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Thread: Check Out JBL

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    St. Louis, MO, USA

    Check Out JBL

    With an earlier partnership with Trinnov and later acquisition of Arcam Harman is putting some nice home theater out under JBL. Harman kept the Arcam brand and used the technology to launch new products for Lexicon and boaster JBL. My impression is the Lexicon may not be making the splash hoped for, I could be wrong. The stuff has a premium price.

    JBL has a processor out in the $6k range. From what I'm told it has Arcam tech where the upper processors have Trinnov.

    A cool feature, JBL is now using Dante. I am told that Dante is used in Pro audio quite a bit. This will allow you to use the JBL processor and only have an Ethernet connection to the power amp. Apparently, the power amp has the DAC. So this will eliminate some cables and perhaps simplify install depending on configuration and location of gear.

    I saw one of the JBL amps, I think SDA-2200. It uses Class G technology, about 200x2 and can be bridged to like 700 watts. I was told retail is somewhere around $3500.00. I got a quick listen using the preouts of a 590. It was just out of the box, literally, and I needed to go so no critical listening. My impression, warmer than the 590 power section, not the control or transparency. The sound stage was some smaller and had a more intimate sound, the type that puts the performance in your room opposed to taking you there. Overall, first impression was good though, the sound was good and I did find it engaging.

    I want to go back after the amps are hooked up to the processor using the Dante and see how the system does for sound and movies as a system.

    As a side note, I do have a friend who has a Lexicon receiver, one of the newer ones. He has all Legacy speakers, Silhouettes on the wall, whatever the center is, with a couple Studio HD for far rear. I'm not sure what retail was for the receiver. The system does sound very good, for both music and movies. That auto set up software must take some learning curve though, I don't think he ever got that set correctly. His manual set up is good, I have to wonder what the software could do, I think they use Durak. May not be spelled right.
    Aurender ACS10 w/AQ Diamond,
    Mark Levinson #526 & 532h, JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    All Clarus Crimson cabling, AC to binding post. Surgex
    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP

  2. #2

    Re: Check Out JBL

    It's time for me to pull the trigger on a processor for my new basement multi-channel area, and the JBL SDP-55 is on my short list. It is indeed based on the Arcam AV40 (as are the Audiocontrol X7 and X9). The feature set looks to be excellent, but initial objective measurements of this new Arcam family (easily found on a different audio forum) are disappointing. It's been enough to move me from "sold" to "maybe not". The problem is this entire new batch of "sub-$10k" 16-channel pre/pros is having teething pains, be it from JBL, Acurus, Emotiva, or Monoprice. I think Anthem is due for an overhaul on their AVM60, and Marantz might be getting closer to refreshing the AV8805, but those remain vaporware. Since I don't have the ability to locally audition any of these processors, it makes it hard to commit.

    If JBL can get their software issues ironed out, it may still be worth a shot. The Dirac Live with Bass Management room correction software just became available a week or two ago, and once it matures should be a very capable room correction option. I don't need 16 channels, but true multi-sub correction is a requirement, otherwise I'd be content to stick to one of the more mature products on the market.

    Trinnov is still the basis for the higher-end JBL Synthesis processors, and they don't seem to have the same level of issues. But from what i understand, they don't measure particularly well either (at least compared to what we're all used to from our 2-channel gear). I suspect either the Trinnov or Arcam based JBL units will sound good in the flesh, though Trinnov certainly has more DSP power and customization. As it should for nearly 3x the price of the Arcam based units!

    My System
    Streamer/Server: Aurender N100H; Disc Player: Oppo UDP-205; DAC: PS Audio Directstream Jr; Preamp: Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2; Power Amp: ATI AT542NC; Speakers: Focal Sopra No. 3; Cables:
    Wireworld, Kimber, Cullin; Power: Ansuz Mainz8 X-TC, PS Audio Dectet, Furutech outlets

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Check Out JBL

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