JBL SVA Center Center Channels

SVA Center

Center Channel Speaker

User Reviews (19)

Showing 1-10 of 19  
Mandy Bartels   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 28, 2014]

I mostly writing to the guy wishing he had the whole set.
I was just in a pawn shop garden city exchange (Garden city Michigan) they put there stuff on ebay.
Im selling the woofers and crossover on ebay now coulda sworn when I got this it had no
tweeter behind the middle horn. but they had the whole set. with A tweeter in the middle.
They are really good with prices I picked up 4 nib jbl 4312c 4 $700.
I'm sure they would list the whole set on ebay if someone wanted it.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
peyebp4   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 06, 2003]
Strength:

Highs like glass breaking, awesome, voices uncolored and natural, everything about this speaker is a strength

Weakness:

none

I can only echo the outstanding reviews on this site. I only wish I had snagged the rest of the sva line when i got this speaker for a STEAL.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Randal   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 17, 2000]
Strength:

Overall performance; clarity, resolution, and dispersion characteristics.

Weakness:

none

I came across the JBL SVA series after a long period of research and auditioning other speakers that met Home THX specs. I happen to really like the character that we hear in really good theaters (most notably THX houses)that utilize horn systems, so I went looking for HT speakers that would emulate that unique character. I zeroed in on two models: The Triad Gold LCR, and JBL Synthesis Two. They sound great, but at $1000 and $2500 respectively. The research and audtioning armed me with knowledge and an ear for what to look and listen for...and the JBL SVA series was the surprising result of my search...and at a price that is quite remarkable.

The star of any HT speaker system is the center and this one is remarkable. Although this review is primarily on the SVA Center, virtually all the comments also apply to the SVA 1500.

I was leary of a horizontal center speaker, but this speaker's performance is so impressive, that I doubt I will ever notice any shortcomings the horizontal configuration may cause. I mated the SVA Center with SVA 1500s for the left and right. The three use identical components, and differ only in the Center's crossover having some treatments necessary due to the horizontal position. (The SVA 1500 will not perform as a center if turned on its side, although it is a perfect center speaker if you can leave it vertical.) Together the front stage is incredible; imaging resolution and clarity is spectacular. The soft dome/horn gives dialogue, musical instruments, and effects incredible clarity and resolution without harshness or a cheap throaty character that many horn systems (notably Klipsh IMHO) create.

Interestingly the SVA Series, especially the 1500, adheres remarkably to Home THX Ultra Specs. The JBL horn provides the wide horizontal/narrow vertical dispersion characteristics, and its frequency response of 80-20K+/-2dB is right on the money for THX specs. And believe me on HT material they sound like it! JBL must have chosen not to pursue the THX certification for this line, but it easily could have with the exception of the Center. The Center would have a tough time getting by the THX dislike of horizontal center speakers. It sounds great to me. (An excellent demo is the THX WOW laserdisc...especially the flip side with James Earl Jones' naration.) The good news for us is we get the benefits of their THX emulating performance without the extra cost.

The SVA Center would blend very well with the other larger floor standing SVA line. These larger models are somewhat more efficient, and I like them...but I didn't have the room to conceal them in cabinetry. The SVA 1600 is a spectacular model that got high praise in the trade mags a few years back.

I was concerned that the 1500/Center combo might feel strained in our large multi-purpose family room, but they soar with no stain whatsoever. I don't tend to often run THX reference spl, but they handle it effortlessly.

Surround speakers were never made in the SVA series, so you will have to find an appropriate match. Although I subscribe to the dipole approach with surrounds, two 1500s placed high to the sides would probably do great. JBL HT Series dipoles would probably be the best dipole choice. My solution (and good luck) was to find two demo JBL Sythesis surrounds at a steal. The system sounds great even though it has not yet been calibrated and the room EQd to meet THX specs with the Audio Control THX EQ. They will perform with the new Pioneer Elite Pro 710 RPTV.

With regards to music, I have no critiscm. Music, vocals, everything sounds fighteningly realistic. Vocals that have little musical background and are at lower spl levels occassionally catch us off guard they sound so real!

The problem may be finding these speakers. SVA is a discontinued line that you may be tough to find. The most likely source is at the Harman Outlet Stores. At one time they were common on on-line stores, but that source seems to be drying up. The Center and 1500s retailed for around $550.00 each, but could be found at around half that or better.

If you can find them, mate them with a good sub(s)in a good system, you will have an astounding system as impressive as can be found at any price. Good luck.

Similar Products Used: Triad Gold LCR, JBL Synthesis S2C
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ron   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 31, 2000]
Weakness:

Magnetic Shielding

I bought this on closeout from Best Buy to match my SVA-1800 speakers but due to the poor magnetic shielding it distorted the picture when sitting on top of my television. Into the closet it went until I bought my new Toshiba CZ32V51 and I decided I really wanted a center speaker for my surround system. I found if I placed the speaker about 3 inches back there was no distortion, but the rear support leg was too short to support it. I ended up going to Home Depot and buying the same size steel rod in about a 3 foot length and a cheap can of black spray paint. Once cut to size and painted it supports the rear of the speaker and looks and sounds great. Obviously this speaker was designed to sit on top of a larger rear projection TV but with a little work as far as placement and support it's working great on top of my direct view 32".

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
f u   Casual Listener [Dec 31, 1999]
Strength:

crisp, good value

Weakness:

poor magnetic shielding

Got it for $67 from online auction. Very nice value.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jahder   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 03, 1999]

The shielding on this baby is definitely poor. I had to move it quite a ways back on my TV just so it wouldn't distort the image. However, the sound is great, basically a sideways mini-tower that belts out some mean bass. If angled correctly, staging for home theater applications is prime. But like I said, the shielding is piss poor, and you'd be better off setting this thing on top of an entertainment center (too high for my liking) or drill a shelf into your wall.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
R. Boone   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 16, 2000]
Strength:

Incredible off-axis response, the compression horn tweeter has to be heard to be believed!

Weakness:

Some have noted the "poor" magnetic shielding...mine sits atop a 50" Mistubishi and I get no distortion at all

The highs in this speaker are produced using JBL's "Bi-Radial" horn and inject sound into the room. (This is a true compression horn, not the gimmicky "Constant-Directivity" one found on the HLS series.) Cymbals, the sound of ejected casings (ala "The Matrix"), glass breaking---basically any sounds 2500Hz or above--float into the listening space absolutely in-your-face and distortion-free. You have never heard anything like it!

Female voices aren't sibilant, while males are reproduced without the boominess associated with lower-end speakers. Off-axis response is amazing...I can travel the length of my couch without noticing any difference in sound quality.

I've always been a fan of JBL's products, but lately they seem to have fallen behind the home theater curve in terms of performance vs. value. With so many companies--many only a few years old--now competing for your dollar, the old dogs like JBL need to learn some new tricks. It's funny that JBL would opt to discontinue the SVA line, as the speakers wearing the SVA badge are some of the best in recent history and handily whip the competition at the same price point.

My guess is that when the SVA series was alive and well, their pricing was "high" relative to home theater's infancy. Today, however, paying $599.99 (I believe the SVA Center retailed for something like this back in 1997) for a center channel of this quality is expected.

Note to JBL: Bring back the SVA line...

Similar Products Used: JBL HLS Center
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Harris Hafeez   Audiophile [Dec 03, 1999]
Strength:

Good clear dialouge, nice mids, highs, and lows, I personally love the ported hole, and the adjustable bar on the back, heavy, and good solid construction.

Weakness:

Wish it had more magnetic sheilding distorts my TV very little though, takes some time to burn in about 10 hours.

This is very nice center channel, I got it for $117 shipped brand new from an online auction. I have a Infinity BU-120 subwoofer, 2 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Advents, and I'm planning on buying JBL SVA1800 as mains. This is nice heavy center channel. I think JBL discontinued it becase of its price. But the SVA series is JBL's best. Overall excellent center channel. Takes some time to burn in, and distorts the top right hand side of my TV very little, barely noticiable though. 5 Stars

Similar Products Used: Atlantic Technology Compact Theater 1 Center, Infinity CC2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Randal   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 16, 2000]
Strength:

Same as in my earlier review, plus now the 1500 vertical model has THX Ultra certification in its "resurrected" form as HT4V.

Weakness:

Center has some lobing characteristics.

This is an update on my earlier review about a year ago. Our HT has since been completed and the room EQed with the Audio Control THX EQ. Performance is incredible, sounding as good as the larger JBL Synthesis systems, with good reason (continure reading below). That review metioned at length the surprising lack of THX certification of the vertical model, the SVA 1500. As and interesting and happy turn of events, the 1500 has been resurrected as the THX Ultra certified HT4V. This model only differs in one way: the tweeter has been changed to titanium. I'm sure the titanium horn loaded tweeter sounds great, but I doubt that it makes a significant improvement to the SVA sound which is superb.

Notable is the fact that this new speaker is in JBL's ultra high-end Synthesis line. New MSRP is $550 and may only be sold as a complete system. Check out the JBL Synthesis web site. If you have the SVAs or can find them, count yourself lucky, especially if you got them in the amazing closeouts about a year ago where the 1500s could be found for less than $200 a pair. If you can find a used couple of pair now you will still have great performance at a great price. Good luck

Similar Products Used: JBL Synthesis S2C, Triad In-Room Gold
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mitchell   an Audiophile [Jul 21, 1999]

For those of you who had the pleasure of listening to this center channel speaker knows that it is definately the best center JBL has made except the synthesis center,....maybee! With the right amplification this baby sings her heart out with music as well as movies, positioning is very important though for the best dialog. If there is a Best Buy in your neighborhood, and you are looking for a good center channel speaker give this one a try i'm sure you won't be dissapointed! Again i have heard very good center speakers that can be called to mind, Infinity, Legacy, Krix, Linn, but believe you/me this speaker can hang with the best just listen! Although i would not recommend using a reciever to power this thing because it reveals flaws in equipment easily with it's soft dome tweeter, it reminds me of a scanspeak tweeter which is one of the best

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 19  

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