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JBL LSR4328 Speakers

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JBL LSR4328 Speakers

PostThu Jun 24, 2010 6:44 pm

I am fairly new to Hauptwerk and have been using it for about 6 months. I have been using a pair of KEF XQ1 bookshelf speakers with a sub taking the bottom octaves (bass management). They were used with a Marantz AV8003 high end receiver with power to spare. While these speakers have been wonderful for normal use, I was constantly struck by how hard the sound was at higher volume levels. When comparing the sound to a good pair of headphones, it was clear that it was the system.

Ultimately I determined that the issue was that these speakers were not designed to be listened to 3 feet away. Since another set-up was not possible, I came to the conclusion that I needed to purchase near field monitors which are designed for close listening applications. Near field monitors are also designed for high volume, low distortion sound and generally are very analytical since they are used for sound mixing. Near field monitors are the type of speakers used in studios for recording sessions and mixing.

After quite a bit of research I came across the JBL LSR4328 monitors.


I chose them for the following reasons:

1) They received excellent reviews from many different magazines.
2) They are self-powered (bi-amplified), accept digital inputs, and have a volume control. This would allow for a direct connection to my MAC's digital out, with no need for further equipment. (I had to add an optical to coaxial digital converter: $16 on Amazon)
3) They accept up to 24bit 96kHz inputs.
4) The system includes it own microphone and calibration system to deal with room EQ anomalies and time delays between speakers.
5) The system connects via USB to the computer. A software control panel gives you further control over the speakers, beyond the buttons that are there. This includes the ability to create different EQ presets, which I find helpful when using different sample sets.
6) The speakers link to each other via CAT5 cable, so the power button, volume and other buttons effect the other speakers. Plus any changes on the software control panel effects each speaker individually and/or the entire system.
7) The system can link up to 8 speakers and two subs for complex surround mixing. This allows for each speaker to calibrated both EQ and distance. This could be used to redirect various divisions to other speakers and of course surround sound sample sets. The advantage is that all are linked and calibrated together!

Today I installed the speakers and had them literally up and running in 30 min, including calibration and software install. I immediately found the sound to be easier to listen to at "normal" organ volume levels. And yet the sound did not distort like the KEF's had. I noticed a great deal of detail in the sound with many more layers, and less of the crushing together.

I immediately took advantage of the EQ. The difference in tonal balance between the Bosch-Schnitger and the Salisbury organs is quite extreme. I was able to increase the bass and lower the trebles slightly on the Schnitger, and raise the treble slightly on the Salisbury. I saved the custom setting to different presets for recall.

When the speakers are aimed directly at your ears, and the distance is close to a perfect triangle, the imaging wraps around quite well. I also found that I could listen a slightly lower volume levels and not loose detail. The speakers really place a magnifying glass on the sound.

As the budge allows I intend to purchase the matching 12" sub. But for now the bi-amplified monitors, with two 8" woofers powered by 150W of power are doing great on their own. (The tweeters receive 70W).

The matching sub can be used as a separate channel, or take the lower octaves of the all the monitors through bass management. The monitors and subs connect via coaxial cables in a daisy chain system, much like the Classic MIDI keyboards.

I practiced for several hours today, and liked them more and more over time. Ear fatigue was not the issue it had been in the past. I found myself forgetting about the speakers all together and just enjoying the music making - which is the ultimate measure right?

A stereo pair with calibration system - a "pack" - runs $1,439 online ($1,199 refurbished) at Sweetwater.
Last edited by smetzger on Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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David Pinnegar


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Re: JBL LSR4328 Speakers

PostFri Jun 25, 2010 4:55 pm

smetzger wrote:A stereo pair with calibration system - a "pack" - runs $1,439 online ($1,199 refurbished) at Sweetwater.


For that money, a speaker has to be pretty good!

For near-field use perhaps other solutions might present themselves. Many users of Hauptwerk don't always have higher budgets to play with. A flat-ish response with just enough peak in upper treble add an edge of excitement, possibly an open baffle to create space, perhaps a vertical array to provide multiple channel facilities. We're looking at reproduction speakers here rather than performance speakers . . . a wholly easier ball-game. If we go for seperate channels, perhaps we don't need a response above 8k or so, except on reeds . . . ? . . . . but for a stereo pair we'll need the full spectrum. EOCS member Percy Vickery always used to say that if a pair of speakers reproduced the Albert Hall organ in his living room adequately to his satisfaction then those speakers would do fine for his organ.

Some time ago I sent out some sample driver units for use with a sub and results probably depended for success on home carpentry skills . . . I think that some people were planning on speakers within the console - never a formula for a trompe d'oreilles - but never had much feedback. What were their disadvantages? How might they be improved? Such a solution is built on drivers at less than £25 each retail, and results in a solution significantly less pricey than posh label products . . . One might even get them cheaper!

I'm aware of a medic who is coming home from a tour of 3rd world volunteer duty and he rehtorically asks "Can a good Hauptwerk setup be affordable or is it really only for top-end?"

Best wishes

David P
David Pinnegar, B.Sc., A.R.C.S.
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Re: JBL LSR4328 Speakers

PostSat Jun 26, 2010 1:41 am

The JBLs recommended by smetzger seem to have much to offer. Whenever I want a fair and balanced review of music gear, I refer to Sound On Sound, so here's their take:

I have long been a fan of using near-field monitors for any kind of critical listening, which certainly includes virtual organs. The HR824 has been a tried and true friend. It may be that the JBLs are a fitting alternative.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of speakers and room treatment. A good standard of comparison is the sound you can get with a fine set of headphones.

Joe Hardy



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Re: JBL LSR4328 Speakers

PostWed Sep 08, 2010 5:50 pm

New to Hauptwerk. I have been reading a lot on speakers and subwoofers, but have seen only a couple of specific recommendations. I have 5 Crown D75A amps and the Echo audiofire 8 channel midi/audio interface. What other types of non powered speakers are others using? This is for an installation that will be in a 20 by 40 foot space with 7 foot ceiling.We are in the U.S.

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