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View Full Version : New K2-S9900 vs Best Vintage JBL Build.



cgregory4
09-30-2014, 09:13 AM
It's a sad day when a guy has to apply objective thinking to his subjective passions -- wine, women, or song! :(

WRT 'song': I started taking mental inventory of my JBL component collection, my planned audio projects, my health 'miseries, and my limited time left on planet Earth. Ugh!

Frankly, I am sucked into this JBL vortex so deeply that the 'toys' sometimes make me forget why I pursue this passion: the music.

SO ... my 'projects/experiments' will continue, as they are simply too much fun to quit. BUT .... if my real goal is the best reproduction of audio possible -- at moderate to low listening levels, should I be considering spending some of my hard-earned 'geetus' on a modern JBL design?

On the one hand consider a 'tricked-out' 4355 with the best consensus driver and crossover (including active/driver) possibilities, with multiple amps, and crossover points nailed -- after a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. :)

On the other hand consider two factory boxes. Each contains a rosewood K2-S9900. Just open, position, and play. :D

If the ultimate goal is detailed audiophile music reproduction at moderate listening levels -- And, it is! -- how will they compare?

I've been reading the 'white paper' on the K2-S9900, looking at the 'near perfect' integration of the 3-way over the entire audio spectrum, reading about the driver technology, admiring the beauty (But not overwhelming size.) of the cabinet, realizing this was something that the wife might allow in her living room, and, finally, concluding I can buy a barely-used pair for what I've spent on vintage JBL 'stuff' over just the last year alone.

Is the 'new' JBL worth consideration. I picked the K2-S9900, because 'like-new' pairs are available for less than many vintage JBL sets, and because of their nearly unbelievable combination of size, technology, and specifications. You can substitute any vintage JBL model for my 4355 example -- that's not the point. The question is, "Should a new JBL design be considered as part of the JBL 'herd'?" And, in what ways would it excel?

Taking a step back this morning, and contemplating the lint in my navel, :o:

Greg

4313B
09-30-2014, 09:50 AM
M2 and amps unless the K2 would be a lot less expensive.

cgregory4
09-30-2014, 10:47 AM
M2 and amps unless the K2 would be a lot less expensive.

K2s at 50% of M2 'system'.

Comparison with deluxe vintage: Worth a listen/investment?

Mr. Widget
09-30-2014, 10:31 PM
Unfortunately there is no "right" answer. I have owned or listened to many of the popular vintage JBLs and most of the current crop. I personally prefer the new high end JBLs by a wide margin, though I still like the vintage speakers too.

I think it is very important to know what you are looking for. If insane dynamics are your thing you want a 4350/55... or an E2, but at a substantially higher cost. If you like "audiophile" imaging I'd go with the Array 1400 and not even consider any vintage JBL...

If you want a really good compromise of these and don't care about bass extension or can live with a sub, then the K2-S9900 is your best bet. If you don't care so much about imaging or absolute neutrality but want a wide ranging speaker with good dynamics then the L300/4333 is just the ticket.

The new JBL Pro M2 is arguably the best compromise going with good dynamics, excellent neutrality, and state of the art imaging. (All of this is as reported to me as this is the one speaker on this post I have yet to hear or own.) I want to hear them myself before agreeing to live with the mandatory digital front end.


Widget

ivica
10-01-2014, 03:56 AM
On the other hand consider two factory boxes. Each contains a rosewood K2-S9900. Just open, position, and play. :D
If the ultimate goal is detailed audiophile music reproduction at moderate listening levels -- And, it is! -- how will they compare?

I've been reading the 'white paper' on the K2-S9900, looking at the 'near perfect' integration of the 3-way over the entire audio spectrum, reading about the driver technology, admiring the beauty (But not overwhelming size.) of the cabinet, realizing this was something that the wife might allow in her living room, and, finally, concluding I can buy a barely-used pair for what I've spent on vintage JBL 'stuff' over just the last year alone.

Is the 'new' JBL worth consideration. I picked the K2-S9900, because 'like-new' pairs are available for less than many vintage JBL sets, and because of their nearly unbelievable combination of size, technology, and specifications. You can substitute any vintage JBL model for my 4355 example -- that's not the point. The question is, "Should a new JBL design be considered as part of the JBL 'herd'?" And, in what ways would it excel?

Taking a step back this morning, and contemplating the lint in my navel, :o:

Greg

Interestingly, JBL for K2-S9900 said;

-6dB at 48 Hz
http://www.jblsynthesis.com/downloads/products/prod_93_634484024579847476_JBL-K2%20speakers_092209.pdf

so I can imagine that its bass section would be "lean", my be a kind of sub-woofer has to be used....

regards
ivica

timc
10-01-2014, 04:02 AM
-6dB at 48Hz is anechoic i believe. I have heard them (in bad room) and bass extension was not a concern imo.

ivica
10-01-2014, 05:06 AM
-6dB at 48Hz is anechoic i believe. I have heard them (in bad room) and bass extension was not a concern imo.

I do not know, but from the "Owner's manual..." is shown, even worse (I think)

regards
ivica

grumpy
10-01-2014, 07:30 AM
Just to add to the previous comments and opinions...

If you are not a bass addict (require rattling windows, fluttering pant legs, and that last
bit of tactile reality that allows for both a unique presence to live recordings and a window
into non-musical events that make it into other recordings by mistake),
the K2 is a very nice system -and- piece of furniture. Then again, a sub can be added
or turned on when necessary... My -personal- preference was without the sub with most
music.

Caveats:
I'm not a bass volume freak.
I am a bass quality freak.
I prefer good imaging, but not to distraction.
I've not heard the M2.
I don't listen loud enough to warrant a 435x system.
My hearing probably rolls off above 16KHz
(not impossible, but difficult to hear the supertweeters added to K2/E2 type systems)

Dave_72
10-01-2014, 12:27 PM
Apples to oranges, maybe?

Mr. Widget
10-01-2014, 12:40 PM
Interestingly, JBL for K2-S9900 said;

-6dB at 48 Hz
http://www.jblsynthesis.com/downloads/products/prod_93_634484024579847476_JBL-K2 speakers_092209.pdf

so I can imagine that its bass section would be "lean", my be a kind of sub-woofer has to be used....

regards
ivicaI had a pair in my room for a few weeks... they sound very good and the bass is excellent, but for my taste the bass was too lean without augmentation.

Of course this is a subjective observation that is influenced by the room.


Widget

christo
10-01-2014, 12:48 PM
I have owned a pair of K2s for five years now and for the first four without a sub-woofer, the bass is fine without a sub. Depending on the music you listen to the sub may not even come on.

I also own a set of DIY 4344s (TAD-2002) and if I had to choose between the two the K2s win no doubt about it. The dynamics of the 434xís may be better but in all other area the K2s are more engaging to listen to.

The only other comment Iíll make is donít kid yourself in to thinking the K2 is smaller than a 43xx speaker it is not. It is very heavy (most of the weight is in the top 2/3 of the cabinet) and a pain in the a$$ to move as it is difficult to hold on to with the rounded back (may or may not be a concern). Also the port is on the back side so flush to the back wall wonít work.

But if you can get a pair of K2s at 50% of an M2 what are you waiting for life is too short.

Chris

Mr. Widget
10-01-2014, 02:44 PM
I have owned a pair of K2s for five years now...I agree with your entire post.


Widget

ngccglp
10-01-2014, 04:25 PM
I had a pair in my room for a few weeks... they sound very good and the bass is excellent, but for my taste the bass was too lean without augmentation.

Of course this is a subjective observation that is influenced by the room.


Widget

This is my experience too. The same comment can be made of the new M2 too. Accurate, but lean.

Dave_72
10-02-2014, 10:45 PM
I have owned a pair of K2s for five years now and for the first four without a sub-woofer, the bass is fine without a sub. Depending on the music you listen to the sub may not even come on.

I also own a set of DIY 4344s (TAD-2002) and if I had to choose between the two the K2s win no doubt about it. The dynamics of the 434xís may be better but in all other area the K2s are more engaging to listen to.

The only other comment Iíll make is donít kid yourself in to thinking the K2 is smaller than a 43xx speaker it is not. It is very heavy (most of the weight is in the top 2/3 of the cabinet) and a pain in the a$$ to move as it is difficult to hold on to with the rounded back (may or may not be a concern). Also the port is on the back side so flush to the back wall wonít work.

But if you can get a pair of K2s at 50% of an M2 what are you waiting for life is too short.

Chris

I figured that. Some people like to pooh-pooh the K2s, but in fact they are a great speaker. I wish I could have afforded them, so I went with the S4700s. :D

Mr. Widget
10-03-2014, 12:00 AM
I figured that. Some people like to pooh-pooh the K2s, but in fact they are a great speaker. I wish I could have afforded them, so I went with the S4700s. :DPeople like to dump on all sorts of things. I was just at the symphony this evening. I can honestly say, the big ass DD66000s sound more like a real symphony orchestra than any other speaker I have ever heard. The K2-S9900 come pretty close.


Widget

Dave_72
10-03-2014, 03:09 AM
People like to dump on all sorts of things. I was just at the symphony this evening. I can honestly say, the big ass DD66000s sound more like a real symphony orchestra than any other speaker I have ever heard. The K2-S9900 come pretty close.


Widget

Exactly right. I bet they do! I've only heard them at CES but at low volume so I couldn't really tell what those babies can do!