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Thread: Cheap studio series.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Don C's Avatar
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    Cheap studio series.

    If you're interested in cheap studio series, it's a good week to visit harmanaudio.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Tempting. Hard to beat those prices but still, if there was someplace people could actually hear these before purchasing, they probably wouldn't have to take such desperate steps to move them.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."óGreg Timbers

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Tempting. Hard to beat those prices but still, if there was someplace people could actually hear these before purchasing, they probably wouldn't have to take such desperate steps to move them.
    As an owner/former owner of a lot of JBLs

    L112
    XPL 90
    S/2600
    4319
    Studio 530
    Studio 620
    S/1500C
    Array 880
    L52 Classic


    I would say that the Studio 590 is superb sounding speaker with excellent bass and a budget Array 1000/1400 experience. With Harmanís free return shipping if you donít like it, itís a very good deal if

    1) You donít mind the looks, given the value
    2) Are aware that these are too heavy, can easily topple over if bumped into, and while the user manual tells you to anchor them to the wall, there is no non-destructive way to do this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chris Brown's Avatar
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    The price for a pair of new 590s is approaching what I paid for a refurbished pair a year or two ago. You can't go wrong with these speakers for the price.

    The only speaker from this series that I hear people being somewhat underwhelmed by is the 520c center speaker. I use my 590s in my 2-channel music system, but I did get a 520c for my separate home theater system where I'm currently using it with a pair of JBL L5 speakers as mains. I'm happy with it's performance overall, and at the current sale price ($109.99 as of this post) it's an absolute steal IMO. There are a lot of truly terrible center-channel speakers that aren't that cheap. The 520c might not be able to match the greatness of the 590 but it's not a bad speaker.

    With regards to the 590, I think it's biggest strengths are that it has an amazing top-end that is revealing without being harsh, and with great imaging and sound-stage. The 590 also has great mid-bass punch. Compared to my vintage JBLs, I found the midrange on the 590 to be just a little-bit thin, perhaps a result of the compression driver being crossed over slightly below it's ideal minimum frequency. The deep bass from the 590 is good, better than what I can get from my L5 speakers but not quite on the same level as the L150 or L100T.

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    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    I dig the comparison of vintage to new, Chris! Considering comparisons between the Lx and XPL line are sometimes made, if my XPL200's find themselves downstairs for theater duty I now know what center channel to match them with. @ the 590's specifically, I am surprised their sensitivity is so low (92dB) despite using a compression driver.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    RE I am surprised their sensitivity is so low (92dB) despite using a compression driver.

    The lower sensitivity driver (usually woofer) often determines the system's sensitivity rating. Other more efficient transducers are frequently padded to match or so the big guy's number. Btw 92 db corresponds to 1% efficiency (piston band).

    On the other hand that sensitivity was probably limited (designed as such) in order to achieve deeper bass from the system. The laws of physics being what they are you can only get a certain bandwidth of deep bass at a certain efficiency level in a vented box. Its not unlimited, and no matter how much they try in the lab. Hitting the wall.

    Take for example 2225 vs 2235. The former was optimized for higher output general LF SR with 97 db, whereas the latter was optimized for higher fidelity lower bass reproduction (e.g. sub duty) and having a 93 db rating. There's a "penalty" for wanting to go ever deeper: efficiency goes down, other things being equal. 4 db is notable here. If they could have given the 2235 higher sensitivity with the same VLF it has they would have done it!

    Another example of where they hit the sensitivity wall is 2240/2241/2242. The initial has 98 db, the replacement 98 db also, but for the latest one they used a trick to be able to show a single db more at 99. For the first two they measured woofer sensitivity as usual, 100-500 hz, not for 2242 though. In this last case they used 100-1000 hz therefore including some of the driver's cone breakup peak in the data, that way increasing the number a little!

    In reality 2242 is probably a 98 db woofer if measured the same way as the previous versions, but marketing is King! this time they had to show a bit more...

    R.H. Small has indicated in his landmark vented box papers the theoretical maximum for LF, and loudspeaker Engineer John Hoge (CTS, JBL, etc.) has shown what is attainable in real life, its somewhat less than theory suggests.

    Richard
    POWERED BY: QSC, Ashly, Tascam, Rolls Mosfet, NAD, and Crest Audio

  7. #7
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    Studio series

    Ive got both the 590 and the 530 and love them. If you want to have some fun take the 590s outside in as free space as you can and give them and give them a listen. The sound stage is wonderful. I did it at night which made it more spectacular as you couldn't see the speakers. I almost left them outside in the garage with my big horns as the sounded that good to me. It was really an experience.
    For the money I dont think they can be beat.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    RE I am surprised their sensitivity is so low (92dB) despite using a compression driver.

    The lower sensitivity driver (usually woofer) often determines the system's sensitivity rating. Other more efficient transducers are frequently padded to match or so the big guy's number. Btw 92 db corresponds to 1% efficiency (piston band).

    On the other hand that sensitivity was probably limited (designed as such) in order to achieve deeper bass from the system. The laws of physics being what they are you can only get a certain bandwidth of deep bass at a certain efficiency level in a vented box. Its not unlimited, and no matter how much they try in the lab. Hitting the wall.

    Take for example 2225 vs 2235. The former was optimized for higher output general LF SR with 97 db, whereas the latter was optimized for higher fidelity lower bass reproduction (e.g. sub duty) and having a 93 db rating. There's a "penalty" for wanting to go ever deeper: efficiency goes down, other things being equal. 4 db is notable here. If they could have given the 2235 higher sensitivity with the same VLF it has they would have done it!

    Another example of where they hit the sensitivity wall is 2240/2241/2242. The initial has 98 db, the replacement 98 db also, but for the latest one they used a trick to be able to show a single db more at 99. For the first two they measured woofer sensitivity as usual, 100-500 hz, not for 2242 though. In this last case they used 100-1000 hz therefore including some of the driver's cone breakup peak in the data, that way increasing the number a little!

    In reality 2242 is probably a 98 db woofer if measured the same way as the previous versions, but marketing is King! this time they had to show a bit more...

    R.H. Small has indicated in his landmark vented box papers the theoretical maximum for LF, and loudspeaker Engineer John Hoge (CTS, JBL, etc.) has shown what is attainable in real life, its somewhat less than theory suggests.

    Richard
    Thank you for the explanation, Richard!

    I am an audio idiot, but I'd wager that this: "..On the other hand that sensitivity was probably limited (designed as such) in order to achieve deeper bass from the system. The laws of physics being what they are you can only get a certain bandwidth of deep bass at a certain efficiency level in a vented box. Its not unlimited, and no matter how much they try in the lab.." is probably what limits that system. Perhaps if they used dual 12's instead of dual 8's? Why is dual 8 inchers the standard or so it seems? Even my crappy E90's have dual 8" woofers. In my early twenties, whoo boy did I think they could POUND! (Now I know much, much better).

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chris Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Perhaps if they used dual 12's instead of dual 8's? Why is dual 8 inchers the standard or so it seems?
    I think it's mainly an indication of current consumer preferences. Many people already consider the 590 to be "huge", and indeed it is pretty tall, but can you imagine people trying to convince their spouse to get a speaker that is as tall as the 590 or taller, and also much more wide because of 12" woofers? I think that for the last 20+ years, most speaker designs have largely given up on trying to reproduce the entire low-frequency spectrum. The assumption being that if you really care about deep bass, you are going to get a sub (or several). That's why the 590 begins it's gradual roll-off starting at ~69Hz while the L150 in comparison has a bass peak extending down to ~45Hz.

    Other practical concerns are that years ago most people were buying speakers in physical stores. It didn't matter how big or heavy a speaker was as long as you could carry it out to the parking lot and fit it inside your car. Now most new speakers are bought online and delivered long distances to your house. Point being, weight matters, and large woofers are heavy.

    It's also worth noting that most speakers with dual 8" woofers have both 8" woofers playing the exact same signal, whereas the 590 is a 2.5 way design, with the top 8" woofer playing more midrange content compared to the bottom 8" woofer (they both still handle the deep bass).

  10. #10
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    Derek,

    I agree with Chris Brown's reasons. Good down to earth explanation.

    I would add two aspects sometimes overlooked or forgotten by many people.

    First, narrower cabinets, such as tower type enclosures, are said to provide better stereo imaging from the improved MF/HF dispersion (Weems). A pair of 8 inchers (or 6"+ for that matter) are good candidates for the purpose of narrow cabs and their imaging. On the market there's a lot of speakers with multiple smaller size woofers, its a trend.

    Second, those two "skinny" 8 inch aren't that skinny after all. Two adjacent woofers on a baffle, electrically in parallel, as well as acoustically in parallel, will provide 3 db more output compared to a single woofer. Its possible the 590 woofer alone has sensitivity of 89 db, but having a pair increases this to 92 db rating, so a 3 db gain here.

    Moreover, two adjacent woofers (close) behave mostly like a single driver with double the cone area, often known as the mutual coupling effect. The usable perimeter of LF radiation is now augmented by 1.4 times. Therefore, the 8" woofer pair used in these conditions is acting as a single 11.2" woofer (8" X 1.4 = 11.2).

    Finally, the dual woofer system will take twice the power input of a single driver, so another 3 db gain in max output capability. (Eargle, Loudspeaker Handbook)

    Not bad, and not that far from a single 12" LF radiation. So use of double smaller woofers by Engineers is a more thoughtful process than what it seems initially...

    Richard
    POWERED BY: QSC, Ashly, Tascam, Rolls Mosfet, NAD, and Crest Audio

  11. #11
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Brown View Post
    I think it's mainly an indication of current consumer preferences. Many people already consider the 590 to be "huge", and indeed it is pretty tall, but can you imagine people trying to convince their spouse to get a speaker that is as tall as the 590 or taller, and also much more wide because of 12" woofers? I think that for the last 20+ years, most speaker designs have largely given up on trying to reproduce the entire low-frequency spectrum. The assumption being that if you really care about deep bass, you are going to get a sub (or several). That's why the 590 begins it's gradual roll-off starting at ~69Hz while the L150 in comparison has a bass peak extending down to ~45Hz.

    Other practical concerns are that years ago most people were buying speakers in physical stores. It didn't matter how big or heavy a speaker was as long as you could carry it out to the parking lot and fit it inside your car. Now most new speakers are bought online and delivered long distances to your house. Point being, weight matters, and large woofers are heavy.

    It's also worth noting that most speakers with dual 8" woofers have both 8" woofers playing the exact same signal, whereas the 590 is a 2.5 way design, with the top 8" woofer playing more midrange content compared to the bottom 8" woofer (they both still handle the deep bass).
    Hmm, "huge" to me is a set of 4350's haha. I grew up around my dad's larger speakers, so the slim stuff just seems out of place, even though I have that stuff as well for the home theater. Convince the spouse? Music and cars are big things to me, I couldn't imagine having a spouse that wasn't onboard with either. I couldn't really care for anything aside from those things. But when it came to those purchases, I might've informed her of the purchases I was going to make or contemplating, but I never asked for permission or felt I had to make a business case. Same went for her hobbies and passions though. No double standards here.

    Good points indeed, but not to me, although I'm not the consumer they are targeting. I'm a rather odd duck. I like big & heavy, old school designs. I feel if it worked well then, it can (and in many of my own cases, it does) and does. I guess for modern stuff the standard is an auxiliary subwoofer. I have accepted that, even many of the older systems have trouble below 50hz and need auxiliary help. Neat that the two 8's don't play the same material, that's how the 8's in my E90's do it. One of the reasons I felt they were cheap. But I knew they were cheap going into it, wasn't the Northridge set the cheapest you could buy from JBL back when they were new?

    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Derek,

    I agree with Chris Brown's reasons. Good down to earth explanation.

    I would add two aspects sometimes overlooked or forgotten by many people.

    First, narrower cabinets, such as tower type enclosures, are said to provide better stereo imaging from the improved MF/HF dispersion (Weems). A pair of 8 inchers (or 6"+ for that matter) are good candidates for the purpose of narrow cabs and their imaging. On the market there's a lot of speakers with multiple smaller size woofers, its a trend.

    Second, those two "skinny" 8 inch aren't that skinny after all. Two adjacent woofers on a baffle, electrically in parallel, as well as acoustically in parallel, will provide 3 db more output compared to a single woofer. Its possible the 590 woofer alone has sensitivity of 89 db, but having a pair increases this to 92 db rating, so a 3 db gain here.

    Moreover, two adjacent woofers (close) behave mostly like a single driver with double the cone area, often known as the mutual coupling effect. The usable perimeter of LF radiation is now augmented by 1.4 times. Therefore, the 8" woofer pair used in these conditions is acting as a single 11.2" woofer (8" X 1.4 = 11.2).

    Finally, the dual woofer system will take twice the power input of a single driver, so another 3 db gain in max output capability. (Eargle, Loudspeaker Handbook)

    Not bad, and not that far from a single 12" LF radiation. So use of double smaller woofers by Engineers is a more thoughtful process than what it seems initially...

    Richard

    Great points as well. I was reading Mr. Widget's thread about that subwoofer box he got for his theater system. I'd have never guessed you could get so much from 4x6's. And I suppose that's why they use the smaller woofers in tandem- the extra output. Packaging is an important factor. What's fascinating is how much more there is than what meets the eye. Consumer sees product, but often has no idea of all the engineering behind it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Moreover, two adjacent woofers (close) behave mostly like a single driver with double the cone area, often known as the mutual coupling effect. The usable perimeter of LF radiation is now augmented by 1.4 times. Therefore, the 8" woofer pair used in these conditions is acting as a single 11.2" woofer (8" X 1.4 = 11.2).
    Of course the math assumes accurate measurements of the actual cone diameter, not what the manufacturer claims as "nominal" size.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."óGreg Timbers

  13. #13
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    The effective radiating area would include half the surround according to conventional wisdom, so a little more than cone alone.

    Not having the actual radiating area of the 8" mentioned i compared a woofer for woofer, not cone vs woofer, making this an acceptable comparision when giving the result in "equivalent woofer size" that people can easily assess/compare.

    Naturally the 8", as well as the 11.2" woofer, don't use their diameter for cone area or radiating surface, like most LF drivers don't. Its a little less for both of these.
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    Senior Member Chris Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    Second, those two "skinny" 8 inch aren't that skinny after all. Two adjacent woofers on a baffle, electrically in parallel, as well as acoustically in parallel, will provide 3 db more output compared to a single woofer. Its possible the 590 woofer alone has sensitivity of 89 db, but having a pair increases this to 92 db rating, so a 3 db gain here.

    Moreover, two adjacent woofers (close) behave mostly like a single driver with double the cone area, often known as the mutual coupling effect. The usable perimeter of LF radiation is now augmented by 1.4 times. Therefore, the 8" woofer pair used in these conditions is acting as a single 11.2" woofer (8" X 1.4 = 11.2).

    Finally, the dual woofer system will take twice the power input of a single driver, so another 3 db gain in max output capability. (Eargle, Loudspeaker Handbook)

    Not bad, and not that far from a single 12" LF radiation. So use of double smaller woofers by Engineers is a more thoughtful process than what it seems initially...
    Yeah, the total surface area is not bad. It just seems like the woofers in the 590, for whatever reason, hit their limit much sooner than the 12" woofers in my other vintage JBLs.

    A brief example below, with my 590s and my L150s. Volume was matched at 115dBC peaks. The bass on the 590s seemed to get a bit "sloppy" at times, very likely because the 580J woofers in the 590 appeared to be nearing the limits of their suspension. The bass from the L150 in comparison retained it's composure throughout the test.



    (limit of one video per post, continued below)

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    Senior Member Chris Brown's Avatar
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