When the stereo is good, you don't need 5.1 or 7.1. It's like good Q don't need no sauce. Have a Walter Mitty moment, close your eyes, and thinkVoice of the Theatre. Visited Warner Movie Studios once and they had ten Voice of the Theatre speakers in the dubbing room. I thought I was about to be invaded. 

The JBL Hartsfield is the poor man's Voice of the Theatre. Powered by VTL 500's. My fav power amp. The industrial design sez I am a toob amp. Deal with it! Very practical because the openness allows air to circulate and cool those bad boys down. It is madness to enclose a toob amp. Let it breathe. 

Rounding out the ensemble is a single Hsu Research Sub. When the head drops in Kill Bill Vol. I, this sub makes the ground jump.

Room Details

Dimensions: 12’ × 21’  Medium
Ceiling: 9’

Components Toggle details

    • Denon DVD 2500
    Blue ray transport is a game changer as far as image quality is concerned. Probably good for the sound too.
    • Panasonic TV 16
    Uses TI rear projection system. 15 years old and still good. The TV's DAC provides the conversion function.
    • MFA Luminescence B1C
    The last iteration of the Lumi B series using octal tubes. There was a C series but that used a different tube type.
    • VTL 500
    Monoblock tube power amp.
    • JBL Hartsfield
    Reproduction of the JBL Hartsfield in Koa. The Hartsfield was JBL's answer to the Klipschorn. The blueprints for the Hartsfield are online if you're into an interesting woodworking project.

Comments 7

Wow.  If there is not a pair of those speakers in the Smithsonian, there should be.


Definitely a blast from the pas!  I like your system in it's entirety. Great tube amp/pre and source as well as your JBLs. Just wonderful! How did you acquire such great stuff, and what made you decide to go this direction?


Someone who appreciates art as much as music, finally.


 While the Voice Of The Theater system was widely used in the pro environment, the 511B horn/driver combination along with the 15 inch Altec bass driver didn't compare to the Hartsfield.  The 375 driver -  537/509 horn lens assembly employed in the Hartsfield was far and above the quality and price of the VOT system. The 150C woofer used in the Hartsfield remains second best only to the JBL LE15 A bass driver.

  Back in it's day the Hartsfield was rivaled only by the Electro Voice Patrician. Both systems were as large as a refrigerator and very seldom seen or heard in audio salons due to size and price constraints. 

  You really should look for another and sit back and enjoy stereophonic sound as few audiophiles are able to.

  Ken Fritz.

Ag insider logo xs@2xkftooll

JBL are certainly beautiful.   Many years ago I designed a custom cabinet and built JBL S7R in vertical orientation.   I don't know where they are today but one of the speakers I remember fondly and wish I could hear again.

Ag insider logo xs@2xalbertporter

I certainly wouldn't think of a Hartsfield as a poor mans VOT!

Ag insider logo xs@2xdbphd

Those speakers are just badass and gorgeous! They must sound fantastic. And nice looking amps there I am sure they drive them to insane levels. Thanks for sharing and happy listening!


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