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JR149 and JR sub

Discussion in 'classic' started by mandryka, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    There's one for sale on ebay and I'm wondering whether it may be good for my second system. I listen to organ music which sometimes goes deep.

    I just can't find any comments on the sub anywhere -- has anyone heard it? Is it a good thing?
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    This set? Jim Rogers made a few different though similar-looking subs, some entirely passive, some powered with the ability to reduce the bandwidth send to the speakers (HPF). It looks like this is the latter type. I’ve never heard any of the subs, though I’m a big fan of the 149, so I’ve no idea how well it works, but I have to say my experience with subs in general hasn’t been a positive one. The 149s are something special though, I love my pair!
  3. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    Yes, that one. It’s your advocacy for them really which makes me interested in trying the speaker, and I stumbled across this eBay ad while looking at what’s on offer.
  4. jimpey

    jimpey pfm Member

    Unless it's already been fettled you can be pretty sure the driver cone surround in the sub will be knackered.

    If you trawl through TonyL's JR149 thread you will find posts and photos by Radine of the 2 subs he re-foamed.

    The amp / crossover will benefit from re-capping too, just like any other 40 year old electronics.

    Unless there is a compelling attraction for the way they look, I would expect to find all sorts of combos for £1100 or less which would sound better. Or how about JR150s for half the price?

  5. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    Did it happen like this?

    People liked JR149. People liked the image but wanted better bass. They developed a sub in response to this market impetus. People didn't go for it, maybe for sonic reasons, maybe price, maybe a third box wasn't an attractive option. So they then developed JR150.
  6. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    I can't comment on the JR sub having never owned own, but personally speaking I don't think the JR149 needs a subwoofer, it has very impressive bass extension and solidity for its size. If you are intent on chasing a full-range JR149, I'd go all out and buy JR149s and a pair of BK XXLS400 subs. Hide the subs out of sight when you have visitors and watch their jaws hit the floor with amazement at the bottomless depth of sound :cool:. This of course won't solve the 149s issue of limited maximum SPL capability, but IMO those looking for a room-filling sound should not be looking at nearfield monitors. The magic of near field monitors is best experienced in the nearfield!
    mandryka likes this.
  7. slavedata

    slavedata pfm Member

    I haven't seen a better sub to double up as a coffee/ side table. Would work in most lounges.
  8. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    One drawback being most coffee tables are placed near the middle of the room, which would provide the least amount of boundary support and likely require the sub to be cranked louder.
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Whilst I really don’t like commenting on other’s eBay listings as it doesn’t feel very professional of me, I do think that one is asking an awful lot for the sub. Yes, JR subs are very, very rare, but given a decent pair of 149s seems to be around the £300-400 range that’s asking £700-800 for the sub. If you do want a sub you can buy a very good one for that second hand, maybe a very good pair.

    I seldom feel my 149s lack bass, though in fairness a) I’m not trying to squeeze the bottom church organ notes out of them, and b) I have a bloody huge pair of Tannoys downstairs. The 149s positioned in the near-field in a typical smallish room and not asked too much in the way of volume sound surprisingly large and weighty. They can do great piano, double bass etc and for me sound most at home on jazz and small-scale classical. By saying that throw a weighty modern pop CD at them, say Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, and I’m sure you’d be surprised by just how much deep tight bass comes out of the things. What they don’t do is high volume, so don’t expect them to fill a big room. Listen in the nearfield at moderate levels and they are just wonderful.

    PS The only caveat I feel I always have to make when I’m singing the praises of JR149s is that mine have been fully rebuilt (new Falcon T27s and B110s, new caps etc), so they are behaving as just a brand new pair would.
  10. jimpey

    jimpey pfm Member

    I have a selection of original documentation here which I believe date from around 1978. The 150s were reviewed favourably in Hifi News in October 1979. In sales literature, JR claimed a frequency response for the 149s from 40hz up and for the 'Super - Woofer' (note it isn't called a sub) down to 30hz. The magazine review has the response of the 150s as 40hz up same as the 149s but concludes 'the 150 offers more output, a smoother and slightly extended response, with improved transient performance, particularly in the bass.'

    There were (I think) 3 versions of the sub. One was taller and smaller diameter and possibly had a built in amp but I have no info on that. The others looked the same but the arrangement at the base came in 2 versions. The first (possibly earliest) had castors and the driver mounted in the bottom face with a port adjacent so firing at the floor with sound 'escaping' via the gap created by the castors. There was no reason for acoustic foam on this other than appearance matching the 149s. The second had a 2nd tier base seperated by short dowels, so the driver and port were firing straight at a board mounted on the castors with the sound escaping between the 2 boards (and therefore through the acoustic foam). I can't recall which version Radine preferred when he tried them both with his 149s after completing the refurb. Perhaps he will chip in.

    The dimension are 47cm high x 51cm dia and they weighed 17.5Kgs.

    There were 2 varieties of controller. The LPA (low pass amplifier) was used with speaker cable connections and output 25 watts rms - hardly floor shaking:). The EXA (electronic crossover amplified system) was used with pre outs and had 60 watts. The sets Radine and I had (now sold on) were both LPA units.

    If 30hz is sufficient for organ music, I suppose the Super-Woofer could also be used with 150s but a small modern sub would probably be superior sonically.

    Toto Man and I should get our fingers out and fit the Monacor drivers to our 150s!

  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That would be with quite a large +/-. Being an infinite baffle speaker they roll off very gently, so yes, they will have measurable output at 40Hz, but it will be many db down from the mid. Here’s a listening seat response plot of mine:


    The ‘Psy’ plot is the one that makes the most sense as I deliberately used very little smoothing - I did the measurement for rough pair matching after I rebuilt them, though it really only shows a lot of bounces and cancellations from the wall (they are sited about 10” away from the wall). As ever it is very hard to get genuinely useful measurements unless one has an anechoic chamber to hand!

    Anyway, used fairly quietly with some wall reinforcement as intended they really do have a surprising amount of very good quality bass. It is all too easy to forget they are just a sealed mini-monitor with a 5” bass driver, though it would be very easy to drive that little B110 into its backstop with modern wide-bandwidth electronic music. Used within their performance envelope they sound way, way bigger than one would expect, plus they have that truly uncanny knack of vanishing to the point nothing at all seems to be coming from them, they are entirely detached from the soundstage they produce. Very few speakers pull that trick off! I’ve never sat in front of mine and wished they had a sub, the sound they produce is very coherent and sounds complete, though I’d not recommend them if loud hard rock or large scale symphonic music is your main interest. Some stuff does just need a big speaker.
  12. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    FWIW the label on the underside of the JR149 states 55Hz-20kHz ±4dB and 70Hz-20kHz ±3dB, while that of the JR150 simply states 45Hz-20kHz with no ± threshold.
  13. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I think the 149 + sub combination may have been reviewed in one of the HiFi Choice books. I'll take a look when I get home. I think there's also a review of the add on that Rogers made for the LS3/5A.

    My memory of reviews on the sub - and I could be remembering this incorrectly - was that it didn't get superlative reviews.
  14. jimpey

    jimpey pfm Member

    Agreed, my point was that it seems unlikely that the 150 was intended to supercede either the 149s or the Super-Woofer.

    There you go - Radine now uses 15"Tannoys and I have Gale 401s. No subs / Super-Woofers required:)

  15. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Gale 401 here too.:):):D

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