JBL N-Center Center Channels

4.02/5 (43 Reviews) MSRP : $199.00


Product Description

Northridge Series 2-Way Center Channel Loudspeaker - Two 5" PolyPlas Drivers, 3/4" Titanium-Laminate Dome Tweeter - Spring Clip Connectors


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Reviews 1 - 5 (43 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by BladeBite a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 25, 2003

Bottom Line:   
It sounds more like an issue with equipment not quite up-to-par being used with the N-Center than the center itself. I've got to say that I've got access to a vast amount of equipment, and have applicated most of it at some point in my home. I use the N-Center in my bedroom system which consists of JBL HLS 820's left and right front, the same on surround, and again on surround back. Two JBL PB12 powered subs. All is driven by a Pioneer Elite vsx-41 110 watt per channel 6.1 AV Receiver, and a DV-45A Super Audio/DVD Audio DVD player. The N-Center is resting atop a Sony XBR 40" hard-tube(KV-40xbr800), and let me tell ya, there isn't much meat between the Center and the tube on that xbr, and there isn't a hint of discloration. Just for the record, Toshiba has had quite a few problems with pixel distortion in the past few years, mainly resulting from the fact that they tried to save money and re-tooling for many non-HDTV sets by using a board originally designed for use IN the their HDTVs. In fact, you may find it interesting to know that many of your entry level Toshibas sitting in your homes right now actually have the HDTV module residing inside them, as it was cheaper for Toshiba to pump out the higher dollar board with these components laying dormant in them than it was to make model exclussive boards...at least they thought so, and sounded good for production's sake. However, they quickly found the error of their way when suddenly they found there was this mass conflict with the optical engine designed to work with the HDTV module. Too late, as they already pumped out thousands of sets this way, and slowly, but consistantly the problems developed and presented themselves in the consumer homes. The most common problem Toshiba users will find due to this @#$%up by Toshiba, though, will be the endless vertical lines that will eventually develope...many of you already know exactly what I'm talking about, and you're saying to yourself right now "Son-of-a-gun, I have that exact problem!" Well, don't take it! Let Toshiba know that you are aware of their dirty little secret(which they never openly acknowlege) and that you want your set replaced!
Anyway, I have a meter that reads magnetic fields and I've gone around several N-Center units and have gotten readings consitant with my CLR3000 Definitive Technology center in my main theater at home, and that's no El'cheapo center, friends.
Back to the bedroom; I've found the simple N-Center more than rivaling units three times it's price, and I'm quite pleased with the dynamics it offers in that particular setup. As far as the "Tweeter isssue", well, you only get out what you put in, in any system. Shove garbage down YOUR neck and you'll probably puke too! In other words, clip your receiver and you will blow Martin Logans rated at three times your receivers rated power. Send a good clean signal and you can way over-power your speakers with no problem...That's just a fact in audio, with any configuration and product name.
I've been hammering the N-Center with music for quite some time now, and it's not showing any signs of puking. It's on rare occasion that any real Dolby Digital or DTS signal finds it's format running through it, as very few movies like Debbie Does Dallas or Candies Sample has a sound format other than OOHH, OOHH!! AAHH!!!, and let us face it folks, Lucas Films wants no part of any of that, nor does it rate anything other than a mono format. This considered, most of the power shoved has been music. Although I did play Saving Private Ryan, and that one will work ANY system, and the Center took it like a champ, and at a level that had my wife and the family dog trying to eat their way out of the house.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $15000.00

Purchased At:   Plucked from stock i



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by funmatt1 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 25, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Great speaker fot the money!! I bought this speaker after reading reviews from here and auditioning this and other center channels at various stores. I have to say that for the money this speaker cannot be beat. The highes tend to be a little bright when turned up loud, but when listened to quitely, the midrange seems to overpower. I have had this speaker for quite some time and i haven't had a problem with blowing the tweeter or the sheilding problem. I don't know about the sheilding problem but i think the whole tweeter issue can be avoided as long as you feed it clean power...cause it can definately handle it. (don't use a cheap reciever, use a good amp)

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $99.00

Purchased At:   best buy



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Weister42 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2003

Bottom Line:   
*This is the third post*


At Frist glance:

JBL's N-Center is a center channel speaker designed to match with other Northridge Series loudspeakers, it has a very hip look of silver tweeter plates and woofer frame, the woofer's light-brown color almost matches to the overall finish, it matches my black 27 inch TV really well. The speaker consists a 3/4 inch titanium dome flanked by the EOS waveguide, and the two 5 inch woofers have soft rubber surrounds for durability. There's two FreeFlow port along with a heavy duty 5-way binging posts on the back of the speaker. The speaker comes with many small rubber pads that can be attached to the bottom of the speaker so it won't slip off your TV during intense program materials.

Listening:

I bought this speaker as a package with four N24s from an on-line store, at a bargain of 280 dollars for five speakers this was almost a joke, I went to a local stereo store and they were charging 550 dollars for them! I unpacked the speaker and put it on top of my TV, along with four N24s for main and surround, all hooked up to my Technics SA-DA10N receiver via 12 guage wire. The digital signal was provided by a Pioneer DV-333 DVD player, and the bottom end was a custom-made sub with a 150-watt amplifier. I used to have a better subwoofer setup but it simply was way too loud, my neighbor and parents doesn't like it when things in the house would move around as if a ghost was playing Ouija. First I tried with a good classical recording, and the sound coming out of the N-Center was pleasant, it didn't quite sound as balanced as the N24s, but pretty close. Watching The Matrix DVD the N-Center presented solid dialog and sets the front stage very well, the tonal quality of the sound did not change when, say, a bullet was flying from the left to far right. Because I listen to music a lot more than watching movies, and the fact that I like to blast my music VERY loud, I guess the N-Center was getting too much information. One day I was playing this rave music, mostly mono so all the sound would then be produced by the center channel speaker(I always use Dolby Pro-Logic), I cranked my receiver to a not-so-comfortable-unless-you-are-nuts level, all the treble was handled by the N-Center, after about 5 minutes the treble suddenly went away; the speaker's tweeter finally gave up. I was confused, however, because I watch movies at about three times(9 more dB) as loud as the level I had it at, and the N-Center took all the abuse and dynamics well over its rated power without any sign of fatigue. Later I read a magazine and found out that this speaker had a low impedance of 2.8 ohms at 12KHz, so maybe the rave music just did it with its sonic chaos. I called JBL and got a replacement in about three weeks, I popped in the tweeter and everything was good again, but now I take cautions when I blast my music...not! It has a five-year warranty, so I have plenty of time left!

Conclusion:

Overall I liked this speaker, it sounded really nice although it didn't blend perfectly with the N24s, and I doubt any speaker package in the sub-600-dollar range(list price that is) could outperform these JBLs.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $70.00

Purchased At:   ecost



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Moviefanatic a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I bought the N CenterII to replace the single driver speaker I was using for a center channel. What a difference. I used it for about a month when all of a sudden I only had green and blue color on my screen. I came to this sight and read where some people had problems with this speaker affecting their sets. I immediately took the speaker back to BB. They had no problem taking it back but said it was odd. I took the TV (Toshiba 32”) in to a repair shop (not where I bought the speakers) and found out the N CenterII had nothing to do with it. I immediately went back to BB and explained. They didn’t give me the one I returned; they gave me a new one. So I am Happy to say that the N CenterII is back on top of my TV. It’s a very good sounding speaker for the price and matches the N 26II’s I have for mains very well. Will be adding N 24II’s for surrounds soon.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $109.00

Purchased At:   Best Buy



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bagheera a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 19, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I had this speaker on top of a panasonic 19 inch TV for over a year with no problem at all. I know have it over a 27 inch with no problem. This speaker has excelent sound for the price. If you can spend more than do but I am pretty picky an I have no plans to upgrade this speaker.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $150.00




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