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Thread: JBL Synthesis - Something BIG is on its way...

  1. #181
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    Now that the gear is out of the boxes and connected--though not completely installed or calibrated yet--it's time for some closer looks and impressions.

    You can see how we got to this place by reviewing this thread starting on page 13: http://audioheritage.org/vbulletin/s...=25102&page=13


    So we'll start at the rack. At the top of the left rack is a Furman PM PRO Series II 20 Amp PDU (power distribution unit). All of the sensitive electronics are connected to this amazing unit.

    The Synthesis® amplifiers are direct to the dedicated circuits. I don't like limiting them in any way, and Chris calls them arc welders anyway. He said he spec'd them down to a total grounded connection short and 0 Ohm load without damage.

    The Furman gives a nice status display without being flashy, and it has a protected power switch.

    Below that is the SDP-5 (Lexicon MC-8) with it obligatory JBL blue display. I've got a lot of reading to do to catch up with this baby, but the good news is I can run it our of the box without too much trouble.

    I already programmed my Harmony 1000 to run it. As time goes on, I'm sure there will be things the Harmony doesn't do that the JBL remote will, but for daily operation the Harmony will control everything, including the sources.

    Speaking of sources, under the SDP-5 is the OPPO 981HD, which has a nicely matching blue display.

    Below that but not hooked up or turned on is the Mitsubishi LD player.

    As much as possible I avoided using the flash on these pictures. I used the night setting to try to give you a bit more detail and less flash glare.
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  2. #182
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    Looking at the same gear from the back, it's easy to see the Furman is a true 20 Amp device.

    The SDP-5 has the usual plethora of connections, though no HDMI. What's up with that, JBL Synthesis®?

    Thankfully the OPPO has the chips to decode what the JBL cannot, so it'll do some of that duty, and I'll go HDMI direct to the projector for video.
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  3. #183
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    At the top of the right rack you see the SDEC-4000X and SDEC-4000P. These are very sophisticated. It's all HiQ Net stuff, and it runs like a network all the time. The changing displays actually update themselves with IP addresses and network conditions, as well as the time. Once the calibration is done, I think there will be green/red LED displays in the little windows where you see the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4. What does it mean? :dont-know

    I don't know how legible the display will be. It's hard to photograph. You'll just have to come see for yoruself.

    Given the level of complexity, it's no wonder the pair retails in the mid teens. You want to talk about active crossovers? I got your active crossovers right here.

    Oh, I mean right here:
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  4. #184
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    The backside looks like your typical corporate network server running 24/7. I was falling off a five gallon bucket when I snapped the photo, so there are some motion artifacts.

    It makes me think I want to put a glass door on the back. It's freakin' sweet when you walk into the dark room.
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  5. #185
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    Here's the obligatory look at four of the five amps lit up with blue LEDs. It's got to be seen to be appreciated. Heh, no bucket to fall off this time, just lousy picture taking.
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  6. #186
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    In back, the front main speakers use two channels each. The 14/4 wire makes this easy to track. Red/black for HF, green/blue for MF and upper LF.
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  7. #187
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    The subs use the S800s in bridged mode. Oh no! Look, the subs are bi-wired.
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  8. #188
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    Here's a SAM1HF (Synthesis Array Module 1 High Frequency) full in the face. That's Ti on top and Al underneath. It's the least horn-sounding horn I've heard.

    It has none of the honking, ringing, sibilant, shrill, or piercing qualities I hear in 95%+ of all horns I've listened to, vintage or otherwise.

    Can't wait to hear it dialed in!
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  9. #189
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    The SAM2LF (Synthesis Array Module 2 Low Frequency) units have two amazing 8" Al drivers. They remind me more and more of the fantastic 12' Al cone driver in the HTPS400: fast, clean, precise, articulate, powerful, fully dynamic--WOW!

    This might be the best 8" driver ever and the biggest surprise of the system, even more so than the SAM1HF drivers. I swear someone is in the room with me. I've looked around a dozen times at nothing because the SAM2LFs convinced me something was here.

    Right now I'm listening to some country swing fiddling, and with my eyes closed, I'm right in the tent at the Lucas County Fair listening to the fiddler slice up the lingering summer heat. It's uncanny, the haunting reality of my childhood memories and the aura it invokes. This is just unreal, it's so real.

    Can this rig really sound even better? We'll see.
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  10. #190
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    Right now the woofers are fighting each other a bit. That'll be taken care of by the calibration. Even with a bit of competitive muddiness, they have nearly unlimited power. With Crystal Method's Legion of Boom on, I can feel it in my chest, my legs, my arms, my b... never mind.

    The front sub is lying down; the rear is standing up. These are not butt-kickers. They're ass-kickers, body beaters, head bangers.

    One they're in phase and fully powered, watch out!
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  11. #191
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    Here's a better look into the ports. Each one exudes palpable air motion, even from a foot away. This is some serious woofing.
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  12. #192
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    The S4Ai is upside down for ease of connection. When mounted it will go right side up, which in this case means with the single Ti tweeter at the bottom.

    Chris said when he spec'd it, it had to "do everything." It can di-pole, bi-pole, and direct radiate. It fits between 16" on center wall studs. It can be mounted in the ceiling. The four driver module can be rotated. The direct radiating woofer and tweeter can go at the top or at the bottom. It can be hooked up three different ways. (We chose the simplest.)

    The four driver module has an acoustical foam in it.

    It's a beauty, with three Ti tweeters and an inverted dome 8" driver, the perfect combination for a Titanium Dome Inverted Dome Metalhead. I'm back in home territory. The 360 degree soundstage is a bit incomplete until calibration, but even roughed in and unmounted, it's easy to hear the magic.

    All in all, it's an amazing accomplishment that was almost two years in the making.
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  13. #193
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    Well it looks impressive.
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  14. #194
    Senior Member Mike Ronesia's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to share the pictures. Do you have time off work this week to work more on it?
    The cure for almost anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.

  15. #195
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    It has none of the honking, ringing, sibilant, shrill, or piercing qualities I hear in 95%+ of all horns I've listened to, vintage or otherwise.

    Can't wait to hear it dialed in!
    Do I sense a moniker change coming?? Glad you like them as much as you do. That is one awesome set-up. Nice pictures too. So have you decided what movie you are going to watch first??

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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