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Thread: End game Speaker system, M2 or K2

  1. #1
    Junior Member retromick's Avatar
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    End game Speaker system, M2 or K2

    hey guys,
    been a while since I have posted, I am preparing my 4435's for sale and looking to by my end game speakers.
    I have an opportunity to purchase the M2 or K2 at a reasonable price.
    I have Bryston amplification and also have a pair of Sub-18 clones with Crown amplification.
    I would like to hear from you guys on your opinions of both.
    I have spent time with the M2,s but not the K2s9900.
    Thoughts?

    thanks in advance
    Mick

  2. #2
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    I will give you one person's opinion. Since you have a subwoofer, for me the answer is easy. I would go with the K2S9900.

    The M2 is arguably the better speaker, but for me the dynamics of the 4" compression driver trumps the D2 ring radiator. Both systems have exceptional woofers, the M2 may play a bit lower, but they are both excellent.

    Others will likely disagree and prefer the accuracy and imaging of the M2.


    Widget

  3. #3
    Junior Member retromick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    I will give you one person's opinion. Since you have a subwoofer, for me the answer is easy. I would go with the K2S9900.

    The M2 is arguably the better speaker, but for me the dynamics of the 4" compression driver trumps the D2 ring radiator. Both systems have exceptional woofers, the M2 may play a bit lower, but they are both excellent.

    Others will likely disagree and prefer the accuracy and imaging of the M2.


    Widget
    Thanks for the reply Mr Widget,
    I love the look of the K2, for years I have had large ugly monitors, ( apart from the S4700s i had briefly).
    The M2's I listened to were great, very dynamic and great imagining, but I have gone away from amps
    with fans etc, I do most of my listening at night these days and the fans in amps are definitely something I can do without.
    That's if I went done the crown pro amp route with the M2. I really want to stay with my Bryston electronics and up grade the speakers only.
    I am trying to get over the other side of Australia so I can listen to a pair of the K2s, they are number 1 on my list pending the sound.
    thanks again.

  4. #4
    Member sebackman's Avatar
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    Hi retromick.

    There is no problem using your Bryston amps with M2. Get a used BSS DSP unit and all JBL settings are available in the form of a downloadable macro or use the discrete DSP settings table available here on LH.

    I auditioned the M2's back-when in the JBL flag store in NYC with Mark Levinson amps and a BSS DSP. They were side-by-side with a pair of Levison bi-amped 67000. That was a nice afternoon.

    It is not likely that the M2 setting specifically made for the BSS DSP will provide exactly the same output from a different processor. I have found that different processor does not output the same curve with identical settings and signal identical input.

    Most likely they can be tweaked to deliver the same output but it would have to be the result of measuring and comparing with the correct factory curve. Doable but time consuming. Some algorithms are probably identical to the BSS, but I have not seen any "list" on that.

    The BSS DSP's do have some nasty sounding fans but they can easily be replaced with silent ones or removed for domestic use. There is a thread here on LH regarding that topic alone.

    I would argue that the newer BSS DSP's are "inaudible" and good enough out of the box, but if you want to take it to the next level you can get a BSS unit with digital input cards and digital output cards. This would omit any AD/DA conversions and you can use your preferred DA.

    You can feed digital data in SPDIF or AES/EBU from you favorite platform direct to the DSP.

    The buildable BSS chassis (BLU160 & BLU800) had 4 card slots and each card can hold 4 balanced analogue or digital channels, so 16 channels all in all for one chassis. Several chassis can be daisy chained for more channels or distribution.

    In a multi-way speaker I would recommend the looking Okto Research 8-channel DAC unit. It may well be the best multi-channel DA on the planet at this point and reasonable priced. It does include a 8-channel volume control and is remote ready.

    Okto Research

    Here is a review of the stereo version. Brilliant DAC to combine with any digital USB source.

    Okto dac8 stereo DAC Review | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

    Such combo will be very difficult to beat.

    Regarding M2 vs K2, the M2 is 100 by 100 degrees dissipation which is fine a a treated studio but may not be suitable for all domestic rooms. I would guess that the K2's are easier to integrate at home. (maybe you have a treated room and then none of this matters)

    I also agree with Widget on preferring the 4" drivers so right now we are building a 4367 clone with a 4" driver and DSP. We will see how that pans out and it will be interesting to compare them to the M2's.

    I guess that the bigger diaphragm of the 4" may allow them to go a little lower and in a 2-way setup with a big 15" that needs to be crossed below break-up and beaming that extra low-end capability is helpful.

    A limitation of the 4" drivers is that the Titanium diaphragm's are not very suitable for HiFi which prompted the use of exotic materials like Mg and Be. Those are sonically excellent, but do fall off in the topp-end. I think that is what prompted JBL to use UHF units in the K2 series (if not marketing).

    In a DSP setup you can easily boost the top-end in the 4" driver but I found using a 045 UHF gave more enjoyable solution (don't really know why, beaming?). Hence, even being on a fully active DSP system I still use UHF over my 4" Be's (on M2 wave guides).

    The compromise is using SL diaphragms in the 4" drivers and that is what I do in most cases now. They sound wonderful and can easily go to 20k without the need for a UHF.

    SL is now "old" technology and JBL could not sell such combo in the K2 price range, hence exotic material to some extent. I find the difference between Be and SL very small and clearly acceptable as a 2-way is much easier to get right.

    If you go the K2 route it may be interesting to find out how Mr. Timbers runs his S9900, as they are run fully DSP active. That should be a killer combo.

    Disregarding the price difference and visual appearance, they are both are killer speakers and truly end-game investments.

    Kind regards
    //Rob
    The solution to the problem changes the problem.
    -And always remember that all of your equipment was made by the lowest bidder

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jblnut's Avatar
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    For 1/10th the price the 4760 is worth a listen if you can get away with its world-class anti-WAF looks :-). I heard the K2-S9900 recently and came away somewhat unimpressed after 2 years of 4670 ownership. Most of us can't hear over 15k anyway so the lack of a tweeter is moot.

    The 4" compression driver and dual 15's will redefine dynamics for you. The musicians are IN THE ROOM like no other speaker I've heard. And the resolution is just uncanny.

    I still use an old analog electronic xover as I felt the modern digital units (and their necessary AD-DA steps) lose something as compared to an all analog unit.


    jblnut

  6. #6
    Member Fitero's Avatar
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    Ears (listening impressions) seem to be varied. When my buddy listened to my M2s, he quickly sold his K2S9900s and bought a pair for himself.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jblnut View Post
    For 1/10th the price the 4760 is worth a listen if you can get away with its world-class anti-WAF looks :-). I heard the K2-S9900 recently and came away somewhat unimpressed after 2 years of 4670 ownership. Most of us can't hear over 15k anyway so the lack of a tweeter is moot.
    So, which is it? 4670 or 4760?
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."óGreg Timbers

  8. #8
    Super Moderator jblnut's Avatar
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    Take your pick - any of these are endgame speakers for most folks. Even the uber rare 4760 :-)

    jblnut

  9. #9
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sebackman View Post

    I also agree with Widget on preferring the 4" drivers so right now we are building a 4367 clone with a 4" driver and DSP. We will see how that pans out and it will be interesting to compare them to the M2's.


    The compromise is using SL diaphragms in the 4" drivers and that is what I do in most cases now. They sound wonderful and can easily go to 20k without the need for a UHF.

    //Rob

    Hello Rob

    The 2216ND in combination with a 4" driver is excellent! You won't be disappointed. Agree on the SL's. Use a pair in my HT mains and they sound great!

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

  10. #10
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    It seems any time I've ever heard a bigger mid range horn it sounds better. If done correctly of course.
    No wonder those Western Electric guys love those jumbo floor horns. They must sound incredible!

    There is just something about a big horn and 4 inch driver that seems to works well. As said by others here as well.
    I use 3 2360's in my best setup. You can literally stick your head in those horns and hear very little really. They seem to project so well. It's kind of weird actually. It sounds like nothing is coming out of them even if you stand directly in front on them. It's an odd effect. I don't use them for much as I crossover into a set of big 2395 slant plates as the next speaker in the 5 way setup.
    I've often wanted hear or get the bigger JBL horns with the 3 inch exit driver. The 2490H
    Anybody ever hear that on the 2393 or 2394 or 2392 horns?

  11. #11
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    Paul Klipschorn who was arguable one if the founding fathers of hi end audio wrote a page in his famous journal that raising efficiency = lower distortion.

    All things being equal no arguments there. Even some subtle heating of a voice coil in testing can effect measurements according to Greg Timbers.

    However, what JBL has done in recent times is to trade some efficiency for higher power handling with longer voice coils and acquaplas doped pulp cones. There are privately held views that these contemporary drivers are not as fast as the light weight paper cones used in earlier drivers. What that means is the mass at the apex of the cone and the voice coil acts to stink the vibrations from the voice coil and the cone as stored energy. The effect is a blurring of the cone vibrations. Itís quite audible in the 2235H driver.

    There is a 35 gram mass ring attached to apex of 2235 cone. Remove it and it transforms the 2235 into a 2234 which has vastly improved midrange resolution. Making a driver work better in a less large box is not always a smart thing. There are trade offs. The devil is in the detail and JBL donít really disclose much on the cone structures, the geometry, pulp mix ect.

  12. #12
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    K2's hands down.

    I know what I'm going to say is unpopular, but what the ell.

    Lose all the cheap crappy internal wire/inductors/resistors/capacitors, and the circuit board with the super cheap biamp switch where most all the bass/mid signal travels thru, etc. Just take out the boards and save in case a purist wants to buy the speakers later.

    Build new xover boards with top quality parts, not dayton, solens, etc. caps, but jupiter, miflex, sonicaps. Copper foil 12 gauge inductors on the bass circuit. Solen inductors for the mid/tweet boards. You'll have to buy larger values for most of the inductors and have someone unwind to proper value. Neotech and/or cardas solid copper wire if possible. You don't need 16 gauge wire for the tweeter board like they did. Use the correct part for the job vs. shotgunning the whole project using the same caps, wire. Contact GR Research or SonicCraft. (no affiliation). But be prepared to spend $$$. Later can also get rid of the nasty insulation and use blackhole5 or the like, but that takes experimentation.

    Then you'll have a bad ass speaker. JBL did a great job on the drivers, cabinet, xover design. But as usual, they use the cheapest xover parts. Electrolytics on the bass board, using a diode to emulate the 9V charge. In fact, some resistors on my mid board were way out of spec. C'mon. I know lots of folks like charge coupled solens. Not me. IMO that sound is just the sound of doubling up the caps, the 9V charge is barely audible. Or they go down the biamp route cause they're not happy. I've been down the biamp road too. Oh sure there's transparency, clarity, presence, impress your friends, but using top parts in the K2 passive design, the musicality cannot be beaten. IME. IMO. If a flunky like me can do it...

  13. #13
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    I think the main thing is your journey has worked out.

    In diy you donít have commercial constraints and your wallet is the only limit. If it makes you happy then do it.

    Like anything you can do a good job or a crap job.

    Quite a while back l went right into the whole crossover thingy and did a thread on upgrading the legacy 43XX. I went and compared Solen, Mundorf supreme solve & oil, Auri caps, Clarity Caps, blended caps, binding posts. Bypassing the freaking bi amp switch and the wire.

    The problem is people know you donít mix bright sounding caps and power amps with metal dome tweeters. But they are oblivious that a compression driver has a metal diaphragm. Same with your source and electronics. Huh those horns sound bad. Huh those drivers sound bad. They swap things without any validation like a proper measurement with REW or Clio. Not an RTA please. And they go well thatís better or they chuck the whole mess on E bay and start over.

    I wonít elaborate here but what did and didnít make a difference was quite interesting. I could measure the real problem areas. AC Current needs a good contact area. Shall l say more. Itís a multi disciplinary skill to get it all working. On a good day a Ferrari is a joy to drive. On a bad day they are a bitch to drive.

    More recently l have been out in the swamps in interesting places like Hong Kong, LA, and dealing with people in India and Berlin. A lot if it comes down to having a consistent approach and being very thorough. Assumptions are a fools paradise and a wise manís hell. Sometimes the drivers are not matched or ones out of spec. Or there is a wiring mistake. It will drive you nuts if donít know itís the driver. Very precise measurements to match LH and RH systems and driver levels are critical. I match within 0.5 db. The difference is gobsmacking.

    Some people with all the money in the world have no idea how to set up an Everest 67000 and whatís more they donít care. But they moan like a princess and blame everyone else. Itís a first world problem.

    Itís the attenuation to detail that is largely what you pay for with hi end
    audio. Thereís no magic. Itís all hard work but very worthwhile once youíve done it.

  14. #14
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    Rob -sebackman knows what heís talking about.

  15. #15
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    Rob -sebackman knows what heís talking about.
    Did someone say he doesn't?? I certainly did not?? What are you talking about??

    Rob
    "I could be arguing in my spare time"

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