Am I crazy or are my JBL 4311Bs great for Home Theater?

shmerls

Active Member
I got my JBL Professional 4311Bs Monitors in 1981 from a recording studio the label I worked for had placed a number of top artists in. They had purchased an extra pair by mistake and I lucked out. For anyone way younger, these babies have been used for recording and mixing some of the world's top albums. I'm finally serious about building a home theater having moved from a condo to a house. I'm going to replace my Sony STR DG2100 with eiitherf: Marantz SR 7015, Denon XD4700H or Arcam AVR10. I've been demo'ing using B&W's 702 S2s. They sound most amazing with the AVR10. I'm home today listening to Roxy Music's "Avalon" which is an excellent track with the sparse placement of all the in and out instruments. Very 3D. Amazing mix.

Well, as far as music goes, of course my JBLs sound fantastic, I borrowed a 6015 this week because my Sony's HDMIs were bugging out. The JBLs also sound amazing for film in my half-assed 7.1 system (reference is to my surround and rear speakers). The Marantz does make the JBLs sound better than the Sony. So I'm wondering how the 3 I'm serious about will push them.

I guess I won't be able to finalize this conversation until I get a pair of 702s home and A/B against my vintage 4311Bs. I get that they were created for the studio long before HT existed. They do need proper amplification, but the SR 6015 is doing a great job.

My plan was/is to buy modern HT speakers and move my JBLs to the surround position. But today, I'm wondering, just keep the JBLs in the front and buy a good center, surrounds and rears.

I know it gets down to me and my ears and wallet. But I'm curious about any thoughts of using vintage speakers for today's HTs
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
What's not to love about a pair of 80s waffle boxes?? Big warm sound, relaxed treble and effortless reproduction, but probably not best suited to modern dynamically challenging home theater

Part of the issue is that they don't really handle dynamics as well as modern speakers - and the laid back treble can make them less intelligible than you might like. Matching a decent centre might be a problem, as these tend use smaller drivers with totally different voicing. After 35 years of use, you probably don't want to be driving them too hard either. Spares are hard to come by and may not be in the best condition.

For my money, I would keep them as part of a stereo system for relaxed listening and get a more modern speaker system for movies. JBL would still be high on my list, but consider some smaller boxes and a couple of decent subs, as this will improve imaging and effects placement while retaining bass weight and adding significant extension.
 
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shmerls

Active Member
Yes, that's were I was until I sat down to listen to my JBLs with a new SB 6015. Big improvement over my aged Sony STR-DG2100. Because I lived in a condo for years, loud music or HT was not possible. So, these JBLs haven't been pushed hard. But, that doesn't alter your point about modern sound requirements. The only way out of this indecision is to buy new HT speakers and A/B them here. Thanks for your thoughts. Film at eleven :D
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
@shmerls check if you have KEF R7/R11, Revel F206/F208 and Focal Aria 926/936 locally available for demo, possibly with the center channel. The 702 S2 is quite fussy with room, positioning and gear driven what has been mentioned. Measurements shows recessed upper midrange and exaggerated highs. Many says they sound ok in show room, but become tiring in the long run. I would want to listen them with some movie clip at loud volume. B&W has gone quite changes over the years and they are not the same anymore. I would make sure the sound is really what you are after. I think it would be much easier if you could have two systems, one for music (your studio monitors) and then for movies you would look something completely different from the typical hifi ranges. However as you said you can´t opt for the basement yet it means likely that you have to go with something that looks nice too..
 

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