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Thread: UREI 813C Monitors - tell me more!

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    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    UREI 813C Monitors - tell me more!

    Heard a pair of these at a listening party over the weekend and I was QUITE impressed
    with the sound and the dynamics of the system! They look big and heavy -
    but were amazingly efficient 101db!) and played quite loud with a low power tube amp!

    Apparently they are a 2 1/2 way system?
    There is a helper woofer, and the concentric driver -
    a woofer with a blue foam-edged thats got a 2425 driver behind it.

    I gather the "concentric driver" is an 801c
    and the other "helper woofer" is a 2215H.


    I found brochures for them here:
    http://www.jblproservice.com/pdf/vintage jbl-urei electronics/urei-813.pdf

    and here:
    http://thehistoryofrecording.com/Man...5C_Manuals.pdf
    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
    7.1: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460

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    Senior Member louped garouv's Avatar
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    ive not heard the larger incarnations, but i am also impressed with the smaller 809A units, given thier size, performance is great

    my understanding is that they were basically made to compete with the Altec monitors of the same ilk...

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    I hope some folks with first hand knowledge of these speakers can contribute to this thread. They are very interesting, and there is really not much information on the web that I've come across.

    My first exposure to them was at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia back in the mid to late '70s. I believe the photo (from Sigma) is of the 813a, with the Altec 604 concentric driver. All of the control rooms at Sigma used (I believe there were 3 studios at this location, and 2 at another across town) the 813. They all were quite "dead" utilizing the 12'x12"x1-1/2" acoustic tile anyone who was in elementary school in the '60s would recognize from the auditorium. It covered the walls down to chair height, and ceilings. The doors into the control rooms were double (like entering a darkroom) and gasketed. The UREIs were capable of pressurizing these control rooms to the point of nausea. Bass so forceful, it could make you queasy.

    The sound at Sigma was anything but "neutral". In fact, the control rooms were "tuned" using UREI Graphic EQ to enhance the music primarily being recorded there, "Philly Soul", or TSOP, "The Sound of Philly" (which was of course also a band), and Disco. Listen to records recorded at Sigma in that era, and you will undoubtedly recognize the "house" sound. The monitors were not soffit mounted in any of the control rooms. They were mounted with brackets that passed through the control room ceiling and were attached directly to the building structure.

    As I recall, they used in house modified Crown amplifiers, but I don't remember what model(s).

    Here are some associated links, not really about the UREI, but the studio and the sound:

    http://arpjournal.com/1834/capturing...sound-studios/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigma_Sound_Studios
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_soul


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    Hi Heather, long time no see!

    Those 813's were completely ubiquitous in larger control rooms during the late 70's and all through the 80's. You'll get different opinions as to whether the pre-JBL Altec loaded ones, or the later JBL loaded versions are better. I'd go with later. The real gimmick was the crossover, a "time-aligned" unit for which many claims were made. Whether it was significant or not, who knows. The blue foam is said to reduce reflection inside the horn throat, and is a Urei trademark.

    I also own a pair of 809A's, driven by a Fisher X100-3. Very impressive system with an overall sound similar to 813's, but a lot less deep bass. They came from our mutual friend.

    The JBL Monitor paper sheds pretty good light on these: http://www.cieri.net/Documenti/JBL/T...1,%20No.15.pdf

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    I got 813C (full JBL version) from a closing personal studio a few years back, then I replaced the foam edge of the woofers, then replaced all the dead electrolytic caps (horrible sounding) with film caps. These speakers sound really good, I really like them. Bass is deep, but not punchy, probably due to weak amplifier and placement (they supposed to be soffit mounded).

    I also own JBL 4425 (small version of 4430 / 4435 studio monitor), so I have done some comparison before. Interestingly, I had exactly the same impression that JBL tech paper says: "Some engineers subjectively describe the imaging of the Time Align as existingin front of the enclosures, while the Bi-Radials seem toplace the image in perspective behind the plane of theenclosures. ".

    I would say 813C projects vivid image in front of the speakers, while 4425 sounds more laid-back. Of course their size is completely different, so many things are much better with 813C, though. It would be interesting if someone would compare properly restored 813C with 4430 / 4435.

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    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    After my recently listening adventure,
    I have a vision of something like the 813 -
    with the 15 coaxial on top but with
    a 2245 as the supplemental woofer ...


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave M View Post
    I got 813C (full JBL version) from a closing personal studio a few years back, then I replaced the foam edge of the woofers, then replaced all the dead electrolytic caps (horrible sounding) with film caps. These speakers sound really good, I really like them. Bass is deep, but not punchy, probably due to weak amplifier and placement (they supposed to be soffit mounded).

    I also own JBL 4425 (small version of 4430 / 4435 studio monitor), so I have done some comparison before. Interestingly, I had exactly the same impression that JBL tech paper says: "Some engineers subjectively describe the imaging of the Time Align as existingin front of the enclosures, while the Bi-Radials seem toplace the image in perspective behind the plane of theenclosures. ".

    I would say 813C projects vivid image in front of the speakers, while 4425 sounds more laid-back. Of course their size is completely different, so many things are much better with 813C, though. It would be interesting if someone would compare properly restored 813C with 4430 / 4435.
    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
    7.1: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460

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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    After my recently listening adventure,
    I have a vision of something like the 813 -
    with the 15 coaxial on top but with
    a 2245 as the supplemental woofer ...
    It would be great.
    How about bi-amping, like digital amp for 2245, tube for coax?

    I personally think Urei monitors are somewhat underrated compare to the other vintage Altec or JBL. The reasons are probably: they are neither pure Altec 604 nor pure JBL, lack of information about them, horrible sounding original network (too many "aged" electrolytic caps), plastic horn with strange blue foam packaging material permanently attached (lol), the black cabinets look like Marshall stack (extremely low WAF!) etc.

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    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Add "they are bloody heavy" to the mix -
    apparently UREI went to great pains to make the cabinets dense and inert -
    and that makes them quite the devil if you want to move them!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave M View Post
    I would be great.
    How about bi-amping, like digital amp for 2245, tube for coax?

    I personally think Urei monitors are somewhat underrated compare to the other vintage Altec or JBL. The reasons are probably: they are neither pure Altec 604 nor pure JBL, lack of information about them, horrible sounding original network (too many "aged" electrolytic caps), cheap looking plastic horn with strange blue foam packaging material permanently attached, the black cabinets look like Marshall stack (extremely low WAF!) etc.
    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
    7.1: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460

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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    Add "they are bloody heavy" to the mix -
    apparently UREI went to great pains to make the cabinets dense and inert -
    and that makes them quite the devil if you want to move them!
    Exactly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by hjames View Post
    After my recently listening adventure,
    I have a vision of something like the 813 -
    with the 15 coaxial on top but with
    a 2245 as the supplemental woofer ...
    I tried to talk a friend into going (sort of) this route when a pair of 811Cs came up for sale last year. He already has a pair of 8 cubic foot subs with 2245s. I don't know if the 2245 would be a good choice as the "helper" because of crossover changes, custom cabinet build, etc., but a pair of 811s on top of 2245 subs is gonna be pretty good.

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    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty jefferson View Post
    I tried to talk a friend into going (sort of) this route when a pair of 811Cs came up for sale last year. He already has a pair of 8 cubic foot subs with 2245s. I don't know if the 2245 would be a good choice as the "helper" because of crossover changes, custom cabinet build, etc., but a pair of 811s on top of 2245 subs is gonna be pretty good.
    Yes - I suspect something like that might be enough for me to move off my venerable L200-plus system!
    Not sure how my spouse would go for stacked cabinets upstairs, but she's always been a fan of good sounds!
    I'll have to consider some 811Cs then!

    http://www.jblproservice.com/pdf/URE...s/813C-L,R.pdf - UREI 813C Manual

    http://www.jblproservice.com/pdf/URE...s/811C-L,R.pdf - UREI 811C manual

    Oh, found this one too!

    http://www.jblproservice.com/pdf/Sys...REI Series.pdf - UREI System Refe4rence Charts
    2ch: Oppo, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, 18ti,240ti; Heath AS101, Von Schweikert VR4
    7.1: Oppo BDP103D, B&K, UREI 809A, JBL B460

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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty jefferson View Post
    I tried to talk a friend into going (sort of) this route when a pair of 811Cs came up for sale last year. He already has a pair of 8 cubic foot subs with 2245s. I don't know if the 2245 would be a good choice as the "helper" because of crossover changes, custom cabinet build, etc., but a pair of 811s on top of 2245 subs is gonna be pretty good.
    Since 813C is designed to be installed woofer top - coax bottom (very uncommon for home audio!), having big subwoofer under 813 instead of speaker stand would work great. My 813Cs sit on low DIY stand upside down (woofer bottom).

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    helper woof

    The helper woofer in the last gen 813C that came through the shop was the 2234HPL ( no foilcal, rubber tire ) while the coax was the E145 with the 2425HS ( again without foilcal, tire ).

    A local studio also has a pair soffett mounted with that woofer. Perhaps they ordered it that way??

    I have a pair of the 813B cabinets / crossover in storage - That one used the eminence foam woofer and the PAS audio 15 / JBL driver combo.

    Either way the coax sound isn't duplicatd by any JBL large format monitor and makes for a easy to set up sweet spot / area.

    Agreed on the caps though. Was always thinking about making a pair of CC crossovers for the 801C's here ( and the 803C's ) that have been rebuilt. no time anymore alas..

    sub

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapidan View Post
    ...The JBL Monitor paper sheds pretty good light on these: http://www.cieri.net/Documenti/JBL/T...1,%20No.15.pdf
    That's a great link. Thanks for sharing. I don't know if that's in the Library, but it should be.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave M View Post
    .... Interestingly, I had exactly the same impression that JBL tech paper says: "Some engineers subjectively describe the imaging of the Time Align as existingin front of the enclosures, while the Bi-Radials seem toplace the image in perspective behind the plane of theenclosures. ". ..
    Mine don't exhibit this characteristic, however they are not soffit mounted, and I don't know if that's a factor. Mine are about 7 ft (the baffle) from the front wall, and the image is on plane with the speakers, and back to that wall. I have noticed that particular pieces of electronics I've tried will move the image further forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by subwoof View Post
    The helper woofer in the last gen 813C that came through the shop was the 2234HPL ( no foilcal, rubber tire ) while the coax was the E145 with the 2425HS ( again without foilcal, tire ).

    A local studio also has a pair soffett mounted with that woofer. Perhaps they ordered it that way??
    I'd be curious to know, too. I found this thread about 2234/2235 comparisons, perhaps Giskard or Widget would have an opinion on the 2234/2215 swap out. I don't think I've ever seen a published crossover point for the 2215 in these speakers. Anybody?

    http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?19-What-was-the-couse-with-2234H/page3

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    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    a bit more info:

    http://www.jblproservice.com/pdf/Sys...I%20Series.pdf

    the bx was an odd duck, in comparison (veneer, form factor).

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