A ProgRock evening with JBL 4312SE speakers

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
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#1
After many hours listening to music with my current set ups of the last years,
I decided to look into my record collection with an alternative view.

As my space is limited, the idea was, to identify records, which I have not heard for years and to eliminate them from my collection to get some spare space for new records.

But instead I was finding many records I liked a lot many many years ago, but have not heard for whatever reason, but no chance to give them away, as I liked them a lot..., many years ago.

The most of the records were recorded between the early 70's and the mid 80's.

Listening to them on my Maxx3 make's only minor fun, it was not, like I have known them before...

Bands, like:

- Mandala Band
- Sweet Smoke
- Irene Papas/Vangelis
- Mahavishnu Orchestra
- Caravan
- Kansas
- Paice Aston Lord
- Rainbow
- Deep Purple
- Gong
- Genesis
- Rick Wakeman
- Supertramp

to name a view , never hit my heart while listening over some High End gear.

But I liked them many years ago, some of them even because of the sound!

Than I met a friend , who works as a professional sound engineer and he starts to explain it in a way, which was a new view for me. That the most of my records of concern were most likely recorded with the old JBL studio Monitor generation, like 4310 or 4311. This JBL Monitors were never really neutral, so doing a mix with this kind of speakers would add to the mix a kind of equalization, that the result heart over this speakers becomes like the original sound played while recording.
That was interesting, I never thought about.

He explained further, that the later "new romantic" "new wave" music genre was influenced from the than popular monitors like Yamaha NS1000 with a different sound DNA and a resulting different "equalization.

And the best way to enjoy this type of music should be, to listen to them with a speaker, which is conceptional similar to the former recording situation. It must not be the same, as a situation in a studio is different from home, also the purpose of listening to the music is different. At home you like to enjoy, in the mixing studio you like to do your job and to do a proper mix. But at least a similar speaker concept/DNA.


Just by chance I had the opportunity to buy a pair of JBL 4312se speakers of the 70 year anniversary series .


http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/jbl-4312se-standmount-loudspeaker/


I placed them in my small listening room (16 to 20sqm) and started to listen to them
(old Meridian stuff, an old direct drive turntable with Shure 95 cart, Harman Kardon Tape deck)

And whow!

It was working!

I was listing to my formerly beloved Music as I was remembering this music!, And I was enjoying.

The music just sounds "right" and even better, than I was remembering. The newer JBL generation speakers obviously do have better parts and are more "neutral" on one side, on the other side, they are close enough to the historic speakers to produce a result on this old ProgRock records which is just perfect :)

It looks like, that I have to investigate further and to try a bigger JBL speaker out of the current range.

If it ends up, that I will host a second and different gear in separate room to enjoy 100% of my record collection...,
fine with me :)

music example:



 

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asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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#2
Strange... I love this kind of music, actually it's my favorite. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with them on Wilsons, or YGs... Matter of fact, I think I'd hate it on JBLs :)
 
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shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
463
223
43
Cologne, Germany
#3
Strange... I love this kind of music, actually it's my favorite. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with them on Wilsons, or YGs... Matter of fact, I think I'd hate it on JBLs :)
I am always happy to see, how different music lovers can be biased on their sonic perception and taste.
This makes this hobby so full of alternatives in doing so.

With my former YG Anat II Reference Professional old prog rock records were not enjoyable at all, the Maxx 3 is better on that, but still telling me too much about the recording quality as such
(which is on most of this records not very good)
instead of inviting me to a more swinging, jumping or even head banging attitude.
For sure, this is my personal taste.
Living (and traveling) in Europe makes ist easy to understand, how different taste can be, as the UK, the French, the German music lovers do have mostly a very different taste of "correct" music reproduction, and specially the older models of speakers do carry this national flavor / DNA of enjoying music .

Above this personal / national favorites, I can perfectly understand, that many Rock Music lovers around the world still own and use classic JBL, classic Klipsch or classic Tannoy speakers. JBL, Klipsch and Tannoy are so different, but all of them do have the "jump factor" in common :)
which is harder to find on the most of the YG speakers ;-)
 

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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#4
Yeah here in the store I get to experience this every day. Different people, different tastes, and different perspectives on the same music/gear. It's not only about nationalities, really.

And I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your YGs. I love ours, and I'd say they do every single better than the JBLs, including "jump factor", as long as you have the right partnering gear. With the wrong stuff, they can be indeed problematic, specially with poor recordings.
 
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shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
463
223
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Cologne, Germany
#5
Yeah here in the store I get to experience this every day. Different people, different tastes, and different perspectives on the same music/gear. It's not only about nationalities, really.

And I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your YGs. I love ours, and I'd say they do every single better than the JBLs, including "jump factor", as long as you have the right partnering gear. With the wrong stuff, they can be indeed problematic, specially with poor recordings.
You are absolutely right! But I even asked Yoav about amplification for my YG. And in the time of the development of the Anat the Krell Evolution series were mostly used in his lab.
So I used the Krell Evo 600 mono Amps. As you said , they can be very nice speakers, but mainly on perfect recording. As the most of my ProgRock records are not perfect, I personally do prefer the more forgiving JBL. for this type of records

But still, I believe, that the approach to listen to the records on a similar speaker, which was used in the Studio could not be wrong.

I found in another forum this picture from a record inner sleeve:

127353-da5210d3-large.jpg
 
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spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
8,283
804
113
E. England
#6
Shakti, prog and fusion are absolutely fantastic on my Zus. The same material on more uber revealing, "neutral" spkrs can be a real grind. But the Zus absolutely connect to the heart of this music, without drawing undue attention to flat mixes and sharp masterings.

Indeed this is a critical reason why any plans to move to horns remains one for the drawing board.
 
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asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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#7
I understand a lot of this stuff was indeed recorded/mastered/monitored on JBLs. That doesn't mean I'll suffer through listening to them at home :)
If you're interested in that subject, you should read up on some of the stories on how these records were put together in the studios back then. It's a miracle they sound even as good as they do now, with the copious amount of drugs and assorted substances lying around!
YG indeed had Krell, now they have D'Agostino Momentum M400s at the factory. We've had forum friends who have been to the store and heard that particular combo (YG+D'Agostino), and they can attest that it'll sound awesome with any music, not only good recordings. So no, I don't agree with the "nice speakers, only on good recordings".
I did play Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd among others a few weeks ago at Axpona, YG Hailey 2.2 and the right amp (LinnenberG), in a tiny hotel room. I highly doubt a JBL, *any* JBL, would've sounded that good.
Things progress, speakers, amps, etc. Fortunately, we can do better than they did back then in the 70s (some folks around here obviously don't agree to that too, but that's fine), and that's all I'm saying. Even today we do not use the same gear used in studios in our homes.
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
463
223
43
Cologne, Germany
#8
I understand a lot of this stuff was indeed recorded/mastered/monitored on JBLs. That doesn't mean I'll suffer through listening to them at home :)
If you're interested in that subject, you should read up on some of the stories on how these records were put together in the studios back then. It's a miracle they sound even as good as they do now, with the copious amount of drugs and assorted substances lying around!
YG indeed had Krell, now they have D'Agostino Momentum M400s at the factory. We've had forum friends who have been to the store and heard that particular combo (YG+D'Agostino), and they can attest that it'll sound awesome with any music, not only good recordings. So no, I don't agree with the "nice speakers, only on good recordings".
I did play Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd among others a few weeks ago at Axpona, YG Hailey 2.2 and the right amp (LinnenberG), in a tiny hotel room. I highly doubt a JBL, *any* JBL, would've sounded that good.
Things progress, speakers, amps, etc. Fortunately, we can do better than they did back then in the 70s (some folks around here obviously don't agree to that too, but that's fine), and that's all I'm saying. Even today we do not use the same gear used in studios in our homes.


As already said, everybody has his personal way to enjoy the music he likes.

My main current set up is "classic high end" , means VTL plus Wilson , so nothing special. It addresses a wide range of music and for the most it will address old Rock Music as well. Please accept, that I do prefer the JBL sound on the most old Rock records over and above YG and Wilson. A YG Hailey plus Linnenberg would never meet my taste for Rock Music. So I 100% do agree to your statement, that you doubt, that any JBL can sound like this set up. If this set up is "good" or "bad" for Rock Music will be with the judgement of the individual listener /customer. If you as a shop do find customers , who wants to listen to Rock Music in the way you like , perfect! Most probably I would not be your client on this particular matter :)

Even if I own or owned a lot of the brands you do have on offer.
 

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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#9
Hi shakti,

I do respect people having different tastes, and as I said earlier, i see that happen here every day, and very rarely, we do get someone whose needs fall squarely outside of what we can provide. Me, I like a variety of topologies, both for speakers and amps, and it's always hard to pick favorites!
It's not about "being a client" or not, I'm not trying to sell you anything. I'm just pointing out that perhaps your experience with YGs was not representative of what they can do, and the fact that you used a particular style of music that I not only know well, but known intimately, was the trigger. Some of my most precious audiophile moments have been with prog rock and YG Acoustics, darTZeel, Evolution Acoustics, and now Wilson Audio too.
If I had a dollar for every time I hear people saying they never liked YGs, but they like our setups with them, I'd be a very rich man...
In Munich they'll be showing the Sonja XV Jr. with Nagra. From what I've heard before, this should be an amazing combination. Perhaps we can get them to play some prog? :D

cheers,
Alex
 

Number9

Active Member
Oct 15, 2018
118
39
28
#10
It should be noted that the OP stated he had the Anat II Ref. Pro’s. These were not the same YG of today. Mine had the older drivers (not the in-house made aluminum drivers) different x-overs different sub amps, etc. I am not as familiar with the line up now but aren’t the YG’s passive now? I would agree with the assessment made re the originals as I am a prog. Rock fan too and I was afraid to put on my favs. I have heard the new YG’s and the same isn’t true today, imo.
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
463
223
43
Cologne, Germany
#11
looking forward to listen to the new YG products in Munich, I missed them due to the former German Distributor problem the last years. I hope, they do better than Wilson Audio speakers last year on the Nagra Demo. They totally failed to integrate the subs properly.

But this started as a JBL thread on prog rock performance and the 4312se are with 2800,- eur / pair (Europe) only a fraction of the costs of any YG or Wilson Audio speaker.

As they are sold out, the JBL L 100 for 4200,- eur / pair are the most similar speaker in the JBL portfolio.

I highly appreciate, that for this budget such a great performance is possible.

Looking forward to find now a used McIntosh integrated amplifier, that the look and feel for my prog rock records even gets better and more authentic.

Should listen than more to Grate Full Dead :)
 
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asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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#12

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
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#13
I get where you are coming from Shakti. I was only thinking the other day how I prefer the vintage recordings much better on SET and horn whereas on the Harbeth 40.2s the 40’s, 50’s and (to some extent) the 60’s recordings just aren’t anywhere near as successfully musically engaging... but the gap musically between the horns and the Harbeths closes up with the Harbeths being very good at 70’s and later recordings. The BBC monitor style of sound is clearly more reflective of the kind of studio monitors that music of this time was actually mixed down on.

Yet not many are going to accuse Harbeths as likely being particularly unkind to less than ideal recordings of music or sound so technically they sound fine with vintage recordings but yet just less sonically and musically true than the very same vintage recordings when heard on the SET n horns.
 
Aug 25, 2010
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Destiny
#14
Jan 29, 2012
1,195
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#15
I understand a lot of this stuff was indeed recorded/mastered/monitored on JBLs. That doesn't mean I'll suffer through listening to them at home :)
If you're interested in that subject, you should read up on some of the stories on how these records were put together in the studios back then. It's a miracle they sound even as good as they do now, with the copious amount of drugs and assorted substances lying around!
YG indeed had Krell, now they have D'Agostino Momentum M400s at the factory. We've had forum friends who have been to the store and heard that particular combo (YG+D'Agostino), and they can attest that it'll sound awesome with any music, not only good recordings. So no, I don't agree with the "nice speakers, only on good recordings".
I did play Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd among others a few weeks ago at Axpona, YG Hailey 2.2 and the right amp (LinnenberG), in a tiny hotel room. I highly doubt a JBL, *any* JBL, would've sounded that good.
Things progress, speakers, amps, etc. Fortunately, we can do better than they did back then in the 70s (some folks around here obviously don't agree to that too, but that's fine), and that's all I'm saying. Even today we do not use the same gear used in studios in our homes.
*To your ears.
 

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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#16
Of course to my ears. Isn't that implied in each and every post we make?
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
463
223
43
Cologne, Germany
#17
"I found in another forum this picture from a record inner sleeve."

Wow that's a little bizarre as the 4311's were control room monitors and not the mains. The mains would have been something like 4333 or 4344 which were designed to be EQ'd to you chosen room curve and did not have the tailored response of the 4311/4312 monitors. For a good read on the differences

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?4408-JBL-Technical-Notes-Volume-1-Number-15

Rob :)

Thank you for the link, very informative.

It underlines the unique "voicing" of the 4310 / 4311 and later of the 4312a,
which can be found similar in todays 4312se and L100.

The Record inner sleeve was from

Frank Zappa - "Ship arriving too late to save a drowning witch"
 

Audiophile Bill

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
2,266
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UK
#18
Dear Shakti,

Very interesting thread indeed and I totally understand where you are coming from. You will find that your revelation will also apply to vintage jazz and classical music not just this prog rock. Not sure whether you have some 50s or 60s Sonny Rollins or similar on vinyl - give that a listen.

So I have a few questions / observations for you. Do you think that you could live solely with such a vintage system across all your recordings or can you not forego your modern Wilson speakers? Do you get equivalent or even superior pleasure from this vintage system?

Food for thought - have you thought about looking to max out on such a vintage route by investing somewhat more money in really large vintage JBL monitors that will bring a lot more scale and punch for your big room? Something like the JBL4350 or the restores done by Kenrick.
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
463
223
43
Cologne, Germany
#19
Dear Shakti,

Very interesting thread indeed and I totally understand where you are coming from. You will find that your revelation will also apply to vintage jazz and classical music not just this prog rock. Not sure whether you have some 50s or 60s Sonny Rollins or similar on vinyl - give that a listen.

So I have a few questions / observations for you. Do you think that you could live solely with such a vintage system across all your recordings or can you not forego your modern Wilson speakers? Do you get equivalent or even superior pleasure from this vintage system?

Food for thought - have you thought about looking to max out on such a vintage route by investing somewhat more money in really large vintage JBL monitors that will bring a lot more scale and punch for your big room? Something like the JBL4350 or the restores done by Kenrick.

I tried the bigger old JBL at friends home and some I do like, some were not so "good" , but all of them had updates, so I am not sure, what the original sound of them would be. I hope, I will have a chance to listen to one of the old JBL monitor speakers in a 100% restored and not modified version to judge the speaker and not the mods.

I do understand now , that the bigger JBL Studio Monitors have a different voicing than the smaller Control Monitors. And it is the voicing of the control monitors, which I like currently on the old 70's Rock Records.

But for whatever reason I prefer old Jazz records on my Wilson Maxx 3.
(love currently Ben Webster)



I only have some experience with bigger and modern JBL speakers as I owned the 9800.

The set up was as such:

Speaker: JBL K2 S9800
Subwoofer: 2x JBL S1S- EX
active sub control: 2x Velodyne SMS (50hz crossover)
Amps: Jeff Rowland 9 Ti HC -> 9800, JRDG 8 Ti HC -> S1S-EX
Pre: JRDG Coherence II
Phono: JRDG Cadence
turntable: SME 30 / SME V / Benz LP-S
Digital: DCS stack

The system was nice, but had also some limitations, so I changed to some other horns
(Jadis Eurythmie with Kondo)
https://www.stereophile.com/content/jadis-eurythmie-ii-loudspeaker

At the moment I feel, that the Wilson Maxx 3 is a nice compromise for me, giving me with a lot of music real fun. I had better Jazz with my horn speakers, I do have better Rock with the JBL speakers, but may be, I will find in the future a speaker, which can do it all :)

2 years ago I liked the JBL 4367 dring Munich's High End for the given voicing, a lot of different records played fine. The given price point is fair. It would be great, if JBL can translate this "blend" into their Everest speakers. I never heard the current JBL Everest speakers in a way, that I felt fully satisfied.
 

MRJAZZ

[Industry Expert]
Jan 21, 2014
189
41
28
#20
Dear Shakti,

Very interesting thread indeed and I totally understand where you are coming from. You will find that your revelation will also apply to vintage jazz and classical music not just this prog rock. Not sure whether you have some 50s or 60s Sonny Rollins or similar on vinyl - give that a listen.

So I have a few questions / observations for you. Do you think that you could live solely with such a vintage system across all your recordings or can you not forego your modern Wilson speakers? Do you get equivalent or even superior pleasure from this vintage system?

Food for thought - have you thought about looking to max out on such a vintage route by investing somewhat more money in really large vintage JBL monitors that will bring a lot more scale and punch for your big room? Something like the JBL4350 or the restores done by Kenrick.
These will work quite well...... CAB4F8A5-1A4C-409C-8F86-BB14285677CC.jpeg 69A5A265-7C81-4BA1-9195-3207CEF41D60.jpeg
 

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