JBL LSR305 + LSR310S + Titanium HD

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Kain, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. Kain

    Kain
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    I've asked this question on so many forums and none have provide me with a clear answer. Hope someone here can help out.

    I have a Titanium HD sound card in my PC. If I want to connect a pair of LSR305 monitors and a LSR310S subwoofer to the Titanium HD, can I take the following route?

    1. Connect the Titanium HD to the LSR310S subwoofer with left and right RCA output connections on the Titanium HD to the LSR310S left and right XLR input connections. I assume this will be done with a cable that is RCA on one end and XLR on the other end.

    2. Connect the left and right LSR305 monitors to the LSR310S subwoofer using XLR connections (on both ends).

    Will this be okay? I asked on the Head-Fi forums and someone stated that you cannot have RCA on one end and XLR on the other end (because one is balanced and the other is unbalanced) and recommended left and right RCA out on the Titanium HD to the left and right 1/4" mono plug inputs on the LSR310S. Then XLR left and right outputs on the LSR310S to the XLR input on the LSR305 monitors.

    Lastly, a LSR305 + LSR310S combo will have better sound quality and higher SPL/output than the Corsair SP2500 in the same conditions, correct?
     
  2. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    I've not been 'hands-on' with any of the gear you mention but I am familiar with active monitor speakers and studio-type subs and I've coupled several balanced to unbalanced connections over the years.

    Assuming your sound card has conventional left and right analogue audio outputs, you certainly can connect these (unbalanced) outputs to the sub's (balanced) L & R inputs. I think what hasn't been explained to you previously is that when connecting an unbalanced output (i.e. the soundcard's L & R outputs) to a balanced input (i.e. the subs L&R inputs), the connection will always end up unbalanced and there's no problem with that in a domestic installation.

    Audio line-level balanced inputs/ouputs have 3 terminals, one an earth/ground the other 2 being the audio signal conductors, one of which is in-phase with the signal, the other out-of-phase. Each output channel from your soundcard will be unbalanced hence will have just two conductors: one audio signal in-phase and one earth/ground. Simply ensure that whatever cable and connectors you use, the signal conductor from the soundcard output connects with just one of the signal terminals on the balanced input. Ensure the same connections are made to the balanced inputs of your sub on each channel or you'll end up with one channel out of phase with the other. The earth/ground connection from the soundcard's output must connect to the earth/ground connection of the sub's inputs.

    You can then connect up your active monitors to the sub with balanced XLR cables as you suggest though I'm unsure whether this will give a balanced connection between monitors and sub, however, it doesn't matter.
     
  3. Kain

    Kain
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    Awesome! Thanks for the reply. :)

    However, you stated:

    How would I go about ensuring all of this?
     
  4. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Is this the Sound Card -

    Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD Audiophile Sound Card - Creative Labs (UK)

    Is this the Subwoofer -

    LSR310S Products | JBL Professional

    Are these the Monitors -

    LSR305 Products | JBL Professional

    You need a splitter out of the Sound Card, split each, left and right, into two signals. These are very common splitter cables. The Monitors and Sub both have TRS or 1/4" Phone Jack inputs, these are single ended. So, not problem converting RCA out of the Sound Card to 1/4" Phone into the Speakers.

    Just to illustrate what the 1M/2F RCA splitter looks like -

    10pcs LOT Super Soft Y Splitter RCA Audio Cable ONE Male TO TWO Female CS 1M2F | eBay

    Adapter 1 Pair Monster RCA AV Audio F Splitter Plug 1 Male 2 Female 1M2F Gold P | eBay

    The simplest thing at the amp end would be an RCA to 1/4" Phone converter -

    1 X RCA Phono Female TO Male 6 3mm 6 35mm 1 4 Jack Adapter Converter Plug Gold | eBay

    https://www.google.co.uk/shopping/product/882142421474430109?sclient=psy-ab&hl=en-GB&biw=1152&bih=709&q=RCA+Female+1.4"+Phono+adapter&oq=RCA+Female+1.4"+Phono+adapter&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.&bvm=bv.96041959,d.cWc&tch=1&ech=1&psi=I4uAVebKCK21sASEnIGYCg.1434487575648.11&prds=paur:ClkAsKraX9UzEpzz3-goym2XKo3iZ08Q2RqEy1OwJwtuOHWOHawEZw03bPjy9FWJ27bU3IoxGKW2L1L2Dtc-11O-KVpz4tCirRrWETfJxR3noF_R3rsIlKgEZRIZAFPVH703i-KxEEEmp6QnS9EW8wT9POm6pA&sa=X&ved=0CI0CEPMCMANqFQoTCJDGrueQlcYCFaowjAodjBIAIw

    That allows you to use very common RCA-RCA cables of the necessary length -

    PRO SIGNAL - Hq Lead 2X Phono P-P 1M - PSG00793

    Fisual Pro Install Series Phono / RCA Cable 2m - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    Fisual Pro Install Series Phono / RCA Cable 10m - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    So, on the sound card, the RCA Spitter breaks the Left into Two Left and the Right into Two Right. One of the left/right goes to the monitors and the other left/right goes to the Sub.

    The RCA splitter has a Male to connect to the Sound Card, and Two Female to connect to standard RCA Phono Cables.

    At the Sub and Monitor end, you use a RCA Female to 1/4" TRS Phone Plug adapter. Connect the RCA Phono cable to the RCA/TRS adapter and you are good to go.

    [Sound Card]=[RCA Splitter]===[Std RCA Cable]===[RCA/1/4" Adapter]==[Sub]
    [Sound Card]=[RCA Splitter]===[Std RCA Cable]===[RCA/1/4" Adapter]==[Monitor]

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
  5. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    By the way, they do make RCA-M to TS 1/4" cables in various lengths. It might be something worth considering, though you will still need the Splitter Cable.

    New Pyle Pro PPRCJ05 Dual RCA Male to Dual 1/4" TS Audio Link Cable 5ft - Tmart

    Neo Oyaide d+ RTS Class B 1/4 inch Jack to RCA - 1 Metre | Dawsons Music

    Phono Cables | Neutrik Jack Plug to Rean RCA Phono Plug Red Ring

    1m Adam Hall 2x6.3mm Jack mono- 2xRCA Male Cable(K3TPC0100) - Scan.co.uk

    Mogami Pure Patch RCA to 14 Mono Hi Definition - DrumZa

    Mogami Pure Patch RCA to 14 Mono Hi Definition - DrumZa

    Andertons Pro Sound Mono Jack to RCA Phono Cable 6m

    Chord Twin RCA to Twin 6.3mm Mono Jack Lead - 6m Best Price Online | Music Matter

    It is just a matter of finding the length, quality, and price that you need.

    NOTE: Actually you don't want a TRS (tip/ring/sleeve) connector, you want a TS (tip/sleeve).


    I discovered when I searched Google-UK Shopping for "RCA to TS cable mono", I came up with many more options.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
  6. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    BlueWizard suggest one way of connecting up your sub and main speakers whereas I suggest a different approach. Can't say I've tried BW's splitter approach so I have no opinion on it.

    The reason I suggest a another approach is because studio-type subs are often designed to 'feed' main active speakers. This JBL sub has facilities to do this through it's L & R XLR outputs. There is one more point: some subs provide a high pass filter for the main speakers on these line-level outputs therefore relieving the main speakers of deep bass. This feature has advantages though it's unclear to me whether the JBL sub has such high pass filters on it's XLR outputs.

    I feed my active monitor speakers direct from an external sound card (a simple stand-alone DAC with RCA/phono sockets). I use two (for L & R) of these cables:

    Live Wire XLR(M)-RCA Audio Cable 10 ft. | Musician's Friend

    (note: it's a male XLR)

    This should* work for you to feed your sub from the internal sound card, assuming the sound card has L & R RCA/phono type output sockets. Obviously, choose a cable length that suits your setup.

    Then use simple 3-pin XLR female to 3-pin XLR male cables to connect L & R main speakers with sub:

    Male to Female XLR Lead - 6m Black Balanced Microphone Mic Cable No Bull: Amazon.co.uk: Musical Instruments

    Again, this is just an example - choose length to suit.

    You could make use of the equipment's TRS/1/4" jack connections if you wished and this could well be a bit cheaper but for me, I'd use XLR connections whenever available - they seem so much more secure.

    'Lastly, a LSR305 + LSR310S combo will have better sound quality and higher SPL/output than the Corsair SP2500 in the same conditions, correct?'

    Good though the Corsair appears to be, I'd say almost certainly. You have a very nice speaker in the LSR305 - get's great press.


    * I'm no expert but from experience and from what I've seen on the market, all RCA plug-to-XLR male (three pin) cables are wired up the same way as mine.
     
  7. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Well, there in lies the problem. Many Subs do have a very large FIXED Capacitor on the output to the Front Speakers. But we don't really know. Generally the frequency of the High Pass Filter is fixed and can't be controlled by the Sub Crossover Control, and it is dependent on the impedance of the source it is feeding.

    Since the SUB has XLR Out and the monitors have XLR In, you could use a standard XLR-to-XLR cable. You would need a cable with a Male connector on one end and a Female connector on the other end.

    But without some sense of what is going to come out of the Outputs from the Sub, it is going to be difficult to set up. The ideal case would be if there were no filters on the Outputs of the Sub, then you would simply blend the Sub crossover with the natural roll off of the Monitor speakers.

    The Monitor Speaker have a low bass rating of about 43hz, so that is where you would set the Subwoofer to crossover.

    But unless you can confirm what is going on inside the Sub, relative to the outputs, it is anyone guess what will come out.

    The use of Splitters, as I suggested, is not without problems of its own, but generally all speakers (Monitor+Sub) get the same signal, and you simply blend the Sub to the natural roll-off of the Monitors.

    Steve/bluewizard.
     
  8. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    To emphasize BlueWizard's point about not knowing how the electronic circuitry within the sub has been designed, it appears one user is having volume/level problems using the LRS305 + LRS310 combination (post#13 onwards):

    Jbl lsr310s - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

    One faulty unit or design quirk? Who knows (hopefully the designer!). All I can add is that, judging by the model numbering and marketing/advertising I've seen, JBL intend these main speakers and sub to work together in the way I outlined in my previous post. How well they work together is anybody's guess, I'm afraid.

    It's a shame things can't be clear cut - but that's life.
     
  9. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    From the Product Series Owner's Manual regarding the Sub -

    • Three Crossover settings: 80 Hz, XLF, External
    • The 80 Hz setting implements high and low pass filters to create a seamless blend of the LSR310S with JBL’s LSR305 or LSR308 studio monitors or models from other manufacturers.
    • The External setting bypasses all filtering, allowing use of an external crossover.
    • The special XLF setting activates a 120 Hz High Pass Filter in conjunction with a low frequency tuning that approximates the tuning used in club playback systems. Using this setting, the bass output more than doubles.
    Apparently the Sub does not have a normal variable Crossover Control, rather a switch that allows one of these three settings to be selected. For normal use, 80hz seems to make the most sense.

    http://www.jblpro.com/ProductAttachments/LSR_3Series_OwnersManual_Mar10_2014.pdf

    In this case, it would seem RCA from the source to the Sub, then XLR-to-XLR from the Sub to the Monitors. You want a standard Male-XLR to Female -XLR.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  10. Kain

    Kain
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    Super thanks for all the replies!

    Will I gain anything (be it sound quality and/or lower noise/hiss) by adding this in the chain?

    Emotiva
     
  11. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Yes, you will gain a US$900 Pre-Amp which you will then use with a £500 speaker system. Seems a bit out of proportion. (£570 at current exchange rates, plus international shipping costs and import duty.)

    If you later add a Power Amp, then you will have a US$1800 Pre-Amp/Amp for speakers you can no longer use?

    The computer acts as a reasonable pre-amp for the Monitor/Sub system, If you feel you need a Pre-Amp there are much cheaper ways to do it.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  12. mojogoes

    mojogoes
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    The room / response will have the last say in to what is redeemed as seamless.
     
  13. Kain

    Kain
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    Well I went ahead and placed my order for 2 x LSR305 + 1 x LSR310S for my new PC audio setup. They will be replacing my current Corsair SP2500 speakers. Hopefully it will be positive improvement in sound quality and maximum SPL.

    Quick question! Since I am using the matching subwoofer, there would be no real gain (other than higher SPL) by getting the LSR308 over the LSR305?

    Lastly, is it "safe" to leave on the monitors and subwoofer on all the time? Will it cause extra wear and tear if I do?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  14. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    'Quick question! Since I am using the matching subwoofer, there would be no real gain (other than higher SPL) by getting the LSR308 over the LSR305?'

    No. From a review I've seen, the LSR308 is generally regarded as an inferior speaker to the LSR305 despite higher SPL's and more bass extension. Because you're using a sub, the superior bass extension of the LSR308 would be pretty much pointless anyway and the pair of LSR305's should give plenty of volume, especially when the sub relieves them of deep bass duties.

    'Lastly, is it "safe" to leave on the monitors and subwoofer on all the time? Will it cause extra wear and tear if I do?'

    It would be safer to turn them both off when not in use.

    I had an external digital power supply (power brick) blow on me last week - noise and smoke but it didn't catch fire, fortunately. The device it powered was turned off probably 99.5% of the time but the power brick had mains power connected around 5% of the time. It blew when the mains was connected but the device was off so it seems that it's not safe to leave mains electricity connected to external power supplies when the equipment isn't in use.

    Usually, when equipment has internal power supplies, mains power doesn't get as far as the power supply when mains is connected and the equipment switched off so its normally safe to leave in that state. However, if the equipment doesn't have a power on/off switch, I'd isolate the equipment from mains electricity when not in use.

    Don't know about the 'wear-and-tear' aspects though. Probably depends on how often it will be switched on/off each day because powering up stresses electronics a little as does leaving power on all the time.

    Should be a rather tasty setup. IME, you'd need to spend well over double on a traditional hifi system to rival that sort of audio quality. Enjoy.
     
  15. Kain

    Kain
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    Thanks.

    Two more questions...

    1. Will I have to make sure the tweeter of the LSR305 is at ear-height or at least close to ear-height? I've read that these monitors have a very narrow vertical dispersion.

    2. Will there be any issues by having a software-based volume control for the LSR305 + LSR310S combo? I'm talking about Window's own volume control that I can increase and decrease with my keyboard. Would pumping up the Windows-based volume control to max send an "overpowered" signal to the monitors and subwoofer thus causing distortion or will it be fine?
     
  16. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    '1. Will I have to make sure the tweeter of the LSR305 is at ear-height or at least close to ear-height? I've read that these monitors have a very narrow vertical dispersion.'

    Whilst that's usually a good idea, I doubt it's too critical. Yes, horn loaded tweeters tend to 'beam' sound more than non-horn loaded tweeters but as long as the speaker is more or less facing the listener, that should be OK (i.e. if you can't get the speaker up to ear height, just angle/tilt it so it points roughly at you. Some folk deliberately don't point their speakers directly at themselves because they prefer the sound that way.

    '2. Will there be any issues by having a software-based volume control for the LSR305 + LSR310S combo? I'm talking about Window's own volume control that I can increase and decrease with my keyboard. Would pumping up the Windows-based volume control to max send an "overpowered" signal to the monitors and subwoofer thus causing distortion or will it be fine?'

    As far as volume control goes, try it out and see. There can be theoretical issues with loss of audio quality when using software-based volume controls, especially at low volumes but I've never been troubled by them with a similar setup to your own. Suggest you set the volume control(s) on the speakers/sub not too high so that the max volume you generally listen at is achieved with the Windows software volume control set close to it's max. That should minimise any digital signal bit loss, afaik. If you hear audible distortion when doing this, back off the Windows volume control(s) and increase the speakers volume controls a little to compensate.

    In terms of matching line output signal levels to line input signal levels, it's a bit of a lottery though pro-based gear such as your active speakers often require slightly more input level for full output so I doubt it'll be an issue.

    One last point: Audio quality from in-built PC sound cards is variable; sometimes good, sometimes poor. The speakers are revealing and will show up any deficiencies in a sound card, including computer generated noise. External sound cards, i.e. external DAC's don't tend to pick up computer generated noise and often have better audio quality too. Do consider one (even some £30 DAC's sound very good indeed) although try out your current setup first as you may be one of the lucky ones.

    If you search these problems, you should find many posts about troublesome internal sound cards (incl. expensive ones) where audio problems have been sorted by reverting to a cheap external DAC.
     
  17. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I have a stereo on my computer (Receiver+Speakers). I generally set the volume on the Stereo at 11 o'clock, and that gives me a pretty fair range for volume using just Windows and the Player Amp for music and video.

    Occasionally, I will come across an especially loud video, in which case I turn down the Receiver to about 9 o'clock. Though I could accomplish the same thing by turning down Window Sound Card Master Volume.

    I think what you should do is to set Windows Volume at about 80% to 90%, though 100% would be fine, but I personally think it best to have a bit of reserve range on Windows Master Volume.

    Then open a video or audio player app and set the volume there at about 60%. That sort of gives you a baseline for most listening.

    Then with these volumes set as indicated, bring the Volume Controls on the Speaker up until they are at a volume that you find consistent with your typical listening levels. In your case, I'm assuming that will be between 50% and about 80%.

    Now, while music is playing, turn the Player App volume up to full, and see if that is about how loud you would want to play, when playing loud.

    Generally, you set Windows to near 100%, then you set the Player to about 50%, then you bring the speaker volume up to a comfortably loud common listening level. That should give you enough range on the Player App to cover most music variations, and cover a reasonably range of volumes that you might play at.

    The Speakers are generally - Set-It & Forget-It - most of the variations in volume will come from the Player, and occasionally from Windows.

    Just a thought.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  18. Kain

    Kain
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