After hearing so many good things, I brought home a pair of these from BB to test drive. I wanted to see how the sound from these speakers compared to my JBL L5s. This is not an apples to apples comparison by any means, as the L5s are tower speakers with four drivers and listed for about $500 each 10 years ago. The L5s, like the SS series, contain titanium tweeters but of a different design. My impression of the build quality of the S38s was good. I gave them a few hours of break-in before any critical listening (I know that is not enough time for break-in, but like I said, I just wanted to get some initial impressions). I thought the speaker performed well, and maintained its character and balance quite well as I added volume. The highs were good, near in quality to the L5s, but perhaps more metalic sounding. The bass was also quite good. Whoever said these SS speakers lack bass I doubt if they had a system with ample power and/or good speaker wire. During this brief test, in my opinion the problems with the S38s were in two areas. First the midrange was lacking or just very thin. This was most noticable on vocals or guitar work (like SRV Texas Flood). Second, the damping or some other factor was just not quick enough for my tastes or in comparison to the L5s. There seemed to be a higher level of just background noise with the S38s. Kind of like I brought BB home with me. The combination of these two issues made the comparison to the L5 like night and day. My good old L5s kicked butt as well they should over a speaker that sells for this much less, and to be fair, not totally broken in. So I satisfied my curiosity with these and will be returning them later in the week. I know a longer break-in would probably benefit these speakers, but I am not that sure the issues I experienced would improve that much with break-in (perhaps the damping, but not sweetness or presence of the midrange). All thing considered I believe these are very good speakers for the money and most likely will benefit from a longer break-in. However I have my doubts these could satisfy audiophile level tastes under the best of cirumstances. Just my two cents.