JBL HDI-1200P Subwoofer Review: Good Performance At A Premium Price?

ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Warlord
@ryanosaur Let's agree to disagree. It doesn't even hit 20hz - it has no right to call itself a home theater subwoofer, regardless of the price. Its high cost makes it even worse to swallow.
As for its looks vs. price:
Here's the image of ULS15MK2 in optional Rosewood veneer (1/3 price of JBL), and James also measured it (except for a slight difference in distortion numbers, HSU even or beats JBL in every range)


And if the HSU finish doesn't cut it and low distortion is a big deal, well, there are STILL cheaper Rythmic subs finished by Salk in any premium veneer.
If you've read this thread and grokked what I've written above, I don't think you would have posted this. You aren't paying attention.
I do agree.
I just don't agree specifically with what you wrote above, to which I replied. ;)

While I do think and KNOW that there are better Subs out there, that can be attractive to the beholder and less expensive AND perform better, that market is clearly not what JBL Synthesis is after.

I do find the Hsu attractive, though I would not choose to buy it for a couple reasons. Conversely, I am quite fond of my Outlaws and think PSA could do much better for themselves if they dropped the Duratex shtick.

Moreover, I agree that if you sent Jim a sample of that Gray Oak that the HDI line offers and asked him to build you kick @$$ subs to match, he would, and the consumer would come out far ahead!

But that's not what this is about. We do actually agree. And Shady gets it too.
For comparison. look no further than the recent review of the Arendal Sub. It had a much higher value rating compared to what this review received.
If you don't see it, then you don't see it.

1633313543553.png


:cool:
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
If you've read this thread and grokked what I've written above, I don't think you would have posted this. You aren't paying attention.
I do agree.
I just don't agree specifically with what you wrote above, to which I replied. ;)

While I do think and KNOW that there are better Subs out there, that can be attractive to the beholder and less expensive AND perform better, that market is clearly not what JBL Synthesis is after.

I do find the Hsu attractive, though I would not choose to buy it for a couple reasons. Conversely, I am quite fond of my Outlaws and think PSA could do much better for themselves if they dropped the Duratex shtick.

Moreover, I agree that if you sent Jim a sample of that Gray Oak that the HDI line offers and asked him to build you kick @$$ subs to match, he would, and the consumer would come out far ahead!

But that's not what this is about. We do actually agree. And Shady gets it too.
For comparison. look no further than the recent review of the Arendal Sub. It had a much higher value rating compared to what this review received.
If you don't see it, then you don't see it.

View attachment 50614

:cool:
I'll admit I didn't read the entire thread and I could be wrong here(that happen once or twice in my life, unlike my wife's)
I might give it full read tomorrow :)
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
Something else to keep in mind is that $3k is their MSRP, but these are sold by dealers who have room to negotiate the price. A lot of folks who buy this will not be paying the full MSRP for them.
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Spartan
Something else to keep in mind is that $3k is their MSRP, but these are sold by dealers who have room to negotiate the price. A lot of folks who buy this will not be paying the full MSRP for them.
A lot of subs sold by dealers are sold this way. Good point Shady I forgot about that
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
You can't get worthwhile deep bass out of a small enclosure period. JBL was wise not to try.
I absolutely agree with that. JBL have correctly gone for bass quality over extension.

However the fact remains that for movies people want the visceral impact it seems. For most musical sources, unless you are a pipe organ enthusiast, which I am, the last half octave is discretionary.

It is true that many main speakers, can go as deep as those subs. However that still leaves out the LFE output, unless you have active speakers and can mix it in.

The fact remains that by and large subs are big ugly cuboid boxes and not conducive to domestic harmony, so of course there is sales resistance, especially for multiple large awkward boxes, which look dreadful in most rooms. I have been on notice for some time to get rid of my two sub boxes in our family room. I have a plan and hope to take care of it shortly.

Even in my theater there is absolutely no room to place any decent commercial subs. Fortunately my main speakers, can easily rattle your internal organs and the furniture, with little power and without the use of sub drivers.

I have been thinking about all this of late.

Several things are clear to me about reproducing the last octave or two.

I am absolutely certain the TLs properly designed produce a far better quality bass, than any other type of design, at the same time requiring far less power to shake the rafters.

TL subs do not have to be boxy. They are large, but can easily be designed with a slim profile. This is important, as even in my large theater, there would be no room to place ANY sub currently on the market that reproduces the last octave without ruining the space architecturally and creating a dangerous hazard.

However it would be possible to design very slim TL subs, that would fit along a wall, or even behind a couch. To really achieve the best architectural results, then ultra slim drivers would need to be produced with novel motor systems. I have been doodling with this.

I continue to be enthused about my in wall sub in our large great room. That uses a 10" driver, but fills that large space. Not only that, but although the driver is the same sensitivity as the others, over the band it operates, it has to have power reduced significantly compared to the other speakers, so as not to over power them.

All this has convinced me that sub design needs a totally new approach. These subs with 1000 watt amps and more are just not the way to go. Brute force in any engineering design, is usually the wrong approach, and elegance will best it every time. The last thing any of the currently available subs are is elegant, in any design parameter. We must do better.

By the way, regular streamed broadcast form "Baby", the huge Wanamaker organ in the Macy's store in Philadelphia. They have been given by the long time Grand Court Organist, Peter Richard Conte. This instrument has just turned 110 years, since being moved from California in 13 rail cars 110 years ago, by John Wanamaker. The organ has increased two and half times over the years, and now is 7 stories high and has over 28,000 pipes and six key boards, and a percussion section.
I should start a thread on "Baby".





At least in this room, this instrument vibrates your chair and internal organs even when playing the quite passages, when the large bass stops are pulled.

The videos that are dark, will play if you click on "play on YouTube".
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
I absolutely agree with that. JBL have correctly gone for bass quality over extension.

However the fact remains that for movies people want the visceral impact it seems. For most musical sources, unless you are a pipe organ enthusiast, which I am, the last half octave is discretionary.

It is true that many main speakers, can go as deep as those subs. However that still leaves out the LFE output, unless you have active speakers and can mix it in.

The fact remains that by and large subs are big ugly cuboid boxes and not conducive to domestic harmony, so of course there is sales resistance, especially for multiple large awkward boxes, which look dreadful in most rooms. I have been on notice for some time to get rid of my two sub boxes in our family room. I have a plan and hope to take care of it shortly.

Even in my theater there is absolutely no room to place any decent commercial subs. Fortunately my main speakers, can easily rattle your internal organs and the furniture, with little power and without the use of sub drivers.

I have been thinking about all this of late.

Several things are clear to me about reproducing the last octave or two.

I am absolutely certain the TLs properly designed produce a far better quality bass, than any other type of design, at the same time requiring far less power to shake the rafters.

TL subs do not have to be boxy. They are large, but can easily be designed with a slim profile. This is important, as even in my large theater, there would be no room to place ANY sub currently on the market that reproduces the last octave without ruining the space architecturally and creating a dangerous hazard.

However it would be possible to design very slim TL subs, that would fit along a wall, or even behind a couch. To really achieve the best architectural results, then ultra slim drivers would need to be produced with novel motor systems. I have been doodling with this.

I continue to be enthused about my in wall sub in our large great room. That uses a 10" driver, but fills that large space. Not only that, but although the driver is the same sensitivity as the others, over the band it operates, it has to have power reduced significantly compared to the other speakers, so as not to over power them.

All this has convinced me that sub design needs a totally new approach. These subs with 1000 watt amps and more are just not the way to go. Brute force in any engineering design, is usually the wrong approach, and elegance will best it every time. The last thing any of the currently available subs are is elegant, in any design parameter. We must do better.

<snip>
Leon Speakers has been using the approach of designing slim cabinets, specializing in low profile side mounts and sound bars and offer slim subs (not TL) but the specs list them as only going down to 30Hz (in-wall) and 28Hz (slim build). Paradigm also sells in-walls but seem reluctant to post full specs. They only state the the low freq. extension is 19Hz-17Hz, but lack of proper specs seems rather telling. JL Audio seem to have a more interesting design approach, but even those tall Fathom subs are only rated down to 25Hz -3dB.

I imagine that any slim sub will face challenges due to limited excursion, especially since long excursion seems to be the buzz word with subs. I think you have your work cut out for you. :) We've seen what small drivers can do in the SVS 3000 Mirco and KEF Kube, which seems to imply that larger diameter drivers with shallow baskets would be the way to go. How deep is the in-wall in your great room? Do you think that there is a TL design that would work with a relatively shallow cabinet? I would assume that a TL design would require some minimum depth for the physics to still work. What about a driver array using multiple smaller subs to increase surface area but reduce depth, or would that just create a bloody mess?
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
Mabey there trying to come up with some massive compression driver that will go way low in a little box . ;-)
No, you can't get an efficient infrasonic LF response from a little box, period. You will only get efficient subwoofer response below 20 Hz with a ported design.
 
Mark E. Long

Mark E. Long

Audioholic General
No, you can't get an efficient infrasonic LF response from a little box, period. You will only get efficient subwoofer response below 20 Hz with a ported design.
No, you can't get an efficient infrasonic LF response from a little box, period. You will only get efficient subwoofer response below 20 Hz with a ported design.
Iam quite aware of that my comment was a ment in jest .
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
Leon Speakers has been using the approach of designing slim cabinets, specializing in low profile side mounts and sound bars and offer slim subs (not TL) but the specs list them as only going down to 30Hz (in-wall) and 28Hz (slim build). Paradigm also sells in-walls but seem reluctant to post full specs. They only state the the low freq. extension is 19Hz-17Hz, but lack of proper specs seems rather telling. JL Audio seem to have a more interesting design approach, but even those tall Fathom subs are only rated down to 25Hz -3dB.

I imagine that any slim sub will face challenges due to limited excursion, especially since long excursion seems to be the buzz word with subs. I think you have your work cut out for you. :) We've seen what small drivers can do in the SVS 3000 Mirco and KEF Kube, which seems to imply that larger diameter drivers with shallow baskets would be the way to go. How deep is the in-wall in your great room? Do you think that there is a TL design that would work with a relatively shallow cabinet? I would assume that a TL design would require some minimum depth for the physics to still work. What about a driver array using multiple smaller subs to increase surface area but reduce depth, or would that just create a bloody mess?
Here is the response of slim TL sub using the 10" Dayton sub driver.



This is the in room response of the three front speakers and sub, at all seating positions and the far side of the dinning room table. The green line is taken over the Kitchen cook top.



This is the TL





It is 11" deep, 5' long and 25" high.

This is the room.





Note there is an open stairway.



That one driver fills the space very evenly, due to what organ builders refer to the encircling phenomenon of pipes.

The sub is very efficient and power is reduced 5 db below the other speakers or it overpowers them.

Cone excursion is not a problem as the pressure in the pipe at the driver is high and pipes control the driver like a vice. In my studio I use a total of four 10" SEAS Excel drivers in the right and left bass TLS. I have never bottomed the drivers despite vibrating the room, even at modest volume.

The best thing of all is that the bass quality is much higher than from a standard ported or sealed sub. It is incredibly realistic. Even that lone 10" driver can allow an organ to fill that space with authority.

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that TL subs, produce the most realistic and natural bass of any other design.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
Here is the response of slim TL sub using the 10" Dayton sub driver....
Thank you for the graphs and photos. Does the depth of the box factor heavily in the calculations or is it primarily the length of the TL that yields the desired results? I was wondering if it would be practical to try and design an enclosure less than 11" deep or does that lead to a width and height that would not be practical? Sorry, but I haven't had the opportunity to play with the TL design software yet.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
Thank you for the graphs and photos. Does the depth of the box factor heavily in the calculations or is it primarily the length of the TL that yields the desired results? I was wondering if it would be practical to try and design an enclosure less than 11" deep or does that lead to a width and height that would not be practical? Sorry, but I haven't had the opportunity to play with the TL design software yet.
The pipe volume Vp is related to the VAS of the driver. The higher the VAS the larger the pipe volume needs to be. Understanding this was George Augspurger's great contribution to TL design.
 
P

Prolix

Audiophyte
I have a Revel b112, which I gather is pretty much a sealed version of the hdi-1200p. When I run audyssey its raw in-room response is flat through 20hz in my living room with 10' ceilings. It doesn't have the impact of the dual monolith 12s I have in the basement, but it's enough to blow the minds of regular humans, and it doesn't look out of place. I've been very happy with it for a number of years.
 
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Prolix

Audiophyte
This is on sale for $990 off at crutchfield. Still not looking like a great bargain...
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic Field Marshall
Always found it kind of weird that a company with the accolades of jbl and there history have never put a lot of effort inmuisto subs I mean they do have subs for about every line they have out but just not on par with a lot of the competition like Hsu , SVS , monolith etc . You would think they’d want a chunk of that market . It is a very nicely made sub though I’ve always liked there real wood veneers on there products .
Here's my 15 inch JBL B380, a passive sub powered by a Sony TA-N80 amp bridged to mono for 560 watts. Thís sub serves two 2.1 systems and a 5.1 system. It gets into the 23 Hz arena at -6db. Paired to JBL L100t3 mains I get satisfying
48837700336_90aef5efd7_k.jpg
low end performance from music which has low end content. If I removed this sub from my three systems, I would miss it.
 
Mark E. Long

Mark E. Long

Audioholic General
Here's my 15 inch JBL B380, a passive sub powered by a Sony TA-N80 amp bridged to mono for 560 watts. Thís sub serves two 2.1 systems and a 5.1 system. It gets into the 23 Hz arena at -6db. Paired to JBL L100t3 mains I get satisfyingView attachment 56587 low end performance from music which has low end content. If I removed this sub from my three systems, I would miss it.
That is an very nice setup . I had a pair of l-100’s way back I’ve always wondered how the sub would work out I see them from time to time come up for sale .
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
That is an very nice setup . I had a pair of l-100’s way back I’ve always wondered how the sub would work out I see them from time to time come up for sale .
It is a good subwoofer, but it comes in a big 8 cf enclosure, quite larger than most subs on the market nowadays. :)
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
It is a good subwoofer, but it comes in a big 8 cf enclosure, quite larger than most subs on the market nowadays. :)
That kind of driver really needs a large enclosure, of course. The HDI-1600 driver, with its massive motor, can function in a smaller enclosure. The trade-off is it probably isn't very sensitive. If JBL or Revel would allow a large enclosure, they could probably make a real corker of a sub, but the reality is few people are willing to buy huge subwoofers.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
That kind of driver really needs a large enclosure, of course. The HDI-1600 driver, with its massive motor, can function in a smaller enclosure. The trade-off is it probably isn't very sensitive. If JBL or Revel would allow a large enclosure, they could probably make a real corker of a sub, but the reality is few people are willing to buy huge subwoofers.
The Dayton RSS390HF-4 subwoofers that I have in my 3 front loudspeaker cabinets need a large enclosure as well, and they perform as well as many subs costing a lot more, because I had the enclosures to put them in. As a matter of fact, per their Thiele-Small parameters, the recommended ported cabinet size is 8.96 cf for an f3 at 21 Hz.

My cabinets are tuned at 16.8 Hz so I can easily get with some light EQ a rather flat response down to the fundamental resonant frequency of a 32 foot organ pipe.
 
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Mark E. Long

Mark E. Long

Audioholic General
The Dayton RSS390HF-4 subwoofers that I have in my 3 front loudspeaker cabinets need a large enclosure as well, and they perform as well as many subs costing a lot more, because I had the enclosures to put them in. As a matter of fact, per their Thiele-Small parameters, the recommended ported cabinet size is 8.96 cf for an f3 at 21 Hz.

My cabinets are tuned at 16.8 Hz so I can easily get with some EQ a rather flat response to the fundamental resonant frequency of a 32 foot organ pipe.
Iam a week out from open heart surgery lol I’ve had to turn my SVS pb 1000 pros way down as the first movie I watched when I got home felt like every bone in my chest was loose and I guess is tied together with wire so it is loose . This is the only time I don’t want that nice chest slam .
 
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