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New JBL 4349 Speakers

PaulD

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Now, the JBL seems to have taken the route of a very low crossover frequency of around 800 Hz, and they get that by using a compression driver with a large horn. Whether that's a better compromise is up for debate.
Not for me, as I said before I tried the M2 against the big Genelecs (3-way, same room and single blind), I also listened to similarly priced Questeds and ATCs (different times). I bought 2 pairs of the M2s as a result. Having heard them I think the midrange is better than all of the others I heard, I suspect mostly because of the HF driver and waveguide.
 

Wombat

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Acoustic transformers(horns and waveguides) provide better coupling to the external air.

I like horns and I wonder if those who find them confronting are just conditioned to the inferior coupling to air of conventional drivers.
Similar to those who consider trumpets too strident on loudspeakers. Trumpets are in-your-face as anyone who has heard them live on stage can attest.

Thinking.gif
 
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H-713

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Compression drivers can certainly perform well and they've moved the crossover into a better region. I haven't heard the M2s yet, though I've heard somewhat similar (albeit older) monitors from the JBL lineup and they weren't my cup of tea. It's very possible that JBL has fixed a lot of those issues.

There are aspects to the Questeds that I don't like. I'm presently working on designing some nearfield monitors that will be exactly to my liking. As a hint, they will use a Volt woofer, and they won't use a Morel tweeter.

There is no question that horns offer advantages. They're definitely harder to design, however, and I think that a good portion of their reputation may come from some less-than-stellar designs from years past that ended up being really fatiguing.

I've toyed with doing a waveguide for my project. There are certainly some advantages.
 

Valentin R

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Quested does not seem to be a very neutral reference by today’s standards
We get that you like them and their are many out their in the pro studios. ( not that many when con pair to NS10 ) but that does not mean it’s a neutral sounding speaker
 

TimVG

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Also, through the 'magic' of DSP, there's possibilities in terms of filtering unheard of in older designs, (very) high order filtering combined with a great number of PEQ filters allow us to 'tame' drivers in a way that simply wasn't possible before.
 

H-713

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Interestingly, the 4349 is a passive speaker with a 12" woofer crossed at 1.5 kHz. If they've managed to pull that off, then that's pretty impressive.
 

TitaniumTroy

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In next months issue of HiFiNews, there will be a review of the 4349. As an owner of JBL's 4367 speakers I'm really looking forward to it. It would be even nicer, if Stereophile would do a review of them, just wished they had done one on my speaker.
 

H-713

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Hopefully they take some measurements, since most reviewers won't give a very negative subjective review.

If they can get a 12" woofer to cross at 1.5 kHz without being a mess, I'll be very impressed. Maybe if they have a very well-behaved woofer and go for a steep slope they could get away with it. If that is how they're making it happen, then it would be very interesting to see the results of an honest subjective review / comparison... but those are really very rare these days, and usually it's only one person doing it.
 

H-713

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So wait, Amir has them but hasn't done anything with them yet? Now he's just tormenting us.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Yeh, they have been sitting in their boxes all this time! :) My lift has the Revel F328Be on it and without it, I can't lift the 4349. I will see if I can somehow get it done soon.
 

DK11706

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It been 3 months since I got my JBL 4349, and I have to say hands down it the best speaker I have ever owned regardless of price. On the technical side they might not live up to everyone expectations, but all I can say is that they are easy to place in a room, plays lovely and loud as hell without compression. The only limitation I have found so far regarding the high crossover at 1.5 Khz is that you have to be at least 2 meters away from the speakers before the units starts to blend perfectly together.

As mentioned earlier I was on the look out for a new amp, I actually did swap my Anthem Pre/power combo for the Luxman integrated L-509X, and I haven't noticed any less control even though I went from 400 watts to 120 watts, what I have noticed is a more relaxed, detailed and airy top end with no traces of sibilance. So happy with this new combo :)

As a side bonus I will share this with you guys, directly from the JBL engineers:

The HF control operates between ~1.5 kHz and ~6 kHz. The UHF control operates between ~5 kHz on up.
 

Morla

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Hifitest also said one would need a listening distance of at least 2m.
 

H-713

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They're clearly more of a midfield monitor. That said, you really don't need a 12" woofer for nearfields.
 

DK11706

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They're clearly more of a midfield monitor. That said, you really don't need a 12" woofer for nearfields.

I have to disagree, the 12" woofer is part of the experience making the music free and vibrant and what it takes to makes chest pounding bass:D, I know you can get more bass with 2 x 8" woofers, but they will always sound compress/restrained when pushed and never achieve that chest pounding feeling you get with big woofers.
 

H-713

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I have to disagree, the 12" woofer is part of the experience making the music free and vibrant and what it takes to makes chest pounding bass:D, I know you can get more bass with 2 x 8" woofers, but they will always sound compress/restrained when pushed and never achieve that chest pounding feeling you get with big woofers.

The point I was making is that speakers with large woofers generally work better at a greater listening distance- as you mentioned, the 4349s are apparently best at least two meters away. This is common for large systems.

As for the "chest pounding bass", that depends a lot on how the system is implemented and what drivers are used. A single 12" driver may or may not handle this better than a pair of 8" drivers- it depends on the implementation. What 12" driver is it? What are the 8" drivers? How is the box designed? What amps are driving them, and how do the woofers interact with them? All of this affects how you'll perceive the bass.

Of course, there are some who will argue that the best "chest pounding bass" they've ever experienced came from Turbosound 24" subwoofers being driven by BSS EPC780s, which some consider to be one of the best amps ever built for that application. I've never experienced the Turbosound 24" subwoofers, so I can't comment on that experience. I can say that the EPC780s are just about the most complicated and frustrating amp to do service work on, however. It's better than the Crest 10001, which is downright scary, but it is far more complicated.
 

nick-v

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I have to disagree, the 12" woofer is part of the experience making the music free and vibrant and what it takes to makes chest pounding bass:D, I know you can get more bass with 2 x 8" woofers, but they will always sound compress/restrained when pushed and never achieve that chest pounding feeling you get with big woofers.
My HDI-3800 do a pretty good job with "chest pounding bass" despite their 8" woofers! I'd love to compare them with the 4349!
 

H-713

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Some of it's also room dependent. Excessive bass output can be a problem in smaller rooms with issues at those frequencies. Trust me, I'm dealing with 8" Volt woofers in a small bedroom (like 12' square) with limited acoustic treatment (there's limited space for acoustic treatment...), so I end up applying an EQ curve to control the bass. 12" drivers would be a nightmare.
 

stunta

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Yeh, they have been sitting in their boxes all this time! :) My lift has the Revel F328Be on it and without it, I can't lift the 4349. I will see if I can somehow get it done soon.

Get another lift. Simple ;) I am curious - what do you plan to do with all these single speakers you have lying around after measuring them?

Very curious how these speakers measure, especially given the steep $7,500 USD /pair price tag and I think would be the first 12" woofer on a loudspeaker you would be measuring?
 
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