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Thread: Got my system singing but...

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    Got my system singing but...

    Hello! I could successfully pair my new Altec H-808 horns with the JBL 4507 cabinet featuring the JBL 2226H woofers, and the results are impressive. My McIntosh amplifier, boasting 110 watts, has contributed to a fantastic synergy. However, I've noticed that achieving optimal sound quality requires high volume levels and power, which may not be practical for regular listening. To address this, I'm considering swapping out the JBL 2226H woofers for JBL 2220H woofers. I believe this change might enhance the overall performance at lower volumes. Do you have any additional suggestions or ideas I could explore to improve the sound quality without the need for excessive volume? Thanks a lot!

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    You are probably finding the need to crank it up due to the lack of LF output of the 2226H woofer without EQ. Remember the Fletcher Munson curves? By turning it up you are "equalizing" the system. Most home hi-fi systems have more bass relative to their mid output than what you are hearing.

    The 4507 is just a bass reflex utility cabinet, so there is no magic there. In comparing the 2226H and 2220H, you might like the 2220H more, but it is best used in a horn enclosure. The 2220H in a bass reflex enclosure has very limited bass extension.

    I think you would be better off with a pair of Altec 416 woofers if you want to stay in the high sensitivity realm without a fair amount of electronic equalization. The EQ can be passive in the crossover, but this will lower your system sensitivity, or it can be active and be either analog or DSP.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    You are probably finding the need to crank it up due to the lack of LF output of the 2226H woofer without EQ. Remember the Fletcher Munson curves? By turning it up you are "equalizing" the system. Most home hi-fi systems have more bass relative to their mid output than what you are hearing. The 4507 is just a bass reflex utility cabinet, so there is no magic there. In comparing the 2226H and 2220H, you might like the 2220H more, but it is best used in a horn enclosure. The 2220H in a bass reflex enclosure has very limited bass extension. I think you would be better off with a pair of Altec 416 woofers if you want to stay in the high sensitivity realm without a fair amount of electronic equalization. The EQ can be passive in the crossover, but this will lower your system sensitivity, or it can be active and be either analog or DSP. Widget
    Thank you very much for your valuable advice. Regarding the recommendation of the 416, will it inherently produce "more" bass without requiring equalization compared to the 2226h? Additionally, if I utilize a preamp such as the McIntosh C32, would the built-in EQ be suitable for optimizing the performance of the 2226h? I previously owned a 416 but had to part with it when I no longer had a need for it. Now, I find myself with the 2226h until I acquire a new pair of 416-8. Appreciate your assistance.

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Unfortunately we are treading into the area of personal preference, but the Altec woofer does "sound" like it produces more bass. It can be used very successfully in domestic hi-fi systems like in the Altec Model 19.

    The 2226 is really meant to be used as a robust PA woofer that can handle a lot of abuse. I am personally not a fan of its sonic quality, but there are those who like it. I am not sure if this is a genuine preference for the sound of the 2226 or a preference based on limited experience.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    You are probably finding the need to crank it up due to the lack of LF output of the 2226H woofer without EQ. Remember the Fletcher Munson curves? By turning it up you are "equalizing" the system. Most home hi-fi systems have more bass relative to their mid output than what you are hearing. The 4507 is just a bass reflex utility cabinet, so there is no magic there. In comparing the 2226H and 2220H, you might like the 2220H more, but it is best used in a horn enclosure. The 2220H in a bass reflex enclosure has very limited bass extension. I think you would be better off with a pair of Altec 416 woofers if you want to stay in the high sensitivity realm without a fair amount of electronic equalization. The EQ can be passive in the crossover, but this will lower your system sensitivity, or it can be active and be either analog or DSP. Widget
    Is there a JBL woofer with high sensitivity and reasonable bass response that you can recommend? The 416 is quite rare here in Europe. Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Unfortunately we are treading into the area of personal preference, but the Altec woofer does "sound" like it produces more bass. It can be used very successfully in domestic hi-fi systems like in the Altec Model 19. The 2226 is really meant to be used as a robust PA woofer that can handle a lot of abuse. I am personally not a fan of its sonic quality, but there are those who like it. I am not sure if this is a genuine preference for the sound of the 2226 or a preference based on limited experience. Widget
    That's what I thought! I acquired these speakers/cabinets for almost free, and my initial plan was to upgrade them with Altec/JBL Hi-Fi woofers. I completely understand your point.

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    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    High sensitivity, say around 100 db 1w/1m, is achieved at the expense of low bass. Even if you went for a high sensitivity MI driver you would still be penalized in the low bass range. JBL's MI drivers sensitivity is usually measured in the 500-2500 hz range (with their rising response), not at 50 hz for example, otherwise their sen number would be much lower.

    Moreover some JBL sensitivity ratings are done in the Mid band (e.g. 2 khz), hence why this is called Mid band efficiency. As you go lower frequency wise efficiency goes down and driver sensitivity follows. For low-frequency drivers the 100-500 hz or so range is often used. Its seldom below 100 hz, because sen numbers would be down.

    There's no magic solution. Apart from going to a horn loaded system, the three most common alternatives are to manage your expectations (in terms of LF capability vs efficiency), use of multiple identical woofers in paralell (higher efficiency), or go for a larger woofer (e.g. 18" or 21") meant for low-frequency reproduction (able to move more air at a higher level).

    Naturally for options 2 and 3, in order to keep efficiency high there is a penalty in terms of a larger cabinet size...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMC View Post
    High sensitivity, say around 100 db 1w/1m, is achieved at the expense of low bass. Even if you went for a high sensitivity MI driver you would still be penalized in the low bass range. JBL's MI drivers sensitivity is usually measured in the 500-2500 hz range (with their rising response), not at 50 hz for example, otherwise their sen number would be much lower. Moreover some JBL sensitivity ratings are done in the Mid band (e.g. 2 khz), hence why this is called Mid band efficiency. As you go lower frequency wise efficiency goes down and driver sensitivity follows. For low-frequency drivers the 100-500 hz or so range is often used. Its seldom below 100 hz, because sen numbers would be down. There's no magic solution. Apart from going to a horn loaded system, the three most common alternatives are to manage your expectations (in terms of LF capability vs efficiency), use of multiple identical woofers in paralell (higher efficiency), or go for a larger woofer (e.g. 18" or 21") meant for low-frequency reproduction (able to move more air at a higher level). Naturally for options 2 and 3, in order to keep efficiency high there is a penalty in terms of a larger cabinet size... Richard
    Thanks! The thing is - and i am not sure if i got this correct - but the LF outout of the 4507/2226h itself is fine for me! I donīt listen to bass heavy music and i have a smallish SVS active sub around here. I miss, so to say, the tonal richness of fine midrange driver. The 2226h seems very capable but it only really wakes up when i crank it and one can hear this "PA" voicing. I thought well, the 2220h is rated for 200 watts and has a high sensitivity and i can "re tune " the 4507 by adding one or more of these plumber plugs.

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    JBL E145 or the pro equivelent may get you to where you want to be if you can find a pair.

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    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
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    I tend to agree with Todd. But the E145 is not your everyday MI bass driver, its more of an exception. Sort of a special driver among the MI herd. Having a reasonably flat or so response up to about 1 khz, that in a world of highly contoured response curves to suit musician preferences.

    You might also want to consider the 2227H, also high sensitivity, to see if it would meet your needs (some indicated they don't really like it, or not as much as the 2220). You can make your own assessment and decision. Picture shown from JBL Tech Note, V.1, # 22 .

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    thanks for the input, guys. I also thought about giving up on very high efficiency woofers. Might be the case that i will have to sell the SVS in favor of more space in the living room. I would need a woofer capable of reproducing frequences down to 35hz. I found out about the 2216nd. It is 95db/w sensitive and seems to be very sought after.

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