JBL Studio 530’s as Synergy Donor

I recently got an pair of JBL Studio 530 monitors on sale for $250 direct from JBL. I was curious what an entry level horn loaded CD 2-way monitor could sound like. They actually sound quite decent and measure well when the tweeter is padded down a notch. The reviews of these are generally very good and for $250, no DIY project will come close really given the nice cabinet (no parallel walls in sight), a horn, passive XO, and decent bi-wire/bi-amp 5 way binding posts.

What intrigues me about these is that the horn has lots of opportunities for cutting slots and holes for mid range injection to make a bookshelf Synergy. Has anybody thought about doing something similar? My one reservation is that this speaker sounds very good as is and I would hate to cut into it.

Here it is next to my 10F/RS225 TL speaker for size comparison. It works well with either my Class AB or class D amps. It needs so e power though, probably at least 40w to really come alive.
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This is how I padded the tweeter but adding a resistor between the woofer binding post and tweeter binding post.
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Here is how it measures with the tweeter padding in place. Without it, the response is a bit bright for my taste. The JBL 530 is the yellow trace and the blue is a new speaker I just developed with a typical “Harman house curve” voicing for comparison.
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Here is what is interesting, Ron from New Record Day, did a tear down and you can see the inside of the horn. Lots of open surface area for mounting small 3in midrange cones for a mid injection a la Synergy.

Anyhow, I thought I would just throw this idea out there to see if anyone else has wondered the same thing.
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Here is the XO schematic from The manual:
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Here is the horizontal directivity from the ASR review:
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TBTL

Member
2013-10-08 12:26 pm
At 214 mm width it is a bit small for a horn. This implies that pattern control cannot be retained down to a low frequency. I do not really see advantages of a small unity horn over an equally sized horn, driven by a single (though stronger) compression driver in terms of costs, maximum output or directivity.
 
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Hi xrk, I own a pair of these as well, I think they are an amazing value - I caught mine on a recent sale they were 239.00 for the pair.

- I was wondering if you have thought anymore about your bookshelf Synergy ideas?? I would love to see that happen.


I really was sad after hearing Danny's decision not to help modify the speakers...... and I felt sorry for poor Ron at New Record Day.... that may sound harsh but Ron like So many other reviewers was excited about listening to these speakers, which is interesting when he has access to and even owns some Amazing speakers including Spatial Audio Speaker M3's - that have that incredible dome tweeter that can play down to 800hz! ..... And he owns Danny's NX-Otica speakers that are fantastic speakers, unfortunately everyone who was asking for Danny's help to make these better through some mods was really disappointed when they were told that they weren't Hi-Fi speakers and not worth the time. I understand Danny's reasons , but it's really too bad.
 
I am surprised Danny thought they were not HiFi enough. They sound quite good stock.
The published existing XO is quite complicated. I was surprised because they normally don’t use that many components on a “budget” speaker.
One reason I have not done more with them is that they sound pretty good stock. I am worried I’ll not achieve anything better and mess up the waveguide with holes.
 
I can't speak to the 530 having not heard them, but I have a pair of the 590's that I picked up on one of the 1/2 price sales and they are keepers. I drive them with a Crest Prolite 2.0 class d amp, and a buyout HSU 12 inch sub with a Sunfire 600 watt amp driving it, and that system punches way above the cost outlay. I have that in my dedicated room with absorption and bass traps. Short of buyouts, I don't think that I could get much better if I were to diy them for the 962 US $ that I got them for. My big 15 coax's are getting closer, and I can't wait to ab them in the same room. X, I love all of your work, and I've enjoyed your YouTube channel! Glenn.
 
I am surprised Danny thought they were not HiFi enough. They sound quite good stock.
The published existing XO is quite complicated. I was surprised because they normally don’t use that many components on a “budget” speaker.
One reason I have not done more with them is that they sound pretty good stock. I am worried I’ll not achieve anything better and mess up the waveguide with holes.
They do sound pretty good. That is the reason that upgrading them is on the backburner. For my use they are good for movies and multichannel music. Don't use them much for stereo. Working on upgrading the amplification and the sources. Currently using a 10 year old Marantz AVR for both. They sounded better once I had my subs take over the low end of the frequency range.
 
I am surprised Danny thought they were not HiFi enough. They sound quite good stock.
The published existing XO is quite complicated. I was surprised because they normally don’t use that many components on a “budget” speaker.
One reason I have not done more with them is that they sound pretty good stock. I am worried I’ll not achieve anything better and mess up the waveguide with holes.
Well, maybe one should look at it from Danny's point of view. He's selling upgrades, maybe it's not possible in this case;o)
 
Hi wcwc , I was also originally thinking the same thing, there is a diy speaker designed and shown on YouTube called the Dinas , and it has a full range driver with a tweeter, plus a 5 1/4 inch Tang Band driver in the same box operating as a subwoofer - LOL

(it has these components in it) -

Tang Band W5 1138SMF - http://bit.ly/TangBandW5JNT Dayton Audio RS100-4 Ful-Range Driver - http://bit.ly/DaytonRS1004JNT HiVi TN28B Tweeter - http://bit.ly/HiViTN28BJNT Lepai LP210PA - http://bit.ly/LepaiLP210PAJNT 19V 4.74A Power Supply - http://bit.ly/19voltPSU
-
That Tang Band W5 1138SMF is a 5 1/4 driver that with a little EQ will hit 35hz , ( fs 45hz ) - 49.95ea. ..... so I thought that I could drop two or so into pedestal that was the right size for the Studio 530 , by-Amp them pull all the seriously low frequencies off that little JBL woofer - maybe cross it at 150 hz. or so - to the 530 have really Great little speaker.

which is why I thought a few mods to the 530 might work out well, I do know that they showed the crossover parts and some were okay quality but many weren't , one thing Danny did say was that If you change out the iron core inductors for air cores there probably wasn't enough room in the speaker for the crossover so it might call for an external xover - or maybe in my case in the pedestal with the little woofers.


Link to Dinas:
 
Here’s one of my latest videos on a new speaker XO using a ribbon and aluminum cone Dan Wiggins designed XBL woofer in a TL.


Your idea of removing bass duties from the 530 is intriguing. 100Hz is a good place to cross to a sub.

Iron core inductors are fine if used properly. They are sometimes better for woofers as they have lower DCR than air core so you get more bass sensitivity. As much as 1.5dB or so.
 
You can really get that small woofer moving with a bass heavy track and some volume. I have 2 Rythmik F15HP subs, but they aren't right under the speakers. They are across the room from each other. Bass is mono crossed over from the AVR at 80 Hz. Speakers sound better with the subs. One of the posters on ASR took out the passive crossover, did some minor things like soldering speaker wire to the drivers and adding some stuffing and then biamped it with a dsp crossover.
 
I am going to see if bypassing the terminal posts helps or not, I am looking for a good way to do it .... my first idea is to run the wire thru a small hole in the terminal cup or very near the terminals out the back of my speaker then clamp a good quality ring terminal connector on that wire , then terminate my speaker wire with a ring terminal connector , put some shrink tubing on the original post and put a plastic washer on first then snug both ring connectors up to each other then another plastic washer and tighten down the nut ... saves me the money from buying the Tube Connectors to see if there is anything to the idea. I could Just run the wire out and connect wire to wire but I want to try it on several speakers before deciding and this lets me connect things a little faster and not keep having to wind the wires each time.... but I'm still thinking it thru to see if I can come up with a better idea.