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Kali Audio LP-6 6.5" or JBL 308p MkII 8"?

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#1
I'm conflicted between these active monitors for a few reasons..

1. The LP6's are currently listed for $149 each which are an amazing price for 6.5" monitors, however the 308's are listed at $135 on amazon which is unbeliEvable since I could have a pair of good 8" monitors for $270

2. I prefer the bass clarity and accuracy of low mids that the LP6 provides over the superior stereo imaging the JBL's can accomplish but I've only heard comparisons of the LP6 to the 306p MkII 6" so I don't know if the larger woofer on the 8" model will help boost clarity in the low end (in which case it would be the obvious decision considering I would have both desired outcomes and save $30) or whether it just makes the low end louder

If anyone has experience with the LP6's and 308's I'd love to hear your opinion on which you prefer. I'd also like to know how the 308's low end sounds in comparison to the 306's to see if the larger woofer helps with clarity. I mainly mix hip hop, trap, and edm so please let me know if you have any thoughts on how that might influence my decision and thanks!
 

pozz

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#2
I'd say the Kalis because of the lower noise if you're listening close in (the tweeter in the JBLs is pretty noisy) and superior on and off-axis response. You'll get better bass extension with the JBLs but that should be supplemented in either case with a subwoofer or two to get the real low end playing.

Soundstage and clarity will largely depend on your room and setup.

Measurements for the LP-6 are here, performed by @SIY. Measurements for the 308p are available from https://www.soundandrecording.de/ if you buy the studio monitor guide.
 

LightninBoy

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#3
If you are mixing hip hop and EDM, you'll be needing a subwoofer at some point. So, I'd choose whatever 6 inch monitor sounds the best to me with frequencies higher than 60-80hz.
 

JustIntonation

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#4
Kali LP6 is a better monitor than any of the JBL LSR speakers.
The 8" LSR308 mki and mkii are the worst of the LSR series.
If you must have more bass (slightly deeper and more SPL) and don't want to add a sub get the Kali LP8. I think the LP6 is a little bit better overall (lower crossover point and closer ctc spacing, less mid beaming / dropoff off-axis around the crossover) but the LP8 is well designed too for an 8" two-way at its price.

Btw, the superior stereo imaging you've experienced with the JBL is mostly due to a bit deeper waveguide which gives less reflections in the room you tried them in, in other rooms the JBL may sound too dark and room treatment (or at least well furnishment, not too live) is generally better than the beaming a deep waveguide gives. Other than that the JBL's have a few more faults, like non time alligned tweeter-woofer at the crossover causing a dip there (in the case of the 306) that one can't eq well and some more negative effect at the top of the treble because of the deep waveguide etc. Also back port won't help much in placing them as it'll give a louder back reflection off the front wall in the bass with all the trouble that gives.
 
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JustIntonation

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#6
The 305p is better better than the Kali. The Kali is certainly less clear, maybe the reason is this https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/247050-jbl-m2-poors-65.html
I disagree.
And the post you linked to is not a good comparison. First of all it is with a different speaker with a different waveguide (not 305p), second of all if you actually look at the data you'll see that wrong conclusions are drawn in that post.
If you look at actual measurement data from the Kali LP6 (full polar response available from their website) with measurements of the 305p provided by JBL and by third parties you'll see that the LP6 has a better waveguide with less detrimental effect >10kHz (smoother better response above 10kHz) and that the 305P has a less well behaved off-axis (especially vertically) than the LP6.
What the 305P also has is a bump above 1.5kHz or so extending somewhat into the lower treble, this is not a flat frequency response and this can certainly be mistaken for more "clarity" but again this is not flat response. One could achieve the same on the LP6 by boosting that freq range with an EQ if you prefer such a response.
Also the LP6 has less distortion.
 

maxxevv

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#7
Personally, I run the 306p's.

The only downside for them is the rear porting. You need a little bit of space at the back for them to sound their best.

As for the 1.5khz dip, I would challenge anyone to try spotting it while listening to it using music though.

Its spatial presentation is pretty impressive to me, very minimal adjustment needed in an untreated room to get a good sweet spot of spatially reproduced sound. And they run deep, much deeper than I would expect based on their released specs of 38hz.

As for the hiss part, just turn down the volume knob at the back and its a problem anymore. The hiss manifests for me when its like over 85% of the volume knob position. Just turn it down to about 80% and its still darn loud via XLR connection.
 
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#8
I disagree.
And the post you linked to is not a good comparison. First of all it is with a different speaker with a different waveguide (not 305p), second of all if you actually look at the data you'll see that wrong conclusions are drawn in that post.
If you look at actual measurement data from the Kali LP6 (full polar response available from their website) with measurements of the 305p provided by JBL and by third parties you'll see that the LP6 has a better waveguide with less detrimental effect >10kHz (smoother better response above 10kHz) and that the 305P has a less well behaved off-axis (especially vertically) than the LP6.
What the 305P also has is a bump above 1.5kHz or so extending somewhat into the lower treble, this is not a flat frequency response and this can certainly be mistaken for more "clarity" but again this is not flat response. One could achieve the same on the LP6 by boosting that freq range with an EQ if you prefer such a response.
Also the LP6 has less distortion.
I was not comparing the speakers thru`that link, i`ve listened both but you can take some info about the Kali in the page.

No speaker is flat and it is not supposed to be, monitors are meant to be more flat than random speakers but not a compeltely flat line. If seriously designed the irregularities in the FR have a purpose, including clarity.
 

Arnandsway

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#9
I was not comparing the speakers thru`that link, i`ve listened both but you can take some info about the Kali in the page.

No speaker is flat and it is not supposed to be, monitors are meant to be more flat than random speakers but not a compeltely flat line. If seriously designed the irregularities in the FR have a purpose, including clarity.
What is your reasoning, thinking that speaker should not have a flat frequency curve? Are you aware is has been proven this to be most preferable? And also the most accurate If you speak of 'audio reproduction'.
 
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#10
What is your reasoning, thinking that speaker should not have a flat frequency curve? Are you aware is has been proven this to be most preferable? And also the most accurate If you speak of 'audio reproduction'.

How it was proven? There is a blind test using DSP? A flat speaker does not exist in the market. As long as the monitor irregularlities are between +3db and -3db it is under control and likely have a purpose.
 
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pozz

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#11
The 305p is better better than the Kali. The Kali is certainly less clear, maybe the reason is this https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi-way/247050-jbl-m2-poors-65.html
To echo @JustIntonation the above isn't the same model JBL and a different waveguide is measured.

(From the soundandrecording.de) first image is FR for the original 305 and 308: response wanders towards bright above 1kHz. Second is max SPL at 3% and 10% THD: shows power compression issues below ~600Hz. Horizontal off-axis response for both is very well-integrated but shows same tendency towards brightness (more prominent in the 308) and similar small lobing around 1kHz as was measured for the Kali.

1578315087061.png
1578315347606.png


1578315789322.png

How it was proven? There is a blind test using DSP? A flat speaker does not exist in the market. As long as the monitor irregularlities are between +3db and -3db it is under control and likely have a purpose.
This is incorrect. Low-Q variations are more audible. So if you have -2dB general response lower in one area and +1dB variation in another that's already significant. Broad differences and response slopes like those usually captured in off-axis response measurements are the greatest determinants of sound quality.

Not that the LSR series are bad, mind you; it's just the Kalis came were released more recently and show better design.
 
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#12
To echo @JustIntonation the above isn't the same model JBL and a different waveguide is measured.

(From the soundandrecording.de) first image is FR for the original 305 and 308: response wanders towards bright above 1kHz. Second is max SPL at 3% and 10% THD: shows power compression issues below ~600Hz. Horizontal off-axis response for both is very well-integrated but shows same tendency towards brightness (more prominent in the 308) and similar small lobing around 1kHz as was measured for the Kali.

View attachment 44830 View attachment 44831

View attachment 44832

This is incorrect. Low-Q variations are more audible. So if you have -2dB general response lower in one area and +1dB variation in another that's already significant. Broad differences and response slopes like those usually captured in off-axis response measurements are the greatest determinants of sound quality.

Not that the LSR series are bad, mind you; it's just the Kalis came were released more recently and show better design.
Power compression is present in any speaker, simply push it loud enough.

How is that variation incorrect? Did you set the standard?

A lot of BS. -/+3 is generally accepted and generally used for measures.
 

pozz

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#14
Power compression is present in any speaker, simply push it loud enough.

How is that variation incorrect? Did you set the standard?

A lot of BS. -/+3 is generally accepted and generally used for measures.
Without repeating my other post above, I think you're missing the amount of things that +/-3dB covers. It's a 6dB range and refers only to on-axis response. 6dB says nothing about how the variations are distributed across the audible band. There's a big difference between a narrow discrepancy at the high-end of the tweeter's range and a wide, persistent dip in the crossover region. Those dips tell you that the off-axis response is compromised. A shelved or tilted response within a 6dB range says a lot about what you can expect from the speaker. Plus there's no bandwidth to that -/+3dB: 100Hz—10kHz is a lot easier than 50Hz—15kHz.

This is without getting into how evenness of off-axis response is responsible for the overall sound of the speaker: early reflections are the second loudest thing that hits yours ears after direct sound. Or how uneven power compression, especially in the bass region, will affect transients if playing loud.

For comparison, the Neumann KH80DSP that @q3cpma posted as measured in an anechoic chamber has 1.2dB of variation from flat across 100Hz—10kHz, and its other characteristics are excellent as well.

These are the details that set speakers apart. It's not enough to say that within an undefined -/+3dB tolerance everything goes.
 
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#15
Without repeating my other post above, I think you're missing the amount of things that +/-3dB covers. It's a 6dB range and refers only to on-axis response. 6dB says nothing about how the variations are distributed across the audible band. There's a big difference between a narrow discrepancy at the high-end of the tweeter's range and a wide, persistent dip in the crossover region. Those dips tell you that the off-axis response is compromised. A shelved or tilted response within a 6dB range says a lot about what you can expect from the speaker. Plus there's no bandwidth to that -/+3dB: 100Hz—10kHz is a lot easier than 50Hz—15kHz.

This is without getting into how evenness of off-axis response is responsible for the overall sound of the speaker: early reflections are the second loudest thing that hits yours ears after direct sound. Or how uneven power compression, especially in the bass region, will affect transients if playing loud.

For comparison, the Neumann KH80DSP that @q3cpma posted as measured in an anechoic chamber has 1.2dB of variation from flat across 100Hz—10kHz, and its other characteristics are excellent as well.

These are the details that set speakers apart. It's not enough to say that within an undefined -/+3dB tolerance everything goes.

SOS Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns replies: This frequency response is perfectly normal, and I'd be extremely suspicious if I saw a completely flat line. There are lots of reasons for these response irregularities, including cabinet effects, such as internal reflections, external diffraction and port resonances, driver response inconsistencies, crossover effects and matching, and so on. However, providing the response variations are modest and gentle (and the quoted +/-3dB spec is, again, normal and reasonable) there won't be any problems. The effect of the room and its contents on the speakers' responses at low frequencies and through the mid-range will be orders of magnitude larger than any built-in variations anyway.
 
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