View Full Version : Best JBL drivers for new monitor?

09-14-2003, 10:54 PM
I've been rolling around the thought of building a new set of monitors. And, of course, I'd use JBL components - if there's a good match for my application. Unlike my large wooden cheeks, I'm thinking of something smaller. The usage would be for near-field monitoring and/or for a home theater system along with a sub.

I figure that each speaker would have roughly 0.75 sq. ft. and would be two way. The low end should be about 80 Hz, and I might bump it a bit for stand alone listening. I might de-bump it (an un-pluggable port?) for use with a sub. A peak SPL rating of 105 dB or so would be nice, as I'd get 117 dB with five speakers. That would match a 2235 sub nicely. I'd probably run 100 WPC or so, with more like 300 for the sub.

I'm more familiar with JBL's big topedos, so I don't know if they sell, or sold, components in this range. I appreciate your recommendations. And if JBL doesn't have the right goods, feel free to make off-brand picks.

The system won't have the sound of a 443x, a 43xx or a K2, but the WAF should be relatively high :-)

09-14-2003, 11:24 PM
Well you could try a 2118 and a 2404 very small package lots of umph. About 97 db sensitivity. Basically a 4612 with 1 woofer Or a 2118 and 2416/2418 with a 2342 horn. Bigger, lower crossover point, but still small. They will be my rears if I ever get off my butt. Can put that woofer in a very small box but you need a sub for sure. Could also look at there active nearfield speakers.

Rob :)

Ian Mackenzie
09-15-2003, 04:06 AM

Pop into a dealer and listen to the 4206 or 4208 near field monitors with the nice contoured baffles.

I've seen them on Ebay and they may fit your bill.


Alex Lancaster
09-15-2003, 07:52 AM
I like the idea of a 2118 or similar with the 2404, for the sub, how about the S120P-II, it comes with a 400 watt amp and the xover.


09-15-2003, 08:47 AM
One possibility that springs to mind... it is a "foriegn product" tho... :D

Check out the PHL 1230 and 1240 6.5" midbass drivers, sold by Zalytron... www.zalytron.com

They're 16 ohms, and a pair of them would give a bottom end down to about 60-80 Hz, ported, in between .75 and .5 cubic feet, and a nice 8 ohm load for an amp. Acccording to specs, max SPL of one midbass, is 109 dB or so. Two should be able to peak out, at close to 115 dB... :eek:

They're not cheap, but neither is a 2118, when you compare. Contemplate the idea of two of these, in an MTM flanking a 2404?? :hmm:


09-15-2003, 04:37 PM
The 2118 looks nice, but the PHL may be the better match. I like the smaller diameter for baffle flexibility and better dispersion at the upper end of the range. Also it's fs is lower than the 2118. The only questions would be build quality and distortion. With the JBL I know I'm getting top quality.

The 2404 may be overkill though. I'd plan on going for a single LF driver, so I don't need the 120 dB or so that the 2404 is capable of. It would mirror my bigger monitors nicely, but rates low on the WAF scale.

Also, from the charts, the 2404 really wants to be crossed at about 4kHz. That's a bit high for both mid/woofers mentioned above. I guess I could build an EQ into the crossover that would let the 2404 run flat down to 3 kHz or so.

Did JBL ever sell domes as components? Maybe from JBL service? A peak SPL of 105 dB or so should be fine for my application. (The 2404 looks like it would do 120 or so.)

And I'm really looking at components rather than factory systems. This will be as much a woodworking project as it will a loudspeaker.

09-15-2003, 05:38 PM
I don't know if anyone has tried this one, this driver as most here know is usually put in a sealed box but I think this could work. I modeled a 2123J in a 15 L vented box. Tuned to 85 Hz I got a F3 of 86Hz. Xmax is getting close at 100 watts but it's putting out almost 120 Db at that point.

09-15-2003, 06:13 PM
Wahoo!! The 2123 is a heck of a driver. 126 dB or so in a sealed enclosure!

I think that this is the same driver that JBL showed at CES and other tradeshows as their Hucules setup. It was a 5.4 arrangement with two (two!) 10" mid-woofs per main. Let's see, ten of these puppies would do 156 dB. Sounds about right. Add five K2 S5800 "high-packs", four 2242s and 7,200 watts, and Hurcules has returned.

If it's the one I'm thinking of, Greg Timbers said that they don't even have to high-pass it. Turn down the frequency knob and the cone movement reduces to zero with the coil soaking up all the current that it could handle in the center of its range.

This is way more than I'm looking for. I'm looking to design something with a higher estrogen to testosterone ratio.

09-15-2003, 07:09 PM
Hi Jon,

Those would be the new 2251J transducers. :)
The 2123H is the final evolution of the LE10-based transducers.

Earl K
09-15-2003, 07:15 PM
Hi Jon

I'd recommend the following components from B&C speakers for your DIY project.

Compression Driver; the DE 16-8
Horn; ME-15 ( 6" x 5.5" x 4.5" deep )
Woofer; 8PS-21 ( 8" midbass )

They can be bought from NSL ( Northern Sound & Light ) (http://www.northernsound.net/Sales/speakers/frame.html) in the US and from Q - Components (http://www.q-components.com/) in Canada .

(a) The compression driver is small and nicely built as only the Italians can muster up at this price point. The diaphragm is Mylar - which is quite nice for up-close and personal listening ( no metal - so you use Solen capacitors till the cows come home ). It requires a high crossover point - above 2k - for full power handling. As most of the Euro driver designers have done - this compression driver has had it's last octave of response optimized at the expense of the lowest octave ( hence the high crossover point ). As a result - a simplistic RC midrange suppression network will offer virtually ruler flat response out to over 15 K - if that's imporatant here.

(b) The B&C midbass - woofer is great. I listened to it ( in mono ) for about a year as part of my stereo system . A real surprise - this driver . ( Better than the comparable RCF 8" - the L 8S 800 , it's problem is it's silly plastic dustcap - bad breakup modes IMHO ) OOps shouldn't have said that - I need to sell these RCFs' . I don't know anything about the B&C 6.5" drivers. Months ago someone ( JLH ??? ) was raving about them as a mid-horn driver - I think .

- I like the JBL 2118 if you can find some used at a reasonable price & in good condition.

- Giskard has in the past recommended a nice JBL 6.5" that I can't remember the model of. It was last mentioned in the older forum .

(c) The horn - B&C has now listed the ME15 as an exponential - but it's really more some sort of hybrid type. It has some sharp diffraction edges in the bell section like some of the EV horns. Once mounted - this metal horn is quite inert .

regards <> Earl K :coolness:

09-15-2003, 07:23 PM
"- Giskard has in the past recommended a nice JBL 6.5" that I can't remember the model of. It was last mentioned in the older forum ."

The 115H-1.

I suppose the pinnacle of 6.5" two-way systems was the XPL-90A and it seemed quite popular among women.

I always liked the 115H-1/093Ti/046Ti combination. The 115H-1 takes a 0.4 cubic foot enclosure sealed or ported. I run both.

09-16-2003, 08:01 AM
Hey, I know where there is - I think- a single 115H hanging on the wall of a local PA repair shop, if it could help anyone out. Lemme know, I'll go ask about it. One caveat- I think it's been refoamed incorrectly (as in to the front of the cone), but if someone took the care to correct that, it should be fine otherwise, AFAICT...


09-16-2003, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by JonFairhurst

Also, from the charts, the 2404 really wants to be crossed at about 4kHz. That's a bit high for both mid/woofers mentioned above. I guess I could build an EQ into the crossover that would let the 2404 run flat down to 3 kHz or so.

I dunno, that PHL may be OK at 4KHz... they seem to be loosely based on the Audax PR series cones, or at least bear a strong resemblance. I've used the Audax PR17 6.5" midrange, crossed over at 5KHz, to a 2404 before, and it was AWESOME... limitless dynamics, good blend, FR was fine...

Might still work, IOW...