JBL Synthesis Owner's Thread

mb3195

Distinguished Member
I did a lot more testing today as the sound just wasn't sitting right with me and I felt I could get it better, which I did. The last thing I did was to raise the centre by approx. 20 cm helped a lot. And now at least all woofers are at about the same height. I also tried LCR beneath my screen at this higher height which sounded very nice. It was a fuller and more cohesive sound but many sounds, especially isolated sounds and isolated bits of dialogue drew attention to themselves. A good example is the scene in Blade Runner 2049 in which the pleasure model A.I talks out of shot once or twice and is also heard from the far left. With the left speaker beside my screen, the dialogue placement is better than bottom left, beneath the screen. Another good example is the Gallimimus flocking scene in Jurassic Park. Again, the rush of dinosaurs squealing and rush of heavy footsteps occupies the width of the screen and thus worked better with the image for me with L and R beside the screen.

I realised that I still like CIH, and found myself preferring it over CIW today. Utilising CIH allowed me to keep the centre raised. 16:9 and 1.85:1 content incurs too much neck strain and a poor viewing angle at the full width of my screen. But using CIH worked a charm. The extra brightness gained along with the better sharpness and overall better image quality, especially for 4K upscaled HD content (Jurassic Park 3D in this instance), was astonishing. It really drew my eyes to how - I read this - the image at max zoom suffers. My like for CIH also brings getting an A lens back into the mix as I really saw how the extra brightness would help scope content here.

The first thing I did today was actually put LCR up in vertical orientation as they would be behind an AT screen. I let content run as normal on my screen behind. It was great to hear them like this, they sounded perfect. After this I decided to put my screen in front of L and R to see if my thoughts about an AT screen would change. It was quite a transformative experience. The proper placement of the sound of rustling leaves in the opening sequence of Jurassic Park this time added a depth to the image and scene that was not there previously. I had never experienced this before. In some regards, I felt that there was not much difference to having the speakers as above, either side and centre below my screen. But as a whole, the improvement in sound and the on-screen action was obvious. Man of Steel's opening sequence of Krypton coming to its end was spectacular. It's a great example of the sound of action panning between L, C and R and the great musical score. Because of this, I think this scene really showcases when all 3 front speakers are set up well, especially optimally. At this stage in my tests I realised that I made the right move getting the largest budget 16:9 screen I could fit because as planned, it has allowed me to play with the image and speaker placement in a very beneficial way. For example, I was also able to get a far closer AT setup impression using my non-AT screen , despite the sound suffering from being blocked by the PVC. I had previously hung wrinkly bed sheets as taught as possible over my speakers. The better mock-up felt a lot more comfortable than before, although, I do still prefer the longer seating and viewing distance to the non-AT screen. That said, I've now get a clearer plan in mind, which is to see how I go enjoying a non-AT CIH setup. But I feel more inclined now to do this with an AT screen at some point after todays tests.

Finally, my best friend and a fellow AVF member sent me some snippets of new songs he is working on using his new interface and software. I had recently heard how good they were sounding on my PC monitor downstairs. But I was blown away when I first heard them through proper speakers. I have never heard sound so clear and of such high fidelity. I put that down to his musicianship and skill, his new hardware and software, and these glorious speakers.
Sounds like I should bring my 880 over to yours to try, making placement easier for you. If you liked it we could look at a swap of sorts if placement continues to be an issue.
 

fallinlight

Distinguished Member
Sounds like I should bring my 880 over to yours to try, making placement easier for you. If you liked it we could look at a swap of sorts if placement continues to be an issue.

I do appreciate the suggestion, Mark but I feel that I have resolved speaker placement as per my update above, buddy. Also, I'm not certain on when I will be able to have visitors again, sorry. That said, according to the specification online, the 880 would bring the centre of its high frequency tweeter 12.8 cm higher than my SAM, to my listening position, which should have a slight improvement in sound over my centre SAM. Or, I could use my screen as CIH + IMAX + CIW without having to have it too high, and have the 880 a bit lower. However, I don't think it would be worth it over sacrificing having a mis-matched centre to my L & R. Finally, again, as per my above conclusion from yesterday, my plans are to use the SAMs as they are and likely try them behind an AT screen. But if I do change my thinking on this, I will let you know.
 
If anyone knows of or sees any 3677 please can you give me a nudge as I fancy swapping my active JBLs for a set if I can find some in nice condition!

Thanks
 

fallinlight

Distinguished Member
Today, I decided to make the switch to an AT screen. I have my sights set on one that should be a good and suitable first AT screen for me. I've realised and accepted just how easy implementing an AT screen will be, really. I'm more confident in making it work now. The screen I have my eyes on is a 16:9, though I think I eventually want a 2.40 ratio screen.

@mb3195, @aliencinema,

Hope you are both well. At what height did/ do you both have the SAMs to your ears? In my tests, I mainly had my 1HF modules on top of the 2LF modules. I tried mine with the centre of the high frequency (not the ultra high fq horn above it) at ear height and it sounded fine, but I definitely am missing some of that sweet high end from the ultra high fq horn. Standing up a bit so that my ears are level with the ultra high fq horns brings in more high end detail and slightly more clarity in overall soundstage perhaps. Is it advised to have these speakers so that the centre of the high fq horn or the ultra high fq horn is at ear height?

I can imagine having each module side by side, instead of the woofer being lower, might help with any mid-range being muddied if the horns are placed at a higher level. For my AT setup, I plan to place my L and R on my left and right subwoofers. If I place the horns on top of the woofers, that places the centre of the high fq horn slightly above ear height. It sounded OK earlier today when I tested them like this, but again, I was more immersed and think I preferred the sound when I stood up a bit so that the the ultra high fq horn was at hear height instead. I will also try the modules side by side like you have them, Mark.

Kind thanks,

fallinlight
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Today, I decided to make the switch to an AT screen. I have my sights set on one that should be a good and suitable first AT screen for me. I've realised and accepted just how easy implementing an AT screen will be, really. I'm more confident in making it work now. The screen I have my eyes on is a 16:9, though I think I eventually want a 2.40 ratio screen.

@mb3195, @aliencinema,

Hope you are both well. At what height did/ do you both have the SAMs to your ears? In my tests, I mainly had my 1HF modules on top of the 2LF modules. I tried mine with the centre of the high frequency (not the ultra high fq horn above it) at ear height and it sounded fine, but I definitely am missing some of that sweet high end from the ultra high fq horn. Standing up a bit so that my ears are level with the ultra high fq horns brings in more high end detail and slightly more clarity in overall soundstage perhaps. Is it advised to have these speakers so that the centre of the high fq horn or the ultra high fq horn is at ear height?

I can imagine having each module side by side, instead of the woofer being lower, might help with any mid-range being muddied if the horns are placed at a higher level. For my AT setup, I plan to place my L and R on my left and right subwoofers. If I place the horns on top of the woofers, that places the centre of the high fq horn slightly above ear height. It sounded OK earlier today when I tested them like this, but again, I was more immersed and think I preferred the sound when I stood up a bit so that the the ultra high fq horn was at hear height instead. I will also try the modules side by side like you have them, Mark.

Kind thanks,

fallinlight
I run them side by side and exactly at ear height, they completely fill the whole wall this way.

Good decision going for an AT screen. 👍🏻
 

fallinlight

Distinguished Member
I run them side by side and exactly at ear height, they completely fill the whole wall this way.

Good decision going for an AT screen. 👍🏻

Thanks Mark! Yes, but what which part of the speaker is at ear height for you, bud?
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member

Lesmor

Distinguished Member
@fallinlight
hope you are feeling better
what height does the JBL manual suggest?

it gets confusing as I always go for tweeter at reclined ear height which for me is 900

but for the SCL-6 that I am considering JBL suggests the horn at the centre of the screen which for my new 16.9 screen would be 1380
that is also close to the Audio Advice room planner suggestion and is also the height of my rear surround tweeter

at the moment I am forced to have my centre underneath the screen close to the floor,something I have always frowned upon but it actually sounds pretty good
 

fallinlight

Distinguished Member
@fallinlight
hope you are feeling better
what height does the JBL manual suggest?

it gets confusing as I always go for tweeter at reclined ear height which for me is 900

but for the SCL-6 that I am considering JBL suggests the horn at the centre of the screen which for my new 16.9 screen would be 1380
that is also close to the Audio Advice room planner suggestion and is also the height of my rear surround tweeter

at the moment I am forced to have my centre underneath the screen close to the floor,something I have always frowned upon but it actually sounds pretty good

Thanks, Les.

I haven't got new seating yet, but the chair I am sitting on for tests is 44.5 cm high. My ears are approx. 110 cm from the floor when not reclined/ slouching.

It doesn't say in the manual from what I read. I think centre of high fq tweeter is best for these speakers. If I put them at ear height to the ultra high fq level, I might be missing too much of the lower fqs. As far as I know, a speaker should always ideally be with the centre of their tweeters at ear height.

In the past I have kept all speakers around me at the same height. Though, I might try raising my surrounds a ft or so this time. I used to have them very high when I was got into home cinema but was missing too much of the high fqs and detail for my liking.

at the moment I am forced to have my centre underneath the screen close to the floor,something I have always frowned upon but it actually sounds pretty good

It can do, yes. Did you have it at the correct height behind a screen before?
 

Lesmor

Distinguished Member
Thanks, Les.

I haven't got new seating yet, but the chair I am sitting on for tests is 44.5 cm high. My ears are approx. 110 cm from the floor when not reclined/ slouching.

It doesn't say in the manual from what I read. I think centre of high fq tweeter is best for these speakers. If I put them at ear height to the ultra high fq level, I might be missing too much of the lower fqs. As far as I know, a speaker should always ideally be with the centre of their tweeters at ear height.

In the past I have kept all speakers around me at the same height. Though, I might try raising my surrounds a ft or so this time. I used to have them very high when I was got into home cinema but was missing too much of the high fqs and detail for my liking.



It can do, yes. Did you have it at the correct height behind a screen before?
No this is the first AT screen I have bought so like you I am also experimenting with speaker placement
I was hoping to keep my L/R and just replace the centre speaker of course timber matching becomes a concern

my centre speaker used to be just below my old screen, the tweeter was around 720 not ideal but closer to ear height than it is now which is 420 up from the floor
 

fallinlight

Distinguished Member
No this is the first AT screen I have bought so like you I am also experimenting with speaker placement
I was hoping to keep my L/R and just replace the centre speaker of course timber matching becomes a concern

my centre speaker used to be just below my old screen, the tweeter was around 720 not ideal but closer to ear height than it is now which is 420 up from the floor

I see. Sorry, I forget why you can't have your LCR behind your screen?
 

Lesmor

Distinguished Member
I see. Sorry, I forget why you can't have your LCR behind your screen?
my Arendals are 400 deep and at 26.7kg very heavy so not practicable for mounting on a wall
I don't really want to build a deep baffle wall and lose room length so looking for a in-wall solution
 

DLxP

Distinguished Member
It doesn't say in the manual from what I read.
Hi mate. Just to note, the SAM manual says almost the same as @Lesmor said about the SCLs (page 4):

"they should be placed with the center of the speakers at about the same height on screen as the actors would be"

Note it refers to the centre of the speakers, not the HF or UHF drivers. Some say it's best to have a tweeter at ear height, others would say it's best for ear height to be at the acoustical axis of the speaker, which is typically the midpoint between the tweeter and woofers.

TBH, the question of whether to sit with ear height on-axis to the UHF or to the HF is fairly academic unless you're sitting ludicrously close to them. There's about 20cm difference between them, which over a normal seating distance would translate to a negligible angular difference. The dispersion characteristics of the two are:
  • HF horn dispersion: 80° H x 80° V
  • UHF horn dispersion: 60° H x 30° V
Look at the green frequency response of the speaker, measured +/- 10 degrees vertically and +/- 30 degrees horizontally:

1640261690266.png


As you can see, there's very little difference across the whole frequency band (which is superb). Above the xo for the UHF tweeter (9kHz) there is no meaningful difference.

So, within the audible range of the UHF tweeter, it doesn't matter whether you're sitting on-axis with that or the HF, provided you're not sitting over +/- 10 degrees vertically to it.

Conversely, you may lose a very, very slight amount from the HF tweeter if you sat on-axis to the UHF, because that HF tweeter would start to beam above 4.5kHz (speakers start beaming at a wavelength equal to the diameter of the radiating cone; the SAM's HF is 75mm, thus beaming starts= 4573Hz). But that beaming will be mitigated by the massive waveguide (hence the above dispersion characteristics).

So all that supports the view that sitting on-axis the HF might be marginally, but pretty much certainly imperceptibly, better.

If you want to test the difference and you have a UMIK + REW, you could run a sweep with a mic at the MLP placed at the UHF height, then placed at the HF height, then placed at the acoustical centre of the speaker, and then note the dB difference between the three. Make sure you have some AT screen material in front of the speaker when testing too, as those UHF frequencies would be attenuated by AT material. Odds on there being no meaningful measurable difference.
 

Owl40

Active Member
Yup the SCL 2,3 and 4 come with back boxes the others don’t. They do look like we’ll designed in-walls and seem to be the main choice in hi-end US cinemas over on AVS.

The new starke sound in wall looks interesting as well a large amt ribbon tweeter which should sound good. martin Logan in walls are worth a look too. I love AMT ribbon tweeters!
 

fallinlight

Distinguished Member
Hi mate. Just to note, the SAM manual says almost the same as @Lesmor said about the SCLs (page 4):

"they should be placed with the center of the speakers at about the same height on screen as the actors would be"

Very helpful, man, thanks! That makes logical sense, yes. I can have them high enough to match the on screen action well. But I can't have the centre of the high fq horn themselves exactly at ear height if I place them vertically like in my image below. I measured earlier and they would be approx. currently 10 - 15 cm higher than ear level once isolated from my subs/ on stands. That's the best I can do with them mounted vertically.

20211223_165638.jpg


Hi @Lesmor, have you considered shallower speakers like the SAMs? The deepest part of the array is the SAM1HF, which is 29 cm deep. That way, you would not need a baffle wall. You could just do what I will be doing and others have done: I intend to just put a frame around my subwoofers and speakers to attach the screen to, to begin with. And I guess, I will need a frame for acoustic treatment, too.
 

Lesmor

Distinguished Member
Very helpful, man, thanks! That makes logical sense, yes. I can have them high enough to match the on screen action well. But I can't have the centre of the high fq horn themselves exactly at ear height if I place them vertically like in my image below. I measured earlier and they would be approx. currently 10 - 15 cm higher than ear level once isolated from my subs/ on stands. That's the best I can do with them mounted vertically.

View attachment 1624091

Hi @Lesmor, have you considered shallower speakers like the SAMs? The deepest part of the array is the SAM1HF, which is 29 cm deep. That way, you would not need a baffle wall. You could just do what I will be doing and others have done: I intend to just put a frame around my subwoofers and speakers to attach the screen to, to begin with. And I guess, I will need a frame for acoustic treatment, too.
29cm is still pretty deep compared to a SCL-6 only needs 96 mm
AFAIK you would still need a baffle wall and apparently you need acoustic treatment (2" foam) behind the screen to counter reflections (comb filtering) from the back of the screen
 

fallinlight

Distinguished Member
29cm is still pretty deep compared to a SCL-6 only needs 96 mm
AFAIK you would still need a baffle wall and apparently you need acoustic treatment (2" foam) behind the screen to counter reflections (comb filtering) from the back of the screen

Hmm. I think 11 cm is a significant difference in anything home cinema. Either Seymour or DreamScreen told me that the speakers can go right up to the back of their screens/ that that is what some folks do. I know the Screen Excellence screen I intend to purchase has no minimum distance needed, although I still intend to have approx. 1" between my speakers and screen.

Why don't you go with a smaller screen to make up for the closer viewing distance of an AT screen with LCR behind it?
 

Lesmor

Distinguished Member
Hmm. I think 11 cm is a significant difference in anything home cinema. Either Seymour or DreamScreen told me that the speakers can go right up to the back of their screens/ that that is what some folks do. I know the Screen Excellence screen I intend to purchase has no minimum distance needed, although I still intend to have approx. 1" between my speakers and screen.

Why don't you go with a smaller screen to make up for the closer viewing distance of an AT screen with LCR behind it?
I have 35mm behind this new screen that will remain the same on a baffle wall

this screen is probably the best upgrade I have ever made the room looks like a proper cinema now so no way will I be going smaller

I notice a big difference to panning with the L/R at 60 deg which puts them outside the screen width so don't want to compromise that
 

DLxP

Distinguished Member
Very helpful, man, thanks! That makes logical sense, yes. I can have them high enough to match the on screen action well. But I can't have the centre of the high fq horn themselves exactly at ear height if I place them vertically like in my image below. I measured earlier and they would be approx. currently 10 - 15 cm higher than ear level once isolated from my subs/ on stands. That's the best I can do with them mounted vertically.

View attachment 1624091

Hi @Lesmor, have you considered shallower speakers like the SAMs? The deepest part of the array is the SAM1HF, which is 29 cm deep. That way, you would not need a baffle wall. You could just do what I will be doing and others have done: I intend to just put a frame around my subwoofers and speakers to attach the screen to, to begin with. And I guess, I will need a frame for acoustic treatment, too.
That looks great to me :smashin:
 

fallinlight

Distinguished Member
Note it refers to the centre of the speakers, not the HF or UHF drivers. Some say it's best to have a tweeter at ear height, others would say it's best for ear height to be at the acoustical axis of the speaker, which is typically the midpoint between the tweeter and woofers.

Ah, got it, thanks. Yeah, I think I favour the tweeter being a bit more directional/ at ear height myself. Hence, why I prefer my surrounds at ear height. Though, as I said earlier, I will be trying them a bit higher in due course to make them less directional.

So all that supports the view that sitting on-axis the HF might be marginally, but pretty much certainly imperceptibly, better.

Oh, I can definitely hear the difference with my ears level to the UF compared to level with the HF tweeter.

If you want to test the difference and you have a UMIK + REW, you could run a sweep with a mic at the MLP placed at the UHF height, then placed at the HF height, then placed at the acoustical centre of the speaker, and then note the dB difference between the three. Make sure you have some AT screen material in front of the speaker when testing too, as those UHF frequencies would be attenuated by AT material. Odds on there being no meaningful measurable difference.

Thanks, man. Might try that sometime. But yes, I can definitely hear a difference as I described above.

Thanks again!
 

fallinlight

Distinguished Member
I have 35mm behind this new screen that will remain the same on a baffle wall

this screen is probably the best upgrade I have ever made the room looks like a proper cinema now so no way will I be going smaller

I notice a big difference to panning with the L/R at 60 deg which puts them outside the screen width so don't want to compromise that

OK. I would personally sacrifice a larger image to improve the sonic experience and thus, overall cinema experience.

I notice a big difference to panning with the L/R at 60 deg which puts them outside the screen width so don't want to compromise that

Sorry, do you mean that you like the wider soundstage L and R gives you behind the larger screen? It's interesting, I now find myself preferring the fuller and more cohesive sound of LCR as they would be placed behind a (smaller) AT screen. Also, stereo music is less distracting and disjointed between L and R. I might be out of the golden triangle a bit though/ what is ideal with my L and R so far apart with my non-AT 120" screen.

That looks great to me :smashin:

Thanks man! Getting there slowly.
 

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