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View Full Version : USA (JBL) vs. England (Celestion, B&W, KEF...)



chad
06-30-2006, 12:21 AM
Hi folks,

Just wanted to hear some opinions regarding this, and to speak of my own experiences...

Speakers form England such as B&W, KEF, and Celestion - they seem to have this uncolored, un-offensive, smooth, balanced, natural character. If I were to kick on a pair of speakers, primarily to enjoy my jazz / new age, flat eq with a touch of subwoofer to solidify the bottom, for my own relaxation and enjoyment...... the ones made in England are near and dear to my taste. They consistently over-shadow anything that came from anywhere else.

Now then, my JBL systems are a bit of a different story. They seem to reward the right program material with a liveliness, an energy. Imagine friends or family listening, some subtle and carefully selected eq, some energetic music, a touch of subwoofer to solidify the bottom, and the English speakers cannot liven up the room like the JBLs. Not even close.

If I were to be allowed only one pair for the rest of my life and had to choose between a good English speaker vs. a good American speaker, I simply could not choose. :hmm::dont-know

Does that make me bisexual?

gerard
06-30-2006, 03:28 AM
Hello Chad

I aml not sure I fully agree with your remarks .

I do listen to a lot of jazz aso .

I have 4340 clone and 250 Ti clones and when building my 250 Ti I pop up to some hifi shops to have an idea of what was the 2005 sound .

I like very much the 5 way speakers linn , less the Bw nautilus ( too much heavy medium ) , I also listen in the Us revel studio 3 way ( needed at last 150 watts amp ) .

I can tell you that if your jbl has a proper set up you can get a pure sound without any heavy bass or medium .

My 250 Ti clone runs bi amp and I get about the same sound as the Revel speakers or the Linn I liked a lot and I do not have a Jbl sound !



Gerard

L100t Owner
06-30-2006, 08:42 AM
Hello Chad

I aml not sure I fully agree with your remarks .

I do listen to a lot of jazz aso .

I have 4340 clone and 250 Ti clones and when building my 250 Ti I pop up to some hifi shops to have an idea of what was the 2005 sound .

I like very much the 5 way speakers linn , less the Bw nautilus ( too much heavy medium ) , I also listen in the Us revel studio 3 way ( needed at last 150 watts amp ) .

I can tell you that if your jbl has a proper set up you can get a pure sound without any heavy bass or medium .

My 250 Ti clone runs bi amp and I get about the same sound as the Revel speakers or the Linn I liked a lot and I do not have a Jbl sound !



Gerard

I have listened to Klipschorns for years (extremely dynamic) in a system that was really dialed in for these speakers. I recently bought a set of B&W N801's and a big amp compared to the horns (550 wpc) to drive them.

At low volumes these things are very laid back and have a great midrange. As volume increases, they do not change (I.e. the midrange does not change character like a lot of speakers do) but they are very dynamic. The punch and accuracy is every but as much as the K Horns, it just takes way more power to achieve.

As far at the B&W midrange observation, I have learned that without a lot of power (a real lot) the woofers do not come alive. The 801's have an extremely difficult impedance curve that is difficult for many amps. I heard a set of 805's (that have a relatively easy curve) and could not believe the bass that came out of them. I kept looking for a subwoofer in the demo room.

Chris

jim3860
06-30-2006, 11:03 AM
I cant speak for the celestions or kefs i have heard b&ws before. very nice speakers indeed. I havent heard the 801s or 800s either one yet so i cant speak about them compared to the jbls that i own. i have owned 2 pair of little 2 way bookshelf missions and a 2 way bookshelf tannoy. i preferred the tannoy over the missions. the missions seemed to me to intially have a warm almost tube like sound on the bass. but after a while listening i decided they were not really warm sounding but muddy actually. the tannoys were very nice for what they were. brighter than the missions were. could actaully play quite loud and if with a sub woud be quite a nice little system. i felt the missions were actuall way overpriced for what you got. $1000.00 for 781 series bookshelves. when compared to a new set of L100ts for around the same price. canada has some very nice speakers also for the money, paradigm studio reference 100s are very nice and can be had anywhere from as low as $500.00 to around $1200.00 a pair on ebay which i feel is a real bargain for the money. but so far im quite happy with my jbls :D

Rolf
06-30-2006, 04:28 PM
Well, maybe this post also will be discharged. I believe that the sound of Englisher and american sound can not be compared. English: soft and smote...studio finish. American: hard an reality like. That is why i like my 4343B's, reality.

Ducatista47
06-30-2006, 09:48 PM
Look at this description:


My sonic memory of the big 4 ways, the last of which was the 4344MkII, is that they are effortless, dynamic, pretty low in coloration and really "alive."
That word "alive" gets to the heart of the matter for me. I like some qualities of other speakers, but when it comes to the entire presentation I think JBL's have that x-factor missing in the others. The satisfaction comes from that overall feel and what it ignites in my soul. Other speakers? "Outstanding" this or "transparent" that, but the whole is dead compared to the experience delivered by JBL's balanced yet bold approach.

I was in my audio shop last month when they were demo-ing a pair of speakers for a customer. The room was full of Canton Ventos and Karats, Dalquists, a stray Altec or two and so on. But with my back turned, I knew these had to be JBL's, and they sounded so awesome. They were playing loud and kicking everything else in the store's asses. What were they? A recently restored pair of 4311's!:applaud:

Don't take my word for it, the quote is from Mr. Greg Timbers.

Clark in Peoria

MJC
07-01-2006, 10:28 AM
I've heard quite a few English speakers: B&W, KEF, Warfdale, Monitor Audio, etc. They all have a soft upper end, I think WAY too soft.
There are a lot of speaker systems that sound good, at least at first, but give me JBL's full range ALL the time. That's the reason I don't much like THX processing, it mimics being in a large theater, where you're sitting a long distance from the speakers, thus losing a bit of the highs, due to their wave characteristics.
I like to hear it all, clean and clear, JBL style.

Audiobeer
07-02-2006, 08:34 PM
I love the B&W sound. It's just a matter of your own tastes. I always come back to Vintage JBL, but a B&W set up right can sound fantastic. In the under 4K range (Street Price) I have never found a B&W that could best the JBLs that I have heard. Again I want to state that I never was able to hear both side by side other than a pair of 802s and a pair of L-300s. There was characteristics of each I preferred over the other depending on the material I was playing.

edgewound
07-02-2006, 09:01 PM
The latest JBL good stuff....with JBL Pro designed drivers...all benefited from more sophisticated crossover networks. The early systems from the 50's and 60's all had the best drivers that money could buy...even by todays standards, but the networks were a little crude.

Put those same drivers with a well designed crossover network and they can put any system to shame.

Chas
07-04-2006, 12:30 PM
The latest JBL good stuff....with JBL Pro designed drivers...all benefited from more sophisticated crossover networks. The early systems from the 50's and 60's all had the best drivers that money could buy...even by todays standards, but the networks were a little crude.

Put those same drivers with a well designed crossover network and they can put any system to shame.

A good point and one that I like to think about often. There is no doubt in my mind that some of the vintage stuff, like 2440/1's, 242x, etc. are capable of incredibly good sound. Combined with a good source, high res. electronics and well designed crossovers with quality passive and active components.

It's amazing how well they were designed, given the overall quality of the surrounding gear in their day.

jim campbell
07-09-2006, 10:45 AM
i have heard many systems that sound good;until you turn em up.at real world spl the jb's out shine all of them.