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Thread: 4350 Newbie

  1. #1
    Senior Member Audionutz's Avatar
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    4350 Newbie

    Firstly, my appreciation for making such a great resource available and ensuring continued interest and passion for the marque

    Having recently become the custodian of a pair of pristine JBL 4350's, I am now curious to learn more. Currently, they are running a Crown D150 for the bass, through a JBL 5234A Crossover set at 250. Mid/Highs are taken care of by a pair of Marantz MA-24 pure Class A 30 watt monoblocks running full range with bypassing the active crossover. I modded these to drop the gain slightly, allowing them to match the impedance of my passive Lightspeed Attenuator/Preamp. This has given me excellent balance and a degree of control over the bass via the Crown input gain adjustments.

    The speakers are sititng in their normal horizontal position at present. What are the benefits, if any, of sitting them upright to raise the tweeters ?

    Is it worth going into them to upgrade wiring and connections or possibly the passive crossovers ?

    Any other suggestions are welcome (apart from selling them )

    It is not that I am unhappy with the performance and if the consnsus is to "just leave them alone", I will be more than satisfied. However, I am curious as to what other owners out there have experienced with these awesome speakers .....

  2. #2
    Senior Member jerry_rig's Avatar
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    First, congratulations on the new speakers. I'm sure there are a few things you could do to bring out the best in them. For one thing, I'd try to find a better power amp for the bass section. I owned a D-150 for years -- bought it new in the early 1970s. It is easily out-gunned by larger and more modern designs. Without spending a fortune, you could find a used Hafler or something comparable (I find the Krell amps work VERY well for bass). You will be amazed at the difference. Enjoy!

    Best,

    Jerry

  3. #3
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Agreed that maybe you could use some more power but I won't fault your brand choice. The LF section of your system is rated as around 200wpc at 4-ohm but general consensus is to double that for headroom. Since your LF is 4-ohm, a Crown DC300A-II or PS-400 should work well for you and they're not expensive, many have had a gentle studio life, and you already know they will play for the long-haul. Don't know what series your D150 is but it should make a nice amp for your top end which, with a 4" voice-coil 12" mid-range needs a bit of power, too. JBL's recommendation is likely a max of 100wpc so your D150 is a bit under even before you consider the extra headroom. I'm using a DC300A-II for the bottom of my 4345s and D150A-II for the HF section. Even with the input attenuators at half, I'm getting live-sound SPL in my living room at about half-volume on the pre-amp, and it sounds great.

    Other than the tweeter dispersion, do you have any complaints with the 4350 performance as they're being used right now? I can't help you with tweeter position other than to say on my 4345s the 2405 sits about 39" off the floor and seems to work just fine when I'm seated on the couch about nine-feet away. Not sure how much height you can gain by turning yours 90º, and then you've got the problem with the base/plinth and your glass tops to contend with. I'd try some heavy lumber underneath them first to see if it gets you the difference you're looking for. Maybe 6" or so to start, if you can get some help lifting those suckers. Kenji uses a lot of these on his 43XX repro-refurbs:



    Good luck. I'll bet they sound superb right now!
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Nice speakers, congratulations!

    You sound like you know what you are doing. The reason 4350's exist is to present undistorted music loudly. Their level of finesse is a bit lower than some other JBL offerings, but not by much. If you do intend to blast them, even if only once in a while, and continue to use solid state amps, follow the JBL power recommendations religiously.

    If subtlety and detail are your thing, your crossover caps are getting too old to work as intended. A quick search here will yield some catfights about whether to upgrade the capacators or junk the crossover, take out a loan and go charge coupled. Either would be a noticeable improvement.

    Clark
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom

  5. #5
    Senior Member Audionutz's Avatar
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    My thanks to Clarke, Jerry and others. All points raised are of interest certainly. I think innitially, raising them will be the first thing to try - will have to have a good breakfast that day !

    The majority of advice with these seems to be that digital crossovers are the way to go ? Following Ian McKenzie's posts on the subject, it appears thats's where most folk eventually arrive, after lots of passive experimentation along the way.

    I would definitely prefer to leave them in as original condition as possible, for a few years at least. Any mods would have to be fully reversible.

    Amplification is definitely on the list and I have some larger power amps available that I can try out in the next few months. Whats there at present does not "feel" underpowered, but then I rarely give them full rein. The room is approx 6.4m x 4.4m with a standard 2.4m ceiling. It is somewhat bright and resonant, so some room treatment may be in order later.

    One thing quite apparent, is that these speakers do not "excite" the room as much as other large floorstanders have previously ? Maybe due to the increased footprint and weight distribution. I also supect the sheer efficiency of the bass has something to do with it - and I thought I knew what good bass was, Ha !

    About the only criticism I can level so far is that the mids lacks some "palpability" and a bit of definition in regards to instrument and vocal placement. As one friend remarked though, this is more an observation of "Glass half full" than "Glass half empty", if that makes sense ?

    Considering how much these 40 year old speakers do well, one can forgive them the odd miniscule failing .......

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    Congratulations on your wonderful 4350s. Regarding active xovers, why go digital when you can get better sounding analogue active xovers for less money? I am using an ex-studio BSS FDS360 xover on my 4344s and am delighted with it. It cost me $400 NZ including card customisation. Was well over two thousand here new 10 years ago.

    My speakers are sat on 6" high stands which have noticeably improved bass extension and articulation. With only one 15" woofer a side, the 4344s don't have your 4350 bass, but it is sufficient- especially with a pair of Jeff Rowland Model 7s monoblocks pushing out 700 watts into 4 ohms on the bottom end.

    Hybrid amps are being used on the top at the moment- either a 100 watt Radford TT100 which has a solid state front end and KT88s in the power stage or NZ made Lewitt Phoenixes, which are 120 watt Class A, SET front end and mosfet power stage zero feedback amps. Both sound great- but different!

    In my experience, the more grip and headroom you can have on the bottom end the better- as the actress said to the bishop....

  7. #7
    Senior Member Audionutz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephenred View Post
    Congratulations on your wonderful 4350s. Regarding active xovers, why go digital when you can get better sounding analogue active xovers for less money? I am using an ex-studio BSS FDS360 xover on my 4344s and am delighted with it. It cost me $400 NZ including card customisation. Was well over two thousand here new 10 years ago.

    My speakers are sat on 6" high stands which have noticeably improved bass extension and articulation. With only one 15" woofer a side, the 4344s don't have your 4350 bass, but it is sufficient- especially with a pair of Jeff Rowland Model 7s monoblocks pushing out 700 watts into 4 ohms on the bottom end.

    Hybrid amps are being used on the top at the moment- either a 100 watt Radford TT100 which has a solid state front end and KT88s in the power stage or NZ made Lewitt Phoenixes, which are 120 watt Class A, SET front end and mosfet power stage zero feedback amps. Both sound great- but different!

    In my experience, the more grip and headroom you can have on the bottom end the better- as the actress said to the bishop....

    Thanks Stephen,

    Nice to hear from another antipodean and a fellow K1W1 as well ! By any chance, would you be the gentleman that was interested in these 4350's originally ?

    I do plan on some stands in the future, once I find/construct something solid enough and aesthetically/politically suitable. The crossover question certainly polarises opinions. I only yesterday swapped in a Behringer CX-2310 with good results over the old JBL. Gives me a lot more bass tuneability, although as you point out, the bass could do with more "oomph" .....

    Overall still very impressed with them though. Even in these early days, they continue to improve with every change/mod.

    My intentions are to make haste slowly with any mods. I do have an ME-850 power amp coming back from loan soon which I will try both on the bass and uppers and see how it goes. A slight overkill on the bass I suspect, but it will certainly have enough power.

    The Marantz MA-24's I currently run full range on the mid/high. Although only 30 wpc Class A, they punch well above their weight and have performed amazingly on some large floorstanders in the past. They have a particularly sweet and accurate presentation that I like, plus they are small enough to tuck away almost anywhere.

    Cheers

    Scott

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audionutz View Post
    They have a particularly sweet and accurate presentation that I like, plus they are small enough to tuck away almost anywhere.
    So is a Volkswagen Beetle compared to a pair of 4350s.

    I think your idea about raising them makes sense if your room isn't terribly large or you must sit close to them. Realize you shouldn't sit any closer than 2.5 meters from them... 3-3.5m is better. I also agree with your idea of making all mods reversible.

    Digital crossover? I use a DEQX and would love to move up to better analog units. The DEQX is a very good digital unit, but I am always feeling as though I am missing something. I have heard the same speakers that I use with Pass Labs crossovers and admittedly better amps, and there is simply no comparison.


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    Moderator / Treasurer/Marketplace Czar boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audionutz View Post
    About the only criticism I can level so far is that the mids lacks some "palpability" and a bit of definition in regards to instrument and vocal placement. As one friend remarked though, this is more an observation of "Glass half full" than "Glass half empty", if that makes sense ?

    Considering how much these 40 year old speakers do well, one can forgive them the odd miniscule failing .......
    I find that an odd comment about these/those.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    I think your idea about raising them makes sense...
    Odder still , unless when listening you are positioned significantly out of the dispersion of the MF, HF and UHF elements. Truly?

    Which makes me ask:
    Quote Originally Posted by Audionutz View Post
    Having recently become the custodian of a pair of pristine JBL 4350's.....
    Please define "pristine"? What condition are the drivers in? Has anyone worked on them, and if so, what was done?

    I do believe, that if you are sitting in front of these - even in antipodeanland - you should have wonderful definition, er, by definition, so long as the drivers and internal crossover are performing properly.
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  10. #10
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boputnam View Post
    Odder still , unless when listening you are positioned significantly out of the dispersion of the MF, HF and UHF elements.
    When you consider that the UF and UHF drivers are positioned about 5-inches lower on the 4350 than on the 4345, it seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    Though I can't imagine those double-fifteens needing a lift to increase bass extension. :dont-know
    Do the 2230/31s have that much less bass output than the 2235s (or 2245)?
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  11. #11
    Senior Member jbl_daddy's Avatar
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    A good clean crossover first, next you can never have enough power. I used a pair of Crown PSA-2's for about 8-10 years on mine and would clip the amps on a daily basis. For the past five years I have been very happy with a Crown K1 on the upper end and a K2 for the 15's. Night and day difference on the low end. Ps. mine are 4340's super old school...

    Keep them, love them, do not let your wife talk you into selling them...

    I told my wife I had mine long before her and she married me with them.

    Mark
    Well why not it's just one more pair...
    4340's and 250ti's what an odd pair...

  12. #12
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    When you consider that the UF and UHF drivers are positioned about 5-inches lower on the 4350 than on the 4345, it seems perfectly reasonable to me.



    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Though I can't imagine those double-fifteens needing a lift to increase bass extension. :dont-know
    Increase? Raising them will clean up the midbass and might slightly reduce low end extension.


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  13. #13
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Increase? Raising them will clean up the midbass and might slightly reduce low end extension.
    Hey, I didn't suggest it. Look up about seven posts to see where the idea came from.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  14. #14
    Moderator / Treasurer/Marketplace Czar boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    When you consider that the UF and UHF drivers are positioned about 5-inches lower on the 4350 than on the 4345, it seems perfectly reasonable to me.


    Guys, you take me as someone without JBL references nor experience! Duh. I considered their physical layout before posting (it is why I chased 4345's and not 4350's, but still...). And, it was not I who suggested that raising them would 'increase bass extension'. "Double-duh" to that one...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Realize you shouldn't sit any closer than 2.5 meters from them... 3-3.5m is better.
    At 3.5m (~11.5-ft) these are THAT beamy? to you too...

    It would be nice for all the "Raise 'em up!" pundits to slow down and let us hear more about the provenance of these particular cabinets and their condition.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Audionutz View Post
    About the only criticism I can level so far is that the mids lacks some "palpability" and a bit of definition in regards to instrument and vocal placement. As one friend remarked though, this is more an observation of "Glass half full" than "Glass half empty", if that makes sense ?

    Considering how much these 40 year old speakers do well, one can forgive them the odd miniscule failing .......
    Perhaps I am totally misunderstanding, but I took that to mean suffuse imaging. Truth be told, the big four way monitors will never image very sharply. The layout is impossible for that, and twin woofers never help either. These designs have huge rewards in other departments so I never minded much.

    As for midrange "palpability", I agree to the extent that these systems reward superior amplification to whatever extent it is employed. The better the amp, the more realistic the sound. I personally prefer little tube amps with the best first watt possible, as opposed to power for slam. These are efficient systems and the first watt is almost everything for the mids and highs. With biamping you can have it both ways. Your taste in listening might detest that approach, I would not know, but if you have the stuff around to try it you would have nothing to lose.

    Clark
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom

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