JBL SCS120 Home Theater Speaker Systems

3.79/5 (24 Reviews)


Product Description

Home Theater Speaker Package


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Reviews 1 - 5 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: January 22, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I bought these speaker two years ago for $700 mail order. I thought it was a really good package back then and still do today.

When I hooked the entire package and turned on Jurassic park, the scene where the bug T-rex chased the Jeep was awesome! I was hooked on Home Theater then.

You'll have to experiment with the sub-woofer placement as this will make a big difference with the low end response. I ended up putting mine to the right side of the room with the cone sticking out in front of the entertainment center.
They do shake the room!

The mounting brackets are easy to install and swivel to suit your placement needs.

For similar speakers today with similar specs, you'll end up paying over $1000.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:4
Submitted by preston Olivo a a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: September 13, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I Auditioned all the sub $600 "home theatre speaker" systems out there. For the price, this system is unparalled. The Bass is deep and defined (use both ports and a good monster cable). The bass literally shakes our entertainment center. Tghe surrounds have a good range. The only thing slightly lacking is the high on the center. I can live with that considering how well the bass/midrange sounds. If you like a "clearer" high, in my opinion, you may want to go with something else. The trade-off will be the bass. Overall, i love my set, they sounds awesome.. especially when you get to crank them up!

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Duration Product Used:   a Casual Listener



Overall Rating:4
Submitted by BOBA a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 1, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I've got them 3 days ago from J&R Music store for $449+tax. Hooked them to Yamaha RX-V795. As was told by somebody here I think it has a weak middle range.But I found it very good, especially for this price. I wanted to get Polk Audio RM 7500 ($1599) but now just want to forget about them.
I'm gonna give a 4.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Shawn Blake a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 27, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Technically this is not a review of the SCS-120 speaker package. However I believe that the SCS-120 is very similar to a set-up that I do own, and that is the combination of the slightly older Music 2 and Movies 20 (part of JBL’s sound effects line). As far as I can tell the satellites in my system are identical to those used in the SCS-120. The difference is in the subwoofer, which is more of a cylinder type in my set-up, and uses smaller drivers (more on that later).
The Music 2:

This is the main system, they are supposedly meant for music but were obviously intended to be easily matched with other products from the sound effects line to form a home-theater package. Each of the two satellites has a pair of 3½" mid-range drivers flanking a titanium tweeter (very stiff), and have removable cloth grilles. In addition they are ported to allow for slightly fuller mid-range. Both satellites have a foam baffle applied to their faces to aid in dispersion. The bass unit, called a ‘bass wave’ (it’s not really fair to call it a subwoofer) houses two 5¼” ‘woofers’ in a triple chambered, dual ported, band-pass enclosure. It can either be placed on it’s end in an upright position (in a corner for instance) using the included base, or placed horizontally along a baseboard or behind a couch. It is very sturdy feeling and accounts for over half the weight of the entire system (44½lbs total). Fortunately it also employs a built in 100w amplifier, which is good since you connect it using speaker level outputs. Bass response sounded pretty good to me but I have almost no experience with subs and can only say that it was cleaner sounding than my floor standing speakers (but they are rear ported and cannot be placed in a corner or against a wall).

The Movies 20:

This is the auxiliary system consisting of three identical satellites meant to be used as the center channel and the surround speakers. The dimensions are the same as the satellites in the Music 2 but these have perforated metal grilles and are unported. One of the satellites is supposed to be specified as the center channel and is supposed to have a sloped low-profile grille to make it less obtrusive on top of your TV, but all of mine look the same and I can’t tell them apart.

The sound:

I had these set up next to my floor-standing Infinity CS3007 (EMIT-R tweeter, 6” mid-range, dual 8” woofers, 37” tall, 58lbs. ea.) and seriously, I couldn’t tell that much difference in musical applications. However it was a VERY CASUAL comparison, I didn’t switch speakers back and forth very quickly, it wasn’t a blind test, and I wasn’t using my own components. That said, you may think the comparison wasn’t worth much and you might be right. But my point is that these small inexpensive speakers sounded very comparable to large expensive speakers when played using average quality consumer type components, not too bad really. And remember that was with music, when used with an older HK AVR-40 for pro-logic movie watching the JBL system was pretty amazing, filling the room (20’x25’) with clean, full sound.

The scoop:

I got this surprisingly good package intending to sell them but now I’m going to keep them. The best part was that I picked them up for $314 including shipping!! I got them at www.audiodeals.com The original list on this combination was $1600!! For the price I paid, and even at twice that, they are simply amazing speakers. A friend that was over watching movies with me turned to me during the movie and said, “I can’t believe we’re sitting in your living room.” (OK we happened to be using a native XGA Proxima projector as well but still the sound was impressive. The projector wasn’t mine but DAMN I can’t wait till they are affordable!).

Finish and details:

There are some very nice touches on this system. All of the speakers (even the bass unit) have some kind of wire management built in that allows you to hide the wires for a nice clean installation. The JBL badges on the face of the satellites are spring loaded and can be rotated so they are right side up regardless of how you mount the speakers. That may not seem like much but to me it says, attention to detail. Also all five (5) satellites have a built in mounting bracket for wall or ceiling placement, again a nice touch. JBL includes speaker wire. I admit it’s not very high quality wire but at least it lets you set up your new speakers right away.

Possible concerns:

All the speakers use spring type connectors instead of binding post. Personally I was a little disappointed at fist because I prefer to use banana plugs, but I just crimped on some gold pins and everything was good after that. The bass unit does not use line level inputs! You have to hook it up using an extra connection to your front left and right speaker outputs. Plus there is no crossover the only control is a volume control knob on the face of the sub. The unit looks like it has line level inputs but these are meant for some special JBL only wireless connection and cannot be used (at least not according to the manual, I haven’t actually tried it yet).

Conclusion: -finally ;)

These are fantastic speakers for the price. They are well finished and attractive and give you excellent versatility in placement. Plus they are a great choice for theater sound on a budget and will make watching movies much more enjoyable than it already is. Most importantly their sound will surprise you with its clarity and range. I have no hesitation with giving them five speakers.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast



Overall Rating:4
Submitted by sonny a a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: March 12, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Well, I took the plunge and bought these bad boys from J and R in New York. I got for $550 which wasn't too bad but I'm sure I could've found a lower price. Considering they were selling at $700 when I looked at them first, it wasn't really that bad of a deal.
Now to the speakers. I have mixed feelings about them. It sounds great for listening to Dolby Surround or Dolby Digital. Placement wasn't too hard but the subwoofer is still a little tricky and I haven't found the sweet spot in the room yet. The output of these speakers are okay but sometimes the highs sound like they're straining the speakers. Mid-range is mediocre if even existent. But depending on where the sub is, sometimes that isn't too noticeable. The sub is great but as I said before, it is a little tricky to find the sweet spot.

Listening to music on these is another story. It really isn't all that pleasing to do. I'm not sure whether the problem is with the receiver or the speakers. I have the speakers paired up with a Sony STR-DE925. The bass gets too overwhelming and I have to turn it down just too get it to a tolerable level. The speakers sound pretty anemic when listening to music. I found that it was tolerable when I turned the receiver's sound field to Pro-Logic from a music sound field. Other than that, I don't regret buying these speakers.

The power handling is great -120 watts. They sound great in Pro-Logic and even better in Dolby Digital. I can't wait to get DTS dvd's and a demodulator for my laserdisc player. Music is a little disappointing but I can live with that since I have a Bose AM-3's hooked up to the receiver just for that purpose.

all in all I give the SCS120's a...rating. I bought them for home theater and for that sole purpose only.

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Duration Product Used:   a Casual Listener




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