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3 way conversion of JBL Studio 530’s Speakers. Some experimental results.

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  • 3 way conversion of JBL Studio 530’s Speakers. Some experimental results.

    3 way conversion of JBL Studio 530’s using the universal crossover first proposed by Jeff B.

    JBL Studio 530 speaker is a good sounding small speaker and it is my first speaker with a compression horn tweeter. With typical music, at reasonable listening level, it is hard not to like them. I especially like the treble range, clean, well dispersed and without irritating quality. However, I wish to play them louder and with more bass. The most direct way is to convert JBL Studio 530 into 3-way using a "universal crossover" between the 5" JBL midbass and a separate larger woofer or subwoofer. This configuration was first proposed by Jeff B in 2015.

    I am happy to present a few tested projects using this approach, which were aimed to satisfy my wishes of making them more dynamic and with deeper bass.

    1. Insert the universal crossover (from JB's article) between JBL Studio 530 and a sealed 10" PE buyout Hsu subwoofer(calculated Qt 0.8, -3db @ 57 hz).
    This combination gives a more balanced sound at the lowend without adding heaviness and can indeed play louder with more impact.

    1a. The same arrangement except feeding the + and – ends of the amplifier directly to the tweeter binding posts of JBL Studio 530 in the back, thus bypassing the high pass portion of the universal crossover. The high pass outputs from JB's crossover are now connected to only JBL’s woofer binding posts. In this case, the JBL tweeters are connecting to the amplifier directly without going through the 150uf cap in JB's highpass circuit. This trick really opens up the sound from good to more fun and really enjoyable. This is especially noticeable in the clarity in the treble range.

    2. Sealed NHT 1259 subwoofer(calculated Qt 0.7, [email protected] 32 hz) similar to
    With JB's universal crossover, JBL 530 and NHT 1259 indeed become a full-bodied 3-way system.
    Now the sound is very impressive with floor shaking organ music. A pair of them sound good even at a low level with clean separation of voices and instruments. I also prefer the sound of connecting the JBL tweeters directly to the amplifier.

    3. Sealed NHT 1259 subwoofer, Revel IW80 8" Ceramic cone/cast frame woofer as the midbassand and JBL 530(using the tweeter only, connected directly to the amp).

    The 8" Revel woofer(in a 0.5 ft3 sealed enclosure)is used instead of JBL Studio 530 woofer. A simple 2 nd order low pass(2.5 mh, 17 uf) is added to allow crossovering to JBL 530 tweeter @ 1500 hz.

    To my ears, system 3 sounds the most lively and realistic. A high quality larger midbass can indeed make the sound bigger and more enjoyable if used correctly. I used to be an AR fan and owned AR 9's once. In my biased opinion, my system 3 sounds more like the NHT 3.3 than AR 9 especially in terms of articulation and details.

    Having tested on 2 subwoofers(HSU and NHT) and 2 midbass drivers(Revel 8" and JBL's own 5"), I feel Jeff's claim of universal crossover is well deserved. The integration between the all subs and midwoofers is seamless (to my ears). The large 150 uf in the universal crossover may or may not affect the treble of your satellite speakers. I use metallized polypropylene caps from Dayton and Solen. But if your satellite speakers come with separate bass and treble terminals, be sure to try connecting the tweeters directly to the amplifier, it may give you an added surprise.

    For DIYers, if you have any thoughts of adding bass to your speakers in the future, you should consider providing biwiring( separate tweeter and woofer terminals) capability of your speakers as an option.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Very interesting test ligs. I have a pair of 530's that haven't seen an amplifier in some time and some woofer modules that utilize RSS210HF's and the universal crossover by Jeff. In the write-up, he states that it should be used with 8 ohm sealed speakers that match the sensitivity of the woofer utilized. If I recall, the 530's came with port plugs. JBL states they are 6 ohm speakers. I like that you used the bi-amp option to keep the tweeter from seeing more passive components. Thanks for your testing and info, I think I'll need to try this out!
    My Builds - Vigor (Nola Brio Knockoff) - Overnight Sensations w/ Voxel - Speedsters in surplus boxes - Zaph B3N's in bamboo - Classix II in BR-1 cabinets - Dual TPA3116 D2 amp in an old music box - Mariposas


    • #3
      The revel IW80 woofer is rated as 8 ohms, while JBL 530 is rated 6 ohms. Jeff said the "universal" crossover has shallow slopes, perhaps by its nature, it is less critical to the impedance of the midwoofer?