This was all over the news yesterday. Apparently, Samsung is spending $8 billion to buy its way into a burgeoning market for automotive technology alongside Apple and Google as the smartphone business wanes. With the deal, Samsung hope to marry its fast microprocessor and software technology with Harman’s infotainment and vehicle systems to offer carmakers more advanced connectivity…according to a report I read online
I wonder what is going to happen to the brands under Harman. Is Samsung targetting the car market with Harman’s automotive products? Is it going to acquire and then close down the other brands like JBL and the like? We do not know. All I can say is…exciting times are ahead.
I was the soucd technician at an event last night and they were using this monstrous subwoofer by JBL to power the front-of-house (FOH) system. These dual 18″ subs were fantastic…going really low and giving some terrific subsonic bass that really made the floor and the glass doors rattle. I mean, with dual 18″ subwoofers, this thing had better do its job…and that it certainly did. My only complaint was that we were not driving it to its full capacity. To be honest, I kinda like it but its a bit too big and heavy.
Ever been in a cinema and enjoyed the low rumbling and sometimes even the special sound effects during some action shows? These are the speakers that make it happen…the JBL 8350 series. These speakers are pretty powerful. well, they have to be considering that they have to give you the goosebumps. The specs of these speakers are pretty impressive too, from what I saw on JBL’s website:
- 60 Hz to 19 kHz Frequency Range
- High Sensitivity, 97 dB SPL, 1 W, 1 m (3.3 ft)
- High Power Handling Capability: 350 watts continuous pink noise
- Convenient mounting design uses JBL QuickMount™, Omnimount® or APC Multimount brackets
- Special cabinet shape incorporates 20° angled front baffle
- SMPTE/ISO2969 Curve X high frequency de-emphasis
- Lightweight, rigid molded enclosure
- Input terminals located on top of cabinet for quick access
- Uniform horizontal and vertical coverage
- THX® Approved
I have always loved these speakers and just the other day, while at a cinema, I wanted to take a picture of them after a show but I got a rude shock. I saw that the cinema had installed copies of those JBLs. The pic is right here:
They are made by a China company named Be3. I have no idea what company this is and a search on the Internet turned up no results…so far…as I have not dug deeper. But while watching the show at the afore-mentioned cinema, I wondered why the speakers did not accentuate the special effects well enough. This was the rude shock that greeted me when the lights came on.
I mean, I know that people want to save costs these days but bloody hell…with cinema ticket prices at a pretty hight point these days, one would do well to give patrons their money’s worth. Sadly, this is not the case.
About a month or so ago, after my wife and I had finished attending Mass, I saw an event happening in an open field near the church. I saw that the event company had used a few of these powered JBL EON-series speakers for their event. What got to me was the fact that they were using about 8 of them, all on tripods, for their event. Hold on, I told myself…the event area is not that big. Why use 8 speakers? In any case, I went back home and when I did, I did some reasearch on these speakers.
I found out that the power to these speakers was pretty low for a powered speaker, according to this specification sheet from JBL. 130 watts low frequency and 50 watts hi-frequency (bi-amplified) is what I found out that they could handle. And they weigh about 21 kgs. Not only that, the 15″ woofer with Differential Drive (whatever that is) only has a 2″ voicecoil. But then again, looking at the low wattage the internal amplifier puts out, I suppose that that is all it deserves. In any case, while searching for more info on this, I reached this website for a company in the UK named A & J Audio Repair Shop and got a shock when I saw the interior of the speakers.
Look at this. It was a total shocker. I have seen unknown brands from China with better designed speakers but coming from an established player like JBL, I was really disappointed. First of all, check out where the toroidal transformer is located. Also, check out the amp which is part of that circuit board. These pics from A & J Audio’s site…can you believe it? This is the standard coming from JBL! Now I know why these speakers are shunned. You can see so many of them on Craigslist and the like.
So in a nutshell, this post goes to warn others who are looking at this model. Read this, read A & J Audio’s website and you make the decision. I already made mine!
To be honest, I just came upon this new offereing by JBL a couple of days back. I did a review, of sorts, on the their EON 210p some time back and I thought that was all all JBL had to offer as far as portable PA systems were concerned. Boy was I proven wrong. So. A new one. How will it stack up?
To be honest, I have not seen one for sale in Singapore…yet. But I have read some reviews and I will leave it at that. This should serve as an introduction of sorts. To be honest, it looks an awful lot like the Fender Passport series…i.e. the mixer sandwiched between two speakers and clipped in, resembling a suitcase.
The figure above more-or-less shows what is available in this mixer. The attached mixer has 6 inputs: 2 mono inputs comprised of a combination input connector, MIC/LINE selector, Treble and Bass controls, Reverb and channel volume controls. The 4 stereo inputs are where you can connect all of the microphones, musical instruments and external sound sources (like MP3 or CD players). The stereo inputs labeled “CH 3/4” offer the option of using RCA with a volume control. The input labeled “CH5/6” is a 3.5 mm stereo input. The “Monitor Out” enables sourcing to recording devices, additional powered speakers or mixers via RCA connectors. Two MIC channels. Hmmm. Flexibility just went out of the window here. So for general PA system use, this would be ideal but for miking up a band…ummm…that is pushing it a bit. Maybe for a small acoustic band, it should suffice.
The speakers are detacheable, of course, and come with 6.5″ woofers. Rather small in my opinion so DJs thinking of using this system alone for a mobile parties had better think about bringing down a couble of subwoofers and hooking them up to the mixer session. Wattage-wise, its able to deliver 80 watts a channel. To me, that is rather pitiful but seeing the size of the woofers, I suppose that is what its capable of handling. There is no reverb or delay so this is what it is…a bare-basics PA system. It is pretty light too…about 12 kilograms. To be honest, I am rather disappointed in it. I thought this was going to be an improvement, a bigger brother of the EON210p but I was clearly wrong.
So in my opinion, would I buy it? Well, that is a tough queston. It ges for an RRP of US$450 which makes it about $600 here in Singapore. I suppose, as I said, for general PA duties like roadshows, it may be able to handle them. But for me personally, I would like my systems to have more grunt so I will stick with something that can, like a Yamaha Stagepas 600i
Yesterday evening, while waiting for my wife to finish her shopping, I walked around this shopping centre and I saw an event company using these two powered JBL PRX712s for a roadshow of sorts. The event was not using the full power these bad boys could handle. The music was rather soft and they were playing music that I personally would not have played. So while waiting, I did a check on these speakers and this is what I found out about them.
These powered PA speakers are no slouches. They can dish out 1500 watts power. Not bad for a speaker this size. Amplification-wise, Class D is what is used. No biggie. Lots of manufacturers use this amplification nowadays. The speaker components are a 12″ “Differential Drive” (what in the bloody hell is that?) woofer and a 1.5″ neodymium compression driver. The ones I saw were mounted on tripods. It seems that one can fly and floor,them, or they can be used as a monitor wedge. These speakers have DSP that provides EQ, protection, input-sensitivity adjustment, crossover functionality, dynamic limiting, and component optimization. Not bad. In short, here are the features, I got from JBL:
- 135 dB peak SPL
- 12″ Differential Drive® low-frequency driver for low-distortion and higher SPL
- 1.5″ diameter next generation JBL neodymium compression driver
- JBL designed waveguide for accurate coverage
- Efficient Class-D amplifier technology
- Optimized EQ for monitor or front-of-house applications
- DSP input section, crossover, dynamic limiting, component optimization, selectable system EQ
- Line level and direct microphone input capability
- Professional XLR-1/4″ combination inputs, RCA inputs, and XLR loop-through
- Multi-angle enclosure for main PA or floor monitor applications
- Integrated 36 mm pole mount socket with angle down tilt
- Injection molded handle with backing cup for easy transport
- Integrated M10 suspension points for easy setup
- Lightweight poplar plywood cabinets made structurally sound with tongue and groove joints and protected by JBL’s tour proven DuraFlex™finish.
- Cloth backed, dent-resistant 16 gauge steel grilles
One thing I know about JBL speakers and that they are not cheap…not cheap at all. Maybe a better word to use will be inexpensive. I know you can get more bang for buck with Yamaha DSR or DXR line, that can take these speakers on with no issues. But I must say that this is the first time I have seen the PRX line used in a roadshow, instead of the many fake NEXO PS15s out there
A couple of days back, I installed this subwoofer in a small bar. I must say that I was pretty sceptical of this sub at first but as always, I have been proved wrong. This sub is great and sounds pretty good! It really complements the speakers that we installed in the place and it can really kick. Specifications-wise, this is what we have:
- Frequency Response – 27Hz – 150Hz
- Amplifier RMS Power – 150 Watts
- Amplifier Peak Dynamic Power – 300 Watts
- Crossover Frequencies — 50Hz – 150Hz, 24dB/octave, continuously variable
- Driver — 10″ (250mm) PolyPlas™
- Dimensions (H x W x D) — 17-3/4″ x 12-1/4″ x 15-3/4″ (with grille) (451mm x 311mm x 400mm)
- Weight — 32.1 lb (14.6kg)
I was very pleasantly surprised with its performance. I will say this though…it will be something to keep in mind for future bar installs.