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Anyone using the JBL-M2/ Crown system Equalisers (HW)
Old 27th March 2017
  #1
Anyone using the JBL-M2/ Crown system

I am having serious concerns about this packaged system.

As far as I can tell, the JBL's are simple passive speakers: a horn, a woofer, and terminals.
Conversely, the Crown i-tech 5000 amps are complex, with many variations and hook-up scenarios. I checked with Crown on the phone to confirm my configuration was correct and optimum.( it does not come ready out of the box, changes have to be made to the software)

I use all Mogami/Neutrik cabling and Speakon twist connectors for the monitors.
I had a licensed electrician wire a dedicated double outlet to my breaker-box.
All new cabling.
I isolated all the the lines (to & from the amps) with rubber tubing, they are nowhere near each other.
My room is completely balanced, conditioned and voltage regulated.

I spent a week tuning the room, no problems, but then things changed:

All of a sudden I got a buzz ( sounds like a grounding buzz;metalic)
What I didn't realize is the Crowns have a timed shut-off circuit, so when no audio is running, the amp goes into standby mode. This may seem like a useful thing, but I have to have audio running to hear the speakers. How can I trouble shoot the buzz when I turn the music off and that act mutes the amps?

The 1st thing I did was to take identical lines and sounds source to another pair of speakers. These are powered speakers. No buzz, no hiss. I also discovered something else quite alarming. The music sounded MUCH better on my other pair of speakers. The imaging was better and the frequency response wider. So I listened to CDs I have listened to for 30 years, music that I am fully aware as to what it sounds like. I hooked up a Manley Massive Passive in line, and ran the system as 5:1 system and discovered this: to match the general EQ from front-to-back I had to employ a minimum gain of 12dB at 8kHz with about an octave bandwidth to match the clarity of the rear channel monitors. With the EQ muted; the cymbals, hi-hat, crispy-air were all gone.
Bear in mind, this applies equally to both speakers, and they are brand new. Theres not tweeter to blow, and I got the result I wanted with EQ, an EQ I should not need to use in this manner.

I called JBL 3 times, to their dept of pro-products and have waited nearly a week. No replies.


Anyone have suggestions?
Old 27th March 2017
  #2
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You haven't specified what country you are in. Is there a local JBL specialist? I've had no problems calling and talking to JBL (Northridge/Los Angeles, CA) almost immediately.

Maybe try sending a low signal to the Crowns in the sub 20Hz range to keep them from shutting off? (though there should be a way to defeat that)

Outside of comparing one set of speaker to another, you mentioned tuning your room. Surely have had a frequency graph of the M2 now irrespective of your other speakers to know if it is playing correctl? Sounds like the crossovers or processing isn't set correctly at the amp.

(I say this while I also am un-impressed with the M2 but it shouldn't perform so poorly.)
Old 27th March 2017
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
You haven't specified what country you are in. Is there a local JBL specialist? I've had no problems calling and talking to JBL (Northridge/Los Angeles, CA) almost immediately.

Maybe try sending a low signal to the Crowns in the sub 20Hz range to keep them from shutting off? (though there should be a way to defeat that)

Outside of comparing one set of speaker to another, you mentioned tuning your room. Surely have had a frequency graph of the M2 now irrespective of your other speakers to know if it is playing correctl? Sounds like the crossovers or processing isn't set correctly at the amp.
Im in WV

The # I have been calling is (818)8948850

I will try the sub freq to keep the audio path open

the room was flat.
as far as I know there is no crossover, the M2's receive equal wattage to both components.(offsetting those doesnt affect the lack of high freq problem I am having.)

Thanks for your time
Old 27th March 2017
  #4
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Try (800) 397-1881 for JBL

There's a crossover (800Hz) it is processed by the Crown Amps. Or in JBL marketing speak:
Quote:
HARMAN Crown I-Tech power amplifiers complete
the M2 system, providing greater than a kilowatt of clean
power to the 2216Nd woofer, and more than enough
power for the D2 driver. Working in concert with the
M2’s revolutionary Image Control waveguide, BSS®
OMNIDRIVE HD™ digital signal processing in the Crown
I-Tech allows the implementation of an ideal crossover,

while providing the option for storage of EQ presets
Old 27th March 2017
  #5
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When you say that you spent a week tuning the room, does this mean that you were customizing your tuning profiles of the amps for your M2 system? What happens if you re-load the base config tuning profile for the M2's? The M2 system support number listed in the software is 818-893-8411 (JBL).
Old 27th March 2017
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmacko View Post
When you say that you spent a week tuning the room, does this mean that you were customizing your tuning profiles of the amps for your M2 system? What happens if you re-load the base config tuning profile for the M2's? The M2 system support number listed in the software is 818-893-8411 (JBL).
Thanks for the number, I got hung up on after listening to muzak for 10 minutes, called back got an answering machine.

I reached a techie at Crown. He stated the changes I need to make demand a PC, I am Mac, and relayed to him that most musician are Mac, and he said " I hear this complaint every day".
My bigger suggestion was for Crown or JBL to include a pre-formatted thumb drive ($5) with the presets for the M2, along with their $12K amps, of which he agreed this is something they should do.

Thanks for your time.
Old 28th March 2017
  #7
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clonewar's Avatar
 

Are you running a pair of the i-Tech 5000's? The best thing to do would be to reload the M2 device file in each amp to be sure that they're correctly setup for the M2's. If the amps aren't set up with the correct M2 preset then the crossover will be wrong or non-existent, which sounds like what you could be hearing.

I believe that it's possible to load the device files from a thumb drive, you can download the M2 file from JBL's site, but digging through the menus on the amp doesn't come close to running HiQnet Audio Architect, where you can also tune the speakers to your room with the onboard EQ etc. It's a bummer that Harmon doesn't make a Mac version, but at least the software is free. I'd recommend picking up an older Windows 7 pc/laptop just to run that software and have full control over your amps. You could directly connect the pc to the amp with a crossover cable or through a lan switch, keeping both off of other networks and away from the internet.
Old 28th March 2017
  #8
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You could probably use bootcamp, Parallels, or VM Fusion to get the software running on your Mac.
Old 28th March 2017
  #9
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ddageek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromalord View Post
Thanks for the number, I got hung up on after listening to muzak for 10 minutes, called back got an answering machine.

I reached a techie at Crown. He stated the changes I need to make demand a PC, I am Mac, and relayed to him that most musician are Mac, and he said " I hear this complaint every day".
My bigger suggestion was for Crown or JBL to include a pre-formatted thumb drive ($5) with the presets for the M2, along with their $12K amps, of which he agreed this is something they should do.

Thanks for your time.
So buy a copy of windows run bootcamp.
Of course buying $12k worth of amps and not knowing that the control software is Windows only says more about the customer than Harman!
Old 28th March 2017
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
So buy a copy of windows run bootcamp.
Of course buying $12k worth of amps and not knowing that the control software is Windows only says more about the customer than Harman!
Oh yeah? What does it say about me?
Old 28th March 2017
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by clonewar View Post
Are you running a pair of the i-Tech 5000's? The best thing to do would be to reload the M2 device file in each amp to be sure that they're correctly setup for the M2's. If the amps aren't set up with the correct M2 preset then the crossover will be wrong or non-existent, which sounds like what you could be hearing.

I believe that it's possible to load the device files from a thumb drive, you can download the M2 file from JBL's site, but digging through the menus on the amp doesn't come close to running HiQnet Audio Architect, where you can also tune the speakers to your room with the onboard EQ etc. It's a bummer that Harmon doesn't make a Mac version, but at least the software is free. I'd recommend picking up an older Windows 7 pc/laptop just to run that software and have full control over your amps. You could directly connect the pc to the amp with a crossover cable or through a lan switch, keeping both off of other networks and away from the internet.
Would a newer chromebook work?
Old 28th March 2017
  #12
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clonewar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromalord View Post
Would a newer chromebook work?
Probably not, they run Google Chrome OS, you need a Windows computer.

Like it's been mentioned, you could run Windows in bootcamp, Fusion, or Parallels on your Mac, but it really depends on whether you want full time control over your amps or just to connect to them to load the device files and periodically check/change settings. Bootcamp requires you to reboot your Mac into Windows, and with Fusion or Parallels you might not want a Windows vm running at the same as your DAW. I personally like the idea of having the Harmon software running at all times when I'm using M2's, but it's definitely not a requirement.

Also, there's a Crown iOS app that you can use on an iPad or iPhone to do basic amp controls (volume, source, etc), but it won't help you load the device file. Ironically, the Architect software is free, but the simple control app is $3.99 (iirc).

BTW, which amps are you using?
Old 28th March 2017
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by clonewar View Post
Probably not, they run Google Chrome OS, you need a Windows computer.

Like it's been mentioned, you could run Windows in bootcamp, Fusion, or Parallels on your Mac, but it really depends on whether you want full time control over your amps or just to connect to them to load the device files and periodically check/change settings. Bootcamp requires you to reboot your Mac into Windows, and with Fusion or Parallels you might not want a Windows vm running at the same as your DAW. I personally like the idea of having the Harmon software running at all times when I'm using M2's, but it's definitely not a requirement.

Also, there's a Crown iOS app that you can use on an iPad or iPhone to do basic amp controls (volume, source, etc), but it won't help you load the device file. Ironically, the Architect software is free, but the simple control app is $3.99 (iirc).

BTW, which amps are you using?
I have I-tech 5000s

My sister loaned me her PC laptop so I'm going to give it a go.

What I know about PCs I could fit in a thimble. Should be interesting.
I dont like the idea of putting Window conversion apps on any of my Macs, I try to keep them streamlined as possible.

Bundled systems should be ready to go upon delivery, I shouldnt have to buy this, do that, format this, install that. Not when you spend this kind of dough.
Above all they should disclose this but they dont.


Thanks for your time and info


cheers!
Old 29th March 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chromalord View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by clonewar View Post
Probably not, they run Google Chrome OS, you need a Windows computer.

Like it's been mentioned, you could run Windows in bootcamp, Fusion, or Parallels on your Mac, but it really depends on whether you want full time control over your amps or just to connect to them to load the device files and periodically check/change settings. Bootcamp requires you to reboot your Mac into Windows, and with Fusion or Parallels you might not want a Windows vm running at the same as your DAW. I personally like the idea of having the Harmon software running at all times when I'm using M2's, but it's definitely not a requirement.

Also, there's a Crown iOS app that you can use on an iPad or iPhone to do basic amp controls (volume, source, etc), but it won't help you load the device file. Ironically, the Architect software is free, but the simple control app is $3.99 (iirc).

BTW, which amps are you using?
I have I-tech 5000s

My sister loaned me her PC laptop so I'm going to give it a go.

What I know about PCs I could fit in a thimble. Should be interesting.
I dont like the idea of putting Window conversion apps on any of my Macs, I try to keep them streamlined as possible.

Bundled systems should be ready to go upon delivery, I shouldnt have to buy this, do that, format this, install that. Not when you spend this kind of dough.
Above all they should disclose this but they dont.


Thanks for your time and info


cheers!
I have to agree, I started to laugh when reading the manual after I ordered the M2 package that I would have to go out of my way to do such a small thing as load a small configuration profile before I can get going. There's no reason that the M2 profile can't be built into the firmware of the amps out of the box. Oh well.

BTW, I'm also on Mac OS. You can get going with the M2's by loading the M2 base configuration profile from JBL's site by transferring the file to your usb drive on your Mac. Just make sure the drive is formatted FAT32 through Disk Utility. I ran the base configuration for quite a while actually.
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