Non-Conformist Speaker Bias?

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,178
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36
#21
Great thread Dallas

I started some time ago a thread about Audiophiles and their prejudices and to me what you are referring to are prejudices at play. Aside from Quad most of the brands here would not pass the audiophile-approved test. However much we claim of the contrary and the test would be with out ever listening to a note from those speakers. It would be assumed that these speakers would not cut the mustard against "real" audiophile brands offerings. Mea culpa: I started taking JBL seriously only after a listening session in NYC which I summarily dismissed as being too short ( although it was 2 hours and I refused to believe my ears). Might have been the 3-way version of the 4367. It was driven by a tube amp which I can't remember. The sound was glorious but I pushed it out of my mind. TO the extent of not relating to many the superb session that I had with those speakers/system. I believe we audiophiles are geared for certain brands, a certain look and "audiophile" feel. Some push our buttons some don't.
Just as an aside next time you see a speaker branded Danley Sound , please give it some time. Listen carefully and prepare yourselves to be truly but truly amazed. First reaction could well be PA system, where you mostly find these. On serious listening you may hear many things few audiophile-approved speaker cannot begin to approach. I don't have a real way to describe but I will give it a try: "Realism". The 3-way JBL I heard in NYC had that and I am beginning to think so do the 4367 and the Geddes speakers. I have never heard the JBL M2, 4357 or Geddes speakers BTW.

I will soon acquire nes speakers and I will not do so without listening to some Geddes and some JBL designs. I think these speakers and the aforementioned Danley designs (among many others) deserve recognition in the audiophile press and in audiophiles mindset.
Danley holds a patent for his point source horn. It's a pretty complicated design. I too have not heard them yet but point source horn is the basic concept for the speaker I'm working on. I have a horn that covers 400-15000 Hz and I could make the horn larger and reduce the 400 Hz xo to 300 Hz or so pretty easily but 400 Hz is working out really well. It's a simpler design vs Danley and his has some advantages vs mine and vice versa.

And yes, it does things no other speaker I've ever heard can do. The soundstage is very 3D and immersive, fine detail is not smeared by diffraction and reflection and images seem very solid and real.

I do have dynamic floorstanders as my reference, the Pioneer S-1EX, which are imo, one of the best traditional dynamic speakers around regardless of price. So far everyone likes my speaker better, some much better, saying my speaker is far more engaging and fun to listen to. It's also fun hearing people try to describe the difference in soundstage when they have no idea what a soundstage is. :) But everybody notices it, it's one of the first things they say about the differences.

The downside? It's not as good outside the sweetspot as a typical dynamic speaker. I have not been able to equal the exceptionally flat on-axis response of the Pioneers, but nobody seems to notice that.
 

audioguy

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
2,725
5
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Near Atlanta, GA but not too near!
#22
Interesting thread. Danley, et al are not considered high end because they lack the "panache" name, style, marketing and reputation. And in all fairness, many lack the "look" of the more traditional high end speaker. Frantz, if you continue your investigation, you will be blown away by some "un-audiophile approved" speakers that sound terrific, cost less than a new car (or used car for that matter) and are every bit as good as [and many times much better than] some "audiophile approved stuff" but at a small fraction of the price. Go listen to some powered/DSP controlled speakers. Even Triad, which is considered, for all practical purposes, a home theater speaker is outstanding (but do need subs) for music. Exploring outside the bounds of the typical high end home audio speaker will really open your eyes. Things have changed.

FWIW, a friend of mine heard the all JBL system in NY and was blown away by it, as, apparently, you were.

Have fun!!!

BUT, I would caution you to do some listening a high volume with some of these designs. Some which use compression drivers can sound quite dynamic, clean and powerful at "normal" volume but once you crank them up, they can be a bit edgy. Have a great time on your journey.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,469
0
0
#23
Audioguy

I intend to... The Performance to cost ratio is potentially off the charts!

We must however admit that there exist a few very unconventional in the Orthodox High End Audio segment. MBL is pretty unique and so is the Ionic Tweeter of the Acapell. What I remember from the past was the marriage of Electrostatic and horns. The Beveridge speakers work on that principle. I remember when I was a teen dreaming about this speaker. At one point during the late 2000's ( 2007?) they were resurrected but with little commercial success...
There is also the Lansche speakers.. The ionocvac tweeter and many quite interesting designs
 
Sep 7, 2010
104
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#24
Do any of those manufacturers take advertising with Stereophile?
Keith.
Why would that be a relevant question? Only around 50% of the products reviewed in Stereophile are from companies that advertise.

We have reviewed many panel speakers and horns over the years, just not in recent years (other than Herb Reichert last year on a small Maggie). Our choice of what to review reflect the world as we find it, and direct radiator speakers dominate what's on offer.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile
 
Feb 25, 2016
37
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Scandinavistan
#25
Why would that be a relevant question? Only around 50% of the products reviewed in Stereophile are from companies that advertise.

We have reviewed many panel speakers and horns over the years, just not in recent years (other than Herb Reichert last year on a small Maggie). Our choice of what to review reflect the world as we find it, and direct radiator speakers dominate what's on offer.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile
Panel speakers are "audiophile approved" though. In my opinion they don't really fit in a thread on "non-conformist" speakers, they are more the exception that confirms the rule.

Interesting thread by the way, will be following this. Never was much of a conformist... ;)
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,434
1
38
Metro DC
#26
"...our choice of what to review reflect the as we find it.."
Stereoeditor.
I thought we were trying to leave the world better than we found it.

I am so tired of drivers in a box at astronomical prices designed by geniuses.
 

dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
2,090
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Dallas, Texas
#27
John,
You've been very complimentary of Harman products over the years. You also seem to agree with how Harman measures and designs their speakers. In fact, others have pointed out that you once said the Revel Salon was the best speaker you reviewed (up to that time.)

As you know, Harman also owns JBL who primarily designs horn/waveguide speakers. Over the last few years, JBL has released very high performance waveguide/horn designs and a totally unique dual diaphragm compression driver. Voishvillo is probably one of the best driver designers. Is JBL too pro looking? I've owned some of the best speakers you've had in YOUR room, at any price. I now own a pair of JBL 4367. It can compete with anything out there, IMO. To the extent it matters, I'm also a subscriber. :rolleyes:

Michael


Why would that be a relevant question? Only around 50% of the products reviewed in Stereophile are from companies that advertise.

We have reviewed many panel speakers and horns over the years, just not in recent years (other than Herb Reichert last year on a small Maggie). Our choice of what to review reflect the world as we find it, and direct radiator speakers dominate what's on offer.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,434
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Metro DC
#28
Uh..He may have said it was one of the best speakers he ever measured. That's the same thing to some people.:b
 
Sep 7, 2010
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#29
you once said the Revel Salon was the best speaker you reviewed (up to that time.)
I loved the sound of the Salon2 and it also measured superbly well.

As you know, Harman also owns JBL who primarily designs horn/waveguide speakers. Over the last few years, JBL has released very high performance waveguide/horn designs and a totally unique dual diaphragm compression driver.
Indeed. I have heard some great dems of the K2 9800 and we very positively reviewed the Synthesis 1400, which was designed by Greg Timbers, a few years back: http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/jbl_synthesis_1400_array_bg_loudspeaker/index.html

Voishvillo is probably one of the best driver designers. Is JBL too pro looking?
Not at all, though JBL doesn't appear to make any serious effort to market these speakers to US audiophiles - Japan is, I believe, the primary market for their horn-based speakers.

I now own a pair of JBL 4367. It can compete with anything out there, IMO.
I'll check it out. But it's fair to say that its distant ancestor, the JBL 4345, was one of the worst-sounding speakers I ever tried. :)

To the extent it matters, I'm also a subscriber. :rolleyes:
Thank you.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile
 
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dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
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Dallas, Texas
#30
Greg Timbers doesn't work at Harman any longer. Starting with the M2 and then the 4367, all speakers are being redesigned around the new waveguide technology and the new dual diaphragm compression drivers. So the newer models aren't even distant cousins to the old. My understanding is that the k2 will get overhauled as well. It's my understanding that the m2 and 4367 are the highest performing speakers in JBL current lineup.

You can read more about tech used in new JBL speakers from these Voishvillo AES papers, and others:
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=17949
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=15636

I loved the sound of the Salon2 and it also measured superbly well.



Indeed. I have heard some great dems of the K2 9800 and we very positively reviewed the Synthesis 1400, which was designed by Greg Timbers, a few years back: http://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/jbl_synthesis_1400_array_bg_loudspeaker/index.html



Not at all, though JBL doesn't appear to make any serious effort to market these speakers to US audiophiles - Japan is, I believe, the primary market for their horn-based speakers.



I'll check it out. But it's fair to say that its distant ancestor, the JBL 4345, was one of the worst-sounding speakers I ever tried. :)



Thank you.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile
 

dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
2,090
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Dallas, Texas
#32
Aug 25, 2010
949
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16
Destiny
#33
He wouldn't he is not a transducer engineer. That's where the patents come from and then the follow up AES papers. He is a systems designer and has specified the design of drivers going all the way back the 4333 monitors L300 in domestic form the 4345 that John mentions and many other systems. L250 L250Ti the Arrays 9800 9900 Everest and so on. Basically every single TOTL system he designed for JBL for over 40 years. You should also look up Jerry Moro who designed the 2216nd he has quite a few patents and AES paper for JBL. The 4367 or any of these systems are not a single person effort.

Rob:)
 

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