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Thread: To 1400 Array, or not to 1400 Array. That is the question?

  1. #1
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    To 1400 Array, or not to 1400 Array. That is the question?

    Having had a good run with vintage JBL's and a brief foray with modern JBL's the Arrays have always intrigued me. I am considering a purchase and potential upgrade to my current main speakers. Listening before hand is not an option and I'll be buying blind, not ideal but it's the way it is where I live and can't be avoided.

    Before purchasing I want to get opinions on whether the speakers will be an actual upgrade. I currently run a pair of Duntech Sovereign's and have fallen in love with the house sound of the original Dunlavy designed speakers. I have just come from a pair of 4350's and the Duntech's were a significant upgrade. The 4350's have significantly more bass slam but that's the only area I would give them the nod.

    The thing the Sovereign's do so well and I just couldn't do with out, the soundstage. They are big speakers but they sound even bigger. The 250TI's did this but nothing like the Sovereign's. The height of the sound stage is as tall as my room will allow. Voices are unrestricted within the image. They render a sound stage as large and open as any modern speaker I have heard. Will the 1400 Array's do the same but with that added punch I want back? I had a pair of S3900's a few years ago and did not like them at all. The bass was excellent but the mid-range had absolutely no color to it and lacked personality. My ancillary components are all neutrally voiced so I don't want the same from my speakers. Do the 1400 Arrays have a bit more spark and personality than the S3900's? I haven't heard a system with the 175ND's that has blown me away. It may be that particular driver just doesn't do it for me.

    Not expecting the 1400 Arrays to extend as low as the Sovereign's but that doesn't bother me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    I have no experience with the Dunalvís. I do have 1400 Arrays and 4350ís.

    As you have undoubtably read the 1400ís deliver on the imaging front, they excel there. Punch? Nope. The driver compliment simply cannot deliver the dynamics of large format drivers.

    Donít get me wrong, I think they sound very nice, better than most but they donít have much get up and go, even on big amps so if itís dynamics you are after, I strongly suggest you find a way to hear a pair before you buy.

    Barry.
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

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    Mate that is interesting. I know the 1400 Array use the LE14H-4 driver which is virtually identical to the 250TI driver. Very familiar with the 250's infact I am going to a mates tonight who has a pair. His 250's have way more punch than my Duntech's so if the 1400's are on par with the 250's I'll be happy. I don't know how much of the punch of the 250's is attributed to the mid-bass driver.

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    I have 250Ti and I think a lot of the punch comes from that 8" midbass driver. Probably my favorite part of the 250Ti.

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    Senior Member rdgrimes's Avatar
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    The only way you get my Array gear away from me is with something higher up the Synthesis food chain. Barring that I plan to die with them playing. Offer me something from the Summit Series and I'll try it but the Array still have a home.
    The 1400 do suffer from a bit of compression at high levels, but you only notice it right before your ears start bleeding. In normal use its never an issue.

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    I am also a 1400 Array fan. The imaging and voicing are both excellent. The bass extension is quite adequate, not the last word in deep bass, but quite good. As Barry said, the weakest thing about the 1400 Arrays is their dynamic punch. Not having heard the Dunlavies or Duntechs, I canít say how they compare, but the 1400 Arrays probably match or exceed their ability in this area, but that is only speculation. When I say the 1400 Arrays are lacking in dynamic punch, I am comparing them with 4350s or DD6600/DD6700 systems... both are systems with dual 15Ē woofers and massive 4Ē compression drivers.

    All that said, if I had to choose only one pair of speakers, and the two choices were 4350s or 1400 Arrays, I would go with the Arrays.


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    Senior Member DavidF's Avatar
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    The Sovereign isn't likely to be in many folk's listening experience making it difficult to comment appropriately.

    I am no different. The Sovereign by reputation was meant to offer up just about everything you wanted in a speaker and is a soundstage champ.

    My sense is that given your high satisfaction with the Sovereign's imaging you are not likely to match that with the JBL.

    The Array 1400 does image very well but likely the advantage over the Sovereign MAY be found in better dynamics and clarity over the Sovereign.

    If you are OK with the HUGE size of the Sovereigns and can fit into it's narrow sweet spot then it would be seem better to stick with them. They are a pretty rare animal which makes it even more difficult to move them out.
    David F
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    I've owned 4350's and now own the 250ti's and 1400's.

    The 4350's were loud and dynamic but that's about all I could say that is positive. The 250ti's are just OK great dynamics, plenty of slam. I bought the 250ti's thinking they would sound similar to my beloved 212's but with better power handling - they didn't unfortunately.

    The 1400's are neutral and easy to listen to for long periods. They can handle the full output of my 600 watt amp. Mellow is the word I would use for them. But if you want slam - look elsewhere.

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweet212 View Post
    I've owned 4350's and now own the 250ti's and 1400's.

    The 4350's were loud and dynamic but that's about all I could say that is positive. The 250ti's are just OK great dynamics, plenty of slam. I bought the 250ti's thinking they would sound similar to my beloved 212's but with better power handling - they didn't unfortunately.

    The 1400's are neutral and easy to listen to for long periods. They can handle the full output of my 600 watt amp. Mellow is the word I would use for them. But if you want slam - look elsewhere.
    +1

    I rarely say this, but I agree with EVERY word you posted.


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    When describing the 1400's as mellow is that in regards to dynamics or mid-range presence? Mellow is how I would describe the 250TI's when compared to the horn loaded models. Very surprised anyone would want the 250TI's to sound like the L212's. I have owned both and the 250TI's are a far better system in my experience.

    Having heard the LE14 in the 250's and PS1400/PT800 system I don't see how they could lack the dynamics I am after. Unless running them in a 3-way system cripples them somehow.

    Seems as though very few would have heard both the Arrays and Sovereign's.

  11. #11
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelossus View Post
    When describing the 1400's as mellow...
    Smooth without edge or any honkiness.


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    Turbo-Charge that Array 1400

    kelossus,

    I do forget if you have any "diy DNA" so please forgive if the following can't apply.

    I'd recommend a read of JuniorJBL's thread An Array "Epiphany" ( granted my title here is a complete paraphrase ).
    - Here's Shanes opening line ( as a teaser );

    I was afraid to take apart my system that consisted of Array horns with 476Mg's, 045Be's and LE14H-3's because I thought I would loose the magic that I had found with this system.
    I'd say follow his lead and build your own Array using some of JBL's top-of-line transducers .

    "1audiohack" has a great line ( or 2 ) in there ( about the "Blackness" in better woofers ) that might make you follow the bread-crumbs ( so-to-speak ) .

    Personally, I'd electronically biamp the bottom 15" ( you can make that woofer a JBL 2216nd since they are available from SpeakerEx ) while using a separate amp for the HF > and using a passive cross over on it .

    Also, maybe use Ian's ( not yet released ) electronic crossover for the LF > when available.

    I'd use a better driver (than the stock 3" diaphragmed model ) driving the SAM1HF horn . Maybe a 2451 with a Beryllium diaphragm installed ).







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    Senior Member srm51555's Avatar
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    +1 on everything

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    By the time I sourced all the components to build a quasi 1400 Array it would cost more than buying a pair. Also I am left with a pair of speakers that have little resale value here in Australia, only worth the sum of their parts.

  15. #15
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelossus View Post
    By the time I sourced all the components to build a quasi 1400 Array it would cost more than buying a pair. Also I am left with a pair of speakers that have little resale value here in Australia, only worth the sum of their parts.
    No arguments here... many have spent more to only end up with far less.

    DIY can be very rewarding, but quite costly at the same time. Costly in terms of both time and money!


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