Improving audio fidelity with JBL C2PS monitor speakers


Last year at the W4DXCC conference in Sevierville, Tennessee, I spent some quality time with Bob Heil (K9EID). Bob is the mastermind behind Heil Sound as well as the host of HamNation, a show devoted to all aspects of amateur radio––yet this job description only scratches the surface of Bob’s fascinating career.

Bob Heil (left) me (right)

Bob Heil (K9EID, left) and yours truly (right) at the 2014 W4DXX conference in Sevierville, TN

One thing is for sure, however: there are few people in the radio industry who truly understand audio as profoundly as Bob Heil, so when he announced that he would host a forum at the W4DXCC to assist amateur radio operators in improving their received (and transmitted) audio, we were all ears, and signed right up.

Early in the forum, Bob described a set of self-powered and relatively affordable JBL monitor speakers that he highly recommended for amateur radio use. Everyone in the room noted the model number of the speakers, myself included.  So imagine my dismay after the convention when I simply couldn’t find my notes…

Thankfully, my buddy Gary Wise (W8EEY) recently jogged my memory. Gary purchased a set of JBL monitors and matching wall-mount brackets from Amazon, and has them hooked up to his Flex Radio FLEX-6700 SDR.  Gary tells me he’s very pleased with the set-up.  Here are the links:

Bob also suggests adding a small mixer to system, something like this Behringer Xenyx 802 or the XENYX502 (both of which are on my current wishlist).

Bob invited me to speak on HamNation about shortwave radio. I may take him up on the offer…well, as soon as I overcome my videophobia, that is.  At any rate, if you’ve not seen it, HamNation is certainly worth checking out.  And in all things radio, Bob Heil’s is a name to know; click here to visit Heil Sound.

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4 thoughts on “Improving audio fidelity with JBL C2PS monitor speakers

    1. Thomas Post author

      I’m sure you could, Jeff, with an RCA stereo plug to 1/8″ jack. It would probably sound decent, but I bet the audio coming out of the DE1103 headphone jack isn’t super clean. You might hear more noise than you would out of a line-out jack. Then again, at a moderate level, could sound quite good. My Sony ICF-SW7600GR sounds great through my stereo amp in the radio room. If I got the monitors, they would replace the stereo amp/receiver (which actually takes up a lot of real estate). -Thomas

      1. jeff mcmahon

        About 7 years ago, I used to play my DE1103 through my Sangean WR-2 because the 1103 received 89.3 FM more clearly. It was quite a rig but a bit too cumbersome by my bedside. I do remember the sound was clean enough. It makes sense that I could just use speakers.

  1. Michael Black

    In the early sixties, he was writing for one of the VHF magazines, maybe “VHF Horizons”, and the blurb would say something about him playing organ at the Holiday Inn (the town I’ve forgotten). I was reading those in the early seventies.

    I just assumed he was like many hams, a routine day job but a much more interesting life in amateur radio. There were lots of people who wrote frequently for the ham and hobby electronic magazines, and that was all we knew about them.

    Then much later, the name “Bob Heil” reappeared in multiple place. I think first outside amateur radio, and I just assumed a coincidence of name. Then he was doing ham radio writing and business, but it was still hard to hard to believe that the organ player was the same guy who was known for doing the sound for the Grateful Dead.

    But it was the same guy. A very interesting life. And I liked his early articles.



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