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Author Topic: JBL SRX815P & SRX812P Review  (Read 1164 times)

Greg_Cameron

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JBL SRX815P & SRX812P Review
« on: July 25, 2018, 06:31:34 pm »

About a year ago, I purchased four SRX815p self powered/processed JBL speakers followed by a purchase of four of the SRX812p. My primary use is for floor monitors, but I do use them as mains for smaller events. After getting to know them, here’s what I have to say. Pros: The speakers get loud. Key to this is that JBL uses a larger 1.5” exit high frequency compression driver with 3” diaphragm behind it relative to most if not all other speakers in this price range. It’s not the kind of output you would get from a full 2” exit driver with 4” diaphragm behind it which would raise the cost of the speaker substantially. But the output is noticeably better than any of the boxes I’ve used in this range with a 1” exit driver with a 2” or smaller diaphragm behind it. The trend seems to be going towards smaller than a 2” diaphragms on lower cost boxes. Combined with a high performance woofer and hefty amp/processor combo, the box gets loud and sounds good. So far the bands that have used them as monitors have had no complaints and the energy can cause them to wince if they’re cranked up from the grunt of the horn. They have a lot of EQ filters available if you use the built-in networking to control them with Audio Architect, or HiQnet, 20 filters to be exact.

On the cons side: the first thing I noticed is how flimsy the grills are. two of the 8 boxes I purchased had dented grills in shipping without any visible damage to the box. The shipping boxes aren’t very thick or well supported, so just something bumping into the middle of the box was enough to bend the grills. They really, really need to be thicker and won’t handle musicians pressing the their shoes on them like they do sometimes. The next area of concern is the vunerability of the controls on the amp module. The encoder knob isn’t recessed and is definitely prone to getting damaged. I’m going to figure out a way to put some type of cover plate over the control section to add some protection. This should have been better thought out in the design stage. Adding even moderate protection wouldn’t have increased cost much. Another thing I’ve noticed on several of these speakers is the lack of damping of the amp module components. A mechanical buzz/rattle when you’re behind the cabinet can be heard when they’re running at high levels. This is certainly due to inadequate damping or securing of components in the amp section. It’s pretty annoying when you hit a frequency where these components vibrate and the buzz starts. You don’t really hear it out front, but it’s not something you would expect to hear standing behind a $1000+ speaker. Lastly, the software control via ethernet gives you a lot of filters to work with. But what’s lacking is a user definable high pass filter. As far as I can tell, there are only high and low shelving filters. I want to be able to set my own custom high pass as far as slope and frequency. But I can’t do that. I would gladly trade half of those 20 filters for a user definable high pass. Maybe JBL can do that in a future firmware update. I mean really, who needs 20 parametric filters on a self powered box that’s already voiced? Seems a bit overkill. Most people designing systems and installations expect to be able to control the high pass.

I've also flown these from time to time with the M10 rigging points. The rigging points are ok, but due to the monitor angle and placement of the amp module, the point you would use for 'pull back' when flying them horn up is off center and can cause the box to twist a bit which is annoying. It would have been nice to have a properly centered pull back point.

To conclude, the SRX815p/812p are a good ‘bang for the buck’ speaker. Lots of features for the price. They are lacking in some robustness though that seems like it could be addressed even in this price range. They’re not inexpensive, thought they’re not top shelf cost either. Stronger grills, protection for controls, lack of rattles, and fully adjustable high pass filter would make it a truly killer box.
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boburtz

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Re: JBL SRX815P & SRX812P Review
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2018, 05:32:36 pm »

Lastly, the software control via ethernet gives you a lot of filters to work with. But what’s lacking is a user definable high pass filter. As far as I can tell, there are only high and low shelving filters. I want to be able to set my own custom high pass as far as slope and frequency. But I can’t do that. I would gladly trade half of those 20 filters for a user definable high pass. Maybe JBL can do that in a future firmware update. I mean really, who needs 20 parametric filters on a self powered box that’s already voiced? Seems a bit overkill. Most people designing systems and installations expect to be able to control the high pass.

Also lacking on the surface are delay parameter controls. Plenty of delay available in the processing for using these as supplemental delays in ballrooms and even outdoor events. Unfortunately, the delay is only accessible through networking. I was told by JBL that it is impossible to add surface control of this in a firmware update due to hardware constraints. HUGE bummer...
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Luke Geis

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Re: JBL SRX815P & SRX812P Review
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2018, 09:18:55 pm »

I have a pair of the JBL SRX 812SP's and I do really like / love them. It's a more of a love for how they sound and perform, but hate a few of the same things you mentioned. The buzz / rattle thing is a problem for me too. Almost to the point of giving up on them, but they sound great and get so loud that for the money, I can't really complain.

The form and finish is par for the course really. I have some speakers that cost almost $500 more retail and they are thicker grills, but the paint job is not nearly as nice and robust as the JBL's. Scratches and wear on one, or more easily dented on the other. I use the JBL's for mains, so they don't see much foot traffic!!!! As for the SRX's sound, they are great, I am still wrapping my head around them, but out of the box they are hard to beat. I can hear the little high end boost they have and taming it down is not always enough it seems and I am getting closer to ideal every time I work with them. I am about ready to rip the amp module open ( despite the warranty ) in order to abate the buzzes though...... While not noticeable out front, it is a problem to me. That is not cool.

I still think it is the box to beat, but it does require a couple " fixes ". I didn't even consider it for monitor duty because they are so large and the angles very much not monitor friendly. I do think they would kick some serious butt though as a monitor. I used some EV ETX's 12" ( which are very close in sound to the SRX's ) and they did the job fantastically. I don't think that you will find a much more feature full and better performing unit than the SRX for the price.
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Taylor Hall

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Re: JBL SRX815P & SRX812P Review
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2018, 10:48:07 am »

-snip-

I've seen them deployed a few times and agree 100%. Not all had the rattling that you mentioned, but there was definitely that same buzz during peaks in content. Wasn't sure if that was from bad gain structuring/dirty signal or the inherent design of the internals. Those issues and the price were enough to make us look at other options like the Yamaha DXR12 and EAW Radius. We're leaning towards EAW since it will pair nicely with the powered array we already have and works with the same tuning/prediction software.

Unfortunately, I think we're only going to see the more "advanced" tuning options limited to mobile app or PC-based solutions. While it's nice being able to fiddle with an encoder wheel for a quick fix, the new networked mindset for a lot of onboard DSP boxes is shifting things to a more pleasing UI experience. I can't blame them, there's a lot to be said to be able to "touch" any given cabinet from anywhere in the room, and it actually saves a fair bit of time since you can usually apply those changes across multiple cabinets instead of doing it one by one. This kind of tech is really starting to mature now, it's not the fickle protocols that existed just a couple years ago and are only going to get better.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 10:51:22 am by Taylor Hall »
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Steve Garris

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Re: JBL SRX815P & SRX812P Review
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2018, 01:18:42 pm »

Nice review Greg.

I'm in my second year using the 815p's over 818p's for outdoor park shows and some club use. I've heard that rattle your talking about! I thought it was me or my tech driving them to hard, but it hasn't repeated this year. I'm fine with the grills on mine, but they oil-can on the sub's, which was a little disappointing. Sound quality is fantastic though. I plan on adding another pair of the 18" or a single 218, and I'll be done with it. Regarding the controls, I would be happy with a little switch & volume knob. I'll never connect them to anything for control, and I use the pass filters on my mixer to do what I need. I do wish you could have a crossover output choice instead of the full-range only output.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: JBL SRX815P & SRX812P Review
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 09:30:45 pm »

The rattle in my SRX812p was caused by a piece of plastic falling off the speaker basket and intermittently - depending on the amount of cone vibration - bouncing around. This is not uncommon - there are a few posts on PSW about members having the same thing happen.  PRX speakers too. Open up and take a look - you might be surprised.
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Luke Geis

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Re: JBL SRX815P & SRX812P Review
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2018, 02:15:47 am »

I have read on the forums here and others about the plastic piece. I have taken the time to suss out the rattle on mine and as far as I can tell its the locking mechanism for the XLR inputs. There is also some other thing in the amp module that is loose enough that you can feel it rattle. The locking mechanisms seem to be the most audible nuisance though for me. I regularly have to flip my 812's ( the JBL covers don't have a strap to secure them ) and I do not hear anything rattling around when I flip them. I will open them up to check still though.
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Greg_Cameron

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Re: JBL SRX815P & SRX812P Review
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2018, 11:33:33 pm »

Pretty sure the rattle I'm hearing is the amp module itself. This one is at a bit over 200Hz.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHzi2_51JL0


Greg
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Greg_Cameron

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Re: JBL SRX815P & SRX812P - inadequate filtering for RF noise on power cable
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2018, 11:36:19 pm »

I'm also adding this negative issue to my review which takes things down a couple of stars relative to my original review:


https://youtu.be/yojkSrE2yDE
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Greg_Cameron

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Re: JBL SRX815P & SRX812P Review
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2018, 11:38:27 pm »

Also lacking on the surface are delay parameter controls. Plenty of delay available in the processing for using these as supplemental delays in ballrooms and even outdoor events. Unfortunately, the delay is only accessible through networking. I was told by JBL that it is impossible to add surface control of this in a firmware update due to hardware constraints. HUGE bummer...


That is a bummer. I haven't had to apply delay directly to the SRX yet. I guess I'll have to keep an ethernet cable handy if I ever do.
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