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Horn-Loaded Speakers
Topic: Re: Pro Audio: JBL SR-4735X

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 09-06-2005

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Many people know that I run a side business doing wedding photography. During the 24 years that I have been doing the wedding gigs, and after over 950 jobs that I went through I kind of have seen all imaginable wedding bands. Certainly the “events musician” requires different musicianship and it is very seldom anything interesting come up from there. Still, among the muddy water of the “events bands” sometime is possible to fish some very interesting people/performances. For instance year after year right next to my home in the upscale lounge “Fisher Tower” there was on weekends a 3-peace jazz-band that plays phenomenally, technically and artistically. Or for instance 3 weeks ago during the shooting of a ceremony I come across to an amassing older Gipsy Croatia women who spoke mostly Spanish (what a mix!) and who played piano like no one I ever heard. I was a play deserving Carnegie Hall not the Natick’s church…

Anyhow, it happens that I know and lived in my past among many “events musicians” and the movie “Fabulous Baker Boys” I always treated almost like an autobiography. I knew many very interesting bands in my old country and in US and kind of have very settled expectations to what and how it might be. The fact that I’m “doing Audio” practically never intersect with what the “events musicians” do and their sound (if it amplified) never was a subject of my attention – it juts never approach any level where it was possible to even start to take it seriously.  So, the event a few days ago kind of cough me surprised….

It was one of the best Boston’s “events musician” band, the band that mostly play at the most expansive locations of center city: the Omni House, The Copley Hotel, the Four Seasons. It was 10 people band and they run over $10K for 4.5 hours. Boston is not NY and for Boston it is expansive. The playing was very solid, very professional, the singers were surprisingly fine and I personally did not detect any wrong note of single deviation of rhythm over the entire evening. It was pretty much a concert intend of typical restaurant music.

However, what surprised me was their sound. It was not the classic boom-tza-tza of the professional musicians tends to use but quite rich and very balanced sound. The band has a large brass-woodwind group and the electrical instruments were very tastefully tuned to the wind group. The entire sound was very nicely balanced and did not go very high or very low. From a prospective of a typical “DJ sound” the band sounded “too midrangy”… However, it was very musical all-together.

When I head a few first accords they played I instantaneously said: “Hm! This is not the sound that I usually hear at those jobs…” and then I decided to inspect what loudspeakers they used. Everything turned out to be moderate: each channel used one single JBL SR4735X and a pair of the sealed JBL’s LF enclosures, all of it was arrange into a vertical array.  The SR4735X is a 3 ways monitor with a single 8” M209 driver sitting in a tratrix-like rectangular horn with 4”-5” input.


I think the entire sound of this speaker was spinning around the good quality of the MF channel and undersized bass-reflex enclosure that do not let the damn port to operate too low (or perhaps they EQ it out). Probably they also rolled off the HF, as the sound of that cheap titanium tweeter did not jump on me. In any case it was quite interesting treat… and partially when the played soft. Certainly that sound did not go even close to the sound that I might consider appropriate for a home inhalations but still it was advancement from what the “not customized” pro installations usually do.

Did anyone ever try the JBL SR4735X in home? I wonder what would happen if to drive this speaker with a good source and good amplification. I do not think that it might be “that” good but the discount pro shops sell those speakers for $400-$500. I wonder how much better they are then the $50,000 hi-fi crap?

Romy the Cat

Posted by Tom Brennan on 09-27-2005

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Romy---A pal uses JBL 3115s, speakers for small picture theaters that use a similar horn-loaded cones in a narrow range, from 250 or 300hz up to 1600hz.

They sound pretty good, better than any high-end type speakers I've heard.

Keep in mind though my taste is Midwest barbarian.

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