5 Speaker HT Package NSP1 - Click image for JBL website Click JBL Logo for their Official Website
JBL NSP1
"Voiced Matched"
HT Speaker Package
(MSRP $549)
Close-up of the NSP1 Package
(To see a closeup -  NSP1 Package)
I bought the JBL NSP1 Timbre Matched HT Speaker Package which includes 4 (qty) N24s and 1 (qty) N Center for $223.87 from shop.theglobe.com (they no longer sell Electronics). After a few days of ordering, I found an JBL N24 Speaker Review written by Brent Butterworth for etown (see link below)

His credentials from the
Home Theater Magazine Issues I own are:
(Articles written by Brent Butterworth - President, CFG Labs)
June '89
pg. 72 "Thumpin' to Please" (5 subwoofers)
pg. 86 "Monitor Audio Full Metal Theater"


Sept. '98
(listed as Editor)
(wrote 2 Electronic Equipment Reviews)

Update - thanks to Lisel, a fellow HT Forum member: Brent was Editor-in-Chief of Home Theater mag for a number of years; he now holds that position at etown.com.

Latest update (added 02-06-01):
San Francisco, September 18, 2000óDolby Laboratories has hired Brent Butterworth as Director, Consumer Technology Marketing

Mr. Butterworth will lead Dolby's efforts to influence expansion in the consumer and broadcast markets. Most recently, he served as Editor-in-Chief of etown.com, the word's largest consumer electronics website. Before that, he was Editorial Director of Home Theater magazine for four years, head of the team responsible for making that publication the leader in its industry. Prior to that, Mr. Butterworth worked for publications including Video, Spin, Windows Sources, and other magazines
.
====

Anyway, here's my JBL NSP1 Speaker Review:

After 3-day wait, (no-extra costs - thank you
shop.theglobe.com!) it took a few days to evaluate the N24s and N Center.  First of all, . . .I have to concur w/Brent's assessment of the N24s / N Center, they sound great and match up very nicely with my powered sub (AudioSource SW15 - unlike some mini-speakers whose usable lowest bass barely reach 140 to 100 Hz, leaving the discerning music enthusiasts to let the powered-sub handle and fill-in the lower mid-bass hole!)

Dolby Digital 5.1 DVD Blockbuster Movie: (Yamaha RX-V995 & Panasonic DVD-A115 @ REF Level)
My kids joined me to watch
GalaxyQuest last night (5-1-00) and I'm just going to jump right in and say that this system is amazing. 

I was expecting it to sound really good in the first place, especially after reading Brent's glowing review, but not this good.  As we watch
GalaxyQuest DVD, I immediately noticed that the tonality is perfectly matched from speaker to speaker.  Front-to-back pans were seamless, and dialogue sounded very natural and centered on the TV (yes Brent, the mids are GREAT!), yet still ambient, the way it would sound in a real room with a real actor.  The dynamics filled up the room and the soundstage was extremely expansive. (the NSP1 & AudioSource SW15 system effortlessly reached 106 dB -- pod transports and space battle scenes)

My previous JBL "J" series were good, very good due to the 14mm Titanium laminate tweeters (10mm for surrounds -
they will go to my vacation house), but the newly designed 3/4" Titanium laminate tweeters on all 5 speakers, coupled with JBL's latest technology, the Elliptical Oblate Spheroid (EOS) waveguide contributed to the seamless soundstage and wide dispersion that we heard @ REF Level!!  Impressive, indeed!  This design ensures that the highs, are, . . . as Brent's review pointed out, "The treble's just there -- it doesn't call attention to itself; it doesn't amaze; but it never sounds less than competent." Which means that the highest frequencies were apparent and clean without being bright or harsh.

Of course, Brent's review specifically addresses a pair of JBL N24s, and my review includes the JBL N Center.  JBL has successfully voiced matched (timbre) the N Center to the N24s, where together, they provide a much more convincing, extremely wide front & surround stage.  The N Center locks the dialog in the center of the TV clearly with realistic impact. 
Tim Allen & Sigourney Weaver sounds like they are in your living room!!

CD Music: (Technics SL-MC410 110+1 Mega Changer - SPL no higher than 92 dB Fast SPL peaks)
Is the NSP1 musical?  Yes, they are!  Brent's review briefly comments how the N24s
"out-imaged any other mini I've used in a wall-mount configuration. I didn't think a wall-mounted speaker could image so well. Voices levitated in the air in front of me; the hand percussion in Holly Cole's "Train Song" floated about between the speakers; and I got much more sense of a soundstage than I'm used to getting."

I've confirmed his findings by sampling my favorite and familiar Music CD's by
Bob James, David Benoit, Joe Sample and The Rippingtons. Cymbal crashes, rides, attacks were all solid, sharp, & airy (like my son's Zildjian cymbals - Tama Rock set); the Piano & Keyboards were as accurate as my 6' Yamaha Grand & Yamaha Electronic Keyboard; the Violins were smooth, sweet & solidly placed beyond the speakers; Acoustic Guitars sounded like my "1976 (Rosewood side & back) Alvarez" hand made Classical Guitar!; and Brent already commented how great the mids were, but let me add that "Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim*" were in my living room when I played the Music CD with the same name! (*great 1967 Digital remastered) DDD Music CD's really shined & the JBL NSP1 didn't disappoint! (Sampled w/Pro-Logic on & off)

If it isn't already evident, I love these speakers.  It's not often you come across speakers this good for a mere $223.87 for the entire HT Package! (NSP1 MSRP aprox. $549)  But, I've always been impressed by JBL's design technology, and now that they have only two speaker lines, I expect more glowing reviews to come before this year is out.

Phil
(reviewed May 1 - 4, 2000)
NOTE: The JBL NSP1 Speakers, specifically the N24s, would be considered not very efficient due to the Sensitivity Rating 86 dB @ 1w / 1m.  This means, if you plan to run this set without a powered sub, I would recommend an honestly rated 80w x 5 A/V Receiver, or higher.  If you have an powered sub, then 70w x 5 minimum would be required!  See below links:
I wrote the above, personal, 'first' impression speaker review on May 2000, since then, 5 different Speaker Reviews used the following common accolades to describe the JBL NSP1's: . . .
"Timbre matching; sound was superb; Imaging was excellent; smooth, uniform response; rich and clear; pleasingly natural with stereo music; articulate, focused, and well balanced."
- why all the accolades??
It seems that
JBL's sophisticated design, engineering and measurement tools accomplised it's goal with the Northridge N-24 Speakers!  Read the dba newsline announcement below. . .
Read JBL's 1999 Speaker Lineup
by dba newsline - Aug. 19, 1999
Click for JBL Speaker announcement
Click for Sound&Vision Spreadsheet
"100w x 5 Really 100w x 5?" link
Click for How Many Watts for HT webpage
"How many watts for HT?" link
Click for why you should audition JBL speakers!
Read "Why you should audition JBL speakers!"
Read JBL's NSP1 Speaker Review
by Brent Butterworth - Aug. 3, 2000
Click for JBL NSP1 Speaker System Review
PI - May 2, 2000
Click to JBL NSP1 Spec's page Click to return to Main Page Sub-woofer Specifications
(To JBL Spec's  page)
(Sub-woofer Specifications)
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