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Thread: Why is 4 Way design dead?

  1. #16
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    I don't think the goal was ever to have more "ways" but that was a means to achieve a desired frequency range. It is hard to match the timbre of drivers and for each "way" you increase that complexity and then add in a time factor as well as a displacement. If you could get a single motor to reproduce the entire audible spectrum with a flat response, that would be ideal, just not practical with current technology (and at the volume levels often desired, and without severe eq...sorry Amar).

    The next best thing to a 1-way is a 2-way. You are only trying to match the two things and with them you can often cover a lot of ground that a single transducer really can't cover. The vast majority of my "favorite" speakers are 2-ways (i.e. M2, 604, A4, 4675). Conversely, I have almost zero favorite 3-ways. Most them, to my ears, have a nasally sound that I don't like. In Cinema (my specialty), The QSC 423 is good sounding as are the JBL 5674/5672 but most of the others sound notably worse than the 2-way alternatives (again, to my ears). There are a lot of factors in play though as there are different drivers, cabinent designs and such that play into that as well.

    As for 4-ways, I like/love my L250s...always have. I like them better than the 250Ti (I never really liked that titanium sound of the 250Ti, but that is my preference). In Cinema, I like the QSC SC-424, a 4-way using a concentric ring-radiator. However, in cinema, we have the added challenge of playing through a sheet of vinyl. The extra "way" allows one to avoid excessive EQ and play frequencies above 7KHz much more effortlessly and keeps the harshness down. These are not problems most people have in a home environment.

    At this point, the best speaker I've personally heard is the M2 and it is just a 2-way. Show me a 4-way that sounds better. That said, I'll put my L250s up against any 3-way speaker I've heard.

  2. #17
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sguttag View Post
    As for 4-ways, I like/love my L250s...always have. I like them better than the 250Ti (I never really liked that titanium sound of the 250Ti, but that is my preference).
    My living room system has sources & preamp running to 2 separate amps and speaker systems.

    On the more powerful amp are connected the 250Ti's , on the less powerful are the Walsh F2's.

    The JBL's are more imposing and much more attractive, but I can put on a source and switch it to either the 4 ways or the 1 way's, so there is no factor of different pre or source.

    Having no issues with the JBL's (except I think the 044's need new foam, starting to get a bit shrill), when I demo & A/B them for people .... they almost completely agree that the 360 radiator crossoverless 1 ways are more natural sounding. Sure, they don't produce the bass of an LE14 or have the huge SPL capability, but for just normal level music enjoyment, the 1 ways are better. IMHO

    go ahead and start up the flames.
    “If you think that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard,
    just wait a couple minutes!”

  3. #18
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    I have heard both the 4338 and the 4348 and imho the 4338 was superior. I also prefer the 4344 to the 4348.

  4. #19
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    Great, thanks for your input guys.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    I have heard both the 4338 and the 4348 and imho the 4338 was superior. I also prefer the 4344 to the 4348.
    What did you prefer specifically with the 4338 that the 4348 could not do?

  5. #20
    Senior Member martin_wu99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian DK View Post
    Hi.
    In the good old JBL days, there where systems like 250ti and verious 43XX 4ways systems.

    Today JBL seams to "only" design 3ways.?

    Why is that?

    I remember the "old" 4 ways systems as very good systems.
    Why is that design discontinued.?
    Very good thread,today i think JBL only produces 2 ways system(exactly extended 2 ways system)
    46 lover

  6. #21
    Senior Member martin_wu99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hlaari View Post
    I really don´t know why JBL are not making any 4-way design anymore!
    I am agree with you, for my taste I like the 4-way better than the 2-way or 3-way, the magic is in the 10" woofer, it just sound so much better than the heavy 15" cone woofer in the midrange
    for me most of the 15" are good up to 300Hz




    Ari
    I agree with you too,i think with 10''(or 8''\12'') cone mid, the muti-way system will give more warm and detail sound than JBL today's 2 ways system,look at those world famous hi-end speakers,they are all muti-way systems.
    I think JBL now only produces 2 ways speakers just in order to reduce the cost and to make the design simple.
    46 lover

  7. #22
    Senior Member martin_wu99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    I have heard both the 4338 and the 4348 and imho the 4338 was superior. I also prefer the 4344 to the 4348.
    I think 4348 is much better than 4338
    46 lover

  8. #23
    Senior Member martin_wu99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.db View Post
    Great, thanks for your input guys.




    What did you prefer specifically with the 4338 that the 4348 could not do?
    On the contrary,4348 is more warmer and fine and smoother than 4338
    46 lover

  9. #24
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.db View Post
    Great, thanks for your input guys.


    What did you prefer specifically with the 4338 that the 4348 could not do?
    I didn’t like the small horns in the 4348.

  10. #25
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian DK View Post
    Hi.
    In the good old JBL days, there where systems like 250ti and verious 43XX 4ways systems.

    Today JBL seams to "only" design 3ways.?

    Why is that?

    I remember the "old" 4 ways systems as very good systems.
    Why is that design discontinued.?

    If you read the History of JBL article the reasons, the why’s and wherefore’s are spelt out.

    The 4 way monitor thing was a marketing decision and started with the 4350. The design paved the way for bi amped systems and a new woofer the 2230 which could produce more extended bass in a more compact enclosure. The whole idea was restricted driver bandwidth, linearity and low distortion. When GT came on the scene he was employed according to the article to complete the 43xx range. This led to the 4315, the improved 4344 and the 4345.

    The Jbl consumer systems have always been about the Japanese consumer. Case in point the 9500, the blue baffle 4338, 4348, S4800, S9800 and the DD66000. The later is actually an augmented 4 way.

    I’ve heard nearly all these systems and recently spent time with the DD67000 in the USA and in Asia. The DD67000 is without question JBLs finest consumer loudspeaker. A lot of people still like their L300’s and GT’s other designs and l believe as time marches on these classics will become even more highly sort after.

  11. #26
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    Thanks for the input

  12. #27
    Senior Member martin_wu99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    I didn’t like the small horns in the 4348.
    I like big horns too
    46 lover

  13. #28
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin_wu99 View Post
    I like big horns too

    Have a look in the systems technical forum on the 4348.

    On axis it was hot �� in the upper midrange but was smoother overall off axis.
    In comparison the 4338 is way better behaved.
    Had l have known that at the time l would have listened to the 4348 off axis.

    The horn went almost full range. Where as the legacy 3 and 4 way systems were smooth on axis but had an in even power response off axis. The more recent top of the range 4367, S9900 and the DD67000 are much smoother both on and off axis.

  14. #29
    Senior Member martin_wu99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    Have a look in the systems technical forum on the 4348.

    On axis it was hot �� in the upper midrange but was smoother overall off axis.
    In comparison the 4338 is way better behaved.
    Had l have known that at the time l would have listened to the 4348 off axis.

    The horn went almost full range. Where as the legacy 3 and 4 way systems were smooth on axis but had an in even power response off axis. The more recent top of the range 4367, S9900 and the DD67000 are much smoother both on and off axis.
    Don't forget those mid cone 2251J in 4348,they sound amazing
    46 lover

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    I have heard both the 4338 and the 4348 and imho the 4338 was superior. I also prefer the 4344 to the 4348.

    I really like to hear what you did not like with the 4348?





    Ari

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