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Question for JBL S38 owners...


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Paul_Fisher

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Posted June 09 2002 - 02:36 PM

Here is the situation. Right now I have Paradigm mini-monitors and they are very fatiguing to my ears. I'm thinking about selling my mini's and getting some S38's. Does anybody here have any opinions on the sound difference between the S38's and the mini's? Are the JBL's more laid-back than the mini's. The mini's are starting to sound harsh to my ears. I listened to the JBL's a while ago at Best Buy and I loved the way they sounded, but I opted for the mini's because of the praise they got here on the forum. So what do you all think? By the way my receiver is a Marantz 5200.

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Jeffrey Forner

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Posted June 09 2002 - 04:47 PM

Paul; Yes, the Studio 38s are much more laid back than the Paradigms. If you don't like that much detail in the highs, then I would suspect that the S38s would be more pleasing to your ears.
-J.Fo

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   David King

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Posted June 09 2002 - 05:05 PM

[quote] I listened to the JBL's a while ago at Best Buy and I loved the way they sounded [quote]

That has got to be a first. JBLs require lots of juice before they sound really good, which is something I find Best Buy fails to give.

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   keir

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Posted June 09 2002 - 05:28 PM

hi paul, if you're not opposed to auction sites, ubid.com has some michaura m55s up for auction at about 60 /pair +35 shipping. ~$110 for these speakers is a steal because they're apparently better than axiom m3tis and close to the m22tis. (they were made by axiom and sold under the name michaura, which apparently went bankrupt and sold their assets to ubid.com). the audioasylum forums have a few comparisons to higher end stuff. search for michaura at ubid.com for more info. my friend and i bought two pairs of them last friday. should get them on wednesday or thursday. edit: since you think the minimonitors are fatiguing you might not want the michauras, they're supposed to be on the bright side. maybe moreso than the minis.

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Chris Tsutsui

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Posted June 10 2002 - 07:06 AM

The S38 highs are very smooth sounding and not as fatiguing as those Paradigms. The S38s will also be capable of down to 45hz with decent bass handling for a bookshelf. They are considerably large so you may need a stand for them. At Bestbuy the S38s are usually backed against a wall which gives them a huge bass spike (Around 6db). At home you'll be able to move them away from the backwall and hear a very smooth frequency response. I have mine about 1.5 feet from the backwall, 24" high, and have great results. At bestbuy I listen to their setup about once a week when I buy a CD or something. I bet they will sound MUCH better once they are in your home.

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted June 10 2002 - 10:15 AM

My first set of speakers were inexpensive Yamahas, which also happened to get a "Best Value" rating from Consumer Reports (take that however you want). They started sounding harsh to me, so I bought the S38s. What I love about the entire Studio Series line is the richness. I don't quite have the vernacular to explain, but it's comparable to the difference between my playing a 75.00 violin (squawk squawk, crunch crunch) and listening to my professional violinist friends playing on their 10,000+ instruments (like listening to acoustic butter). I don't think you will be disappointed with the switch, especially if you favor smoothness. One thing you should keep in mind when listening to music is that CDs will sound harsh because of the format limitations, particularly in the upper frequencies. Pop in a DTS CD, 96/24 DAD, SACD or DVD-A and those high notes will sparkle.

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted June 10 2002 - 10:22 AM

My first set of speakers were inexpensive Yamahas, which also happened to get a "Best Value" rating from Consumer Reports (take that however you want). They started sounding harsh to me, so I bought the S38s. What I love about the entire Studio Series line is the richness. I don't quite have the vernacular to explain, but it's comparable to the difference between my playing a 75.00 violin (squawk squawk, crunch crunch) and listening to my professional violinist friends playing on their 10,000+ instruments (like listening to acoustic butter). I don't think you will be disappointed with the switch, especially if you favor smoothness. One thing you should keep in mind when listening to music is that CDs will sound harsh because of the format limitations, particularly in the upper frequencies. Pop in a DTS CD, 96/24 DAD, SACD or DVD-A and those high notes will sparkle.

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted June 10 2002 - 10:33 AM

Well, I guess I'm in a minority here - I preferred the sound of the Paradigm Mini Monitors over that of the JBL S38. IMO, brightness/harshness has as much to do with the room and the upstream electronics as the speakers themselves. Also, I thought that the Mini Monitors were much more detailed, and conveyed more of the little nuances of the music than the JBL. Of course, this opinion wasn't based on a very extensive audition, and as always, YMMV.




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