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Thread: New JBL 4348

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Loizeaux
    many of us JBL owners wonder (and dream) about Westlakes
    We do?

  2. #47
    Tom Loizeaux
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    Giskard

    I do believe that many of us would be excited at the prospect of getting a pair of large Westlake monitors! I feel they are the extension of JBL's studio monitor efforts. I've only heard a few in recording studio environments, but I've been impressed! Westlake approaches their monitor design with a "no holds barred" mentality. They select the ideal components from TAD, Gauss and JBL to achieve what they feel is the state of the art in studio playback. Many feel their Westlake large wood horn is superior to any other.

    For me, though I appreciate their pursuit, I'm content to stay with what I can justify and find I'm quite happy with vintage JBL 4343s.

    Tom

  3. #48
    Steve Gonzales
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    There is some curiousity....

    I've expressed my belief (ad nauseum) about an individual's PERSONAL preference(s) , but, the fact that Ken has owned about every big 43xx JBL and decided to give Westlake a try, does raise that question. I think I'll take him up on that offer to go hear em'. It was mentioned that the 4348,4338 and other new "studio monitors" are really CONSUMER models, including the 4344mkII. As Johnny Carson used to say: "I did not know that".

  4. #49
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Hi Tom

    Nice to hear from you Tom.



    Wow, that’s a great question and one I am happy to answer.



    IMHO...



    Westlake simply spanks JBL in enclosure construction and design. There horns can take "somewhat" harsh sounding compression drivers and smooth them out like a baby's bum (I think Widget would back me up on this). In fact the only thing I would change on my Westies is the 2441 to a TAD 4003 and add a pair of 076 for the extreme highs.



    They apply 2 inches of a plastized goop to the inside of the cabinets that simply render them acoustically dead. I can use my turntable on top of the cab and not get feedback through the cartridge and that is simply unreal. My 4350's had a peak around 200+ hz that was a bear to work around and eliminate. The 4345's where my favorite JBL large format monitors. It was hard to pass them along "although they went to an excellent home". The 2245H and 2122 are a great low end combo as you are all aware. I found the 2421B a bit harsh but it was not horrible by any stretch. The 2405 is of course a damned nice tweet.



    JBL’s have never been known for having great imaging. I have never heard a JBL 43 series monitor that has a soundstage and imaging like these “period”. Perhaps the newer MTM systems do, but I have never heard them.



    Another place Westlake stands out is in there electronic designs. The HRX crossovers are built out of very exotic parts that are difficult to find. The boards are hand stuffed and each driver is tested and electronically matched to that channel. All drivers are serialized to a specific cabinet and crossover card. I have tried several crossovers and always go back to the HRX for its sound characteristics. It is transparent with beautiful imaging. I am hoping this new 5-way Ian is helping me build will compare to the HRX because I do want to add my 076’s to the system.



    Once again, I invite anyone who is a solid member of the forum to drop in and have a listen.



    Hope that answers your question Tom.



    Ken


  5. #50
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Ken,

    B/n the lines I can tell thought long and hard about that post..politically correct!

    Perhaps you can email me a Keymap of LAX to Westlake Mansions in anticipation of a visit later this year!

    On my list of things to do is to trial a constrained layer of mineral loaded polypropolyene and lead sheet in my 4345. There is no doubt an acoustically dead enclosure reduces audible colouration.

    I was looking at the Harman Japan site last night and can't but be jealous of the Japanese home users. The designs appear tailored and voiced to the ear of the local market.

    Ian

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Pachkowsky
    Westlake simply spanks JBL in enclosure construction.
    This is one area where the DIYer is at an advantage. Although many of the JBL enclosures are better than average they are still "mass produced". I'm sure even the very expensive K2-S9800 enclosure could benefit from tweeks such as the goop.

    JBL has always put a significantly greater portion of the pie into their transducer designs. Of course TAD and Westlake would be shadows of their current selves without the solid base JBL has built for both of them. Both are quite indebted to Lansing's legacy. Aren't we all?

  7. #52
    Steve Gonzales
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    Heritage

    Top of the line Westlakes are in the $120,000 range. Man, I could build something special too with that kinda LOOT! More power to them. It's easy to "spank" somebody for an extra $75K ++++ . The talk about enclosure dampening has made me wonder if DynaMat would be a good choice. When the Car audio guys build a good system, they always line every possible surface with this stuff. Could it do wonders for the DIYer's?

  8. #53
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    That's fair comment, although as you progress up in price so does enclosure quality with premium loudspeakers and so does their mass (weight) generally.

    However the laws of supply and demand explain that as price increases demand reduces.

    Perhaps its reasonable to assume then Westlake monitors are not mass produced, (at least the larger more expensive models).

    When you think about, it shear economics would make such enclosures an awkward business case to manufacture with the labour,materials and transport costs to deal. JIT or make to order would be the only viable solution.

    The average consumer may also find handling the heavy cabinets inconvenient.

    Looking at a recent copy of Absolute Sound, an audiophile magazine that features exotic and expensive speakers like Wilson's its probably fair to say that none of the so called hi end HiFi commercial speakers with soa enclosures are mass produced. (Wilson audio pioneered non resonant enclosures using special materials, its no surprise all their designs there are extremely heavy for their size compared to any other brand).

    In one of The Widgets Project May posts there was an excellent link to enclosure damping, perhaps The Widget can re post this on the public forums.

    Ian

  9. #54
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Boy,

    You could buy a set of Halcro Amps and Wilson Puppies and change left over for Giskard to have a round the world holiday for that money.


    Time for a raffle......

    Ian

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