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JBL Is Now Shipping Project Array: A Breakthrough In Ultimate-Performance Loudspeaker Design


5 January 2006

— Advanced-Technology Home Theater and Stereo Models Utilize Innovative Compression Driver Configuration to Achieve Extraordinary Sound Quality —

WOODBURY, NY — JBL, celebrating 60 years as a leading manufacturer of professional and consumer loudspeakers, announced that it is now shipping its ultrahigh-end Project Array loudspeakers. The five JBL Project Array models combine innovative compression driver technology with dynamic drivers to take advantage of the sonic strengths of both designs. At CES 2006, in active demonstrations in a suite at the Las Vegas Hilton (January 5 — 8), the 1000 Array is featured in a two-channel system with JBL Synthesis electronics, showcasing its capacity for reproducing music with remarkable realism and sonic accuracy.

To deliver extraordinary sonic performance in the finest home theater and music systems, JBL Project Array models utilize technologies directly derived from the company’s flagship K2 Series loudspeakers and professional recording studio monitors. Project Array models include the 1400 Array and 1000 Array floorstanding loudspeakers; the 800 Array stand-mounted model; the 880 Array center channel loudspeaker; and the 1500 Array powered subwoofer with built-in 1000-watt amplifier.

Paul Bente, president of JBL Consumer Products, pointed out: “Our goal in designing the Project Array loudspeakers was to combine the exceptional dynamic range, transient response and ‘effortless’ quality of horn-loaded compression drivers with the precise imaging, three-dimensional soundstage and articulate low-frequency impact provided by the finest dynamic drivers. The Project Array series truly offers the best of both designs, along with unsurpassed resolution and a smooth, natural tonal balance that is sure to satisfy the most discriminating home theater enthusiasts and music lovers.”

Exclusive JBL Compression Driver Technology

To achieve their superlative performance, the 1400 Array, 1000 Array and 800 Array loudspeakers feature exclusive Bi-Radial horn compression drivers mounted vertically in a freestanding configuration. This design eliminates enclosure diffraction effects to provide precise, ultra-stable imaging, along with a wider, deeper, more three-dimensional soundstage. The 880 Array employs a vertically mounted Bi-Radial compression driver flanked by dual woofers to deliver articulate reproduction of dialogue and effects, and to provide a seamless sonic blend when multiple Project Array loudspeakers are used in a surround sound home theater system.

The vertical Bi-Radial horns, made from an extremely dense and inert material to eliminate unwanted sonic colorations, incorporate their midrange/high-frequency and ultrahigh-frequency transducers into a unified horn assembly. This design optimizes the horn’s dispersion pattern and tonal accuracy, both on- and off-axis. The ultrahigh-frequency transducers used in each model are directly mounted to their loudspeaker diaphragms, achieving high-frequency response to beyond 40kHz. The Bi-Radial design yields a richly detailed midrange and remarkably clear, open high frequencies, with no harshness or glare, delivered over a wide listening area.

Leading-Edge Engineering and Construction

To complement these unique compression drivers, Project Array loudspeakers employ low-frequency transducers that incorporate JBL’s most advanced engineering and materials technologies. All models feature treated-pulp-cone woofers; the 1400 Array and 1500 Array utilize JBL’s exclusive Aquaplas formulation, while the other models use an advanced-technology polymer material. The woofer cones combine the inherent musicality of the natural pulp-cone fiber with the added rigidity provided by the coating treatments, which preserve sonic neutrality while damping internal resonances, smoothing out the frequency balance and tightening bass response.

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Performance is further enhanced by the use of heavy-duty motor assemblies and large-diameter voice coils that utilize JBL’s Symmetrical Field Geometry (SFG) circuit, a proprietary technology that lowers woofer distortion by maintaining a symmetrical magnetic field (unlike conventional woofer designs with asymmetrical magnetic fields) in the voice-coil gap. The uniform magnetic field around the voice coil ensures linear cone travel, provides high-power-handling capability, and dramatically reduces harmonic distortion. The woofers incorporate die-cast frames, vented polepieces for highly efficient cooling, and additional enhancements to achieve maximum low-frequency performance.

JBL Project Array loudspeakers are constructed from only the highest grade materials and components, including high-order crossover networks using low-loss air-core inductors, and audiophile-grade polypropylene-dielectric capacitors selected for maximum sonic purity. The woofer enclosures are made from thick-walled medium-density fiberboard (MDF), with trapezoidal, heavily braced internal geometry designs to minimize internal standing waves and enclosure colorations.

JBL Project Array loudspeakers are as distinctive in appearance as they are in performance. All models are available in an elegant lacquered-wood finish, complemented by an ultraflat, soft-touch, rubberized black finish for the top surfaces, giving the loudspeakers a totally unique design that blends classic and high-tech elements.

Following is an overview of models in the JBL Project Array lineup.

1400 Array: No-Compromise Engineering for Superlative Sound Quality

The 1400 Array is the top-of-the-line loudspeaker in JBL’s Project Array lineup. Engineered for superlative sonic performance in the most ambitious home theater and music installations, the 1400 Array’s remarkable fidelity and sonic realism are sure to thrill even the most-demanding audiophiles.

The 1400 Array utilizes an updated version of the 435AL aluminum midrange compression driver found in JBL’s ultrahigh-end K2 S5800 Series loudspeaker, paired with an ultrahigh-frequency 045Ti titanium compression driver. Both drivers are mated to a vertically oriented Bi-Radial horn. The 435AL uses a 3-inch voice coil in a compact neodymium motor assembly that is encapsulated in a Kapton suspension for unmatched durability. The driver is pneumatically formed from an extremely thin aluminum foil that yields superlative sound quality. The ultrahigh-frequency compression driver features a neodymium magnet and an edge-wound aluminum voice coil directly mounted to a titanium diaphragm, reducing weight and delivering exceptionally detailed, extended high-frequency response with optimal dispersion.

The loudspeaker employs an LE14H-3 14-inch low-frequency transducer, which is the latest generation of JBL’s highly acclaimed LE 14 woofer series. This industry-standard transducer employs refinements such as an edge-wound copper voice coil in a 4-inch ferrite magnet motor assembly, a pulp-cone woofer that is treated with a controlled amount of Aquaplas coating to achieve taut, authoritative bass response down to 35Hz, and a specially formulated, high-excursion rubber surround for high-power-handling capability and extended longevity.

In common with all Project Array loudspeakers (except the 1500 Array), the 1400 Array features a fourth-order crossover network that utilizes low-loss air-core inductors and audiophile-grade polypropylene-dielectric capacitors. A separate crossover network for each transducer minimizes interactions and maintains the purest possible audio quality.

Thanks to its innovative engineering and premium-quality components, the JBL 1400 Array offers sound quality that is truly extraordinary. Movie soundtracks and music are conveyed with all the power and subtlety of the original performance, with remarkable clarity, transparency and presence. The 1400 Array brings out the best in the highest resolution program sources such as DVD-Audio and SACD, and faithfully reproduces the sonic environment present on the original recording with precise image placement and a realistically scaled, three-dimensional soundstage.

1000 Array and 800 Array: Exceptional Performance and Design

The JBL 1000 Array floorstanding loudspeaker and 800 Array stand-mounted loudspeaker are more modestly proportioned models that are ideal for medium- and smaller-sized home theater and music installations. Both models utilize a vertically oriented, enclosureless Bi-Radial horn configuration to provide spacious, dynamic and natural sound quality.

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The 1000 Array and 800 Array both incorporate a high-performance JBL 175Nd high-frequency compression driver with an edge-wound aluminum voice coil, neodymium motor assembly and Aquaplas-treated aluminum dome, mated to a rapid-flare phase plug and the Bi-Radial horn assembly. Both loudspeakers also employ an ultrahigh-frequency 045Ti compression driver directly mounted to the top of the Bi-Radial horn. To achieve tight, musically natural bass response, the 1000 Array employs a 10-inch treated-pulp-cone woofer, while the 800 Array uses an 8-inch treated-pulp-cone woofer.

Built to the identical uncompromising quality and construction standards as every Project Array model, the 1000 Array and 800 Array are equally adept at movie soundtrack and music reproduction, with a smooth tonal balance, a transparent, musically inviting midrange and open, extended high frequencies.

880 Array: Optimized for Center Channel Performance

The JBL 880 Array loudspeaker is optimized to deliver articulate, natural reproduction of dialogue and effects in a home theater system, even at high volume levels in large rooms. The 880 Array uses a 435Nd neodymium-magnet high-frequency transducer, 045Ti ultrahigh-frequency transducer and vertically oriented Bi-Radial horn configuration, flanked by dual high-excursion woofers that are mounted on separate, angled baffles. This configuration ensures a perfect sonic match with all the Project Array loudspeakers in a multichannel home theater system, creating a vast, expansive sound field with voices, instruments and ambient sounds accurately placed throughout the listening environment.

1500 Array: Massive Bass Power and Authority

The JBL 1500 Array powered subwoofer combines extremely high power output with unsurpassed low-frequency definition and extension to offer the ultimate bass performance in a multichannel Project Array system. The 1500 Array employs a high-efficiency W1500H 15-inch pulp-cone woofer, featuring an edge-wound copper voice coil in a massive 4-inch ferrite magnet assembly, along with JBL’s exclusive Symmetrical Field Geometry circuit for significantly reduced distortion and additional refinements.

The 1500 Array incorporates an advanced-technology, 1000-watt Class D digital-switching amplifier to deliver powerful bass output under the most-demanding conditions of continuous high-volume use, and includes a full complement of controls and connections to facilitate its use in any home theater system
and room.

Suggested retail pricing of JBL Project Array loudspeakers begins at $3,000 each.

The Harman Consumer Group (HCG) is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a wide range of high-fidelity loudspeakers, audio and video components, and multimedia systems for use in homes and automobiles, and with computers. The group’s brands include JBL, Infinity, Harman Kardon, Mark Levinson, Revel, Audioaccess and Lexicon.

HCG is a division of Harman International Industries, Incorporated. Harman International (
is a leading manufacturer of high-quality, high-fidelity audio products and electronic systems for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. The company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HAR.”

# # #

For additional information, contact:
Frank Doris
FM Group Public Relations
631-385-1304 ext. 402

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JBL, Harman International, K2 and Bi-Radial are registered trademarks, and Project Array, Symmetrical Field Geometry and SFG are trademarks, of Harman International Industries, Incorporated.

Kapton is a registered trademark of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.

SACD is a trademark of Sony Electronics Inc.

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