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  1. #1
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    Help choose (Klipsch, JBL)

    Hello, new poster here. I bet this kind of thread comes up all the time, I'm sorry for that.

    Long story short, pretty small budget, don't want to spend more than $1000 on a pair of mains and a sub. Now I work at BestBuy so I can get a discount on some Klipsch and JBL stuff. The basic rundown is:

    Klipsch Synergy F-3 floorstanders, 2-way, dual-8", 1" tweeter, 2khz crossover, 150wrms, 600peak. range 35hz-23khz +-3db
    bi-wire capable, I can get these discounted for $470/pair.

    And then the best JBL's there are the Northridge E80's. The thing that sounds good about these is they are 3-way; dual-6", 4" mid, with 3/4tweeter, 300hz, 4khz crossovers 100W rms, 400w peak. JBL's website says 38hz-20khz +-3dB. They are also bi-wire capable
    These I can get for $280/pair.

    I would be getting the accompanying Klipsch or JBL 12" sub.

    Foremost I'm concerned with playing music over these; surrounds and a center would come later.
    But the listening environment in the store is crap, and all there is to test out are a few songs by the likes of Usher or some tripe. I listen to a bit of electronic music (not dance-floor oriented) and other things having detailed field-recording/sampling arrangements, so I'd like A) a flat and broad response (when combined with the sub) and B) clarity. Well, okay, of course, everybody wants that, no? Those are the types of music where I care most what my speakers do to the sound, but I should mention I also listen to a bit of classical and chamber music, rock bands, and hip-hop.

    These are my thoughts. The Klipsch are of course big and have a higher power rating. But the JBL's are 3-way speakers, so wouldn't they be clearer, less distortion? And I know, or have been told, that a higher wattage speaker does not equal better.

    Well thanks if you've read through this; now what do you say I should do? Are there better options for around the same price?

  2. #2
    Audio Video Guy point_and_shoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teledynepost
    Hello, new poster here. I bet this kind of thread comes up all the time, I'm sorry for that.

    Long story short, pretty small budget, don't want to spend more than $1000 on a pair of mains and a sub. Now I work at BestBuy so I can get a discount on some Klipsch and JBL stuff. The basic rundown is:

    Klipsch Synergy F-3 floorstanders, 2-way, dual-8", 1" tweeter, 2khz crossover, 150wrms, 600peak. range 35hz-23khz +-3db
    bi-wire capable, I can get these discounted for $470/pair.

    And then the best JBL's there are the Northridge E80's. The thing that sounds good about these is they are 3-way; dual-6", 4" mid, with 3/4tweeter, 300hz, 4khz crossovers 100W rms, 400w peak. JBL's website says 38hz-20khz +-3dB. They are also bi-wire capable
    These I can get for $280/pair.

    I would be getting the accompanying Klipsch or JBL 12" sub.

    Foremost I'm concerned with playing music over these; surrounds and a center would come later.
    But the listening environment in the store is crap, and all there is to test out are a few songs by the likes of Usher or some tripe. I listen to a bit of electronic music (not dance-floor oriented) and other things having detailed field-recording/sampling arrangements, so I'd like A) a flat and broad response (when combined with the sub) and B) clarity. Well, okay, of course, everybody wants that, no? Those are the types of music where I care most what my speakers do to the sound, but I should mention I also listen to a bit of classical and chamber music, rock bands, and hip-hop.

    These are my thoughts. The Klipsch are of course big and have a higher power rating. But the JBL's are 3-way speakers, so wouldn't they be clearer, less distortion? And I know, or have been told, that a higher wattage speaker does not equal better.

    Well thanks if you've read through this; now what do you say I should do? Are there better options for around the same price?
    For the kind of money you are looking to spend I think I would go with an internet direct to consumer speaker such as: Axiom, Ascend, Aperion, Athenas, SVS, HSU, etc. I think you would get alot more "bang for the buck" (you can't put it on your employee best buy card though ) Also, don't put too much stock in the advertised specs. I would listen, listen, listen. Try to always use the same source material too if at all possible. That way it will be close to apples/apples.
    My HT Pictures The Moment of Truth......Digital Phase.

  3. #3
    Dustin Broke is hot!!! SpankingVanillaice's Avatar
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    Wink

    If I were you I would pick JBL since JBL's are known for making great professional studio monitors and speakers. Meaning very clear and precise sounds. But if you really want the greatest JBL speakers then get the JBL Studio L Series they sound sooo good and clear and realistic sounds and they are the best speakers for the price. Go listen to them they will shock you on how realistic they sound.




    JBL Studio L Series

  4. #4
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    This coming from the guy who uses 10 watt computer speakers exclusively.

    Athena will destroy JBL, no question.

    So will all the other brands mentioned, but as point/shoot said you can't get them at Best Buy.

  5. #5
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    What are the efficiencies of the speakers? Klipsch's are known for their efficiency. Depending on the power of your receiver you may want to go with a more efficient speaker. A speaker with 3bd more efficiency would require half the power for the same loudness. Also Klipsch has an entire line of professional speakers as well and when it comes down to sound reinforcement and horns I'd trust Paul Klipsch's/Klipsch Inc. over JBL any day.

    Many of the best speakers you'll hear will be 2-way designs. A three-way is more difficult and expensive to design. At this price point I doubt much engineering or quality parts went into their manufacturing. Compromises may result in coloration and power-handling issues. I've had a pair of Klipsch Kg4's since approximately 1986 and wouldn't trade them for anything. I also have Legacys, Boston Acoustics, Genesis, Blue Room Minipods and several others. I find Klipsch' s to be one of the best "Bangs for the Buck" in today's mid-fi market.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    I would look for an old Klipsch Horn if you can place them in the corner and have a 14ft horn loaded 12" to rock the place
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  7. #7
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    This is one of those really tough posts to respond to and up till now I've avoided the urge. Personally I think your choices are poor and I wouldn't spend my money on any of them. That's tough to tell someone who can get a discount on those brands, but it's how I feel. I'm a reasonably decent fan of Klipsch but that Synergy series stuff falls way short in my opinion For about the same amount of cash I saw a used pair of Fortes on Audiogon-good shape and 500 bucks. Much better speaker, imo, than anything you have listed.

    I've never been a fan of anything JBL puts out. I'm sure they had some decent speakers back in the day but the truth is I've never heard them. That's also a function of never having really looked for them so my opinion is highly jaded.

    What I feel is undeniable is that for under a grand (your upper limit), you can do remarkably better buying something on Audiogon and the Fortes are just a start. I saw a pair of PSB Gold (black and in great shape) and a pair of Silvers(newer and in great shape) that are going to best the JBL's and Klipsch Synergy easily.

    Whatever road you travel I hope you get something you will like as long as I've enjoyed my first set of "real" speakers. I'm coming up on 13 years and I still listen to them almost everyday.

    Regards,
    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  8. #8
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    for efficiency the klipsch are listed at 97db, jbl's at 91db.

    there are actually some athenas there, I will look at those. But BestBuy seems to carry these exclusive cheaper lines (I think they are the only ones that carry the Synergy). I think they are a bit gimmicky. I admit I was thinking it could be a good deal due to the discount being almost half normal price. Normally the Klipsch are 870/pair.

  9. #9
    Dustin Broke is hot!!! SpankingVanillaice's Avatar
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    I can say that the Athenas sounded close to the Alesis Point 7 Monitors I use to have but I sold them. There were two versions of Alesis Point 7's one had the same tweeters as the Athenas's did and one had a normal silk dome tweeter. The one that had the same tweeter really did sound like the Athenas BUT the Point 7's had more powerful highs and it was kinda harsh too and the tweeters were alot bigger than the Athenas. These monitors I had before did have lots of high mid sound and good clean punchy bass.This Athena model that I am talking about is the Athena Audition Series Speakers AS-BS-1

  10. #10
    Forum Regular royphil345's Avatar
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    With those two to choose from, I'd go with the JBL. The Klipsch Synergy towers (although probably my 2nd choice BB speaker) have a pretty audible hole in the mid-range to my ear that I think would quickly get tiresome. The current line of JBLs sound pretty good to me. Not a huge fan of the larger Athena towers either. Seem to lack a little in the mids. Tweeter is nothing to write home about. Was actually thinking of buying a pair thinking they would sound similar to my friend's PSB 800s (dual 8" and a silk dome)... Just no comparison, the PSBs are a little weak in the mids also (being a larger 2-way), but the highs from the old PSBs are just so much smoother and airier, more "alive" sounding... Of course... I did my listening at Best Buy through all those electronics and skinny wires... Could be I passed up a good thing. Lotta' people seem crazy about the Athenas.

  11. #11
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    I personally wouldn't buy anything BestBuy sells.....now if your BestBuy has that Magnolia section where they sell Def tech, vienna, martin logans and that type of stuff ....LOOK INTO THAT!
    Denon AVR-3805 (PreAmp)
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    Sony KDS-R50XBR1 50" LCD

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by beta5alphamu
    I personally wouldn't buy anything BestBuy sells.....now if your BestBuy has that Magnolia section where they sell Def tech, vienna, martin logans and that type of stuff ....LOOK INTO THAT!
    I wish. I think you're right though.

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