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Thread: JBL Factory Center Speakers

  1. #1
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    JBL Factory Center Speakers

    I've got my home system working fairly well, but - sometimes we have trouble making out dialog in films ... so I figure that means we need to upgrade the center channel speaker.

    Our current speaker is from the Northridge E Series - the EC25 (a 2 way - top image below)

    I'm debating over the idea of going with either an EC35 (a 3 way - the middle image below)
    http://www.jbl.com/home/product_supp...d=EC35BE&Buy=N

    or tracking down an LC2 (Part of the Studio L Series - looks like a 4way)
    http://www.jbl.com/home/products/pro...CheckProduct=Y
    (although it looks better to me, I gather the LC1 3way is not quite as nice)

    I gather they are somewhat comparable speaker?
    Does anyone have any firsthand info about these speakers they can share?

    Or - am I barking up the wrong tree and ought to look at some completely different center?
    Ideas? Tips?

    (The Images below are, in order top to bottom, EC25, LC1, EC35, LC2)
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, Von Schweikert VR-4
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, B&K amps, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

  2. #2
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    I've got my home system working fairly well, but - sometimes we have trouble making out dialog in films ... so I figure that means we need to upgrade the center channel speaker.
    I wud not assume it to be the speaker (unless you really just want to buy another speaker ) look at wiring, at the receiver, connections......only certain film ? only certain passages ? all the time/every film ?

    Had a similar prob, was the speaker binding posts

  3. #3
    JBL 4645
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    Afternoon Heather

    Okay what are the left and rights are they those, HUGE JBL 4341? And just what exactly do you have placed in the centre thatís giving you the issues and what films lately have you, been the playing that are the culprits to arise such concern?

  4. #4
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBL 4645 View Post
    Afternoon Heather

    Okay what are the left and rights are they those, HUGE JBL 4341? And just what exactly do you have placed in the centre thatís giving you the issues and what films lately have you, been the playing that are the culprits to arise such concern?
    From my original post ...
    "Our current speaker is from the Northridge E Series - the EC25"

    Yep, its not the same as the 4341s - then again, they aren't shielded, so I can't put one of them above or below our 34" (CRT) widescreen TV.

    The EC25 was a good start, and a big upgrade over a cheap RCA a friend gave me way way back when we started with multichannel sound.
    Probably a good starts is to do what Seawolf says - (pull that center, open it up, and) make sure all the drivers are connected properly.
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    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, Von Schweikert VR-4
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, B&K amps, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

  5. #5
    JBL 4645
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    Iíve typed out different ideas to respond, but Iím dead-stuck on which to post. I canít stress it any clearly Heather, matching fronts LCR or the highway LOL.

    I bet the timbre when sending (pink noise) over LCR is dead giver away in the (centre) and you really need another matching set and revamp redesign of the front room to make it work and I would be very envious of you, if you had three of the use 4341.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JBLAddict's Avatar
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    I just bought an LC1 ($399 on harman.com) from buy.com for $201, $240 total with shipping/tax

    http://www.jbl.com/home/products/pro...CheckProduct=Y

    for the money it was a GREAT buy, EOS waveguide pure Ti tweeter, mylar super tweeter, dual polyplas 5 1/4 mids with very clear lifelife voice reproduction, you won't have the current problem with this unit.

    sits between two L100As

  7. #7
    JBL 4645
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    Iíve just stuck a JBL MR centre in, while re-plugging the centre front and this is only test and yuck with the crossover filter turned to off on the DCX2496 because I need full range because Iím using the LF lead connected to the MR centre the pink noise goes from (broad low mid and high left) control 5 to MR centre mid high its set to the (same db weighting) but its miles off.

    This would take me the best part of the evening to re-EQ the fronts and Iím not about to waste the rest of night away. Itís so nasally with ďThe Empire Strikes BackĒ which is what Iím running now, back to the JBL control 5 and perfect LCR fronts, because if I listen to this for another 5 minutes Iíll be looking for long piece of rope.

    The camera isnít getting a good picture because of light-glare from the window on the right-side. Thatís better now its clearer sound. ďEcho-Three to Echo-Seven Han ole buddy ready me? ďLoud and clear kid, whatís upĒ.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    I've got my home system working fairly well, but - sometimes we have trouble making out dialog in films ... so I figure that means we need to upgrade the center channel speaker.

    Our current speaker is from the Northridge E Series - the EC25

    I'm debating over the idea of going with either an EC35

    or tracking down an LC2
    (although it looks better to me, I gather the LC1 3way is not quite as nice)

    I gather they are somewhat comparable speaker?
    Does anyone have any firsthand info about these speakers they can share?

    Or - am I barking up the wrong tree and ought to look at some completely different center?
    Ideas? Tips?
    The EC25 and the LC1 have been consistently disappointing performers, particularly in the midrange. There's no dedicated midrange driver, so the duties are shared between the woofers and the tweeter. It's not an effective design for a center, especially when matched with speakers that can over power them.

    The LC1 will be better than the EC25, the EC35 will be better than the LC1, and the LC2 will be better than the EC35.

    They still won't be exactly matched to your mains, but the dialog will be much improved and clearer. On scenes where sound travels across the front, you might notice a subtle shift in timbre as it passes through the center, but if the main objective is to improve dialog, the EC35 and LC2 are prime candidates.
    In.

  9. #9
    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Thanks for the lengthy response TiDome - I'll check them out and see what I can find! I do prefer the wood look boxes over the black ash stuff ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    if the main objective is to improve dialog, the EC35 and LC2 are prime candidates.
    2ch - Oppo981, JoLida502, JBL L200+, Von Schweikert VR-4
    HT7- XDA-2, BDP93, B&K amps, Vandy 3A, 2Ce, VCC1, TF600 & JBL 4641

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Ti Dome,

    Great post, hence I use 4208's acoss the front and leave the big boys to pure 2 channel stuff. The 4208's are also shielded although its not an issue for the LCD screen.

    It seems to work and is more practical than attemping to provide anything approaching a 4345 centre.

  11. #11
    RIP 2013 Rolf's Avatar
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    Hi all.

    Every center speaker I have tried has been a disappointment to me. I'm not sure, but maybe the only way to get it right is to use the same for the center as for the left and right. In my case a 4343, but I have no room for such a large center.

    What I have done is not to use a center speaker at all, and configure the processor in phantom mode. This works fine for me, but I must point out that I do not watch so many movies. Most 2ch hi-fi.
    It's really all about music.
    Rolf

  12. #12
    JBL 4645
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolf View Post
    Hi all.

    Every center speaker I have tried has been a disappointment to me. I'm not sure, but maybe the only way to get it right is to use the same for the center as for the left and right. In my case a 4343, but I have no room for such a large center.

    What I have done is not to use a center speaker at all, and configure the processor in phantom mode. This works fine for me, but I must point out that I do not watch so many movies. Most 2ch hi-fi.
    That’s what I’ve been telling everyone else including my friends, but they’ve been brainwashed into believing the speaker that is sold within the home cinema market is the real deal.

    Go and look behind, oh what’s the point just go to the Empire Leicester square JBL thread and look for yourselves, that is how its done, matching fronts and its not impracticable its only impracticable when it doesn’t work with mismatching fronts LCR.

    Oh, are you missing something so special and unique with the centre channel. Some films carry a different sound that will be masked by left and right front’s phantom mode in Dolby 5.1 or the same with Dolby stereo Pro-Logic 4:2:4 you may hear dialogue level above a certain degree, what you won’t hear is some subtle sounds rustling of clothes or some footsteps, even breathing depending on the type of film.

  13. #13
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    Hello Rolf

    I think it really depends on the center. I use a UREI 811C clone and it's works great. I think the mistake many make with centers is that they use too small a speaker. If you think about it it should be the largest with the best overall power handling as well. Over 50% of the film comes through it so you can't skimp. It can't be treated as an after thought. It's the heart of a 5.1 set-up.

    Rob

  14. #14
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    There are instances where the center speaker is more than equal to the task, like the PC600 for example. It can outplay a PT800 any day of the week. The Array center is very potent as well.

    I'd agree that sometimes a phantom is better, especially when there's no real equivalent center available. This is particularly true of older models, where you either need the exact same thing or you should just go phantom.

    In the case of more recent models, there usually is a smaller speaker lower in the series that can be put to center duty if it fits the space (like an L3 with L7s or an XPL90 with XPL200s).

    A unit like an LC2 (or the earlier EC35) can be used to some effect with similarly voiced speakers, even from other series, though the timbre will occasionally mismatch.

    In the long run, I prefer a center over phantom whenever possible, even with a slight mismatch. The extra output from the center is discernible and can make an important contribution to overall dynamics when called for.

    If I play two stacked PT800/PS1400 towers and use phantom mode, it sounds sensational. The imaging is great, the soundstage is wide, and I'd swear there was a center channel at work. When I run another PT800 (or better yet a PC600 for HT), as center, it's sensational+, and the dynamic range is noticeably more profound.
    In.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Rusnzha's Avatar
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    In my S412/S38/S36/2241h 7.1, I replaced the S-Center with an Infinity Beta C360 center. The S Center never seemed to be up to the rest of the Studio Series, but the Infinity is an excellent match with the Studio Series speakers. I am also lusting for an LC-2 to try in that spot just to see what happens, but am very satisfied with the Infinity in that spot. I'm not sure how one of these would work in your setup, but you can always sell it if it doesnt work out.

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