lw eq: it sounded the best of the five I tried (lw, score, one from BYRTT, one from Amir, and my own attempt)): I've therefore applied room eq to eqd speakers. The results are quite good, though some extra tilt of 1 dB per octave starting at 1 300 Hz was needed. I'm not sure that's the right amount of tilt, but it's close. The room is horribly live: I include a terrible pic from the dying camera on my phone. Remarkably, the hideous diy room treatment is rather effective.

View attachment 130387

View attachment 130385

The pannels behind the speakers are unfortunately doing nothing :/

they’re too thin and sound beams forward on 500 Hz.
 

375HP2482

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I bought mine from Crutchfield when they were on sale two months ago. They were on sale again last week, but Crutchfield now shows "Discontinued" on its website. Amazon says "Currently unavailable" -- Amazon ships through Crutchfield.

A brown vinyl one appears on e-Bay for $720!

Thing is, the JBL website still shows them at the sale price. Could be they are drying up, so if you want one...
 

Presently42

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The pannels behind the speakers are unfortunately doing nothing :/ they’re too thin and sound beams forward on 500 Hz.

I had thought the same, but measurements prove otherwise.

Edit: I should say, that measurements prove otherwise - but the position of the speakers was also slightly altered when the panels were installed. I should also note, that the panels affect the treble, not the bass, for which they are indeed much too thin.
 

Teeter

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I recently reverted back to my Klipsch R-51M. Long story short. The A 130's are okay....... Sorry JBL.
 

Ralferator

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I recently reverted back to my Klipsch R-51M. Long story short. The A 130's are okay....... Sorry JBL.

Long story very short - don't you want to share impressions? Combined with where you place your speakers - room size etc.?
 

Teeter

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Long story very short - don't you want to share impressions? Combined with where you place your speakers - room size etc.?

With the Sage A 130, were not as bright and distinct for my movie watching. These mains are toed in at 6.5 feet from my listening distance, with the center at 6.2 feet. The subwoofer distance, says 7 feet. The 55" 4K, HDR tv is 6.2 feet away. The distance between the mains is 6.5 feet. The mains are on wood tv trays with tweeters at ear level.

The R-51M is more vibrant with more detail, when listening to MP3 internet symphony music, IMO. I put in a CD every once in a while, when ready to turn off the lights.

The section in the open air basement is 12 X 10, carpeted floor, with visible joist ceiling. The sq ft area of the open air basement is 1200 with 8 foot ceiling. My place of listening is my adjustable bed. I also have a make shift kitchen area.

My wife cuts the grass and I do the laundry, just the 2 of us. She has her own TV for her recorded shows. We have Directv w extras + Roku.

Sorry for the not having a detailed synopsis as to why I went back to the R-51M. The Stage A 130, after 3 months of listening, were more neutral to my ears and not as vibrant and detailed, when required. DD Movies for me, are where it is at. Music...3%.
 

More Dynamics Please

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Understandable that those who like extra brightness on specific content might prefer the Klipsch sound profile over the measurably more neutral JBL Stage series.
 

Ralferator

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With the Sage A 130, were not as bright and distinct for my movie watching. These mains are toed in at 6.5 feet from my listening distance, with the center at 6.2 feet. The subwoofer distance, says 7 feet. The 55" 4K, HDR tv is 6.2 feet away. The distance between the mains is 6.5 feet. The mains are on wood tv trays with tweeters at ear level.

The R-51M is more vibrant with more detail, when listening to MP3 internet symphony music, IMO. I put in a CD every once in a while, when ready to turn off the lights.

The section in the open air basement is 12 X 10, carpeted floor, with visible joist ceiling. The sq ft area of the open air basement is 1200 with 8 foot ceiling. My place of listening is my adjustable bed. I also have a make shift kitchen area.

My wife cuts the grass and I do the laundry, just the 2 of us. She has her own TV for her recorded shows. We have Directv w extras + Roku.

Sorry for the not having a detailed synopsis as to why I went back to the R-51M. The Stage A 130, after 3 months of listening, were more neutral to my ears and not as vibrant and detailed, when required. DD Movies for me, are where it is at. Music...3%.

Thank you for your impressions
 

mjh

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May 3, 2021
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Really enjoying mine, used solely for music (both digital sources and vinyl).

Bass performance is totally sufficient for my needs and they perform well in the less than ideal placement of my office system, placed at the front edge of a built-in 'desk/counter' area, toed in slightly.

EQed for digital use they are fantastic - guitar, violin, and vocals can sound startlingly real, especially for the price.

And for vinyl the Loudness function on my Yamaha integrated seems to help with the minor upper mid issue.

They remain widely available here in Japan.
 

Dad_Jokes

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May 15, 2021
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These are out of stock everywhere I look.

However, I managed to find a scratch and dent pair at Crutchfield and they are en route at $162 for a pair! I must have been really lucky to stumble onto that button on the product page at exactly the right time, because I went back after I completed the order and that button was gone.

I had placed (and since have cancelled) a backstock order at B&H photo for $180 for pair. ..they estimated 2-4 weeks. I was worried JBL had these out of production and the order would never be filled, so I reached out to JBL directly and asked if these are still being manufactured. Here was their response:

---"Thank you for contacting Harman support. I am glad to assist you on this.

Yes, we are still manufacturing JBL Stage A130 however as of the moment the we ran out of stocks for the unit.

The next restock date will be available on the third week of August 2021, note: this is still subject to change."---
 
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