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 Control One Main / Stereo 4 Indoor / Outdoor Speakers (pair)

Jbl Control One Main / Stereo 4 Indoor / Outdoor Speakers (pair)

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...
eBay

$169.99

+$14.61 shipping
Jbl Control 126wt Stereo Speakers Premium In-wall Ceiling Speakers W/transformer

Jbl Control 126wt Stereo Speakers Premium In-wall Ceiling Speakers W/transformer

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...
eBay

$201.69

+$14.05 shipping
JBL - SP8II 2-Way, 8 (200mm) Pair of In-Wall Loudspeaker, White, Speaker & Monitor Cabine

JBL - SP8II 2-Way, 8 (200mm) Pair of In-Wall Loudspeaker, White, Speaker & Monitor Cabine

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...
Adorama

$369.95

FREE Shipping
JBL ES90 4-Way Dual 8 Floorstanding Speaker

JBL ES90 4-Way Dual 8 Floorstanding Speaker

JBL ES90 4-Way Dual 8 Floorstanding Speaker
Newegg.com

$384.30

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 - LS326W 2-Way 6-1/2 In-Wall Loudspeaker, Speaker & Monitor Cabinets

JBL - LS326W 2-Way 6-1/2 In-Wall Loudspeaker, Speaker & Monitor Cabinets

JBL LS 326 W 2Way 2 Way 2 Way 61/2 61 / 2 6 1 / 2 InWall In Wall Loudspeaker JBL LS326W 2-Way 6-1/2 In-Wall Loudspeaker The JBL LS326W a 2-way in-wa...
Adorama

$399.95

FREE Shipping
Jbl Control One Aw Monitor All Weather Outdoor Speakers - Free Shipping

Jbl Control One Aw Monitor All Weather Outdoor Speakers - Free Shipping

JBL CONTROL ONE AW - ALL WEATHER OUTDOOR SPEAKERS Price is for (1)one brand new pair.Have enviable JBLŽ sound anywhere you want it: on a bookshelf, on...
eBay

$199.95

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 Pro 3 Control One 1 - 5 Woofer Refoam Kit - Speaker Foam - Free Shipping

Jbl Pro 3 Control One 1 - 5 Woofer Refoam Kit - Speaker Foam - Free Shipping

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...
eBay

$17.55

FREE Shipping