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Author Topic: Any reviews of the new JBL PRX400 series?  (Read 10117 times)

Tom Burgess

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Re: Any reviews of the new JBL PRX400 series?
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2012, 02:12:19 pm »

...Hopefully the 18" sub will sound better than it's JRX counterpart too...
The PRX418S is in an entirely different zipcode from its JRX counterpart.
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If the band sounds great, it's because the band IS great, if the band sound like crap, it's the soundman's fault.

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Chuck Simon

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Re: Any reviews of the new JBL PRX400 series?
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2012, 09:51:30 pm »

Chuck, I was referring to Jamin's comment on the STX subs sounding better than the subs from the SRX series. I know the PRX400 series uses Selenium components.

Thanks, I misunderstood.
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Gary Creely

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Re: Any reviews of the new JBL PRX400 series?
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2012, 10:33:09 pm »

I used these (PRX412) for a portable system in a urban gospel church's large fellowship hall. I was really asking a lot of them, and they preformed rather well. I would say they are similar to MRX, maybe even a shade smoother. They are well worth $300 dollars more than JRX, and are simply a different class of speaker. They are exactly what they are priced as, a middle of the road MI speaker.
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Mike Stewart

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Re: Any reviews of the new JBL PRX400 series?
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2012, 04:55:53 pm »

Here's another quick thought that typically gets glossed over in these on-line discussions, the perceived performance of a speaker depends greatly on the application.  DJ's almost certainly want something slightly different in a speaker than a gospel choir who wants something different than a rock band who wants something different than a jazz quartet and while some people are using the speakers outside on tripods, others have mounted them in basement bars, and in some cases (especially with 12's) people are engaging the help of other speakers including subs.  So the discussion has a lot of interdependent variables. 

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Mike Stewart

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Re: Any reviews of the new JBL PRX400 series?
« Reply #34 on: February 05, 2013, 12:06:31 am »

Well in case anyone is still following this thread, here's a quick update.  I got a pair of PRX412Ms.  The original $499/ea price is falling as expected.  SameDay now has 'em for $429 (but note that they ship out of their NJ warehouse so if you're on the US west coast, I suggest having them shipped priority to limit handing and transit time).  In any case, I A-B'd them with the mid model Yamaha BR12s (which are half the price of the PRX412s and I think slightly better than JBL's JRX series) and the difference was quite obvious.  Although the BR12s always sounded good enough for my purposes, they sounded quite mid-rangy and just a bit plastic-ey when directly compared to the PRX412s.  I'm not sure what 'plastic' sounds like but the PRXs were just a bit more 'real' sounding.  The PRX has MUCH more high-low separation (I would even say purposely mid-scooped) with deeper fuller lows and higher highs.  I could almost use these for home stereo speakers.  And the PRXs are made just over the border in Mexico - in my book not quite as good as the 'Made In USA' label on the BR12s (hometown bias) but about 6000 miles mas bueno than the increasingly prevalent 'Made in China' label on most products these days.  Build quality appears superb and they look very nice overall.

My only complaints of the PRX (in order of severity) are as follows:
1.) They only have one handle - and it's on the side, which is just plain stupid.  The BR12's got it right - one handle, right in the top, making transport a breeze.  If I get ambitious, I'll be adding handles in the tops of the PRXs.
2.) The highs on the PRX412s are a bit directional (sound changes noticeably more than about 20 degrees off center) and right in front the highs are so present they tend to be a little crispy sounding.  I'll definitely be pulling down the 16k slider on my amp when I run these.  Might even consider beam blockers of some sort over the middle of the cones horns.
3.) The combination 1/4"-Speakon connectors are less than ideal for 1/4".  I don't have any Speakon to test with, but with the 1/4" - and this is a bit connector specific as not all designs are exactly the same - the connection is scratchy when the cable is moved, indicating a somewhat marginal connection.
4.) The rubber 'feet' on the cabinets are very nearly pointless.  They stick out less than 1/8" from the cab surface.  The result, especially with only one handle on the side and zero corner protection, is that the cabinet corners are likely to incur damage from contacting the ground whenever the speakers are picked up or set down.  Seems these speakers are designed primarily for permanent installation - because the mobility design elements are a complete failure.

Bottom Line: For the newly reduced price, I'm happy enough with these speakers.  I think they could stand to be at or below $399 to really demand a chunk of market share, but at $429 and with rather limited choices around this pricepoint, they were close enough for me.  From a sound standpoint alone, they are a noticeable step up from the BR12s and they are 8 pounds lighter than the Yamaha S112V Clubs - the obvious direct upgrade from the BR12s.  The physical design flaws (yes, JBL design team, they are flaws) are not quite catastrophic - and a couple can be readily corrected by the consumer.

< For reference, I'm planning to use these for mains, to amplify vocals and acoustic instruments for relatively small sized indoor and outdoor venues.  The above comments are based on running vocals, acoustic guitar, and pre-recorded music to these speakers through a simple old school Peavey powered mixer head (XR-600F). >
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 12:22:10 am by Mike Stewart »
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David Morison

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Re: Any reviews of the new JBL PRX400 series?
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2013, 07:27:10 am »

2.) The highs on the PRX412s are a bit directional (sound changes noticeably more than about 20 degrees off center) and right in front the highs are so present they tend to be a little crispy sounding.  I'll definitely be pulling down the 16k slider on my amp when I run these.  Might even consider beam blockers of some sort over the middle of the cones.

A beam blocker over the cone won't do anything about high frequencies coming from the horn. Placed over the horn, it'll probably do too much damage to the overall HF response of the system and hurt intelligibility too much.

Quote
3.) The combination 1/4"-Speakon connectors are less than ideal for 1/4".  I don't have any Speakon to test with, but with the 1/4" - and this is a bit connector specific as not all designs are exactly the same - the connection is scratchy when the cable is moved, indicating a somewhat marginal connection.

This should be irrelevant if your cabling is routed with enough thought to prevent movement while the speaker is in use. If you can't ensure that, time to upgrade to speakons  ;)

Edit - tidied up quotes
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Scott Wagner

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Re: Any reviews of the new JBL PRX400 series?
« Reply #36 on: February 05, 2013, 09:39:57 am »

1.) They only have one handle - and it's on the side, which is just plain stupid.  The BR12's got it right - one handle, right in the top, making transport a breeze.  If I get ambitious, I'll be adding handles in the tops of the PRXs.
When carrying my PRX6xx, I never touch the handle.  The handles in these boxes are all but worthless.  When I get loaders at a show, they always grab it by the single handle and beat the crap out of their legs and/or the box in the process.  I try not to let the loaders carry the speakers.  Personally, I think they could've simply left the handles out of the design.  They carry fine without them.
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Scott Wagner
Big Nickel Audio

Mike Stewart

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Re: Any reviews of the new JBL PRX400 series?
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2013, 12:21:06 am »

A beam blocker over the cone won't do anything about high frequencies coming from the horn. Placed over the horn, it'll probably do too much damage to the overall HF response of the system and hurt intelligibility too much.
Edit - tidied up quotes
David - Yes, I was referring to the horns (but somehow it came out 'cones', which I realize now implies the drivers).  I'm thinking I'll just stick some thick felt pads (~1-2" diameter) on the inside of the grill right in front of the center of the horn.  If I can't readily find a material and size that dials down the super highs and evens out the directional aspect a bit without hurting the clarity, then of course I'll just abandon the idea.
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David Morison

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Re: Any reviews of the new JBL PRX400 series?
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2013, 07:22:12 am »

I'm thinking I'll just stick some thick felt pads (~1-2" diameter) on the inside of the grill right in front of the center of the horn.  If I can't readily find a material and size that dials down the super highs and evens out the directional aspect a bit without hurting the clarity, then of course I'll just abandon the idea.

Aha, that makes more sense than what I was imagining. If you've the patience to try different thicknesses, sizes and densities, you may well be able to come up with something viable.
Good Luck,
David.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Any reviews of the new JBL PRX400 series?
« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2013, 08:17:13 am »

Don't use felt, use a circle of reticulated foam about 3" across.
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