Click to see larger image
JBL S38II Main / Stereo Speakers
(6 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
Best Possible Speaker Value
Jan 7, 2003
Review by fountain-head
Rated a Very Helpful Review
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).
Recommend this product?
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
Amount Paid (US$): 264.00 !!!!!
Share this product review with your friends
1 Pair JBL Control 126WT Stereo Speakers Premium In-Wall Ceiling Speakers w/Transformer NEW in Box. Opened only for photos. 38 Hz - 20 kHz.100 Watt co...
Place your JBL Control One ultra compact speaker virtually anywhere and listen to hours of high-quality music. This 2-Way speaker system is compatible...
JBL SP 8 II 2Way, 2 Way, 2 Way, 8 ( 200 mm) Pair of InWall In Wall Loudspeaker, White JBL SP8II 2-Way, 8 (200mm) Pair of In-Wall Loudspeaker, White T...
JBL L820 6 Bookshelf Speakers (set of 2 wall mountable speakers)Retail for approx. $750.00 Shipping cost includes insurance, signature confirmation an...
JBL Control 126 W 6.5 2-Way Premium In-Wall Loudspeaker, Pair, White The JBL Control 126W is a premium in-wall speaker within the JBL Professional Con...
Description JBL MTC-128RIF Rough-in Installation Frame for Control 128W Speaker New in sealed original box. Frame is for JBL Control 128W Speakers. Sp...
The JBL Control 1 Pro delivers excellent sound and is ideal even for the most demanding near-field audio applications. This JBL compact speaker's prof...
JBL MTC-126RIF Rough-In Installation Frame for Control 126W Speaker, Pair The JBL MTC-126RIF is an in-wall mounting frame for new construction install...
Description JBL Control 126WT 6.5 Inch 2-Way 100-Watt In-Wall Installation Speaker with 70V/100V Transformer New! Photos are of the actual item for sa...
Type Home Theater Speaker System Connectors RCA or 3.55mm AUX Remote Control No Color Black Parts 12