JBL S38II Main / Stereo Speakers Reviews
Click to see larger image

JBL S38II Main / Stereo Speakers

8 ratings (6 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
5 stars
6
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

Best Possible Speaker Value

Jan 7, 2003
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Flatness:
  • Imaging:
  • Overall Sound:

Pros:Classic JBL Rock&Roll Sound, Bass Response, Full Dynamic range, Driveable

Cons:Lacks Transparency of High End Speakers

The Bottom Line: An Unbelievable Speaker VALUE. Bought online @ Etronics for $264.00/pr !!! The S38II's can be driven at ear-splitting volumes without loss of detail or distortion


I went looking for speakers for my daughters personal stereo system. My priorities were: best possible sound for a small footprint and price. Her listening habits are fairly diverse for a gen-Z-er. Primarily Rock&Roll, but her music interest spans ... from Punk ... to Indie ... to the Dixie Chicks. My instincts (and Stereophile review) led me to the JBLS-38II-BE (Erin liked the "beech" finish).

The speakers: brand-new ... freshly out-of-their-boxes ... sound fabulous. I drove them at all volumes with excellent response. I expect that they will sound even better after they are "broken-in".

The S38II's did an admirable job of reproducing Steely Dan's Two Against Nature These 3-way speakers reproduced the full dynamic range of the jazz ensemble. Everything from the screeching highs of saxaphones, to the percussion bass lines sounded natural and complete.

My ear finds the speakers a little unbalanced in favor of bass reproduction. (to be expected from a JBL speaker). I preferred listening to the speakers with the bass dialed-down just a bit. Even without resorting to a graphic equalizer, I found that simply diminishing the bass at my receiver evened-out the dynamic range of the speakers.

My only complaint is that the S38II's suffer from a slight lack of transparency. While the S38's sound much better than most mass-market speakers - they still sound slightly muddy to my hypersensitive ears. I demoed the S38's parallel to my old AVID 330's(rock&roll relic's from the 70's). At roughly twice the mass and cabinet volume, my old AVID's did no better at reproducing the low end !! But the aged AVID 3-ways produce a noticeably more natural and transparent sound. It appears to me that the voice coils of the S38's mids and tweeters are not quite at the high end of speaker quality. A hypersensitive comment about an excellent $ 264.00 (pair) of speakers. The S38's might also improve through their "breaking-in" period.

These are definately large, and heavy "bookshelf" speakers. Don't expect to balance them on some cheap, wobbly plant stands. I agree that the soundstage is improved by listening to the speakers in a horizontal orientation, although I have not yet evaluated altering the mirrored orientation.

The cabinets are nicely designed, with a slight high-tech look. "Floating" plastic framed grilles are compression-fit into securely-holding pin holes. The look is sophisticated (although the speakers sound significantly better without the grilles). Gold-plated binding posts are generously sized for the largest of speaker cables. While I have not dissected the finish, the speakers appear to be finished in a "shelf-paper veneer" - very well detailed - but I will warn my daughter not to gouge the surface finish


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 264.00 !!!!!


Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

JBL On Tour Micro Portable Speakers

JBL On Tour Micro Portable Speakers

The JBL On Tour Micro is the perfect traveling companion for your music. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, this ultra-portable loudspeaker...
JBL.com

$49.95

FREE Shipping
Jbl Es 20 Pair Of Home Audio 3-way, 5 Bookshelf Speakers

Jbl Es 20 Pair Of Home Audio 3-way, 5 Bookshelf Speakers

The JBL ES 20 wasn't designed for the average home user. This stereo speaker is specifically designed with the professional and entertainment enthusia...
eBay

$129.95

FREE Shipping
Jbl Es20 High Performance 3 Way Bookshelf Speakers Black (pair)

Jbl Es20 High Performance 3 Way Bookshelf Speakers Black (pair)

The JBL ES 20 wasn't designed for the average home user. This stereo speaker is specifically designed with the professional and entertainment enthusia...
eBay

$175.00

FREE Shipping
JBL LS360C In-Ceiling Speakers

JBL LS360C In-Ceiling Speakers

The JBL LS360C in-ceiling loudspeaker packs a lot of power into a small package. In addition to saving valuable floor and shelf space, the LS360C deli...
JBL.com

$549.95

FREE Shipping
JBL - MTC-29UB U-Bracket for Control 29AV Loudspeaker, Black, Speaker/Monitor Cabinets

JBL - MTC-29UB U-Bracket for Control 29AV Loudspeaker, Black, Speaker/Monitor Cabinets

JBL MTC-29UB U-Bracket for Control 29AV Loudspeaker, Black The JBL MTC-29UB is an optional U-Bracket for the JBL Professional Control 29AV loudspeaker...
Adorama

$81.00

FREE Shipping
Jbl Control 5 Monitoring Speakers Black (pair)

Jbl Control 5 Monitoring Speakers Black (pair)

6185 S. Valley View Blvd Suite D Las Vegas, NV 89118 (702) 675-6600 Satisfaction Guaranteed - Authorized Dealer - Warranty See a Better Price? Questio...
eBay
JBL ES90 Floor-Standing Speakers

JBL ES90 Floor-Standing Speakers

They're unobtrusive ? until you turn them on. The JBL ES90 brings JBL professional technology home. Get 440 watts of peak power and muscular bass from...
JBL.com

$249.99

FREE Shipping
JBL - Control One 4 Indoor/Outdoor Speakers (Pair)

JBL - Control One 4 Indoor/Outdoor Speakers (Pair)

These JBL Control One speakers feature 4 poly-laminate woofer cones and 1/2 titanium-laminate-dome tweeters to create rich, detailed cross-spectrum au...
Best Buy

$199.99

FREE Shipping
JBL LS326W In-Wall Speakers

JBL LS326W In-Wall Speakers

The JBL LS326W in-wall loudspeaker saves more than floor or shelf space; it delivers the sound quality for your home theater or music system by accura...
JBL.com

$399.95

FREE Shipping
JBL Control 23B - Black (3.5 2-Way Spkrs (pr) Black)

JBL Control 23B - Black (3.5 2-Way Spkrs (pr) Black)

PA Speakers - Control Contractor Series of installation loudspeakers includes a complete range of surface-mount, in-ceiling and subwoofer models, prov...
Sweetwater

$208.00

FREE Shipping