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JBL Synthesis SCL-6 In-Wall Speaker Review (by Erin)

sweetchaos

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Thanks for another speaker review @hardisj

Link to review:

This is a 2.5-way in-wall loudspeaker system designed for on-axis listening as LCR and surround channels.
Price is approximately $1650 USD each.

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JBL%20Synthesis%20SCL-6%20In-Wall%20Speaker%20%28Far%20Setting%29%20Horizontal%20Contour%20Plot%20Normalized.png

JBL%20Synthesis%20SCL-6%20In-Wall%20Speaker%20%28Far%20Setting%29%20Vertical%20Contour%20Plot%20%28Normalized%29.png

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Erin said in his conclusion:
"I had some questions about this speaker and was put in touch with the designer, An Nguyen by a mutual friend. Below is the exchange."
Erin: Is there a particular reason that the midbass bump (on the “Far” setting) exists, as opposed to a flatter response? It’s mild and I can assume that most customers would like it. I’m just curious if you might have thoughts to share on this. I see that in the “Near” setting this doesn’t exist.
An Nguyen: The slight mid-bass bump is due interaction between passive crossover components & impedance of the outer pair woofers, but it was also intended to be there to enhance the bass effects for typical small loudspeaker to give it a fuller sound. The “Near” setting is used, when the loudspeaker is installed near wall/corner of room, should result in similar FR as “Far” setting. The “Near” setting reduces on average of 3-4dB from 300 Hz to below to compensate for boundaries effects/gains.
Erin: Yes, the ERDI is excellent! Talk about EQ-ability!
An Nguyen: It is designed to have smooth DI in order to have a consistent soundstage along with EQ-ability for anechoic EQ and/or room EQ.
Erin: I do see that this speaker is really vertical-height dependent and isn’t very forgiving beyond about ±10°. Is this in-line with your suggestion?
An Nguyen: Your assessment is correct. To go beyond +/-10 degree (Ver) would take lower crossover point & larger horn mouth of which are not feasible for this size & configuration.
Erin: The HF peak/dip pattern isn’t new to me wrt waveguide/coaxial designs. The one question I always get is “can you hear that” and, typically, I say no. Certainly not the level that the high-resolution data might indicate. When smoothed, the amplitude is not as prominent. I am curious, though, if you guys have any input or thoughts about this that you might want to pass along for me to mention in my review. Is this a “necessary evil”, design tradeoff for you guys?
An Nguyen: To me the perception of HF from 10k Hz & above is greatly depend on hearing threshold of individual, and I agree with your statement “When smoothed, the amplitude is not as prominent”. Our objective is always to achieve smooth FR through-out the operating bandwidth of the loudspeaker.
Erin: With the constant directivity, the estimated in-room response flattens out which typically results in a “bright” sound, based on my experience. I was wondering if this is part of the design because the assumed use for these will be behind an acoustically transparent screen? (still, I know that the response can be EQ’d thanks to the flat DI)
An Nguyen: The SCL6 is designed for mostly home theater applications & operating behind the screen is also taken in consideration. As you mentioned, the SCL6 is very EQ-able, so the installer could use room EQ to achieve a desired in-room target curve with all things taken in consideration.


Discuss!
 
Last edited:

tuga

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in-wall loudspeaker system designed for on-axis listening

This makes it a bit unfit for purpose, unless the front wall is half of an hexagon and L+R speakers are aiming at the listener. At least for music.
 

mainframe

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Looking at that directivity index, imo it wouldn't matter. These would sound great almost anywhere in room, so long as you were within the vertical window
 

tuga

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Looking at that directivity index, imo it wouldn't matter. These would sound great almost anywhere in room, so long as you were within the vertical window

I see a step in the DI at 1.5kHz, and also a massive of 2nd HD distortion at around that frequency.
 

Ericglo

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Is this the first WWTWW that has been measured by the klippel? I have been curious about the vertical dispersion. Thanks for this review.
 

jaydillyo

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Thank you for measuring this speaker. It is on my candidate list for my next HT build. Also curious about the Focal 300 IW6 LCR.
 

ngiac

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Thank you for measuring this speaker. It is on my candidate list for my next HT build. Also curious about the Focal 300 IW6 LCR.
I'm trying to get some forum opinions on the focal 1000 be series of in walls since focal does supply some measurements on those. Just started that thread yesterday, but no responses yet. Let me know if you find anything on the 300s.
 

nerdoldnerdith

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I'm trying to get some forum opinions on the focal 1000 be series of in walls since focal does supply some measurements on those. Just started that thread yesterday, but no responses yet. Let me know if you find anything on the 300s.
I've heard them in a theater before. They sounded fine to me. With no EQ above 300Hz they sounded good in terms of tonality and didn't have any harshness/brightness.

They are kind of interesting in that they are one of the few speakers from Focal that use waveguided tweeters.
 

sarumbear

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Looking at that directivity index, imo it wouldn't matter. These would sound great almost anywhere in room, so long as you were within the vertical window
What about as a centre speaker though? It is very narrow at +/-10 degrees at the most important human voice range! There is almost 10dB difference between 500Hz and 2kHz for people sitting outside the sweet windows. Not fit as a centre speaker in my book and ear.

I tried these speakers but got rid of them for that reason.

JBL%20Synthesis%20SCL-6%20In-Wall%20Speaker%20%28Far%20Setting%29%20Vertical%20Contour%20Plot%20%28Normalized%29.png
 

sarumbear

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I'm trying to get some forum opinions on the focal 1000 be series of in walls since focal does supply some measurements on those. Just started that thread yesterday, but no responses yet.
Can you please post the link. ASR search couldn't find anything with that model.
 

ngiac

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I've heard them in a theater before. They sounded fine to me. With no EQ above 300Hz they sounded good in terms of tonality and didn't have any harshness/brightness.

They are kind of interesting in that they are one of the few speakers from Focal that use waveguided tweeters.

Thanks...curious did you hear the 300's or the 1000's? If you'd like to share in my thread, I'm trying to take this discussion over to the appropriate place.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-1000be-in-wall-published-measurements.31979/
 

sarumbear

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jaydillyo

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What about as a centre speaker though? It is very narrow at +/-10 degrees at the most important human voice range! There is almost 10dB difference between 500Hz and 2kHz for people sitting outside the sweet windows. Not fit as a centre speaker in my book and ear.

I tried these speakers but got rid of them for that reason.
It seems like you have answered that question for us. The data does indicate that this speaker is less than ideal (being polite) horizontally. It would be nice if speaker manufacturers supplied this kind of data so you wouldn't waste your money and time on speakers only to find out that they aren't appropriate for your use case.
 

sarumbear

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It would be nice if speaker manufacturers supplied this kind of data so you wouldn't waste your money and time on speakers only to find out that they aren't appropriate for your use case.
It is worse than that. They specifically say it is suitable for the centre channel as it is marketed as LCR speakers.

The SCL-6 ... is designed for use as an LCR or surround channel in a variety of applications.
 

ngiac

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Google shows me a floor-stander with that model?


Yeah, that line is a little confusing. The custom install 1000be series was released just this year. Check out my thread for details. I don't want to derail Erin's thread!
 

jaydillyo

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Center channel does not automatically mean horizontal orientation. It's fine as a center channel when oriented vertically. For example behind an acoustically transparent screen.
 

sarumbear

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Center channel does not automatically mean horizontal orientation. It's fine as a center channel when oriented vertically. For example behind an acoustically transparent screen.
It does when the manufacturers says so!

SCL-6 HIGHLIGHTS​

  • Can be mounted vertically or horizontally
 
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