Im not a JBL dealer but know them well and am also familiar with most of your
listed speakers, personally I'll take the K2 over any of them!
listed speakers, personally I'll take the K2 over any of them!
Firstly: to my ears the JBL K2 S9900's are severely under appreciated. I believe this is mostly due to the type of speakers they are (i.e. horn mids/tweeter, and 15" bass/midrange), which I gather has many audiophiles turning away their attention just for these specs alone - without even audition them. Plus there may be the overall JBL heritage and their connection to their widespread use in studio's, cinemas and PA-installation, which may lead in some to the association of "this is not hifi," or something along those lines (that they're not hifi in the typical sense is not a bad thing, to my ears). Moreover, many seem to ridicule the S9900's (and Everest's, for that matter) for sporting rather lackluster bass roll-off specs, while ignoring the conservative nature of these specs and in-room response. In short, I'd advice you to put aside any preoccupation with specs and prejustice in general, instead keeping an open mind and use your ears.
That being said, some (myself incl.) may certainly find the S9900's better than above mentioned speakers, while others don't. I can definately attest that "they image and get you super close to the music" - closer even than above other speakers, and their abilities into imaging and general presentation is akin in some sense to panel speakers, with a "through an open window" type of imaging as opposed to using room reflections in a more outspoken fashion (as is usually the case with direct radiating speakers). The S9900's are direct, extremely clean-sounding and effortless, with macro- and micro dynamics to spare, and with a perhaps slightly warm-ish bass and lower mids (but very dynamic still).
Do they compete? Oh yes, easily so, but whether they're your cup of tea is something you'll have to find out by actually listening to them. Do it quickly - they may appeal to you immensely.
Wow, talk about straying off the ranch. The K2s are a very different breed of speakers--more dynamic and vivid sounding than most modern high-end speakers. You really need to hear them for yourself. There are some listeners who will be shocked, and will never be satisfied with the bland offerings of most other speakers, while others will find the tonal colorations and lack of very deep bass unlistenable. I happen to like what these speakers offer myself and I own a horn-based system (I only briefly heard the K2s, but, as a horn system fan, I approve of what I heard).
As big as such systems can be, they do sound very good in small to medium sized rooms and are particularly good at playing at low volume. I would take the K2 over the Carmel and Magico myself, but, again, this is a matter of taste.
Really good stuff. Thanks so very much guys. Please the more the comments the better - please -
Here's the kicker - I'm in Mass and there are no dealers around that have them. I will have to pay a substantial amount for them. I mean I know they retail for over $40,000 and are of very high quality and are built to last but $16,500.00 is a lot and if I pull the trigger I will prob do it without hearing them.
I know I know every other person will tell me not to do that and I am crazy if I do for that price and I should fly to somewhere to hear them first. One of the reasons I love is audio is because I work so much and very little leisure time and in that time I really enjoy good music as does the rest of my family. I have heard the Magico and YG and like them but if there is a chance to get a much better speaker that can get me closer to music and offer a better and more robust and realistic listening experience that I may like much more than I am open to the idea. I am not worried that they are not HI-FI so to speak and JBL speakers are in Toyota Camry's which is a good point and why they are not more in the audiophile community I think and agree with that I just care how the sound in my 16x24 room a couple feet of the wall and if they are not too heavy for me to get into place...lol
Perhaps we can get a more accurate sense of what you're after. What exactly do you mean by "getting closer to the music"? I believe I get where you're going, but this a rather subjectively suffused area, so please elaborate. Does "closer to the music" entail a more literal interpretation as in a more up-front sound, where it even becomes tactile with a clear sense of the "fabric" and texture in the music? "Robust and realistic" - as in a more dense and dynamic presentation?
What is it that the Magico's, YG's and other speakers you've heard recently lack, not to mention the speakers you're currently using? Do you attend live acoustic concerts (classical, jazz, etc.), and if so, is this the kind of sonic imprinting you're after? Have you heard a variety of horn-driven speakers using compression drivers and larger bass/mid units, and did you like some of them? What about them did you like?
Have you read any reviews of S9900's? Here's one:
Its older sibling, the S9800, is reviewed here, and will give you some idea of the sound of the S9900:
And the Everest's:
And I agree with Larryi's comments above; describing the sound the S9900 as "vivid" is a very fitting term, but also that they're very proficient at lower volumes is a trait worth mentioning. The size of your room should easily accommodate them, but I'd recommend sitting at least 10 feet away.
What happened to preferring the perspective of a 2-way?
Changing your mind is okay if you know why. I think 2-way is generally an inferior design to multiway myself, but a three-way horn/hybrid is really different from the others. Can't just plot on the good ol' better-worse scale. I agree with Onhwy61.
I love 2 ways and prob still may get 2 ways but was curious about these. If they are that good then i may buy these instead. Who knows if I knew I wouldn't be asking for opinions. There is no way I can hear them so why not ask the agon folks what they think of them. I mean its audio so I am not gonna worry either way. I leave the worrying to those that like to do such things.
If I was real worried about such things not sure I'd be spending this kind of money on audio gear plus we look at things very different. Different is not right or wrong just different.
If you pay $1000 for speakers and use them and then sell them for $500 they cost you $500.00 in my way of looking ar things. My view of that is an outlay/cost of $500 of cash. If you buy speakers for $20,000 and you sell them for $19,500 they cost you $500.00 plus maybe the lost interest on the $19500 over the time of ownership but with rates as low as they are there's not a lot money to made on money right now but I don't really want to get into a financial investment discussion.
I could buy these $40,000 speakers for $16,500 and $18,000 YG Caramels for $7000 and be into both of them for $23,500 and play with both and enjoy and keep the ones I like and get all my money back on the others. Or I can get a better feel for them on here chatting with the agon folks and just buy one of them and if I like them keep but either way not gonna really worry at all.
" Your methodology of putting together a system will make the chance of that system producing sound quality equivalent to your cash outlay exceedingly small:
This couldn't be further from the truth because what ever I buy I buy them right so if I don't like or I get sick of them I will get most or more likely all of my money back so that statement holds no water nor does your agreeing with it. You guys just look at things different and to you if it not how you would do it then its wrong but that's a pretty small and funny way to look at it at least IMO. I have owned prob a dozen pair of speakers in the last few years and learned a lot and enjoyed them all immensely, well most of them. If I buy a dozen more than great I'm sure not gonna worry about it or not enjoy it. I can tell you I haven't lost a dime on any of those speakers and actually made a few bucks but your idea of cash outlay and mine are quite different. Like I said earlier neither is wrong just different I just think the only difference is that I don't worry about it and i enjoy it. It's a hobby to me and something makes me think I am not alone in this hobby. Good amount of gear for sale on this site last I checked... I was and am just trying to find more about these super cool looking JBL speakers and wonder if they will be the ones that get me off this dizzying merry go round or maybe its the 2-ways that do it... Just have to play it by ear, shoot from the hip and buy low and sell hi and keep in smiling..
Latest reply of mine was with the intention to hone in more precisely on where you're coming from, so to help you get a bearing on how to more accurately answer your own initial question: are the JBL K2 S9900's potential speakers for you? Of course an audition prior to purchase would be the preferred solution, but being this is not your option as is there are other methods to appromximate a decision, as I tried to present them. You mayn't worry on these matters, but a bit of effort on your own part is necessitated to try and be a little wiser on your choice, I'd say. I certainly never meant to discourage you, on the contrary.
My blunt advice would be (if that's what you want): buy them.
Whether 2 or 3-way seems irrelevant here. Essentially the S9900's are an augmented (with a super-tweeter) 2-way design, a design that can hold clear advantages compared to multi-way speakers in dealing essentially with one cross-over only. Perhaps the most obvious drawback to point out in this case, in theory, is having a 15" extend to roughly 900Hz, but having heard the midrange from these has only convinced me of its traits. Conversely a 15" with midrange capabilities on paper would suffer LF extension, but I'd go with the fleet-footed, tactile (/downright explosive) and nuanced bass quality from the S9900's over most any of the more typical hi-fi alternatives sporting smaller units, and in-room LF extension feels like they're able to reach ~30Hz quite easily. Which is to a say: focusing on ultimate LF-extension here seems a fruitless endeavor when overall bass quality is much more important within the spectrum most would ever care for.
Your responses and feedback are not only super helpful but that is the exact type of knowledge I covet. Really that type of information is the reason I ask such questions on here. Your thoughtful and informative advice is not only really helpful its super appreciated. Its these excellent responses that I personally find more effective at acquiring excellent information than any other source other than my own ears. Its why I always love this site. Thank you and those like you that genuinely try to help other members even if what they are trying to do is different than how you would or think should do it. This information is more helpful than people think.
I have the S4700s, which are 1 model down from the K2s. I have heard the K2s plenty of times, mostly at shows. I would have easily bought the K2s if I had the money so that's why I went with the S4700s. That's a great price for those. That is pretty much list price for the S4700s and 4365 monitors. My advice: go get 'em, use Class A solid state amp and preamp, UP-OCC copper or silver cables, the best turntable and cartridge you can afford, and a quality dac. You will be rockin' for sure. And if you want bigger bass, go for a subwoofer either by JBL, Velodyne, etc. The best JBL is still the Everest, but even at the discount prices, it's still double what the K2s you're looking at are.
I've heard them and they are amazing. They are more dynamic and exciting than any of the other speakers you mentioned. JBL might not be big in the American audiophile community, but they are huge in Japan and Germany. Also, many diy audio systems use JBL compression drivers as they are among the best.