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JBL Stage A130 Review (speaker)

375HP2482

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View attachment 201138

The line is what I deem to be a trend line; and shows the deviation from smooth.with eq!): all else is, hypothetically, the same.
My experiences around speakers have acclimated me to a flat direct sound (while absorbing as much early reflection as possible). So I dialed in a correction-to-FLAT based on your "trend line," a 500-Hz HF shelf set at +2 dB. Different sound, works for me.
 

Presently42

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I dialed in a correction-to-FLAT based on your "trend line,"
The line I put is merely to see how smooth the curve is in my room. The line cannot be used in your setup, as your room has a different line: the line cannot be used as a basis for eq filters. If you've a microphone, I urge you to use it. Failing that, your ears are the best tool you have: by all means put a shelf, if you prefer brighter sound to more neutral sound - but certainly don't base your filters off of my arbitrary line!
 

Buckster

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I'm finding these speakers excellent but hard work to dial in

When they sound good they sound fantastic but they can also sound not so good

I wonder if it's partly consistency across on and off axis responses Vs say my 308 IIs which whilst can't go as loud or dynamic or match when the 130s sound good they are MUCH more consistent requiring little EQ or care much about angle facing at I guess that's the advantage of active and built in sophisticated EQ
 

VenoMal1c3

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Greetings, everyone. This is my first forum post here, but I've been lurking/creeping about for a while.

I've also wondered whether or not the change in model numbers for the JBL Stage A130 speakers was indeed inconsequential, which I have a hard time believing because bothering to release a product with a different model number generally indicates that some kind of change took place, even if it's a small one. That sort of thinking, as well as Crutchfield having separate listings for each model number, brought something to my attention that might explain it & finally justify just why in the Hell there are so many Spec Sheet & User Manual PDFs out there & why I seem end up with a bunch of them on my drive.

I noticed two differences in the specifications between models Frequency Response & the perhaps more impactful Crossover Frequencies. Where the "older" model Stage A130 has the Frequency Response listed as 50Hz - 40kHz & the Crossover Frequency at 2.1kHz, the "newer" version lists the FR as 55Hz - 40kHz with the Crossover Frequency set at 3.2kHz. I took this information from the Spec Sheets published by Harmon & the Specs page of the separate listings on Crutchfield.
I'd like to point out here that the publication years were 2017 & 2018, respectively indicated as "older" & "newer" above.

I don't know if that would account for the differences or not, but hadn't seen it mentioned yet. Forgive me if someone did mention it in the last few pages of this forum. I didn't get through all of them yet.

The pair of JBL Stage A130 speakers I ordered from Crutchfield are the "newer" model with the increased Frequency Response (which I confirmed by playing a frequency sweep) & the higher crossover point. I really enjoy these speakers & listen to them almost daily mostly at my desk to listen to music. The speakers are naked (grills off), toed in & decoupled from my desk using thick isolation pads for studio monitors & they sit at a distance of 3' 2" from my primary listening position. I use the Aiyima A07 amp & 16 Oxygen Free Copper speaker wire to connect them to my desktop. No DAC yet because so far I'm doing okay with my Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro motheroard's onboard sound which is an electronically isolated Realtek ALC1220-VB High Definition Codec.
 

More Dynamics Please

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Greetings, everyone. This is my first forum post here, but I've been lurking/creeping about for a while.

I've also wondered whether or not the change in model numbers for the JBL Stage A130 speakers was indeed inconsequential, which I have a hard time believing because bothering to release a product with a different model number generally indicates that some kind of change took place, even if it's a small one. That sort of thinking, as well as Crutchfield having separate listings for each model number, brought something to my attention that might explain it & finally justify just why in the Hell there are so many Spec Sheet & User Manual PDFs out there & why I seem end up with a bunch of them on my drive.

I noticed two differences in the specifications between models Frequency Response & the perhaps more impactful Crossover Frequencies. Where the "older" model Stage A130 has the Frequency Response listed as 50Hz - 40kHz & the Crossover Frequency at 2.1kHz, the "newer" version lists the FR as 55Hz - 40kHz with the Crossover Frequency set at 3.2kHz. I took this information from the Spec Sheets published by Harmon & the Specs page of the separate listings on Crutchfield.
I'd like to point out here that the publication years were 2017 & 2018, respectively indicated as "older" & "newer" above.

I don't know if that would account for the differences or not, but hadn't seen it mentioned yet. Forgive me if someone did mention it in the last few pages of this forum. I didn't get through all of them yet.

The pair of JBL Stage A130 speakers I ordered from Crutchfield are the "newer" model with the increased Frequency Response (which I confirmed by playing a frequency sweep) & the higher crossover point. I really enjoy these speakers & listen to them almost daily mostly at my desk to listen to music. The speakers are naked (grills off), toed in & decoupled from my desk using thick isolation pads for studio monitors & they sit at a distance of 3' 2" from my primary listening position. I use the Aiyima A07 amp & 16 Oxygen Free Copper speaker wire to connect them to my desktop. No DAC yet because so far I'm doing okay with my Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro motheroard's onboard sound which is an electronically isolated Realtek ALC1220-VB High Definition Codec.
One early JBL Stage Series manual erroneously listed every Stage model (A120, A125C, A130, A135C, A170, A180, A190) with a 2.1kHz crossover which was obviously a typo that was corrected in later documentation.
 

Buckster

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Pjug,

It is easy. The crossover is attached to the speakers terminal plate on the back. Removing the speakers terminal plate with the four screws will give you the ability to acess the crossover and do the mod. Please find the attached picture.

Trying to work out how you have implemented from the photo of your crossover as looks a great mod as my Denon AVR has fairly narrow eq at 1 and 2khz which makes for dips in the peaks but the notches aren't wide enough to correct the peak in response 1-2k fully

Did you snip the leg of the capacitor then solder one end of the resistor to the pcb and other to the cap please ?

What specs are required for the resistor please ? I'm assuming tolerance is not going to make much difference in this case but power rating required ?

Many thanks and much appreciated
 

pjug

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Trying to work out how you have implemented from the photo of your crossover as looks a great mod as my Denon AVR has fairly narrow eq at 1 and 2khz which makes for dips in the peaks but the notches aren't wide enough to correct the peak in response 1-2k fully

Did you snip the leg of the capacitor then solder one end of the resistor to the pcb and other to the cap please ?

What specs are required for the resistor please ? I'm assuming tolerance is not going to make much difference in this case but power rating required ?

Many thanks and much appreciated
You addressed @ObjectAudio not me, but I went by his photo. Snipped the cap lead and put in a 5W resistor. Pretty sure I used this one:


I'm pretty sure I bought extras. If you PM me your address and I can put a couple in the mail (assuming I can find them). They are cheap though so maybe you will want extras yourself.
 

Buckster

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Ah yes sorry. Thanks for the reply and that's a very generous offer (thank you) but I think I'll buy a pack and then have spares

Interestingly I just tried speaker on side and not sure if simply down to height of tweeter changing, leveraging different off axis response horizontal Vs vertical or less cabinet resonance if resting on side but seemed to reduce resonance on right speaker around the 1.5khz on right speaker and the resonance higher up on left see below.

Left speaker 12db smoothing magenta on side green vertical

IMG_20220513_142249.jpg


Right speaker green horizontal this time

IMG_20220513_142500.jpg
 

Buckster

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Think it was tweeter height I've put speakers upside down and frequency response curves are just as good as on side but doesn't have disadvantages of dispersion issues on side

One speaker is flatter than the other in response not sure if the location or sample variation but I have two more a130s as surrounds so when banana plugs arrive I'll swap between all three and see if all measure near identical and its location or whether sample variation

One other thing I've found tonight is that although with ports blocked gives slightly better frequency response (even after basic EQ) to me they sound more strained at high volumes - with the port opened sounds better (dynamics and to me distortion) even though doesn't measure quite as well - don't know how to describe it but at high volumes with ports closed they sound a bit chesty like they are working too hard
 

phoenixsong

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Think it was tweeter height I've put speakers upside down and frequency response curves are just as good as on side but doesn't have disadvantages of dispersion issues on side

One speaker is flatter than the other in response not sure if the location or sample variation but I have two more a130s as surrounds so when banana plugs arrive I'll swap between all three and see if all measure near identical and its location or whether sample variation

One other thing I've found tonight is that although with ports blocked gives slightly better frequency response (even after basic EQ) to me they sound more strained at high volumes - with the port opened sounds better (dynamics and to me distortion) even though doesn't measure quite as well - don't know how to describe it but at high volumes with ports closed they sound a bit chesty like they are working too hard
Wonder if these differences will show up in impulse or step responses
 

Buckster

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Wonder if these differences will show up in impulse or step responses
Quite possibly I'll research as not an area I've used in REW

Much much much preferring them upside down with tweeters at nearer to ear level - they weren't much above normal way up but seems to have made a massive difference at my listening position at about 3.5m

Have to say I just listened to Mend. violin concerto and pretty blown away by the rendition/quality of the violin through the JBLs - don't know how to describe just sounded detailed but mellow and effortless - I know not scientific - I play violin and am very sensitive to how violin sounds through speakers. Complete bargain for the price IMO just needs a bit of work with positioning than other speakers I've had (the 308 IIs it hardly seemed to make a difference)

Went on to try something even more dynamic Beethoven 5th almost have to listen in the dark as looking at the speakers knowing they are budget (especially upside down) gives you bias that they can't sound as good as they do. I have them crossed over to my SVS at 80hz and playing this piece I had as loud as was reasonable for my ears and they still sounded dynamic and full and could pick out the location of the members of the orchestra pretty remarkable for such a small bass/mid driver especially since it's working it way up to 3khz
 
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Arches

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I don't know what's reasonable for quality at this budget but this is how one was delivered to me recently. Tweeter cutout was weird and wasn't sitting flush. It bothered me enough to return it.
 

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estuardo4

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I don't know what's reasonable for quality at this budget but this is how one was delivered to me recently. Tweeter cutout was weird and wasn't sitting flush. It bothered me enough to return it.

I'd returned too if I've received them with this damage. It seems that it was dropped somewhere along the transit. Aside of the esthetics, I'm pretty sure they will have sound leakage. Mines are pretty well constructed.
 

abdo123

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After not being so satisfied with the Stage A130 high frequency performance in my living room, last weekend I decided to try some thing else.

I tried to generate the listening position anechoic on-axis response as best as i can. It was around -10 degree vertical and 25 degrees horizontal (-25 from left, 25 from right, so i averaged 20,-20,30, and -30 all together).

After a lot of trace arithmetic stuff in REW and some excel stuff this is the result.

1656701231771.png


This approach (flat on-axis, whatever that axis is for your situation) has proved to be the most neutral to me as I did some mono listening with quick A/B. The early reflections are also very well behaved, with a slight crossover dip.

with in-room measurements it looks a little like this.

1656701321567.png


The EQ (valid only up to 10KHz, from there on out every A130 behaves differently).

1656701443382.png
 

billqs

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I have to say right now JBL is putting a lot of bang for the buck, with really good performance in the A and the 3 Series! It's great to be able to recommend something almost anyone looking for better audio could afford to pick up!
 

NOROB

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I have to say right now JBL is putting a lot of bang for the buck, with really good performance in the A and the 3 Series! It's great to be able to recommend something almost anyone looking for better audio could afford to pick up!
JBL Has them on sale this weekend for $199 per pair..
 

Teeter

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I purchased the Stage A-130 in January of '21. They replaced the Klipsch R-51M bookshelf. Before Klipsch, going back several years, I had JBL bookshelf. The Klipsch R-51M were pretty good for Movies, but not for music. I saw the Stage A130 on Amir's webpage with a good rating and were on sale and in my budget.

The A130's lasted for a while and were too neutral for my ears for both Movies and Music. They are now my side surrounds for movies and multi-channel music, perfect. The stage A 130 receive a couple nice independent reviews based on hearing results and not on measurements. What's in your budget and hearing enjoyment?
 

Chromatischism

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I purchased the Stage A-130 in January of '21. They replaced the Klipsch R-51M bookshelf. Before Klipsch, going back several years, I had JBL bookshelf. The Klipsch R-51M were pretty good for Movies, but not for music. I saw the Stage A130 on Amir's webpage with a good rating and were on sale and in my budget.

The A130's lasted for a while and were too neutral for my ears for both Movies and Music. They are now my side surrounds for movies and multi-channel music, perfect. The stage A 130 receive a couple nice independent reviews based on hearing results and not on measurements. What's in your budget and hearing enjoyment?
You may be playing them at a low enough level that they need a little boost from 7 kHz and up, and bass too.
 

microtone

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I got the JBL A130 this week. Here are my JBL A130 measurements and crossover mod I did.
The crossover is as simple as it get, and after playing with crossover optimization the end result is a very simple mod adding one 3.3 ohm resistor in serial with the Woofer capacitor.The mod results with the simulation and actual measurements looking very promising.
Please find the attach pictures of the circuit the simulation and the actual measurements before and after the mod.
The measurements are done on tweeter axis 0.5m from the speaker. It looks like the distortion in the 0.5-2KHz also improved.
Hey ObjectAudio, very good information, thanks a lot! I did the resistor mod, and to my ears, the a130 became a better sounding speaker.
I use a Onkyo 5.1 receiver for amplifier duties with the JBL a130, five separate class AB amps; and was thinking in mod the speaker again to bi-amp the woofer and tweeter.
Looking at your schematics of the passive crossover, can I just separate the crossover on the (In 0) point, with 2 different Amps-circuits? Is this it?
 

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