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Author Topic: JTR Speakers "Growler" is Going on a Road Test  (Read 72382 times)

E. Lee Dickinson

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Re: JTR Speakers "Growler" is Going on a Road Test
« Reply #130 on: March 16, 2009, 12:12:06 am »

Jeff Permanian wrote on Fri, 05 September 2008 18:13


The road test is people evaluating products and then writing a review for others to read. It just seems that everyone wants to hear the Growlers but no one wants to write the review.



Thus, my first post upon my return to the LAB will be fulfilling the obligation I made to Jeff many months ago.

As you may recall from my earlier posts, we received the growlers damaged, presumably from shipping. The one with the busted seams let out the (or the rest of the) magic smoke within a few minutes of firing it up.

Two things of note here: First, the build quality of the cabinets is excellent, despite the shipping damage. Shipping speakers around UPS just probably isn't the best idea. I think these would stand up the the abuse of a small company, owner-operator sort very well. I don't think the plastic corners did anything for them, and I am not sure they'd stand up to the abuse of a roadie crew. But they're not hobbiest built.. they're pro grade and should last most people for years. The hatch over the drivers comes right off, and the driver is a simple replacement. Also, props to Jeff for sending out a replacement driver as soon as I told him about the problem. We've read posts about his customer service before, but it bears repeating. He stands behind the product.

This also means I had a chance to check out the naked driver. Solid, heavy, and durable looking. Again, it looks like this cabinet took a dive off a loading dock, so I'm not surprised there could have been driver damage. In general, I'd expect these things to take a heck of a beating. The basket is heavy and solid, the surround is rubberized.. the thing looks like it could go swimming and come out none the worse for wear.

How they sound, of course, is the true measure of the cabinet.  We did our test in a "plug and play" sort of way, moving the cable from one set of cabinets to the next without any processor or EQ re-tuning. Frankly, I find this to be a more realistic usage scenario for companies like ours that have a variety of systems that go out in a variety of situations. A crossover around 100hz with a notch or bump in the EQ at 80 depending on the music style of the evening. We don't usually have time (or, honestly, skill level) for a system analysis and re-tune for every gig in every configuration.

Refer to my picture a few pages back, and you'll find the lineup in our little listening party was as follows:

JBL VRX918S, Growlers, Yamaha SW118, Yorkville LS608

Unfortunately, we didn't get to compare against the 608s with the new driver - those belong to Tim Tyler.

We did, however, get to listen to them against the JBLs and the Yamahas. So it's between two front-loaded 18s and the Growler horns.

I found the growlers to be very capable cabinets. They sound bigger than they are, and seem to me to be more efficient than the front loaded cabinets. Per power setting, a pair of growlers felt louder to me than the Yamahas did, with the JBLs being able to be driven loudest with the addition of more power.

I think the growlers aren't going to be a hip hip subwoofer, but they do sound very nice within their comfortable power range. It seemed like they had a ~90hz note that they particularily liked to reproduce, but the charts on Jeff's website don't seem to bear that out, so I'm not sure what I was hearing. It could have been a mode of the area we were testing in, but I didn't notice it with the other cabinets when I did a sweep track.
Not at all peaky like the Cerwin Vega one-note-wonders, but just a little resonant bump. The VRX subs start honking somewhere just above 100, but I usually have them crossed in that range, so it rolls off.

I also split the growlers apart from eachother when I had the new driver in. As with any sub, they like to be in pairs. But I found the coupling to be especially pronounced with the growlers. I've never owned a horn loaded sub before, so it was a little startling for me to hear the difference when they were coupled vs. not.

From a power to size/weight ratio standpoint, the Growlers hold their own nicely. They are definitely heavy, but not abnormally for their size, and not heavy like a big dual18 cabinet. (You might can tell from the picture that around here, we like our single 18s.. easy to move, and after all, you can stack 'em together...) They're not going to be slamming arena rock and roll cabinets - well, I guess 12 of them side by side would be pretty impressive - but I think 4 of them would make a great setup for a small provider for classic rock, bluegrass, etc. Metal or Hip Hop, I don't really think so. They don't sound fat and in-your-face.. they are silkier and musical.

The problem with my review and my opinion is that we weren't able to get them out on a job, which was supposed to be the point. I felt bad that Jeff's road test was not going as one would have hoped and wanted to get them back to him instead of waiting till our next band sound gig came along, which could have been a few months. When we do bands, it's almost always as a provider for our existing corporate or event clients, not so much as a 'band sound' provider, so we tend to see that happen in spurts.

So what I'm writing is based on CD listening at our warehouse.

For the musical provider who wants a sexy, silky system, I think the Growlers are a solid bet.
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E. Lee Dickinson
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Scott Smith

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Re: JTR Speakers "Growler" is Going on a Road Test
« Reply #131 on: September 07, 2009, 10:10:16 am »

If the Growlers ever make it to south Florida, I'd love to do a test drive... and would MOST certainly do a write-up immediately afterwards.  I do about 3-4 various outdoor gigs a week, and a downsize performer would definately be of interest to me.
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Phil Lewandowski

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Re: JTR Speakers "Growler" is Going on a Road Test
« Reply #132 on: September 07, 2009, 10:24:45 am »

Scott Smith wrote on Mon, 07 September 2009 10:10

If the Growlers ever make it to south Florida, I'd love to do a test drive... and would MOST certainly do a write-up immediately afterwards.  I do about 3-4 various outdoor gigs a week, and a downsize performer would definately be of interest to me.


Hey Scott,

Give Jeff a ring I am sure he would be most willing to let you borrow a pair.


Phil
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Jeff Permanian

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Re: JTR Speakers "Growler" is Going on a Road Test
« Reply #133 on: September 09, 2009, 08:36:19 pm »

Maybe I'll road test the new 2010 Growler Cool
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Steve Hurt

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Re: JTR Speakers "Growler" is Going on a Road Test
« Reply #134 on: September 09, 2009, 08:39:44 pm »

Is that the one that weighs 10 pounds less and is 3db louder than all the previous Growlers?
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Jeff Permanian

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Re: JTR Speakers "Growler" is Going on a Road Test
« Reply #135 on: September 09, 2009, 08:42:15 pm »

Testing a heavily braced 15mm baltic birch cabinet and if that works out then the new Growler will be under 85lbs. If we stay with the current 18mm baltic birch it will weight in around 90lbs.
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Steve Hurt

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Re: JTR Speakers "Growler" is Going on a Road Test
« Reply #136 on: September 09, 2009, 08:49:18 pm »

If it's braced the way the Triple 8's are braced, it will be VERY solid.
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Rain Jaudon

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Re: JTR Speakers "Growler" is Going on a Road Test
« Reply #137 on: September 09, 2009, 09:37:04 pm »

Demo needed on the Mississippi Gulf Coast! Very Happy
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Jonathan Ladner

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Re: JTR Speakers "Growler" is Going on a Road Test
« Reply #138 on: October 20, 2009, 03:00:47 pm »

Rain, perhaps we can get a demo for our Jan 23rd carnival ball gig?  I am still looking for another option and haven't heard a Growler yet.

Jeff: Do we sound like desperate dogs wanting attention? Rain and I have been waiting for the opportunity to hear them.  Very Happy
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Jeff Permanian

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Re: JTR Speakers "Growler" is Going on a Road Test
« Reply #139 on: October 21, 2009, 04:57:16 pm »

Shoot me over some info on this Jan 23rd event, maybe I can swing by.
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