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Thread: JBL K2 S9900 vs JBL 4367

  1. #1
    Member Fitero's Avatar
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    JBL K2 S9900 vs JBL 4367

    Today I had a fun, rare audio treat at my buddy's house. I brought my 4367's over to compare to his K2's.

    We had several other Musicians/Audio-Nuts over for the same event. We listened to some records, but mostly streamed Tidal through the Mark Levinson 519 Player. The rest of the gear is also Mark Levinson, 52 Preamp, and 2 each 533 amps.
    Each speaker was bi-amped of course. The extra 2 channels of the amps are usually used to power the centre channel when the room is being used with his Synthesis gear in Cinema mode.

    Going into the "audition" I was hoping that the 4367's would be superior to the older K2's because of their "superior" horn profile. That was my bias anyway. I changed positioning of the speakers 6 or 7 times in order to attempt to get the best from both speakers.

    In the end, the K2's were just more homogeneous top to bottom, and spread a great, wide sound-stage without calling attention to any particular part of audio spectrum. The 4367's hit harder in the bass, but the treble was more shrill or pronounced. In my own system, I've unconsciously adjusted my gear to tame that forwardness .
    This impression was shared by all present.

    Those who hadn't heard either of these speakers were absolutely stunned how loud the music could be played cleanly and enjoyably. Great, foot-tapping, chest-thumping engaging speakers.

    What fun!
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    Well, that sounds like a nice way to spend the afternoon. You guys are pretty serious dragging those things from house to house just for some fun!

    Did you compare any CDs to the Tidal stream? I've heard several systems now that were streaming Tidal and the SQ was down a notch compared to the same disc ripped to a server or played. Not tone or timbre, but less dimensional. 2D instead of 3D, if you know what I mean. Just curious.

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    Member Fitero's Avatar
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    Interesting that you should mention that Rusty.

    Today, none of the guys brought any of their own music with them, so we relied on the records my buddy had and the Tidal.

    However, I too have done that comparison on my own, much more humble system, and I agree with you. It would be an interesting comparison to hear CD's played on the 519 Player and the same track streamed via Tidal.

    The next time I go to his house I will make it a point to do this.

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    Senior Member pos's Avatar
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    Nice comparison, thanks for sharing!

    Did you also switch positions between speaker, putting the 4367 on the outer sides?
    The position seen in the photo could explain the larger soundstage on the S9900, as well as potentially some more perceived LF energy for the 4367.

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    Member Fitero's Avatar
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    I have to admit that the K2's were not moved from their ideal position, despite what I incorrectly mentioned in my first post.

    The 4367's were placed directly in front of the K2's, directly inside of them or in an arc from those two locations. I was too lazy to move the K2's out of the ideal spot. I wanted my comments to focus more on the homogeneous nature of the sound produced by the K2's rather than the imaging, depth and width of the sound stage which I perhaps incorrectly feel are most affected by positioning.

    Even with the 30cm additional distance from the back wall the 4367's had additional impact in the bass, contrary to what one would expect due to lessened boundary reinforcement. Obviously, with increased proximity to the listening position the SPL was increased so that had to be taken into account.

    Ignoring the imaging/soundstage differences because of the incorrect positioning, we were all still impressed by the tonality difference between these two speakers. The 4367's were more revealing due to the heightened treble (?), despite the attenuator settings on the speaker. The room is well damped with OC 703 wrapped panels and bass traps on most of the surfaces as well as a thickly carpeted floor.

    I think to sum it up;
    the K2's sound more enjoyable on more of the music played through them, whereas the 4367's sound good on most, but stellar when a well done recording is played through them.

    I imagine this is the fine balance that speaker manufacturers agonize over. Do they make monitors/tools such as the M2/4367 or majority of listener, ear-pleasing-toned speakers such as Revel Salon2's etc? My crude analogy is just an example to make a point.

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    Senior Member srm51555's Avatar
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    Interesting, Thanks for Sharing.

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    Thanks.

    I appreciate the sharing of your experience.

    Moving K2 S9900s around can be a challenge. The slippery sides, rounded shape, narrow base, height, and lack of any safe place to grasp them tends to make them want to topple over at any moment. I usually wear Latex dishwashing gloves to get a better grip.

    Having written that, K2s will sound different if moved closer to or farther from walls and closer to or farther from the center. (I know you know that.) So your next challenge with your bud is, "Hey, let's put my 4367s in the best location and move your K2s around to see what the K2s sound like when the 4367s are the standard... in the name of science, of course."
    Out.

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    Member Fitero's Avatar
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    You are right of course Titanium Dome.

    There is always a set of gloves with those sticky dots all over them sitting nearby which are invaluable when moving the K2's.

    The next time I go to my friend's house I plan on moving the K2's out of the sweet spot and moving the 4367's in. I would expect this to allow the sound to become more homogeneous, though I don't expect the treble to be any less apparent. Regardless of positioning, the 4367's sound much as they do when they are at my home. I might well be wrong though. It certainly wouldn't be the first time.

    As you said, for the purpose of thorough, objective observation I think it would be an interesting test. My back was worn out from the speaker juggling on Monday.

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    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    FWIW, when I do this kind of comparison, I often just place the units to compare to one side (both to the left -or- to the right) of each reference speaker and just deal with the small horizontal image shift. Won't work well in a smaller room (sidewall proximity), but much easier to A/B quickly. Just a thought. Fun comparison to have the opportunity to make

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    Thanks for sharing. Wish I had been there!

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    Senior Member martin_wu99's Avatar
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    very good comparing,thanks for sharing.
    46 lover

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    Member Fitero's Avatar
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    My speakers are still over at my buddy's house and might be there for a few weeks. I pinched a nerve in my back playing speaker mover and am sofa bound at the moment.

    The next time I go there, I will do as Grumpy suggested and wrestle the K2's out of the sweet spot and place the 4367's there and listen.

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    Senior Member NWCgrad's Avatar
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    Great read, can't to see how the 4367's do in the sweet spot.

  14. #14
    Member Fitero's Avatar
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    It turns out that my back didn't get better in time to go back and goof around with speaker placement.
    My buddy packed up the speakers and brought them back to me on Monday. I'm glad to have them back.

    One favorable thing came out of this evaluation. Before, I had refused to change the HF and UHF settings on the speakers, probably out of some old habit of avoiding Tone controls and such nonsense. My prejudice was unfounded, as the signal goes through discrete resistors and modifying the setting does not add or subtract components to the signal path.
    Since having them back, I modified both settings until I found a level of smoothness and uniformity that had previously escaped me in that room.

    I was also incorrect in stating that everybody preferred the K2's to the 4367. I found out through another source that 2 of the guys that were there preferred the 4367's.

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