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JBL Stage A130 Review (speaker)

56suited

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These are hard to find from retailers here in Ireland. I found a pair on eBay for €300 and it looks legit, but I'm still on the fence.

It's these, the ELAC Debut Reference DBR62, or the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1
 

TonyJZX

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where i am the lower tier JBL stuff is priced well and easily available

the elac is available but easily 2x the price

thing is the 130 is a 5.5" unit and the ELAC is truly a step above so there's really no comparison

get the DBR62 if its just a little more
 

56suited

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where i am the lower tier JBL stuff is priced well and easily available

the elac is available but easily 2x the price

thing is the 130 is a 5.5" unit and the ELAC is truly a step above so there's really no comparison

get the DBR62 if its just a little more
I'm messing around with budget allocation right now, trying to fit in a DSP, but it's looking unlikely. It's probably going to be TT > phono stage > WiiM Amp > speakers and I'll have to hope the EQ on the WiiM does enough. Otherwise, it's budget TT > phono stage and WiiM Pro Plus > miniDSP flex > power amp > speakers...meaning thin budget where I want it (TT and speakers)

It's my very first attempt at a system.
 

Steve Dallas

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I'm messing around with budget allocation right now, trying to fit in a DSP, but it's looking unlikely. It's probably going to be TT > phono stage > WiiM Amp > speakers and I'll have to hope the EQ on the WiiM does enough. Otherwise, it's budget TT > phono stage and WiiM Pro Plus > miniDSP flex > power amp > speakers...meaning thin budget where I want it (TT and speakers)

It's my very first attempt at a system.

Buy the best speakers you can swing now. (These are not them.) I would not accept a pair of these for free.

Add DSP later if you need to. DSP is awesome. I use it everywhere in my house. But good speakers are paramount--literally the most important component in the signal chain.
 

56suited

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where i am the lower tier JBL stuff is priced well and easily available

the elac is available but easily 2x the price

thing is the 130 is a 5.5" unit and the ELAC is truly a step above so there's really no comparison

get the DBR62 if its just a little more
I'm messing around with budget allocation right now, trying to fit in a DSP, but it's looking unlikely. It's probably going to be TT > phono stage > WiiM Amp > speakers and I'll have to hope the EQ on the WiiM does enough. Otherwise, it's budget TT > phono stage and WiiM Pro Plus > miniDSP flex > power amp > speakers...meaning thin budget where I want it (TT and speakers)

It's my very first attempt at a system.
Buy the best speakers you can swing now. (These are not them.) I would not accept a pair of these for free.

Add DSP later if you need to. DSP is awesome. I use it everywhere in my house. But good speakers are paramount--literally the most important component in the signal chain.
Yeah I keep hearing that from everybody here, which is mildly surprising because the guys at HiFi Hut here in Dublin are like "get the Rega Planar 3, and buy these Q Acoustic speakers on the cheap...your source is most important".

Firstly, no thanks on the Rega brand. Secondly, I wonder if what they say is true for TT as a source, but it's the opposite for digital sources. That makes sense because DACs and streamers are closer in quality than turntables and cartridges are...and great speakers will simply accentuate a ****** analog source.

I'm about 95% confirmed on the ELACs. Just figuring out the rest,.
 

Teeter

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@56suited I did try the A130's 3 years ago or so and they were too neutral for me. I went back to the Klipsch R-51M and now the Elac's. The Elac's hit the sweet spot for me.
 

hex168

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Forgive me, but IMO DSP is more important than a turntable. A turntable is a fun optional toy for a hobbyist but is not a cost-effective source for entry level. I do miss the large-format art, though.

Seriously, vinyl does add something, but it is subtle and is less important than good frequency response and low distortion, which are easily available via streaming or CDs. Also, while it has been a long time since I A/B'd the difference, I'm pretty sure whatever is added by a vinyl source is fully captured by a good quality rip of a record to a digital file.
 

vert

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Well, I see now that the 620 is a higher quality speaker. But when you say normal listening, I think about what it would be. I live in an apartment so I can't put my music too loud. But I wouldn't like to get a sound that does not fill the room or sounds thin and not exciting. As I got good reference from a130/T9 pro users, do those 2 dB make a big difference?

I know it would be much easier if I could listen to the speakers somewhere before buying but online shopping is all I can get here.
As per Erin's review of the 630s, they were not quite up to JBL's own standards.
 
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56suited

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Forgive me, but IMO DSP is more important than a turntable. A turntable is a fun optional toy for a hobbyist but is not a cost-effective source for entry level. I do miss the large-format art, though.

Seriously, vinyl does add something, but it is subtle and is less important than good frequency response and low distortion, which are easily available via streaming or CDs. Also, while it has been a long time since I A/B'd the difference, I'm pretty sure whatever is added by a vinyl source is fully captured by a good quality rip of a record to a digital file.
I want the physical format as a collection, and I'm looking forward to enjoying the tactile joy I'll get from playing records, fiddling with cartridges, weekends spent crate-digging for hidden treasures...even if digital sources are much higher fidelity, I need the throwback ethos and a hobby...I need a time-sink and brain distraction from my wife otherwise I'll end up dead or in jail.

Vinyl will likely only represent 30% of my sources (70% Spotify Premium), but deciding to go full digital is a non-starter.

I'm not factoring out DSP... it's just expensive, and would represent 35% of my current budget.
 

Steve Dallas

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I'm messing around with budget allocation right now, trying to fit in a DSP, but it's looking unlikely. It's probably going to be TT > phono stage > WiiM Amp > speakers and I'll have to hope the EQ on the WiiM does enough. Otherwise, it's budget TT > phono stage and WiiM Pro Plus > miniDSP flex > power amp > speakers...meaning thin budget where I want it (TT and speakers)

It's my very first attempt at a system.

Yeah I keep hearing that from everybody here, which is mildly surprising because the guys at HiFi Hut here in Dublin are like "get the Rega Planar 3, and buy these Q Acoustic speakers on the cheap...your source is most important".

Firstly, no thanks on the Rega brand. Secondly, I wonder if what they say is true for TT as a source, but it's the opposite for digital sources. That makes sense because DACs and streamers are closer in quality than turntables and cartridges are...and great speakers will simply accentuate a ****** analog source.

I'm about 95% confirmed on the ELACs. Just figuring out the rest,.

I do not know anything about turntables, as I ran screaming from them upon hearing a CD for the first time around 30 years ago.

Excluding TTs due to my lack of familiarity with them, the guys at HiFi Hut are 100% wrong. Speakers are the only things in the chain that directly interact with your eardrums and the room, which also directly interacts with your eardrums. Speakers impact YOU and your environment and are the most tangible things in a system. Also, frequency response is hugely important, and speakers impact frequency response the most, followed closely by the room.

Digital sources, as long as noise and distortion are below certain thresholds, all sound transparent and are interchangeable.
 

56suited

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I do not know anything about turntables, as I ran screaming from them upon hearing a CD for the first time around 30 years ago.

Excluding TTs due to my lack of familiarity with them, the guys at HiFi Hut are 100% wrong. Speakers are the only things in the chain that directly interact with your eardrums and the room, which also directly interacts with your eardrums. Speakers impact YOU and your environment and are the most tangible things in a system. Also, frequency response is hugely important, and speakers impact frequency response the most, followed closely by the room.

Digital sources, as long as noise and distortion are below certain thresholds, all sound transparent and are interchangeable.
Sounds about right to my rookie ears, although I do think the TT source quality being a big factor has veracity...so it's likely some sort of balance I'm looking for, with a bias to speakers. Don't overload on the TT budget, but don't skimp either. I'm pretty much 100% on the ELAC DBR62s and a particular TT...now it's just finding the right stuff in the middle. I'm close.
 

EJ3

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Sounds about right to my rookie ears, although I do think the TT source quality being a big factor has veracity...so it's likely some sort of balance I'm looking for, with a bias to speakers. Don't overload on the TT budget, but don't skimp either. I'm pretty much 100% on the ELAC DBR62s and a particular TT...now it's just finding the right stuff in the middle. I'm close.
A correct move with: Don't overload on the TT budget, but don't skimp either.
Too many first time people go too cheap with TT's.
If one has to be cheap, then it is better to spend that on something else & get a TT later.100% with Steve Dallas on speakers.
 

CardiganB

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Either JBL screwed up or Yamaha screwed up but switching polarity at the posts left my jaw on the floor.
 

CardiganB

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Anybody?? Harman flipped polarity on A130 mid production TO REDUCE PERFORMANCE. Many owners are hearing a speaker that is out of alignment. The "correct" polarity is wrong. You need to switch polarity on both speakers to restore alignment on those A130 that were sold after a certain time. Sonics of A130 are indeed polarity dependent.. improvements are better vocal presence, texture, resolution, astounding imaging and the mid-bass boom is gone.
 

estuardo4

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Anybody?? Harman flipped polarity on A130 mid production TO REDUCE PERFORMANCE. Many owners are hearing a speaker that is out of alignment. The "correct" polarity is wrong. You need to switch polarity on both speakers to restore alignment on those A130 that were sold after a certain time. Sonics of A130 are indeed polarity dependent.. improvements are better vocal presence, texture, resolution, astounding imaging and the mid-bass boom is gone.
Could you please cite the source of this? It's the first time I heard about it. And I guess it's the first time anybody on this forum has heard about it, after so many years.
Thank you.
 

CardiganB

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The source is right here in my bedroom. Polarity swapped, never to return to its former sad state. Two hundred dollar speakers that could be sold for two grand and nobody would be the wiser. There's some sorcery going on with these things. Here's the list of improvements once alignment is corrected: 1. vocal presence restored
2. mid-bass boom eliminated
3. Accuracy, resolution, texture are elevated to mind blowing.
4. Imaging is vast
5. less excursion for a given output
 

CardiganB

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I don't think all sets sold had the "mistake". This I deduced from a particular Amazon reviewer who called them an engineering marvel. Mine were bought off JBL's website fall of 2023.
 

CardiganB

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Here's one of mine with swapped polarity. I'm using copper utility spades with Monster XP. NEC-CD650 into an RX-V1900's multi-channel front inputs.
IMG_20240215_032120678.jpg
 

hex168

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Absolute polarity can be slightly audible but not night and day. Take a look at this thread:

One issue is that many recordings have it wrong as well.
(If I misunderstood and you only changed polarity on one speaker, that is definitely audible, there is a right and wrong way, and the thread I referenced is not relevant.)
 
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